59. The search for fulfilment
Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 14 (1978 - 80)
The search for fulfilment
FROM the point of view of spiritual progress, persons can be grouped under three heads: Pushthi (the full-filled or complete), Maryadha (the part filled or limited) and the Pravaha (empty or heedless).
The first group, the Pushthi people win, the Grace of God though adherence to good conduct, good work and good faith. They are loved by God and are thereby blessed with unbroken Anandha (bliss). Love is the effect of Love only. Love can be earned only by Love. The ordinary men do not hanker after the love of God; they yearn after material goods and the satisfaction they can confer. They are prompted by the lower self to cater to the senses. But, the Pushthi persons have the higher love that is free from selfishness. Their thoughts, aspirations and deeds are all saturated with love. The Gopees prayed to Krishna, "Lord! Play on the flute the song that can plant the seeds of Love in the loveless desert of our hearts; shower thereon the rain of love and let the plantlings grow and yield the rich harvest of love. The Pushthi group of devotees might be undistinguished in appearance but they can be recognised by the spiritual glow of inner bliss. To be blessed by the lord with Divine love, one must have passed through many lives of sadhana (spiritual discipline), the sadhana of love.
Joy is natural to man, sadness is unnatural
The Maryadha people have attained limited achievement through spiritual effort, but even that is a noteworthy accomplishment. They have learnt about the glory of God through ardent scriptural studies and, after deep meditation on that glory, they have cultivated lasting love for God. But, you may dial the correct number in order to contact another on the telephone. If the 'other' does not lift the receiver, you have not benefited at all. It is not enough if you calculate the amount of your sadhana, or the hours you spend in study and sadhana. God cares more for the transformation of the heart into a reservoir of love, the transformation achieved through shravana (Listening) Manana (revolving in the mind what is heard) and nidhidhyasa (actual experience of the lesson that was heard). He does not count the recitations and adorations you offer as more valuable.
The heart filled with compassion is the temple in which God likes to install Himself. Scholarship is mostly superficial and even anti-spiritual. Purity of the heart has to be the goal of sadhana. One may perform puuja (ritualistic worship) for hours or sit for meditation every day. But, if he has no knowledge of Divinity he is invoking or picturing, these are of no avail. Divinity is his own nature. He is himself God. His Divine Nature must express itself in daily living. Peter was a fisherman but Jesus discovered that he could manifest divine qualities. If some one sobs and weeps in the market place, an anxious crowd gather around him to discover the reason, for, sadness is unnatural. When another person is obviously happy and smiling, no one is worried, for joy is natural to man.
Desire makes man feeble and fearful
In order to elevate oneself to the full-filled Pushthi category, one must learn self-confidence and self-satisfaction, to be content with one's Self, to derive joy from the Atma (divine self) which one is. One should not be tempted by what appear to be sources of joy in the external world. The fame one can earn, the riches one can gather, the power one can exercise, are clouds that pass with a turn of wind. The adulation and condemnation that the populace meters out are only verbal magic, tricks that intoxicate or hurt, for a brief moment. The Maryadha (part-filled person) must seek to raise themselves up into the Pushthi group of full-filled individuals. Next, the Pravaha category, the heedless individuals who do not resist the pulls of the senses or of the objective world. They are drawn along the Pravaha (the flood) of trivialities and trashes; they are ignorant of the ways by which they can cross the sea of Samsar (worldly life and perpetual change); they fall into the whirlpools of misery. They do not have any knowledge of the Saviour. So, they are caught in the wheel of birth and death. The flood is in a state of motion, it does not allow them to get established anywhere. They are born to die; they die only to be born again. But, this is not the true destination of human life. How then can man escape from this wheel?
The tree originates from the seed. Desire is the seed from which man appears on earth. If man has no desire and no resolution to satisfy them, then man need not be born, to realise the unfullfilled desire. And, he need not die. So, man has to minimise desires and give up seeking the fulfilment of desire. Desire is what makes man feeble and fearful. He cannot rise to his full of stature when burdened with desire.
