What is the Purpose of Human Birth

Spiritual LadderSwami says that ‘We are born; not to be born again’. This world is a workshop where a soul is born only to complete the lessons which it failed to learn during its previous visits. East visit to this workshop, allows us to learn the spiritual lessons, pass the test and move to a higher class with a more refined intellect and broader consciousness. Just as the accountant transfers all records of profits/loss into next financial year, we carry our Karma (good or bad deeds) and our Samskaras (tendencies, habits, likes and dislikes) to the next life. Every spiritual lesson that has been learnt, practised and assimilated in this lifetime is like climbing one step closer towards the source. Our consciousness continues to grow and expand, reaching higher and higher planes, over many lifetimes.

This is just a theory but I believe that if we chart the path of our spiritual progress e.g. growth of our consciousness through accumulated learning over a period of time, it may not look linear or sequential but more like a fibonacci sequence. All the trials and tribulations we face in our lives are nothing but ongoing tests so see if we have learned the lesson properly and ready to be promoted to the next level. If not, we are sent back to the previous class and the cycle continues.

“Obstacles that come in the way are often treated with a certain amount of resentment by the pilgrims on the spiritual path; these tests are to be treated as ensuring safety. You drive a nail into the wall to hang a picture thereon; but before hanging the picture, you try to see whether the nail has been well driven in by shaking it; when you are certain it does not shake even when all your strength is used, you become bold enough to hang the picture on it. You must welcome tests because they give you confidence and ensure promotion.” – Swami

Some people may not believe in rebirth but it It would be ludicrous to think that Buddha attained the state of Nirvana in one lifetime only. Most of the enlightened masters like Ramana Maharshi, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Gautam Buddha (and many more) were able to shed the coils of this samsara (worldly entanglements) effortlessly just like a fruit falls from the tree in a ripened state on its own without any external agency. Let us take the example of “Buddha”. Gautam Buddha was disgusted by the pitiable state of humanity suffering from diseases, old age and death; yet seeking enjoyment from the senses and getting entangled into this worldly mire deeper and deeper. We see those exact same sights around us everyday but we do not renounce this world and walk away from it to seek the truth like Buddha did. It is because our consciousness has not reached that elevated or ripened state yet. Life is a journey of continuous expansion from Koham (Who am I) to Soham (I am That). We are all on the same spiritual journey whether we know it or not.

When the sun rises, all the buds of lotus in the lake will not open out in full bloom. Only those which are full grown can blossom; so the rest have to bide their time and grow. – Swami

spiritual journey

You are neither the body, nor the mind

Swami says that that our true nature is ‘Sat’ (Being), ‘Chit’ (Awareness) and ‘Ananda’ (Bliss) apart from our given name and form. Liberation, Samadhi, Nirvana, Mukti, Moksha are mere words to describe that state of consciousness which is beyond duality. Such equanimity of mind (‘Sama’ + ‘Dhi’) is attained only after all doubts vanish and the knowledge of our true self shines forth like a bright sun in a cloudless sky in our inner firmament. Moksha (‘Moha’ + ‘Kshaya’) simply signifies the end of delusion that we are neither the body, not the mind but the eternal Atman which is our true reality. Holy Scriptures tell us that only by Divine grace can one get these three things: human birth, desire for liberation and contact with a great master to show us the way. Swami addresses us as Divyatma Swaroopa Lara and Prema Swaroopa Lara. This means we must realize our true identity as embodiments of divine atma and divine love. So let us think about what causes this pain and suffering; this constant state of fear and restlessness instead of experiencing the eternal peace and bliss which is our birth right?

Master the Mind and be a Master Mind

This world is nothing but a projection of our mind. ‘Mano Moolam Idam Jagath‘, The mind is the basis for all creation. Therefore, the mind is the key for getting either bound to or liberated from this world. Turning the mind towards the world gets us bound to it whereas turning the mind towards God liberates us and takes us to eternal freedom.

Swami says ‘The real cause of sorrow is attachment to the body, identifying oneself with the body. All sorrow arises from the feelings of ‘I’ and ‘Mine’. It is very essential to reduce deha-abhimanam (attachment to the body). Desires are a source of pleasure, but they are also the cause of your grief. You must bring your mind under control. Even thousands of men cannot hold back a fast-moving train. But the train comes to a complete stop the moment brake is applied. The vagaries of your mind are just like that. When you control your mind, all sorrows will cease.’  However, this is easier said than done. Controlling the mind is an uphill task. Bhagawan often refers to the human mind as a monkey mind. To add it further, He says, it is like a monkey that is drunk and also bitten by a scorpion! How then can we put a check to the vagaries of this mind and turn it inwards towards our true Self (God)?

In the spiritual sphere, the responsibility for success or failure is entirely one’s own. You have no right to shift it on to others. The fire will rage only as long as it is fed with fuel. Hence, do not add fuel to the fire of the senses. Detach the mind from the evanescent and attach it to the eternal. – Swami

spiderwebWhat we sow is what we reap. There is no other judge, jury and executioner condemning us to heaven or hell as they only exist in our own mind. Just as a spider weaves its own web out of itself and sits at the centre of it, we create our own world by projecting our thoughts, words and actions outside. The entire creation is bound up with name and form and is thus unreal. It can be described in words, so it is limited and circumscribed by the intellect and the mind.  True consciousness lies beyond the duality of pleasure and pain, praise and ridicule, loss or gain, desire and attachments. Someone appears to us as a friend or a foe depending on the projection of our own egotistical mind and its multifarious likes and dislikes. We are fearful of this world just as one would who imagines a snake in place of a rope in a dimly lit room. The moment, he lights a lamp and sees the rope for what it is, his fear vanishes immediately.

