18. Tame the mind and realise the Self
Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 26 (1993)
Tame the mind and realise the Self
EMBODIMENTS of love! To see the lamp that gives light you don't need another lamp. So also no other means of cognition is needed to realise the self-effulgent Atma or Self. The Self is changeless. The Buddhi (intellect) has no light of its own but it shines by the effulgence of the Atma. If the intellect is able. to apprehend and judge everything in the world, it is due to the power of the Self. Buddhi or intellect is based on Medha shakthi (intelligence). The power of the intellect is only a reflection, of Atma Chaithanya (the effulgence of the Atma). The mind has two aspects, as doer and experiencer. It is the cause of the sense of attachment and possession. Human action is more evident in the wakeful state than in the dream state or deep sleep state. In the deep sleep state, the Super Intellectual Consciousness is shining and the mind, senses and intellect are dormant. Just as a red hot iron glows more brilliantly than fire itself, though the fire is the cause thereof, the individual intellectual consciousness shines more because of the Cosmic Consciousness. When the mind is dormant in the deep sleep state, the Super Mind becomes active. In this state, man has no desire or fear or anxiety.
Control the mind and rise higher
Man is bound by the mind and the senses. In the pursuit of the spiritual path, first of all the mind should be brought under control. When the mind is steady, you reach the state of Super-Mind. In this state there is no room for physical or transient worldly feelings. As long as the mind is pure, no evil can enter the heart. When it is polluted with bad feelings," there is room for evil thoughts to breed.
We have to recognise the fact that human life depends on the functioning of the mind. As long as one is governed by the mind one continues to be human. Once one goes beyond the mind, one can enjoy the vastness of the limitless expanse of Cosmic Consciousness. Here is an example: Suppose you construct a spacious house with a number of bed rooms, living rooms, dining room and bath room. The spacious house appears divided into a number of small rooms. This is because of the walls put up for partitioning into rooms. If the walls are pulled down, the house will be one vast mansion. Similarly, the body is the Upadhi (wall) which limits one's perception to the narrow confines of the body. Once you get rid of this body consciousness, you will experience the vast expanse of the Universal Cosmic Consciousness which is all-pervasive. Just as the hands, ears, eyes and legs are all angas (limbs or organs) of individual human body, the bodies of all human beings are the limbs of society. Again, society itself is a limb of mankind. And humanity is a limb of Prakrithi (Nature)and Prakrithi is a limb of Divinity. One should understand this Anga-Angee-Bhava - relationship between Divinity and human beings, in the proper perspective.
Realise that the heart is the seat of Divinity
Though man is endowed with Buddhi (intelligence), he is not able to master the senses. One should understand the great significance of human life, which is superior to that of all other species. Because of the body consciousness, man is forgetting his inherent divinity. You study a great deal about Prakrithi (Nature) and worldly things, and lead an artificial life, without realising that the heart is the seat of Divinity. If you allow bad feelings to enter the heart, it will be polluted and the Divine will have no place therein. The whole world today is replete with pollution of not only the individual senses but also the five elements. The air is impure; water is polluted and everything you see or hear or touch is polluted. How can you expect to have peace in the world? Vedantha teaches that we should go beyond the mind and realise the inner vision to prevent bad feelings entering the heart and polluting the seat of God.
Rama, when questioned by Sage Agastya why he acted like a man, asked him "Am I God?" It is because of the body-consciousness that one does not realise his divinity. The body is just an instrument. We eat to sustain the body. We need food for the protection of the body and clothes for protection from cold and heat. The body is a source of all diseases arising out of thrishna (desire). Desire gives rise to Raga and Dhvesha (attachment and hatred). There is nothing wrong in having desires for food, shelter and clothing. It is excessive desire that causes attachment and disappointment. Desire should be within limits. It should not become a hidden sickness. The desire to hoard is not there in birds and beasts, but it is rampant only among human beings. Man loses his human quality because of this greed for hoarding for selfish purposes.
Refinement is needed for transformation
How is man to be transformed? Here is an example. If there is a piece of charcoal, it cannot be made white by applying soap. You know that the charcoal came out of wood. The wood when put into fire became charcoal. When the charcoal is put back in the same fire, it burns fully and becomes glowing white. The charcoal was originally wood and when the wood was burnt, it turned into the middle form of charcoal and when it was further burnt, it reached the end form of ash, which is Vibhuuthi, representing the end-form of all beings. This teaches the truth that all materials in the world must be refined by fire and reach the final state of Brahman. The human body also reaches this end. But the inner reality of man is permanent. This is the significance of human life. God is "Sarvabhootha antharatma" - the Indweller in all beings, but there is no change in the Atma. Human lives will continue to be generated like the waves of the ocean. But the ocean of Cosmic Consciousness remains unchanged.
The universe is the form of God
Suppose you make am idol of Krishna in silver. All parts of the idol are silver. When you see the form of Krishna in the idol, you are not aware of the silver. When you want to see only the silver out of which the idol is made, the form is out of your view. Similarly when you turn your mind towards God, who is pervading the entire Universe, the mind will be wholly filled with God and you won't see the different forms of the objects in the world. If the mind is directed towards worldly objects, you fail to see the Divinity that pervades all objects. "Vishvam Vishnu Svaruupam" - The Universe is the form of God. God is the cause and the Universe is the effect. Failure to understand the cause and the effect results in delusion. The most precious human life is devalued. A beggar calls himself an anatha (one without anyone to support him), while asking for alms. This is not correct. For everyone, God is the Natha (support). It is only God who is Anatha, because there is no one above Him. Thyagaraja considered Rama as his saviour and protector and did not care for the wealth of the world. He considered service at Rama's feet as the greatest treasure. Kabeer was a poor weaver and he used to share his food with others. When the King sent gold and provisions to him through his officials, Kabeer exclaimed: "For whom has the king sent all these?" They said: "The King sent these things to you as you are anatha (helpless)." He replied: "I am not without support. Rama is my Natha (master). You cannot say I have none to support me. It is only Rama who has none to support Him. Give these to Him." Kabeer said Anatha means God. We should understand the correct meanings of words.
Body comes and goes but the Atma is eternal.
Embodiments of the Divine! Have faith in Atma alone. The body, mind and intellect are all like the dresses you wear. Do you cry when you change your old clothes to new? Death is a change of dress. Because of the long association you have established with the body, you cry at the time of death. If you consider the relationship as temporary, you won't cry. You must attach yourself only to God and not to anyone or anything in the world. God is permanent friend. After death, where does the Atma go? This is a question on many people's minds. What happens to the Atma after the body is cast off and how long does it take to be re-born? These are ridiculous questions. This can be explained by an example. If you put on the switch, the bulb burns because of the electric energy flowing through it. When the bulb is removed, nothing happens to the energy which is still there, though bulb is gone. Similarly, the body comes and goes but the Atma is eternal. Embodiments of the Divine Atma! You must get rid of all narrow ideas and attitudes. All worldly things are like passing clouds. There is only one that is permanent and changeless. That is Brahmathathva. It should be realised through the path of pure Love.
There are three categories of human beings. There are those who have faith in God, there are those who have no faith in God, and there are those who are indifferent. For instance, in a bush there is a flower, its fragrance goads those who have faith in God to search for its source. These can be termed as Asthikas or believers. Then there are those who enjoy the fragrance but do not bother to question about the source - these can be termed as the believing non-believers. There are yet others who are neither looking for the flower nor perceiving its fragrance. They may be termed as non-believers. We presume that the non-believers are those who have no faith in God, but in fact it is not true. There can be no one who has no faith in himself. All people who have faith in themselves are believers.
– Sri Sathya Sai Baba