15. God and you are One
Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 20 (1987)
God and you are One
ANTARBAHISCHA tathsarvam Vyapya Narayano sthithah ("Pervading the entire cosmos inside and outside remains Narayana"), says the Upanishad. Where can you search for the One who is all pervasive? When everything in the world is permeated by the Divine, it is dangerous to claim something as "mine" or "thine". It is not possible to realise God by Sadhanas, yajnas or yagas, dhyana (rituals, sacrificial actions, meditation) or good deeds. All these are only aids for achieving purity of heart and mind. This truth has been clearly enunciated by Sri Krishna in the 11th Chapter of the Gita in sloka 53: "Neither by the Veda, nor by austerities, nor by gift, nor by sacrifices, can I be seen in this form as you (Arjuna) have seen me." What, then is the purpose of these Sadhanas, which are being performed by earnest and knowledgeable aspirants? All these Sadhanas are intended to help man get rid of the veil in which he is enveloped by Raga ( attachment) and Dhvesha ( hatred). The inner meaning of all spiritual disciplines is to make man realise his true nature.
Aspects of Sat-Chit-Ananda and their unity
Man inherently is the embodiment of Sat-Chit-Ananda (Being-Awareness-Bliss). Sat is the unchanging state which is unaffected by the processes of Time (the past, present and the future). Chit is the capacity of Awareness which enables one to know the outer and the inner truth about everything. Ananda is that state of unalloyed bliss which is pure and permanent. When Sat, Chit and Ananda appear as different and distinct aspects, how are they to be experienced as a whole? Although they appear to be distinct, their unity can be illustrated by an example. The flame of a lamp has three features' heat, light and the red colour. Although these three features are distinct the flame is one.
How is Sat-Chit-Ananda to be experienced? Is it possible for the microcosm to experience the macrocosm? Such a doubt arises out of a sense of weakness. One should not give way to this. On the surface of the vast ocean, there are endless number of waves produced by the action of wind on water. The water in the ocean has the quality of coolness, transparency and wetness. Every wave arising from the ocean has these three qualities. Likewise, every individual being who has issued from the infinite Sat-Chit-Ananda has the three aspects of the Divine. There is no need to succumb to the apparent contrast between the Infinite and the minuscule finite. All things are permeated by the divinity that characterises Sat-Chit-Ananda. The term "daiva" (Divinity) means wholeness and immanence. Divinity is immanent in the Prakriti (whole of creation), which cannot exist otherwise. The energy that is present in every object in Creation is derived from the divine (Sat-Chit-Ananda). Divinity represents the unity of Sat-Chit-Ananda and Prakrti. In modem parlance, this may be stated as: Matter plus Being is God.
The four obstacles that have to be overcome
Recognition of this basic unity calls for earnest and continuous striving. In the pursuit of this fundamental quest, four major obstacles have to be overcome. They are: Avidya prathibandhakam, Prajna prathibandhakam, Kutharka prathibandhakam and Viparyaya Duragraha prathibandhakam. Avidya prathibandhakam is the impediment that arises out of the feeling that one is too weak and powerless to seek the Divine. As long as this sense of weakness remains, man cannot understand the Omni-Self. Prajna prathibandhakam is the obstacle that is created by self-conceit. When one feels that he knows everything and is unwilling to learn from elders he becomes unfit for undertaking the Spiritual quest. The third obstacle Kutharka prathibandhakam, is faced by those who are caught up in illogical reasoning and false arguments. They give farfetched interpretations to the pronouncements of sages and engage themselves in meaningless controversies. The fourth obstacle, Viparyaya Duragraha prathibandhakam, is caused by ignorance of one's inner Reality and a refusal to make the effort to understand it. It arises out of a feeling of arrogance that one knows everything and has no need to learn from others. The cause of this arrogance is Maya (delusion). Maya is present when one sees the unreal as Real and the Real as unreal. This is the basic characteristic of ignorance. Such persons view the Jagat (world) as a physical phenomenon. But those who have attained the inner vision see the Cosmos as the manifestation of the Lord of the Cosmos (Jagadeeshvara). The Cosmos is the vesture of the Divine. The scientists admit that matter is composed of energy. Without energy nothing can exist in the Cosmos. Prahlada and Hiranyakasipu represent the two opposing views regarding the Cosmos. Hiranyakasipu viewed a pillar as only a pillar. Prahlada saw in it the immanence of Narayana.
God cannot be seen in an exclusive way
Today we have an ever-growing number of people who are unaware of the nature of Divinity. No special Sadhanas are performed to experience Divinity. Nor all the religious rites performed by many are done for the sake of God. God cannot be seen in an exclusive way. When one realises his own true nature and rids himself of impurities like attachment and hatred, he shines in his own true Self. Hence all spiritual practices are only intended to eliminate impurities in a person.