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; We are Spiritual beings having a human experience.

See God in Everything

Asatoma Sadgamaya ‘Lead us from unreal to real’ is not just a Vedic prayer for chanting, it should be the ultimate goal of our life.

BE IN THE WORLD, BUT, NOT OF IT

Pleasure and pain are tightly interwoven and one follows the other almost as certainly as the night follows the day. One cannot escape from the inherent duality of this world without understanding its true nature. Just as a deer chasing a mirage in the desert; hoping to find an oasis to quench its thirst, ends up with hot sand instead of water, we humans, driven by our senses also run after the physical objects of this world without discrimination; end up feeling equally dejected. The moment we see this objective world for what it is, a mere illusion; impermanent and full of misery; it will cease to bother us anymore. Just like the entire river of water cannot sink a boat unless it gets inside the boat, a wise person who knows the true nature of this world, lives in it but does not get affected by it.

Faith in God and detachment from objective pursuits are the keys for human liberation. Give up sense-objects; you gain Rama. Sita gave up the luxuries of Ayodhya and so, she could be with Rama, in the period of ‘exile’. When she cast longing eyes on the golden deer and craved for it, she lost the Presence of Rama. Renunciation leads to joy; attachment brings about grief. Be in the world, but, not of it. – Swami

pouring water into glass

Another Example: If you keep pouring water into an an empty glass, the more water you add, less room remains for the air to occupy. Similarly once we fill and saturate our lives with God, there is little room left for the outside world to enter and trouble us. Rama (Divinity) and Kama (Desire) cannot co-exist. Swami advises us to always keep ourselves busy with worldly activities but keep our thoughts firmly centred on God in silent contemplation. ‘Mukh mein Raam, Haath mein Kaam‘ or ‘Hands in Society and Head in Forest‘ should always be our motto. As Kabir famously said in a Doha (couplet), “na ghar tera na ghar mera, chidiya rain basera re“, The body is not yours but an inn where you (Atma) dwell for a short while and depart, Just like the birds that rest on the tree at night and fly away in the morning (without getting attached to the tree).

Atma is Ever Full, Ever Pure, and Self-luminous

Unfortunately, today we tend to forget this true and eternal ‘Atma’ and develop faith in the ephemeral world. We weave a web of imagination around the pleasures that this transient world would offer. Ultimately, we land ourselves in sorrow and difficulties. The ‘Atma’ is the only entity that is true, eternal and changeless. Everything else undergoes change from time to time. Even in the case of the human body, it passes through different stages like childhood, adolescence, youth and old age. But, the individual remains the same through all these changes. Today, man adapts himself to continuous changes in time, situations and environment. One who changes himself thus is not a human being in the real sense. Who is a real human being? One who does not undergo a change; one whose faith in the ‘Atma’ (self) is firm and steady. That is self-confidence. One who develops that self confidence can find a place for himself permanently in the history of the world.

Here is an example. In a marriage feast, everyone sits in a line for food and they begin to serve some Laddus. After some have been served, a few may say that they do not want Laddus, not because they do not like them, but because they are diabetics. The Nasthikas are like this. They are suffering from the disease of non-belief and therefore they say that they have nothing to do with God. In fact, they do want to know about Him. Some other people, however, even though they have no disease, say that they do not want the Laddus just because they want to imitate others who are saying so. As in this analogy, seeing some people say, that there is no God, several other foolish people also say that there is no God. This is a ludicrous situation. Either you should surrender to God or you should be able to follow your own dictates, but you should not reveal your hollowness by merely imitating others. You should develop self-confidence and with that you will get self-satisfaction. Once you acquire self-satisfaction, you will be able to show self-sacrifice and this will result in self-realisation. Self-realisation thus ultimately depends on the base of self-confidence. – Summer Showers May 1973

rumi-quote

Discover Divinity through the eye of wisdom or of love

Some declare that they will believe only in a God that can be seen or demonstrated. This is the usual argument of the worldly minded. But it is not easy to see the Highest Atma, which is subtler than the subtlest, with gross physical eyes. You must first get command over a powerful microscope, one fit for the purpose. Either the eye of wisdom or the eye of love is wanted; only with these can you see God. Just like sugar in cane juice or sweetness in sugar, the supreme Atma (Paramatma) is ever immanent in creation; He is the inner core of all beings. He is everywhere, always in everything; He has no form; Atma is “without body (a-thanu)”. It is the in-dweller (Purusha). Only by throwing off attachment to the body and purifying the mind and intellect can you merge in your truth and earn the eternal bliss, highest peace (prasanthi), the purest wisdom. Thus only can one earn liberation from the bond-age of birth and death. – Excerpts from Upanishad Vahini

ROAR LIKE A LION

Know thyselfSwami tells a compelling story to remind us of our true nature. A lioness was passing through a forest. It gave birth to a cub and died. This lion cub was spotted by a shepherd who took it under his care and raised it with his sheep. The baby lion grew up amongst the sheep and ate grass and bleated like the sheep. After some years, another lion was passing on the way. He was surprised to see a lion amongst sheep. This lion charged the sheep and all the sheep fled in fright. The young lion also fled along with the sheep. Finally the lion caught hold of the young lion, took him to the nearby lake and showed him his image in the water. He said, “Look, Do not quiver with fear thinking you are a mere sheep. You are not a sheep, you are a lion. Do not bleat like a sheep, but roar like a lion.”


