the Birthday of Rama who is Dharma itself. He is Veda Dharma in
Human Form. He is Anandaswarupa and Dharmaswarupa. On this holy day
of Ramnavami you must immerse yourself in the Atma as Dharmaswarupa
as the motivator of the moral life. Rama is "Atma Rama" in every
being. There is no place where Rama is not. He is imminent and
eternal. Rama for you should mean the Path He trod, the ideal He
held aloft, and the Ordinance He laid down. They are eternal and
timeless. Now you worship His Form, you repeat His name; ignoring
His orders. Without practicing the discipline laid down by Rama to
purify the mind, all else is mere show, empty rituals. Contemplate
on this unique day to obtain Godhood. Use it not for feasting,
picnics, hikes, watching films, playing games, gambling, etc. The
Immortal had come in the form of Rama to show the way to
brothers Rama, Lakshmana, Bharatha and Satrughna represent the Rig,
Yajur, Sama and Atharva Vedas. When man neglects the Divine aspect
of their natures and the awareness of the Omnipresent and Omnipotent
OM, he falls prey to the impulses and instincts dominated by the ego
and develop faith in material gains. He spends his life in amassing
wealth, power and authority over fellow-beings and believes that
holding others under his sway is a desirable achievement. If there
were a vacancy in Heaven, he would surely apply for the position of
God, for he believes that he has all the necessary attributes.
has a deep undercurrent of significant meaning. Dasaratha means: he
who rides in a chariot of ten, that is to say, Man. He is tied up
with three Gunas or three wives, as in the Ramayana. He has four
sons, the Purusharthas; Dharma (Rama), Artha (Lakshmana),
Kama (Bharatha) and Moksha (Satrughna). These four aims of man have
to be systematically realised, always with the last one, Moksha,
clearly before the eye. Lakshmana represents the Buddhi or intellect
and Sita is Truth. Hanuman is the Mind and the repository of
courage, if controlled and trained. Sugriva, the master of Hanuman,
is Discrimination. With these to help him, Rama seeks the Truth and
succeeds. That is the lesson of the Epic to every man.
Dharma personified. "Vignahavak Dharmah". Rama is the Supreme
Exemplar of the Virtues that man must cultivate so that he might
live as a master, husband, son, brother, friend or even foe. The
other three brothers of Rama personify the other three ideals.
Bharatha is the embodiment of Sathya; Satrughna of Shanti; and
Lakshmana of Prema. Study the Ramayana with the aim of imbibing from
it the ideals for happy living, for making this life worthwhile and
you will be amply rewarded. Then you can deservedly style yourselves
"Devotees" of the Lord.
is a guidebook, a sacred text, an inspiring scripture for every man
in all lands, whatever his creed or condition might be. It imparts
poise, balance, equanimity, inner strength and peace. Peace is the
best treasure, without it power, authority, fame and fortune are all
dry and burdensome. Thyagaraja has sung that there can be no
happiness without inner peace.
WHY is it
that the world reveres Rama and revolts at Ravana? Rama is not the
uncle's son or Ravana the step-mother's child! It is the kinship of
the spirit, innate goodness, responding lovingly, adoringly to the
goodness in Rama; and reacting revoltingly to the wickedness of
Ravana. It is not enough, nor is it essential that you should repeat
the name of Rama loudly; respect it in the fullness of love and
admiration. If you have no spring of love in you, dig into your
heart with external instruments like Puja, Stotra, etc. and it will
start to flow.
Ravana's own brother, chastised him for his willfulness and lust and
urged him to save himself, his kingdom and his kith and kin by
restoring Sita unharmed to her Lord. When Vibhishana went over to
Rama, Rama knew that he had a pure heart and that he could not
survive the poisonous atmosphere of Lanka. So He took him and saved
him. The Lord likes to be called "Aarthathraana-paraayana" more than
any other name, for He is most happy when He rescues those in agony.
glibly of Ramarajya, but how can it be established if you do not
emulate Rama? He was "Vignahavaan Dharmah", the very Embodiment of
Dharma. He never deviated from it. Dasaratha means one who is master
of the ten Senses, the five Karmendriyas and the five Jnanendriyas;
that is to say, the successful Sadhaka. Such a person can have the
holy progeny of the four Purusharthas-Dharma (Rama), Artha
(Lakshmana), Kama (Bharatha) and Moksha (Satrughna). Become a
Dasaratha and save that holy progeny as a gift from God.
succeeded in coordinating his thought, word and act. Therefore he
had the unique distinction of being great in physical strength,
mental stability and virtuous character. He shines as an invaluable
gem among the personalities of the Ramayana. He was also a great
scholar, who had mastered, of all things, the six schools of
grammar. He knew the four Vedas and the six Sastras. The Gita says
that a scholar is one who sees the same Divine force motivating
everyone. "Pandithaha Samadarsinha". Hanuman was a good example of
to the brothers in sweet, gentle and pleasing words. Rama was struck
by the grammatical accuracy of his sentences. They readily answered
all his queries; and Hanuman was satisfied with their bona fides. He
offered to take them to his Master and Monarch. The Darshan (sight)
and first Mana of Rama had removed all his sins; their Sparshan
(touch) burnt away all the consequences of his deeds in previous
lives; and their Sambashan (conversation) filled his mind with joy.
That is the experience of all who welcome the impact of Divinity.
became the messenger of Rama. There are three classes of messengers:
those who do not understand the orders of the Master or do not care
to understand and who operate to the detriment of the work assigned
them; those who do only just as much as the order literally
communicates; and those who grasp the purpose and significance of
the orders and carry them out unflinchingly until the purpose is
achieved. Hanuman belonged to the last category.
YOU find some
one parade all of a sudden some -ism- as new and revolutionary
socialism, for example. Socialism, which means, recognising the
equality of every individual with every one else was in fact
practiced in India long ago. Rama, undisputed Sovereign of a vast
Empire, gave heed to the flippant scandal uttered by an
irresponsible laundry-man during a quarrel with his wife, and sent
his Queen, the very dear person for whom had waged a war of
tremendous carnage, into exile, regardless of the fact that she was
pregnant at the time. Every one's voice was given equal weight in
the empire ruled over by Rama.
while building the bridge across the ocean, carried huge boulders on
their heads repeating Rama-Nama all the while; and that made the
rocks weigh less. It is even said that they wrote the name on the
stones and that made them float. Each time they handled or lifted a
stone, they sang Rama-Nama in unison and so they were a happy lot
doing Puja, not work, which is unpleasant. Rama's Grace helped all
to overcome obstacles. Take the name and make your work light: that
is My advice to you.
