1. Vedic Declarations
Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 16 (1983)
ONE should yearn not for the prolongation of life but for the purification of life. A few moments as Hamsa, the Celestial Swan, are far more precious than many years as the crow. In order to sublimate the low yearnings of man, to lead him along the path of holiness and to hold before him the glorious destiny of his oneness with the Cosmic Consciousness, the identity of the Jeeva (individual) and the Dheva (Universal), the Vedas (ancient revealed scriptures) have laid down many lessons, in profound axioms summarising realisable Truths. Each Veda has one central declaration or Mahavakya or Mahamanthra around which it revolves. PRAJNAANAM BRAHMA is the Holy Declaration of the Rig Veda. Prajnanam means constant integrated awareness. This is present and active, in all things, at all places, all the time. It energises the physical, mental and spiritual realms, the lower, middle and higher regions and the sub-human, human, and super-human beings. The three periods of Time - the nether, spatial and heavenly worlds, and the three modes of being - goodness, passion and inertia (Sathwa, Rajas and Thamas) - are all pervaded and permeated by Prajnanam (total awareness) or Chaithanya (pure consciousness).
Aham implies a total composite Personality
AHAM BRAHMAASMI is the Holy Declaration of the Yajur Veda. It is a component of three words Aham, Brahma and Asmi. Aham implies a total, a composite: Personality. Man is subjected to countless thoughts, desires and resolutions, called "Sankalpa". The very first Sankalpa that nestles in the mind of man is Aham or I-ness. Other ideas or thoughts leading to action can enter the mind only after Aham has struck root. Earlier than that event, no acceptance or rejection, no Sankalpa can find a place. The I-ness persists in the gross body of the waking stage, the subtle body of the dream stage and the causal body of the deep sleep stage. It persists through all three states. The One that permeates in all three is the I, the ham. I is the universal response, whether I ask who is Gokak or who is Sudharshan or who is Chakravarthi. From every, one, the answer arises, I, I, I. I is in every one, the core of all.
Next, we have the expression Brahma-Asmi, (I am Brahman). This truth can be made clear by an example. To curdle milk and get curds for use, we add a small. quantity of curd itself to the milk. Then all the milk turns into curds. Wherefrom did we get the curd, initially? From milk which was similarly treated. The years of life are the milk: the Divine Principle. Brahman is the curd, which, when it is welcome to pervade life, converts them into a Divine Saga. This is what the Upanishaths mean when they declare that he who knows Brahman becomes Brahman (Brahmavith Brahmaiva Bhavathi). Asmi is the process of mixing, the consummation of adding, the merging, the union. When it happens, Aham becomes Brahman. When human-ness is permeated by God-ness, man becomes God. For, what is it that takes place subsequently? The milk that has been curdled is churned by inquiry and inner probe and the soft sweet fragrant butter, Anandha (divine bliss), emanates. This Anandha can be gained only through and from the Divine. Hence it is proclaimed that Anandha is the core of all the Vedas, the fruit of all the Shasthras (the goal of all the scriptures) in all the tongues. One must have faith in this truth, or else, he will miss the fruit. I am also stressing the need for faith, very often. For, where there is faith, there is love. Where there is love, there is peace. Where there is peace, there is truth. Where there is truth, there is bliss. And, where there is bliss, there is God.
Faith arises in the heart through conviction
People, nowadays, have weakened their faith and even lost it; yet they clamour for Anandha. Anandha cannot be procured from any shop or ordered from any Company. Many enquire, "How do you develop faith? What are the reasons for faith?" One cannot define or demarcate the reasons; faith arises in the heart, through imperceptible conviction. One has faith in son and father, husband and wife, but one cannot explain why? It does not grow in the mind or as a result of external causes.
The I or Ego should not be moulded or enclosed in an "ism"; then, it becomes harmful as egoism. If the I is limited to the body and labelled on the form, it is harmful, it brings about pride and selfishness. If it is identified with the Atman (true self), it is sanctified and it leads to the mergence with the Brahman (Divine Self). Do not take the temporary, trivial body which is like a bubble as the Aham. For, what exactly is such an I? You use the words "I" and "mine" from morning till night and repeat My home, My body, My life, My senses, My, My, My, without delving into the I that owns these. When you are in deep sleep, you don't feel I, or think of the I, or worry about any My. Where does it go to, then? When the "I" leaves you even during the few hours of sleep, how can it be with you during the permanent sleep from which you do not wake? Sleep is a short death; death is a lasting sleep. Consider the attachments that develop between the one and the other. Then, you can arrive at the truth, Aham Brahmasmi.