In every man there is a combination of the Mayatatwa (the Deluding principle) and the Brahmatatwa (the Divine principle). Without the Deluding principle, the Brahmatatwa cannot be experienced. Without the Brahmatatwa, the power of Maya cannot be manifest. On the surface of the vast ocean, countless waves are seen. There must be a force that causes these waves. It is the power of wind on the water of the ocean that produces the waves. Without the force of wind there can be no waves. Maya can be compared to this wind. The water in the ocean can be compared to the form of Sat-Chit-Ananda. The Jiva-tatwa or the individual selves are the waves of the ocean.
Sixteen aspects that are undesirable to man
So, for the individual selves Maya is the primary factor. They are merely reflected images of the Divine. The images will remain only as long as there is the mirror (of Maya). When the mirror is removed, the One alone remains. Our body is like a mirror. As long as the body consciousness is there, the notion of separate individuality will persist like the image in a mirror. When the mirror of body-consciousness is removed, the image (the individual consciousness) will also go. Only the permanent entity - the Atma - will remain. To recognise the illusory character of the world does not mean giving up all actions or family ties. Actions should be done in a spirit of detachment. Relationships should be maintained without deep attachment. It is not renunciation of action that is required. Renunciation in action is what is necessary.
That means that actions which have to be performed as obligatory duties should be done properly. Thereby the mind is cleansed of its impurities. This is the purpose of actions done in the proper spirit.
Today is Guru Poornima day - the day of full moon dedicated to the worship of Guru. On this day, the moon shines effulgently with all his 16 Kalas (aspects). On your part you have to shed 16 aspects that are undesirable to man. These 16 comprise the following: eight types of pride (pride of physical strength, of birth, of scholarship, wealth, penance, beauty, youth and power), six kinds of enemies (desire, anger, greed, infatuation, arrogance and envy), and the Rajo-and Thamo-gunas (passionate and slothful traits). It is only when these sixteen evil traits are eliminated that man will achieve fullness. These evil traits are preventing man from realising his essential divinity.
Man allows the mind to dominate him
Man has also to contend with afflictions from five Kleshos (afflictions). These are: Avidya, Abhinivesha, Asmitha, Raga and Dhvesha. Avidya (lack of true knowledge) renders a man feel weak and imbecile, incapable of recognising his inherent divine nature. Abhinivesha makes a man attached to samsara (worldly concerns) and to forget his real destiny. He allows the mind to dominate him. As a result, he is subject to sorrow and depression. Asmitha is the trouble that arises out of ego and excessive greed. When the desires are not fulfilled, there is distress. When they are fulfilled, Ahamkara (self-conceit) grows. In this process genuine human qualities wither away. Raga Klesha is the distress caused by the insatiable desire for houses, vehicles, wealth, etc. Dhvesha Klesha is the feeling of bitterness that arises when one does not get what he seeks from others. In due course he becomes a low and pitiable creature. The scriptures have declared that among birds, the crow is the meanest; among animals, the donkey is the meanest and among men, the one who indulges in slander is most despicable. The crow is mean because it does not relish good food and prefers only rotten things. The donkey carries only dirty clothes and is always dirty. The slanderer has a foul tongue and is the meanest among human beings.
The Greatest Sin that man commits
The greatest sin man commits is to forget his divinity and failing to recognise his true nature, considers himself a distinct individual and fills his mind with desires and hatreds. We should not look upon human existence as something pitiful or weak and powerless. Man is the embodiment of Divine. Sat-Chit-Ananda (Being-Awareness-Bliss). The Divine in him is always radiating light and bliss. But, because of the barrier of bad thoughts, he is unable to experience this bliss. The Divine is not something different or separate from one's self. Although one is identical with the Divine, the dark cloaks of Raga (attachment) and Dhvesha (hatred) envelop his divine essence and prevent him from realising his inner Reality. The only truth man has to discover is the truth about himself. All the Sadhanas that are practised are intended to remove the veil that conceals this Reality in man. But all Sadhanas or enquiries that may be carried on for any length of time will be of no avail if the mind is not pure.
Sai Words and Sai Path
All the scriptures you study diligently will reveal that the Sai path is the truth. Exploring the purport of all the Vedas you will find the true path in Sai's words. All the science and scriptures will testify to the truth of Sai's words. Chanting the Gayatri full-throatedly will prove the truth of Sai's message. Of what avail is all your striving If the mind remains polluted? It is only when the mind is cleansed that one can develop a proper vision. In our daily prayers we say, "You are the mother, you are the father, you are the guru and you are the friend." Who is this "you"? Instead of saying, "You are mother, father, guru and friend", it is enough if you say, "You are I." You have to attain the stage when you can say: “You (God) are I." This is the essence of all truths. This is the root of everything. This is the goal proclaimed by all the scriptures.
