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Volume 4 - Issue 12 DECEMBER 2006
 
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"I GIVE YOU WHAT YOU WANT …”

By Dr. Sara Pavan


Life is an onward journey, an evolutionary process to awaken to the realisation of the Truth, as to what we are and who we are. Ultimately, there are no failures and everyone would eventually realise their inherent divinity. After all, we are made of the divine essence, but made to forget this Truth whilst earth-bound, in this vast, timeless and magnificent process of life. In this process, the formless infinite God and source of everything became the multitudes of finite forms, which became unconscious of its origin.

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A view of the cosmos

Baba confirms this by saying: “I separated Myself from Myself so that I can love Myself. My beloved one, you are My very own Self.” Having reached this point in evolution and endowed with the potential to awaken from this amnesia, man alone can not only experience his own inherent divinity, but also realise that the entire creation is nothing but the vesture of God.

Spiritual Evolution

Creation began with the mineral and evolved to plant life; plants to animals; animals to human; who finally awaken to the Truth that everything is God. Darwin gave a scientific expression to this process of evolution at the material plane. Now, let us give it a spiritual expression at a subtler plane – from a being unconscious of itself to becoming fully conscious.

Consciousness may be compared with the infinite cosmic space which contains all celestial objects. When we look at the night sky we see only the countless number of stars (creation) but are unable to fathom the depth of thousands of light-years of space containing them. Likewise, consciousness, which is the One all pervasive spirit, is beyond the realm of the senses. We could state, “In the beginning, I did not pray because I did not know, and in the end, I stopped praying because I know.” Through millions of years man has evolved and continues to evolve until he is totally Aware of this ‘Oneness’ – That Thou Art. Swami had explained this progression to Dr. Hislop in this order: “rock, vegetable, animal, human, super-human, cosmic and finally God.”

Love Erases Ego

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The mind is the instrument of perception from the animal kingdom upwards. It harbours all kinds of fears and beliefs, which are carried forward in recurring cycles of life in all species, especially so in the human. Fear is the product of the mind, and Ego arises only through body identification. It will persist as long as the ‘I’ and ‘my’ feelings remain. Mind, being the reflection of the physical body, keeps identifying itself with the physical body. A human, an ape and an elephant alone can recognise their own body in the mirror, which is impossible for other species. We know the elephant never forgets and we, who have observed Sai Geeta (Baba’s pet elephant) closely, know this only too well!

This kind of self-identification creates individuality, which is the basis of ego, which will always breed fear. Love is just the opposite of fear. Love is God, and God is the basis of all, the golden thread that runs through every being. Realisation of this fact alone dispels all fear. Bhagavan Baba keeps reassuring us: “Why fear when I am here?” Gerry Jampolski, a world renowned psychologist, affirms: “Love is letting go of fear.”

In His previous Avataric Advent as Lord Krishna, Bhagavan Baba had emphatically declared in the Gita that the True Self, the Atma, cannot be injured by a weapon, burnt by fire, wet by water or dried by the wind; that it is unsullied, eternal and imperishable; and that the Self or the indweller merely moves from one body to another. That means, every Person represents God, but every Personality wallows in Ego! Animal qualities, like lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride and envy, get carried forth in the process of evolution and must be discarded to go further towards the goal of returning to the Divine Self. Of all the species in creation, the human alone can achieve this.

Conquering The Mind

The mind harbours all the impediments to spiritual progress and eludes us from peace and fulfilment. Human birth is like reaching the half-way house between animal and God. Unless animal propensities are discarded, man has no hope of realising his Divine destiny. Endowed with the faculty of reason or discrimination, which humans alone have, we have to overcome the feeling of separateness from God. Throughout the ages Prophets, Messiahs and Sages have walked on earth to reveal this Truth to humanity and have shown us the path of realising this goal. Just as in the metaphor, where Adam ate the forbidden fruit, the pull of the mind and the senses consumes the naturally divine nature in man and leads him astray into bondage and suffering. It is therefore incumbent upon us to make some effort to withstand the vagaries of the mind and curb our senses through inquiry as to who we really are. This can be achieved by practising the cardinal principles of proper living exemplified by such pioneering men and women of the spirit, who conquered their own minds and senses – Prophets, Messiahs, the Saints and sages.