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Love my Uncertainity

Swami’s Visit to Overseas Countries

“I have come to light the lamp of love in your hearts, to see that it shines day by day with added lustre. I have not come to speak on behalf of any particular dharma (righteousness), like the Hindu Dharma. I have not come on any mission of publicity for any sect or creed or cause; nor have I come to collect followers for any doctrine. I have no plan to attract disciples or devotees into My fold or any fold. I have come to tell you of this Universal unitary faith, this Athmic principle, this path of love, this dharma of prema, this duty of love, this obligation to love.”

Swami’s Divine Message During His Visit to Nairobi(Kenya, East Africa) in 1968 (Click on the link above to download the entire discourse)

Sri Sathya Sai Baba in East Africa

Sri Sathya Sai Baba in East Africa in 1968

Many devotees outside India invited Swami during His physical presence to visit their respective countries; often pleading with Him repeatedly at every given opportunity. Despite their numerous requests, Swami never accepted those invitations. “I have no need to see places. I am everywhere, always!” was His stock answer to all such requests. When Swami suddenly announced that he is going to visit East Africa in 1968, Mother Easwaramma was the most concerned of all as she was extremely fearful of Swami leaving Puttaparthi even for a short trip, let alone travelling to an unknown continent full of wild animals, savages and cannibals as it was rumoured in those days. She sought out a senior devotee and conveyed her worst fears to him. This devotee said, “Mother, it is true that there are many dangers in Africa. But how can they affect Swami? He is God, is he not?” Hearing this Mother Easwaramma became furious and shouted back, You fool! I know Swami is God and you know he is God. But do those savages and wild animals in Africa know he is God?” 

On the 7th July 1968, Baba addressed the first public meeting at Kampala. He told the multi-racial, multi-credal gathering, “Just as the same bloodstream circulates in all the limbs of the one body, the One Divine Principle activates the entire Universe. Do not get too involved in the turmoil of living and ignore the kinship in God that you have with all beings around you. Do not over-emphasise individual variations, but fix your attention on the universal kinship. Ignore the beads, contemplate upon the unifying eternal ever-present thread.” This was a heartening message, and it was received with enthusiastic approval by Muslims, Christians, Baha’is, Hindus and Parsis alike.

“God is the source of all love. Love God, Love the world as the vesture of God, no more no less. Through Love, you can merge in the ocean of Love. Love cures pettiness, hate and grief. Love loosens bonds; it saves man from the torment of birth and death. Love binds all hearts in the soft silken symphony. Seen through the eyes of Love, all beings are beautiful. If you pay attention to the individual, differences thrust themselves on you. Fix your attention on the Samashti (the collective), All differences vanish. Some among you relish one sweet dish more than another, others may not agree that your favorite dish is the tastiest. But whatever the dish, they are all sweetened by the same substance, Sugar; similarly, all things and all beings are sweetened by the same principle, God. – Divine Discourse at Kampala, East Africa

Seen through the eyes of love

Seen through the eyes of Love…

During the group meetings, a variety of questions were asked. “If there is a God, why cannot we see Him?” Baba replied, “Why should you seek to see God? You are God. There is nothing that is not He. Experience Him that way.” “How can we be happy always?” Baba said, “Derive joy from within. You are the Atma, the eternal spring of Ananda. Love all; no one will then hate you or envy you.” He said to the doctors: “Jealousy is the professional disease of doctors and lawyers! Be glad when another doctor earns a good reputation or remuneration; honour the affirmations you made at the Convocation where you took your degree.”

As is the Feeling, so is the Result

“When I went there, the devotees of East Africa arranged small aeroplanes. I went round the forest in one such plane. There were thousands of wild elephants in the Kampala forest. It looked as though the entire forest was full of elephants. I had taken bananas with Me and gave one each to some of them. All of them enjoyed eating it. Bisons were also seen in thousands. We saw lions lying on the road here and there. Even when we drove our jeep over their tails, they did not react. Even fierce animals will not harm us if our mind is good. They will attack us only when we try to harm them. When we look at them with love, they also will look at us with love.

Yad Bhavam Tad Bhavati (as is the feeling, so is the result). Our thoughts are the cause of their enmity or trust. As we went forward looking at the animals, we saw fifteen lions lying near the road. Some were suckling their young ones, some others were eating the meat of an animal brought by them. I said to Dr. Patel and others who accompanied Me, “When we do not harm them, they also do not harm us.” Taking a camera from one of those who accompanied Me, I went near the lions and took their photographs. All of them were happy to see Me. You can see, none of the lions did any harm to us. When you approach them with the evil intention of harming or killing them, they will also try to kill you. We should never go to them with such wicked thoughts. In fact, we should not look at any being with evil intentions.” – Excerpt from Swami’s 2007 Easwaramma Day Discourse

Read more about Swami Visit to East Africa in 1968 by clicking here


Love my Uncertainty

During his physical presence, Bhagavan has been invited umpteen number of times by overseas devotees to visit and bless their countries. Usually, Swami would just smile in reply and leave it at that. At other times, he would say, “I will come.” When devotees pressed and asked, “When Swami? We want to charter planes and start making preparations,” Baba would say enigmatically, “Wait!”