Recognise that God and you are one. There will then be no need to describe God as father, mother, guru and the like and confound oneself. We should strive to reduce the bondages created by such relationships as father, mother, etc. We should aim at realising that basic Unity that underlines and sustains everything. That is the significance of the statement Eko vasi sarvabhootha-antaratma. ("He is the one Indweller in all beings"). How meaningful are such expressions as "My people" and "your people"? How long can these relationships last? They are all momentary. The only relations.hip that lasts forever and does not change is the association with the Atma. Instead of seeking this permanent association, man hankers after relationships based on the impermanent body due to the power of Maya. Despite all their knowledge and study, people are groping in this dark chamber (of Maya). Until you get out of this darkness and seek the light, you will be wrapped in sorrow.
Realise "You are the fragment of the Divine"
Mamaivamso Jeevaloke Jeevabhoothah Sanatanah ("The eternal resides in every being in the world as a fragment of Mine"), says the Lord in the Gita. We have to develop the faith that it is the same Lord who dwells in all beings as a spark of the Divine. You are not the body. You are not even a separate spirit. You are a fragment of the Divine. This is the great truth that everyone has to realise fully. Without achieving this conviction, there is no use in performing any Sadhana or worship for years. Once this conviction is obtained, the vision of the Divine is experienced automatically.
The nation today needs to develop the sense of unity. Narrow loyalties such as linguistic fanaticism, provincialism, caste loyalties and sectarianism have grown to such an extent that they have totally driven out devotion to the Divine. It is this devotion that has to be cultivated, because it is the basis for real unity stemming from a recognition that the Divine is in everyone. Embodiments of Sat-Chit-Ananda! You have been listening to my discourses for years. If you are merely content to listen, it is sheer waste of time. You have to ruminate over what you have heard and try to put into practice the teachings. Sravanam (listening), Mananam (reflecting) and Nidhidhyasanam (putting into practice what has been learnt) are the three stages in the spiritual journey. Repeating parrot-like what one has heard has not even the merit of enjoying the sweetness of the words.
Claiming to be devotees and going about as devotees, few are caring to find out what is true devotion. Bhajans and japas (singing and repeating God's name) and performance of yagas and yajnas (sacrifices and rituals) are not the real marks of devotion. They are merely exercises in washing out one's impurities. All the nine kinds of worship are also designed to achieve purity of mind and heart. But purity should find expression in action just as clothes that have been washed have to be worn. Without purity in action, the real nature of the Self cannot be recognised.
Become truly human
By being endowed with the human form, men do not become really human. The evolution from animal to the human being has taken millennia. The world is peopled today by billions of human beings. But how many of them display genuine human qualities? Man is still going through birth-pangs of real humanness. Only when human qualities are manifest can man claim to be truly human. In that humanness there is Divinity. It will wear the mantle of Truth. It will be the embodiment of Dharma (Righteousness), Prema (Love) and Santhi (Peace). It is only when men display these qualities that they can be regarded as human. If mankind is able to achieve at least this level of human-ness, it would be sufficient. Today we are celebrating Gurupoornima. The day is usually observed as an occasion for offering worship to the Guru (the religious or other preceptor). There are eight different types of gurus, who impart spiritual instructions of different kinds. Among these, the really important guru is "Vihitha Guru", the preceptor who removes the doubts in the minds of the disciples and reveals to them the process of Self-discovery and Self-realisation. The guru should destroy the darkness of ignorance (about one's Reality) and illumine the mind of the disciple. The illumination must result in the perception of the One Reality that is beyond name and form and attributes.
Vibhuti signifies non-dualism
Swami often gives to devotees Vibhuti or Bhasma (the sacred ash). Many people smear their foreheads with this ash. What is the inner significance of this ash? When any object that has a name and form is completely burnt, it is reduced to ashes. The name and form are gone. All things are one and the same in the final state as ashes. When Vibhuti is given, Swami wants the recipient to understand this Advaitam (basic oneness). The devotee should get rid of Ahamkara (ego arising from the feeling of separateness) and sense of Mamakara ("mine" and "thine"). These two are based on name and form and when they are destroyed, the underlying unity of the Divine can be realised.
People constantly talk of Advaita (non-dualism), but hardly live up to their professions in practice. One must practise what one preaches or professes. Today there are not many gurus who live up to their beliefs or teachings. Their actions belie their words. No purpose is served by going in search of gurus. There is a guru in each of us. It is the Atma principle. It is the Eternal Witness functioning as Conscience in everyone. With this Conscience as guide, let all actions be done.