I INSIST on your seeking and
remaining in good company, Satsang. Being in the midst of such
spiritual heroes, you can fight against evil with a greater chance
of success. Once, when Garuda the sworn enemy of snakes
went to Kailas, he saw the snakes that Siva wore round His neck, His
arms, His waist, and His Feet. The snakes were safe now and they
hissed with their puffed hoods at the celestial bird, which could
not do them any harm since they were in such Divine Company. Garuda
said: "Well! Glide down from the Body and I shall kill everyone of
you"! That is the value of the Sath one has reached. Satsang is
valuable, for it is like keeping a pot of water inside a tank of
water; there will not be any loss through evaporation.
PRIDE is one of the worst sins in
the spiritual field. If you feel conceited that you are
Bhakta of Hare, He will "hare" (destroy, in Telugu) you. Remember,
Sharanaagathi should be like the attitude of Lakshmana. Rama said:
"Take Sita and leave her in the forest". Implicit obedience! There
is no other way. That is Lakshmana. That is Sharanaagathi; the rest
deserve, only of "Sarangathi", the arrow of Rama.
queen Kaikeyi persuaded her husband to agree to her two requests -
enthroning her son Bharatha as the Crown Prince and sending the
legitimate heir, Rama, into exile for fourteen years - Lakshmana,
another brother of Rama and Bharatha, did not acquiesce tamely. He
argued that man must meet every little crisis with courage and
self-reliance and that he should not yield craven-like to the
machinations of intrigue. He boasted that his arrow could avert the
crisis. But the arrow is an inferior weapon, even a negligible
weapon when compared with the efficiency of Love. Rama heard him
coolly and advised him to desist from that hasty Karma, "Dharma must
guide Karma"; then alone can it be praise-worthy and successful.
THE path of spiritual discipline,
which is most beneficial to man, is laid down in a simple and sweet
manner in the great Scriptures of Ancient India. They
explain, through example and precept, the Divine Principle inherent
in the Universe and inspire mankind to gaze with awe and reverence
at the handiwork of God and His inscrutable Leela (sport). They
prompt man to march along the pilgrim road of sacrifice in the happy
company of Sages, so that the body feels the vision of the Eternal,
which can be gained and enshrined in the heart forever.
WHEN Sri Rama
decided to end His Avatar career and walked into the flooded Sarayu
River, a dog too followed the concourse. When asked why it had
attached itself to the entourage, it said, "I desire to enter Heaven
with you all. I was in my previous life a full-fledged Yogi; but I
slipped and fell from the straight path of self-control. I became
the slave of conceit. I expounded the Vedas as my fancy dictated, in
strange but attractive ways. So, I have now become this animal that
takes delight in barking, biting and baying. The persons who
encouraged me then by praise are now the fleas and the flies that
crowd on my skin and pester me. Help me, Lord, to escape from the
disgrace. I have worked my Karma; I have lived out my sentence".
WHEN Rama is
installed in the heart, every thing will be added unto you - fame,
fortune, freedom, fullness. Hanuman was a mere monkey-leader until
he met Rama. He was a Minister in the Court of his Master. But when
Rama gave him the commission to seek Sita, that is to say, when Rama
was installed in his heart as Guide and Guardian, Hanuman became
"ten" and Ratha means "Chariot". Hence Dasaratha (the father of
Rama) in fact symbolizes "man" who operates with his ten sense
organs such as the eyes, the ears, the nose etc. His three wives
symbolize man's three Gunas (attributes) and his four sons, the four
Purusharthas (purposes). Lakshmana also represents the Buddhi
(Intellect) of Rama. Hanuman is the mind, the repository of courage,
while Sugriva stands for Discrimination. With these to help him,
Rama succeeds in finding Sita, the lost Truth. This is the lesson of
the Ramayana to everyone.
many who spend much time in mechanically reciting the name "Rama" or
systematically reading the Ramayana according to a fixed time-table,
or who worship the images of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman as a
daily ritual, with noisy pomp and pedantry; but like a person who
puts a foot forward only to draw it back again, these persons do not
progress at all as the years elapse. Without gaining purity of
thought and intention, compassion and the urge to serve, these
outward expressions and exhibitions are but ways of cheating
yourself for having society applaud you as a great devotee. Your
sight must become an insight; it must be turned within and used to
purify and clarify your mind.
formula that can liberate, cleanse and elevate the mind is
Rama-Name, the Name of Rama. Rama is not to be identified with the
hero of the Ramayana, the Divine offspring of Emperor Dasaratha. The
Court-Preceptor named him Rama because it was a Name, which was
already current. Vasishta, the Preceptor, said that he had chosen
that Name since it meant: He who pleases. While everyone pleases the
self, nothing pleases the caged individualized self more than the
free universal individualized self. The self is therefore referred
to as Atma-Rama, the self that confers unending joy.
ordered to discover the whereabouts of Sita and he implicitly,
without question, obeyed and succeeded. He did not calculate the
dangers of the journey and hesitate; and he did not feel proud that
he was chosen for the high adventure. He listened; he understood; he
obeyed; and he won. The name Rama Dootha, Messenger and Servant of
Rama that he earned thereby has made him immortal. You must earn the
name, Sai Rama Dootha. Have fortitude and self-control; use good and
sweet-words; and examine each act of yours on the touch-stone of My
THE toughest fiber is anger. It is
the stickiest dirt. When you get angry, you forget mother, father
and teacher; you descend to the lowest depths. You lose all
discrimination in the excitement; even Hanumantha set fire
to the whole of Lanka when the Rakshasas who set fire to the tip of
his tail incensed him; and he lost sight of the fact that Sita was
in the Asoka Vana. It was only after he had exulted in achievement
for a little while that he remembered it and then he started
condemning himself for his anger.
