By the Divine command, today's morning session was
advanced by half an hour. The settings were the same, the dais, the
pandal, the altars etc (as on the 10th Morning). The day opened with
Mangala Vadyam belting out mellifluous music and spreading a feeling
true to its name (Mangalam). The timetable was same as that of
yesterday. The Aruna Parayanam began at 5:35 AM and towards its end
at 5:45 AM the sunlight poured on through the dome as if to mark its
attendance and have Darshan of the Lingam which stood with the
vermillion and sandal paste across its forehead and the eye (which
Swami Himself had materialized) in all beauty and consumed in the
magnificence of Divinity.
The Aruna Parayanam was followed by the Mahanyasam Parayanam. This
is Vedam chanting by the full group of rithwiks which surcharges the
atmosphere, customary to the daily schedule of the Athi Rudra Maha
Yagnam. The Mahanyasam was followed by the Panchamrutham Abhishekam
at 6:10 AM. A series of Abhishekams are performed with honey, milk,
curd and finally Panchamrutham. The Abhishekam (except for the
Panchamrutham ) is done in a wonderful manner. A vessel with the
contents of the abhishekam is suspended atop the lingam, it has a
small opening at the bottom through which the milk, honey and water
trickle and caress the Lingam, afterwards flowing down to be
Around 6:50 the Rudrabhishekam began. Almost everyone in the Sai
Kulwant Hall joined in the chants and the volume levels were quite
high. But it is only in such occasions that such a high volume could
render tranquility to the mind as one is tuned to the cosmic
At 7:32 AM, the Rudra Himself made His entry. Swami took his usual
lap around amplifying the ambience that already held everyone in an
exalted state of existence. The secret behind the Athi Rudra Maha
Yagnam, magnitude mammothian, the source of every chant of the
Rudram, the Infinite! The source, as relentless as the ocean's waves
and as countless as the twinkling stars.
As Swami stepped out of the car, the greeting was splendorous. The
Nadaswaram and Mangala Vadyam, played with all might and power.
Swami came to the fore and sat on His chair (7:42AM) and personally
monitored the proceedings. He called out to one of the members of
the Prashanti Vedam group and asked,
Swami: What is the meaning of "Namaha"?
Boy: "Not me!!!" Swami!
Swami: Does that mean that the one who is performing the yagnam is
Boy: Swami, God is the doer of everything; therefore You are the
Swami then called out to the "Birthday boys", blessed them and
continued to monitor the proceedings. It is to note that before the
eighth iteration of the Rudra Parayanam, all the ragas of music were
offered at the feet of Saieeshwara. The various combinations of the
seven swaras (the ragas) are nothing but the manifestation of the
Divine and therefore goes back to Him. Swami is the best patron of
music and clearly an example of that was seen last evening.
Around, 8:15AM Swami called out for Prasadam to be distributed.
Swami took keen interest in what the Prasadam was and showed a sign
of approval when it was shown to him. Swami called out to one of the
dance boys and enquired about the programme and costumes of the
team. The boy very expressively (the wonderful dancer that he is)
explained to Swami lucidly with the help of gesticulations.
The Rithwiks during the course of the chanting reiterated the fact
that the Yagnam is performed for the good of humanity and to remove
all the Doshas. Swami has also emphasized repeatedly in his last two
discourses that this is for Loka Kalyanam. At around 8:45AM Swami
retired to the interview room.
Swami came out at around 9:15 AM, exactly in time for the Rudra
Homam. Swami sat through the homam, watching the golden flames that
breathed life as ghee offered from a golden vessel with a wooden
stick and the "samiths" (small wooden sticks) were poured and cast
into the altars. He then went back to the Yajur Mandiram at around
9:45 AM when the Sai Gayatri homam was being performed. The
morning's programme concluded on that note with a Mangala Aarathi to
In the afternoon, Swami arrived in the car at 3:28pm. He went from
the ladies' side to the gents' side and gave darshan to all the
people gathered in the Kulwant hall. After arriving at the interview
room, He got down and walked all the way to the stage. With Swami's
permission Sri Vinay Kumar introduced the speaker of the day, Dr.
Kashyap, Director of the Aurobindo Kapali Sastry Institute of Vedic
Dr. Kashyap spoke on the Rudra mantras as the means for inner yagna.
