Summer Showers 1993 - Indian Culture And Spirituality
The Conquest Of The Mind

In chanting and meditation, many lifetimes have passed
But steadiness of mind remains unachieved
By chanting and meditation can liberation be attained?
It is by steadying the mind one is uplifted.
Embodiments of Divine Atma:
It is by the five attributes of Feeling, Form, Quantity, Colour and Energy that the mind pulsates, activates and energises the universe. Since the universe is suffused with the mind, these five attributes too suffuse the universe. The power and might of the mind is immense. We can understand the workings of the universe by understanding the power and potency of the mind. By tasting one drop of water from the ocean, we can experience the very taste of the entire water of the ocean. The drop is the ocean and ocean is the drop. The mind is the world and world is the mind. More than five hundred crores of people live in this world; but mankind is the same in spite of the differences of form and name, food habits and life styles.
The physical body is composed of five forms. It is only by profound philosophical enquiry that we can understand the nature of these five forms. It is “Tathwa Vicharana” (Spiritual enquiry) which enables us to plumb the depths of the mind. “Tathwa Vicharana” is nothing but spiritual enquiry about God. The Lord is infinite and immeasurable. Such infinite Lord can be realised by pursuing the path of infinitude. The Vedanta has laid down the Ninefold path of devotion (Nava Vidha Bhakthimarga) of listening (Sravanam), singing (Keerthanam), remembering God (Vishnusmaranam), massaging the feet (Padasevanam), saluting (vandanam), worshipping (Archanam), serving (Dasyam), befriending (Sneham) and surrendering (Atmanivedanam). The Ninefold path has been laid down to sanctify and sublimate one’s life.
The human body is composed of twenty-five principles which consist of five organs of action (Karmendriyas), five organs of perception (Jnan-endriyas), five vital airs (Pancha Pranas), five sensations (Pancha Tanmatras), four internal instruments (Anthakaranas i.e., manas, buddhi, chitta, ahamkara) and the Life source. Since the Physical Body consists of the twenty-five principles which originate from ‘Vishwa’ (universe), the physical body is known as ‘Vishvudu.’ So man is not mere individual but the embodiment of the Universe itself. While the physical Body is known as ‘Vishvudu’ consisting of twenty-five principles, the Subtle Body contains in it seventeen principles of five sensations, five organs of perception, five vital airs, mind and intellect. Since the subtle body consists of the seventeen principles suffused with ‘Tejas’ (effulgence), the subtle body is called ‘Taijusudu’ (The effulgent one). It is the subtle body which experiences the trials and tribulations, joys and sorrows of the world. Hence, the subtle body is also known as ‘Yathana Deha’ (the suffering body). The Causal Body (Karana Deha) is made of the two principles of ‘Chitta’ (reflective mind) and ‘Pragna,’ (constant integrated awareness). As this body is suffused with ‘Pragna,’ it is called ‘Pragnudu.’ The Supercausal Body (Mahakarana Sareera) which is also known as the Overmind is self-resplendent, self-luminous and self-radiant. This Supercausal body is also known as ‘Uniki’ (existence). ‘Uniki’ is nothing but the knowledge of oneself. Since ‘Uniki’ is synonymous with awareness, this is known as ‘Eruka.’ The non-awareness of this is known as ‘Marupu’ (forgetfulness). The gross, the subtle and the causal body are stamped by this ‘Marupu.’ The three states of waking, dreaming and sleeping are also enveloped by this forgetfulness. But the Divinity pervades the spheres of awareness as well as non-awareness and is known as ‘Tarakam’; it shines with equal splendour running as an undercurrent in all these states. Every material object ‘Padartha’ in the world is filled with the spirit ‘Parartha.’ Though matter and spirit appear to be different, they are in reality one only. Matter is gross and derives its energy and sustenance from spirit. Hence matter and spirit are intertwined and interrelated. This ‘Parartha’ and ‘Padartha,’ ‘Adhara’ and ‘Adheya’ have been described as ‘Kshetrajna’ and ‘Kshetra.’ The world is the ‘Kshetra’ and the Divinity resident in it is ‘Kshetrajna.’ This fact has been substantiated by the aphorism in Brahma Sutra ‘Tat Jalan,’ ‘Tat’ - That (God), ‘Ja’ - Birth, ‘La’ - Mergence, ‘An’ - Flourishing. It means that the world which emanates from ‘Tat’ is sustained by it and merges in it.
