24. Live In Truth and Love
Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 21 (1988)
Live In Truth and Love
The moon illumines the night. The sun illumines the whole world during the day. But, Dharma (Righteousness) illumines the three worlds. A virtuous son sanctifies his family. But not his family alone. His good character shines as an example to the world. To recognise the inherent divinity in man and lead a sanctified life is the essence of human existence. The body, the mind and the Ahamkara (ego) together constitute the human entity. Action, Being and Knowing are the three basic aspects of human life. These three together manifest the human estate. It is the Atma principle that reveals both the differences and the unity of these three aspects. It reveals the uniqueness as well as the divinity of the human existence. Man has to realise that the body and the mind are the expressions of the Divine Atma. The mind has four levels of functioning: Manas (the mental), Buddhi (the intelligence), Chitha (the Will) and the Ahamkara (the Ego). Although it is the body that performs the actions, it is the mind that cognises and the Reality is the Atma. There is a power that encompasses all the three. At the levels of thoughts and doubts, the mind is said to function. At the level of discrimination, the Buddhi (intellect) functions. The intellect indicates what is right and wrong. This is also an aspect of the mind. Constant thinking is the function of the Chitha (the Will). Then, them is the Atma. It is all-pervading. The ego - the 'I' arises from the Atma. All the four are different forms of the mind. The different terms indicate the different functions. Vedanta has declared that the mind is the cause of either bondage or liberation.
Prajnana is Brahman
There is a "Master" who presides over these four expressions of the mind. That is known as Prajna. Prajna is often equated with the intellect, the intelligence, the knowledge or wisdom. But this is not correct. These latter qualities are transient and impermanent. But Prajna is not impermanent. Vedanta has declared that Prajna shines in the body, the mind and the Atma (the individual soul). "Prajnanam Brahma" declares the Upanishad. (Supreme Consciousness is Divinity).
There is no difference between Prajnana and Brahman or Truth. Prajnana is described as Constant Integrated Awareness. This Prajna is present in all human beings. How can a man who has not understood his own true human nature understand divinity? The first stage for man to realise is that he is no ordinary being. There are in man, Sathya (Truth), Jnana (Wisdom) and Anantham (the Infinite). "Sathyam, Jnanam, Anantham Brahma" the ancient sages declared thus the attributes of Brahman. The Truth referred to here is not about worldly facts. It refers to Transcendental Truth, which remains the same at all times and in all places. The presence of these three in man has to be recognised. Only then will his life get sanctified. Then the distinction between "mine" and "thine" ceases. It becomes possible to lead a life based on truth.
Land of three Avatars of Vishnu
Emperor Bali's life illustrates this truth. Kerala is a region which is hallowed by the advent of three Avatars of Vishnu Narasimha, Vamana and Parasurama. Siddhasramam is a sacred place in Kerala. Because of its location there, Kerala enjoyed supreme peace in olden days. During the reign of Bali, the grandson of Prahlada, the people enjoyed peace and plenty. They were free from disease and poverty. Keralites were known for their hospitality. They gave freely with joy whatever anyone sought from them. The Lord assumed the Vamana form to test the greatness of Bali. Vamana was received with due ceremony and asked what he wanted. The young lad asked for three feet of land to be measured by his feet. Bali asked him why he asked for such a trivial thing. He could have asked for greater things. At that time, Bali's guru Sukracharya warned him that the young dwarf was none other than Vishnu and that if he did not go back on his promise, he would lose everything. But Bali did not heed his Guru's words. He was not prepared to go back on his promise, even if it meant the complete loss of his kingdom and the life itself. Bali told his guru that there can be nothing greater than making a gift to the Lord of the Universe when He came as a supplicant stretching his hand for a gift.
Such was the greatness of Bali, because of whom Kerala enjoyed the bounties of nature. Kerala is a land of beauty, with its palm trees, plantain orchards and dense forests. There is a saying: "Beauty is Bliss. Bliss is the nectar of life."
Bali's life should be an example
Kerala, a small State, has achieved permanent greatness as the place associated with three Avatars. Hence the heart of every person should be filled with the consciousness of God. Today, because of political rivalries, moral values and spiritual pursuits have declined. It is all the more heartening to note that, despite this decline, Onam is celebrated as a national festival by everyone in Kerala from the distant past to the present times. Bali's example should inspire Keralites to adhere to truth and practice love of all human beings. Onam should be celebrated not by feasts and festivities but by practising the ideals exemplified by Emperor Bali.
Devotion to one's motherland is as important as devotion to God. Honesty and integrity are essential for the bright future of the individual. Likewise, national character and patriotism are necessary for the welfare of the country. When integrity and patriotism are developed in an individual his vision becomes broad and his outlook balanced
– Sri Sathya Sai Baba