Thought for the Day - As written at Prasanthi Nilayam

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August 2005

August 1, 2005

There is only one royal road on the spiritual journey - the path of love, love for all beings as manifestations of the same Divinity that is the very core of oneself. This faith alone can ensure the constant presence of God with you, and endow you with all the joy and courage you need to fulfill the pilgrimage to God. Fill the reservoir with water; then, when you turn the taps on, the vessels will be full. Cultivate love and devotion; then all your activities will be saturated with compassion and charity; they will yield the golden harvest of joy and peace. The water must be pure; the love must be unselfish and universal.

August 2, 2005

Know that seva (service) is a better form of sadhana (spiritual exercise) than even dhyana (meditation); how can God appreciate the dhyana you do, when you do not make any efforts to alleviate the suffering of your neighbour? Do not keep yourself aloof, intent on your own salvation. Move among your brothers and sisters, looking for opportunities to help them, while at the same time, having the Name of God on the tongue and the Form of God before your mind's eye. That is the highest sadhana. 'Dil me Raam, Hath me Kaam!' (Install God in your heart and go about attending to your tasks at hand). Proceed in that spirit, God's Grace will be showered on you in full measure.

August 3, 2005
God is not involved in handing out either rewards or punishments. He only reflects, resounds and reacts. He is the Eternal Unaffected Witness! It is you who make your destiny. Do good, be good, and you will get good in return; perform bad deeds, and you reap only bad consequences. Do not praise or blame God for your fate! God does not even will that creation, protection and destruction take place. They follow in their own natural course, according to the innate laws of the universe.

August 4, 2005

Conserve sound, since it is the treasure of the element Akasha (space), an emanation from God Himself. Reason can prevail only when arguments are advanced without the raising of voices. Silence is the speech of the spiritual seeker. Soft, sweet speech is the expression of genuine love. Hate screeches, fear squeals, conceit trumpets. But, love sings lullabies, it soothes and calms. Practise the vocabulary of love and unlearn the language of hate and contempt.

August 5, 2005

From the standpoint of wisdom, maya (the illusion of the world) is unreal; in the vision of the enlightened saint, maya is absent. This is indeed an intriguing phenomenon. To the jnani (realized soul), who has crossed the shores of ephemeral existence, it is non-existent; to those relying on reason, it is inexplicable; to the ordinary man, it is a fact. The shadow you cast is reduced bit by bit with every step that you take towards the sun, until the sun shines right on the top of you and the shadow crawls under your feet and disappears. Similarly, maya becomes less and less effective as you march towards jnana (realization). When you are firmly established in wisdom, maya falls at your feet and becomes powerless to deceive you further and disappears.

August 6, 2005

Man has not come into this world merely to strut about for a while, consuming food and gaily gallivanting. He has come so that he may bask in the Presence of God, by cultivating love in the heart and spreading that love. The earth is a great enterprise, a busy factory, where the product is love. By means of Sadhana (spiritual practice), it is possible to produce love and export it to millions and millions of people who are in need of it. The more it is shared, the deeper it becomes, the sweeter its taste, and the greater the joy. By means of love, one can approach God and stay in His presence, for God is love, and when one lives in love, one lives in God.

August 7, 2005

We have in the atmosphere around us, the music emanating from all the broadcasting stations of the world, but they do not assail your ears at all times. Only if you have a receiver and you tune it to the correct wavelength do you hear the broadcast from a particular station; if you fail to tune it correctly, you will get, instead of news, only nuisance! So too, the Divine is everywhere - above, around, below, beside, near as well as far. For cognising it, you require not a yanthra (machine) but a manthra (mystical formula). Dhyana (meditation) is the fixing of the exact location of the station in the band, love is the correct tuning in, realizing the reality and the bliss it confers is the happy clear listening!

August 8, 2005

Work in the spirit of love; it leads you on to Worship. Work without any thought of the benefit you derive from it; work, since it is your duty; work, since that is the way you can offer God your gratitude for the skills He has endowed you with. This kind of attitude towards work leads to wisdom, the recognition of the immanence of the Divine in every being.