The secret of life lies in the harmonious suffusion of ‘Kshara’ and ‘Akshara’ (the perishable and imperishable). Whereas the body is ‘Kshara’ (perishable), the ‘Atma’ is ‘Akshara’ (imperishable). This proves beyond doubt that life is marked by the existence of the perishable body and the imperishable self. The imperishable self is enveloped by the perishable body. These two exist together intertwined and interconnected. Life is a harmonious blend of ‘Prakruthi’ as well as ‘Paramatma.’ It is a mistake to think that ‘Prakruthi’ is inert. On the other hand ‘Prakruthi’ pulsates with ‘Chaitanya.’ It is the union of these two that contributes to the oneness of humanity. For example, the matchstick which I hold in My hand, is not aflame (Bhagavan creates a matchbox on the stage and pulls out a matchstick from the matchbox and holds it in His hand); Once the matchstick is aflame, it can burn anything that comes in contact with it.
But where is the fire? Is it in the matchstick or in the matchbox? In fact, the fire is latent in the matchstick as well as in the matchbox. It shows that the fire latent in these two is ignited, when the stick and box come in contact. Similarly the effulgence latent in the heart and the mind emerges as Divinity when the heart and the mind act in unison. Just as the fire latent in the matchbox and the matchstick is one only, the effluence encased in the mind and the heart is the same. In case the matchstick is dipped in water, no fire emanates from it, the cause being, the matchstick loses its capacity to be aflame. Similarly, the human mind sunken in materialistic desires, loses its capacity to radiate the Divine Atmic splendour. When does the matchstick regain its original capacity to be aflame?
It is only when it is dried in the sun, it regains its original capacity, since the sun’s rays dries the dampness of the matchstick. In the same way the human mind steeped in sensual pleasures, regains its original potency and radiates Divine effulgence when it is dried in the sun of detachment (Vairagya). The birth of detachment in man assures him of the birth of bliss in him. Even if people practise for ages, they do not radiate Divine splendour as long as their minds are sunk in the waters of sensual pleasures. There is no salvation for man as long as his mind and heart do not become one, aflame with Divine radiance. Man should realise the truth about the transience and impermanence of the human body.
Man rejoices at sunrise and sunset. This only reveals the foolishness of man. He rejoices at the beauty of sunrise and sunset oblivious of the fact that with each sunrise and sunset a part of his life span is sliced away. Living in the ‘Vishwa,’ he desires to see ‘Vishweshwara’ (The Lord) unaware of the truth that ‘Vishveshwara’ is there everywhere in ‘Vishwa.’ The entire universe is suffused with Divinity. Since your mind is steeped in ‘Prakruthi’ you are not able to see ‘Paramatma.’ Just as when you focus your attention at a necklace, you shut your eyes to what it is made of, similarly as long as you look at the world with a materialistic attitude, Divinity shuts itself off from us. Once you gaze at the world with Divine attitude you see only Divinity. The saint Soordas said, “Oh Krishna! Can I ever hope to find you, for you are the smallest of the small and the biggest of the big, the Master thief of thieves. Who are the thieves that steal into man and steal away his peace and joy? They are the thieves of Desire, Pride, Greed, Infatuation, Anger and Jealousy, who rob man of his riches. But the worst of all thieves who inflicts the worst damage is ‘Matsarya’ (envy). That is why it is said, “You can befriend an angry man, you can sleep beside a serpent, but you should not befriend an envious one.” Saint Soordas addressed Krishna as the worst thief, because, he considered the Lord to be the embodiment of the entire creation. We must turn our gaze at Divinity which pervades the universe.
