Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 27 (1994)
See the One in the many

STUDENTS! You should know at the outset the aim and significance of education. Education is for elevation from the mundane level to the divine. Generally, you repeat the prayer: "Thvameva mathacha pitha thvameva thvameva bandhuscha sakha thvameva." This prayer smacks of dualism. Why should you go on establishing such different relationships with God? The fight way is to say "I am you; You are me." This is true spiritually. That is why the Vedas proclaim "Thath thvam Asi, Ayam Atma Brahma, Aham Brahmasmi." "I am the Atma and Brahman" is the essence of Vedhic teaching. This is the easiest path to realisation. You should consider the Divine as One only which is manifest in many forms. All the forms are creations of the mind.
Arjuna asks Krishna in the Geetha- "Chanchalam-hi-manah Krishna! Pramadhi Balavadhrudahm Thasyaham Nigraham Manye Vayoriva Sudhushkaram" (The mind verily is restless, oh Krishna! It is turbulent, strong and obstinate. I deem it as hard to control as the wind). If you go on cultivating relationships of various types, the mind is set wavering endlessly: To set it at rest will be extremely difficult. This is not the right type of devotion.
Developing vision of unity is not difficult
Narasimhan (in his speech earlier) said that it is difficult to comprehend the oneness in the many. In My (Svami's) opinion, there is nothing easier than this. Japa, Puuja, Yajna and ritualistic worship are more difficult. You consider it hard to see unity in the diversity in the world because you do not have the proper vision. Supposing you want to pick up your kerchief, you can do so easily if you open your eyes and look for it. If you are blind, it will be difficult to pick it up. Similarly, a person in ignorance will be in frustration and confusion. The easiest path is to feel "I am you, You are I," so that there is no other object. You are the "Seen" Everything that you see is the seen. When the vision is concentrated on the Atma within, both are one. When you get the feeling "I am you" there is no scope for any worry. This is the easiest royal path to comprehend the Reality. Without understanding this, people waste their lives in the process of meditation and other futile pursuits. You are going on adding to your objects of attachment from the moment you are born in the world. First, you have mother and father, then brothers, sisters, relatives and friends. After marriage, another set of relatives and friends are added through your spouse. Thus attachment goes on multiplying.
On the other hand, if you go on detaching yourself from various relationships one after other, your attachments get reduced and you develop detachment or Vairagya leading to liberation. Attachment and detachment relate to external objects. Divinity is in closest proximity to you, but it takes time to understand divinity.
Three teachers in everyone's life
There are three teachers for everyone. The first are the 'Parents.' They sacrifice their lives to give comfort to their children. Parents teach their children in a practical way by taking good care of them. The second teacher is the 'Preceptor' who guides the student in exercising his discrimination and taking the right path towards realising the divinity within him. The third teacher is your own 'Conscience.' This is divine and always helps one to take the correct decision. When anyone tries to commit a sinful act or speak an untruth, the Conscience revolts and warns him that he is not right. In the Ramayana, we have the example of Rama who went to the forest in obedience to the command of his father. This caused sadness to the people of Ayodhya. Even great sages like Vashishttha were in grief. Rama was the embodiment of righteousness and the repository of all good qualities. Though he was still young, his administrative skill was unparalleled. Bharatha and Shathrughna, on arrival at Ayodhya, learnt about Rama's departure to the forest and felt so. shocked and grieved that they did not wish to stay even for a moment in Ayodhya and decided to go to the forest to request Rama to return to Ayodhya and take up the rulership of the kingdom as he alone was the right one to rule. All the people of Ayodhya followed them. Even Vashishttha accompanied them to reinforce their efforts to being Rama back to Ayodhya. All of them entreated Rama to return to Ayodhya and take over the reins of administration of the kingdom.
Sage Jabali, who was a Jnani, argued like an atheist. He said that one has several fathers and mothers during one's various births in previous lives and such relationships are only temporary like passing clouds. "In your case," the sage said, "your father is already dead and gone. There is no point in your adhering to the command of a person who is no more. By your not agreeing to rule the kingdom, you are causing a lot of distress to the people who may be led astray. You should not ignore the wishes of the living multitude in trying to honour the words of a dead person. So I entreat you to accede to the requests of the people and return to Ayodhya to rake over the reins of the ruler."
