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Divine Discourse on Mahashivatri Day
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Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Discourses of Sri Sathya Sai Baba
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LIMIT NOT THE ALL PERVADING BRAHMAN WITH
NAMES AND FORMS
Shivaratri Photographs 1. :
Images from Maha
Shivaratri 2006-27th Feb. including Photos of materialization of a
For more new pictures from Shivaratri
Is it possible to build a temple for the One who pervades the entire
Brahmanda (cosmos)? Can anyone give a name to the One who is present in
all beings? Is it possible to give a bath to the One who is present in all
rivers? Can anyone offer food to the One who has the entire Brahmanda in
His stomach? Man out of his ignorance is unable to know this truth. He is
under the delusion that he is Naswara (impermanent). In fact, he is not
Naswara, but Easwara Himself for the entire world. (Telugu poem)
Prapancha is the name we have given to the apparent world.
It is called
Prapancha as it is constituted by the Pancha Bhutas (five elements),
namely, earth, water, fire, air and ether. 'Pra' means to manifest, to
blossom. Hence, Prapancha means the manifestation of not only the five
elements, but also the five life principles, namely, Prana, Apana, Vyana,
Udana and Samana. They form the basis for the entire world. The principle
of Brahmatatwa is present in all the five elements as the undercurrent. It
is eternal and immortal. The term Brahma refers to the divine principle
which pervades the Pancha Bhutas, Pancha Koshas and Pancha Pranas. But man
out of ignorance attributes a particular form to Brahma and offers his
prayers. Names and forms are transient. Brahmatatwa, which is the basis of
all names and forms is the only permanent entity. Out of our ignorance and
limited understanding we confine such a cosmic principle of Brahman to a
tiny form and worship it. We should worship the cosmic form of the divine.
Brahmanda (cosmos) is the very form of God. Brahman pervades the Anda,
Pinda and Brahmanda. Anda is the combination of Padartha (matter) and
Prana (life principle). Pinda is that which is born out of the mother's
womb. Ultimately, they become one with the Brahmanda.
Embodiments of Love!
Love is the basis for Brahmanda. Without Prema (love), there is neither
Prakriti (nature) nor Prapancha (world). The world is sustained by the
principle of love which is uniformly present in the five elements. You may
worship divinity in a number of ways, but all your worship will prove
futile, if you forget the principle of love.
The five elements are responsible for the sustenance of human life and the
world at large. Everything will come to a standstill even if any one of
the five elements is missing. We hear the sound with our ears. We see the
world with our eyes. In this manner, we are able to experience the world
through the five senses. They prove the existence of the world. Man has
forgotten the divine principle of love and is striving to attain Ananda
(bliss) through mean and worldly pursuits. It is said, Jantunam nara janma
durlabham (out of all living beings, human birth is the rarest). In fact,
human being is essentially divine.
Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha are prescribed as the four goals of human
life. But, man today has given up Dharma and Moksha. He is running after
Artha and Kama (wealth and desire). God has created this world. Your wife,
children, friends and foes are all created by God. It is not enough if you
maintain good relationship with your wife, children and friends. You must
be able to see God in all. That is your primary duty. Your wife, children,
friends and even foes are all the very embodiments of Brahman. Even God
had to fight the enemies sometimes. However, in spite of their animosity
towards God, they ultimately merged in Him owing to His grace. In this
world, there is no place where God does not exist. He is present
Sarvatah panipadam tat sarvathokshi siromukham, sarvatah sruthimalloke
sarvamavruthya tishthati (with hands, feet, eyes, head, mouth and ears
pervading everything, He permeates the entire universe).