He spoke on Rudra as the god who moves the world. This scholar with
a degree from the Harvard University quoted from the yajur veda on
the significance of Namakam and Chamakam. Rudra, he opined, is
described as "Manyu" which means the intense power of the mind. All
the hymns that we chant are to channelize this power to attain the
goal of life. In the Chamakam we ask God to confer everything upon
us because this life is meant to achieve perfection in all spheres.
But in all this we must realize that we are not the doers but the
instrument alone. There is a lot in common between the Veda and the
Upanishad said the scholar. In the word yagna, ya means, to strive
and gna means knowledge. Yagna means to strive for knowledge said
the erudite speaker. The scholar exhorted the audience to take to
vedic learning. He then concluded and as he was leaving the stage
Swami called him close and very graciously spoke to him before he
materialized vibhuti for him. Then Swami himself very considerately
packed the holy-ash in a paper before handing it to him.
Swami then asked Sri S V Giri (former vice chancellor SSSIHL) to
speak. Sri Giri said that the purpose of the yagnam was to
internalize knowledge. From thought, we reap action leading on to
habit and then to tendency and thereupon to character and destiny.
He quoted some paragraphs of the rudram the essence of which was to
sacrifice hate at the altar. He noted that this yagnam is far
powerful than just Ati Rudra Yagnam because nearly hundred nay
thousand voices chant the rudram along with the priests. He said
that Swami's projects are all exemplars and so was this yagnam. This
must be taken as a standard and implemented elsewhere. With Swami,
money is not a consideration. Swami gives free education from KG to
PG. The learned speaker then recounted the story of Sankara and the
Chandala before he spoke on how this yagnam could be implemented
like the gramaseva in all the states.
After he had finished, Swami called him and told him to speak for
some more time. He continued by congratulating the Karnataka youth
for the wonderful work they had done in organizing this Yagnam. The
speaker then exhorted the youth to take to such noble activity
before he wound up at 4:30pm.
At 4:30pm Swami signaled for the discourse table to be brought.
The discourse for the afternoon was as follows:
The body is constituted of the five elements. It is bound to
collapse one day. It is the indweller who is permanent. He has no
bondage or liberation, no life nor death. He is eternal. That
indweller is verily god.
This body is like a 'godrej' safe that is used to safeguard the
treasures of Sathya(truth), Dharma(righteousness), Shanti(peace),
Prema(love). Many affluent people come to Swami and pray, "Swami I
have everything in life but I don't have peace". True peace lies in
giving up desire. There is no peace for one with desires. Today man
has so many ambitions. True sacrifice is in giving up these
Sathya Dharma Shanti Premalu lekunna...
Without the values of Sathya, Dharma, Shanti and Prema all the
knowledge acquired is a void. Without these values, all the
meritorious actions sum up to a null and all the positions that one
attains, the rewards therein sum to a zero.
These values are the foundation for life. What is the use of the
safe (body) if it does not treasure valuables (values)? The body
bereft of these values is a water bubble or an empty box which no
one desires. It is our responsibility to safeguard these jewels.
What is this jewel; Sathyam (truth). Truth is valuable and
changeless. One can never be free from truth. Though we know truth
as the principle, we try to keep away from it. We must realize that
we can never escape from the reality that is truth. Next is Dharma
(righteousness), which is the foundation for life. There is no
Dharma greater than the practice of truth. Without the foundation of
Dharma the walls of life wouldn't stand. There are two Dharmas
namely: Bhoutika(worldly) and Adhyatmika(spiritual). The worldly
Dharma is in motion(changes) and the spiritual Dharma is constant
and changeless. If the foundation were to move, the walls would
collapse. Dharma is the path that is to be followed. Then comes
Shanti(peace). It is the light of life. When there is no Shanti in
life man gropes in darkness and faces risk and danger. Prema(love)
can be compared to brilliance. This love cannot be described. Take
for example this story of love between a mother and her son. When
there was a war in Rangoon(Burma) a mother and her son managed to
escape and came all the way to Madras. Here the mother begged for
food to feed her son. The son noticed that his mother was getting
thin and emaciated. Upon enquiry he understood that all the food
that his mother gathered from begging was just enough for him and
she had no food left to eat. Realizing his folly the son set out to
beg for food giving rest to his mother. In the process he too became
thin and weak. On one such round of begging he happened to come to a
house where the master of the house was sitting in an easy chair in
the verandah. Standing at the doorstep he called out, "Bhavati
bhikshaan dehi, (O noble one give me food) I am hungry". The master
of the house noting that the boy was weak from hunger went inside
and got for him a plate of rice and sambar(thick soup). The boy
would have none of it and collapsed on the floor saying something in
a meek voice. When the person put his ear to his lips he heard the
boy whisper, "First give this to my mother". He then passed away.
