Loving Sai Ram and greetings from Prashanti Nilayam. Five days from now, the calendar would show the date as 20 th October. On that day, sixty-six years ago, something memorable happened. However, only a few people witnessed that event, because it happened so long ago, and that too in a small and somewhat unknown town named Uravakonda in Anantapur District of what was then Madras Presidency and is now Andhra Pradesh.
On that day, a young boy named Sathya Narayana Raju left home for school as usual, went some distance, came back, stood on the doorstep of his brother’s house and said something to His elder brother that knocked out both the brother and his wife. The young boy just fourteen years old, declared that He was Sathya, that He belonged to the entire human race, and that He was going out to Love All as well as Serve All.
With those historic words, Raju disappeared into history and in place of that young lad appeared Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the Avatar of the Age. Baba then walked away from what was until then His residence, went to a garden in the house of a person named Anjaneyulu, sat on a small stone and gave the world His first Message:
Manasa Bhajare Guru Charanam…..
We all know that song and many of us also know about this turning point as well but we are sure that of the fifteen thousand or so who now receive the Sai Inspires picture post-card daily, there must be many of the younger generation, who are not aware of all this.
The “body” of Bhagawan Baba was only fourteen years old, but being Timeless, Baba gave then [and innumerable number of times thereafter] an Eternal Message. As He told Arjuna five thousand years ago, God incarnates mainly to teach this Message to man. He has done so any number of times but man being a dumb student keeps forgetting the lesson. And so, God has to come down repeatedly to teach that same lesson, which is that there is only One Reality, GOD!
Everything we see is God, though it might not be readily apparent to us. However, if we pause to reflect and enquire, we would eventually find that indeed, everything including us is nothing but God. Two years ago, on 25 th October to be precise, Swami gave a Discourse on this subject, for the Nth time that is, and we thought this Sunday, we would present excerpts of that Divine Discourse with supplementary comments.
Let us start with the world we live in, which seems so very real to all of us. That is no surprise because the world is enveloped by powerful forces that bring us pleasure as well as pain. So we tend to think of this reality as something EXTERNAL to us and often independent of us. When we look out into the world we see all sorts of things – people serving others, people injuring others, etc. etc. And when we see these things, we experience various feelings like joy, pain, anger and so on. Such experience is not confined to just what we see; they extend also to the actions we are involved in. A man drinks alcohol thinking there is pleasure in the alcohol. Alcohol is just a drink and a chemist would even given the formula for it. The feeling of intoxication experienced is internal to the person concerned. For example, if a person who does not like alcohol is forced to drink it, he would not feel pleasure but revulsion. Swami describes it all as follows:
In God’s creation, everything is reaction, reflection and resound. All that we experience in the outside world is only a reaction, reflection and resound of the inner being.We are, however, deluded to think that this reaction, reflection and resound is real. Whatever feeling comes out of your heart and takes a shape outside is the form you see. It means that, that form has already been conceived by you.
Let us explore what these words mean. Say there is a statue and two men standing next to it, one a “normal” person of the world and other a holy man. All three are witness to a riot happening in the neighbourhood. The statue does not feel anything, naturally. In fact, you would say it is stupid to expect the statue to feel anything because the statue is insentient, and you would be absolutely right; but we brought in the statue just to make our point. What about the other two? The normal person would feel agitated and angry and would most likely be pro one of the two factions engaged in the rioting; the side he supports would depend of course on his personal feelings. As for the holy man, he does not take sides but is pained that both parties are foolish in wasting their time and energy in violence instead of spreading Love, which is the true nature of man. This hypothetical example brings home the elementary truth that experience flows from the nature of the person. The so-called normal person and the holy man both witness the same event but their reactions are very different. Why? Because their natures are very different; they see what they want to see! That is the point about the above quote from Baba.
