3 - Issue 2,
[Dr. Sara Pavan is an Anaesthesiologist from Australia, residing in Prashanti Nilayam since 1993 and serving at the Super Speciality Hospital.]
Ever since creation the manifest universe has always been in a state of flux and continuing to evolve, while Brahman, the formless essence and primeval cause of all creation remains the eternal and unchanging substratum. Everything has its origin from this primordial source, the ever-present God. Whatever enters the mind through the external sense organs is variously analysed and interpreted by the mind. The perceptions, therefore, are relative, subjective and within the confines of the mind. The mind is the sole interface between creator and the created. It perceives things as dual with their opposites, the yin and yang. There is nothing absolute in the nature of things in the outer world, for every object, thought or matter, is subjective and relative to the mindset of the observer, which, itself, is constantly changing. Hence, there is subjectivity and relativity between various observers.
and understanding the inevitability of change with time enables one
to comprehend all aspects of growth and evolution. It is the mind
that changes. For example, that which is seen as an adversity one
moment will be recognised as providential on hindsight. Therefore
we should not be too obsessed over anything, however reasonable or
unreasonable things may seem in the limited context. From the matrix
of the divine, the cause of all creation, the process of creation
and dissolution goes on and on until each individual who harbours
the notion of a separate identity - with all the rights and wrongs,
the good and bad, in this infinite field of life that even transcends
death - birth after birth, ultimately merges in the unified field
of divinity; the Oneness the soul longs to be.
From the paradigm of Dvaita (duality), driven deep into our belief system over centuries, nay millennia, for one to experience the dizzy heights of Advaita (non-duality) is possible only for highly evolved souls. They have seen the Light and the Light has set them Free, the Freedom of Total Surrender to the Supreme Will. They do not see anything of substance or value in the surrounding events that are fleeting, nor do they entertain the idea that they have a choice. Swami once told a group of MBA students, “For Me everything is predetermined. At a particular appointed time a particular event has to happen; all I need to do is to walk into the moment and it gets done!” In the same breath He said, “If it is so for Me what to speak of you?”
We have to just accept all that comes our way, for everything is for our highest good particularly when the Lord Himself is presiding over the change. The vast majority of us are caught up in the delusion that we are the body, which is the very definition of ego. This gives each one of us a separate identity and consequently an attachment to our own conditioning, not just from this birth, but from many past lives, perpetuating further bondage and misery.
What then is the purpose of life? The purpose of life is not to be born again; to clear the karmic balance sheet; to overcome all barriers that hide the Truth by discriminating between the Real and the unreal. That is, to experience our essential Oneness with the Divine, the origin of everything and to realise that life is a dream game. For all of us bound to the body and the surrounds the dream appears real and we undergo mental suffering. In His Discourse on 5th July, 2003 in Sai Ramesh Hall Bhagavan emphasised the need to go beyond deha-bhava (body-consciousness) and to strive to experience Atma-bhava (Atma-consciousness). He is adhering to His Life as His Message and continuing with His Divine Mission unhindered by His recent physical limitations.
Humanity today has drifted away from Truth and is deluded. We are even engaged in destroying the planet itself. Will God, the Supreme Cosmic Intelligence and Power, passively watch the process of self-destruction? Lord Krishna declares in the Bhagavad Gita that He incarnates from age to age to protect the virtuous and transform the evil doers. Now, God has incarnated as Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba for this very purpose. Vested with awesome powers and not revealing them too freely, yet using the most powerful weapon of all, His Love, His Mission is to bring peace and prosperity to the entire world. Let us look at some of the important milestones in the Mission of our Sai Avatar.
In 1940, young Sathya at a tender age of 14 declared that He is the reincarnation of Sai Baba of Shirdi and has a Mission to fulfil, and that He does not belong to any creed but has come for the re-establishment of Sanathana dharma (Eternal Righteousness). In 1947, in His letter to His brother, Swami had painstakingly clarified what His Mission was about. True change is possible only by a shift in the plane of consciousness, and this is possible for the Divine alone, whose ways and means are not possible for people to comprehend.
Swami has brought about changes in the lives and thinking of many, who by strict spiritual standards are ordinary people, proving that spirituality is not something inaccessible but basically essential and relevant for each individual life and the world at large. With each World Conference, using His Birthday as the occasion, Bhagavan has been raising the consciousness of devotees far and wide. Stage by stage He has brought within His ambit people from all walks of life and making them realise their true Self by freeing them of their false appendages.
At the first World Conference in Bombay, in 1968, Bhagavan emphatically declared that every step in the life of the Avatar is predetermined. Nothing is left to chance, as He knows our past and future. He is using all means at His disposal to bring humanity into alignment with Truth; the Truth that man is God by nature. By reviving the essence of the Vedas, Swami is practically validating the Eternal Values that elevate man to his Divine destiny, through a spiritual renaissance at the global level - something that has never happened in the history of our planet.
