Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 29 (1996)
Bliss Is Your Real Form

Editor’s note: A condensed version of this discourse appears in the Sathya Sai Speaks series. This more complete version was published in Sanathana Sarathi, June 2013.
The brahmins who propagate the truths propounded in the Vedas and Sastras (scriptures),
The kings who are prepared to sacrifice their body for the safety and security of the nation,
The businessmen who do business with ethics and morality,
The noble farmers who lead a happy life working in the fields to raise crops,
- All should contemplate the divine Name without wasting time and thus sanctify their life.
(Telugu Poem)
Just as tarakam, sankhyam, and amanaskam form the three main types of yoga as propounded by Vedanta, three main concepts relate to what constitutes truth, namely absolutely real, empirical, and illusory (paramarthika, vyavaharika, and pratibhasika).
The absolutely real can be compared to an ocean, the empirical is like ocean waves, and the illusory is the foam that is generated by the waves. Without the ocean, there can be no waves, and without waves there can no foam.
In the final analysis, water forms the basis of all three: ocean, waves, and foam. Therefore, do not consider the three as separate from each other. They are as closely linked to each other as the divine trinity, the three attributes serenity, passion, and sloth (sathwa, rajas, and thamas), and the three periods of time.
One bilva leaf with three petals offered to three-eyed Lord Siva,
Who is the embodiment of the three attributes (gunas) and
Who holds the trident in his hand,
Destroys the sins accumulated over three births.
Tridalam trigunakaram Trinetram cha triyayudham;
Trijanma papa samharam Eka bilvam Sivarpanam.
Brahman is immanent in the entire creation
Brahman signifies the unity of these three principles. Absolute reality denotes Atma and the empirical denotes the “I” (aham). Some people, out of ignorance, think that Atma and Aham are separate from each other. In fact, Atma is like the ocean and Aham is like the waves.
When you turn your vision inward and enquire, you will realise that both are one and the same. Waves are not different from the ocean.
Just as there is fire in wood, oil in sesame seeds, and sugar in sugar cane, similarly, the empirical (vyavaharika) is inherent in the absolutely real (paramarthika). There can be no waves without the ocean, and there can be no son without a father. In the same manner, there can be no empirical without the absolutely real.
God is extolled as Bhavaya Namah. What is the meaning of Bhava in Vedantic parlance? Bhava signifies the Supreme Being, who has this visible world as His very form. Lord Vishnu is the cause, and the world is the effect. The entire creation is the play of cause and effect.
God incarnates in various forms in this world to demonstrate the unity of all names and forms. Just as the peacock looks beautiful with its colourful plumage, the divine principle of Vishnu appears most wonderful with its myriad forms in the entire creation.
This is stated in the Vedic dictum: The Cosmic Being has thousands of heads, eyes, and feet (sahasra seersha purusha sahasraksha sahasra pad). The cosmic form of the Lord consists of thousands of heads and thousands of eyes. It means that everyone is the embodiment of Vishnu.
God has another name, Kutastha, which signifies that He permeates every being in creation. Just as the waves, foam, and ocean are one and the same, creation, sustenance, and dissolution are three inseparable aspects of Divinity.
Everything emerged from the ocean of TruthKnowledge-Bliss (Satchidananda). When you realise this truth, the fountain of bliss will emerge from the lake of your mind (manasarovar). Bliss (Ananda) results when truth (sat) and knowledge (chit) come together. Sat means truth, chit means knowledge. When they combine, they give the experience of bliss.
Sat is like sugar, which imparts sweetness to whatever it is mixed with. Put it in coffee, it becomes sweet; put it in tea, it becomes sweet; put it in water, it becomes syrup. Therefore, sweetness is permanent.
That is why it is described as Sat or Being, which means changeless and eternal. Chit signifies Constant Integrated Awareness (prajnana), which is described in Vedanta as:
Brahman is Supreme Consciousness (Prajnanam Brahma). Prajnana is the life of every being, and water is the basis of life. Therefore, chit is compared to water.
When sugar and water are separate, sugar is sugar and water is water. When they combine, you get syrup. Similarly, when sat and chit come together, bliss is the result. Bliss is your real form. Sat is nothing but the principle of Atma, which is eternal. Without the principle of Atma, the world has no existence.
Faith has great significance in Vedanta
You write a charming poem in beautiful lettering on a super special paper, put it in a glittering cover, and post it. The paper is most valuable, the letters are beautiful, the poetry is sublime, the cover is attractive, and the address is also written correctly. But the letter does not reach the addressee. Why not? The reason is that you did not affix the required stamp on the cover.
You sing bhajans with tune and rhythm (raga and tala). The tune and music may be attractive, but it does not reach or please God if you lack self-confidence. Confidence in you, confidence in God; this is the secret of greatness. This is what you have to know today.
