Volume 11 - Issue 03
March 2013
Other Articles

'Like' us on Facebook Follow us: facebook twitter vimeo youtube
 

Posted on: Mar 24, 2013

 

MUSINGS FROM PRASANTHI NILAYAM

DISCOURSE WALKTHROUGH - 01
by Prof. G. Venkataraman

part 02

 



However, if we turn it around and focus on the fact that the same current flows through all the bulbs, we would be looking at the unity that lies beneath the diversity. Brahma Jnana is all about seeing Divine Thread behind the bewildering diversity that fills the physical Universe. I hope you get the point. Assuming that let me now offer you the next audio clip.


Texte alternatif

Wow! Did you hear that?! Did you feel the power, the passion, the energy, and the compulsion in Swami’s voice? That is the way our beloved Bhagawan delivered His message, addressing each one of us personally!

Let me now quickly tell you what Swami said in this clip. He says:

 

You have all sorts of friends, who are here today and gone tomorrow.

Modern friendship is often based on convenience – it is body to body and money to money.

If there is cash in your pocket, friends flock to you. But once you run out of cash, all these so-called friends disappear without a trace!
They are like passing clouds. God is not like that.

In fact, He is the only true friend you have but sadly, you are not aware of that!

Being Eternal, God would always be with you.

Remember, He is within you!

The Vedas declare that; if you can’t understand the Vedas, at least believe your elders who have studied the Vedas.

People flock to a roadside palmist sitting in the bazaar, pay him small change and eagerly listen to him predict their future.

It is strange that people are ready to believe a wayside palmist but do not have faith in the scriptures.

The scriptures loudly proclaim! Tat twam asi, which means: That thou art or, more simply: You are God!

Indeed, the scriptures reiterate this in many different ways such as: Pragjnanam Brahma and Aham Brahmaasmi.

Few are prepared to believe in such profound declarations although they are ready to believe utterly worthless people!

This is the direct result of body-consciousness.

You attach so much importance to the body. Is this body permanent?

No! People who identify themselves with things impermanent also believe only in things that are not permanent!

Give up this attachment to the body which is like a water bubble.

You know what happens to a bubble, don’t you; sooner or later the bubble bursts.

Why should you believe you are the impermanent body when verily you are God?!

 

You are Truth, you are Brahman, you are Atma, you are nothing but God!

God is Love. You are God and so, live in Love!


Before I amplify what Swami said in the clip, let me for a moment go back to Swami’s identification of the microphone with God. What He was drawing attention to was that while outwardly the mike is a physical object, it also represents the power of God, revealed in this case through human instrumentality.

Here, I am reminded of the only time Mahatma Gandhi made a radio broadcast. It happened shortly before the Mahatma was assassinated. The country was being rocked by post-partition disturbances and in November 1947, Gandhi was asked to broadcast an appeal for calm. All broadcasts were live back then, and so Gandhiji had to go to the radio station. After the broadcast, the Mahatma was asked what he thought of the radio. Pat came the reply, “I see Shakti, the power of God in it!” By referring to the mike as God, Swami was actually teaching us to think like Gandhi!

Continuing in the same vein, allow me now to recall an incident which happened in Trayee Brindavan, in early 1993. I was there teaching and Swami had come there for His annual summer sojourn. One evening after the session with the boys started, Swami asked me: “How do you find our boys here?” I replied: “Swami, the boys are very good.” Swami promptly came back with the question: “How do you know? Aadhaaramaa or aadheyamaa?”

I was clean bowled and kept quiet! Not wanting to embarrass me, Swami just moved on, changed the topic and soon everyone forgot what happened. Much later, Swami made it clear to me that when we see a house, we do not see the foundation but without the foundation, the house cannot stand. Likewise, behind the world we perceive through our senses, lies the unseen, namely God. The moment we forget that, we create all sorts of problems, both for others and for ourselves.

 

Take for example, the radio. Gandhi saw God in radio and he would never think of misusing the radio. Today as we look around, we see radio being misused in so many different ways, including for spreading lies, hatred and vulgarity. Indeed the same is happening with the press, the cinema, TV, internet, smart phone, and so on. Such massive misuse of communication and media tools is tantamount to massively hurting God because malicious communication hurts people and God is in every person being hurt in this manner! Sadly, none of us see it that way, and it is to remove this stupendous and widespread ignorance that we need Brahma Jnana; that was our Beloved Swami’s point.