When people grumbled, “Swami, you have told so and so you will visit his country. When exactly would you do so?” He smiled and said, “Do I have to go only by plane?”

Let’s all develop the purity of heart to experience His divine presence within us and around us all the time. Let’s continue to watch the divine drama unfold by our beloved Swami and not get rattled by questions like what, when, where, why etc. May Swami bless us all.


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proof of my presence

All things seen in the universe have the unseen as their basis

Akhanda Jyothi

The cosmos is a manifestation of the Divine. Those are foolish who, upon seeing the handiworks of the Divine everywhere, think that there is no God. Without recognizing the omnipresence of God, people seek God somewhere or another. This reflects the dualistic attitude of persons who identify themselves with the body and alienate themselves from God. While God is omnipresent and can be recognized in the divine manifestations of nature, body consciousness prevents people from experiencing oneness with the Divine. How is God to be experienced? The first requisite is purity of heart. All religions have affirmed the basic importance of purity. The aim of all sadhanas (spiritual disciplines) is to achieve peace. Compassion toward all beings is devotion to God.

God cannot be experienced through the ostentatious observance of rituals and worship. Where there is mere pomp and show, there can be no divinity. The bliss of the Divine cannot be found there. As a seed will not sprout on the rocky ground, bliss of the Divine cannot be realized by worship that is devoid of humility and sincerity. Sadhanas (spiritual disciplines) are not pursued for obtaining the Atma (Divine Self). There is no need to seek the Atma, which is all-pervasive and present everywhere. Sadhanas are performed to get rid of the anatma (that which obscures the vision of the Atma or Divine Self). Man forgets his real nature and loses himself in the consciousness of what he is not. He forgets that he is the Atma in reality. In the state of deep sleep, one is totally unaware of his name, form, position, and so on. Upon waking, he realizes that the “I,” of whom he is conscious in the waking state, was present in deep sleep too. The purpose of all sadhanas is to discover the nature of the “I” that is experienced in all the three states of waking, dreaming, and deep sleep.

Infinite Soul

  • God cannot be realized by a mind that is hypocritical, calculating, or argumentative. one must have faith and sincerity. hypocrisy will not do. to the sincere, god is very near; but he is far, far away from the hypocrite.
  • You do not see god because you busy yourself with such things as name and fame and scholarship.’ the mother does not come to the child as long as it sucks its toy — a red toy. but when, after a few minutes, it throws the toy away and cries, then the mother takes down the rice-pot from the hearth and comes running to the child.
  • No one can say with finality that God is only ‘this’ and nothing else. He is formless, and again He has forms. For the bhakta He assumes forms. But He is formless for the jnani, that is, for him who looks on the world as a mere dream. The bhakta feels that he is one entity and the world another. Therefore God, reveals Himself to him as a Person. But the jnani, the Vedantist; for instance; always reasons, applying the process of ‘Not this, not this’. Through this discrimination he realizes, by his inner perception, that the ego and the universe are both illusory, like a dream. Then the jnani realizes Brahman in his own consciousness. He cannot describe what Brahman is.
  • A man thinks of God, no doubt, but he has no faith in Him. Again and again he forgets God and becomes attached to the world. It is like giving the elephant a bath; afterwards he covers his body with mud and dirt again. ‘The mind is a mad elephant.’ But if you can make the elephant go into the stable immediately after bathing him, then he stays clean. Just so, if a man thinks of God in the hour of death, then his mind becomes pure and it gets no more opportunity to become attached to ‘woman and gold’ – Selected Quotes from the Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

Eternal Source

Faith and God Are One

Many people aspire for grace, love, devotion, and humility. All these are the forms of the Atma (Divine Self). God is not different from faith. Faith and God are one and the same. Love is God, devotion is God, and they are not different entities. What is the meaning of devotion? Devotion is that which enables the unmanifested divine principle to manifest itself in the inner vision of the devotee. Then, for that devotee, nothing else will exist other than He. To reach that stage, you must discharge your duties, [while] keeping the permanent entity constantly in mind. You can cross the vast, deep ocean of worldly existence and enjoy the infinite Divinity that is its reality, with the help of a small boat. That boat is the Name of God. In the beginning of the spiritual journey, the Divine Name is the basis for progress, but it should not become a life-long support, depending entirely upon it alone. While taking a bath or giving a bath to the children, consider that you are doing the purification ritual of washing God Himself. While serving food, consider that you are offering it to God Himself. While giving food to a beggar, consider that God has come in this form, and that you are serving Him. It seems that a beggar is asking, but it is the Atma who is enjoying the food you give. When you are cutting vegetables for cooking, consider that you are cutting away your desires and ego with the knife of wisdom. While sweeping the floor, don’t lament that it keeps getting dirty again and again. Think rather that you are cleaning your own heart. If you are rolling chapathis (a flat Indian bread) at home, consider what joy it is to roll, knead, and expand your heart. In this way, you can consider every activity you undertake as being done for the sake of God. Thereupon, where is the need for separate meditation, separate penance, or separate worship?

