|Date:18 Oct 1991||Occasion:Dasara||Place:Brindavan|
The Avatar of Love
Love is God. The Cosmos is permeated with love.
Assuming the form of Love, to promote love among mankind,
Showering the nectarine stream of love,
Love has incarnated as Sri Devi,
Sai Devi, the Sai Mother
Embodiments of Divine Love! Love is one without a second. When this love is directed towards the world, it is called Anuraaga (attachment) and when directed towards God it is called Prema (devotional love). Love is the fruit of love. Love is comparable to love alone. It is beyond expression in words or verse. Such sacred love can only be matched by love. It is sweeter than nectar, which has been described by the scriptures as the sweetest thing.
Love is the fruit that grows on the tree of the Divine Name. The Love-principle proclaims the oneness of Name and Form. Brahmam is the form of Love. Brahmam is suffused with Love. Love matching love is the law. When one is strongly established in love, he qualifies for mergence with the Divine to become one with the Divine.
The Atmic principle makes its advent on the Bhuloka (the earth) from the Go-loka (celestial abode) to propagate the Love-principle among humanity. Hence, everyone has to learn the true nature of love. The greater one's love for God, the greater the bliss which one experiences. The bliss one experiences shrinks in proportion to the contraction in one's love. When man aspires for enduring bliss, he has to cultivate one pointed love for God.
Bliss is the fruit of Divine Love
Bliss arises from Love. There can be no joy in a dry, barren heart. Divine Love alone can make a dry heart fit for the sprouting of the plant of joy. That was why the gopikas appealed to Krishna:
Oh Krishna, play on your magic flute,
So that its divine music may drench
Our barren hearts with the nectarine flow,
That will make the saplings of love sprout in them.
Let the sun of Krishna shine over
Our hearts covered with dark clouds.
Let love make a garland out of
The scattered flowers in our hearts
Love is the vital force. Love is the governing principle. It is only when the precious diamond of love is shining in one's heart that the sacred and divine thoughts about God will arise in his mind. This diamond of Love can be got only from the Shop of Love, in the Street of Love, in the Kingdom of Love.
Divine love is without any self-interest
Fill your hearts with love. Love based on self-interest cannot be called divine love. That love alone is sacred which is based on complete obliviousness to one's self and is solely concerned with the yearning for God. In days of yore, the sages lived in the forests amidst wild animals and performed penance. How were they able to live in peace amongst these animals? Because the sages were filled with divine love, they could extend that love to the wild beasts also and transform them into creatures of love. The sages had no lethal weapons with them. They used only the weapon of love, which could transform even the nature of the wild animals.
Alas! Today even human beings are moving about like cruel beasts. Man is becoming a wild beast in this age of Kali. Compassion and love are vanishing. Ostentatious living is the order of the day. The manifestation of true love is totally absent. Everyone may claim that he loves God. Hardly one in a million is a true lover of God. True love should remain unaffected by weal or woe. To deride God during times of adversity and to praise God in conditions of prosperity cannot be called true love of God. Divine love is that which does not flinch in the face of difficulties and does not gloat over prosperity and remains equally serene in all circumstances. Life is full of vicissitudes, which are transient. Only Divine love is immutable and permanent.
A love-filled world
Hence, man should become the very embodiment of love. When he is filled with love, the entire world will be transformed into a love-filled world. The world will get divinised. The cosmos is permeated by the Divine. But this can be realized only when man is filled with love. As long as he is full of hatred, the world will appear as a hate-filled world. It is only when love is developed that the dualism of good and evil can be transcended and the joy of oneness with the Divine experienced.
How is this Love-principle to be developed in man? Anil Kumar (in his speech earlier) observed that fire emerges when one stick is rubbed against another. Does the mere coming together of two sticks produce the fire? No. It should be recognized that fire is already latent in both the sticks. Fire emerges from the rubbing of the sticks because fire is latent in them already. The fire is latent and not perceptible. The fire hidden in the wood is made manifest by sadhana (the process of rubbing the sticks).
