|Volume 4 - Issue 10 OCTOBER 2006||
BANGAAROO! YOU ARE DIVINE
Can one be a tool to transform another?
By Dr. Sara Pavan
Why Difficulties For Devotees?
Many devotees do face innumerable difficulties and suffer significant losses. People often ask why spiritual aspirants should encounter such problems, while those in worldly pursuits seem to be happily living without such hardships! Those of us who have been attracted by Bhagavan not only have experienced His boundless love but also had many of our worldly desires fulfilled. We have floated in this new-found joy and prayed for even more worldly dreams to be fulfilled, committing ourselves to spend our spare time in various ‘Sai-activities.’ In the beginning we could hardly stop talking about our experiences with Swami and all our achievements. In the next stage we started publicising our achievements, forgetting Who the Real Doer was! In the third stage we encountered several problems and our ego, pride and possessiveness was brought down to the ground. We backed-off in silence consequent to humiliations, conflicts and various kinds of losses.
The late Prof. Kasturi calls these three stages: Chatter-ji, Banner-ji and Mukher-ji!By His grace alone our faith in Swami remains intact and we persevere with our sadhana of introspection. We pass through our ‘spiritual winter’ with patience and wait for the spiritual springtime to dawn and to rejoice seeing the blossoms of higher values and virtues. By this unique way Swami fulfils the great task He has taken advent for: transformation of the human to the divine. In this article, the writer is attempting convey some complex but subtle ideas, based on his personal experiences with Bhagavan for almost three decades, with the hope that the readers would read this contribution in the proper context, and lay themselves in the hands of the Divine Master.
Creation and its Crown Jewel
Experience Unity – Realise Divinity
Thought itself is energy and generates its own vibes. The vitality and energy of a person is a reflection of the state of their mind. Pure, loving and inclusive thoughts generate positive energy that vibrate at higher frequencies, while negative energy permeates selfish and exclusive thoughts, which vibrate at lower frequencies and drain one’s own energy. These vibrations are so subtle that they are perceived unconsciously even by the lower species, let alone fellow humans. There are seven chakras or centres of energy in the human. The lower three chakras vibrate at lower frequencies and the upper three chakras vibrate at higher frequencies, the heart chakra being the central divide. Only when bestial qualities are shed one begins to manifest divine qualities. Energy levels soar high and vibrate through higher chakras. This energy or vibration is at the quantum level in every cell and not limited to any organ, not even the spinal cord, which is merely a channel.
Only by feeling the Oneness with the entire creation can one experience divinity. But bestial qualities that have been carried forward from the past (vasanas) preclude us from such an experience. These have to be shed. Until then these characteristics will keep showing up in many circumstances. One has to be exposed to a wide range of experiences that will stir up these bad qualities for elimination. The human alone, endowed with the intellect, is able to discriminate and dispatch such animal qualities as they surface.
By saying “… remove vasanas and desires in him that would turn him into an animal or an insect …” we have to understand that Swami does not mean regression of a human into an animal or an insect in a future incarnation. He is merely referring to the recurrence or persistence of the qualities of animals and insects in human behaviour and consequently having to encounter being treated the way animals and insects are treated, and suffer the consequences.
Again Swami says (page 31):
Without devotion, discipline and determination one cannot achieve this. The intellect derives its strength from the Atma, which is in its close proximity. We are given opportunities several times, even over several incarnations, to decimate these qualities and move upwards.
Nature – A Tireless Teacher
We cannot continue to remain unaware and keep ignoring the malfeasant power of the mind, which Swami refers to as the demonic mind. Individually and collectively we are creating calamities around us and all over the world. Conflicts and wars have their origins in the human mind. Even vain gossip and slander can cause great distress. When we look closely at the so-called modern civilisation, modern education, material prosperity and the unrestrained media for profit and sensation, it is quite evident that human beings today are selfish and showing more of the animal qualities. Animals have their fair share of fights in the jungle, where herds of animals battle against each other to carve out a territory for themselves. Yes, we have to concede that we humans too show such qualities at times, provoked or unprovoked. Remembering that the divine is in everyone we must be steadfast in avoiding such evil thoughts and deeds. Swami’s benign advice to us is to remind ourselves that we are human beings and not animals. Dominated by ego and selfishness, the recurring animal behaviour would be hard to eradicate. But we have to be earnest in our sadhana and Swami’s grace will flow in abundance.
“There is no unity, purity or divinity,” Swami says. This should be the hallmark of every human being practising the five Human Values. We are desecrating ourselves and destroying nature ever more. Our travesty of natural values has reached a critical point when God Himself has descended upon the earth to intercede and salvage the situation. Bhagavan Baba is doing just that, to transform the ‘animal-man’ to ‘God-man’. His ways are inexplicable, unique and subtle. Swami says, “Nature is the best preacher and your own life is your teacher.” Nature is also the manifestation of divine energy and consciousness, but we continue to remain ignorant and too egotistic to learn from nature. Providence gives unique opportunities for us to learn from our own mistakes, in our relationship with family, friends and associates. Sometimes one has to face even harder lessons to eliminate such animal qualities and transform. When karmas are inextricably linked between individuals as well as in life situations, one has no option but to endure these difficulties and ask, “What is that in me that has attracted all this?” God alone knows what is best for each one of us. He will send the right kind of people as instruments to chisel out some of our undesirable qualities. In some of His discourses Swami has compared our behaviour to those of animals – dogs, cats, rats, pigs, donkeys, monkeys, snakes, etc. Swami has even commented that animals have a reason and season, but man has no reason or season.
