9. God realisation by sense-control
Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 27 (1994)
God realisation by sense-control
EMBODIMENTS of love! Wherever the mind wanders, there the three worlds can be experienced. Where the mind is absent, there is total void. The Bharatheeya festivals have been designed to control the tendencies of the mind. It is easy to correct the mind. A tree can be made to grow straight, A stone can be shorn of its roughness, But can one straighten the mind? Everyone should understand the rationale of every sacred festival. Today is the holy day of Shivarathri. Based on the science of numerology, every letter of the alphabet has a specific numerical value. "Si" bears the value 4. "Va" has the value of 5, "Ra", a value of 2. When the values of the three are combined, you have a total of 11. This eleven represents the eleven Rudhras (negative or destructive principles).
Role of Rudhras in man's life
What are the functions of these Rudhras? The Rudhras, in association with the Buddhi (the intellect), enter the. minds of people and cause them various types of difficulties and worries. Of these difficulties, three types are predominant in the world. They are Adhibhouthika, Adhyathmika and Adhidhaivika. Adhibhouthika refers to difficulties caused by the five elements (ether, air, fire, water and earth) and the five sheaths (relating to food, life, mind, awareness and bliss). These sufferings are caused by human beings, animals, insects or other creatures. Adhyathmika refers to sufferings caused by Vatha (wind), Pittha (bile), and Kapha (phlegm). Adhidhaivika refers to the calamities caused to man by floods and drought, storms and earthquakes and similar natural disasters. Of all the sufferings endured by human beings, those coming under these three categories are most prominent. All other calamities are encompassed by these three. For all these sufferings the eleven Rudhras are the cause. The whole world is permeated by the Rudhras. Only Adhidhaivika has an element of security. Whatever emanates from Rudhra is fraught with fear. The name itself testifies to the dangerous power implicit in it. Rudhram means that which induces fear. The eleven Rudhras are dreadful in form. These dreadful entities enter the minds of human beings and subject them to all kinds of afflictions.
Rudhras and sense-control
The Mahashivarathri festival has been designed to subdue these eleven Rudhras. This means that by the control of the senses the Rudhras can be controlled. Indhriya nigraha (control of the senses) is not that easy. Even if evil impulses coming from external sources are controlled, those arising from within cannot be easily controlled. But if, at least on one night out of 365 days in a year, the senses are brought under control, then peace may be experienced and the quest for liberation may be initiated. When the entire night is dedicated to the chanting of the Lord's name, one's mind, speech and senses all get centred on God. This is itself a form of sense control. At least on one day in a year all our thoughts and words should be centred on God. When this is done, people can realise the Supreme as described in the terms, Sathyam, Shivam, Sundaram. Socrates' disciple, Plato, used the terms, Truth, Goodness and Beauty to describe this state of Self-Realisation. In the experience of oneness with the Divine, there is Shanthi (peace) Chith (Awareness) and Anandha (Bliss). The Lord is experienced as Sath-Chith-Anandha. What is Sath? Sath is Being, that which is eternally present. This means that even when an object is not there, its qualities are present. In Vedantik parlance, these qualities are described as Asthi, Bhathi and Priyam (principles of Existence, Cognisability and Utility). Asthi means existence (the quality of permanence). This may be likened, say, to sugar. In whatever manner sugar may be used, by dissolving it in water or mixing it with flour, its quality of sweetness remains. It is Sath in the sense that it has the unchanging quality of sweetness. Chith is awareness (or consciousness). Chith is like water. When Sath (as sugar) is combined with Chith (as water) you have neither sugar not water, but syrup. The combination of Sath and Chith results in Anandha (Bliss). When the unchanging, eternal Divinity unites with the changing and inert Prakrithi (Nature), you have Anandha. The significance of Mahashivarathri is that it is an auspicious occasion when Sath-Chith-Anandha can be experienced.
While the Rudhras are inflicting sufferings on mankind in various ways, by the control of the senses, if humans turn their minds towards God and devote themselves to Godly pursuits, they will find their path to Moksha (liberation). Moksha means getting rid of Moha (the delusions relating to the physical).
In this manner every one has to understand the true significance of sacred festivals like Shivarathri.
Importance of Shivarathri
Among these festival days, Mahashivarathri is of exceptional importance. Today God is in close proximity to man. At midnight (on Shivarathri), Divine vibrations are close to every human heart. At such a time, when people are engaged in holy tasks, they get suffused with the Divine vibrations.