When his body was taken to his mother she too passed away learning
what had happened. In this manner both of them died in their love
for each other. This was the love that existed in the ancient times.
But today such love is on the decline, instead there is only
Swartham(selfishness). Love is life and there must exist intimate
love between the mother and child. Even a monkey exhibits so much
love for its little one that it keeps it close to itself and moves
about. Such is the love that must be treasured in the safe of the
body. When there is this love peace will manifest itself. This peace
is not of the pieces but true peace. Then comes Ahimsa(non-violence).
Ahimsa is the greatest of Dharma. Buddha gave up his family, kingdom
and all other comforts for non-violence.
These five values are the five life principles (pancha pranas).
There exist only five and not six of them. All the activities (yagnas,
yagas, tapas and so on) that man undertakes, it is to safeguard
these five values. He who has treasured these five values, has his
life redeemed. Even if one of these is missing, his life is in vain.
One must lead a life of truth and grow in Dharma. These values can
be compared to life wherein Truth is the foundation, Dharma the
walls, Prema is the roof and the life within is one of Shanti. Today
these values are missing. Whatever the riches man may acquire,
without these values he has no roof over his head. He is always
drenched by rain and exposed to the sun. Today it is the Dharma of
money. Even old people crave for money. This money leads to desires
and thus the Kaliyuga has become Kalahayuga (one of conflict).
This body is the safe which is useless without the treasures. What
is the use of such a life bereft of values? Even animals lead such a
life. Man today has excess desires. If he has five buildings he is
not satisfied and wants ten more when just one is enough. This
desire makes man cheat his fellowmen. We must control our desires
for less luggage gives more comfort and makes travel a pleasure.
Swami does not desire anything. He has no house of His own. He stays
in whatever is provided by his devotees. We must decrease desires
but increase our love for God. When we have love for God, all our
desires are taken care of. You have listened to many learned people
and you must put into practice what they have said.
(Swami then pointed to the senior students and research scholars
sitting in the front). These boys are highly qualified: many of them
doing research having completed their MA, MSc and MBA. They are
capable of drawing a salary of one to two lakhs a month. But they do
not want any of that. They want to do work that is worship and
perform duty that is god. Boys should have strong faith instead of
desires. When one has desires he ends up in ruin. These desires in
the form of responsibilities are a burden and encumber the progress
of man. He initially has two legs which then become four when he
acquires a wife. Then he gets six legs with the arrival of a child.
Ironically his speed decreases, more the number of legs. The message
of Dakshina moorthy is to reduce ones' desires. Why is Dakshina
moorthy always smiling? It is because He has no responsibilities.
With one child a person can have enough difficulty (Swami mentioned
the story of the mother and child from Rangoon). Both of them died
out of love for one another. We may die but we must not give up that
love. We must lead a life to acquire a good name. There is no use in
getting a great name. Even a millionaire must eat only rice and not
We must not limit our love to our family but express our love for
all. Be selfless. A fish is better than a selfish person. A fish
moves about effortlessly because it has no responsibilities or
burden. But man today carries these responsibilities till his death.
This load puts a low profile onto him. We must reduce these desires
and increase the love for God. God is there to shoulder our
responsibilities. Though we know that, we worry unnecessarily. Once
we offer everything to God, we can lead a peaceful life. We may
forget anything in life but we must never forget God. This is
Swami's message for today.
With this Swami sat down. He then sang the song "Bhaja Govindam".
Swami then indicated for prasadam in the form of apples to be
distributed. After that Swami instructed the bhajan-boys to start
bhajans and the evening was filled with melodious devotional
singing. Many of the singers began their bhajans with aalaps (solo
singing with lot of variety by the lead singer prior to the bhajan).