Divine Ambassadors

When we celebrate the birth anniversaries of these Masters, in whose names the various religions came to exist – Zoroaster, Lord Buddha, Jesus Christ, Mohammed and others, it must serve as a reminder that we should understand their Message correctly and practise them in our daily life, not limiting it to showcasing their forms and extolling their identity with pompous outer trappings. With proper understanding we will certainly know that their Message is essentially one and the same, based on Love and Unity. These Masters neither had any intention to start a new religion nor cause any division among people. They were all ambassadors of the divine for establishing Love and Unity, Peace and Prosperity.

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Jesus Christ
 

Lord Buddha was a Hindu prince and not a Buddhist at birth, and Lord Jesus was born into a Jewish family. The story of Jesus is even more of a puzzle for anyone who wishes to know it in full. When one looks deep into the matter, much to anybody’s surprise, Jesus’ most formative years of life are noticeably missing. Where was Jesus between the ages 12 – 29? The fact is Jesus was the man who became the Christ. It is widely known that he spent all these missing years in India and Tibet and, as destined, was influenced by the essence of the Vedas and Buddhist ideals. Truth is Only One, seen as many. Paths are many, but the destination is only One.

Religion’s True Message

With good intentions and an eagerness to propagate the Message, the followers created various religions in the name of their Masters. With the passage of time, divisions have taken place within each religion due to Ego and misunderstandings among the leaders, resulting in the creation of sects and schisms. This kind of divisive spree is already hurting the lives of people of all faiths. Let us search our souls and see if we can bring some unity, not only within each religion, but also between religions, by properly understanding their core tenets.

What we see in religions these days are merely the outer trappings, which are mostly man-made, historical and traditional. If all humanity would follow the tenets of their respective religion - what was originally taught by the Masters - certainly there would be peace on earth and goodwill to all mankind. Unfortunately, religions around the world are at conflict with each other today, even creating factions and schisms within their own faith! This is because of the selfishness of religious leaders and their misinterpretation of the teachings of the great Masters to suit their dogma and creed. Human Values have been insidiously eroded because of politicisation within religions and people wanting to grab power for dominance over others. If we examine the tenets of Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and all the other major religions, they all carry the Universal Message of Love, which is the hallmark of the Avatar of the Age, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. “A religion bereft of Love is no religion at all,” Baba says!

Swami Is Beyond Religion: He Is Love

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At this most critical juncture, the ‘Kali-yuga’ avatar, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, is in our midst to bring back unity through Love and Service, to build bridges across the various Faiths and foster a caring and sharing society, and thereby bring Peace and Prosperity to the entire world. Most certainly, Bhagavan Baba has not come to start a new religion. He has tirelessly gone a long way in laying a strong foundation for the re-establishment of Sanathana Dharma (Eternal Righteousness). On the subject of Righteousness, Baba says:

If there is Righteousness in your Heart, there will be Beauty in Character.

If there is Beauty in Character, there will be Harmony in the Home.

If there is Harmony in the Home, there will be Order in the Nation.

If there is Order in the Nation, there will be Peace in the World.

Bhagavan Baba has also declared emphatically that He has not taken His body to foster one creed or another, but to bring back into the Hearts of all people the principle of Love. The practice of Human Values alone – Truth, Righteousness, Love, Peace and Non-Violence - can redeem humanity from the shallows of misery. “Unity is Divinity; Purity is Enlightenment,” Swami declares; Unity – Purity – Divinity in that sequence. First there must be Unity and this will lead to Purity and finally Divinity. In what way does this contradict with the core teachings of any religion? This spiritual renaissance alone can make life truly meaningful and bring all the fragments that have been created by Ego and selfishness into a united whole: fusion and synthesis through Love.

Saving Our World

Today, we see strife the world over – nation against nation, communities fighting against each other and even unprecedented feuding within families on account of religion, language or socio-economic divide. There is no solution to all this by means of ‘clever’ worldly ways. Spirituality, which is the practice of the fundamental tenets of religion, is the only answer. If the lamp of love and compassion towards fellow beings is extinguished, religion loses its purpose and becomes a weapon of hate and destruction.