extolled as the ideal son who acted according to his father's wish
regardless of his own happiness. But Bhishma is a better example in
this respect. He acceded to a whim of his father and in so doing
made even a greater sacrifice than Rama. Dasaratha made Rama an
exile in the forest for fourteen years to satisfy the claims of
Truth, while Santhanu made his son give up the throne as well as a
wedded life to satisfy a sensual desire of his senile body. As a
matter of fact, it is not the obedience to the father's whim that is
important; it is the adherence to Sathya and Dharma, which is Rama's
RAMANAMA Feast is cloying to some
tastes, but it is something ever fresh that gives undying sweetness
to the heart that is filled with the love of God. One single name
will yield fresh sweetness and fresh joy every time it is rolled on
the tongue. I have to tell you the things I have told you often
before; for until digestion is well established, medicine has to be
taken. The face has to be washed day after day. One meal is not the
end of the story; you have to eat, again and again.
RAMATATWA is known only to Rama. What
can the rest know? At best, they can have but a glimpse of Rama's
grace; and even then, only if they are immersed in intense inner
prayer for God. Think of Him. Call out for Him; He melts. Whatever
form He may be shining in, that intensity will make you recognise
Him. He may be a cowherd boy, standing under a tree with a flute at
His lips. You will see Him and adore Him and place Him in your
heart. You extol the Lord as Love, Mercy and Grace.
EVERY step in the career of the
Avatars is fire-determined; Rama knew that the coming of
Surpanaka was the prelude to the coming of Ravana He had asked Sita
to enter the fire and remain in it as just an outer manifestation.
Even before the human manifestation, the Lord had decided that the
Shakti must also accompany Him. Ravana's Tapas were so strong that
only a major sin could make the blessings he had won from the Gods
null and void.
DO not ask God for anything. Let Him
deal with you as He wills. Did Jatayu ask that Rama should come to
him and perform the last rights? Did Sabari plead with Rama? Earn
the qualifications - holiness, purity faith and universal love -
then He will approach you on foot, to console, comfort and save. If
you have purity of heart and mastery over the senses, His Grace is
EGO plays all kinds of tricks in order
to get unholy pleasure. During the construction of the bridge to
Lanka to take the army across, Hanuman heaved a boulder on the
raging waves of the sea as part of the bridge! It floated. Rama
heaved another; it sank. Hanuman's ego was tickled, naturally. He
laughed in derision; at that very moment, his boulder sank! And the
boulder that Rama had thrown rose from the bottom of the sea and
floated! Hanuman's ego was pricked into nothing. That was the
purpose for which Rama had willed that His boulder should sink!
RAMA Nama will save you, if you have
at least the Pithru Bhakthi and Mathru Bhakthi that Rama had. If
not, Rama Nama is merely a movement of the lips. Meditate on the
Rama Swarupa, the Ramaswabhawa, when you recite or write Rama Nama.
That will give exercise to the mind; and it will be made healthy and
strong in the spiritual sense. Make the Dharmaswarupa your Atma Rama
on the Janmadina of Rama. That is My advice and My Blessing.
MAKARA Sankranti is a holy day because
the day takes you from darkness to increasing light. From today, the
sun enters upon the Uttarayana taking a northward direction for six
months. When your Drishti (Sight) is on BRAHMAN and when you have
Uttama guna it is Uttarayana, and when your Drishti is on Prakriti
it is Dakshinayana. When you have fever, the tongue will be bitter.
The bitter tongue is "Dakshinayana". When you are healthy, your
sweet tongue tastes well, it is Uttarayana. The real Uttarayana is
when you crave for the thought of the Lord and the company of the
Godly. Bhishma spent days in bed with pain, as he felt death, when
the sun starts towards north is auspicious. Bhishma yearned for the
vision of Krishna in Uttarayana. Become fit for the vision of God,
cultivating Prema in your heart, full of fragrance and
uncontaminated by the pests of greed and egoism.
WITHOUT the flowers, the plant yields
no fruit. Without the emerging fruit, ripeness cannot happen.
Without intense Karma, Bhakti cannot emerge. Without Bhakti, how can
Jnana be found? Somaka the wicked, spurned and suppressed the Veda.
But did he reap any happiness? The ten-headed monster coveted and
kidnapped another's wife. But did he achieve any gain? The
close-fisted Kaurava refused a pinpoint of land to his closest Kin.
But did he keep his loot? The terror-bound Kamsa sought out and
slaughtered each newborn baby; but did he escape from death? Wicked
men, even now, shall meet this fate. Take this Sai word as the word
HERE are the three
vows that Krishna had taken; they are mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita
for all humanity to read, know and believe: "For the protection of
the good and the punishment of the bad, for the establishment of the
Moral I shall concretize Myself, age after age. Whoever is wholly
immersed in My contemplation, with no other thought, I shall be ever
with Him; and I shall bear the burden of his welfare. "Surrender
unto Me, giving up all the other duties and obligations. I shall
liberate you from all sin; do not grieve". The armlets are reminders
of these tasks on which He is set.
VYASA is the Loka guru, he is Divine Effulgence.
Vyasa sought to bring home, through the Puranas, the need for
mastering the egoistic impulses, as the Sloka says:
Ashtaa dasa puraneshu
Paapaaya para peedanam
Two statements can summarize all the eighteen Puranas
composed by Vyasa. "Do good to others; avoid doing harm". Doing good
is the drug; avoiding harm is the regimen that must accompany the
treatment. That is the cure for the disease of suffering from joy
and grief, honour and dishonour, prosperity and adversity and the
dual thong that bothers man and deprives him of equanimity.
THE Lord will be the Guide of whoever installs Him as
his Sarathi. He will not consider that position inferior. He is the
Sanathana Sarathi, come to be the Sarathi of all. He is the Lord for
all who seek a Master, a support. The Atma is the Master in every
one; and Krishna is the "Universal Atma" personified.
