This Bhagavatha is a dialogue between a person under the sentence of death and a great saint, who prepared him to meet it. We’re all under a sentence of death; our hearts, like muffled drums, are beating funeral marches to the grave. Some reach it late, some soon. We require the counsel of a great saint to prepare us, too, for meeting Death and witness the horizon beyond.
The Bhagavatha is a Ganga, emerging from the Lord and merging in Him after a long journey through geographic descriptions, historic annals, philosophic disquisitions, hagiological narratives, epistemological enquiries, and after fertilising the vast valleys of human minds with the pure pellucid waters of Krishna episodes.
Bhagavan has come again as Sathya Sai for the revival of dharma among men. One important aspect of that revival is the reestablishment of reverence for the ancient spiritual texts, like the Bible, the Koran, the Zend Avestha, the Tripitaka, the Vedas, and the Bhagavatha. Reverence can spring at the...
This must be said of this book: It is the authentic Voice of the Divine Phenomenon, that is setting right the moral codes and behaviour of millions of men and women today. And, so, it merits careful and devoted study.
The Lord has declared that when ethical standards fall and man forgets or ignores His glorious destiny, He will Himself come down among men and guide humanity along the straight and sacred path. The Lord has come; He is guiding those who accept the guidance; He is calling on all who have strayed away to retrace their steps. Baba’s love and wisdom know no bounds, His grace knows no obstacle. He is no hard taskmaster; His solicitude for our welfare and real progress is overwhelming.
Bhagavan has announced Himself as the Divine Teacher of Truth, Beauty, and Goodness. By precept and example, through His writings and discourses, letters and conversations, He has been instilling the supreme wisdom and instructing all mankind to translate it into righteous living, inner peace,...
People are bundles of impulses and intentions, and giving free rein to the impulses reduces their innate divinity and inner peace. The impulses are the fuel, the intentions are the fire. The fire can be put out only by placing the fuel aside. The dying down of the fire is the attainment of peace. Dive deep into the ocean of peace and earn the invaluable pearl, the bliss of the Atma (Atma-ananda). When that opportunity is seized, one becomes the personification of the effulgent, the holy state of peace. That is why the Vedas declare that people are the embodiment of peace. Therefore, don’t delude yourself by imagining that you are the seat of disquiet and untruth. Know that you are the embodiment of peace, that love is the blood that flows in your veins, and that your very nature is joy; realize this by actual practice and experience.
Without peace, it is impossible to see the truth. Just as the rays of the sun are necessary for the blossoming flower and the ripening fruit, so the ray...
What exactly is liberation? It is samadhi or peace attained through the spiritual discipline of the cleansing of the inner person - the spiritual discipline of negating the impressions that one gets through seeing, hearing, reading, learning, doing, and getting done. People suffering unbearable physical agony don’t take any interest in entertainment, do they? Similarly, a sincere seeker and devotee can have no interest in the world’s theatre of objective pleasure and petty passion. These inferior desires have first to be renounced and checked. They lie at the root of all misery. Passion is the product of delusion; it dwells in the mansion of activity (rajas). Renunciation or detachment (vairagya) is resident in the pure quality (sathwic guna). Passion is demonic (a-suric) in nature. Passion, ignorance, and egotism are all born of delusion. Passion brings about death, while detachment brings about liberation; it is wisdom.
Stabilizing oneself in detachment is itself the highest aust...
The wayward mind wanders hither and thither, but it is possible to fasten it on one fixed point by means of steady discipline and persistent training in spiritual discipline. This condition is called one-pointedness (ekagratha).
It is also referred to as single-mindedness (dharana). The uninterrupted flow of oil from one vessel to another is a fine symbol of the mental process called single-mindedness.
For novices in spiritual practice, concentration appears to be very difficult to attain because, after some progress is won, they do not usually keep up the practice. Instead, they give it up; even though they do not have peace of mind on days when they desist from spiritual practice.
Concentration endows one with divine joy, wisdom beyond measure, inner vision, insight into the deeper truths, clearer understanding, and unison with the Godhead. This science of spiritual discipline (sadhana) is more wonderful than the three worlds!
