36. Proceed Beyond The Lover, Loved, and Love
Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 2 (1961 - 62)
Proceed Beyond The Lover, Loved, and Love
I had no plan till now to speak to you. But Kasturi mentioned that those of you who are here for many years have not had the chance of even reverential salutations (namaskaram) for three months, that is, from before Sivarathri, when streams of devotees started coming in. He stated that you are all hungry for darshan. Since I am spending hours and hours talking with the devotees who are anxious to leave this place, I put in My appearance at the devotional singing (bhajan) sessions; twice a day, just for a minute or so, to receive arathi (worshipful waving of lights) and leave. I find you are all sad at what you misinterpert as neglect. So I shall administer some tonic to your drooping hearts. Well, you have the chance to see, experience, and be sanctified by the incarnation of the Lord; you got this chance as a result of the accumulation of merit in many previous lives. That merit has brought you here, when I have come down. For this chance, sages and demi-gods have prayed for long in the past. Having won this chance, strive to taste the sweetness and achieve the bliss of merging, without wasting even a single moment.
The rays that emanate from Me are of three grades: the physical, gross (sthula), filling this Prasanthi Nilayam; the subtle (sukshma), pervading the earth; and the causal (karana) covering the entire universe. The people who have the privilege of living in this Abode (Nilayam) are indeed lucky, for they are nearest to the rays. The physical rays make one a spiritual aspirant; the subtle rays make one a great soul (mahatma), and the causal rays convert one into an ascetic of the highest order (paramahamsa).
Do not therefore waste your days entertaining wordly desires and ambitions and planning to achieve them. Success in this line or failure should not elate or depress you. When a banquet is in store for you, why run after the droppings from others’ tables? Such plans and desires have no finality or fixity. They have no genuine worth.
Command the mind, regulate your conduct
Keep undimmed before you the main goal, the task for which you have come into this school; do not deviate from it, whatever the attraction that tempts you to stray. Command the mind and regulate your conduct, so that the goal is won. Don’t let the care of the body or the fostering of the family or the demands of pride and pomp overwhelm the call of the spirit for self-expression. The Supreme Reality (Siva), individual (jiva), and subjective world (prakriti) are the three principles that confront you; the world has to be utilised by the individual to attain Siva, which is the fundamental fact in both. Until you get Atmic Bliss (Atmanandam), by realising Siva, the world will press on you with its weight and well nigh suffocate you. After that, the world will fall off of itself. Winning the grace of the Lord is as easy as melting butter; that is why the heart of the Lord is compared to butter. It is as soft as butter, they say. A little warmth is enough to melt it; a little warm affection shown to a suffering companion, a little warmth while pronouncing His name, turning it over on the tongue, so to say. The Name is the spring of all the essence of the Supreme Spirit (the Chaithanya) that you get by remembrance of the Name; it is the life-giving nectar; it is the fountain of primal energy. Recite the Name and the Named will be before you; picture the Named and the Name will leap to your lips. They are the reverse and the obverse of the same coin, the Name and the Form.
Be steady and fixed in your resolve and conduct
Some vow to write Ramanama (Rama’s name) or some other name a million times, but very often it is just a matter of the fingers and the pen. The mind of the writer is the spoon, which does not taste the honey that it doles out. The mind should not wander from the name. It should dwell on the sweetness that the name connotes; it should ruminate on the beauty of the form that it recalls, the perfume that it spreads. The conduct and behaviour of the writer should be such as befits a servant of God - others should be inspired by them, and their faith should get freshened by their experience of the writer. To earn the goodwill of the Master, there is one recipe: obey His orders without murmur. I tell you My truth not in self-praise but so that you can understand Me. If I do not tell you about Myself, who can? Grace is showered on all who obey instructions and follow orders, but the number of such is very small. Even though instructions are light and easy, they are designed to make you go beyond the three-fold distinction (thriputi) of the pilgrim, path, and goal; of bhagavatha (the good), bhaktha (devotion), and Bhagavan (Divinity); of lover, loved, and love.
Become masters of your own kingdoms
You are in the principle of devotion one moment and the principle of anger the next. This is wrong. You should be steady and fixed in your resolve and in your conduct. That is why, outside the Prasanthi Nilayam, I serve in my discourses what you call a feast (vindu), but here, to you, I always administer drugs (mandu). This is the centre, the headquarters of the God-revering army, which is to establish world prosperity. Of course, I insist everywhere on piety and a high moral life, but here I lay down stricter and more rigorous rules. Well, I shall tell you some hard words. You very often condemn the mind as a monkey, but take it from Me, it is far worse. The monkey leaps from one branch to another, but the mind leaps from the heights of the Himalayas to the depths of the sea, from today to tens of years ago. Tame it by the process of remembrance of the Name. Make it, as Ramadas did, into a stable steady mountain (Bhadhraachala).