Compassion towards all beings is true devotionLove Can Accomplish Everything Consider your heart as the Atma. Soften it and make it full of compassion. That is the only spiritual exercise you need to perform. You know that many people are coming to Prasanthi Nilayam from different parts of the world. What brings them here? Are invitations sent? Does anyone ask them to come? It is only on account of the love that is here and that is felt from heart to heart. Through love you can accomplish anything in the world. Consider love as the Atma (Indwelling God) itself. However many scriptures you may read and however many spiritual exercises you may do, if you do not allow your heart to melt with compassion, your life will be a sheer waste. All practices have to be directed toward softening your heart, so that it will overflow with kindness and love. Develop this feeling of compassion, and allow it to flow fully and spread among all the peoples of the world.

– Sri Sathya Sai Baba Discourse in Prasanthi Mandir March 30, 1987


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Devotee's prayer

Swami’s forthcoming visit to US

I have been asked about Swami’s forthcoming subtle body visit to US on the facebook page and I thought I will update the blog readers with information that is available to this date. I am not aware of any official page or contact details of the organisers other than the flyer and some background information about this forthcoming US trip.

US trip

Download the following documents to see more information.

HOTELS AND RESTAURANTS

Swami in Subtle Form – FAQ v2

DISCLAIMER: Please be mindful that this is a personal blog created to share my experience of Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s Subtle body visit to Australia. This blog is not an official source of communication from Muddenahalli. As most of the information about US trip is being passed through emails only, the information provided here has not been confirmed or verified as authentic from sources at Muddenahalli. Please communicate directly with the organisers of this trip and verify all the details beforehand.


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krishna-arjuna-dialogue

Sanathana Sarathi – Eternal Charioteer

On Shivaratri day in 1958 the monthly magazine designed to communicate the message of Bhagavan to the world was inaugurated. He named it Sanathana Sarathi. These two words taken together spell the function that Baba has taken upon Himself. Sanathana denotes His being the very source of all this ‘becoming’. In a written message to Shri. R.R. Chatterji of the Sathya Sai Seva Samithi, Calcutta, announcing the mission for which He has assumed this human form, Baba made a declaration which nobody since the days of Lord Krishna had the good fortune to listen to: 

“There was no one to know who I am till I created the world, at My pleasure, with one word. Immediately earth and sky were formed, mountains rose up, rivers started flowing, sun, moon and stars sprang out of nowhere to prove My existence. Came all forms of life – plants, insects, beasts, birds and men. Various powers were bestowed upon them under My orders. The first place was granted to man, and My knowledge was placed in man’s mind.” 

creation of worldSanathana means ‘timeless, eternal’. Baba has said that He always was, is, and ever will be. He is Sanathana, not limited in time and space, so that He can be availed of by us any time any where. The Upanishads speak of embodied beings as chariots which are drawn along by the senses (horses) through the objective world. Safety lies in choosing a knowledgeable Sarathi (charioteer) and installing him with unimpeded authority in the chariot.  – Sathyam Sivam Sundaram IV

Chariot Analogy From Katha Upanishad

Chariot Analogy From Katha Upanishad

Know that the Atman is the rider in the chariot, and the body is the chariot, Know that the Buddhi (intelligence, ability to reason) is the charioteer, and Manas (mind) is the reins. The senses are called the horses, the objects of the senses are their paths, Formed out of the union of the Atman, the senses and the mind, him they call the “enjoyer“.  – Katha Upanishad, 1.3.3-1.3.4

By taking upon Himself the role of the Sanathana Sarathi, Baba has revealed that He is the eternal Inner Motivator in all-recognized or unrecognized, acknowledged or ignored, respected or slandered. “My knowledge was placed in man’s mind,” He says. But the mind allows itself to be covered by veils, so that pure knowledge becomes warped or is denied. 
In the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna asks Krishna about the mind: Chancalam hi manah Krishna pramadi balavadrudham, meaning ‘Oh! Krishna, the mind is so fickle. How can it be controlled?’ Krishna says in another verse: Abhyasa yogena tato mamicchaptum Dhananjaya; meaning, through practice, the vacillation of this mind can be controlled. 
“God cannot be realized by a mind that is hypocritical, calculating, or argumentative. one must have faith and sincerity. hypocrisy will not do. to the sincere, God is very near; but he is far, far away from the hypocrite.” – Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

Body is like a water bubble. Mind is like a mad monkey. Don’t follow the body, don’t follow the mind. Follow the conscience. Your conscience is your witness.

There is this story in the Mahabharata when Arjuna accepts whatever Krishna says regarding the bird sitting on the tree. Krishna asks Arjuna, “Don’t you have your own discrimination? You say it is a pigeon, and then change it to a crow when I say it.” Arjuna says, “O! Krishna, I have more faith in your words than in my own wisdom.”

divine sankalpa

divine sankalpa

On one occasion Swami sang another poem which had spontaneously blossomed on His lips:

“Why does the sun rise and set everyday without delay or disruption? Why do the stars that light the sky to the delight of all eyes, hide their splendorous faces when the day dawns, and never even slyly peer to tell us where they are? Why does air always be around, giving us the breath of life? Why do these streams and rivers roar, murmur, gurgle and gossip over rock, pebble and sand, as they meander along towards the parent sea? How is it that the billions that constitute mankind, though they are caskets treasuring images of the same entity, remain distinct from each other in appearance, achievement, aspiration and attitude? This is the answer: Know that I am the One who has ordained that these be such and shall behave so.”