August 9, 2005

When one proceeds to attain the Atmic vision (vision of the Self), one has to negate everything one perceives as being Non-Self, until at the end of the journey, the Atma alone is cognised. The Atma admits of no definition, no description, no designation. It is the end of enquiry, the culmination of all endeavour, the silence that swallows all speech. The primary seed of knowledge is "I am not the body". It contains three entities: I, Body and Not. I is the Atma, the only truth. The idea 'I' applies only to the eternal 'I', over which, the transient 'I' is superimposed by ignorance born out of false identification with the body.

August 10, 2005

This birth has been undertaken by you for the mission of crucifying the ego on the cross of compassion. An opportunity to be of some service to fellowmen comes to you as a gift from God. Serve with a sense of gratitude, for it is God who accepts it from you. Prepare yourselves for serving others, not only by learning the necessary skills but also through japa (repeating God's Name)and dhyana (Meditation) filling yourselves with God, lest your heart becomes dry and cruel.

August 11, 2005

The mind of man is not an organ that can be identified physiologically; it cannot be touched or operated on by doctors or surgeons. It is an intangible bundle of resolutions and hesitations, wishes and wants, pros and cons. It easily rushes out after external pleasures and assumes the shapes of the things it seeks. It can also be turned back into searching for inner contentment and inner joy. That is why the mind is said to be the instrument for both bondage and liberation. Allow the senses to lead it outward, it binds. Allow the intelligence to prevail upon it to look inward for bliss, it liberates.

August 12, 2005

When love is directed towards objects that cater to the senses, it will dry up when they fail to give the happiness you seek. When profit is loved, loss will undermine it. Discontent will sap its springs, when you love with the motive of worldly contentment. Even when ten million disappointments combine to distress you, never give up love; fix it on the source of love, the spring of love, the Supreme Goal of love, namely, God. Whatever the obstacles, however much you are tempted to loosen the grip, hold on to God; there is always a calm after the storm. A bout of hot weather invariably brings welcome showers. Love saturates all activities with joy and peace. Love ennobles the least and the lowest. Love your self for the God that it embodies; love others for the God that is enshrined in them, that speaks and acts through them.

August 13, 2005

Grief is caused, as joy is caused, by the attachment of the senses to objects; once you know that you are not the senses or the mind, but He who operates the senses and wields the mind, you cross the bounds of pleasure and pain. Separate yourself from the grief and you will find yourself the Emperor of your Realm. The senses and the mind, with all the attendant impulses, desires and attitudes become your servants, instruments that carry out your bidding.

August 14, 2005

Love is the word which indicates the striving to realize the falsehood of diversity and the reality of the One. Love identifies; hate separates. Love transposes the Self on to another and the two think, speak and act as one. When love takes in more and more within its fold, more and more entities are rendered as One. When you love Me, you love all, for, you begin to feel and know and experience that I am in all. By means of dhyana (meditation), you can realize that I am the resident in all hearts, the urge, the motive, the guide, the goal. Yearn for that vision, that awareness and make it your priceless possession. Then, you have what you often ask Me for - sakshathkara (Direct Vision of Reality). Your love has to be as pure and as free from the taint of ego as mine so that it can merge in Me.

August 15, 2005

The sadhaka (spiritual aspirant) must have as his objective the state of mental preparation for the realization of Godhead. That is to say, his heart must be cleansed of despair, free from hesitation and doubt, and open to the waves of bliss that surge in from all sides, in God's Universe. Love brings the waves in, ever expansive as they are! Follow the scriptural directives with faith and sincerity. That will help you to realize the purpose of life. Since every action has its appropriate reaction, beware of evil intentions, wicked words, and acts that harm others and therefore harm you. Lead your life revering everyone around you as moving temples of the Divine.

August 16, 2005

Today, we have so many fields of knowledge in the world. However, all these categories of knowledge do not constitute what is regarded as Jnana (spiritual wisdom) in Vedantic parlance. Atma Jnana alone is true knowledge. Ordinary knowledge constitutes knowledge of material objects acquired through sensory inputs and by investigation. But none of these can be Atma Jnana (knowledge of the Self). In the highest sense, Atma (the Spirit) and Jnana (Knowledge) are not different; they are one and the same. That is why the Upanishads declare: "Sathyam, Jnanam, Anantham Brahma" (Brahman is Truth, Wisdom and Infinitude); they are all different names for the same Paramatma (God).