Swami at the end of seven bhajans asked for the arathi and with the
head priest offering arathi to Swami and the lingam, accompanied by
the nadaswaram, the conches, the gong and the entire Sai Kulwant
hall singing in unison, Swami retired at 6:00pm. - Prashanthi
Bulletin RADIO SAI.ORG
DEVELOP LOVE FOR GOD
HAPPINESS IN PRAKRITI
The body is made up of five elements and is bound to perish sooner
or later, but the indweller has neither birth nor death. The
indweller has no attachment whatsoever and is the eternal witness.
Truly speaking, the indweller who is in the form of the Atma, is
verily God Himself.
The body is like an iron safe which encases the precious jewel of
the Atma and values like Sathya, Dharma, Santhi and Prema. If there
are no jewels inside, what is the value of the iron safe? It has
value only when there are jewels in it. Sathya is one of the most
important and precious jewels. Dharma is another valuable jewel like
a diamond. Peace is essential for every human being. Even when a
millionaire comes to Swami, he tells, “Swami I have everything, but
I have no peace.” There can be no happiness in life without peace.
Only a person who imbibes the qualities of Sathya, Dharma, Santhi
and Prema can lead a life of detachment and renunciation. Who is a
true renunciant? One who renounces the fruits of his desires and
actions can be called a true renunciant. There lies true peace. So
long as one has desires, one cannot have true peace.
Bereft of truth, righteousness, love and peace,
the value of all your education is zero;
Bereft of truth, righteousness, love and peace,
the sanctity of all your acts of charity and kindness is zero;
Bereft of truth, righteousness, love and peace,
the utility of all your positions or power is zero;
Bereft of truth, righteousness, love and peace
the result of all your good deeds is zero.
These four values are the very foundation of man’s life.
The precious jewels of Sathya, Dharma, Santhi and Prema are there in
every human being. It is the duty of every human being to safeguard
these jewels. Without these values, the body is like an empty iron
safe which has no value. What is truth? Truth is that which does not
change over time and is eternal. Everyone knows about Truth. Yet,
people try to keep away from truth. Man resorts to untruth in order
to escape from difficulties. Sathyannasti paro Dharmah (There is no
Dharma greater than adherence to truth). What is Dharma? Dharma
truly is the very foundation of the mansion of life. You may build a
multi-storeyed building, but without the foundation, it will not
last long. So, Dharma is the very basis of man’s life. Dharma is of
two types: Laukik (worldly) and Adhyatmic (spiritual). Laukik Dharma
is subject to change, but spiritual Dharma is eternal. When the
foundation is weak, the walls of the mansion will collapse in a
short time. Dharma is therefore the true path for everyone to
follow. Prema (love) is the roof of this mansion and Santhi (peace)
is life. Man cannot live in a house without a roof. Unfortunately,
nowadays Sathya, Dharma, Santhi and Prema seems to have completely
disappeared. Today even a wealthy person lacks the spirit of
sacrifice. The life of such a person is like a roofless house that
will be exposed to the sun and rain. Therefore, it is necessary to
have a proper roof.
It is love that sustains man’s life. Right from the time of birth, a
child loves its mother and the mother loves the child. It is
difficult to describe in words the depth of the love between a
mother and child.
During the II World War for the liberation of Rangoon from the
Japanese, many people died due to bombing. A mother and her son
somehow managed to reach by foot a village near Chennai, having lost
all their near and dear ones. They had no shelter or food to eat.
They therefore took shelter under a tree. The mother would go
begging for alms from house to house, give most of it to her son and
partake of whatever little was left. When she did not get enough,
she would give the entire quantity of food to her son and would
herself go without food. Consequently, she became weak day by day.
One day the son, unable to see her suffering, told her, “Mother,
from today, you take rest and I will fetch food for both of us.”
From that day, he would go begging from house to house, give most of
it to his mother and partake of whatever little was left. Sometimes,
he would lie to his mother that he had already taken his food.
Consequently, he too became very weak. The son had no strength to
look after his mother nor did the mother have any strength to
protect her son.