Though man undergoes different experiences in the three states of waking, dream and deep sleep, he is the ‘one’ undercurrent that runs through all these stages. Though the experiences are different the ‘Experiencer’ is one. As he is present in all the three states of ‘Jagrat,’ ‘Swapna’ and ‘Sushupthi’ and the three times of Past, Present and the Future, man is omnipresent. In a way man is the very Trinity - Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara. Vishnu is symbolic of Sathwic attribute, Brahma that of Rajasic attribute and Maheshwara of Tamasic attribute. As long as man contains in himself all these three attributes - Sathwa, Rajas and Tamas, he is the embodiment of Trinity. Man has to undergo different experiences dominated by different qualities from time to time. Man has to experience pleasure as well as pain, sun as well as rain. Man cannot understand the value of joy unless he experiences pain. Man cannot realise the value of food unless he is hungry. Hunger enables man to relish food, and sorrow enables man to relish joy. Pain and pleasure are like sun and shadow, both go together.
The Sun is one though shadows are different. Ocean is one though waves are many, but the water in all the waves is the same. Men are the waves that originate from the ocean of ‘Satchidananda’ (Being Awareness and Bliss) from time to time. Though man is like a drop in the ocean, he shares with the ocean the qualities of ‘Satchidananda.’ The Divinity present in man and God is the one and the same. Though the bulbs are many, the electricity is the same. The bulbs differ in their radiance due to the difference in the voltage of the bulbs. Some people complain that the Divine radiance in them is dim. In these people the Divine radiance is dimmed by narrowness of mind. The Divine radiance shines resplendently only in those who have broad mind. But many people today are selfish and narrow minded and their concern is limited only to themselves and their family. Unless their concern envelops the society and the world, the Divine radiance can never burn resplendently in them. The cultivation of a broad mind and a broad heart enables one to have the vision of one’s self (Swa Swaroopa Sandharshana). This Divine principle is also known as Infinite Divine (Mahapurusha Tathwa), but we should be able to sustain the state of Infinite Divine throughout our life.
The Divine experience we enjoy should not be limited to a particular time, it should embrace all times. A man who has drunk wine is under its spell as long as its effect lasts. The temporary experience lends only temporary joy. The experience of the Infinite Divine should become our natural state. It is only by transcending the ‘Sthoola,’ ‘Sukshma’ and the ‘Karana’ and by merging in ‘Mahakarana,’ that you can achieve this supreme state. We cannot experience the supreme ecstasy unless we transcend the Supermind, the Higher mind and the Illuminated mind. The state of the Overmind is also known as the state of ‘Amanaska’ (without mind). This is also described as ‘Videhasthithi’ (without the body).
How can we reach this overmind? The Vedanta has declared that we should offer ‘Patram,’ ‘Pushpam,’ ‘Phalam’ ‘Thoyam’ (leaf, flower, fruit, water). The Lord does not yield Himself to either property and possession or power and authority. The Krishna Thulabaram stands as a testimony to this. Sathyabhama, the consort of Krishna, tried to balance Krishna on the balance pan by the weight of gold. But Krishna outweighed all the gold that she placed on the pan. Sathyabhama was selfish and she entertained the false notion that gold and wealth could be on par with Him. But, Rukmini, who was pure and unselfish was aware of the truth that for the form of Krishna, His name alone could match. In consonance with the Indian tradition that a leaf, a flower, a fruit or water should be offered to the Lord, she chose the Tulasi leaf (basil leaf) to offer to the Lord, with all her devotion uttering Krishna’s name. While the name of Krishna uttered by Rukmini proved equal to Krishna’s form, the Tulasi leaf offered by her out weighed Him, bringing relief and joy to Sathyabhama. When it is said that we should offer a ‘leaf,’ a ‘flower’ a ‘fruit,’ ‘water,’ it does not mean that we should offer mere physical objects. These objects are symbols of great spiritual significance. The message is that we should offer the leaf of the body, the flower of the heart, the fruit of the mind, and the waters of tears of Bliss to the Lord. When we sincerely cultivate the spirit of this message and practice it in real life, we can really reach the state of the Overmind. Our devotion should be full-time devotion and never part-time devotion. It is not a sign of true devotion to be inflated in times of joy and deflated in times of sorrow.