Rama always honoured the plighted word
Rama replied calmly; "Oh Sage! I thought you are a very learned savant and scholar wellversed in the scriptures. It is not becoming of you to argue in this manner. I consider it rather unbecoming on your part to ask me to ignore the command of my father because he has passed away I have promised to carry out his command. I have given my word and I am still alive. How can I go back on my word? It is better to give up the body than to go back on one's word. One should be ever grateful to one's parents, whether they are alive or dead. An ungrateful son should be considered blind and worthless. Many pray to the Sun as Himaghnaya namah. When the sun rises, the snow melts away. (Hima means snow). He is also worshipped as Thamoghnaya namhah, that is, one who is the destroyer of Thamas (darkness). Darkness cannot coexist with light. He is also called Krithaghnaghnaya namah. He is the destroyer of a person who has no gratitude. It is the Sun that gives light to the eyes to see. The sun renders blind those who are ungrateful. I shall be the worst sinner. All people will follow me and become sinners. Do you want me to set such a bad example? It is ridiculous to think that I will go back on my word." On hearing these words of high wisdom uttered by Rama, Jabali prostrated before him and begged his pardon. He said, "Oh Rama! I am not against Truth! There is nothing that is not known to you. I had made use of this argument only to support the people of Ayodhya, who love you and want to return to Ayodhya to rifle over them."
Rama explains to rishis the essence of Divinity
Rama always set a fine example for the people to follow. He sent Seetha to the forest on hearing an ordinary citizen talking disparagingly about Seetha being taken back by Rama even after she had been in the custody of his enemy, Ravana, for some months. Rama did this out of respect for popular opinion. Rama has established such an ideal for society to follow at all times. That is why He is hailed as Purushotthama (the noblest of all Purushas). In justifying his action in following the command of his father he explained to the Rishis elaborately the essence of divinity. In the Geetha Krishna says: Kavim puranam Anushasitharam Anotaneeyan samanusmaredhyah Sarvasya dhatharam Achinthyaruupam Adhithyavarnam Thamasah parasthath. (The Being who is wise, ancient, the ruler, smaller than the smallest, the sustainer of all, inconceivable form, resplendent like the sun and beyond the darkness of ignorance). There is no Kavi (poet) other than the Lord. All that is in verse form is not poetry. "Thrikala vakyam kavi" (The Poet is one who has a vision of the past, the present and the future). Man knows only the past and the present. How can one know the future? How is the Divine Poet able to see the future too? Because God is Omniscient and beyond time and space. He is not affected by the passage of time. He is changeless and permanent.
No one has the ability to punish the mind
Purana is ordinarily construed as meaning very old. But here it refers to the Consciousness which is pervading the whole body (city or pura of nine gates). It pervades everything. Anushasitharam (One who enforces the law). When a criminal is punished by a court after being found guilty, he is kept in prison. It is only the body that gets punished. But the real culprit is the mind. No one has got any right or ability to punish the mind which really causes the convict to commit the crime. The mind can travel anywhere even when a person is in prison. The Government or Police have no control over the mind. It is only the supreme power of the Divine that can have control over the mind. The effulgence of the Lord is equal to that of one crore of Suns. The Lord's face is beaming with the brilliance of the Sun. On being struck by the radiant effulgence in Rama's face, Shabari became ecstatic and described it as that of the blemishless full moon. The faces of present-day men look like a jungle with dense growth of beards and sideburns. Brilliance is absent. Rama's face was spotless because his heart was pure and was filled with feelings of sacrifice. He never did anything for himself. Whatever he did was only for Lokasamrakshana (the welfare of the world). Ramo Vigrahavan Dharmah (Rama was the embodiment of Dharma). If one follows Dharma, he is protected by the same Dharana. Rama sacrificed all his comforts and enjoyments of royal life and endured the privations of forest life. Rama is to be taken as the ideal for the students. They should respect and obey their parents' words. The Guru, teacher, comes only after the parents.
Total renunciation leads to Self-Realisation
It is only when you reach the highest level of Sarvasangaparithyagi (one who had renounced all worldly attachments) that one can attain Self-Realisation. Prahladha had realised Puurnathvam (complete identity with the Para Brahmam, Supreme Power). He was bereft of all earthly attachments.
Saint Thyagaraja sang "Cheemalo Brahmalo" (the same Hari is in an ant and in Brahmam). When you acquire this Abhedha bhavam (non-duality), you reach the highest stage. But when an ant crawls over your body,, you don't hesitate to kill the ant. You worship the figure of a snake in the belief that God is in it, but when a live snake comes before you, you hasten to kill it. This is indicative of the way of the world. As long as you are leading the ordinary householder's life, you have to practise morality, respecting parents, loving friends and serving society.
Keep away from the ten-fold sins - the three physical, the four verbal and the three mental. Physical tendencies are: injury to life, adulterous desire and theft. The verbal sins are: false alarm, cruel speech, jealous talk and lies. The mental attitudes are: greed, envy and the denial of God.
– Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Selected Excerpts From This Discourse