There is nothing in the Universe higher than God
THATH THWAM ASI is the holy declaration of the Sama Veda - That thou art. Thath (That) was in existence before creation and is in existence subsequently too. It is the Principle of Total Consciousness, the totality of Being and Becoming, encompassing and transcending the physical, mental and spiritual reaches, "beyond the horizon of expression and imagination" (Yatho Vacho Nivarthanthe, aprapya manasa sah). The Cosmos did not originate from God; It is God. There is nothing "Other"; "there is no Second." Some people ask, "Have you seen God?" Reply, "I have." Then they ask, "Where is He? Show Him to us." If He is in one specific place, you can point your finger in that direction and say "He is there." But, this microphone before Me is God; this garland on this table is God; this handkerchief is God. There is nothing in the Universe higher than God, different from God, distinct from God. He is the "Thath" (That). It is the Omnipresent (Eternal Awareness Chaithanya. It is referred to as Thath (That), since we now imagine It to be distant, far from us. Far from where? Yes. Far from your body, your senses, your mind, your reasoning faculty which are all equipped only with limited capabilities. But, once your intuitive consciousness is aroused, the "far" is "close."
The Atma shines within the cave of the heart
The Vedas announce It to be "duurath duure, anthike cha" (farther than the farthest, also closer than the closest). "Thwam" ("Thou") is the body-sense-mind-reason complex. This too is That, as confirmed by the verb, asi (art). When you are engaged in reading the prayers of a book, what exactly is happening? The hand is holding, the eyes are seeing, reason is judging, and the mind is reacting to the flood of feeling. "Thou" is the composite of hand and eye, reason and mind. "Thou" is the mould, the Akara (the form). "That" is the core, the genuineness, the svabhava. To realise the identity of the two, one has to resort to the sadhana (spiritual discipline) of meditation. Meditation is the process of sublimating concentration (which concerns itself with the realm of the senses), leading into contemplation (which concerns itself with the realm of mind and reason), resulting in real meditation (which concerns itself with the realm unreachable by logic or .thought or even imagination). This declaration is enshrined in the Sama Veda, whose hymns are musical and have to be sung as part of holy rites. Music is an excellent medium for harmonising Thou and That, the Human with the Divine. Of course, the song/ms to emerge from prema (selfless love), not from greed for fame or profit. When rain pours, the sheet of water brings together earth and sky. So too, the shower of Love-lit song can bring Thou and That together. Asi (art) can be consummated. AYAM AATHMA BRAHMA is the Holy Declaration of the Atharva Veda, the Fourth among the Vedas. It means, "This Atma is Brahman." It implies' 'that the Individual Self is the untarnished, unaffected Witness of the activities of the Body-Mind Complex. The lamp illumines the area around it. One person falsities accounts so that he can escape paying tax; another writes the Name of Rama as a sadhana; another person takes advantage of the light to lay his hands on articles to steal. The lamp is the witness. The Atma too shines within the cave of the heart. One should engage oneself in sacred activity, with the inspiration of that illumination. Many people who come to Me ask, "Swami! We are striving to control the mind but it runs about like a maddened dog. How am I to succeed?" Therein lies a wrong step. The mind is beyond contact, for it is attached to the senses. Control the senses; let them not draw you into the objective world. By this means, the mind can be made an instrument of illumination and not of delusion. The truth will then dawn, this Atma is Brahman. The splendour of this awareness will drive away the darkness of ignorance. There can be no thamas (ignorance) where there is jyothi (light). The Atma (Self) is jyothi (self-luminous). The Gayathri Manthra helps to uproot nescience by invoking the splendour of the Sun to illumine the buddhi (intellect), the faculty of thought. That splendour will reveal the identity of Ayam Atma, of this self (individualised) with Brahmam (the Cosmic Overself). Discourse on New Year Day
Truth will always triumph; do not doubt that in the least. There are two eight-lettered axioms in the Geetha, which support the Vedhic dictum: Sathyam eva jayathe na anritham (Truth only wins, not falsehood): They are, Samshayatma vinashyathi (He who doubts is destroyed), and Shraddavan labhate jnanam (Steady faith wins true wisdom). If people are slaves of doubt, how can they save themselves?
– Sri Sathya Sai Baba