People should realise that them is nothing closer to them than the Divine. Even one's mother may occasionally be remote from the child, but the Divine is never far from anyone at any time. This means that everyone is Divine. But each one must strive to recognise this indwelling Divinity that is the eternal Reality. Most people waste their lives in the observance of external rituals and forms of worship. Together with external observances, people should also try to achieve internal purity. How long should one waste his life in external forms? All knowledge and skills are of superficial value and effect no internal change.
The seed and the fruit
Embodiments of the Divine Atma! Time is passing. You are forgetting your obligations. Your life has been given to you to fulfill your duties. Do your duty. For years you have been listening to Svami's teachings. You are meeting many noble persons. You are performing various kinds of Sadhana (spiritual exercises). What is the bliss you have derived from all these? When you put this question, there is no answer. Are you going forward at least in any one aspect of spirituality? Are you able to concentrate your mind on a single sacred act? What is it you have accomplished? What are you seeking? What is the inner significance of the fruits you seek? There is no meaning in your quest. You seek the fruits of good actions, but you indulge in bad acts. If one seeks the fruits of good deeds, he must do good deeds. Bad actions can only yield bad results. There is a Sanskrith saying, "Man desires the fruits of meritorious deeds, but performs no meritorious acts. Man wants to avoid the fruits of sin, but indulges in sinful deeds." What kind of results can one have if from dawn to dusk he engages himself in untruthful, unrighteous and evil actions? To the extent possible, one should try to practise at least a few sacred teachings. Otherwise, one will be overtaken by death with the passing of time and the wastage of the body All your achievements amount to nothing. It is your primary duty to practise one or two of the sacred teachings. You have been in the Ashram for many years. You have listened to many discourses. But you have derived little benefit from all this. You must ponder over this seriously. Then only you will reap the benefit of participation in sacred festivals.
Strive to eradicate the evil tendencies in you
On this sacred occasion, you must strive to eradicate the evil tendencies in you. When your conscience tells you that something is wrong, you should refrain from doing it. You betray your true humanness when you fail to act upto the dictates of your conscience. When one's words are in accord with one's thoughts, they become truth. When the spoken word is translated into action, it becomes Dharma (right action). The basis for both Truth and Right Action is the Antharatma (Conscience), the Indwelling Spirit. The thoughts that emanate from the Indwelling Spirit should find expression in speech. If the inner feelings are different from what is spoken, can the words be treated as truth or untruth? Clearly, it is untruth. When one's action is not in accordance with his words, it is Adharma (unrighteous action). Truth and Righteousness are expressions of the promptings from the depths of one's Conscience. Today people are prone to disregard the voice of conscience. I have had frequent occasions to refer to the lessons to be learnt from the great epics. In the Mahabharatha, we have the heroic figure of Bheeshma. He was a great sage, a Jnani (man of supreme wisdom) and a person of unshakable determination. He stood foremost in honouring his plighted word. Such a person knew quite well that what he was allowing the Kauravas to do was manifestly wrong. He knew that the Kauravas were indulging in evil deeds. He was aware that they were following unrighteous and untruthful ways. Nevertheless he was too weak to correct them or prevent them from pursuing their evil courses. Not was that all. He accepted the role of Commander-in-Chief of the Kaurava armies. This was a blemish in his character. He was unable to act upto the dictates of his Antharvani (conscience). Therein lay his weakness. Compare Bheeshma's failure with the conduct of Vibheeshana. He was of demonic lineage and lived and moved among Rakshasas. He was aware that what his elder brother (Ravana) had done (by kidnapping Seetha) was wrong. Knowing this, he warned Ravana in various ways. He repeatedly told Ravana: "This is wrong. You should not do this. It is not good for you." Vibheeshana felt that it was his duty to warn Ravana (against his evil ways). Ultimately, failing to convince Ravana, he chose to give up his brother and seek asylum with Rama.