What is the use of sending a cover with beautiful poetry written in beautiful letters unless you affix the stamp of confidence on the cover? That is why Vedanta has given utmost importance to confidence/trust (viswas) and steadfast faith (sraddha). Love is the basis of both.
When you have love, you have sraddha; when you have sraddha, you have viswas.
Just as foam, waves, and ocean are not different from each other, sraddha, viswas, and love (prema) are inseparable and interdependent. These three form the fundamental basis of Vedanta.
Vedanta also talks about three principles: swechchha, parechchha, and daivechchha.
What does swechchha mean? Students today think swechchha means to talk, move, and behave in an arbitrary manner. This is not the inner meaning of swechchha. Swa + ichchha is swechchha. Swa means Self (Atma) and ichchha means desire. True swechchha means to follow the dictates of the Self.
The Bhagavad Gita also explains two types of dharma: swadharma, and paradharma.
What is swadharma? People think swadharma relates to their caste and religion, just like warrior (kshatriya) dharma, brahmin dharma, businessmen (vaisya) dharma, etc. But this is not the real meaning of swadharma.
Swa means Atma. Therefore, Atmadharma (divine duty) is swadharma. dehadharma (duties related to the body) is paradharma.
Similarly, there is the single letter ‘I’ and the three-lettered ‘eye’. The single letter ‘I’ represents Atma and the three-lettered ‘eye’, the body. Without the body, one cannot realise the Atma, and without the Atma, the body cannot exist.
Therefore, the unity of Atma, the individual soul, and the body is called Triputi or Trikuta (coming together of three aspects). In this manner, Vedanta explains most profound truths in simple and subtle terms.
Swechchha means to think, decide, and perform an action with full confidence, on one’s own, and to be prepared to face its consequences wholeheartedly, be it pleasure or pain, happiness or sorrow.
Parechchha means to perform an action with encouragement or under pressure of others. This is not something you do of your own accord. You do it under the influence of others. But when you have to face its consequences, you should not regret, saying, “This is not something I have done willingly. I have done it because I was forced to do it.” Others cannot force you to do something unless you have an inclination to do it. How can others influence you or encourage you or force you to do it? Their encouragement only reinforces your own inclination. Therefore, be prepared to face the consequences without any regret and without blaming others.
The third one is Daivechchha, which means to surrender to the Will of God and perform good actions without any expectation of the fruits of actions. This is not the result of the actions performed by you of your own accord or due to the encouragement or under the influence of others. You should accept whatever comes as the divine Will.
In fact, whatever happens in accordance with divine Will will do only good to you. Whatever actions you perform by surrendering to the Will of God will give you peace, happiness, fulfillment, and victory. But people today do not understand the significance of surrendering to the Will of God.
People do not undertake meritorious deeds but want to derive their fruits;
They indulge in sinful activities,
Yet want to escape their consequences.
Punyasya phalamichchanthi, Punyam nechchanthi manava,
Na papa phalamichchanthi, Papam kurvanthu yathnatha.
(Sanskrit verse)
Man is the embodiment of Satchidananda
People are not prepared to face the consequences of their sinful deeds, but they are always in the forefront to perform such evil actions. Why do you perform sinful deeds when you do not want to face their consequences? There is no doubt that if you perform bad actions, their results are also bound to be bad.
People want to enjoy the fruits of meritorious deeds but are not prepared to perform such sacred actions. They aspire for one thing and perform actions just contrary to it. All your actions should be according to what you desire.
Having performed a sinful deed, be prepared to face its consequences. Whether you touch the fire knowingly or unknowingly, it will burn you. Sometimes, you may touch the fire unknowingly, but it is not going to take pity on you and spare you.
Similarly, whether you like it or not, you have to reap the consequences of your actions. This is empirical (vyavaharika) truth. But absolutely real (paramarthika) truth is different from this. When you reach the absolutely-real level, you will not get burnt even if you touch the fire.
How does it happen? It happens due to the grace of God. Sometimes, God Himself will caution you and prevent you from touching the fire. Fire, which is one of the five elements, is also an aspect of Divinity.
Everyone uses the word “I” (Aham) while referring to themself. You should enquire where this “I” originates from. “I” is born from the Atma. Thought (sankalpa) is born from “I” and speech (vak), from thought. Therefore, “I” is the son of Atma, thought is its grandson, and speech is its great grandson.
So, Atma, “I”, thought. and speech belong to the same family. Thus, “I”, thought, and speech have equal right to the property of Atma.
What is this property? This property is Satchit-ananda, which is equally accessible to the ‘son’, ‘grandson’, and ‘great grandson’. In fact, it fully permeates all three.
One can never say that one is devoid of bliss; it is verily the right of humanity. A person desires to be permanent and eternal. That is the nature of consciousness (chit, prajnana), which is present in everyone. Therefore, one need not go in search of Sat-chit-ananda elsewhere. All are the embodiment of Satchit-ananda. One suffers through ignorance of this truth.