peacock

From the Form to the Formless

“You commence your journey from the stage of dualism and finally end up in the stage of non-dualism. You start your spiritual practice with the very ordinary type of devotion, worshipping God with form and attributes and using rituals and external forms of worship. But then you quickly progress onto the formless, the absolute aspect of the Divinity. In this way, you initially develop yourself spiritually by being a servant of God, but eventually you become fully identified with God. Consider, for a moment, a very big circle, and consider that just by its side and separate from it there is another circle, one which is very much smaller. The big circle may be thought of as God, the small one as the individual soul. Here the individual is different and distinct from God; this is dualism. When you bring the smaller circle in so that it lies within the bigger circle, you have qualified non-dualism; now the individual is part of the Divinity, he exists in God. What then is the meaning of the individual becoming totally merged in God? The small circle has to broaden itself and grow bigger and bigger until it has fully expanded to the size of the big circle. At that point the two circles are indistinguishable and man has merged himself into God. This is complete non-dualism.” – Sai Gita Compiled and edited by Al Drucker

“God is formless and attributeless, but He also assumes a form with attributes. There is sakara (with form) in nirakara (formless) and nirakara in sakara. Likewise, there is saguna (attributes) in nirguna (attributeless) and viceversa. A block of ice has a form, but it is not different from water. There can be no ice without water. When drops of water freeze, they form ice. The difference between sakara and nirakara is the same as the difference between ice and water.” – From Bhagavan’s Discourse in Sai Kulwant Hall, Prasanthi Nilayam on 17 July 1996

“You cannot discard Name and Form until you transmute yourself into the Nameless and Formless; just as the fish needed water and could not come up into the atmosphere, so long as they did not transmute themselves into land animals, giving up their aquatic nature. That is the reason why the Nameless and Formless has often to assume Name and Form, and come before humanity with limitations imposed by its own Will, so that it may be loved, respected, worshipped, listened to and followed; so that the purpose of humanity may be fulfilled.” – From Bhagawan’s Discourse on 4th March 1962


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My Mission Is Not Yet Over

My Mission Is Not Yet Over

Swami wrote to His elder brother Seshama Raju way back in 1947:

  • I have a Task: To foster all mankind, and ensure for all people lives full of Ananda.
  • I have a Vow: To lead all who stray away from the straight path, again into goodness and save them.
  • I am attached to a ‘Work’ that I love: To remove the suffering of the poor and grant them what they lack.
  • I have a reason to be proud, for I rescue all who worship and adore Me.
Ancient Vedic Hymns Describe various aspects of Divinity

Vedas describe various aspects of Divinity

God works in mysterious ways beyond human perception or comprehension. As the Vedas proclaim, He is grossest of the gross and subtlest of the subtle. Sometimes It is hard to comprehend the words of our beloved Swami, the Adi Purusha who is extolled in the ancient Vedic hymns as ‘Guna Traya Teetah’ (beyond attributes), ‘Deha Traya Teetah’ (beyond form) and ‘Kala Traya Teetah’ (beyond time). Some of his utterances may cause confusion in our minds but we should not forget that His divine sankalpa (divine will) is also Vajra Sankalpa (immutable will). 

Subtle Body Muddenhalli

Energy“No one can say with finality that God is only ‘this’ and nothing else. He is formless, and again He has forms. For the bhakta He assumes forms. But He is formless for the jnani, that is, for him who looks on the world as a mere dream. The bhakta feels that he is one entity and the world another. Therefore God, reveals Himself to him as a Person. But the jnani — the Vedantist, for instance — always reasons, applying the process of ‘Not this, not this’. Through this discrimination he realizes, by his inner perception, that the ego and the universe are both illusory, like a dream. Then the jnani realizes Brahman in his own consciousness. He cannot describe what Brahman is.” – Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

In fact Sai baba has been reminding us from the Shirdi days, that ‘Shraddha‘ (Faith) and ‘Saburi‘ (Patience) are the two most cardinal principles of Sai Mission. Shirdi Sai Baba explicitly asked for these two qualities in His devotees by giving his self-experiential instance that his ‘Murshid‘ or Master asked from him only two pice – one Shraddha and other the Saburi.

faith and patience

faith and patience

If you look back and think how the Super Speciality Hospital in the remote village of Puttaparthi was completed in record time, you would begin to understand and appreciate the subtle but precise movements of the divine cosmic will.

It is also worthwhile to reacquaint ourselves with the enormity of drinking water projects in the arid areas of Andhra Pradesh or the inspiring saga of Chennai Water project which was in ‘too hard to do basket’ for the central and state governments of India for many years. Swami simply willed it to happen. He made this announcement in his most unassuming and inimitable style when no one was expecting it. Swami said ” Let it be very difficult, Let it be the most stupendous task, Bhagavan has decided to supply drinking water to Madras.” Watch the video below to relive those moments.