One day, he stood in front of the house of an officer and begged for
alms. The officer was relaxing in an easy-chair in the verandah
reading a newspaper. He took pity on the boy, went inside and
brought some food on a plantain leaf. He told him to sit and eat it
there itself. But the boy said that he would take it home. The
officer said, “I don’t think you are really hungry, otherwise why
should you take it home?” When the officer was uttering these harsh
words, the boy felt giddy and fell down. The officer heard him
mumble the words, “First to my mother, to my mother…” in a faint
voice. Saying so, he breathed his last. When this sad news reached
the mother, she was immersed in grief. Unable to bear the grief of
the tragic death of her dear son, the mother also breathed her last.
Both the mother and her son sacrificed their lives out of love for
each other. This was the depth of love between the mother and child
in those days. Today, due to selfishness, there is a decline in love
even between the mother and the child! A life without love is not
worth living. Love is life. The mother should love her son and the
children should love their mother. In this manner, the mutual love
between a mother and her children should grow. Even a monkey carries
its offspring wherever it goes. Love is a necessity. This precious
jewel of love is present in the iron safe of the body. Where there
is love, there is peace. Where there is peace, there is
non-violence. Contentment is peace.
Buddha renounced his kingdom, left his wife and child and propagated
the principle of non-violence. He propagated the ideal, “Ahimsa
Paramo Dharmah” (Ahimsa is the highest Dharma). We should develop
Sathya, Dharma, Santhi, Prema and Ahimsa which are the five
life-breaths of man. One can be called a human being only if one has
these five values. Man should undertake all such activities which
can foster the five values in him. Yajnas, Yagas, Japa, Tapa, etc.,
are meant only to develop these values in man. One who possesses
these five values is a man of merit and his life is redeemed. One’s
life is a waste, if he lacks even one of them. First of all, man
should lead a life of truth and follow the path of Dharma to achieve
progress on the path of spirituality.
Embodiments of Love!
Today wherever we go, we find only craze for money. Even old people
who are nearing the end of their life are crazy after money. Today,
man’s desires are multiplying. The age in which we live is not Kali
Yuga but Kalaha Yuga (age of conflict). Money is the root cause of
all this. We give too much importance to the body which is like an
iron safe. Instead we should give more importance to the precious
jewels of human values within. Without these jewels, the iron safe
has little value. Values should be the prime concern of human life.
Without values, human life does not serve any purpose. Birds and
animals have love in them, but they have no desires. They are
contented when their hunger is satiated. But man is not like that.
He wants everything. Even if he owns five buildings, he wants ten
more. Why does he require so many houses? Is one house not enough
for him to live comfortably? But, he wants many residences. He is
deceived by his own limitless desires. Today man’s desires are
excessive. He has to reduce his desires. Less luggage more comfort
make travel a pleasure. We are doing a lot of work for others
without any expectation. I don’t own even a single house. Wherever I
go, I stay in the houses of the devotees. People should reduce their
desires in the same manner. Once you control your desires, you can
live in peace. But, never reduce your love for God. Develop more and
more love for God. When you have love for God, you will have
Embodiments of Love!
Today you have listened to the talks given by the elders. All that
you have heard, you should put into practice. Install the values of
Sathya, Dharma, Santhi and Prema in your heart permanently. If you
have peace and love, you can achieve anything in life. If you ask
any of our students, you will find that none of them has any
desires. All these boys are highly qualified. They have postgraduate
degrees like M.A., MBA, M.Sc. and Ph.D. They have no desire to go to
their home. If they go out, they can earn very high salary. An MBA
boy can earn a salary of one to two lakhs per month. But they do not
want to go. “What can money give us? Can it give us happiness?”,
they ask. They want to work here. They consider work as worship and
duty as God. They are highly duty- conscious. The students should
have such strong faith. Wherever you see, you will find that people
who are full of desires. What do they achieve by having too many
desires? Ultimately, they ruin their life. So, it is necessary for
us to control our desires. With heavy luggage on your head, how far
can you walk? Reduce your luggage to make the journey of your life
more comfortable. As a bachelor, how happy and carefree you are.
When you get a wife, you have virtually four feet. When you want to
go out, you will be worried that your wife is alone at home. After a
year, you will have a son. Now you six feet instead of four. As the
number of feet increases, you will become more and slow. Thus, the
pace of your life’s journey is slowed down.