THE moment Krishna was born, the chains that bound
his father fell off; the doors that had been bolted flew open; and
the prison guards were immersed in the Ocean of Bliss, so that they
could not recognise any event or thing in the material world. The
fire of hatred that was burning in them was cooled; and darkness
gave place to the dawn of wisdom. The sky showered raindrops to
soften the earth and lay down dust. How can the lament operate
against the Divine Will?
KRISHNA has three separate meanings - (1) the word
Karsh is one root from which the name is derived. It means, that
which attracts; Krishna attracts hearts to Himself by His sportive
pastimes, miraculous victories over the forces of evil, His charming
conversation, His Wisdom and His personal beauty. (2) The word is
also related to the root, Krish: to cultivate, a field, for growing
crops. The word means, He who removes the weeds from the heart of
Man and sows seeds of Faith, Courage and Joy. (3) It is related to
the root Krish, meaning something above and beyond the three
attributers and the three eras; and "na" means Sath-Chith-Ananda.
KRISHNA had taken
three Vows and the Kankans were symbolic of His determination to
fulfill them. They were, as mentioned by Him in the Gita: (1)
"Dharmasamsthapanaya Sambhavaami Yuge Yuge". (I shall incarnate
myself, in every age, to revive and resurrect Dharma) - (2)
"Yogakshemam Vaham Yaham" (I shall bear the burden of ensuring peace
of prosperity for all who rely on me) - (3) "Mokshayishyami maa
sucha" (I shall save all those who surrender wholeheartedly to Me
and I shall liberate them from the cycle of birth and death).
KRISHNA dealt with the World as
with a Sitar, pulling its heartstrings to arouse the melody of
comradeship, heroism, love, affection, compassion and conviction.
But, of these, the two emotions of love and compassion were
characteristically His and His own. His breath was Love! His
behaviour was Compassion! Adore Him, placing a garland of tears
around His neck; washing His feet with tears, springing from joy at
the contemplation of His Love! That very worship will endow you with
the wisdom that Sages seek and the Bliss that the Books
THIS is the genuine Bharathiya Vision
to transform life into a pilgrimage towards the God resident in
oneself; a steady march along the straight path to Bliss. There is
no such steadiness now. Fancy and Fantasy rule the mind of man. You
desire one thing in the morning; at noon you change over to
something else. That desire will not persist until evening. If your
desire is fulfilled, you praise God and parade your devotion. But if
it does not prevail, you throw God overboard and parade your
NARADA, who moves always by and with
the Lord, feels that God is beyond his understanding; Balarama who
came as His own brother could not fathom His personality. How then
can you grasp My Mystery? How can those who strut about in
well-ironed bush-coats fathom the Truth? I know some that are here,
who sold their Faith to hollow men and started talking about My
dress and My Hair! If you dare, seek My Truth. Come, surrender unto
Me. Do not teach treason to your friends and to other seekers. Dress
and manners have become polished now; but the inner man has
deteriorated in virtue and faith!
DETACHMENT is a plant of slow growth;
if you pluck the tender plant to look for the pods, you will be
disappointed. So too, long and constant practice alone is rewarded
by the Peace that God offers. Grace is acquired by Surrender as
Krishna has declared in the Gita.
WHEN the Gita directs you to give up
all Dharma (Set Codes of morality), it does not ask you to also give
up all Karma, and when you do it for God, through God and by God,
the Dharma of it does not matter; it has to be acceptable; and it is
bound to benefit you. The statement is not an invitation to
licentiousness or complete inactivity; it is a call for dedication
and surrender to the highest in Man, namely GOD.
OF all the Slokas in the Bhagavad
Gita, Ramakrishna was especially impressed by the one that
emphasized the attitude of Atmanivedana or Sharanaagathi:
Madyaji Maam Namaskuru
one with Me; be devoted to Me; sacrifice to Me and bow down to Me.
Unify yourself, thus you will surely come to Me".
THE Mahabharatha declares: "What is
not in Bharath does not deserve reverential consideration"; and in
Bharath, the message has always been: tolerance, respect for all
faiths and the practice of the essential teachings of love and
service with giving up of hatred, envy and pride.
all acts with as much love as you would offer God. In Truth, you eat
for the satisfaction of the "I" in you and dress up to please the
self-same "I". The husband loves his wife for the sake of the "I".
And who is this "I" that is persistently inherent in everyone? It is
God Himself. "Iswara Sarva Bhootaanaam" says the Gita: the Lord
resides in the heart of every being. He is the Atman in every being.
He is the Atman in everyone, the Paramatma.
PONDER over your "sthithi" (present
condition), "gathi" (direction of movement), "shakti"
(capabilities), and "mathi" (inclination). Then enter upon the path
of Sadhana step by step, so that you approach the goal faster every
day, every hour, every minute. Arjuna became entitled to the Gita
Upadesh from the Lord Himself, because he evinced the "Vishada", the
"Vairagya", the "Sharanaagathi", and the “Ekagratha”, essential to
assimilate The Great Message. When the yearning for liberation has
become intense, beyond expression, man can set aside all social
conventions, worldly norms and codes of conduct that do not subserve
that high purpose.
KRISHNA does not speak of whoever
among men who pronounce the "Pranava" at the moment of death, etc.
The word He uses "whoever" is without any qualification of sex. He
does not say "Whoever that is authorized" or "Whoever among the
deserving". The clear intention of the Lord is to encourage women,
as well as men, to take up Pranava-Upasana. You would have seen that
I do not discourage anyone from the Upasana. It is the royal road to
spiritual victory which all are entitled to use.
THE Gita says that, if you give up all
Dharma and take refuge in Him, then He will save you from Sin and
wipe your tears. Giving up Dharma does not mean that you can bid
farewell to virtue and righteous action; it means, you have to give
up egoism that you are the doer. Be confirmed in the faith that He
is the "doer" of every deed. That is the genuine "giving up".
I AM in your heart all the
time, whether you know it or not. Draupadi called out for the Lord
of Dwaraka, Sri Krishna, when the wicked cousins of her husbands
cruelly assaulted her, and so the Lord responded but after a little
delay. He had to go to Dwaraka and come from there to Hasthinapura
where she was! He told her that she could have received Him in the
fraction of a second had she called out, "Oh Dweller in my heart",
for He dwells there as everywhere else.