I would like to share this beautiful video of how Swami’s chose Dharmakshetra in Mumbai as His Karmakshetra. On 12th May, 1968, the ‘Dharmakshetra’, an architectural jewel fittingly built on an elevated spot commanding a panoramic view of the environs of Mumbai was inaugurated. This was also the birthplace of Sathya Sai Organisation in India, Sathya Sai Seva Dal (volunteer team) and Bal Vikas (SSE or Sathya Sai Spiritual Education as it is known outside India). After watching this video, you will be filled with amazement about how the Lord chooses a place so meticulously to spread his glory and joy all around the world as part of His divine cosmic will. Listen to Indulal Shah describe this beautiful episode from the divine saga in his own words.

85 Glorious Years with Sathya Sai Baba

85 Glorious Years with Bhagavan

When Swami left his mortal coil on 24th April 2011, many devotees felt that Sai mission has come to an end and His legacy will be remembered only by the events that took place before Maha Samadhi. I think it was a test for all of us about how sincerely we believe in His words. Many devotees even those who were very closely associated with Him could not understand that Swami does not need a physical body to continue His mission. How about some of His future predictions? The following video provides a glimpse into the future about how the divine cosmic will is going to unfold in various projects all across India and the whole world.

From what I understand is that Swami is paving the way for the next Avathar Prema Sai who is going to be based in Karnataka as He predicted before. Just as a farmer starts removing weeds, leveling the ground, tilling the soil and mending fences around the farmland before the rain arrives, in my humble opinion Swami has already started preparatory work by undertaking many social welfare projects in Karnataka before the arrival of Prema Sai. Just as Swami chose Dharmakshetra in Mumbai as the very first international centre for Sai family in 1968, he has now chosen Muddenahalli for his future work through the Sookshama Shareera or the subtle body. Whether we believe in His words or not is our choice but His Glory and His divine mission would continue to spread all over the world, no matter what, that is the divine assurance of the Lord,

Proposed Mandya School Building

Proposed Mandya School Building

Super Speciality Hospital in Raipur

Super Speciality Hospital in Raipur

During the subtle body visit of Swami to Australia, Sri C. Sreenivas spoke in detail about this unique heart shaped Super Speciality Hospital in Raipur and how it was completed in a record time of 10 months. Swami personally communicated all the relevant details through Madhusudhan Rao Naidu to Sri C. Sreenivas during various stages of this project.

If you drink water from a silver tumbler or a gold tumbler or a glass tumbler, what is most important is that the thirst should be quenched. It is not the tumbler that quenches the thirst, it is the water. As long as there is pure love, whichever organization or whichever group, it does not matter to me. As long as it serves humanity and through service, they will purify themselves. Ocean may be very big, but even if you have a small boat, you will be able to cross over the ocean. You don’t need to get as big a boat as is the ocean. Likewise, even a few good people can take people across. A few good people is all that is required, who are self sacrificing, who have no other motive other than helping others. If you help others, I will help you. – Subtle Body Discourse KL 13th March 2015

During the inauguration of  Sri Sathya Sai Centre for Human Excellence, Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli on 19th June, 2014, he explained why he left His physical body and revealed His future vision for Sathya Sai Education.

My mission is not just education. Mission is transformation. The students and teachers should remember that we have to learn here not only Apara Vidya – material education, but also Para Vidya – spiritual education, which grants Self Realisation.

SUBTLE BODY DISCOURSE 19-JUN-2014 (<- click here to download)

lamp of loveThe best way to spread Swami’s teachings is to reach out and spread his Love in the form of selfless service. He has earmarked these areas: Educare (Vidya), Healthcare (Vaidya) and Sociocare by providing Clean drinking water (Vaari) and Clean energy (Vidyuth) to the masses. Swami wants us to become that lamp of selfless love that lights another thousand lamps.

“Develop Truth and Love. Everything will be added to you, unasked. Man and God (Nara and Narayana) are the two wires – the positive and the negative, that combine to bring electricity through. Man (Nara) will become the instrument of God (Narayana), if you have acquired the two qualities, Divine Love and Truth.” – Sri Sathya Sai Baba Divine Discourse, July 25, 1958.


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subtle form

What is Sookshma Shareera (also known as Subtle Body, Astral Body, Light Body)

Gross Body - Sthoola Shareera

Gross Body – Sthoola Shareera

“Everyone in this world has four types of bodies – Sthoola Shareera – the physical body; Sookshma Shareera – the subtle body; Ati Sookshma Shareera – the higher subtle body; and Para Sookshma Shareera – the omnipresent supersubtle body.

Sthoola Shareera is the physical body which anyone can see. Right now, I am not in my physical body, but in the Sookshma Shareera (subtle body) which is beyond the physical.

In My Sookshma Shareera, I can move to any part of the world without taking any time. In My Ati Sookshma Shareera, I enter the dreams and meditations of people and guide them. In Para Sookshma Shareera, I am present in every atom. At this point of time, you are in your physical body and if you are in a room, you cannot

Subtle Body - Sookshma Shareera

Subtle Body – Sookshma Shareera

see what is outside, since there is a wall in between. But Sookshma Shareera is not bound by Desha, Kala and Paristhiti (space, time and circumstances) and therefore cannot be seen with physical eyes.”