Embodiments of Love!
Treasure the love in your heart. Love all. But do not unduly burden
yourself with too many responsibilities. This will add to your
worries and difficulties. Our teachers know pretty well what these
difficulties are. You can lead a happy life if only you reduce your
burden. Then there will be less scope for difficulties and
suffering. Dakshinamurthy also gave the message of sacrifice to
drive home this truth. Dakshinamurthy imparted his teachings through
silence. He always had a smiling countenance. The reason was he had
no worries and responsibilities. (Here Swami reminded the story of
the mother and son who gave up their life out of love for each other
and emphasised that we should not give up love even if we have to
give up our body.) Death is certain some day or other. We may keep
the body fit for now, but we have to drop it one day. We should earn
a good name even at the cost of our life. Consider earning a good
name as your very life-breath. Good name will remain even if the
person departs from this world. Therefore, you should earn a good
name in society. There is no point in earning a great name, but you
should have a good name. A millionaire may be considered great, but
he also eats grains and cereals in his food and not gold. So long as
you are alive, you have to depend upon food to nourish your body. At
the same time, reduce your body attachment. Share your love with
everyone. Do not limit your love to your family only and lead a
selfish life. Even a fish is better than a selfish person. A fish
moves freely and happily in water and leads a comfortable life. On
the other hand, man has burdened himself with too many
responsibilities and attachments. Because of this heavy load, he has
sunk so low. Therefore, you should reduce your burden and spend more
and more time in the contemplation of God. When you develop love for
Paramatma (God), you can experience happiness in Prakriti (Nature).
Duty is God. Work is worship . Follow these twin principles in life.
Do not put undue burden of responsibilities on yourself. God is
there to shoulder the responsibility of everyone (loud applause).
Where is the cause for worry, when God is there to take care of us?
We keep on worrying because our understanding of this truth is only
theoretical. We should not be like that. Once we offer everything to
God, we should be free from worries. You can experience peace only
when you are free from worries. You may perform any number of Yajnas
and Yagas and undertake any number of spiritual practices, but all
these are useless if the underlying meaning is not understood. You
may forget anything in this world, but never forget God. Keep your
mind always focused on God. This is My message for you today (loud
Bhagawan concluded His Discourse with the song, “Bhaja Govindam,
Bhaja Govindam, Moodha Mathe …”
A POWERFUL PRAYER FOR PEACE
PRAYER FOR PEACE
Loving Sai Ram and
greetings from Prashanti Nilayam. We are sure you all know about the
special Yajna, soon to be performed in Prashanti, a Yajna that has
never been performed before here. News about the Yajna has been
rapidly spreading, by word of mouth, via SanathanaSatarathi, via
newspapers, and of course also via Radio Sai. Understandably there
is much excitement and we have received many mails asking us many
questions and asking us to do extensive coverage using all the tools
at our disposal. We assure you that we would do all we can, via
Radio Sai, via H2H and also via a special video documentary.
Now the forthcoming Yajna can be looked at in many ways, that is to
say from a ritualistic point of view, from a purely spiritual point
of view and also, from a practical point of view as well. In this
Sunday Special, we shall focus primarily on the practical aspects,
leaving the other aspects for later consideration via H2H, Radio
You might wonder: “What’s all this about the practical aspect? Could
there at all be such a thing?” Our answer is, “Yes of course.” We
shall now proceed to explain what exactly we mean. As a prelude we
would like to say that the forthcoming Yajna is basically an intense
prayer to Lord Siva. God is Formless, without attributes and indeed
nameless, but since abstract infinity is difficult to relate to for
ordinary mortals, traditional folklore has given this Abstract
Formless God many names, one of which is Siva.
Having given a name, form is the next thing that humans like to give
and there is for sure a detailed description of Siva, what He wears,
what He holds in His hand, what He rides, etc., etc. These
descriptions are backed by elaborate explanations of what all these
mean. All these have relevance of their own and quite useful in many
ways, but we shall not get into all that here. There is only one
aspect of this folklore we would like to draw upon for the present
and that is the following story.