Bhagavan Baba has taken advent to save humanity from this peril. His Message is not only universal and contemporary, but also truly reflects the core teachings of the great Masters, in whose names the various religions have come to exist. Bhagavan is the source and the force behind this kaleidoscope of life on earth. The Messages of all God-men of the past are essentially the same. However, the differences seem to be based on available historical accounts of culture, tradition, conflicts, etc. that were prevalent then, complicated by semantics, misinterpretations and outer formats. This beautiful planet of ours can no longer endure this kind of a stormy course, and appears to be in danger of destroying itself. Instead of being good stewards, humanity is blinded by greed and ignorance and appears to preside over this decadence.

Bhagavan Baba, the contemporary avatar, has come to protect the virtuous and transform the evil doers. His Message is Universal and His Mission is to establish Dharma on a firm footing by fostering the Vedas. It is incorrect and misleading to limit the Vedas to Hinduism; they are the timeless Eternal Truths, given by God through the pure and highly evolved sages of yore for the entirety of humanity. So, it cannot be confined to any particular religion. Vedas formed the foundation of ‘Sanathana Dharma’ or Eternal Righteousness. Sanathana Dharma, again, is not a religion; it is a way of life where peace and prosperity, selflessness and charity, knowledge and wisdom, humaneness and justice, human values and fraternity and other such virtues are extolled and practised.

Bhagavan Baba has already laid the foundation for the emancipation of all humanity. The seeds have to sprout and bear fruit. Time is fast approaching when the whole world will awaken to this fact. The forces of Truth and Righteousness will redeem humanity from the grip of all dark and divisive forces, and this revolution is taking place in silence in the hearts of people who have had enough suffering and injustice. We have to be patient and trust our Lord and His Righteousness. His ways are beyond human comprehension; they are so unique and multidimensional. Even the things we see erroneously as ‘destruction’ with our limited perception are indeed part of His great rebuilding process. Over centuries our race has been deluded merely by the outer facade. Now, our planet is embraced by The Timeless and Eternal Principle, which is embodied in Bhagavan Baba. We have to see everything in terms of ‘Wholeness’ and the ‘Cosmic Oneness’ in this gigantic process of regeneration in our lives. The Message of Sai is for the whole world. There is only the One Truth in all our religions: LOVE. Love alone can save the world and we have His assurance that all will be saved.

Religious Unity

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The Holy Cross
 

Here are some of the Basic Tenets of Christianity :

  • There is one eternally living God who is Creator of all else that exists
  • He is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.
  • God manifests Himself in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
  • The Holy Bible is God inspired.
  • The Holy Bible contains all the truth necessary for salvation.
  • Different translations of the Bible give various interpretations and may contain errors, but in all major translations the errors are not a barrier to salvation.
  • Salvation is by grace, a gift from God.
  • To love God and to love our neighbour is the fulfilment of all spiritual law.
  • Everyone sins and breaks the spiritual law.
  • God's forgiveness is ongoing and limitless.
  • God will never leave us, nor forsake us.

Can we truly find any significant difference with the Vedic Message through Sanathana Dharma? Not at all, but only in the way it is packaged. This is so with all other religions. However, the ‘minders’ of religions make it exclusive, as we see for example in some tenets of the Christian Church:

  • There is one Christian church. The church is composed of all Christians.
  • A Christian is one in whom the one true God dwells.
  • He is their personal saviour for those who truly accept Jesus Christ.
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The Dharma Wheel

The basic tenets of Buddhism give a practical guidance to Realisation and Peace . Suffering is enlisted in the Four Noble Truths, and the Eight-fold Path shows the way out of suffering.

The Four Noble Truths: The Truth of suffering, The Truth of the cause of suffering, The Truth of the end of suffering and The Truth of the path that leads to the end of suffering.

The Eight-fold Path: Right Understanding, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration.

We can list similarities in essence and the outer differences in other religions as well. We need to emphasize here that the only True Religion is Love,and it is ALL-INCLUSIVE. The Vedas proclaim: “Truth is only One, but the wise call It by many names.” Bhagavan Baba has declared: “There is only One Religion - The Religion of Love.”