Swami revealed this to Madhusudhan “I will be in this Subtle Form, which is just like the physical form, without flesh and bones.” He declared that “My mission is not yet over, Keep yourself selfless and pure so I may use you all as my instruments, I do not have a body but I shall use your bodies to do My work. Your hands shall be My hands, your feet shall be My feet, your words shall be My words and your actions shall be My actions. Be selfless. Glorious times are ahead when the whole world will become Saimayam (filled with Sai). Soon I will be back in another Physical form as Prema Sai who will further guide you all and continue the work.”  Download PDF


“One has to understand the implications of oneness with the Divine. One desires to merge in God and achieve liberation. How is this to be secured? God is formless. He is the source of all energy. He is effulgent. Eight kinds of potencies have been attributed to God. He is the source of all sound, all motion, all light, all speech, all bliss, all excellence, all illusion, and all prosperity. How is one to realize such an omnipotent Divinity? Water can integrate with water. Air can combine with air. Fire can merge with fire. As God is formless, to become one with God we have to become formless. What does this imply? It means that we have to get rid of the attachment to the body. This is achieved through meditation. While retaining attachment to the body one cannot hope to achieve oneness with God merely by praying for it. You have to become formless to realize the formless Divine.” – SS August 1997 P 199

Source: quote from A Compendium of the Teachings of Sri Sathya Sai Baba


Swami has already answered some of these spiritual questions put forth to him by earnest seekers in the form of Q&A Series known as Sathya Sai Baba Prashnottara Vahini


Q. Instead of considering this human body, constituted in this manner by the elements as a single unit, the Vedanthins say there are many units in it! Is that true?
A. There are not “many”, but three. Some say, there are four!

Q. Oh! What are they? What are they called? The third and the fourth?
A. Sthula deha (the gross body), Sukshma deha (the subtle body) and Kaarana deha (the causal body). Some aver that there is a fourth called, Maha Kaaranadeha (the Super-Causal Body) also.

Q. What exactly is meant by Sthula deha, the gross body?
A. It means the body constituted of the 25 elemental principles mentioned by me already.

Q. What then is the Sukshma body?
A. The 5 Jnanendriyas, the 5 Than-Maathras, the 5 Praanas, the Manas and the Buddhi – these 17 categories combine to constitute the subtle body.

Q. Is this called Sukshma deha only or has it any other appellation too?
A. Why should it not have? It has. It is known also as Thaijasa.

Q. And is it marked off as belonging to any state or Avastha?
A. Yes, it is.

Q. And what is the name of that?
A. The Dream State.

Q. Do you mean to say that the Gross Body has no state assigned to it?
A. Of course, it has.

Q. Tell me the name of that state.
A. That is the wakeful state, the Jaagrath.

Q. What is the Causal, the Kaarana deha?
A. There, the Chiththam or Consciousness is in association with the Knower, the Knowing Principle, the Jnaatha.

Q. What is it known as?
A. The Praajna.

Q. And the state?
A. The state is Sushupthi, Deep Sleep.

Q. Tell me also, what they mean by the Super-Causal Body, the fourth.
A. The Pure Consciousness unmixed with any Thathwa or elemental principle, the Witness Eternal, the Self Luminous. They refer to it as the Maha Kaarana Deha.

Q. Has it a name, like the rest?
A. It is known as Hiranyagarbha.

Q. And the state?
A. It is stateless, it is beyond all states of consciousness and so it is described as A-kshara Purusha.


Source: http://askbaba.helloyou.ch/prasnottaravahini/prasnottara01.html

Wisdom

Consciousness does not conform to scientific principles or human perceptions of physical space, time and matter.

The external world termed as Prapancha is made of five elements e.g. Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Sound (in order from gross to subtle) and cognised by the five human senses comprising of sight, smell, sound, taste and touch. Sookshma Prapancha termed as ‘subtle world’ or ‘subtle dimension’ is beyond the understanding of the five senses, mind and intellect. In my humble opinion, Swami gave us a hint to think and grow beyond physical dimension by changing the universal Vedic prayer from ‘Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavanthu‘ to ‘Samastha Loka Sukhino Bhavanthu‘ some time back. No one questioned Swami (including those who doubt the Subtle form now) about why we are praying for those Lokas (other planes of existence) which can’t be seen with our physical eyes.

Just as we need to tune in our TV antenna to receive both audio and video, we need to tune in our inner faculties through meditation and other spiritual practices to develop our receptiveness (often described as sixth sense, the creative faculty of the mind dealing with intuition).

Tuning into God

Tuning into God

Lot of people question that how come we believe the subtle form, when it is only seen by one person or possibly a few individuals occasionally? When Krishna saved Draupadi from the humiliation of being disrobed, no one saw Krishna’s physical form. All everyone present there could watch and marvel at, was the endless supply of Sarees. When Krishna showed his Viraat Swaroopa to Arjuna in the battlefield, only Arjuna and Sanjaya were given the Divya Drishti (divine vision) to visualise that form. Do we question this incidents and call Veda Vyasa a liar? Most people who ask these questions do not listen with the intent to understand; They listen with the intent to counter it with another question in order to defend their chosen belief. This is why Swami says that too much mind is not good for spirituality. Seva (Selfless Service) and Prema (Selfless Love) is the only way to feel the presence of Sai in our heart.

The conceit that one knows everything. Doubt whether it is or is not.These are the two chief enemies of the Sadhaka – Prema Vahini

Virat Swaroopa - Para Sookshma Shareera


You cannot see Me, but I am the Light you see by.
You cannot hear Me, but I am the Sound you hear by.
You cannot know Me, but I am the Truth by which you live. – Sri Sathya Sai Baba


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