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Posted on: Jun 04, 2015
SUMMER SHOWERS 1990 ILLUSTRATED (Part 08)
SSI - 05.06.2015
Bhagawan would often say, “My life is My Message.” A simple understanding of this declaration is that He lives every day the message He teaches. One other meaning one could draw is that, ‘His message is His life’! That is, the message that Bhagawan gave is the very life essence of His descent as an Avatar. And the fact that even today, we can go through the thousands of discourses He delivered is in itself a sign of His benediction upon us.
And among the discourses Baba delivered, those that He gave as part of the Summer Course series are even more special. This is because often these are a set of discourses centered around a specific theme, elaborated gradually. These are a treasure mine for any sincere spiritual seeker. So in our attempt to encourage more people to dwell deeply into these divine discourses, and contemplate on the message therein, we begin with prayers, a new series today.
In March 2013, with the same motive in mind we began a radio series entitled Shravanam Mananam Nididhyasanam. In this live show we began going through the 1990 Summer Course discourses, and needless to say we were overwhelmed by their profundity. So we now wish to offer these discourses to our readers, in this new format. We will try to pictorially depict the messages in these discourses in the form of a poster. These will be sent everyday to all our Sai Inspires subscribers as a link along with the Thought for the Day (If you are not a subscriber yet, please do subscribe). And after these posters are dispatched, they will be added to this page, on the right hand side. You can view, download and even print and use them if you so wish. Also given below is an abridged version of the discourse as published in the Summer Showers 1990 book.
We pray to Bhagawan to bless and guide this new endeavour of ours. And we invite you all to partake of and imbibe our Master’s ethereal message.
BUDDHI THE CHARIOTEER
Purity of mind is the pathway to progress,
You have been told previously that, according to the Upanishads, the human body is a chariot, the sense organs being the horses, with the mind as the reins. However beautiful the chariot may be, however dependable the horses, however firm and secure the reins, all of these are of no use if there is no charioteer. So also, however efficient the body, the senses and the mind may be, they serve no purpose in the absence of the charioteer, namely, buddhi (intellect). In life's journey, the intellect is of supreme importance. It is called nischayatmika buddhi, which means that the buddhi has the decision-making capacity. In daily life, many difficulties, problems and disturbances arise from time to time. For overcoming all these obstacles, buddhi is our mainstay. Without the intervention of the buddhi, none of our problems can be solved. "Samsayaatma vinasyathi", says the Gita, which means that a man filled with doubts will perish. Because the buddhi destroys doubts, the Gita affirms, "Buddhi grahayam athindriyam (buddhi can grasp that which is beyond the grasp of the sense organs)."
The Bhagavad Gita has laid down two banks to channalise its message. In the absence of these banks, the river of life will be subject to many problems, difficulties, and hazards. The two banks are symbolised by two mantras. One is: Sraddhavaan labhathe Jnanam (the man of faith acquires supreme wisdom). The other is: Samsayaatma vinasyathi (the one filled with doubts will perish). When the river of life flows in between these two banks of mantras, it will be blessed with peace and happiness and ultimately reach the sea of Divine Grace which is its goal.
"Antarvaani" (inner voice) is another name for the buddhi. Man is guided by this in- ner voice in the conduct of his life. Whenever problems arise, he awaits the directives of the inner voice. If satisfactory answers are not forthcoming from his inner voice, man will have no satisfaction in life. In other words, his satisfaction with the external world is a function of his satisfaction with his inner world, represented by the inner voice. Sometimes you hear people saying, "My conscience is not satisfied; or my conscience does not approve of this." Here conscience refers to the inner voice. So when you are exhorted to "Follow the Master," the Master stands for your conscience. Only when you follow the dictates of your conscience can you reach the right destination.
The name vijnana is also sometimes attributed to the buddhi. But it is not correct, because vijnana means the so-called scientific or mundane knowledge, which helps man to discover facts relating to the objective or phenomenal world, whereas buddhi is concerned with the subtle realm of the inner world. Hence, the role of the buddhi should be correctly understood.