Some of you might like to stop me at this point and say, “Listen, I am not able to see the connection between Brahma Jnana and the rope and snake story. Can you clarify?” This is a good point. Let us look at it this way.

A person who has acquired Brahma Jnana would obviously be a realized soul. Ramana Maharishi was a classic example of such a soul, who lived within the living memory of many of us. He spoke little but always radiated Shanti and Prema (Peace and Love), which automatically enveloped whoever was around. Swami has often told us that this aura of Love could pacify (temporarily at least) even people with cruel tendencies.

Bhagawan would then describe how sages meditating in forests would never be bothered by wild animals as also snakes and scorpions. This, Swami said, was because once these creatures came near the meditating sages they would automatically become pacific and simply move away. What it means is that once Love begins to shine from the Heart, it does have the capacity to illumine and at least temporarily quench violent and such other negative tendencies in the neighbourhood, even if one is not a realized soul. In this context, some of you might recall the real life story of Hal Honig which I have often narrated. I will not repeat it now but those who have heard it would realize that when Hal began to look with Love at a possible assailant seeing Swami in that person at the same time, that person became peaceful and did not cause harm.

To put it all simply, once one begins to open up one’s Heart then several things start happening. Firstly, one’s vision broadens and spiritual ignorance slowly begins to dissolve, even as morning mist rises as the Sun comes up; this is the point about the rope and snake story. This is the change that happens to the person who experiences Love in his Heart.

Turning next to the entity to whom Love is shown – that entity could be not only human but even a wild animal – once Love reaches that entity, it becomes pacific (temporarily at least). This is secondary action, which in this case is passive. Finally there is active secondary action; by that I mean the person touched by Love also transforms to become a source of Love himself or herself.

We often see this happening in Swami’s hospitals. Poor patients come there every day in desperation, as their last chance and hope for life. They are admitted, and treated with care, compassion and love. By the time they are discharged almost every single patient is touched by the atmosphere of Love, which is to be expected. What is interesting is that many of them are also transformed and turn to Sai seva. Some do it back home, while others come all the way to Prasanthi to render seva; this is what I mean by secondary transformation.

Here I cannot resist quoting Gandhi who says: “He is no God who merely satisfies the intellect. God to be God must rule the Heart and transform the senses.” Carried over to our present discussion this means that when we open our Hearts and allow the Prema therein to flow out, it can unlock other Hearts and also transform those persons – that is what I mean by secondary transformation. This is like using one candle to light another candle. In the beginning there was one candle lit and another unlit; after the second candle is lit, there are two candles both lit up, as a result of which the brightness increases. It is to promote this kind of synergy that Swami advised us to engage in collective seva, wherever possible.

Let me now turn to some precautions that Swami wants us to exercise while showing love to our fellow beings. Bhagawan does so with a simple but very illustrative example. Swami says: “Consider a man who has to deal with three women in his life, his mother, his wife and his daughter. The eyes of this man sees three women, all of whom this man loves. But can he speak and act in the same way to all the three of them? Clearly not. To his mother the man has to show respect and offer prostrations whenever required. At the other end, he has to show his love to his daughter the way a father is expected to. Where the wife is concerned, she is his life partner; naturally he relates to her both as her husband and protector as also the mother of his children.”

After that lengthy commentary, we are now ready for the next clip.

Texte alternatif

In the clip you just heard, Swami directs His comments specifically to students and says:

Students! Hidden deep within you are many valuables but you are not aware of that.

 

You give a lot of importance to the body, but do you realise that the body is only the analogue of an iron safe?

An iron safe is used for protecting precious gems. Compared to the gems it holds, the material value of the safe itself is insignificant.

It is the same with the body whose value is nothing compared to the treasures it holds within.

What are those gems within you?

Compassion, love, forbearance, sacrifice and so on, which are like the precious stones diamonds, sapphire, ruby, emerald, pearl, etc., but infinitely more valuable!

You might have seen lots of shells while walking on the beach. Do you know that shells are the covering for pearls?
The ocean keeps the pearls and throws the shells on the beach for you to pick up because it is aware that you are after only worthless things!

To get the pearls, you have to dive deep into the ocean. Thus it is that Meera sang:
O Krishna, diving into the ocean, I picked up a pearl but it is trying to slip out of my hand. Don’t let that happen O Giridhari, and I have no one to appeal to but You!

And Meera made that appeal with deep anguish, and yearning for Krishna. Do you have such hunger for God in your Heart? Are you in pain because your Heart is separated from God? Are you afraid of losing Swami?