According to Hindu mythology, long time ago, the Devas and the
Asuras [may be you could read it as the good guys and the bad guys!]
decided to churn the Cosmic Ocean to bring out Amritha or nectar,
that would confer Immortality. So they began this most demanding
churn, the Devas on one side and the Asuras on the other. After a
while, something emerged from the Cosmic Ocean but it was not the
nectar that was sought for; instead, it was something deadly, a
poison called Halahala. This unexpected turn of events had both
parties worried, whereupon an intense prayer brought Lord Siva to
the scene. And you know what Siva did? Being the Compassionate One,
He collected the poison floating on the surface of the ocean in the
palm of His hand and swallowed it in one gulp. At the same time, He
did not allow the poison to go down to His stomach, freezing it as
it were in the throat, which turned blue. Thus it is that Siva is
also known as the Blue-throated One, or Neelakanta. The story goes
on further but we have no need for the rest of the details; our
interest stops with the appearance of Lord Siva and His swallowing
the deadly poison.
OK, all that is the traditional folklore but is there any deeper
significance to it? Yes there is and that is what we shall now turn
to. You see, whenever people get together to do something
collectively, the first thing that usually happens is that all the
negativity locked up in the different individuals surfaces and
impedes progress. The deadly poison Halahala symbolises this
negativity. The question now arises: “How does one get rid of this
negativity, so that the co-operative venture could proceed forward?”
This is where the appearance of Lord Siva and His swallowing of
Halahala enters the picture. Siva represents the ultimate in purity,
and the symbolism of Siva swallowing the poison and all that means
that the team members must give purity a chance to prevail and
overcome negativity that tends to derail.
Let us now place us all this in today’s context. There are many
dangers that humanity faces today, a major one being that due to
violence, often extreme and on large scale too. Violence is born in
the human mind and has always been there. In a sense this is not
surprising since the human species has after all evolved from
animals. However, what makes violence in humans so very dreadful is
that today, thanks to technology, the scale on which violence can be
inflicted and the awesome magnitude it is capable of, make it
imperative to do all we can to get rid of violence.
All of us see everyday in the newspapers innumerable headlines about
violence, conflict, war, terrorism etc., but one wonders how many
appreciate how disastrous all this has been to mankind. A quick
search in the net revealed to us that since World War II, about
seventy to eighty million people have been killed due to war,
genocide, conflict, terrorism and oppression by brutal regimes. This
is a mind-boggling number. Just to give you a comparison, about 50
million died in World War II, including due to the atom bombs,
holocaust, etc. Killing does not come free and in the year 2005,
estimates show that the total military budget of all the governments
in the world is about one trillion dollars! True, a lot of this
expenditure goes towards salaries and pensions, but the fact remains
that a sizable fraction of all military budgets is spent on
acquiring deadly weapons. And this expenditure, by the way, does not
include the huge amount spent in the arms bazaar by warlords,
criminal gangs, terrorists, etc. And don’t forget the devastating
trauma caused by violence.
People do not buy weapons to celebrate festivals; they use them to
hurt and kill, and that is how so many die due to violence every
year. For every one who dies about five to ten are injured and
disabled badly; so many children become orphans, and so on. Sorry,
but we have to mention this in order to stress how much the culture
of violence has become deep-rooted in mankind. The strange thing is
that while everyone is frightened to death about the atomic bomb,
millions have been successfully killed without the use of a single
A-bomb since World War II.
These days, many labour under the false impression that violence can
be eliminated with tough action. One might temporarily be able to
quell violence with more violence but in the long run, this is as
stupid as treating acid wounds by pouring more acid on the wound. If
one thinks carefully about all this, one would realise how powerful
and pertinent are Swami’s teachings to today’s world.
Speaking about war and its futility, Swami once said:
Alongside the growth in scientific knowledge, ignorance is also
growing. How else can we explain the fact that in five thousand
years, there have been as many as fifteen thousand wars? Even now,
men are not free from the fear of war. It is these wars that have
progressively dehumanised mankind and eroded all human values. It is
meaningless to aspire for peace in the streets and villages without
peace in the home. These days, it has become a fashion to pray for
peace. Keeping the atom bomb in the hand, people clamour for peace.
Even by journeying to the moon, man cannot get peace. It is better
to journey half an inch into the Heart than to travel thousands of
miles to the moon!