THE elders in Brindavan who
reveled in scandalizing Krishna - successors have been born for them
even now - set an ordeal for Radha to test her virtue. She was given
a mud pot with a hundred holes and asked to bring water in that pot
from the Yamuna to her house! She was so full of
Krishna-consciousness that she never knew the condition of the pot.
She immersed it in the river, as usual repeating the name of Krishna
with every intake of the breath and every exhalation. Every time the
name Krishna was uttered, a hole was covered, so that by the time
the pot was full, it was whole. That was the measure of her Faith.
Faith can affect even inanimate objects.
IN Realty, Truth is God; Love
is God; Dharma is God. The Gopis and Gopalas saw in Krishna the
Embodiment of Truth, Love and Dharma. What He said was Truth; what
He was became Love, what He did was Dharma. They were so immersed in
Krishna-Consciousness that they saw everywhere and in everything
nothing but Krishna. Krishna for them did not exist as a separate
entity in the home of Nanda; He was right in their own
consciousness, at all levels of it. These Gopis and Gopalas were
true Bhaktas indeed.
WHATEVER is dedicated and
offered to God can never be lost. People can gain enormous benefit
by offering even a little to God. "A leaf or a flower, a fruit or a
little water" - that is enough, if offered with devotion. Draupadi
gave Sri Krishna the fraction of a leaf sticking to the side of a
vessel and God granted her endless good fortune. Kuchela gave a
handful of parched rice and received from the Lord awareness of His
THE Lord had Maya as His
consort, so to say, and He had a son called Manas. This Manas, to
continue the parable, had two wives. Pravritti and Nivritti
(Attachment and Detachment). Of course, Pravritti was His favorite
wife and she had a hundred children. Nivritti was ill treated and
neglected; and she had just five. That is the symbolism of the
Kauravas and the Pandavas. Though all the children lived in the same
kingdom, ate the same food and learnt from the same Teacher, their
natures differed widely from one another. The Kauravas, children of
the attachment, were greedy, cruel, self-centered, and vain. The
Pandavas, five of them, each one represented a Supreme Virtue, so
that they could be said to symbolize Sathya, Dharma, Shanti, Prema
and Ahimsa. As they were so pure and born of Detachment, the Lord
became their Guide.
THE Gita speaks of Bhakthi,
Jnana, and Karma as Yogas; and by Yoga is meant what Patanjali
intended it to mean: "Chiththa Vrithi Nirodha", that is to say, "the
stilling of the agitations of the consciousness". Vishnu is the
supreme exemplar of this calm, for He is "Saanthaakaaram
bhujagasayanam", the very picture of peace and calm, though
reclining on a thousand-hooded snake, the snake being the symbol of
the objective world with its poisonous fangs. Being in the world but
not of it, not bound by it - that is the secret.
THE riches that you should
strive to amass are not fields, factories, bungalows or
bank-balances but the wisdom and experience of oneness with the
Grandeur of the Universe and the Force that runs it without a hitch.
Arjuna is called Dhananjaya by Krishna because he had won (Jaya)
such Dhanam (riches) that saves man; and that cannot be taxed,
stolen or transferred. The method of winning these riches is
GIVE joy to all. Prema or Love
is the means to achieve this ideal. When Love can bring even God
nearer to you, how can it fail where man is involved? Krishna could
not be bound by any other means. That is the reason why SAI has
declared: "Start the day with Love; spend the day with Love, fill
the day with Love; end the day with Love. That is the way to God".
KRISHNA was known to all as
Almighty, All knowing, all encompassing, and All-fulfilling. Yet,
the enthusiasm to do Seva promoted Him to approach Dharmaraja, the
eldest of the Pandava brothers, on the eve of the magnificent
Rajasuya Yaga that he had planned to perform and offered to take up
Seva of any kind. He suggested that He might be given the task of
cleaning the dining-hall after the guests had partaken of the feast!
Krishna insisted on outer cleanliness and inner cleansing. Clean
clothes and clean minds are an ideal combination.
DURING the battle of
Kurukshetra, which climaxed the Mahabharatha story, Krishna served
as the "driver" of the chariot of Arjuna throughout the day till
dusk on the field and caused the adjournment of the fight. He led
the horses to the river, gave them a refreshing bath and applied
healing balms to the wounds suffered by them during the fierce fray.
He mended the reins and the harness and rendered the chariot
battle-worthy for another day. The Lord sets the example for the
Devotees to follow. He teaches that Service done to any living being
is offered to Him and is accepted by Him most joyfully. Service
rendered to cattle, to beasts, and to men is laudable Sadhana.
THE World is today in deep
distress because the common man and his leaders are all distracted
by lower desires and lower motives, which require only the lower
skills and meaner impulses of man. This is what I call
"devaluation". Though man is inherently divine, he lives only at the
animal level. Very few live even in the native human level.
KRISHNA does say: "whoever
among men who pronounce the Pranava at the moment of death", etc.
The word he uses is "whoever" without any qualification of sex. He
does not say "whoever is authorized or whoever is among the
deserving". The clear intention of the Lord is to encourage women as
well as men to take up Pranava Upasana. You will see that I do not
discourage any one from the Upasana. It is the royal road to
spiritual victory which all are entitled to use.
BHISHMA, for example, has to be
revered and accepted as an inspiration, even more potent than Rama
so far as homage to the father is concerned. In order to cater to
the carnal cravings, which he could have ordinarily condemned, he
denied himself gladly, spontaneously, without demur and for the
entire period of his life, both wedded life and royal status. He
honoured the Vedic injunction, “Pithru Devobhava” in the fullest
THIS created Universe has two
aspects, one is impermanence (Anityam), the second one is
unhappiness (Askulham). In the Gita, Krishna has said, "Anityam
Asukha Lokam Imam Prapy Bhajaseva Maam". Nothing in this World can
give happiness that is true and lasting. Mistaking the World as
"All" and forgetting the Atman, which alone is eternal and the only
refuge, is the greatest folly of man today. Man is pinning all his
hopes on slippery work and is madly running after amassing and
hoarding wealth. Of course, material needs are to be taken care of
but within limits and not at the cost of spiritual values. Money and
mansions are not the only wealth. Hoard the wealth of the Spirit.