Swami’s remarks are quite clear and all that remains for me is to add some supplementary remarks.

I start by reminding that God has given all of us a wonderfully flexible body, five fairly powerful senses, with the tongue in particular being capable of speech. Topping up all of these is a Mind that is extremely powerful. However, God’s gifts do not stop with just these, as most of us imagine. He has also put within us a Heart – the spiritual Heart that is – and made it His permanent home!

How many times Swami has told us that it is not Vaikuntam or Kailas that is His permanent address but the human Heart! And yet we quickly forget that, allowing in the process the body-Mind complex to dominate us in varying proportions. This is what Bhagawan often referred to as dehaabhimaanam.

That dehaabhimaanam is the root of most problems in the world, all the way from the individual to the level of human society, through the intermediate steps of family, community and the country. We hardly take time off to reflect on this; instead we are quick to blame God for all the problems we have created for ourselves by ignoring His advice. As Swami says, He is the only true and everlasting friend.

The question now arises: “How come people forget this?” Swami’s answer is simple. He says (in effect):

O man! You are really strange! You buy a good iron safe and place in it not only all your important documents but also all your costly jewellry and the collection of precious stones you have in your possession. You are well aware that compared to the safe, it is the contents in it that are far more precious and valuable to you. However, when it comes to your own self, you seem to do things the opposite way! Yes, the body and the Mind are important; after all they have been given by God Himself. But do you use them for the purpose for which God has given them? No! Instead, you totally ignore what is the core of your human nature, i.e., the precious gems in your Heart and give all the attention possible to pampering the body and Mind! Do you realise that in this inverted priority scheme you have invented for yourself, you are giving more importance to the container than to the precious gems that the container holds?

Pay heed to the anguished prayers Meera offered to Krishna. Realising that pearls are not found on sea shores but only deep in the ocean, Meera dived to pick up a pearl and that pearl for her was Krishna. However, she was finding it difficult to hold the pearl in her palms and was terrified that it might slip away and disappear back into the dark ocean. That is why she prayed to Krishna to prevent that misfortune from occurring.

O Man! In your busy schedule, do you for even a fleeting moment feel that kind of anguish and agony about missing God? Tell Me! Do you really?”


I have almost come to the end. Unlike what I have been doing thus far, I shall now give you a quick glimpse of what Swami says in the next clip and then play it. The reason I am doing this clip in reverse order is because, as you all know, after concluding His Discourse, Swami always sang a bhajan. It seems appropriate to stick to that tradition in the present case also. Once the bhajan is over, I shall wrap up with suitable remarks, bringing this presentation to a close.

Turning to the seventh and last clip for the day, Swami says:

Therefore, Love God!
There is no love greater than the love for the Divine.
Develop Love and direct it in the proper manner.

We are now ready to listen to the last clip in which Bhagawan concludes His Discourse.

Texte alternatif

 

Dear readers, that brings me to the end of this first Discourse Walkthrough, offered as a part of my Musing series. I tried it out in Hongkong and Japan during my recent trip there. Since the response seemed encouraging, I have ventured to make this my latest Musings feature. I do hope you would come back strongly with your comments and opinions, favourable or otherwise.

Before I end, I must refer to the fact that just yesterday (December 21 2012) as I was finalizing the script for this talk, I heard the horrifying news about shooting in a KG school in Newtown, Connecticut in America. As President Obama pointed out, many other mass shootings had occurred earlier, leading in every case to unwanted loss of precious human life. I shall not go into an analysis of this or of similar events where many more died, not only through shooting but also through criminal negligence, especially of safety procedures.

Wherever we turn, we see tons of problems, all created by the human Mind. The only way to solve them is by appealing to the Heart. However, we seem to have locked up the Heart and thrown away the keys! Again and again, Swami drew our attention to the Heart and its power. In the discourse I presented today, Swami is calling attention to the precious jewels the Heart contains.

During the time He was physically with us, our beloved Bhagawan used these very same jewels - selfless love, compassion, understanding, and so on, to demonstrate how to solve complex problems both at the individual as well as societal level.

Having taught us for seventy odd years, the Divine Master is telling now signalling to us, “You take over and continue what I started!” The question is: “Are we ready?” I leave each one of you to decide that for yourself.

Offering this talk at the Lotus Feet of our Beloved Swami, I now take your leave.

God Bless and Jai Sai Ram.

For any comments and feedback on this article, please write to [email protected]

 

 

 
counter for wordpress