3The people around you may not be able to see what you do, but He is
watching you. Others may not hear what you speak, but He is listening to
you. He is the eternal witness. Unfortunately, you are unable to realise
this truth. Some people argue, “How can you say that God is present
everywhere when we do not actually see Him? How is it possible for Him to
hear our prayers?” In fact, sound is the very form of God. There is no
place where there is no sound. He can hear everything since sound is His
own form. Light pervades the entire world. God can see everything in this
world as the very light is His vision. Hence, never be under the mistaken
notion that God does not know what is happening. Do not doubt or deny His
existence just because He is not visible to the naked eye. How does
sankalpa originate in your hridaya (heart)? It happens as per the Will of
God. There may be ups and downs from the worldly point of view, but divine
principle always remains steady.
The Loka (world) and Lokesha (God) are inseparable. The creation and the
creator are one. There is an intimate and inseparable relationship between
the two. Atma is the name given to the principle of divinity. It has no
specific form. It pervades the entire world in the form of sankalpa
(will). It is a grave error to attribute a particular name and form to the
Atma. It is essential that we understand the oneness of Atma and
experience the same. Everything is divine. Sarvam khalvidam Brahma
(verily, all this is Brahman). As you are unable to comprehend the divine
principle in totality, you confine God to a specific name and form such as
Rama, Krishna, Vishnu, etc., and worship Him. A potter makes the idols of
Rama, Krishna, etc. However, it is only the clay that takes the forms of
various deities. The same clay is moulded into various forms.
Jewels are many but gold is one.
Cows are many but milk is one.
Beings are many but breath is one. (Telugu poem)
As you are unable to understand the principle of unity, you are deluded by
the apparent diversity.
Embodiments of Love!
No one can describe God as having this form or that form. He permeates the
entire universe. Without name there can be no form and vice versa. The
principle of divinity is represented by a name and a form. Every object
and every being in this Prapancha (world) is the manifestation of divine
love. Hence, do not see the world merely from the physical point of view.
Consider the world as the very form of God and the manifestation of divine
love. Because of your limited understanding, you confine such an all
pervading divine principle to a name and a form. Yad bhavam tad bhavati
(as is the feeling, so is the result). God responds according to your
feelings towards Him. If you have purna bhakti (unwavering devotion) and
love God with all your heart, He will confer on you purna ananda (supreme
bliss). God transcends the dualities of birth and death, happiness and
sorrow. You may think that even God has pain and suffering. But, from
God’s point of view, pain does not exist at all! It is an aspect of
divinity. Bliss also is an aspect of divinity. God is beyond pleasure and
pain, merit and sin. Happiness and sorrow are of your own making. Pleasure
is an interval between two pains.
Do not consider God as a separate entity. Unfortunately, people are unable
to understand the principle of divinity and hence indulge in all types of
imaginations. God is one. The Veda declares, Ekam sath viprah bahudha
vadanti (truth is one, but the wise refer to it by various names).
However, when the situation demands, Divine incarnations appear on earth
and play a role in the cosmic drama. When Droupadi was humiliated by
Duryodhana and Dussasana in the royal court, Bhima was seething with
anger. He wanted to crush them to pulp. But, even under such
circumstances, God did not kill them. It is most essential you understand
that everything happens as per His will. Whatever happens is for your own
good. With such firm conviction, you should accept pleasure and pain, good
and bad with equanimity. It may be difficult for you to bear misfortunes.
You should pray to God to grant you the necessary strength to bear them.
You may have difficulties today, but tomorrow it will be different.
Difficulties are like passing clouds. They will certainly give way to
happiness. Man always strives for happiness. How can he attain it? True
happiness lies in union with God. In fact, God is beyond happiness and
sorrow. Whatever you may do, He says, “Tathastu” (So shall it be). He
showers His blessings on you saying, “Let it be for your own good.” You
will be free from sorrow once you understand the Bhagavadtatwa (nature of
divinity). If you are undergoing difficulties, do not get disheartened.
Have faith that God is making you go through the ordeal for your own good.
Happiness and sorrow coexist. You cannot attain happiness without
Embodiments of Love!
Do not attribute multiplicity to divinity. Consider everyone as the
embodiment of divinity. Install such sacred feeling firmly in your heart.