That is the task I assign to you. Make your heart an Ayodhya by means of repeating the name of Rama (Ramanama); Ayodhya means a city that can never be captured by force. That is your real nature - Ayodhya and Bhadhraachala. Forget this and you are lost. Install Rama in your heart, and no outer force can harm you. Realise that, like the waves of the sea, happiness and grief rise and fall; they are like the inhalation and exhalation of the breath. If you attain that calm, the ground whereon you stand becomes Kasi, every handwork of yours gets transmuted into the highest form of Siva worship. Roam about in the region of your own mind and understand its moods and mysteries; do not dream of wandering in foreign lands before you become masters of your own kingdoms. Self first; help next. Know yourself; that lesson once learnt, you can know others much sooner and much more truly. Dedicate this life to the service of others, for the others are only visible representatives of the Lord, who resides in you. I have come in order to repair the ancient highway leading man to God. Become sincere, skilful overseers, engineers, and workmen and join Me. The Vedas, the Upanishads and the Scriptures (Sastras) are the road I refer to. I have come to reveal them and revive them.
Take each day as a gift of God
The rules I have prescribed for those who come to the Nilayam may appear strict and even severe, but it is all for your good. Inner Purity first and outer purity later - that is the natural order. You feel full satisfaction when you take a bath first and then wear washed clothes. I have to be strict, because if I excuse one error, the tendency is to commit another. A plant will grow well only when the ground all around the stem is raked up and exposed to the sun and rain. I want you to drop old deep-rooted habits of purposeless talk, vanity, envy, and scandal-mongering. You are not to live like earnest spiritual aspirants just to please Me; it is a duty you owe to yourselves. So you must adhere to those rules wherever you are, not merely within the confines of the Nilayam. Of course, the Prasanthi Nilayam, you will have noticed, has no wall or fence around it; for it is not limited by any boundaries, it spreads and spreads until it envelops the universe. Generally, I speak sweetly, but on this matter of discipline, I will not grant any concessions. I do not care whether you come or, having come, go. I will insist on strict obedience. I shall not reduce the rigour to suit your level, for that will only ruin you; I pay attention to your ultimate good. Live peacefully, happily, contentedly, taking each day as a gift from the Lord. Do not rush and scramble, fret and fume. Be vigilant, and do not allow greed or anger to creep in. Attend all the sessions in the Hall: the recitation of OM (Pranava japa), the singing, the discourses. Do not take shelter behind excuses. If you are ill, devotional singing will help the cure, or, let Me tell you, it is far better to die during devotional singing with the Lord’s name on the lips. Aspirants are led along wrong paths, and the respect due to pious people is dwindling because they are not kept rigorously on the hard path. Concessions have spoiled them. Hereafter, I will not excuse the slightest deviation. You have been here for years, so I have to treat you as grown-ups, not as children. It is on account of the love that I have toward you that I rebuke you when you take a false step. My rays of grace will make the lotus of your heart blossom.
Drug and regimen are both supplementary
In a hospital, the doctors care for the disease, not for the size of the bank deposits of the patients. Disease is the important thing. So too, in the case of everyone suffering from the disease of birth and death and the dual buffets of good and bad has a right to the care and consideration of the doctor. The doctor prescribes the drug and the regimen; both are supplementary. When you get a relapse of doubt and distress, take the drug a greater number of times and in larger doses. Join the company of the godly; just as tame elephants surround the wild tusker and rope him and bind him hand and foot and immobilise him preliminary to taming him, the spiritually minded will bring the doubter round. The current flows always along the wire. You have only to make a connection and switch on. If the connection is loose, then the flow of grace will be disturbed and might even stop. It is you that connects and disconnects. You switch on and off, and you get day and night. Study the Gita; you know that the Gita draws a line that you should not cross. I do not ask for your vows - why should I force you to make them and cause you to break them? If you do so, your life becomes a torn cloth, stitched loose; it may tear again at the slightest pull. Let me tell you one thing in the end: However you are, you are Mine. I will not give you up. Wherever you are, you are near Me. You cannot go beyond My reach.
Hindu culture is the pillar and support of the nation; it is the backbone of the spiritually adventurous; it grants both this world and the next to all beings. It is really world culture, the culture that the world needs. Other cultures assume various forms in various climes. But the culture of Bharath (India) has asserted eternal values, values for all times and all climes - like compassion, virtue, and self-control. It has not bent before the pressure of patronage or persecution.
– Sri Sathya Sai Baba