OK, the outside is a reflection of the inside. There are billions of people on earth, and they all have different personalities. So, are there are billions of versions of what people perceive and experience as reality? Baba says NO! How come? That is what we shall consider next. You see, every individual is a CORE plus an outer covering. It so happens that while the CORE is the same in all, the outer covering varies widely, being dependent on the individual’s “worldly personality”. You might say: “But that is inevitable and what can we do about it?” Swami says that if you see the world imagining yourself to be the “outer cover” you will see something, while if you see the same world believing you are the CORE and not the outer covering, then the perception would be entirely different. While the “outside” of a human’s personality would see diversity, the CORE of his personality would see only one thing, which is the Reality. Baba puts it this way:
You are everything and everything in Creation is immanent in you. Unfortunately, man today is forgetting his Real Nature and is imagining something that does not exist. This is the result of delusion, which, in fact, is of his own making. It is only when man comes out of this illusion that he would be able to realise Brahman.
So, there is the answer – we see what we want to see! If we imagine ourselves to be the transient body plus the Mind, then the IMPRESSIONS we get of the world outside would be Bhrama or illusion [as opposed to Brahman or the Eternal Reality]. If we are guided entirely by the fickle Mind, we would see superficial diversity instead of the CORE Divinity. As Swami says: Yad Bhavam, tad Bhavati – as you feel so you become. A person wedded to diversity would tend to feel, “I am right and he is wrong etc.,” and from that would be born, anger, jealousy, hatred and conflict. This is what is happening all round these days, and that is why there is so much hatred and conflict, though the CORE of all persons of all faiths, and indeed of even the so-called atheists, is Divine! Swami says, “You stupid man! Why are you wasting your time, energy and even money in focusing on the wrong thing! Why don’t you focus instead on the REAL YOU! That REAL YOU is God, and once you realize that you would see nothing but God everywhere. The moment you do that, conflict would vanish from the face of the earth like the mist before the morning Sun!” In short, our “outside” sees superficiality while our CORE sees the CORE of the Universe; the latter would be a case of God “within” seeing God “without”! That said we would now like to present some more excerpts to stimulate your thinking.
There is only one power in the world, which is all-pervasive. That is the power of [Selfless] Love. It is only by [Selfless] Love, that human societies are formed. There can be no humanity without Divinity.
That is a clear message that we cannot hope to be humans if we forget our innate Divine nature. That CORE is the Only Reality. The question arises: “If our CORE is indeed Divine and Selfless Love is an integral part of each of us, then how come there is so much hatred?” Baba explains. He says that hatred is nothing but a highly degraded form of Love , the degradation occurring due to attachment and desires. Swami adds:
Even Maya (delusion) is associated with love. You do not find anything in this world, devoid of love. Love is in everything in this world. All relationships between people in this world are established and cultivated on account of love. Again, love becomes the cause for separation of two individuals.
So it is not as if Love is absent in us; it is always present but unfortunately, often in degraded or polluted form. If only we can clean it up! Swami continues:
In fact, Love is your TRUE form. Man is born out of and brought up with love. Not only a human being, but every living creature experiences love right from its birth. There is no force more powerful than Selfless Love in this world. No power on earth can change Selfless Love.
So, if we really want to be human, then we must lean upon our innate Divinity – no other option! Once we truly become human, nothing can stop us. As Swami emphasised in the Discourse referred to.
There is no power greater than humanness in this world.
Devoid of love, nothing can be achieved even in this mundane world. Without love, the whole world becomes a vacuum. That love alone assumes a form. Realise this truth.
Divinity is only One, which is changeless. That changeless Eternal Divinity is immanent in you. All external forms and names are like fleeting dreams. And those dreams are not real. Hence, strive to come out of that Bhrama [illusion].
All of you are Embodiments of Divinity. Your forms are Divine. You and God are one. You are not different from God. Experience this Cosmic Unity. Unity is Truth. Unity is Divinity. God is not separate from you. God is manifest in you. Reality is not somewhere in a distant place. It is within you.
Your very nature is Reality. How can you realise this Truth? Only by cultivating Pure, Selfless and Divine Love. Without Love, nothing can be achieved in this world. Love is the source and sustenance for the entire universe. Love is God and God is Love. Therefore, live in Love.
We have heard this many times, but do we ever spend a few moments to reflect on what the words actually mean?
We thought that this week, as we approach a major anniversary in this Sai Yuga if we might call it that, we would call attention to the Message that the Avatar has been giving again and again, not just during this Incarnation, but in every Incarnation in the past as well.
May God’s Grace shower on you ceaselessly. See you again next Sunday! Jai Sai Ram.