Character is wealth; good conduct is wealth; and spiritual wisdom is
WORKERS and peasants - that is
the slogan nowadays. These two classes were given their due share of
social importance and honour during the Krishnavathar. Now, people
are honoured even if they grow not food but cash crops. Foreign
exchange is what we are after and so, people are encouraged to
produce what others can buy not what we need; such as milk and a
variety of milk products which are highly nutritious foods.
Balarama, the elder brother and an Avathar in his own right, had as
his weapon the plough. It declared agriculture as a consecrated
EGOISM is the most dangerous
illusion that has to be exploded and destroyed. Bhima had it; but
when he could not lift and lay aside the tail of a monkey, who was
really Anjaneya himself, that bubble was exploded. Arjuna had it one
day after the battle. When Krishna brought the chariot back to camp,
he wanted that Krishna should get down first, like all charioteers;
the Master must get down later, after the Charioteer opens the door
for him. Krishna refused and insisted that Arjuna should alight
before He should. At last Krishna won. Arjuna got down and as soon
as Krishna left His seat and touched the ground, the chariot went up
in flames. In fact, if Krishna had gotten down first, the various
fire-arrows, which had the power of burning the chariot, would have
hit the target; but due to the presence of Krishna, their igneous
powers could not manifest themselves. After knowing this, Arjuna was
humbled and his egoism had a powerful shock. He realized that every
action of Krishna was full of significance.
THE Gita advises
"Karmasamyasa", that is to say, Karma without attachment to the
fruit thereof. There are Karmas, which have to be done as duties
related to the status in “Samsara”, and, if these are done in the
proper spirit, they will not bind at all. Do all Karma as actors in
a play, keeping your identity separate and not attaching yourself
too much to your role. Remember that the whole thing is just a play
and the Lord has assigned to you a part; act well your part; there
all your duty ends. He has designed the play and He enjoys it.
IT is when you are in a
desperate situation that you call upon the Lord, forgetting your
pride and your egoism. The Pandavas were so full of misery in a
worldly sense that they always had an attitude of prayer. If I had
given you all the comforts and opportunities, you would not have
come to Puttaparthi. Trouble is the bait with which the fish is
pulled out of the water. Kunthi asked that Krishna should continue
giving her and her sons all kinds of misery so that He may grant
them His Grace continuously.
THE Gita prompts you to seek
the answers and directs you to experience them. It helps you to
control the "Chittha", the agitations of the mind; it destroys
delusion. It develops true knowledge; it makes you glimpse the
splendour of the Lord and confirms your faith. You say at one
moment: "Baba does everything, I am but an instrument; but the next
moment the same tongue says: "I did this; I did that; Swami did not
do this for me". If you never step into wrong, you can be ever
certain of His Grace.
THE Mahabharatha, for example,
is basically the story of the five Vital Airs of Man (the Pancha
Pranas) overcoming the hundred obstacles in the path of upward
progress. The eldest of the Five Pandava brothers is Dharmaraja
(Morality, Righteousness); he is ably supported by Bhima (physical
strength devoted to Divine Service and charged with Devotion),
Arjuna (steady pure Faith in God), and Nakula and Sahadeva, who
represent Steadfastness and Equanimity. When these Five are exiled,
the Hasthinapura (body) is inundated with Adharma (unrighteousness).
IN the Manasa-Sarovar (the
deep, placid mind-lake) of every man lurks a poisonous cobra with
six hoods: Lust, Anger, Greed, Attachment, Pride and Hate, infesting
the air and destroying all who are near it. The Name of the Lord,
when it dives into the depths, forces it to come up to the surface
so that it may be destroyed. So, allow the Divine in you - the
Krishna, Lord over the mind - trample on the hissing hood and take
out the vicious viper; let it vomit the venom and become Satwic and
LIKE all Avatars, Krishna
announced His advent to the World bit-by-bit, step-by-step, testing
every time how far the Reality will be accepted by the masses. The
signs and miracles were intended, then as now, to proclaim the
THE mystery and splendour of
God can be grasped only by a pure mind and a clear vision. That is
why the Lord granted a new eye to Arjuna in order that he might not
be confounded by his glory. A resolution adopted by the mind is like
a stone thrown into a Sarovar or lake. It produces ripples that
affect the entire face and unsettles equanimity. A good resolution
or "Sankalpa" sets up a series of such thoughts, each contributing
its quota to the process of purification and strengthening.
THE One is comprehensive of all
this. So, it has no wants, no desires and no activity to realise
anything. Sri Krishna tells Arjuna: "Name Partha asthi Karthvyam,
Thrishu lokeshu Kinchava Partha". (There is nothing I have to do in
any of the three Worlds). He has willed the World as his sport. He
has laid down that every deed must have its consequence. He is the
dispenser of the consequences but he is not involved in the deeds.
ONE can also be rid of Maya if
one can discard the three Gunas from one's make-up. The "Sathya
guna" too has to be transcended; why? The Gita directs that even the
eagerness to be liberated is a bond. One is fundamentally free.
Bondage is only an illusion. So, the desire to close the bond is the
result of ignorance. Krishna says, "Arjuna, become free from the
three Gunas". In truth, the word "Guna" means "rope", for all three
"Gunas" bind the "Jiva" with the rope of desire. Liberation means
liberation from delusive attachment or "Moha"; "Mohakshaya",
decline in the desire caused by attachment to sensory pleasure.
CONSIDER for a moment how long
worldly triumphs last. They are but the play of the scintillating
name and form of the Divine, which is the core of every being. Earn
the vision that sees the Divine inherent in all. We are not troubled
when something is good; only when it is bad. This is because
goodness is natural. In our evil aberration, we are worried and
alarmed when we slide into wrong or pain or sorrow. This is because
Nature plans us to be right, to be happy and ever in a state of joy.
It is a pity that man has lost his understanding of this Truth.
