Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 10 (1970)
The ripe fruit

THE peace or distraction, calm or anxiety that one gets is the product of one's thoughts and deeds. It is dependent on one's attitude and behaviour to oneself and others. There are many who take up the process of dhyana or regular meditation on the Name and Form of God, who are able to quieten the agitations of the heart and open the way to inner realisation. But, dhyana should not be vacillating or wavering from one ideal to another. It should not be reduced to a mere mechanical text-book formula, a rigid time-table of breathing through alternate nostrils, a meaningless stare at the tip of the nose. It is a rigorous discipline of the senses, the nervous current, and the wings of imagination. That is why it is said, the dhyana is the valley of peace that lies on the other side of a huge mountain range, with the peaks named the Six Foes. These are lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride and envy. One has to climb over the range and reach the plain beyond. One has to rend the veils, before the light can shine on the path. One has to remove the cataract from the eye, so that the Truth can be seen. Maya is the name of that mist of ignorance, that torments the mind which seeks to plunge in the depths of the Self.
Release the mind from the hold of maya
This mist is the confusing conglomeration of three qualities that disturb the primal equanimity of the Universe - the white, red and black - the Sathwik , the Rajasik and the Thamasik - the unaffected, the active and the dull; the detached, the passionate and the slothful. The curtain of maya made of these three strands has to be either brushed aside, or rent asunder, or raised, so that the reality may be revealed.
Bhakthi marga (the path of devotion) raises it, for God who let it down has the compassion to raise it for you! Karma marga (the path of righteous action) rends it, by means of activity aimed at tearing the strands. Jnana marga (the path of spiritual knowledge) brushes it aside, for it moves about as if it did not really exist; it brushes it aside as a mere figment of the imagination! And, it disappears, proving their argument valid! Some people deny the existence of God, for they miss His Presence as a result of the myopia they are afflicted with; when a skilful eye surgeon removes the defect, they can well see for themselves the omnipresent evidence of His Grace and Majesty. The amalgam of the three gunas (qualities) mentioned already, when spread as a hindrance to clear vision makes man fumble, feel that one thing is ostensibly another, and hides the truth, giving it all the hues or horror of the false!
The mind is the inner instrument used by maya to defraud and confuse. Under its influence, the mind skips from one fancy to another and is never at rest on whatever it dwells on! It keeps the mind always intent on external objects; it resists the inward journey of the intellect, the process of self-examination and self-discipline. But, once man succeeds, however slightly, in releasing his mind from the hold of maya through dhyana, the road is clear for the final illumination. Dhyana is the discipline by which the mind is trained to inner analysis and synthesis. The goal of dhyana is the One in which all I's are synthesised, in their purest forms. That One is described in the Geetha as having eight attributes. They are: Kavi (aware of the past, present and future), puranam (timeless in its origin), anushasitharam (it lays down the norms), anoraneeya (it is more minute than the minutest), sarvasya dhatha (at the basis of all), achinthyaruupa (of inexplicable form) adhithya varna (effulgence) and thamasah parasthath (beyond darkness). This is a task which can be carried out only by unremitting dhyana.
Conquest of desire is the first lesson of Yoga
Again, dhyana and the control of the senses must go together. The senses block the road to heaven's gate. No sense should be given free rein. There are some propagandists of yoga at the present time who so water down the disciplines that they preach full freedom for the senses along with dhyana. They are afraid they will lose their clientele and income, if they insist on difficult assignments! Yoga is defined as chiththa vritthi nirodha (the mastery over the vagaries of the mind). How can Yoga be practised when the mind is let loose to play all its pranks and tricks? It draws man away into the wilderness of desires, and plunges him into the pursuit of pleasure, outside himself.
The very first lesson of Yoga is the conquest of kama (desire). The Will has to be fashioned as an instrument for the beneficial deed and the deed has to subserve the need for winning Wisdom, which confers in a flash the awareness of the Reality. The mother cannot move about the house doing the daily chores of washing and cooking, so long as the child is clamouring and wailing in the cradle; she has to put it to sleep as the first chore, so that she can attend to more important work. So too, you have to put the mind out of action before you can travel to the realm beyond duality.