August 17, 2005

Education is not for mere living; it is for leading a life that is more meaningful and worthwhile. There is no harm if it is also used for seeking a gainful employment; but, the educated must be aware that it is not the be all and end all of education. Again, education is not for developing the faculty of argument, criticism, or exhibiting your mastery over language or logic. That study is the best which teaches you to conquer this cycle of birth and death, which gives you the mental equipoise that is not affected by the prospect of death, or the blessings or blows of fate.

August 18, 2005

The divine power has no specific form like that of an object or a being, but it pervades the entire creation. Out of the divine power originated all other powers with various names and forms. There is only one power and that is the Atma. The same Atma exists in the accuser and the accused, the worshipper and the worshipped. The person who realizes this principle of oneness will never give room to anger or jealousy. There is diversity at the level of the body and the mind, but the Atma is the same in all.

August 19, 2005

As soon as you rise from bed in the morning, examine for a few moments your thoughts, plans, habits and attitudes to others, which are about to pounce on you and decide the shape of things to come during the day. Identify in the motley crowd of these thoughts, the vicious, the wicked, the evil, the harmful, the ones that are born in anger, that breed on greed, and assert that you are not willing to be led by them. Throw your inclination on the side of the good, the constructive, to renounce, and rise up a purer, stronger and happier man than you were when you went to bed. That is the real sadhana (spiritual exercise).

August 20, 2005

Add two spoons of water to two glasses of milk; the water is also appreciated as milk! So too, let your tiny drops of love for things material merge with the stream of love for God and be elevated. At present your sadhana can be described only as adding two glasses of water to two spoons of milk! Have the love of God filling and thrilling your hearts; then you cannot hate anyone, you cannot indulge in unhealthy rivalry, you will not find fault with anyone. Life becomes sweet and smooth.

August 21, 2005

God is described as 'Sath-Chith-Ananda'. 'Sath' is being. 'Chith' is awareness. When 'Sath' and 'Chith' come together, there is Ananda (divine bliss). 'Sath' may be compared to sugar, 'Chith' may be compared to water. When the two are brought together you have a syrup, an enjoyable sweet drink. Likewise, only when 'Sath' and 'Chith' come together, Ananda is experienced.

August 22, 2005

Often, people are carried away by what they imagine are their spiritual experiences in their Sadhana (spiritual exercise). All these exercises are designed purely to provide some sort of mental satisfaction and nothing more. Ultimately, neither Sadhana (spiritual endeavour) nor Sadhyam (the goal) exist independently and apart from each other. Sadhana and Sadhyam are one and the same. It is a trick of the mind to make Sadhana as the means to Sadhyam. True Sadhana consists in giving up the Anaatma Bhava (the idea that one is not the Spirit but the physical body). To turn the vision from the physical to the spiritual constitutes real Sadhana.

August 23, 2005

If we want Ananda (bliss), we must work along the spiritual path, so that the illusion of diversity is removed. When the mind is yoked to the Self, the Rajas (qualities associated with passion) and Thamas (qualities associated with inertia) are rendered ineffective and purified. Contact with the Self makes the ego merge into the Self. A harmonized mind sees the Self everywhere.

August 24, 2005

Today, people mistakenly think that spirituality has no relation to worldly life and vice versa. True divinity is a combination of spirituality and social obligations. National unity and social harmony are founded upon spirituality. It is the Divine that links spirituality and social existence. The Creator and the Prakriti (Cosmos) are inextricably associated with each other. Hence, God should not be regarded as separate from creation. See God in the cosmos. For instance, here is a tumbler made of silver. The one who notices the silver in the tumbler, thinks only of the material base and not the form of the tumbler. The one who sees it as a tumbler, does not note its silver base. Only the person who can recognise both silver and tumbler can recognise that it is a silver tumbler. Likewise, without God, there is no creation. However, most people see only the creation; very few recognise that the creation is a projection of the Creator. It is essential that every human being should have the realization that without the Brahman (Supreme) there can be no cosmos.