Yes, politicians cannot secure peace; statesmen cannot bring peace
and world bodies of various kinds cannot ensure peace. Peace will
reign on earth only when man decides to go beyond the mind, peep
into the Heart and listen to the Voce of God. It is to promote that
feeling that the Ati Rudra Maha Yajna is being performed here in
Prashanti Nilayam. By the way, perceptive military analysts in
Western countries are beginning to realise that conventional wars
getting replaced with asymmetric conflicts with one side having
heavy military power and the other side resorting to innovative and
deadly insurgency. And such conflicts, experts are slowly beginning
to realise, cannot be won with weapons; an understanding of root
causes is essential and a humanitarian approach is needed. So you
see even hardcore militarists are beginning to have second thoughts
and they need to be nudged with our efforts.
The Ati Rudra Maha Yajna, is an immensely Powerful Prayer for Peace.
As Swami often says, Peace is something only God can grant. How do
we become eligible for this peace? By praying fervently to the
Almighty God. OK, we pray fervently, but is there any chance that
God would respond? He would, provided we are on the same wavelength
as Him. And what is His frequency? How do we tune to Him? The answer
is simple; His wavelength is Purity!
So if we want Peace, we must try hard to become as pure as possible.
What exactly does one mean by saying that one must become pure?
Swami has answered that one; in fact, there are few questions He has
not already given the answers to. Swami says that purity is achieved
when there is harmony between thought, word and deed and all are
aligned to God.
OK, you there and us here strive to achieve this Inner Purity or
TrikaranaSuddhi as Swami describes it. What happens next? Swami has
described that also. When an individual achieves Inner Peace, he or
she starts radiating Peace; that is to say, people who come into
contact with that person become calm and peaceful themselves and in
this way, peace spreads. Swami puts it beautifully. He says Inner
Peace is like the beauty of a flower. But then, adds Swami, the
flower is not only beautiful to look at; it also radiates fragrance,
and this fragrance can reach some distance even to a person who
cannot directly see the flower. In the same way, concludes Bhagavan
Baba, Inner Peace is Shanti; it makes the person be at peace with
the world; but this Shanti also reaches out further like the
fragrance of the flower, bringing peace in the neighbourhood, and
that is Prashanti. In other words, Shanti and Prashanti go hand in
hand. Swami Himself demonstrates this constantly. Bhagavan Baba is
always at Peace and He also radiates Peace! Thus it is that people
that come from New York , or Sydney or Timbuktu , always say, “It is
so peaceful here!”
Let us pull all this together. The Ati Rudra Maha Yajna can
undoubtedly be interpreted and understood in many different ways,
but at the end of it all, the most important aspect it is that it is
a Powerful Prayer for Peace. If Peace is really to descend on earth,
and we do need Peace badly, then the poison in the human mind must
be cleansed. All of us, wherever we are, can facilitate that process
by trying to be in resonance with the spirit of the Yajna, that is
to say, try, at least during this period, to practice Inner Purity,
all the time praying fervently to Swami to help mankind to quell the
prevailing negativity. We might also send personal prayers to Swami
to help us individually to get rid of the negativity latent in us.
From the North Pole to the South Pole, there are devotees of Baba
everywhere. If we all together unleash in a concerted manner the
Divine power latent in us in the cause of world peace, surely we can
make an impact. To highlight this, we end with an old Upanishadic
story. Briefly, a young boy gets angry at the ocean and vows he
would drain the ocean dry. He takes two leaves and uses them to
collect water from the ocean and throw it on the beach. Someone
walking on the beach asks this boy what he is trying to do. The boy
explains. The man is stunned and asks, “Son, do you realise how the
big ocean is? Do you really believe that you can drain the ocean?”
The boy replies, “No, I don’t believe I can do it all by myself. But
I am praying to God who is infinitely powerful. What can a finite
ocean do before God?”
That might be just a story but it has a big message. If we all
together take a step, will not Siva in human form do something to
remove the poison? He has experience you know!
Before we end we would like to mention that Radio Sai, in a
never-before attempted feature, is trying to do all it can to bring
you everyday, the sacred sounds of the forthcoming Yajna. Don’t miss
to tune in to the Divine vibrations!
Jai Sai Ram.
With Love and Regards,