God is Chiselling us…At Every Opportunity
For those earnest on the spiritual path, Bhagavan gives His devotees more opportunities to transform. Just as doctors prescribe different medications to patients suffering from different diseases and keeping an eye on their progress, our ‘Divine Doctor’ may place us in tailor-made life situations for us to learn valuable lessons and endure certain difficulties. Wisely we should learn to resolve conflicts within ourselves and with others, without any bitterness or enmity. Such testing times may arise both in our private and public life.
Only A Diamond Can Cut Another Diamond
Many aren’t aware of their own inner blemishes, but readily see faults in others. Even if we are unaware of our hidden traits, Swami can clearly see them all, being the God-in-every-human. We cannot conceal anything from Him because Bhagavan is the indweller in everyone. In His infinite mercy and compassion He is ever forgiving and patiently guiding those who have taken their first step towards Him. Jesus said: ‘When you see a mote in another’s eyes you fail to see a beam sticking across your own.” Bhagavan Baba reiterates this by saying, “When you point a finger at another, three fingers point at you.” We find fault in another person only because the same blemish lies hidden within us. How come, not everybody can see that fault? They cannot see it because they do not have the same fault in them. They are like innocent children, so pure! We may compare this to two computers with ‘matching’ files. Hence, when we see a particular behaviour or fault in another, it simply means such a defect is within us as well! But the power of delusion and ego will not entertain such a thought.
The sooner we learn to accept and abide by this truth the greater will be our gain. This will give us the strength to eliminate our negative qualities as they surface. Swami has told the writer a few times that there is nothing bad whatsoever in His entire creation. Even what we consider as bad in the present may not be bad after all on hindsight! “If you have a thorn in your foot hurting you, you will need another thorn to dig it out. Then, you can throw away both the thorns and be free of pain,” says Swami. Only a ‘minus’ can interact with another minus to make it ‘plus’. No amount of ‘plus’ can make the ‘minus’ become a ‘plus’. So also, when we enter into a relationship with other individuals with similar negative traits the divine alchemist begins His work stealthily to eliminate these blemishes in both - of course not without pain and anguish to begin with. Such experiences are painful to one’s ego only. Individuals in whom we see faults are merely reminding us that the same fault is also in us. We have to seize upon every opportunity to weed out our own faults, just as a thorn is useful to remove the one embedded in our foot. This mechanism is also comparable to active immunisation, where a controlled dose of the same germ that causes a particular infectious disease is given as vaccine. Rigors, fever and pain will ensue, but immunity gained would ward off a potentially lethal infection later.
When we enter this stage we encounter obstacles, disappointments and conflict with others with greater intensity. Institutions and centres we associate with also serve as the cutting edge of our ego; to destroy the animal, selfish, qualities within us. We could draw a parallel with a washing machine where soiled clothes are exposed to detergents and agitators for removal of the dirt before the dirty water is spun out. Thus, many Sai centres and the various institutions we associate with do provide us with unique opportunities to transform ourselves, to ‘wash’ away our selfishness and ego and make us worthy instruments to fulfil the grand purpose of Bhagavan’s Divine Mission. Bhagavan Himself is touching the hearts of millions and spreading His Love, Light and Message. He alone is doing everything, but lets us take all the credit, thus imbuing us with even greater interest to undertake more selfless service. He had once said, “Unfortunate are those who leave the organisation ….”
Expanding Love….Becoming Love
The ‘animal-man’ has great limitations, most importantly because of the identification with the body. Mirrored by the mind, one thinks of oneself as the body. We can only see a very small facet of our totality, which is like an iceberg, but we are unable to see the enormity of our subconscious mind (‘mindberg’) with all its trappings, negativities and animal tendencies that manifest as lust, anger, greed, possessiveness, pride in outer strength (ego), envy and jealousies! They cannot be destroyed by worldly means, but can only be annihilated through spiritual practise. Only through personal experience and self-inquiry can one engage in any meaningful and soul-searching transformation. Just as a fruit ripens at the right time in the warmth of sunlight, we too would grow in spiritual stature with the loving grace of our Beloved Swami and reach the third stage of expanded Love, Paraopakar, and finally God-Realisation, Shaksatkar.
Bhagavan has often reminded us that He is fully aware of our past as well as our future. His ways are inscrutable and He has the power to transform any human being into a good and Godly person. He is the source of the Universal and Infinite Energy of Love. Bhagavan is LOVE. His Love has no bounds and is not only the greatest of all healers but also transmutes each and every person who has come within His orbit.
Loka Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu.
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Vol 4 Issue 10 - OCTOBER 2006
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