August 25, 2005

What is Jnana or wisdom? It is to know your own true self, that is, self knowledge. Self knowledge is Self realization. Jnana calls for the control of thoughts by appropriate efforts. Constant contemplation on the Self is the means of experiencing the direct vision of God, and Bhakthi (devotion) is the means to achieve it. Whether one takes to the Jnana-Marga (the path of wisdom) or the Bhakti Marga (the path of Devotion), the goal is the same, illumination.

August 26, 2005

Try to get into the company of devoted and God-fearing persons. When dust joins the company of air, it rises up into the sky; when it joins the company of water, it sinks into the depths of the earth. Your future is shaped by the company you keep. So, choose your friends carefully and do not develop too strong an attachment to anyone. Be friendly with all, but do not allow that friendship to grow into bondage.

August 27, 2005

Dhyana does not connote merely the act of sitting erect, motionless and maintaining silence. It means merging of all thoughts and feelings in God. Unless the mind dissolves itself completely in God, one cannot attain the fruit of Dhyana. Lord Krishna, in the Bhagavad Githa, declares the ideal Dhyana and its fruit to be "Ananyaaschinthayanthomaam Ye janah paryupaasathe. Theshaam nithyaabhiyukthanaam Yogakshemam vahaamyaham", meaning, "For those persons who adore Me without any other thought or feeling, I will myself carry their burden, remain by their side always guiding and guarding them".

August 28, 2005

Prema (Pure love) is like a precious diamond. Love is unattainable to persons who are egoistic, selfish, conceited or ostentatious. It can be obtained only through a loving heart. One may ask, "Is not the whole world permeated with Love? Why, then, is not Love patent?" The love which is associated with the world cannot be considered to real love. Prema cannot be associated with the body, the senses, the mind and the intellect. Anything associated with these is only Anuraaga (attachment). The Atmic (spiritual) life alone is a life filled with love. A life related to the body, the senses the mind and the intellect can never be free from selfishness, conceit and ostentation.

August 29, 2005

Without courage, firm conviction and strong determination, no purpose is served by routine Sadhana (spiritual exercises) undertaken mechanically. On the contrary, a person who never swerves from his determination even under trying circumstances, is called a Dheera (hero) and such a person wins the grace of the Lord. We should try to seek fulfillment in our daily life by anchoring our mundane activities in spiritual values. One must follow the dictum, "Hands in the society and head in the forest". That is to say, whatever be the activities you are preoccupied with in society, you must be steadfast in holding on to the spiritual ideals. This is the true sadhana, which will bestow lasting peace on you. Remember that you are the changeless Atma (spirit). All your sadhana should be directed towards establishing yourself in this firm conviction and unwavering faith, culminating in your life's fulfillment.

August 30, 2005

Vedanta (Vedic philosophy) has revealed many a profound truth. For instance, it declares God to be "Acharam charameva cha" (the One who is stationary and also moves). There is an apparent contradiction in this statement, for how can anybody be moving and stationary at the same time? The Vedanta has given a beautiful explanation for this. In the dream state, we experience ourselves engaged in all kinds of physical activities. But the body that is seen in the dream as moving, is in fact, lying motionless on the bed. The physical body is motionless, while the body in the dream is seen to be moving. Both the bodies are one and the same; in one state of consciousness, it is still and in another it is moving. Vedanta declares that in the physical state, there is movement, but in the state of Brahman (spiritual realm of the Divine), there is only steadiness. Indeed, the purpose of Dhyana (meditation) is to achieve this supreme state of steadiness and equipoise.

August 31, 2005

What is spirituality? It is the resolute pursuit of cosmic consciousness. Spirituality aims at enabling man to manifest, in all its fullness, the cosmic consciousness that is present within and outside him. It means getting rid of the animal nature in man and developing the divine tendencies in him. It means breaking down the barriers between God and Nature, and establishing their essential oneness. Goodness is a synonym for God. To realize such a state of divine consciousness, devotion is essential. Devotion aims at awakening consciousness of the Ishwara (Divine) in man. All activity aimed at turning the mind towards God is a form of devotion. To envisage and experience the Divine Sath-Chith-Ananda (Being-awareness-bliss) within oneself is the true mark of devotion.


Online source: Radio Sai Global