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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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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Fullness of the Infinite

Subtle vs Gross – The fullness of the Infinite

“The Upanishad says, “Purnam adah: that origin of all things is full; purnam idam: this entire creation that has come from that origin of all things is also full; purnat purnamudachyate: from that Full this Full has come; purnasya purnam adaya: having taken away this Full from that Full; purnam evavasisyate: the Full still remains unaffected.”

If we take something from something, the source is supposed to be diminished in its content to the extent of that which has been taken away from it. This is common arithmetic. If we take something from something, the quantum of content in the original reservoir is lessened. If the world has come from God, some part of God must have gone to constitute this world and, to that extent, God must be less. Is it so?

The Upanishad says it is not so. If we take away infinite from infinite, the Infinite is not reduced in any way, because one cannot take away anything from the Infinite. Therefore, if this so-called infinite of creation is taken to have emanated from that supreme Fullness of Infinity, it need not follow that there is some diminution of content in the original Fullness. After the emanation of this full universe from the full Origin, the Fullness still continues to be as it was, undiminished.”  – Lessons from the Upanishads by Swami Krishnananda, Divine Life Society

“Swami has always existed. He exists now and will continue to exist in future. He takes various forms just like the water vapour transforms into water and further transforms into ice. The divinity materialises in various forms to that man can touch, feel and experience it. It is difficult to comprehend this phenomenon as man bound by the limitation of time, space and circumstances. Human effort is needed to understand this Truth. If you tell a child that stars are bigger than the moon, he may not believe you as he sees the moon bigger than the stars. If you explain the same to higher class boys, they would understand the logic and accept it. If you tell a child that the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, he would immediately believe it as he understands the concept of directions. If you tell him that sun neither rises nor sets and it is earth which rotates about its own axis, he would not believe you. He believes in what he can see and experience with his own physical eyes.

But there is much more to absolute reality that lies beyond the physical eyes. Lord Shiva has a third eye. It is not the physical eye but the faculty of inner vision. It is represented as an eye on the forehead. It takes a bit of analysis and effort to understand the reality that lies beyond physical sensory perception.

Here is an example: consider steam, water and ice. What is the difference in them? All of these forms are essentially the same compound. Can we hold steam in our hands and taste it? In order to hold water in your hands, you will need to condense steam into liquid water and into ice!”  – Extract from the Subtle body discourse of Swami

Water in different forms

Water in different forms

Water Compound

Water Compound

Here is an interesting story about Swami’s surprise visit to London in 1993. One fine Sunday Morning, Mr. K. N. P. Nayar answered the doorbell to find Swami standing at his door. Mr. Nayar and wife then took Baba on a sightseeing tour of London which is described in this video in great detail.

On the holy day of Shivaratri in 1962, which fell on 4 March, Baba advised the thousands who had witnessed the emergence of two golden Lingas from Him, “Why do you discuss and debate among yourselves about My nature, My Mystery, My miracle, My reality? Fish cannot gauge the sky; the gross can grasp only the gross.”

“The eye cannot see the ear, though it is so near. When you cannot reach down to your own reality, why waste time trying to explore the essence of God? You are like a Telugu audience sitting through a Tamil picture, or a Malayali sitting through a Japanese film. The nuances, the subtler significances, the deeper meanings and interrelationships, the inner patterns of the fabric, are beyond your understanding. Sit through the entire film; master the language and the technique; watch earnestly and vigilantly and try to imbibe the meaning of every gesture, act and word; then, you may know Me, a little.

sai darshan

Sathya Sai Baba walking amongst devotees

Earlier Darshan was meditation. When you walked into Prashanthi Nilayam and saw Swami, you forgot everything else. You would have one pointed concentration on Swami. That is meditation. Now, meditation is darshan. Now if you can keep your mind concentrated on Swami, you will experience his His Presence – not only within you but even outside. – Subtle Body Discourse, 22nd June 2014 at Singapore

backstage pass

Earlier I was available to everyone, as I took on the human form just like you and came down to the physical world to be with you, walk amongst you, help you experience what Divinity is like, what pure love is like. Now the public show is over. If you want to meet the Actor, you have to be go backstage. and for that, you have to have a pass. Purity is the pass.

– Subtle Body Discourse, 12th July 2014 at Muddenahalli

“Purity is always present in the heart. Just as the chaff covers the grain of rice, purity is covered by the chaff of impurities. If you wish to eat the grain of rice, you need to remove the chaff first. If you want to eat a banana, you have to remove the peel first. If you want to eat an orange, you have to remove the rind. The heart is always pure, but it is covered by desires. Desires make the heart impure. What kind of desires? The bitter rind around the orange is like the selfish desires you have; they pollute the heart. That makes the purity unavailable to you. If you remove that selfish desires, you will immediately experience the the purity of your heart. So, the next time you go to Lord Ganesha temple, don’t tell him, “Ganesha, let me score the top marks in my mathematics examination.”  You should say, “Let all of us score top marks in our mathematics examination”.

– Subtle Body Discourse, 16th May 2014 at Kodaikanal


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