Off and on, the buddhi tends to be covered by ahamkara (the ego sense). In this context, one should remember that the senses are subtler than the body, the mind is even more subtle than the senses, and the buddhi is far more subtle than the mind. The Atma, of course, is subtlest of all. In the light of this fact, when we say that ahamkara is able to envelop the buddhi, it means that ahamkara is subtler than the buddhi. Thus, ahamkara being extremely subtle, is all-pervasive and permeates all our actions. This is why man is unable to transcend ahamkara and experience the Atma (the Self).
Once, a king summoned an assembly of great scholars to his court. He posed the fol- lowing question before them. "You are all distinguished scholars who have mastered the scriptures. Can you tell me how many among you are capable of attaining liberation?" Despite all their academic learning, none of the pundits had the courage to stand up and give an affirmative answer. The whole assembly was stunned into silence. At that stage, an ordinary man from among the public got up and said boldly, (In Telugu), Nenu pothe povachchunu. His reply has two meanings: (i) "I may possibly go to moksha" and (ii) "If the I goes, one can attain liberation." The second meaning did not occur to any of the scholars. So, taking the first meaning only, all the pundits felt outraged by the audacity of that uneducated person, who appeared to be totally ignorant of the scriptures and had done no spiritual sadhana. When the scholars began murmuring among themselves, the king asked that ordinary-looking person, "On what grounds did you make your claim? It appears to be an affront to all the scholars present here." The man politely replied, "Your Excellency! Please forgive me. The meaning of my statement is that if the 'I' goes, liberation can be attained. I am sure no one has any objection to this statement of mine." So, the purpose of this story is that the ahamkara, which veils the buddhi and which leads one to the wrong identification of the body with the Self, should be removed before one can realise the Atma.
The buddhi is very close to the Atma and therefore well located to receive 90% of the Atmic energy and illumination. The mind derives its power from the buddhi, the senses from the mind, and the body from the senses. In this process of the flow of power from the Atma to the body in stages, there occurs a gradual quantitative and qualitative diminution of the power. Here is a simple illustration for the quantitative decrease. Suppose there is a dark room, which cannot directly receive sunlight. If you want to illuminate that room, you can do it by holding a mirror in the open vicinity and by directing the sun's rays reflected on the mirror towards the interior of the room. However, when compared to the direct rays of the sun, the reflected rays on the mirror are less powerful, and the reflected light in the room is much less powerful. Regarding the gradual deterioration in the quality, let us consider the example of a river. At the source of the springs that give rise to the river, the water will be pure and crystal clear. But as several rivulets and tributaries join its course, and as it wends its way through the countryside, the river gets more and more polluted as people begin making use of the water. Similarly, the purity of the Atma gets gradually contaminated as it passes through the buddhi, the mind, and the senses and finally reaches the body. Nevertheless, it is possible, through effort, to minimise this quantitative and qualitative deterioration, by sanctifying and purifying the Buddhi and by facilitating the direct influence of the buddhi on the body.
In the Taithiriya Upanishad, which is one of the important among the ten principal Upanishads, the buddhi is described as a bird. "Sraddha (faith)" is the head of the bird. Its right wing is "ritam" (the cosmic rhythm), and its left wing is "sathyam" (truth.) The main body of the bird is "Mahat Thathwa" (the Great Principle), its tail is called yoga. The buddhi, in its complete form, is thus composed of five constituents and is extraordinarily powerful.