The royal road to spiritual success
Keep the Name of the Lord always radiant on your tongue and mind. That will keep the antics of the mind under control. When the lamp is kept burning, darkness dare not spread its fumes around you. It is said in the Geetha that when the word for Brahman (Supreme Universal Reality), namely Om, is spelt by the dying with the last breath, he attains Brahman. But, you can spell it then, only when you have been dwelling upon Om all through the years of life. Mere ejaculation of Om at the point of departure will not save; the final Om must be the flower blossoming on the creeper of life, that has twined itself on God all one's life. This is referred to as Rajavidhya, in the Geetha; that is to say, the royal road to spiritual success. It is also Rajaguhyam - the royal mystery - a teaching that is to be imparted, after long preparatory exercises and from master to disciple, in a serious and sincere atmosphere. It was not sung as verse; it was given as a lesson, in prose. It was Vyasa who cast it into verse form. The Geetha teaches the process of dhyana in a neat little formula:
mam anusmara yuddhya cha! - "Keep Me in your memory and fight!"
The cue: to fight the battle of life, with God in the consciousness as the charioteer. It is not merely a direction for Arjuna; it is a prescription for all humanity. "Fix your mind on Me and fight! I shall be the Will behind your will; the eye behind your eye; the brain within your brain; the breath within your breath. The fight is mine, the might is mine, the trials and triumphs are mine; the fruits of victory are mine; the humiliation of defeat is mine; you are I and I am you". That is the consummation of dhyana - identity, the negation of difference.
The Compassionate One knows best what you need
Mam anusmara - with Me in memory ever! Do not distinguish this task as bhajan, this task as bhojan (eating), this other task as puujan (adoration of God); all acts are puujan, for, food is given by Him, eaten by Him, for His sake, to yield strength for His work. Each moment is worth while, for He gives it, He uses it, He fills it, He fashions it, He fulfils it. When He is fused with every breath, you can achieve the sovereign task of merging in Him. You have the might; the Atma cannot be gained by the weak, so long as the source of might is not in you, is not all you, so long you are a weakling unfit for the supremest adventure. Mam anusmara - the smarana, remembrance, can become established only when you are free from the shackles of spite and envy. An-asuya - with no trace of pride or envy, malice or hate, egoism or conceit - that is the way to keep the heart clean for God to install Himself.
Sorrow affects you because you feel you deserved joy and did not acquire it; but, there is one impartial distributor of joy and sorrow, who gives you what you need, rather than what you desire. You may need the tonic of tragedy to set you on the road to recovery. The Compassionate One, the Eternal All-knowing God, He knows best. Welcome the tragedy and fight your way through, with the armour of the Memory Divine. As all rivers hurry towards the sea, let all your imaginings wend their way to God.
The Play is His;
the role is His Gift;
the lines are written by Him;
He decides the dress and decoration,
the gesture and the tone, the entrance and the exit.
You have to act well the part and receive His approbation, when the curtain falls.
Earn by your efficiency and enthusiasm the right to play higher and higher roles -
that is the meaning and purpose of life.
The way to pronounce the Pranava, Om
Do not get too much attached to the world, and too involved in its tangles. Keep your emotions always within hold. The waves agitate only the upper layers of the sea; down below it is calm. So too, when you sink into your depths, you must be free from the agitation of the waves. Know most things are of no lasting value and can therefore be brushed aside; hold fast to the solid substance only. Use your discrimination to discover which things are lumber, and which are treasure.
The Pranava japa (the recitation of Om and the contemplation of that mystic syllable) will help to calm the roaring waves. Om is the sum of all the teachings in the Vedas about Godhead and of all the systems of adoring the Godhead;
Om ithi ekaksharam Brahma - Om, that one syllable is Brahman!
Om is a composite of three sounds A (a) arising from the region of the navel, U (oo) flowing through the throat and tongue and M (mm) ending up at the closed lip. It has to be pronounced rising in a crescendo as slowly as possible, and as slowly coming down, until after them there will be the echo of the silence reverberating in the cavity of the heart. Do not take it in two stages, arguing that your breath will not hold so long. Persevere, until you are able to be stirred by the upward sweep and the downward curve and the silent sequel. These represent the waking, dreaming and sleeping, and the fourth, beyond the three stages. It represents also the flower of one's individuality growing into a fruit and filling itself with sweet juice out of its own inner essence, and then the final release from the tree.
To develop the taste for liberation, Namasmarana, or rolling the sweet Name of the Lord, saturated with sugar of His splendour on the tongue and in the mind, is the best course. This is an exercise that can be practised at all times and places by all, irrespective of creed or caste or sex or age or economic and social status. It will keep you in constant touch with the Infinite and so, it will transmit to you something of the Wisdom and Power of the Infinite.
– Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Selected Excerpts From This Discourse
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