Treat even the person who hates you as your own. Having attained human
birth, you should be able to withstand pain and suffering with courage and
fortitude. Be convinced that they are good for you. All that God has
created is good. In God’s creation, everything is good and sacred. There
is nothing which will cause sorrow and misery. In fact, misery arises out
of man’s delusion. The delusion is because of his identification with the
form. What is the meaning of the term Manava? ‘Ma’ means Maya, ‘Na’ means
without and ‘Va’ means Varthinchuta (to conduct oneself). Therefore,
Manava is one who conducts himself without maya. If you fall a victim to
maya, you will never be able to understand marmamu (reality). In fact,
maya is man’s own making. It arises out of his imagination.
However much one may try, it is not possible to know God in totality. Once
mother Kunti said to Krishna, “Oh Krishna! Though You are verily God,
sometimes we are deluded to think that You are also a human being like
us.” Saint Thyagaraja too echoed the same feelings in the following verse:
Oh Lord! You answered the prayers of Droupadi and saved her from
humiliation. You made ugly-looking Kubja beautiful. You protected the
Pandavas. Is it possible to estimate Your glory and splendour? You are
beyond all description and human comprehension. Krishna, it is not
possible for even Brahma to describe Your glory. (Telugu song)
Good and bad lie in your mind; they are not outside. Hence, correct your
feelings in the first instance. Get rid of all animal qualities so that
humanness can blossom in you. If you notice even a trace of hatred in
yourself, drive it away at once. Having attained human birth, it is
shameful on your part to have evil qualities like hatred. Do not fall a
prey to infatuation. You should be attracted only towards God and none
else. You love your son because you consider him to be your reflection. In
fact, the one who loves you, the one who hates you, the one who criticises
you, all are your own reflections. At one time, one may be angry and later
the anger may give way to love. People are carried away by the vagaries of
the mind. Being deluded by the names and forms, they are unable to know
the transient nature of the world. Truly speaking, you have neither
friends nor enemies. It is only your love or hatred that is reflected from
outside. God does not give you happiness or sorrow; they are of your own
making. They originate from you.
Embodiments of Love!
God is present everywhere in the form of five elements. Everyone is
endowed with five elements and everyone is an embodiment of love. All are
one. There is no second entity. Wherever you see, there are five elements.
You do not find a sixth element anywhere. The principle of love present in
you represents Easwaratwa and Brahmatatwa. It is merely Bhrama (delusion)
to think that Brahma is separate from you. Everything is Brahman.
Everything is the manifestation of Atma and Ananda. That is why God is
extolled as Nityanandam, Paramasukhadam Kevalam Jnanamurtim … (God is the
embodiment of eternal bliss, He is wisdom absolute). Even the karma
(action) that you perform is the manifestation of Brahma. When you perform
your actions with such divine feelings, they will yield good results.
Never criticise God. Never deny Him. Everything is the manifestation of
Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara. All are divine. This is what you have to
learn on this auspicious day of Sivarathri. There is nothing other than
divinity in this world. The principle of divinity present in a grain of
sand and in a big laddu is one and same. Once you realise this truth, you
become Brahma verily. You do not need to search for Brahma elsewhere. You
are Brahma, you are Vishnu, you are Siva, you are the very embodiment of
the Divine Trinity. It is only your feeling that assumes the form of
Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara.
You are subjected to unrest and suffering because of your dualistic
feeling. You perceive unity as diversity, instead of visualising unity in
diversity. Number one is the basis for all other numbers. Likewise, names
and forms vary, but all are essentially one. There is no second person.
Other than divinity, there is no second entity in this world. Many
spiritual aspirants and yogis have made concerted efforts to understand
the principle of divinity. They ultimately realised Ekam sath viprah
bahudha vadanti (truth is one, but the wise refer to it by various names).
