48. Open Your Eyes
Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 2 (1961 - 62)
Open Your Eyes
Uppuluuri Ganapathi Shasthry has a title that very few scholars have. He is called the Master Expounder of the Meaning of the Vedas (Amnayartha Vachaspathi). I permitted him to speak for as long as he liked; indeed, I encouraged him to make a long speech, for just after this he is opening the Vedic School (VedaSastra Pathashala) - an institution that is dear to his heart when established anywhere but dearer to him because it is established here, in the Prasanthi Nilayam. In fact, he sees in it an important step in My plan of vedic revival. But he was so over-powered by bliss that he could not proceed with his speech even for a few minutes. As he said, he spoke even those few words just to express his debt to the Vedas . It is not only his debt but the debt of all humanity. The Vedas have shaped India and India shaped, is shaping, and will shape, the rest of the world. The Vedas are without beginning or end; they are eternal messages caught by developed consciousnesses in the silence of meditation. Loyalty to the Vedas has faded often in the past also, so the present “decline”, which Ganapathi Shasthry deplored, is just a passing phase. Durvasa was a reputed vedic scholar; he had the music of the Sama Veda on his tongue and the cinders of anger in his eye; a strange combination, indeed. Seeing this absurdity, Saraswathi, the Goddess of Learning and Liberation, laughed in derision. The sage was stung to the quick; he threw a curse on Her, and she was born on earth as the daughter of Atreya. There was a brother too, a feeble-minded chap who was incapable, in spite of the efforts of the skilled teachers, of even pronouncing the Veda aright. He was beaten with a rod, but that only made him weep helplessly. Saraswathi was moved with great pity. She intervened and saved him from physical torture. She taught him the four Vedas and the six Scriptures (Sastras), and he became a great master.
Vedas are in need of revival again
Meanwhile, the Veda had faded from human memory and, as a result, famine stalked the land. Sages were reduced to skeletons. They yearned for the Veda, for that was the sustenance on which they lived. Saraswatha, the brother of Saraswathi, prayed to Chandra (the Moon). Chandra made the earth sprout forth edible plants, on which the sages decided to live. Saraswatha taught them the sixty different sections of the Vedas, but so thick was the fog that had descended on the Vedas that the sages who learnt the Vedas from him were confounded by cynical critics. Narada had to assure them that what they had learnt was the genuine Veda itself, but even he could not remove the main of doubt. They jointly approached Brahma. He said, “You were all able to get this vision of Me as a result of your vedic study; you can have yourself become Brahma when you practise what you have studied.” That was how Saraswatha Maharshi revived the Vedas once in the past.
Reasons for the present sorrow and suffering
Now again, the Vedas are in need of revival, of promotion. Someone has to prevent the axe from reaching its roots, the goats from eating the sprouts. Do not be too conceited, feeling that the Avatar has come for you particularly. I have come for the sake of dharma . And how is the Avatar to guard dharma ? Well, “The Vedas are the root of dharma (Vedhokhilo dharma moolam).” When the Vedas remain unharmed, that is to say, when the vedic scholars are unharmed, the Veda will remain ever-green in the heart of people. That is the real establishment of dharma . You may ask, “Well. The Lord has incarnated. Then why should the world be torn by strife and stricken with sorrow?” Why, even when Lord Krishna was here, there was war and wickedness, strife, and sorrow. The husk will have to be pulled out, the pure saved always from the impure. The present suffering is due mainly to the lapses in discipline among the professed followers of the vedic path, their disregard for the morality laid down in the scriptures, and their absence of faith in the ancient scriptures. What use can a blind man make of a lamp, however bright it may be? You may ask why pandits and vedic scholars are passing through hard times now. They are mostly hungry, ill-clad, and homeless; that being the reason no one comes forward to join vedic schools. Vedic schools (Patasalas) are becoming defunct. But I want to tell you that the pandits and learned men have come to this pass because they have themselves lost faith in the Vedas . They are like the proverbial cat that is loyal to two homes and is denied food and comfort in both. The pandits have one eye on secular matters and secular studies and another on the spiritual. Let them be fixed in that faith, faith in the Vedas . Then the Veda will keep them happy. Because if the Veda cannot make a person happy, what else can? Like the hotel keeper who goes to a druggist for a pill when he gets a headache, while that same druggist goes to the same hotel for a cup of coffee when he gets a headache, the West comes to the East for mental peace and the East is enamoured of the West for what it considers necessary for mental peace!
Story of unshakable faith of a devotee
Let me tell you an incident that happened while in the previous body at Shirdi. There was a lady from Pahalgaon, a simple illiterate devotee. She stored water in her kitchen in three clean, brightly polished brass pots from three separate wells, and she had named the pots Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswathi (after the three rivers). She always referred to them by those names. Whenever any thirsty wayfarer called at her door, she mixed water from all three and offered it to the person as water from three rivers (thriveni theertha). Neighbours used to laugh at her faith, but her belief that the three wells were connected underground with the three rivers that joined at Prayag was unshakable. Her husband started on a pilgrimage to Kasi (Benares). His mother, while blessing him on his departure, put on his finger her own gold ring and directed him to take good care of it, for it would be a talisman for him. When he was taking the ceremonial bath at the Manikarnika Ghat, the ring slipped into the waters and could not be retrieved. When he returned and related this story, he said, “Ganga wanted it; she took it,” just to console his mother. When the wife heard this, she said, “No, no! Mother Ganga will not hanker after the property of a poor old lady. She will accept only what is offered out of love. She will give us back the ring, I am sure. I shall ask Ganga; she is in our kitchen.” So saying, she went in and with folded hands, she prayed before the particular pot named by her as Ganga. Putting her hand in she searched the bottom and, sure enough, she got the ring back! She had come to Dwarakamayi with her husband and mother-in-law. It is faith that matters; the form and the name on which it is fixed do not matter. For all names are His; all forms are His.
The four-fold Mission of Sai
Faith can grow only on the soil of dharma, with the fertile subsoil of Veda . That is why the Vedic School (Patasala) is started here today. I announced this in October, and it is being started in November. With Me, the resolution and the realisation coincide in time; there is no time lag. You may say that only twenty boys have joined now. When a huge country is administered by a cabinet of twelve, this band of students is enough for the work I have in view. My task is to open your eyes to the glory of the Vedas and to convince you that the vedic injunctions, when put into practice, will yield the results promised. My task is to make you aware of your errors and the loss you are incurring; not only you who are here just now but all the people of India and even the world. This Vedic School will grow into a university, establishing branches wherever there are other types of universities now. It will afford cool green shade for all. My love toward the Veda is equalled only by My love toward humanity. My mission, remember, is just fourfold: the fostering the Vedas and Vedic scholars and protection of virtue and devotees. Spreading My grace and My power along these four directions, I establish Myself in the centre. These boys will grow into strong straight pillars of the Sanathana Dharma - the Ancient Wisdom, the Eternal Path. They will be the leaders and guides of this land in the days to come. Parents who have sent them to this Vedic school have every reason to be happy, for these boys will be gems spreading vedic splendour everywhere, disseminating scriptural learning everywhere. I shall care for them as the apple of My eye, more than any mother. They will always have My blessings.
Fear is the biggest cause of illness. When you have a slight temperature, you start imagining that it is the beginning of some serious fever. You say to yourself someone whom you knew had also a slight increase of temperature, which later became serious and led to complications, so you become more prone to illness than formerly. Think rather of the instances where fever was prevented or overcome; think of the grace of the Lord, which restores and saves.
– Sri Sathya Sai Baba