What do these sticks symbolize? The human body is like the sticks. In this body, which is inert, the fire of jnana is present in subtle form throughout. If you take the two palms, there is fire latent in each of them. When you rub the two palms, heat is generated. The heat comes from the latent heat in the two palms and not from any external source.
"By the process of cognition, truth emerges. By the process of churning buttermilk, butter is got." (Swami quoted the poem from Anil Kumar's speech). Wherefrom did the butter come? The butter was originally in milk but it could be got only after the milk had been converted to curd and the curd was churned. The butter which was latent in the milk gets separated from the buttermilk, and will thereafter, not mix with it.
Keep the temple of body pure and sacred
Likewise, in the human body, a divine power pervades every part of the body, which, after the experience of a Saakshaatkaara (vision of the Divine) will not be attached to the body. It has been said: "The body is like a temple for the Dehi (indwelling eternal Spirit)." Hence, it should be put to proper use. You must develop good qualities. You must become a treasure house of good conduct. According to the state of purity of the temple, the power of the Divine will be manifested. Every man enters a temple on seeing the temple tower and not after seeing the deity inside. The temple reminds man of the deity within.
A doctor reminds you of illness. Likewise, a lawyer reminds you of litigation. In the same manner, when you look at your body you must remember God. It was to remind people in the villages to think of God that the ancients built temples, which towered above all other buildings. The temple tower was the first thing the villagers saw when they woke up in the morning. The sight of the temple spire immediately aroused in them spontaneous feelings of adoration.
It must be recognized that it was not a crazy feeling, which inspired the ancients to build huge temples at great expense. These multi-storied temple towers were built so that they might arouse constantly sacred thoughts about God in the minds of the people.
Today, people's minds are filled with all kinds of wrong ideas and they are wasting their lives in meaningless mundane pursuits. Hence, the primary need is to develop love among the people. This love should not be concerned with the physical or the mundane.
Many kinds of relationships between one person and another arise in the course of one's life. They are not born with him. Before one's birth, who was the mother and who was the child? Before marriage, who was the husband and who was the wife? The relationship of husband and wife occurs only after the marriage. It is only after one's birth that the relationship of mother and child occurs. These relationships are intermediate occurrences in one's life, which appear and pass away.
Only the Divine is present with you, in you and around you before your birth and all through your life's journey. Bear in mind this basic and permanent truth. Birth and death relate only to the body and not to the Atma. Temples may go up or decay, but God is unchanging and imperishable. The eternal Divine is dwelling in the temple of the human body.
Worldly relationships have no permanence
All relationships are incidental and temporary. Hence, each one should perform his duties. As long as one is involved in worldly life, the relationships of mother and son, husband and wife, brother and sister, and the like, have to be recognized as natural phenomena. All these relationships have no permanence. Separation is inevitable sooner or later. But between you and God, there can be no separation at any time. Even if you forget God, God will not forget you. Therefore, you have to develop faith in God and cultivate love.
Krishna declared in the Gita that when men forget their Dharma (Righteousness) and unrighteousness becomes rampant, the Divine makes His advent. The purpose of the advent is to promote Satwic qualities, eradicate evil tendencies, propagate love and to install in the hearts of humanity the Divine who is the very embodiment of Dharma. God's advent on earth is for spreading Divine love, which is the fountain-source of Dharma. There is no gulf between love and love. Love is one. Krishna declared: "I incarnate to propagate this love." The various expounders of Bhagavad Gita, however, have given different interpretations to the message of the Gita and created confusion.
Sthree symbolizes the three gunas in women
The world is a manifestation of the three gunas, (Satwa, Rajas and Tamas). The Divine is worshipped as "Devi". The term "Devi" refers to the feminine aspect. The term Sthree is used to denote a woman. There are three syllables in this term: Sa, Tha and Ra. "Sa" symbolizes the Satwic aspect of a person. The Satwic quality is the very first quality that manifests in man. The feeling of love develops from the mother. It is impossible to describe the nature of maternal love. The mother converts her own blood into love and gives it as milk to feed the child. Therefore, the first quality represented by "Sa", is the Satwic quality.