VYAS sympathized with man who
was caught in the coils of do's and don'ts, of success and failure,
of desire and despair. He demarcated many a path, which leads man
along to fulfillment. The fulfillment consists in uprooting the
animal that lurks in man and reaching out to the Divinity. That is
DHYANA is not mere sitting
erect and being silent nor is it the absence of any movement. It is
the merging of all your thoughts and feelings to God. Without the
mind becoming dissolved in God, Dhyana cannot succeed. The Gita
declares genuine Dhyana as "Anayaschinthayanthomaam Ye Janah
Paryapasathi" (Those persons who adore me without any other thought
or feeling). Krishna has assured such persons that He would carry
their burden and be by their side, guiding and guarding them.
Persons adept in this Dhyana are very rare; most people go through
the external exercises only. So they are unable to win Grace.
LIFE is a song, sing it. That
is what Krishna taught through his life. Arjuna heard that song in
the battlefield where tensions were at their highest and when the
fate of millions was to be decided by the sword. Krishna sang the
Gita for Arjuna to listen to. Gita means "Song", and he sang because
he was "Ananda" wherever He might be, in Gokulam, on the banks of
the Yamuna or at Kurukshetra between the warring armies.
WHY does He attract all to His
Presence? To plough the heart, prepare it for receiving the shower
of Grace, to grow the seeds of Love, weed it of all evil thoughts,
which smother the crops of joy and to enable it to gather the
harvest of Wisdom. That wisdom finds its fulfillment in Krishna
Himself, for Krishna also means the pure Essence, the Supreme
Principle, the "Sath-Chith-Ananda".
WHERE there is Dharma there
Krishna is; so, think for yourself, each one of you, how far have
you deserved the Grace of the Lord? You draw Him near; you keep Him
far. You entangle yourself, bind yourself, and get caught in the
trap. No one is your foe except yourself. No one else is your
friend. You are your only friend. The Guru shows you the road and
you have to trudge alone, without fear or hesitation.
THE word Dharmakshetra is the
first word in the Gita. In the very first verse of the Song
Celestial, the Kurukshetra (field of Action), in which the Maamakaah
(my people, as the blind Dhritharashtra described them through fond
attachment and egoistic delusion), people motivated by greed and
passion, and the Pandavas (the other people, the good and righteous,
the sons of the Fair one, the Progeny of the pure), is spoken of as
already transmuted into Dharmakshetra (field of Righteousness). For
victory is always for Righteousness and not for greed and passion
which blind men.
IF you ask Me, I will say that
the Gita is like a balance: scales, needle and all. The scale on the
left is the 7th Sloka of the 2nd Chapter, speaking of "Karpanya
Dosha". The fulcrum is the 22nd Sloka of the 9th Chapter, beginning
with "Anayaschinthayamshomaam"; and the scale on the right is the
Sloka in the 18th chapter, speaking of "Sarvadharmaam Parithyajya".
See how apt the fulcrum Sloka is. It speaks of single-minded
attention, "steady, like the needle of a well-adjusted balance".
Really, the Gita begins with two scales and a fulcrum: the two
armies of Righteousness and Unrighteousness with Krishna, the
Teacher, in the middle.
BHAKTI is of various types
according to the Damskara of the devotee and the state of his mind
and the stage of his development. There is the Shanta Bhakti of
Bhishma, the Vatsalya Bhakti of Yashoda, and the Madhura Bhakti of
the Gopikas. Of these the Dasya attitude is easiest and the best for
the majority of aspirants at this time. It means "Sharanaagathi" and
"Prapathithi" out of Shanti Bhakti.
THE fire of sorrow and joy
burns when the fuel of Vaasanas is fed into the furnace of the mind.
Take away the fuel and the fire dies out. Take away the Vaasanas,
the force of the impulses, promptings and urges and you become your
own master. This is done in Yoga by various physiological and
psychological exercises. But Bhakti is the easier means for this
end. Naamasmarana is enough: it is said that the name Sitarama
sufficed in the Thretha Yuga; the name Radha-Shama sufficed in the
Dwapara Yuga; and in the Kali Yuga, I tell you, all Names have that
PRAKRUTHI is Dhara, Earth and
Creation. Think of it always. Long for it. Pine for Dhara, Dhara,
Dhara and you find you are pining for Radha, Radha. So, Radha is the
Becoming and Krishna is the Being; the desire of Being becomes the
longing of the Becoming for the Being - this is the Radha-Krishna
relationship, which has been sung by seers and poets, calumniated
and caricatured by ignorant critics, appreciated and apprehended by
aspirants, and analyzed and realised by sincere scholars of
WELCOME all the blows of fate,
all the misfortunes and miseries, as gold welcomes the crucible, the
hammer and the anvil in order to get shaped into a jewel; or as the
cane welcomes the chopper, the crusher, the boiler, the pan, the
sprayer and the dryer, so that its sweetness may be preserved and
used as sugar by all. The Pandavas never demurred when disasters
fell thick upon them. They were happy that they helped them to
remember Krishna and call upon Him. Bhishma was in tears on the
arrow-bed, when he was about to pass away. Arjuna asked Him "why"
and he replied, "I am shedding tears because the miseries undergone
by the Pandavas pass through my mind". Then he said, this is done in
order to teach the Kaliyug a lesson; never to seek power, position
or pelf but to submit to the will of God in a completely resigned
way, so that you may be ever happy and unmoved.
THE Gita speaks of Bhakti,
Jnana, Karma, as Yogas. By Yoga is meant what Patanjali intended it
to mean "Chiththa Krishthi Nirodha", that is to say, "the stifling
of the agitations of the consciousness". Vishnu is the supreme
example of this calm, for He is "Saanthakaaram bhujaga Sayanam", the
very picture of peaceful calm, though reclining on a thousand-hooded
snake; the snake being the symbol of the objective World with its
poisonous fangs. Being in the World but not of it, not bound by it,
that is the secret.
THE Individual is Arjuna, the
Universal, which inspires him, is Krishna: Led by the Universal, the
Individual has to oppose the attractions and delusion of the
Manifested, the Maya, and the Prakruthi, that is, the Kaurava
hordes. The battle depicted in the Epic is the inner battle, between
the temporary and the eternal, the particular and the universal, the
sensual and the super-sensual, the seen and the seer. The Atma is
described as a streak of lightning in the blue cloud. It is a Gita
(streak in Telugu). Discover the Gita, then the purpose of Gita
study is fulfilled.