Bhagavan Baba’s teachings are the core of all religions based on Eternal Values, reinforcing the Message of Love. Religions differ only on the surface, based on region, ritual, culture, tradition, language, as well as social and economic factors. Each human being is an inimitable expression of Pure Consciousness in this infinite field of time and space. We have unwittingly allowed ourselves to be deluded by vested interests for centuries.

‘Imitation is our Limitation.’

Each one of us is a spark of the divine and unique expressions of His Will. But we continue to remain in the ‘sleep-mode.’ Without self-confidence and proper inquiry we keep imitating others, generation after generation, and remain in limitation. Hence, history keeps repeating itself and people and nations draw their ideas from the past which are bound to fail in the contemporary world. Humanity the world over is crying out for a solution to the present impasse, where the world is torn apart by violence and hatred. Spirituality is the answer, not religion.

Let us explore our hidden potential truly by following the tenets of the religion we are born into; they have to be lived, not merely talked about. Every religion has an esoteric side to it. If we are sincere in our quest, there is always help and guidance coming from someone or something up above and beyond our senses. Let us explore and experience our hidden potential and achieve the great future that lies ahead of us. Human life is too precious to be squandered away, pursuing the path of hatred and division. All are children of the One God, the Supreme Consciousness.

Baba Wakes Us Up

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We must be able to say:

I am a child of immortality. My body is merely a costume and although I am born into a particular ethnic and religious community, ‘I’ will always remain ‘I’ and I will fulfill my life through whatever path that is destined for me, always remembering that I am One in Spirit. When I awaken from this self-hypnosis of bodily identification and its affiliates, I will know who ‘I AM’. I AM Sat-Chit-Ananda: Being, Awareness, and Bliss.

Bhagavan Baba, who is God made flesh, is here to set us free from our pains and sorrows. The Supreme Divinity has heard our cry to be saved. At the kindergarten level of our life, He has attracted us by fulfilling our desires and worldly aspirations. Over the past 80 years Bhagavan Baba has been giving, giving, and giving, responding to our prayers for worldly fulfillment – helping us in every worldly pursuit and curing illnesses. His miracles were and still are His calling cards. These are ‘Chamatkars’ which attract us to begin with. From then on, the all knowing God and the divine alchemist start our ‘operation transformation’ - ‘Samskar’- where the refining process continues unabated until we experience an evolved state of consciousness: ‘Paropakar’. We begin to notice great changes in our lives and start experiencing inner peace, irrespective of outer circumstances. These are the treasures Bhagavan has actually come to give us, which will eventually lead us to Universal Love and Full Consciousness: ‘Sakshatkar’.

Baba has often reminded us that we should ask from Him what He has come to give us. He is ever full of Grace and Grace shall set us free. Bhagavan says: “When you come to me with your hands filled with tinsel, what can I fill you with? I have come to fill you with the treasure of Ananda.” Therefore, it is vital that we ask from Him what He has come to give us. When every thought, word and deed are filled with desires and attachments, how can we attain freedom from bondage? Our time and opportunities are indeed running thin. The years are rolling fast and we need to make the most of our few remaining years with Swami.

The Treasure of Ananda

Bhagavan is tirelessly luring us so that we will begin to want from Him what He has come to give us. The following would exemplify this:

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On November 21, 1999 , a very dear devotee of Bhagavan was seated next to me. He had a mountain of problems. When Swami reached the veranda after the full round of darshan, He stood next to this gentleman and the conversation went like this:

Swami: Look! So many letters … so heavy ! (Both of Swami’s hands were full of letters)

Devotee: Baba! So much of Love !

Swami:     Yes sir! Yes sir!! Two hands full … not Baba black sheep three bags full. I am not black sheep … I am White Ship … not sheep … S H I P … Ship. I have come to take you safely ashore.

Our Beloved Lord has come on earth to give us the treasure of Ananda; the Real Freedom: Liberation itself!

“I GIVE YOU WHAT YOU WANT … SO THAT YOU WILL ONE DAY BEGIN TO WANT WHAT I HAVE COME TO GIVE YOU.” – Baba. Jai Sai Ram.

 


 

 
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Vol 4 Issue 12 - DECEMBER 2006
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