THE GREAT TRUTH
By Sri Sanjay Mahalingam
This is the transcription of Sri Sanjay Mahalingam’s talk in the divine presence of Bhagawan Baba on the 29th of July 2005.
Most Beloved Bhagavan, Revered Elders, Sisters and Brothers,
Swami starts His Discourses with melodiously sung couplets. On one such glorious occasion - whenever Bhagavan gives a Discourse, it is a Glorious Occasion - Swami started by saying:
Na Hum Manushyo, Nacha Deva, Yaksho;
Na Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaishya, Shudra;
Na Bramhachari, Na Grihi Vanastho, Bikshur, Na Chaham;
Sathya Bodhaka: Sathyam, Shivam, Sundaram!
I am not Man; I am not an angel, nor a demi-god;
I do not belong to any Caste
be it Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas or Shudras;
I am not a Bachelor, I am not a Householder,
neither am I a Recluse, nor a Mendicant.
I am the Teacher of Truth:
I am Truth, Auspiciousness and Beauty.
What ‘Truth’? Before we come back to this question: ‘What Truth is Swami talking about?’ Let me share with you three incidents that readily come to my mind.
The Omniscient Presence of Sai
Some months back, a few students of Bhagavan who are currently working in Delhi had come to have Bhagavan’s Darshan and were blessed with a private audience. One brother said: “Swami, in Delhi I cannot feel Your Presence!” Swami said: “In Delhi, can you feel your presence?”
The boy said: “Yes Swami, I can feel my presence, but not Your Presence!” Swami said: “Your Presence is My Presence!”
A few months back, Bhagavan had blessed me with an interview. And Swami casually asked: “Ha inka emi samacharam?” [meaning, ‘what news?’] I said: “Swami, an Akhanda Bhajan was held. My sister who is staying here told me that she attended the full Akhanda Bhajan…24 hours non-stop!” Actually she had told me that for two hours she had gone out. I thought why burden Bhagavan with such insignificant details. I told Swami she sat for 24 hours. Swami looked at me suspiciously and said: “24 hours? No, no, no she went out for two hours and came back.”
And then Bhagavan said; Listen to this…He said six words. He said: “I know. I am always watching.”
Another incident that comes to my mind is this year’s Kodaikanal trip. When one devotee casually remarked to Swami: “Swami, unlike in Brindavan, unlike in Parthi, you seem to be so much happier in Kodaikanal. You seem to be devoid of all Your burden; You seem to be so much cheerful and happy in Kodaikanal!”
Bhagavan retorted quickly in an instant and said: “No! I am the same Everywhere, and Always!”
Now let us come back to the question when Swami says: “Aham Sathya Bodhaka!” “I am the Teacher of Truth!” - what ‘Truth’ is Bhagavan is talking about?
I am reminded of a beautiful story. We all have heard of the great King Janaka, a Raja Yogi. In fact, he is one of the most oft repeated personalities in our Shastras and Puranas (ancient scriptural texts), King Janaka, the great jignasu [man of wisdom]; the great spiritual aspirant that he was, assembled all the scholars in his kingdom, and brought them to his court, so that they can inculcate to him the Ultimate Truth.
When the discussions were going on, a man, awful to look at - body bent at eight places and therefore called Ashtavakara - happened to enter the court. On seeing him, all the scholars burst into laughter. A smile escaped even the lips of the great King Janaka. And seeing them laugh, this man started roaring in laughter. Everybody was confused. Then King Janaka asked: “Man, all the people are laughing at you, what makes you laugh?” And Ashtavakara said: “King! I pity your situation. You expect to find the Ultimate Truth in this assembly of cobblers?”
Ashtavakra in the court of King Janaka
This was too much for the King to take! No body dares come into his court and call the most erudite scholars of his kingdom cobblers! King Janaka said: “You better justify your statement!” And Ashtavakara said: “King! Cobblers know only leather. And these scholars know only the skin! They look at this body and laugh that it is deformed at eight places! But these scholars do not know the Effulgent, Splendorous, and Glorious Atma that shines within this body! They consider me to be this bag of leather with filth, flesh, bone, and laugh! But they do not know that I am the Chaitanya, I am theTruth, and I am Sat Chit Ananda! And then I pity you that you expect to find the Ultimate Truth in this assembly of cobblers!”
King Janaka knew that he was face to face with a Jnani [wise man]. He fell at Sage Ashtavakara’s feet. And we all know what followed was one of the greatest exposition’s of Advaita (Non-dualistic) philosophy: The Ashtavakra Maha Gita.
The Brihadarayanika Upanishad says:
Asato Maa Sad Gamaya, Tamaso Maa Jyotir Gamaya, Mrityor Maa Amritam Gamaya. (A prayer that all of us chant daily in our Institute)
Asato Maa Sad Gamaya: Lead me from Untruth to Truth; from Unreality to Reality.
Shri Adi Shankaracharya, the greatest proponent of Non-dualistic wisdom, once said:
Shlokar Dhena Parikshyami Yedukhtam Grantha Koti Vihi
“Let me propound to you in half hours what is written in crores of scriptures.”
Bramha Satyam, Jagan Mithya, Jivo Brahmai Vana Para
Brahman is Real; the World is an Illusion. And you the Individual Soul is none other than the Universal Consciousness and that is the Truth!
And Bhagavan Always points us to that Truth!
Our Forgotten Treasure of Bliss
There was it seems a beggar, who begged all his life standing at the same place. When the time came for him to join the majority - that is when he died - it was thought prudent to bury him at the same place where he spent all his life begging. When they started digging, after just 5 feet they heard the clink of metal. They excavated further and found that the beggar had been standing over a vast treasure all his life and begging.
Bhagavan says that our situation is very similar! We are the Embodiment of all bliss. It is our nature; but forgetting it we spend our lives begging for little sensual pleasures, ignorant of our Reality!
If only the beggar had stopped begging, and had started digging, he would have found the treasure. If only we stop begging from the world’s sense pleasures, and started digging our own selves, we will find the ocean of Bliss within.
This much I can surely tell you that if we once, for even a second come face to face with our own Reality, with that untarnished, untainted, unblemished, splendorous Self, it will become impossible for us to ever crave for anything ever again!
The Shweta Shwetur Upanishad says:
Swachai Tanaye, Swayam Sthasaye, Swathma Rajaye, Sukhey Ramey
Swathma Sinhasaney Sthitva, Swatmano Nyanya Chintai.
Established in my own Self, thinking about my own Self, established on the Throne of my own Self, and enjoying the Bliss of my own Self, I pass my time.
Bhagavan says: “Boys should have the Head of Shankara, the Heart of Buddha, and the Hands of Janaka!”
You are You
Just some days back, we had the opportunity to witness the Inter-Faith Conference, re-christened by Mr. Goldstein as “Intra-Faith Conference.” And we discussed what is common amongst all Faiths. And if there is anything common, then it is this:
Every faith, every religion, every true doctrine, always endeavors to point out to man his own reality;
To point out to man that you are not this body; a leather bag filled with bone and flesh!
You are not this mind which is a squadron of anxieties, fears and curiosities!
You are you! You are just you! And when you can be just You, You will be Everything!
And this is the Truth that Bhagavan, through all His actions and endeavors, always drives home, and it is that great Truth that we are here to learn and imbibe in our lives.
With these words, I thank Bhagavan, for this most sanctifying experience to stand in His Presence and speak on His Glory.
Thank you, Jai Sai Ram!
- Heart2Heart Team