A comparison of Bheeshma and Vibheeshana
When we compare the attitudes of the two, we find that Vibheeshana is greater than Bheeshma. Despite his knowing the wicked ways of the Kauravas, Bheeshma was unable to intervene. Vibheeshana, on the contras, chided Ravana. He turned away from the wicked and found refuge in God. Thus, in the practice of sacred actions, Vibheeshana emerges as a greater figure than Bheeshma. This is the lesson taught by the epics. Are you giving any thought to such sacred lessons? You read books, but do not care to practise their teachings. You listen to discourses but do not live up to them. You have to put into practice the teachings which you learn. What, then, is the meaning of spirituality? It is not the reading of scriptures or the performance of rituals. It is to live up to truth one has learnt. Unfortunately today, because of the influence of Kali, this does not happen.
Control of senses is a form of sacrifice
At least on this auspicious day; people should concentrate their minds on God with purity and devotion. The control of the senses is itself a form of Thyaga (sacrifice) which leads to Immortality. Sacrifice of wealth or possessions is no sacrifice at all. It is the sacrifice of the senses (the desires caused by them) which is the highest sacrifice. The Vedas refer to the sacrifice of Thanu, Mana, Dhana. Thanu refers to the body. Mana refers to the mind. What is Dhana? It is the wealth of the senses with which man is endowed. It is the senses that have to be sacrificed, not the body, which is made up of the five elements and contains all kinds of refuse. It is the attachment to the body that has to be given up. The hold of the senses has to be reduced. What is the value of all the pleasures you profess to enjoy? If you cannot sacrifice these trivial and transient pleasures, how can you experience the Bliss of the Eternal? If people cannot give up petty addictions to coffee or betel leaves, how can they acquire control over the senses? This can be done only by spiritual Sadhana. In Svami's view, giving up is easier than holding on to things. It is easier to give up a handkerchief than to hold it in the hand. Examine the sacrifices you are making in everyday life. You breathe in and breathe our. The exhalation is essential for purifying the lungs. Part of the food consumed is discharged, as excreta. Without this elimination, the stomach will be upset. These examples show that giving up is as necessary as acquisition. Our well-being is related to thyaga (sacrifice). It should be recognized that festivals are intended to promote the spirit of sacrifice and not for indulgence in revelry, which leads to illness. Sacrifice promotes Toga (communion with God). God looks for your devotion and for your abilities. He looks into your Chittha (mind) rather than at your Vittha (wealth). He judges you by your virtues and not by your caste. He is concerned about what you think than about the religion you profess. He is intent on attracting your heart and not your wealth. But, today. people imagine that God can be propitiated by the offer of money. This is due to the devotee's ignorance.
God cannot be secured by "force"
However, money has a useful role to play in the service of worthy causes. God has no part to play in this. People try to influence the Divine by some kind of force. God cannot be secured by "force." He is amenable only to the "Inner source." Many good deeds are being done all over the world. People should participate in such good activities, render help to others and regard them as spiritual exercises. As I am always in a stare of bliss, I make no distinction between a happy and auspicious event and one that is unhappy or inauspicious. These distinctions are made by persons attached to the body-mind complex.
A donation from New York
Last night I received a communication from New York to the following effect: "The welfare activities carried on by Svami, the service programmes launched by Svami, the uniqueness of the Hospital established by Svami, have been hailed by people all over. the world. Bharatheeyas have not fully appreciated their value. In appreciation of the unique services rendered by Svami, without any kind of publicity or propaganda, we wish to make our humble contribution to this cause and our offering, as the first instalment, this token remittance." The donors, who wished to remain anonymous, have sent Rs. I00 crores. Out of this amount, Rs. 50 crores are to be kept in fixed deposit, from the interest on which the recurring expenses of the Super-Speciality Hospital will be met. Rs. 25 crores are offered to the Institute of Higher Learning for the promotion of human values in education. The balance of Rs. 25 crores has been offered to the Sathya Sai Central Trust for whatever incidental expenses it may have to meet in carrying on its activities.
This amount has been described as the first instalment. The donors have declared that they consider it as their good fortune to have been allowed to make this donation. This is true sacrifice. Many who make petty gifts advertise their donation in loud terms. The New York donors desired to remain anonymous. "Name is not important. Service alone matters. And even here, what Bhagavan is doing is sacred service." This is their declaration. We do not ask for even a naya paisa from any one. What is the reason? You see here the response to our selfless service. Hence, engage yourselves in selfless service. The reward for it will come of its own accord. Do not have any doubts on this score. Whatever you undertake to do, do it with all your heart and to your full satisfaction. That satisfaction will give you all the reward and recompense. It will confer all strength. This is the quality you have to cultivate. Acquire this true wealth. Without goodness, all other riches are of no avail.
