Dr. Bhagavantam asked Me now to “speak” to you, but I do not make speeches. I only “converse” with you. I do not make public speeches or address meetings, as so many of the persons who spoke now do. They made “speeches”, which were regular feasts to the ear. My conversation will be, on the other hand, “medicine for the mind”. Theirs were lectures; Mine are mixtures. So you must take my talk into your mind very attentively and without wasting or spilling even a word.
Usually, when you are asked where God is, you point to the sky or some such distant place and say He is there, as if He is just a Person and has a definite place of Residence. But man (nara) himself is God (Narayana), each one of them; God (Madhava) is man (manava), each one of the species. So the number of Gods is thirty-three crores, as given in the spiritual texts or, as can be calculated today, much more.
It is delusion that has induced the embodiment of God to imagine and behave as if he is just a man (nara). To remove that delusion, there are various means suited to the needs of each sufferer. But all the treatment and all the struggle is to achieve the experience of being Narayana and discard the limited, bound, relative entity, nara. That is the one harvest yielded by all the various processes. Until one understands oneself, the delusion and the resultant grief cannot be ended.
India is the birth place of spiritual science
Let me tell you that you cannot understand Me and My Secret without first understanding yourselves. For if you are too weak to grasp your own Reality, how can you hope to fathom the much grander Reality of My advent? To grasp My meaning, you have to tear into tatters the doubts and theories you now have and cultivate love (prema), for the embodiment of prema can be understood only through prema.
The “miracles and wonders” that cannot be explained by the categories of science are so natural to Me that I am amused when you label them as miracles. The Lord had announced that He would come down for the restoration of righteousness (dharma) and that He would assume human Form so that all might gather round Him and feel the thrill of His companionship and conversation. And the Lord has come, as announced.
For those who are drawn by the pulls of the mind, the intellect, and the ego, things beyond the ken of these three are inscrutable. There is a limit beyond which the mind and the intellect cannot traverse. That is why the Supreme Power has to envelop Itself with delusion (maya) and come down to the level of human comprehension.
This Bharathavarsha (India) is the birth place of spiritual science. Here, every man, woman, and child is a student of that science. Each one here is entitled to the study of that supreme subject. The ancient heritage must be handed down to each boy and girl in the land, not merely to the students of institutions like this.
In this spiritual science, some one method or other has been emphasised during the various periods of history. It was mystic formula (mantra) once, ceremonial sacrifice (yaga) another time, divine communion (yoga), a little later, and after the rise of Buddhism and its spread to all parts of India and even her neighbours, it has been magical and mystical formularies (tantra). Sankara gave great encouragement to tantra, and Poet Kalidasa also considered it important. It flourished due to the encouragement that Sivaji gave to the tantric scholars, and it dominated the spiritual life of the country for many centuries.
Tantra, a spiritual science based on energy
Tantra means only “that which saves well,” so there is no reason to feel apologetic about it. It is just a means to achieve the aim of the merging of the individual soul with Brahman (the Supreme Soul). Sir John Woodroffe has shown in his books that tantra is a systematic discipline, which employs symbolism and sublimation to purify the instincts and control the mind. He removed to a great extent the prejudice that had kept people away from tantra. It is spiritual science based on the feminine aspect of energy (sakthi), which plays a central part in the spiritual progress of humanity.
Examine, each of you, your own mental make-up and see whether you have used your discrimination and worldly knowledge to clothe yourself in detachment, so that you do not suffer from attachment to things that will fade away. There is no dearth of books telling you how to be free from grief. The Gita is available in all languages and at a very low cost, say, four annas a copy. The Bhagavatha and the Ramayana and all other books are sold at the rate of thousands of copies per day, but there is nothing to indicate that they have been read and assimilated. The breath of the mouth must give an inkling of the food partaken, is it not? But the habits, the conduct, the character of the readers of these books have not undergone any change for the better. Egoism and greed are still rampant, hatred has not abated, and envy eats into the vitals of society.
Spiritual study must not develop egoism
Similarly, do not treat My words too lightly. Do not say, “We saw Sai Baba and heard his talk and it was all very fine.” Decide at least to carry out some one piece of advice for your spiritual advance. It is very wrong to tarnish the body making it perform a single bad deed or making it move in bad company. Sanctify the body, sanctify each activity by devoting it to a high purpose. I am not commanding you today on the basis of my authority, I am telling you out of the fullness of Love (Prema), on the basis of the right I have to chastise you and direct you along the path.
I know that the elders, while themselves neglecting the cultivation of higher virtues and themselves discarding the discipline of repetition of the name and meditation, commit the additional crime of laughing at their children who feel the sweetness of the Name of the Lord and who frequent the places where they can get good company, noble thoughts, and spiritual teaching. They call such young persons demented and try to cure them by their own special course of punishment. Their children’s insanity is certainly preferable to the madness for luxury, for gambling, for drink, and for loose morals that have become the only property the elders leave behind for their children.
Your study here must develop your powers of discrimination, not your egoism. Do not argue for argument’s sake, for it will lead only to dry scholarship and intellectual pride. Such craving for criticism is a disease of the intellect, and it has to be nipped in the bud. Examine the thing that you do not like very closely and with great care. Do not jump to conclusions, favourable or unfavourable. That would be abdicating your precious status of “thinker” and your responsibility to yourself. Even the sun, which is millions of miles away, can set fire to some object if by means of a magnifying glass its rays are focused at one point. So also, focus all your powers of observation and judgement on one topic and it will surely stand revealed.
Man can and should be the master of his mind
The world itself is subject to constant agitation; how can your plan to lead a quiet contented peaceful life
upon it succeed? It is like trying to float without any heaving or falling while being tossed about on the waves of the sea. Under such conditions, the best thing is to recognise the fact and not to worry about the unavoidable.
Manushya, the word meaning “man”, implies that man is the master of his mind (manas). When people come to Me and complain that they cannot concentrate, I laugh at their weakness, for even the driver of a car is a master of the art of concentration. He does not pay heed to the chatter from the back seat or to the chatter of the person on his left. He is watching the road in front of him with single-pointed attention.
Learn to listen with one-pointed attention
If you have faith, more than half the battle is won. That is why, in the Gita, Krishna asks Arjuna, “Have you listened to what I have said with one-pointed attention?” Arjuna, good student that he is, replies that even in the midst of the opposing armies ranged on the battlefield, he has listened to the words of the Lord with keen concentration. Learn that concentration and your learning will stand you in good stead.
I have been asked to inaugurate the Library of this College by the token act of giving over these books to the Principal to be placed on the shelves along with the books already there. Come and read the books in the library and enjoy the teachings that are given by great spiritual aspirants and divine seers. Let children also come and handle the books and turn over the pages; the library must be useful for all persons of this town from the age of 2 to 60 or 70. It is not like a hospital, which is unnecessary for some. It benefits all, so all must make the best use of it. The wisdom that these books contain should percolate to every home in Aukiripalli.
Sanskrit learning has to advance by your efforts and your enthusiasm. The whole world will benefit if you keep it burning bright. Fulfill that responsibility of yours to the best of your ability, and the Lord will shower His Grace on you. Do not mistake the technique for the goal; do not lose your way in the tangle of scholarship. Scholarship and learning are only means for the mastery of the mind. Turn from the Creation to the Creator.
Editor’s Note. This discourse took place on Markandeya Sanskrit College, Aukiripalli.