The Vedic injunction is ‘Sathatham Yoginah’ (You should be a yogi always). People practice Yoga in the morning, Bhoga in the afternoon and suffer from Roga in the night. It is unbecoming on the part of man to behave contrary to the sacred injunctions of the Vedic texts. We should practice Yoga at all times and in all places. We should restrain the vagaries of the mind and merge the mind in Divinity. We should be immersed in the feeling contained in the sacred statement ‘Sarvathaha Pani Padam’ (the feet of the Lord are everywhere) and ‘Sarvam Bhagawath Prithyartham’ (For the pleasure of the Lord). You should be established in the awareness that the Lord is ever present. You must also be prompted by the feeling that you are performing the deeds for the pleasure of the Lord. This is the easiest way of achieving the control of the mind.
If you are prompted by the feelings that your body belongs to the Lord, you will not sin with your body. On the other hand, all your efforts and endeavours would proceed towards Divinity. If you are saturated with the conviction that your energy belongs to God, you will not misuse it. It is in the light of this that we have prescribed the principle of ceiling on desires in the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Samithis. The first ceiling on desires is: “Don’t waste Food. Food is God.” Your body is made of food and you are the result of the food eaten by the parents. ‘Anna Brahma’ (Food is God). Eat as much as it is necessary to eat. But do not throw away food by taking too much in your plate. By wasting food you will be wasting the energy Divine. The second instruction is: “Don’t waste money. God is wealth.” Since God is wealth, misuse of money is evil. Practice charity by gifting away money, food, clothes, houses etc., instead of misusing it in extravagance. Misuse of money is not only evil but a sin as well. The third instruction is: “Don’t waste time. Time waste is Life waste.” God is exalted as ‘Kalaya namah, Kalakalaya namah, Kalathithaya namah, Kala swaroopaya namah.’ Spend the time by using sanctifying words. Do not waste time. Wasting time is wasting God. The fourth instruction is: “Don’t waste Energy.” People waste their energy by indulging in bad thoughts, bad looks, bad hearing and bad action.
The right royal road is:
See no evil, see what is good.
Hear no evil, hear what is good.
Talk no evil, talk what is good.
Think no evil, think what is good.
Do no evil, do what is good.
It is by translating the above instructions into practice you will be sanctifying your time. This is the ‘Sadhana’ and the service that you have to practice. A time will come when the mind will be extinguished and the merger with the Divine, achieved.
What is ‘Sadhana’? What is ‘Dhyana’? The process of merging the mind in Divinity, oblivious of the world, is described as ‘Dhyana.’ But this alone is not meditation. Even the activities like walking, talking, eating, driving, reading, writing etc., are also meditation. Unless you meditate on what you are writing you won’t be able to write at all. Unless you concentrate you cannot drive at all. Whatever you are doing, do it as if life itself is meditation. You must ensure that while performing actions you must do them with concentration avoiding haste, waste and worry.
Haste makes waste.
Waste makes worry.
So, do not be in a hurry.
Never give room for hurry and worry. Hurry, worry and curry, (food) cause ailments of the heart.
It is difficult to control the mind without sublimating it. Do not entertain the notion that the path is fraught with difficulties. Anything can be achieved by earnest endeavours. You can reach the region of the space which is lakhs of miles away from us by sincere efforts, but we are not making any effort to reach the region of the heart even by half an inch. One should strive to go within. You have to spend crores of rupees to reach space, but you need not spend even a paisa for reaching the regions of your heart.
Students, first and foremost turn your attention inwards. Do not cultivate ‘outlooks,’ the external attitude. Outward vision may distract your mind and make it a monkey mind.
Body is like a water bubble.
Mind is like a mad monkey.
Don’t follow the body.
Don’t follow the mind.
Follow the conscience.
Conscience leads to consciousness. There will be no problems in the world if we achieve the state of consciousness.
Strive for the peace of the world. The world is at rest, but man’s mind is full of unrest. Let the mind, which is full of unrest, be filled with peace. All this depends on man’s conduct. Teach the world through noble actions and words. Fill your heart with the name of God. Fill your mind with the spirit of service. Mankind has to make the right use of the head, heart and hand. By following the three H’s of Head, Heart and Hand we reach the most sublime heights.
Selected Excerpts From This Discourse