Acquire practical knowledge and dispel illusion
Here is a small story to illustrate this. Suppose a marriage celebration is going on. The bridegroom’s party and the bride’s party are staying in two different houses. Some intruder starts acting as an intermediary between the two parties.
He goes to the bride’s party and threatens them, “What is this? You aren’t supplying even coffee and tiffin from time to time. We thought that you would celebrate this wedding in a grand manner, but you aren’t coming up to our expectations. You aren’t showing due respect to the bridegroom’s party.” After some time, he goes to the bridegroom’s party and questions them, “What is this? You aren’t coming for food in spite of our repeated requests. The food is getting cold. Come quickly.” The bridegroom’s party thought he was an elderly person from the bride’s party. Similarly, the bride’s party thought he was a close relative of the bridegroom. Both parties put up with his misdemeanour for some time.
But when he started crossing limits, they began asking each other who that person was. When someone from bridegroom’s party went to the bride’s party and asked about his identity, they said they didn’t know him. The bride’s party got a similar reply from the bridegroom’s party. As both started consulting each other, the intruder realised that he was exposed and quietly disappeared from the scene.
Similarly, Maya (illusion) takes sides sometimes with the Atma and sometimes with nature and confuses humanity. When you start enquiring about the relationship between Self (Atma) and non-Self), using your power of discrimination, the delusion caused by Maya disappears. People today do not ask what Atma is, what an-atma is, what is worldly, and what is other-worldly. That is why people have become victims of delusion. One should have the right type of knowledge to conduct such enquiry.
Knowledge is of four types. All the learned people know that what they acquire from study of books is only bookish knowledge, which becomes superficial knowledge with the passage of time. Along with bookish knowledge, you should acquire general knowledge and discrimination knowledge. Moreover, do not limit yourself to individual discrimination; you should exercise fundamental discrimination. Only when you have discrimination knowledge will you have practical knowledge.
Practical knowledge is the true knowledge. Try to acquire such true knowledge. When you go on enquiring like this, you will ultimately realise the truth.
Vedanta talks about two types of liberation: jivan mukthi and videha mukthi. A jivan muktha is one who considers everything as the manifestation of God and experiences the unity of past, present, and future. Past is the tree, from which we get the seed of present, which in turn grows into the tree of future. Therefore, past is the tree, future is the tree, present is the seed. These three are, in fact, one and the same.
Without the tree of past, you cannot get the seed of present, and without the seed of present, you cannot get the tree of future.
One who realises the unity of three periods of time is a jivan muktha. That one is equalminded in both happiness and sorrow, praise and censure, prosperity and adversity. That one knows that everything is temporary, like passing clouds, and nothing is permanent. That one has absolutely no worry because their mind is focused on the principle of unity. That one alone is considered a jivan muktha.
Then, who is a videha muktha? All the qualities present in a jivan muktha are present in a videha muktha. What is the difference between them? A jivan muktha has body consciousness whereas a videha muktha does not. A videha muktha does not feel even the pangs of thirst or hunger.
Since King Janaka had no body consciousness, he was also called Videha. As long as one has body consciousness, one is bound to experience happiness and sorrow. One who has no body attachment is free from all types of attachment. That is the state of amanaska, a state devoid of mind. When there is no mind, how can there be thoughts?
Here is a piece of cloth. It is made up of threads, which come from cotton. Without cotton, there can be no threads; without threads, there can be no cloth. So, thought is cotton, desires are threads, and mind is the cloth. The mind is nothing but a bundle of desires. When there are no desires, there can be no mind. That is the state of amanaska.
Humanity has become a victim of Maya, which consists of 25 aspects.
When you unravel the mystery of these 25 aspects,
Maya will disappear. What are these 25 aspects?
(Telugu Song)
Five organs of cognition (jnanendriyas) Five organs of action (karmendriyas), Five life principles (pranas), and Five sheaths (kosas) sum up to 20. Add to these the mind, intellect, subconscious mind, ego, and individual soul (manas, buddhi, chitta, ahamkara, and jivi) and the total becomes 25.
That which is constituted by these 25 aspects is called pinda. What does pinda mean? This body itself is pinda. Vedanta talks about anda, pinda, and Brahmanda. Those that are born out of the egg are called andaja, and those that are born from the womb of the mother are called pindaja. The cosmos, which pervades everywhere, is called Brahmanda.
But there is an underlying unity between the anda, pinda, and Brahmanda just as there is unity between individual soul, God, and nature (jiva, Iswara, and prakriti).
Immerse the mind in the Atma
The principle of Rama also signifies this unity. ‘Ra’ signifies Atma and ‘Ma’ denotes Maya. When Maya and Atma combine, they form the principle of Rama.