WHEN Dharmaraja, the eldest of
the Five Pandavas came to know - after the death of Karna which they
effected successfully - that Karna was his brother, his agony knew
no bounds; he was struck disconsolate and was torn by despair. If
only he had known the truth, all that grief could have been avoided.
So too, until you know that all are altars where the name God is
installed and all are moved and motivated by the Grace of the
self-same God, you are afflicted by hate and pride; once you know it
and experience it, you are full of Love and reverence to all.
WHEN Krishna leapt down from
His Chariot with the wheel-weapon in His hand to slay Bhishma,
Arjuna jumped down with Him and holding both His Feet he prayed, "Oh
Lord, you have given word that you will not wield any weapon. Let it
not be said that you broke your word to save me from Bhishma, I am
prepared to die". That was the measure of his Bhakti. Bhishma too
had equal Bhakti. He did not step forward to fight the new challenge
nor did he question the Lord. He stood silent drinking in the charm
of the Lord and filling himself with the vision of the magnificence
of the Lord. That was the measure of the dedication to His will.
KRISHNA is slandered by
ignorant, prejudice critics as "jaara" and "chora" and extolled by
seekers and sages with the same appellations, "jaara” and "chora".
He stole the hearts and the owners were glad of it. He shed light,
awakened people and made those, whose hearts he stole, richer and
happier. He destroyed all craving for sensual pleasure and sensual
knowledge and filled the entire being with thoughts of the Divine.
How then can He be referred to as "jaara" and "chora"? When the
blind leads the blind in this way, both have to fall into the pit.
IN the Mahabharatha, the most
noteworthy theme is Dharmasthapana. When the Pandavas were called
into the forest, it was as if the Five Pranas of Dharma, the
sustaining forces of Dharma, were exiled. Dharmaraja is the Prana of
the Right Conduct, Bhima, of the protective Might of Dharma; Arjuna,
of the Faith and Devotion needed as its Foundation, Nakula and
Sahadeva, of the shraddha essential for the Practice of Dharma. When
the Pandavas went to the forest, Hasthinapura was reduced to
Astinapura, a city of bones, without flesh and blood.
KRISHNA was the Purushothama,
Arjuna the Narrothama; It was a friendship between The Embodiment of
the Highest and the Embodiment of the Best. Krishna was the Avataric
Person. Arjuna was the anandic person; it was a coming together of
the Avathramurthi and the Anandamurthi. Arjuna was often addressed
by Krishna as Kurunandana. This name has a deep significance. "Kuru"
means "act, activity, Karma"; Nandana means "happy, delighted".
Kurunandana therefore means "he who is delighted while engaged in
activity". Throughout the eighteen chapters of the Githa, Arjuna is
alert and active, participating vigilantly in every turn of
PRACTICE the constant presence
of God and, learn to offer all your activities at the Feet of the
Lord as an act of worship. Then they will be free from fault.
Krishna advised Arjuna to enter the fight and, at the same time,
told him not to have "hatred" towards "enemies". These may appear to
be two irreconcilable attitudes, for war is rage (passion,
attachment) and renunciation of hatred is Vairagya (absence of
raga). Arjuna asked Krishna how he was to reconcile these two
attitudes. Krishna said, "Maamnusmara yudhyacha" (keep Me ever in
thy mind, and fight. Do not cultivate the egotistic feeling that it
is you who is fighting. I am using you as My instrument).
THE Pandava brothers were
highly fortunate. The eldest, Dharmaraja, rose to be the emperor.
The second was the Indomitable Bhima, armed with the terrible mace.
The third was Arjuna, son of the Lord of the Gods, Indra. The lord
poured His Grace on Arjuna and deigned to serve him in battle as his
charioteer! In spite of all these advantages, they were subjected to
the severest tragedies in life. What is the lesson that their lives
teach? No one can predict what calamity will overtake one and at
what time. Every thing depends on the will of Providence; it all
happens according to the Divine Plan.
THE question on the battlefield
was not who was the Kin of whom, but who was right and who was
wrong; fight for justice, fight for truth, fight for these as
akshatriyu is in duty bound, and leave the result to the Dispenser
of all. Krishna told Arjuna: "I am surprised that you should weep,
for you are Gudakesa, the conqueror of sleep and ignorance. You do
not kill, so don't be so conceited; nor do they die. They have many
more things to do; and so they are real deathless". "The sentence of
death has been already pronounced on their bodies by Me, and you
have but to carry out My Orders", Krishna said.
KRISHNA felt that it was time
to reveal His Truth and so He just showed all creation in His Mouth
when His mother asked Him to show her His tongue, when she suspected
He had eaten sand. He made even the longest rope too short to bind
Him. It became the talk of the place and every one felt he had all
the fourteen Worlds in Him! Avathars choose the time and the mode of
announcement of their Advent and Their Glory. Even in this Avathara
such miracles had to be done when I decided that the time was
opportune for taking the people into My Secret.
WHEN the righteous Pandavas
were harassed by wicked Kauravas, the beauteous Krishna appeared and
saved them. The lord can never design violence and blood shed. Love
is His instrument, non-violence His Message. He achieves the
correction of the evil-minded through education and example. But it
may be asked, why did Kurukshetra happen? It was a surgical
operation and therefore cannot be described as an act of violence.
The Surgeon saves life through the beneficial use of His Knife.
CONSIDER the Name Krishna which
the Avathar bore; what a significant Name? Krishna is derived from
the root "krish" which means (1) to attract (2) to plough and
cultivate and (3) the Divine Principle beyond time, space and
causation. Krishna, like all Avathars, attracts not only seekers,
Saints and Sages but the simple, the innocent and the good. He draws
also the curious, the critics, the Skeptics and those who suffer
from atheism. He draws them towards Himself by the irresistible
charm of His Person, by His invincible Look, His Voice, His Flute,
His counsel and His undaunted Heroism! He is ever in a State of
Bliss, spreading Harmony, Melody and beauty around Him; He sings
everywhere in the peaceful Pasture lands of Brindavan and in the
blood soaked battle field of Kurukshetra.