Use the intellect constantly to discriminate
But, there is no need to despair. Man has in him three springs of strength upon which he can draw - Divine, Spiritual and Material - Para shakthi, A-para shakthi, and Avidhya Shakthi. From the conviction that he has a body (Aham Dehasmi) he can draw upon physical strength or Auidhya shakthi. Since he is an individualised soul or jeevi (Aham Jeevasmi), he can draw upon spiritual-strength or A-para-shakthi. Since self if man is one with Overself and he can earn the awareness of the Unity (Aham Brahmasmi), he can draw upon the Universal Eternal Power or Brahman Itself, the Para shakthi. This is also called Vishnu-Shakthi (all pervasive divine energy); for it is both immanent and transcendent at the same time. But, those who cannot comprehend this all-prevading and all persuading Shakthi, give it a form and a name and adore it as a mother-Goddess, as Kali or Amba. A-para shakthi is limited to the physical field of the jeevi while A-vidhya shakthi is further limited by the handicap of Maya (delusive energy). But it is this latter that urges man to act and to move in society.
Para shakthi marks the jnani (the realised soul). To reach that stage, one must constantly use the intellect to discriminate the true from the false, the eternal from the transitory. For example, one must examine how the mind works. It is commonly asserted that the mind runs fast after external objects. But the mind does not move towards the objects. The objects are drawn by the mind to itself. People who come to Puttaparthi from Bangalore exclaim as soon as they reach Gokulam on the outskirts, "Puttaparthi has come." But, Puttaparthi does not go towards them. It stays forever where it is. So too, the mind stays, receiving the impacts of objects which come into its sphere, developing desires and attachments for them.
Geetha exhorts men to be always Yogis
To clear the mind of these bonds, dhyana (meditation) is the most fruitful sadhana. There are many who propagate and demonstrate process of meditation but only those who have discovered the ultimate goal of life and become masters of themselves can lead others as Gurus (preceptors). The Shasthras (spiritual sciences) lay down what has to be acquired and what has to be given up. This wisdom when applied to life through activity marks the real Guru. Dhyana (meditation) cannot be completed; it should continue even after one rises up and moves out of the spot. The purity gained must be manifested in deeds. Since the individual self is itself the Self, the fullness of the Self or Divinity must manifest in man also. Poornam adah Poornam idham, (That is full, this is full) say the Vedas (scared scriptures of the Hindhus). From a big lump of jaggery, you may clip off a slice. The slice is as sweet as the lump. The quality is the same. God is sweet love. Man too must reveal the same sweet love, and thereby announce that his Reality is God; dhyana must result in this awareness. Some practioners of meditation possess equaminity; but only so long as they are engaged in it. As soon as they emerge, they start getting angry at all and sundry. Some are Yogis (spiritual persons) in the morning, bhogis (epicureans) at noon and rogis (sick) at night! The Geetha exhorts men to be "always Yogis" (Sathatham Yoginah). They should not act three roles in one day!
Bargaining with God is cheating oneself
Many believe that pilgrimages to holy places are conducive to spiritual progress. They journey to Thirupathi, Rameshwaram, Badhrinath or Amarnath and pray for the removal of their mundane troubles. They vow to remove their hair if through Divine intervention they win a prize in the State Lottery, as if God is in need of hair. This trick of bargaining is only cheating oneself, in an attempt to cheat God. Do not pray to God for wealth or fame or positions of power or even for the fruits of your actions. The genuine seeker will pray for nothing else than God. This longing will fill all the various acts of his - puuja, bhajan, dhyan (ritual worship, devotional singing and meditation) etc. Every wave of emotion every tune of song, every beat of pulse will respond only to that wish. For God is the basis on which this creation rests. The deepest yearning of man is to experience the One, the basis, the Being that has become. From east and west, from south and north, you have come in thousands and are now One in this Poornachandra Auditorium, feeling a blissful spiritual Unity. Be aware of the One which manifests as the many. That is the Divine Life. Aspire for such a life, not simply for long life. Aspire for the bliss that the awareness of the Atma (Divine Self) can confer, not the pleasure the objects of the world can give. God is Omnipresent. So, do not act differently when you are away from My presence. Be always and everywhere conscious of the presence. Be vigilant, even while engaged in little tasks. Maintain silence, in the recesses of the heart, as well as outside. The Geetha says, God's hands and feet are everywhere. You can hear his footfall only when no other sound hinders. God, out of His infinite Grace, assumes the Form that the devotee yearns for. He is Purity. He is the Supreme Wisdom, He is ever-free, ever merciful. Develop the awareness of God, see Him and serve Him in every living being.
You may boast that you have been visiting Puttaparthi since twenty years or that you have made the place your permanent residence; but, unless you follow the lessons I emphasise, that boast is mere empty vanity. If you develop love for all beings, in the faith that God resides in all, you may be anywhere else, but your prayers would reach Me and My grace will reach you.
– Sri Sathya Sai Baba