The inner meaning of the three Yugas
There are three types of Mayas which prompt men to action - Swechcha, Parechcha and Ayichcha. "Swechcha" is the kind of prompting in which one decides to follow a particular course of action, and is prepared for the consequences, for better or worse. "Parechcha" is the situation in which one is encouraged or prompted by others to undertake actions whose consequences have to be borne by him. "Ayichcha" is the state in which every action is regarded as the will of the Dime and all consequences, whether gain or loss, pleasure or pain, are regarded as gifts from God.
Real freedom exists in submitting to the Will of the Divine and not acting according to one's caprices and fancies. What is freedom that people want? Is it to behave like dogs with no selfrestraint? Is it to descend to the level of the sub-human species? Is it to flee from one's divine nature and indulge in demonical acts? What kind of freedom is this? In this context I shall tell you today the inner meaning of the different yugas the Tretha Yuga, the Dwapara Yuga and the present Kali Yuga. In the Tretha Yuga, the Divine elements were on one side and the demonical elements on the other. At the time of the Rama avatar the divine elements were in Ayodhya and Kishkindha and the demonic forces were in the forest of Dhandakaranya. The two elements were in separate regions. Rama waged a war against the Rakshasas in Dhandakaranya and protected the rishis. This is the inner meaning of the Rama avatar in the Tretha Yuga. In the Dwapara Yuga, the divine and the demoniac elements - namely, the Pandavas and the Kauravas were in the same kingdom. In such a situation Krishna gave his army to the Kauravas and without wielding any weapon Himself, gave His support to the Pandavas in the great battle of Kurukshetra. He used others as instruments.
Unique feature of the Kali Yuga
But today, these divine and demonic forces are battling in each human being. This is the mark of the Kali age. In Tretha Yuga Rama fought the battle in person. In Dwapara Yuga Krishna played the role of a witness, using others as His instruments. He did not engage in the battle Himself. In Kali Yuga because the two opposing factors are in each individual, the Lord plays the role of a witness and as the conscience. Man has to use the power of discrimination given to him to fight the evil forces within him. He has to foster the divine elements in him. by his own efforts and listening to the voice of his conscience. The freedom to choose has been given to man for this purpose. This freedom is to be used to discriminate between right and wrong, good and evil and to foster divine qualities. This is the unique feature of the Kali age. In this age, each individual has to fight against the demonic forces himself and vanquish them. When this is accomplished man's inherent divine nature will manifest itself of its own accord. Embodiments of love! Realise that no special Sadhana is needed to experience the Divine in you. You must get rid yourself of impure thoughts and actions. Sanctify every action you do and make it a Sadhana. The Divine is not a created object. It is self-effulgent and present in everyone.
The many that came from One
Here is an illustration to indicate the relationship between the Divine and the individual. On a hill, there is a big boulder. A sculptor sits on the boulder and sculpts out of it an idol of Krishna. The pieces of rock chiselled out of the boulder in making the idol are cast away. The Krishna idol is duly installed in a temple for worship. No one bothers about the pieces of stone left on the hill. But mutely they proclaim the truth' Tat thwam Asi. ("We are the same as the idol you worship in the temple").
The stone idol of Krishna and the broken pieces on the hill have come out of the same rock. They were one at the beginning. Later one part became an idol and the other parts will be used for building or other purposes. But they are all from the same rock! This basic truth has to be understood. Whether you worship it in one form, or walk over it in another form, or use it for building a house, it is all the same substance. Likewise, everything is basically divine. It has the three divine elements derived from Sat-Chit-Ananda, the qualities of Asthi (existence), Bhati (luminosity) and Priyam (utility). These three are common to every object in creation. When form and name are given to them, each acquires five qualities. The Universe, which is Prapancha, has these five-fold characteristics. If name and form are removed, only divinity will remain. We cannot change the appearance of the universe. But by a change in our vision, its divinity can be recognised.
Go forward from Dualism to Non-Dualism
Turn your minds towards the Divine - towards the eternal, unchanging, effulgent and pure Sat-Chit-Ananda. See the Divine in everything. Realise that there is only one Divinity immanent in all things. Do not waste all your life immersed in dualism. What is it you have gained from all the pujas you have done and all the discourses you have listened to? If you have not progressed in the slightest extent from the state of duality, you have gained nothing from your experience. At least from now on, try to go forwards towards a higher consciousness. Proceed from Dvaita (Dualism) to Vishishtadvaita (partial non-dualism) and reach the stage of Advaitic (non-dual) Consciousness. Do not stay put in the stage where you are like a milestone. Having performed Sadhana, studied the scriptures, met the saintly men and listened to the discourses, you should realise the fruits of spiritual experience.