|Date:25 feb 1998||Occasion:Shivarathri||Place:Prashanti Nilayam|
The Power of the Lord's Name
Whether He is described as Cosmic Consciousness (Chaithanya)
Or the Indwelling Knower (Kshetrajna)
Or the Supreme Wisdom (Jnana)
Or the Ego or the Supreme Lord (Easwara)
Or as Vishnu or Brahma
Or the Primordial Energy
Or the Bliss Divine (Ananda)
Or the Abode of the Divine (Parmapadam)
Or as the Atma or as Sath-Chith-Ananda
All are various names and forms
of the Supreme Self which is nameless
The Cosmos is permeated by Hari
Nothing can be found in the Universe
Without the Divine in it.
Embodiments of Love!
Every human being seeks to enjoy bliss. He aspires for a blissful life. Whether he is a scholar or an artist, a wielder of power or a man of status, he yearns for bliss. Every man strives from dawn to dusk for acquiring bliss.
Bharatiya culture and tradition have proclaimed the greatness of this bliss (Ananda). But man is enveloped in two screens - the phenomenal and the spiritual. His vision is affected by the material outlook and the spiritual outlook. Unable to harmonize the two, man regards them as distinct from each other. The unity of these two represents the true Atmic principle.
Considering the material world of physical objects as the only, reality, man loses himself in the pursuit of material objects. But, if the truth about these material objects is fully explored, it will be found that they have no reality at all. They have only momentary and temporal reality. They do not have the stamp of permanent reality. They do not confer enduring bliss. To realize lasting bliss, man has to make the requisite effort.
The Quest for Bliss
"Sath-Chith-Ananda' (Being-Awareness-Bliss) pervades the entire universe. Every living being, from the ant onwards, is seeking this bliss, not man alone. For all living creatures, this bliss is the life-breath.
The scriptures have dealt with this problem of bliss in various ways. They have proclaimed "Sath-Chith-Ananda' as the primary principle. The existence of the Universe as a fact is affirmed by numerous persons. But a blind man is not aware of its existence. However, hearing what others say about the world, he also believes in its existence. He is not aware of its existence from his own personal experience.
People today speak about "Sath-Chith-Ananda" as a reality after hearing about the statements in the Vedas, Puranas and other scriptural texts. Such persons have no personal experience of "Sath-Chith-Ananda' ' Even the scholars who expound this concept are merely relating what they have learnt from books, but have no direct experience of this bliss.
Every man should seek to know what Sath-Chith-Ananda means. Only then he will realize his own true self. Because of the delusion caused by the phenomenal world, man regards "Sath-Chith-Ananda as distinct from himself. This feeling arises from his attachment to the body. Everyone should find out "Who am I?" When he has found the answer to this question, there will be no need for him to understand what is "Sath-Chith-Ananda".
As long as man identities himself with the body and his physical attributes, he will be in quest of "Sath-Chith-Ananda". When a man has discovered the true nature of the "I", he will not go after any other thing. He will realize that he is the embodiment of Sath-Chith-Ananda.
Every individual is an embodiment of Sath-Chith-Ananda. "Sath" - God; "Chith" - the Jiva (individual self). The unity of "Sath" and "Chith" is 'Ananda'(Bliss).
The human body is a prey to many ailments. Man regards all of them as bodily ailments. But not all of them are entirely related to the body. Purely bodily ailments can be treated by medicines. But most ailments in the world today have their origin in the mind. The aberrations of the mind set up reactions in the body and cause various diseases. The main cause of many human ailments is rooted in the mind.
The mind and the body are interrelated. The influence of the mind on the body is of a negative character. This negativity is antagonistic to the experience of bliss.
Bad thoughts and bad feelings arise in the mind. At the same time, there are also good thoughts and good feelings. It is only when bad thoughts and feelings are weeded out that man can have good health. Many diseases have their origin in the thoughts that fill the mind. Bad thoughts cause indigestion, affect the heart, bring about variations in the blood pressure; worries are the cause of many mental diseases. Diabetes and pulmonary diseases are traceable to mental causes.