People chant the name of Rama, saying Ram, Ram, Ram. But one should not do it mechanically. The mind should be absorbed in the contemplation of Rama. It means the mind should be immersed in the principle of the Atma. That is the real Rama chanting. That is the real principle of tarakam.
Without coming under the veil of forgetfulness,
In waking, dream, and deep sleep states,
One should constantly be aware of the Soham mantra,
That will enable one to realise the Atma Principle.
(Telugu Poem)
Tarakam signifies the unity of the three states, namely waking, dream, and deep sleep (jagrat, swapna, and sushupti. It is not enough if you merely chant Ram, Ram, Ram without understanding the principle of tarakam. You should immerse the mind in the Atma.
There is water in the tumbler, and you have brought some sugar in your hand. Put the sugar in water and mix it thoroughly. The sugar disappears. The sugar that you brought with your own hand is not there now. The sugar that you have seen with your own eyes has become invisible. Where has it gone?
When you put a drop of water on your tongue, you will know that sugar is present in every drop of it.
Students know this.
Here is a cup, and you have poured some fruit juice in it. The cup holds the juice to the brim but does not know its taste. You put a straw in the cup and drink the juice. The juice goes into the mouth through the straw, but the straw does not know its taste. Only when the juice reaches the tongue can we know its taste.
Our body is the cup, and Divinity is the juice present in it. God is in the form of essence (Raso vai sah). God permeates the body in the form of essence. But the body is not aware of it.
Our senses are like the straw, which also cannot experience Divinity. The intellect (buddhi) is like the tongue, which experiences the taste of Divinity. The tongue enjoys the taste of the juice but does not keep it to itself. It sends it to the digestive system (jathara). The digestive system also does not experience the sweetness of juice. It separates waste from juice and supplies its sacred essence to all limbs of the body.
Before partaking of food, you offer it to God, chanting Brahmarpanam ... He replies from within:
I am present in all beings in the form of digestive fire.
United with exhalation and inhalation (prana and apana),
It is I who consumes the four kinds of food.
Aham vaishvanaro bhutva Praninam dehamasrita
Pranapana samayukta Pachamyannam chaturvidham.
God is one, goal is one
God says, “Oh simpleton! I am present in your stomach in the form of vaishvanara, digesting the food you eat and supplying its essence to the entire body.” When you enquire the teachings of Vedanta, you will understand that there is only unity in the entire creation. God is one without a second (Ekameva adviteeyam Brahma). Vedanta emphatically declares that Divinity is one, not two. It does not say that Divinity is one in a mild tone, it says it in an emphatic manner. It preaches and propagates this truth to the entire world in unequivocal terms.
God, Allah, Jesus, Rama, Iswara, Vishnu - all are one. The Persians say Zarathustra is supreme, the Sikhs accord the highest place to Guru Nanak, devotees of Rama and Krishna extol them as the greatest. In this manner, devotees attribute various names and forms to God according to their tastes and feelings. But God is one.
Depending on their taste, people desire burfi, jilebi or mysore pak. In all these forms of sweets, sugar is the same. Truth is one, but the wise refer to it by various names (Ekam sath viprah bahudha vadanti).
You may attribute any name and form to God, but God is one, goal is one. Therefore, do not criticise people of any faith. There is no difference between one faith and the other. All are one. Only when you realise this unity in diversity can you experience bliss.
Beings are many, breath is one. Stars are many, sky is one. Nations are many, earth is one. Jewels are many, gold is one.
You should understand this truth clearly.
Do not cause divisions based on your likes and dislikes for a particular religion. When you recognise unity and practise it, you will certainly experience unity. When you do every work with the feeling, ‘I am God, I am God,’ ultimately, you will become God. You become what you think.
Therefore, do not entertain unnecessary thoughts and do not indulge in unwanted talk. Do not hurt others’ feelings. Do not cause trouble to anyone.
You have exams from 5th onward. I want to discontinue these daily Discourses for some time in order to give you freedom to prepare for exams. Your actual purpose of coming here is to study. You have not come here to learn Vedanta.
Therefore, concentrate on your studies. Only then will you be able to fulfil the task for which you have come.
Your parents have sent you here with high hopes, and it is your duty to satisfy them. They are the very forms of God. Revere your mother and father as God (Matru Devo bhava, pitru Devo bhava).
Focus your mind on the purpose of your stay here. Swami will also be happy when you study well. Do not go to the rooms of others and indulge in unnecessary talk. Concentrate on your studies and get an ‘O’ grade. Bring a good name to the Institute, and make your parents happy. Fulfil the task for which you have come and go back happily.
(Bhagavan concluded His Discourse with the bhajan, “Hari Bhajan Bina Sukha Santhi Nahi ...”)
Selected Excerpts From This Discourse
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