Once, King Vikramaditya convened an assembly of great scholars and asked them for their opinion regarding which is the most important among the three, viz., sraddha, medha, and buddhi. The scholars came out with different answers. However, they finally expressed their consensus that medha (talent) was the most important. Disappointed with their conclusion, the king told the assembly, "Oh pundits! 'Aastha' means asakthi or sraddha (zeal and faith); 'swaastha' means sthiratva and firmness. Without asakthi and sthiratva, medha (talent) is useless. In other words, it would be futile on the part of man to depend only on his talents and cleverness for leading a purposeful life. He should develop faith and zeal together with steadiness and firm determination. Then only will he be able to accomplish great things in his life. Sraddha or faith is of paramount importance. Without sraddha, you can achieve nothing. If you have a small spark of fire, you can fan it and create a big blazing fire from out of it, provided you have sraddha. If you lack sraddha, you will allow even a blazing fire to die out. Similarly with faith, you can produce a mighty banyan tree from a minute seed. Today's man has sraddha no doubt, but only in securing the fruit and not in the labour required for getting it. He does not have the spirit of work in him. The advances in science and technology have made man a lover of comfort for ease with no interest in hard work. There is nothing wrong with science as such. It is the improper use of science that is leading man astray. What is needed today is to pay attention to love and spiritual advancement along with scientific progress. The difference between science and spirituality is brought out vividly, albeit succinctly, by the two simple equations:
Today, we are witnessing rapid and radical changes in almost every field of life—political, economic, social, scientific, etc. However, there is no mental ethical and spiritual transformation. This is because no effort is made to understand the nature and role of the human mind. The food consumed by man provides the source of origin, suste- nance and development of his mind. After digestion, the grossest part of the food is thrown out as excreta. The subtle part becomes blood and flesh, while the subtlest part assumes the form of the mind. So the nature of the mind depends on the quality and quantity of food consumed. While the gross body or the food sheath (annamaya kosa) is chiefly derived from food, the subtle part of the water we drink contributes to the life sheath (pranamaya kosa). The grosser part of the water goes out as urine. The food sheath and the life sheath provide the basis for the other three sheaths, namely, the manomaya kosa (the mental sheath), the vijnanamaya kosa (the intellectual sheath), and the anandamaya kosa (the bliss sheath). This shows the paramount importance of food and drink in moulding and developing the human personality.
Reference has been made earlier to the supreme need for ridding the buddhi of the ahamkara that often envelops it. You should understand the difference between ahamkara, the ego and the Atma (Self). ahamkara is the father of ahamkara, grandfather of the mind or thought, the great grandfather of vaak (speech). Thus, the ahamkara, the ahamkara, the mind (manas), and vaak are all members of the same family. Ahamkara is the one that comes and goes, whereas there is no such coming and going for the Atma. Usually, the Sanskrit word ahamkara is translated into English as 'ego'. Both these words are employed in common usage to mean selfesteem or pride born of delusion about one's wealth or scholarship etc. This is a wrong usage of the words. Their correct meaning is the mistaken identification of oneself with the body. All may not be proud of their wealth or knowledge, but everyone is a victim of ahamkara in the sense of considering oneself to be the body. It is this ahamkara that shrouds the buddhi and misleads it on the wrong path. Hence, if the buddhi is to develop sraddha, we should first eliminate ahamkara.
As mentioned earlier, ritam, is the right wing of the bird of buddhi. In Vedantic parlance ritam and sathyam have been used as synonyms. However, there is a difference between the two, sathyam means putting your words into action, and factually reporting in words what you have done. Ritam, on the other hand, has a wider connotation, namely, purity, harmony, and unity of the trikaranas (thought, word, and deed). We may also say that sathyam is concerned more with the external world, while ritam relates more to the internal world of mind and its modifications. Sathyam is said to transcend time—past, present, and future, while Atma transcends time and space.
Yoga is the tail of the buddhi-bird. This tail of yoga is needed to maintain the required balance between the two wings of sathyam and ritam, just as the tail of an aeroplane serves the purpose of balancing the two wings of the aircraft. Yoga as envisaged here should not be confused with asanas, physical exercises of various kinds. Yoga here means the control of the mind and senses.
Then there is the Mahat Thathwa, which is the body of the bird of buddhi. Mahat Thathwa signifies the realisation of the mahavakya 'Thath-thwam-asi —the great Upanishadic declaration That Thou Art.' In other words, it is experiencing one's real Self as Sath-chith-ananda. Buddhi should not therefore be confused with medha, which refers to the possession of worldly talents, intelligence, and cleverness etc., without having Self- knowledge. Thus buddhi consisting of sraddha, sathyam, ritam, Mahat Thathwam, and yoga may be considered as the resound, reflection, and reaction of the Atma. On the other hand, medha sakthi (the power of worldly knowledge) corresponds to maya sakthi (the divine power of delusion).