Aspects of Liberation
Every man is in search of liberation (mukti).For whom is this liberation sought? Is it for the body? Is it for the mind or the intellect or the senses? When these questions are examined, the answer is that at the outset, liberation has to be secured for the mind, the intellect and the senses. Man has to liberate himself first from the vagaries of the mind. Freedom from illness is one kind of liberation. Man loses peace of mind on account of various troubles. To get rid of this condition and secure peace of mind is another kind of liberation (mukti). Consuming food to get rid of the pangs of hunger is another kind of liberation. To be rid of the trials and tribulations of daily life is another aspect of liberation. All these types of liberation have to be secured while one is still alive. It is wrong to imagine that liberation is a state that is to be attained after death.
The various kinds of liberation to be secured today relate to the physical. These troubles are bound to exist as long as one is attached to the body. All of them arise from the "negative" thoughts in man.
The liberation men should seek is peace of mind. If peace is got, all else can be got easily. How is peace to be got? By leading a godly life.
Power of Love
All forms of worship are of no avail if one's heart is full of "negative" feelings and one's mind is filled with "negative" thoughts. All actions performed by the different sense organs - the eyes, the ears, the tongue etc. get polluted when the mind is filled with "negative" thoughts. The six evil qualities in man - lust, anger, greed, delusion, pride and envy - are his well-entrenched enemies. To get rid of these wicked elements and to install good qualities in their place, the only means is the fostering of the love principle (Prema-thathva). When man's heart is filled with love, all that he does will be "positive". All good deeds come out of love. Sath-Chith-Ananda arises from love. Compassion and kindness are born out of love. All the sublime human values have their origin in love. When one is filled with love, he needs no other spiritual or ritualistic practices.
The Atmic principle is the basis for the body. All activities in life should be linked to the Atmic principle. Man should discard attachment to transient worldly pleasures and pursue what is eternal and everlasting.
The Five Sheaths
When man constantly remembers that he is the embodiment of Sath-Chith- Ananda, in due course he will experience that bliss (Ananda). Man is covered by five sheaths the Annamaya, Pranamaya, Manomaya, Vijnanamaya and Anandamaya Kosas, The first is a gross sheath and each following sheath is subtler than the preceding one. Man has to proceed from the gross to the subtlest sheath of bliss. The Annamaya sheath is the body. It is perishable, but as long as one lives, the body should be kept in good health. The duties relating to the physical have to be carried out. What keeps the body going are the vibrations from the vital sheath (Pranamaya kosa). These vibrations are controlled by radiation from the mind (Manomaya kosa). Beyond the mind is the Vijnanamaya kosa, which accounts for "constant integrated awareness" in man. When this state is reached, man can proceed next to Ananda without much effort. Experience of bliss will be automatic.
It should be evident from this that humanness has been conferred on man so that he may ascend towards his divine destiny instead of wallowing in mundane pleasures and miseries. Thereby he will demonstrate his superiority over beasts and birds.
Holiness of Festivals
All Bharathiya festivals are designed to lead man towards God. They are intended to make people meditate on God. Unfortunately, today, instead of thinking about God, people indulge in feasts on holy days. Festivals should be devoted to contemplating on God and experiencing the Divine.
Today we are celebrating Sivarathri. "Sivarathri" means "Auspicious darkness". At least on this day one should chant Siva's name all through the night. At least on one day in a year chant the name of the Lord. Devotees are expected to keep awake this night by chanting the sacred name of Siva. Keeping awake in any other way is purposeless. Spending the night reciting the Lord's name sanctifies one's life. In the Gita, the "Sthithaprajna" is described as one who keeps awake when others sleep and for whom the daytime when others are awake serves as night. The inner meaning of this is that the Sthithaprajna (the realized person who is in a state of constant integrated awareness) contemplates on God when others are oblivious to God.
The main thing about which all should be concerned today is how to get rid of the negative thoughts in their minds. The six cardinal enemies of man - the six basic vices - have found their abode in the hearts of human beings. There is no room in their hearts for love or kindness. The foremost task is to fill the hearts with love. Then their entire life will be transformed and every act will be suffused with love. This love is "positive" and man should strive to foster the positive qualities. Being human, men should develop positive qualities like compassion and forbearance.
Today human life is wasted in the pursuit of sensuous desires. All of them are negative in nature. Instead, men should entertain positive desires, which are natural to human beings. Divinise every desire and every action.
Mundane pursuits, which have been with men over many lives, have to give way to divine pursuits at least in this life. Many do not realize the divine potencies that are in them. They have the capacity to do good or bad actions. By doing good acts they will experience bliss. Help ever, hurt never.