As you have not understood this truth, you are deluded by the apparent
duality. You should understand the spiritual Mathematics in order to know
that divinity is one. It is most essential that you understand this
principle of oneness and conduct yourself accordingly. When you understand
this oneness, you will experience divinity. You will realise that the
individual is not different from God. When you put a zero after the
numeral 1 it becomes 10; put one more zero it will become 100. In this
manner if you go on adding zeros, the value also increases to 1000,
10,000, and so on and so forth. Zeros gain value only when they are
positioned next to the numeral one. ‘I’, ‘my wife’, ‘my children’, ‘my
property’, etc., all these are like zeros. They will have value only when
they are associated with God who is like numeral one. The entire world is
like a zero. It has emerged from the Hero, God. It is because of your
delusion that you mistake zero for Hero. So long as you are immersed in
delusion you will never be able to realise divinity. Delusion gives rise
to doubts which will rob you of your bliss. They will poison your mind and
put you to danger. Hence, never entertain doubts with regard to Divinity.
Strengthen your faith in God.
A car can run smoothly only when there is air in all its four tyres. Even
if one tyre is punctured, it may lead to accident. The human body is like
a car. Mind is the steering wheel. Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha are its
four tyres. They should be filled with the air of faith. Even if one of
the tyres is punctured, your life will be put to danger. Your mind should
be steady and under control. Only then can you reach the goal of life,
i.e., Moksha (liberation).
Embodiments of Love!
The entire world is pervaded by the five elements. You should maintain
perfect balance and harmony among them. When you are riding a cycle, if
you do not maintain proper balance, you will fall down. Likewise, you can
lead the life of a true human being only when you have proper balance of
mind. If you lack proper balance of mind, your humanness will be ruined.
It is said, Jantunam nara janma durlabham (out of all living beings, human
birth is the rarest). Having been blessed with such precious human birth,
what a shame it is if you behave like an animal! You should live like a
human being. Keep your mind under control. This is My message to you on
this holy night of Sivarathri. Understand that you are born as a human
being, not as an insect or a worm. Neither are you an animal, nor a bird
nor a beast. You should understand the meaning of the term Manava. ‘Ma’
means not and ‘Nava’ means new. You are not here for the first time. You
are not new to this earth. You have gone through a number of births before
attaining this human birth. Give up all your old and mean qualities and
start your life afresh. Human life is highly sacred and mysterious. Only
God can unravel its mystery. Visweswara (the Lord of the universe)
permeates the entire Viswa (universe). He transcends all description. He
is present in you in the form of Atma. There is only one path for the
realisation of Atma. Give up the feeling of ‘Mine’. You say ‘this is mine
and that is mine’. Once you get rid of such worldly attachment, you will
develop purity, steadiness and selflessness. You will be free from
suffering, worries and anxiety. Ultimately, you will attain Moksha
(liberation). Having attained manavatwa (humanness), you should make
efforts to rise to the level of Madhavatwa (divinity). That is your goal.
What is the use if you remain in manavatwa forever? You should develop
sanmathi (pure mind) to rise to the level of divine. Unity confers purity
which will in turn lead to divinity. Hence, all of you must stand united.
You belong to the human race. You belong to one family. Hence, you must
conduct yourself like brothers and sisters. Absence of such spirit of
unity will diminish purity and take you away from divinity.
Embodiments of Love!
Being students of Sathya Sai College, you must set an example to others
with your spirit of unity. You deserve to be called Sai devotees only when
you develop unity. Love God with all your heart. Love for God will
transform your heart. It will drive away hatred and other evil qualities.
You can achieve anything through love.
(Bhagawan sang the Bhajan “Prema muditha manase kaho…” and continued His
Embodiments of Love!
Since time immemorial, the divine name of Rama has been protecting the
devotees and leading them on the right path. One can very well imagine the
divine potency of Rama’s name as it has remained etched in the hearts of
people through all the ages. This in itself is a mystery. Thousands of
years have passed since the advent of Rama, yet His name remains ever
fresh and ever new. One may be on the top of the mountain or in a village
or in a city, everyone derives immense delight in singing the name of
Rama. Ramayathi ithi Ramah (that which delights is the principle of Rama).