On Rama's return to Ayodhya after finishing His 14 years of exile in the forests, Kaikeyi, who felt penitent about this grievous wrong she had done to Rama, approached Him when He was alone and prayed, "My dear Rama, even though I knew about your divine nature, I caused you a lot of unnecessary hardship, blinded by narrow feeling of 'I' and 'mine'. Kindly give me some upadesh (spiritual instruction), so that I may be absolved of the heinous sin I have committed against such a noble person like yourself." In response to her request, Rama did not give her the upadesh directly but gave her some hints indirectly. This is characteristic of all Avatars from time immemorial. Avatars seldom give advice directly. Whatever they wish to communicate they convey more often by way of indirect suggestions and only rarely by the direct method of instruction. The reason for this is there is divinity inherent in every human being, which he can manifest spontaneously, if favourable conditions are provided, just as a viable seed will germinate and grow into a tree because of its inherent nature, if only suitable facilities are provided for the manifestation of its potentiality. Man should be enabled to correct himself by his own efforts, by merely giving timely suggestions, rather than by stultifying his freedom and dignity through directives imposed from without. In short, the best maxim for helping people either in worldly matters or in the spiritual field is 'Help them to help themselves' or 'Self-help is the best help.'
Following the same strategy, therefore, Sri Rama, in the present instance told, Kaikeyi, "Mother! Please take bath in the holy Sarayu river and come back for My upadesh. But while bathing in the Sarayu please observe what is going along the riverside." Kaikeyi went along with her retinue to the river and returned to Rama after bath. Rama asked her, "Mother! Now tell Me what you noticed on the banks of Sarayu." Kaikeyi replied that she saw a number of sheep and goats grazing the green grass on the banks, bleating "mae, mae," as usual, every now and then. Then Rama told her promptly that "mae, mae" was His upadesh for her. He disclosed to her that the bleating of the sheep and goats meant, "Who am I? Who am I?" He further remarked that when even sheep are concerned with the question of, "Who am I?" if a man does not concern himself with this question, he is worse than sheep.
Everyone should first seek to know the answer to the question, "Who am I?" Without knowing who you are, what is the use of trying to know everything about others? At birth you cried out "Koham (Who am I)?" You should not die with the same question on your lips. When you die, you should be able to assert cheerfully "Soham (I am That or He)". Then alone can you justify your birth as a man and enjoy the satisfaction of having fulfilled the purpose of human life. There is only one path to get rid of ahamkara, namely pursuing the Godly way of life. Whenever you feel the sense of ego, sit silently in a corner and observe what your breathing is telling you. It is declaring, "So...Ham". "So" while inhaling and "Ham" while exhaling. The two syllables "So" and "Ham", which to- gether constitute the word Soham convey the meaning: "I am Brahman." If you constantly meditate upon this, your ego-sense characterised by the idea: "I am the body," will cease to bother you. This "So-ham" mantra repeats itself in each of you 21,600 times per day. Thus "I am Brahman" is the message of your inner voice all the time. Ignoring this, however, everyone identifies himself with the temporary, artificial name given to the body. Thinking yourself to be Ramaiah, Krishnaiah, or Seenaiah (the names given to your body) however long you may engage yourself in spiritual practices, you will not achieve any progress. You will continue to be what you have been according to the name given to your body. "Soham" is the name with which you were born. That alone is your natural and permanent name. That indeed is your Reality or Truth. Realise it and experience Sath-chith-ananda. Krishna is known as Partha Sarathi (the Charioteer of Partha). Partha does not mean Arjuna alone. It applies to all children of prithvi (the earth). So, make Krishna your charioteer. As the buddhi is a reflection of the divine Atma, make use of it as the charioteer in your journey to realise the Atma. Also remember that for success in every endeavour, prema (universal love) is essential. The Lord is the embodiment of Love, the Sun of Truth. Therefore, through Love, seek to know your true Self with the help of the buddhi and purify your mind. This is what I expect of you.
- Team Radio Sai
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