Lead a life of firm, unwavering faith
Embodiments of Love! Many sacred events like this are happening all over the world. The glory of Sathya Sai has spread to every part of the world. Unfortunately, Bharatheeyas alone appear to live under the shadow of a lamp, as it were. The entire world is enjoying the light going out from here. For this, the faith of the people outside is mainly responsible. Here, the faith comes and goes. Faith here swings like a pendulum. This is not good. You should have a steady mind. Every one should develop this kind of faith. Only when there is faith, love will sprout. Where there is confidence, there is love. Where there is love, there is peace. Where there is peace, there is truth. Where there is truth, there is bliss. Where there is bliss, there is God. Hence, if there is no confidence, how can there be love? When you see some miracle, devotion arises. But, the next moment, there is a change. This is not the right kind of faith. Faith should be unaffected by tips and downs. It should not be like passing clouds. Today many lack steadiness. People should have a rock-like faith that remains unshaken, whatever may happen. Take the example of Harishchandhra. His adherence to truth remained firm, despite all the troubles to which he was subjected, including the loss of his kingdom, his wife and son. He was reduced to the position of a watchman in a burning-ghat. But he remained steadfast. It is in this spirit that you should enter on any task. Harishchandhra did not worry about the sacrifices he had to make for the sake of truth. Accept whatever the Lord gives as a benediction. Esteem it as a gracious gift from God. Because of his firm faith, Harishchandhra ultimately got back his wife, son and kingdom. Therefore, you should h;ave a faith that is unwavering and unshakable. Lead a life of firm faith. The holy night of Mahashivarathri is intended to serve as a sacred occasion for turning the mind firmly towards God. You are surrounded by Rudhras and all your happiness and sorrow are earned by them. When you bring them under your control, your life becomes secure. You will be successful in every endeavour.
Do your duty: realise God
Men are wasting their precious lives in the pursuit of fleeting and petty pleasures. Make the best use of the opportunity you have now got. That is true devotion. You alone are responsible for your condition because of the way your mind works. Do your duty, recognise the truth of' your being, and you will be able to experience your divinity. You have to purify your heart to experience the Divine. You may have desires, aspirations and yearning for happiness. But there is nothing equal to the bliss of experiencing the Divine and you will secure this bliss, wherever God may be.
Life one long series of worries from birth to death. But all worries can be overcome by the love of God. Cultivate this love at least from now onwards. Turn your minds towards God. Limit your worldly desires. Why waste all your life in the endless pursuit of wealth?
The communication which I received yesterday made Me ask why so much money had been sent. Svami decided that it should be spent on projects of permanent value. Svami's will is adamantine. No one can alter it. Svami's glory, fame and sacredness have not been achieved by publicity. They are the results of Svami's actions. I have no concern with publicity. Action alone counts. What is achieved by publicity, will disappear through publicity. Sai will not be affected by propaganda. The world may be affected one way or the other by propaganda. Sai will not be affected at all. Conduct is most important. All Sai institutions must conduct themselves properly. Propaganda by practice is what matters. At least in future, set an example to others by your actions and give a lead to the people. This is what I desire, nothing else.
The nation has to be improved. Render service to the country. Whatever you may do, consider it as service to Sai. Cultivate this spirit of sacrifice. When you are here, you display your spirit of sacrifice. But after you leave, you develop desires. This is not good. You must exemplify, the same spirit wherever you may be. Wherever you may go, you must have the spirit of service. You must redeem your life through selfless seva.
True sadhana is to seek God within you
Embodiments of the Divine Atma! The whole of last night you were all immersed in the blissful vibrations in Prasanthi Nilayam caused by the chanting of the Lord's name. You must see that the Nilayam in each of you is always filled with these divine vibrations. What is this Nilayam? It is your body, which enshrines the Atma. There are the divine vibrations always in you. They constitute your Life-Force. The body is inert by itself. It is the divine vibrations that animate it. Both the body and the Vital Force derive their power from the energy radiating from the Atma (the Indwelling Spirit). You are thus a composite of the body (material substance), the Life Force (vibrations) and the Atma (Radiations). Seek God within you. This is true sadhana.
You are indeed full of love. Why don't you share it with others? Love will grow the more it is shared. The heart is like a perennial spring. The more you draw from it, the more it will flow with love.