Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 11 (1971 - 72)
The three bodies

M AN is engaged in ceaseless search for happiness; but, he is incapable of defining what exactly is the essential component of happiness. So, he flits from one objective gain to another, ever discontented with himself, ever bothered by disappointment. He tries to possess, to accumulate, to acquire more and more of external junk, which cloud his vision and dulls his appetite for gains for lasting value. When can a man say, "I am fully happy; I need no more?" What is the nature of joy or comfort that external objects can give? Man does not pause to inquire. He is unaware that he himself is the embodiment of the highest and the most lasting happiness or Anandha (Bliss). That flaw has led him into disaster and disease. Before seeking happiness through the senses, the mind and the intellect, man has to examine whether he is a bundle of senses, or a mind playing with them or an intellect that rationalises the mental cravings. The body is the gross body; the water which it is intended to contain and carry is the subtle body; the reality of the potter who shaped it and willed it is the causal body. The three bodies which each has are called respectively Sthuula (gross), Suukshma (subtle) and Karana (causal). Physical and vital sheaths are sthuula, mental and the intellectual sheaths are the Suukshma, and the Blissful or Anandhamaya sheath is the Karana or Causal body of man. Behind the Anandha is the spring of Anandha, the Atma.
Three stages of Wisdom related to three bodies
There are three stages of wisdom correlated to those three bodies: Jnana, Sujnana and Vijnana. Knowledge that is gained by the analysis of the objective world and the similarities of the behaviour of its components is Jnana. When this knowledge is further studied and practised to subserve the best interests of the individual society, it becomes Sujnana, or beneficial wisdom. The intentions and urges that arise from the purified consciousness saturated with the Divine qualities emanating from the sage is Vijnana, the Highest Wisdom. It is to be noted that the word Vijnana is often misused to indicate mere Jnana, or co-ordinated information, analysed information about sense perceptions arising out of contact with the material objective world. Bharatheeya Culture uses the word for the Supreme Wisdom, which denotes the seer, the saint.
Intelligence, intellect, intuition - these three govern the thoughts and actions of man. One leads to another. This is the significance of the prayer with which Gandhi awakened the urge of liberation in this vast country, liberation not only from alien rule but also from alien tendencies and trends of thought. He caused the reverberation all over the land from a million throats of the prayer, Sabko sanmathi dhe Bhagavan - "O Lord! Grant every one the equipment of beneficent intelligence." Once that is assured, progress is certain.
Lessons to be learnt from Hanuman's mission to Lanka
Once the intelligence is purified and dedicated to spiritual effort, there should be no slipping back whatever the obstacle, whatever the temptation. Hanuman, charged with the mission of discovering the place where Ravana had confined Seetha, decided that he should take a leap over the sea towards Lanka to search for her in that island of Ram that he carried in his heart and on his tongue. A mountain immersed at the bottom of the sea felt a strong urge to do him some little service, for, he was the instrument of God, and engaged in an exhausting adventure! Its name was Mynaka. It rose above the waters and called upon Hanuman to rest awhile on its crest, and refresh himself with the fruits upon the trees that grew thereon. Hanuman declined to delay his landing in Lanka; he was engaged in a Divine Mission, which brooked no rest, no delay, no dallying. He turned a deaf ear to the importunities of Mynaka, and sped forward to fulfil the command of the Lord. Ponder over this incident: Consider the compassion and the eagerness to serve which the 'inert' massive mountain felt! Consider the steadfastness, the un-deviating faith, the single-pointed loyalty of the monkey, Hanuman! Do they not teach invaluable lessons to man - lessons of heart that melts at suffering, a head that refuses to swerve from the path of duty? The whole duty of man is to engage himself in good acts with the gross body, scatter good thoughts and good influences around him with his subtle body, and earn self-realisation and Bliss through his causal body.
To search for God with the instruments of the laboratory is like trying to cure pain in the stomach by pouring drops into the eye. There is a technique and a special instrument for that purpose, which the pastmasters in that science have developed and spoken about.
Equip yourselves with a clear eye, through detachment and love, sharpen your sense of discrimination, viveka, so that it has no prejudice or predilection; then, you can see God in you, around you, in all that you know and feel and are.
– Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Selected Excerpts From This Discourse