Everyone should strive to manifest the bliss that is natural to him by fostering his loving nature. Peace lies in that bliss. All of you should know one thing. Although I am now seventy-two years in the present body, I have never had any negative thoughts. Consequently I have had no ailments of any kind. I am always in a state of bliss. But, sometimes, to correct others I use harsh words. They are not "negative" words. They are filled with love. If you examine my heart, you will find it resemble a ball of iron. But from the worldly point of view, it will be soft as butter. No illness can affect my heart. I am engaged continuously in work from the moment of waking, to the time of rest at night. I meet devotees, collect letters from them, give them interviews and confer joy in one way or other on one and all. Every official anywhere has a weekly holiday. But I have no holidays at all. I am always active, whether I am here or elsewhere. Can you point out anyone who has been continuously active for seventy-two years?. I have not desired a day of rest at any time. I am always restful. How is this possible? Because I have no negative thoughts. I have no attachment to the body. This body exists for your sake. When you are attached to the body you need rest. Whatever I do or say, it is all for your sake, not for my sake.
The Lord Seeks Devotees' Love
People have to lead their lives based on a recognition of this truth. There is only one thing I seek from all of you. Fill your hearts with love. Offer that love to me. I don't ask anything from anyone. It is enough if you develop love and share it with others. It is only when you are happy that you can make others happy. What is happiness? It is union with God. By chanting the name of God you will experience happiness.
Good and sacred acts like worship, japa, meditation are useful for sanctifying time. But they are not ends in themselves. They are tinged with worldliness. But what is needed is "positive" action, dedicated to the Divine. Then you will be free from disease. Only by having pure thoughts you can be hale and hearty.
Have no ill will towards anybody. I have no hatred for anyone. Hence no one hates me. All are love-filled beings for me. I desire that all should be blissful. It is because of this universal feeling in me that all are coming to me. If, on the contrary, I had been self- centered, would people from all parts of the world come here? I am utterly selfless from head to foot. There is no trace of selfishness in me. Any such feeling you may notice in me is only on your account and not for my sake. I have no desires except that everyone in all the worlds should be happy. All should become good. All should be loving and blissful. What more do I need?
Love and Faith
Man deserves to enjoy peace and bliss, but does not make the necessary effort to get them. If he cultivates love and faith, he will acquire peace and bliss. Without these two, his effort is as fruitless as a letter that has neither a stamp nor the proper address.
With love and faith in Swami, you can accomplish any task you undertake. Observe three maxims: Love of God; Fear of Sin; Morality in Society. To develop love of God you have to see whether every act of yours pleases God or not. When you please God, you will have no fear of sin. When these two are present, morality in society will follow naturally.
All the ills of the world today are due to absence of fear of sin and decline in love for God. Decline in respect for human values has undermined world peace.
When the Lord's name is chanted from the depths of the heart, it turns into the nectarine music of Krishna's flute, which charmed even the cows of Brindavan. The melody that flows from the devotee's heart confers ineffable bliss.
Bhagavan's Love for All
Love and faith are the cardinal principles for redeeming human life. My life is my message. I have love for all. I have affection even for those who commit wrongs and for those who dislike me. I have no ill will towards anyone because of my love for all. And therefore the whole world loves me. The root cause of my love is my esteem for all (Visvaasam). The basis for the esteem is adherence to the path of Truth. Divinity is the basis for adherence to Truth. Thus this Divinity is the primal source of universal love. All should practice universal brother-hood. Out of fraternity will be born Divinity. Then, humanity will manifest its glory. Men will behave like ideal human beings.
Embodiments of Love! Try to understand my doctrine of Love. I often address you as "embodiments of the Divine Self". You will be true embodiments of the Divine only when you develop divine love. The only being worthy of love in this world is God. All others are only objects of transient attachment. On this sacred Sivarathri day, develop love for the Divine and redeem your lives. Manifest the Divine within you. Continuously chant the Divine name. Do every act with love. That is the highest spiritual sadhana. The way of love will transform the world. Love is God. Truth is God, Peace is God. This is the message of Sivarathri. Understanding this, dedicate all actions to God and render selfless service to the people to redeem your lives.
[Bhagavan concluded His discourse with thebhajan:: "Siva, Siva, Siva anaraada"