Monkey meditation: harmful to spiritual progress
Of course, such love will dawn only after knowing the glory and splendour of the Lord as well as His innate characteristics of omniscience, omnipotence, and immanence in all creation. One who is endowed with love of this nature, one who lives always with the Lord - that one will certainly be liberated.
What does the expression “to know God” mean? It means “to love God”. Knowledge without devotion produces hatred; such knowledge leads to misused power; it is not knowledge worth the name; it is ignorance, mistaken for its opposite. It is only through devotion that wisdom becomes established and deep rooted.
What is the sign of a wise person (jnani)? It is love, the possession of ever-widening love. When devotion, or in other words love toward the Lord, dawns, ignorance will vanish step by step. Devotion and hatred cannot coexist; they are contradictory. Devotion and love, however, are of the same nature.
The worldly person is infected with love only toward material objects, but t...
Dhritharashtra, Gandhari, and Vidura reached the forest. Vidura searched for a site where they could practise austerities. He also advised them on the best means of seeking self-realisation. They spent the days in holy company and holy thoughts.
Dharmaraja finds Dhritharashtra missing
Meanwhile, in Hasthinapura, as soon as the sun rose, Dharmaraja woke up, finished his ablutions, and performed the ritual worship of the “household fire”. He gave away in charity the usual daily gifts to the needy. He then went on foot toward the palace of Dhritharashtra, his paternal uncle, as was his wont, for he never began his daily round of duties without taking on his head the dust of his uncle’s feet.
The king and queen were not in their chambers. So he waited for some little time, expecting them to return, looking for them all around, even while he was waiting anxiously for their return. But he noticed that the beds were not slept upon, the pillows didn’t bear marks of use, and the furnitu...
The word light (jyothi) in the Upanishads does not connote the physical light of the material world. When material limits or qualifications like feet are specified, how can the immanent, all-pervasive entity be indicated?
Such a limited or qualified phenomenon cannot become the object of adoration and meditation. When the word light is understood to mean the light having certain natural characteristics, it cannot signify Brahman, the Universal Absolute.
Divine light shines everywhere
The hymn in praise of the cosmic Person declares:
Padosya vishwa bhuthani.The entire cosmos, with all its component elements,is but one quarter of His glory.
Therefore, the cosmic Person is beyond bounds, measures, or degrees. The divine light (jyothi) illumines Heaven and beyond and reveals even Brahman. That which makes known by its splendour the era preceding the origin of living beings and the regions beyond even the farthest and the highest, “That” is indicated by the ...
Dharma cannot be restricted to any particular society or nation, for it is closely bound with the fortunes of the entire living world. It is a flame of light that can never be extinguished. It is untrammelled in its beneficent action. Krishna taught the Gita to Arjuna, but He intended it for the whole of humanity. Arjuna was just an excuse.
That very Gita is today correcting all mankind. It is not for any particular caste, religion, or nation; it is the very breath for humans everywhere.
Dharma expresses itself in a variety of forms. Sometimes, it is known by the people who codified it, like Manu-dharma, sometimes by the group that followed it, like caste-dharma, sometimes by the stage of life to which it is applied, like householder-dharma, and so forth. But these are subsidiary practical details and not the fundamental norm. The Atma-dharma, the divine dharma, is what I am speaking of.
Practical dharma, or rules of good behaviour (achara-dharma), relates to temporary matters and prob...
When the cause is known, one can know all consequences. The entire universe, that is, the moving and the unmoving, everything formed from the five primordial elements and hence named composite of the five elements (prapancha), was projected by the divine Will. It is a consequence of the will of God, which is the cause.
No consequence can happen without a precedent cause. However, the cause has two aspects, the material cause (upadana karana) and the efficient cause (nimitta karana).
God, both the material and the efficient cause of cosmos
The material cause is primary, earlier than the product. It is the entire basis, the total basis on which the product rests. Consider a silver cup, for example. The cup has no existence apart from silver. When the silver, which can be shaped into a cup, is absent, the product is also absent. Silver is the material cause. In other words, before the form “becomes”, the “Being” is and has to be.
The cup is the form imposed...