At the 55th Birthday World Conference in 1980 Bhagavan blessed the Charter for the Sathya Sai Organisation. The Charter clearly defines the purpose of the Sai Mission - to awaken the Inherent Divinity in man. Swami has often asserted that MAN IS GOD! The Sri Sathya Sai Organisation is designed to provide the right environment for devotees to evolve towards Godhood, through participation in the various programmes of the Educational, Spiritual and Service wings. Earnestly pursued, such practises will lead the devotee towards greater awareness, expansion of Love and selfless Service. Only by practising Bhagavan’s Teachings can we propagate His Life and Message. In other words, spread the Divine Message by being Role Models of His Message.
In His Inaugural Address of the World Conference of Active Workers of the Sai Organisation in 1985, Bhagavan cautioned the delegates not to speak of anything they cannot or will not do and not do anything they cannot speak about. When a few elders enthusiastically spoke about the great Sai Family, prior to Bhagavan’s 60th Birthday Message in the Hillview Stadium, He commented that the entire world is one big family and one should not have a narrow outlook.
Any devotee earnestly on the path would not ignore Swami’s Discourse on 24th November 1987. Quoting the prayer ‘Asathoma Sath Gamaya’ Swami said, “In the context of today this prayer is misleading. While I am trying to propagate Advaita, especially since My 60th Birthday, this Mantra keeps reinforcing Dvaita.” He further added that it saddened Him to see devotees did not wish to move on from the ‘primary school’ while His Mission had already geared up to the ‘University Level’.
Between 1987 and 2000 Swami had done everything possible by being very emphatic in all His discourses that devotees should expand their love and engage in more service activities to experience the divinity in everyone. We may also recall that many devotees were hyped up over the so called ‘Lift-off’ of the Sai Mission after the 75th Birthday, and some even looked for outer ‘mega-miracles’ to happen! In His 75th Birthday discourse Swami spelt out the Mahavakyas (great Truths) of the four Vedas in His Divine Message.
1. Tat Twam
Asi (That Thou Art)
Thus, the Divine hint was a command that His devotees need to move on to see and experience God in everything and at all times and places. Needless to point out that these four Mahavakyas form the basis of the big changes that are taking place ever since.
To start with, let us understand what the big ‘Lift-off’ meant - the ‘Lifting’ of the Spirit, to a higher Awareness or Consciousness. Let us remind ourselves that Swami’s Mission is a Spiritual Mission, not any other. Swami had declared His Avatarhood and Mission at the age of fourteen. Sixty-six years have gone by and, as per His earlier declaration, His Mission will not fail. He is God Incarnate and can raise our spirit by His Will alone. Now, His Mission has well and truly moved into top gear on to the Advaita stage, that God and Creation are One, and everything is He and His Will.
Bhagavan is pushing us towards the Inward Path, the path of Nivrithi to experience the True Spiritual Connection, the Inner-Divine-Connection, that God and Man are One and the same! Let us recall His declaration at the first Word Conference in Bombay, that He is the Embodiment of All God Forms and will respond to prayers to any of the multitudes of God Forms. He also had declared that the events in His Mission are also pre-determined. Can anything happen by ‘chance’ or accident’ for the Divine, Who is the Supreme Will, and Controller and Wire-Puller of the entire drama of the Universe? Hence, whatever that has happened recently too, including His apparent physical limitations, are the result of His Mighty Will, only to raise our Consciousness.
The Divine Call is clear that we need to raise our game. With His Grace nothing is impossible. First we must believe that Swami is God and whatever He does is only for our good. He exhorts us to be more spiritual and not indulge in mere rituals. Our love must expand to include more and more beings. Through love and surrender we will sanctify our lives by serving others, especially the needy. Only when we experience that it is the same Divinity that is in everyone we meet can we enjoy the Bliss of the Inner Communion.
A few years ago I wrote the following and gave it to Baba and asked Him if these words were from Him in my contemplation.
“Self-Realisation is the awakening of the spirit to its highest dimension, wherein one is in constant awareness of the perfection within, surrounded by outer imperfections and chaos.”
Swami corrected me and said, “Not contemplation but meditation.”
Bhagavan Baba is our Sadguru (Supreme Teacher). He has come to give us the Highest and the Best, and by His grace enables us to go beyond our physical limitations. He is GOD and He wants us to evolve into Lamps of Love, and Light up the path for others. He is Yogiswara and has come to make us Yogis if we are prepared to receive His Divine Gift - not continue to remain in the pre-school of spirituality, indulging only in external rituals and worldly fellowships. Sri Sathya Sai Baba is God descended only for our sake that we may ascend to Godhood.
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