The second syllable is "Tha". This does not represent thathva or thaamasa. Anil Kumar described eating and sleeping as characteristics of the Tamasic quality. This is not so. In the term Sthree, the syllable "tha" represents bashfulness, modesty, self-esteem and such traits, which are characteristics of women.
Shyness is a predominant trait in women. They attach great value to their honor and reputation. It is because of these sacred qualities that their Tamasic aspect is significant. The common view regarding the Tamasic quality does not apply to them.
The third quality, symbolized by the syllable "Ra", is Rajas. Such qualities as sacrifice and high-mindedness in women reflect the Rajasic aspect of their nature. When necessary, women will be prepared even to sacrifice their lives to safeguard their honor. Without regard to the difficulties and troubles they may encounter, women are ready to make any sacrifice to protect their honor and self-respect. When the Tamasic elements attempt to subvert the Satwic qualities, they are ready to combat and vanquish them.
Inner meaning of Dasara festival
The term "Devi" thus represents the Divine power, which has taken the Rajasic form to suppress the forces of evil and protect the Satwic qualities. When the forces of injustice, immorality and untruth have grown to monstrous proportions and are indulging in a deathdance, when selfishness and self-interest are rampant, when men have lost all sense of kindness and compassion, the Atmic principle, assuming the form of Sakti, taking on the Rajasic quality, seeks to destroy the evil elements. This is the inner meaning of the Dasara festival.
When the Divine Goddess is in dreadful rage to destroy the wicked elements, She assumes a fearful form. To pacify the dreaded Goddess, Her feminine children offer worship to Her with red kumkum (sacred red powder). The Goddess seeing the blood-red kumkum at her feet, feels assured that the wicked have been vanquished and assumes Her benign form. The inner meaning of the worship of Devi with red kumkum is that thereby the Goddess is appeased.
During the ten days of the Dasara, the Rakshasas (demons) in the form of wicked qualities have been routed. Rakshasas do not mean demonic beings. The bad qualities in men are the demons. Arrogance is a demon. Bad thoughts are demons. Ravana is depicted as the king of Rakshasas. He is said to have ten heads. He was not born with ten heads. Who is this Ravana and what are his ten heads? Kama (lust), Krodha (anger), Moha (delusion), Lobha (Greed), Mada (pride), Maatsarya (Envy), Manas (the mind), Buddhi (intellect), Chitta (Will) and Ahamkara (the Ego)--these ten constitute the ten heads. Ravana is one who has these ten qualities.
Rajasic and Satwic qualities of Rama
Each one can decide for himself whether he is a Ravana or a Rama according to his qualities. Rama is the destroyer of the bad qualities. When engaged in this act of destruction of bad qualities, He manifests His Rajo-guna. But His Rajasic quality is associated with His Satwic quality. Even in cutting off Ravana's ten heads, Rama showed His love. This was the only way Ravana could be redeemed.
When the Lord metes out a punishment, it may appear harsh. But what appears externally as Rajasic is in reality Satwic. In a hailstorm, along with rain there will be hailstones. But both the rain and hailstones contain water. Likewise, there is Satwic quality even in the Lord's Rajasic actions. Similarly there may be Satwic quality even in Tamasic actions. These depend on the time, place and the circumstances in which the Lord acts. Butter can be split with a finger. But a powerful hammer is needed to break a piece of iron. The Lord deals with Satwic persons in a Satwic way. He applies the Rajasic weapon against Rajasic persons.
"Love is God, Love pervades the Cosmos"
People worship the Lord as Roudraakaara, attributing dreaded forms and qualities to the Divine. This is not proper. The Divine has only one attribute: the embodiment of Love. It has been said: "Love is God. Love pervades the Cosmos." Hence, one should not view the world from a worldly point of view. It should be viewed through the eyes of love.
Embodiments of Divine Love! All the festivals of Bharatiyas have been designed to promote Divine love among the people. It is to confer such love on the people that the Lord incarnates on earth. He Himself demonstrates how love should be expressed. He showers His love and teaches everyone how to love. Hence, experience this love and joy in your life and live in peace.