Once in the court of Krishnadevaraya, there was a debate in which the
eight scholars of the royal court popularly known as the ‘Ashta Diggajas’
participated. Krishna-devaraya wanted to know who among them was the best.
He wanted them to frame a meaningful sentence consisting of five letters,
each letter having the same meaning in five different languages. “Whoever
comes out with an answer to this question by seven tomorrow morning will
be suitably rewarded”, he added.
Since his house was far away, Tenali Ramakrishna decided to spend the
night in his brother-in-law’s house. When he was provided with a
comfortable bed for the night, Ramakrishna refused to sleep on it. He
said, “I have to think of an answer to a question put by the king by
tomorrow morning. A bed like this is certain to put me to sleep in no
time. So, provide a cot for me in the cow shed.”
As he was lying on the cot, at one o’clock in the night, one of the cows
in the shed gave birth to a calf. Ramakrishna called out to inform his
brother-in-law about this. His brother-in-law wanted to know which cow had
given birth, since he had given different names to his cows, like Parvati,
Lakshmi, and Saraswati. He asked Ramakrishna, “Ye Aav Ra Bava” (which cow
is that, Oh brother-in-law).
When Ramakrishna heard this, his joy knew no bounds, since he had found an
answer to the king’s question. So, he too repeated the phrase again and
again. His brother-in-law thought that Ramakrishna was behaving in this
strange manner due to lack of sleep.
The next morning, Ramakrishna went to the royal court and found that no
one else had a solution to the question. All others were convinced it was
not possible to frame such a sentence. “Ye Aav Ra Ba Va” is the answer, he
said. Everyone was intrigued. Then he explained, “ ‘Ye’ in Marati, ‘Aav’
in Hindi, ‘Ra’ in Telugu, ‘Ba’ in Kannada and ‘Va’ in Tamil convey the
same meaning, i.e., ‘come’.” Five languages are represented in this
The words you utter sometimes convey different meanings. Hence, you should
be very careful while speaking. Develop virtues and lead an ideal life.
Only then will Swami be pleased with you. If you make Me happy with your
ideal conduct, I will confer much more happiness on you. Your happiness is
My happiness. Wherever you go, earn a good name for yourself. Your
character is very important for Me. Hence, make every effort to mould your
character and be an ideal to others. This is the message I would like to
give you on this auspicious day of Sivarathri. The day on which you
experience eternal bliss is Sivarathri for Me.
Once Thyagaraja performed a musical concert at Thanjavur. Many eminent
musicians and scholars were present in the concert hall. In the beginning
of the programme Thyagaraja offered salutations to all of them through his
famous composition, Endaro Mahanubhavulu, Andariki Vandanamulu … (there
are many great souls who have had the divine experience; I prostrate
before all of them). Everyone was blissful listening to his melodious
singing. He demonstrated by his example that one should pay his respects
to everyone in the assembly before addressing them since there was
divinity in all of them. Many years ago, in Prasanthi Nilayam, a scholar
was invited to address a congregation. While commencing his speech, he
addressed the audience thus: “Brothers and Sisters except one!” Then he
explained that his wife was also present among the audience. Even while
addressing a congregation he was remembering his wife. One should not
observe such differences while addressing a public gathering. One should
offer his salutations to one and all.
Embodiments of Love!
I shower My blessings on all of you on this holy night of Sivarathri. Sing
the Divine Name throughout the night. To the extent possible, spend the
night in the contemplation of God. Only then can you experience divine
bliss. You can even witness the manifestation of divine effulgence. Sing
the Divine Name wholeheartedly. You may sing any name, but you should
understand its inner meaning.
For example, ‘Digambara’ is one of the names of Lord Siva. Digambara in
common parlance refers to the one who is naked. But if you enquire into
the inner meaning, you will know that ‘Digambara’ is the One who has
dikkulu (four sides – East, West, North, South) as His ambara (vesture).
There is a possibility that people misunderstand this word and think that
Siva does not wear anything on His body. Hence, it is better that you do
not use this word in Bhajans.
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