The path to the presence

This day, three learned Pandiths (scholars) spoke on Adhwaitha (philosophy of Non-dualism) and Avathaara Thathwa (essential nature of Incarnation) and on the Lord of Mathura. They have appeased your hunger in full. When the stomach is full anything extra is bitter. But, a bit of pickle may be welcome. That I shall give you now!

Birth as a human being is a unique chance for living beings. For, man is endowed with discriminating intelligence, the power to reason out the best among alternative courses. Man is far from the Pashu (animal), doser to Pashupathi (Lord of beings). He should not relapse into Pashuthwa (animality). Listening to Krishnamurthy Shaasthry expounding the Bhaagavatha — the sweet story of Krishna — told in sweet Sanskrit and explained so sweetly, you should imbue the prema with which the story is filled.

The Bhaagavatha has the majesty of seelam (virtue); it has the majesty of kriya (action); it has also the majesty of bhaava (feeling). By majesty, I mean Udhaaththatha (elevation). What a grandeur you witness in the Raamaayana, for example! When Raavana fell, Raama sent Lakshmana to the place with a message to see that he is treated like the Emperor of Lanka and not a despised enemy. Lakshmana when he was called in to identify the ornaments of Seetha contained in the bundle she had thrown on the ground during the flight to captivity, declared that he could identify only the toe-rings of his sister-in-law; he saw only those ornaments, for he prostrated every day at her feet, as the consort of the elder brother is, according to the Shaasthras, equal to one’s own mother. Now, it is impossible to find such virtue holding sway over men’s minds. Now it is egoism, pride and greed that sway them.

Importance of moral standards

Man has lost the fear of a fall; he has become worse than animals. It was not like this in the past. During previous centuries, Rajput women immolated themselves rather than fall into the hands of wicked foes. When Hanumaan offered to take Seetha on his shoulder back to Raama, the virtue of Seetha would not allow her to accept the offer. She had her husband’s reputation in view. She said that it would best suit her husband’s fame if he himself avenges the wrong and rescues her. Hanumaan’s taking her, would be a repetition of what Raavana did, for he too stole her secretly while Raama was away. She did not consider her immediate relief as more important than the implications of that step to her virtue and her husband’s fair name. That is what I call Seelodaaththatha (virtue in exaltation).

Or, take the Mahaabhaaratha. The Yaksha who guarded the lake had killed all the four brothers and they were lying on the ground. Dharmaraaja, the eldest brother, went there to slake his thirst and the Yaksha warned him, too. He challenged him to answer his questions, just as he had asked the others; but since he replied correctly, the Yaksha was pleased to grant him a boon; he could bring back to life one among the four who lay dead! And, whom did Dharmaraaja select? Not Bheema who would be his right hand in the coming battle against the Kauravas; not Arjuna, who was indispensable as a bowman of the highest attainments; but, Nakula, the son of his stepmother, Madri. Even the Yaksha was surprised. He asked him the reason why. Dharmaraaja said that his mother had him as the one surviving son but his stepmother too should have a son alive. That was the measure of his attachment to Dharma, to virtue, to normal standards. Then, people lived for the sake of Dharma; now, the ideal is dhana (riches). When Duryodhana had at last to be encountered a single combat, he himself selected a foeman worthy of his reputation, Bheema, when he could as well have chosen a weaker rival. It was considered improper to fight with a weaker foe.

Gopees’ prema to Krishna was super-physical

It all lies in the vision that you command, that you have equipped yourselves with. One of the Shaasthrys spoke of certain doubts which he himself had felt about Me, doubts which kept him away for some years. The love of the Gopees towards Krishna has led many ignorant people enmeshed in worldly attachments and physical attractions, to turn their faces away from God. Before passing judgement on any subject, you must investigate closely.

The prema of the gopees towards Krishna was super-physical, the love of the soul for the Oversoul, of the river for the sea. Persons deep in this type of love see nothing else, hear nothing else; they behave like mad persons, as the world goes. Their joy when they feel his presence is as supreme as their grief when they feel they are deprived of it. That is why among the songs of the saints, you have Nindhaasthuthi also; that is to say, songs, which blame Him for being cruel, partial, negligent, etc.!

You may know that the Lord of the Holy Shrine Shrisailam is called Mallikaarjuna, the white jasmine; and the Goddess, the Consort, is called most appropriately, Bhramaramba, the Bee! For the bee is drawn inescapably to the flower and it forgets itself while tasting the Glory of the Flower. The union of Jeeva and Brahman is of the same significance as the union of Krishna and Thrishn — Krishna and the Thirst, the Lord and the Love.

Doubt leads to perdition, spiritual ruin

The children of the Sanskrit School enacted the play Maarkandeya yesterday and you saw the boys who took the role of Marudvathi and Maarkandeya completely immersed in the role and so, they were able to make you also feel every emotion they expressed. You must fill yourself with the Form and the Glory of the Lord; you must not be aware of anything else. Then, you too can become Maadhava.

There are two eight-syllabled axioms in the Geetha, which you must take to heart: Shraddhaavan labhate Jnaanam and Samshayaathma vinashyathi. The first tells you that the person who is steady in his faith gains the knowledge of the path of liberation and the second warns against the sinister consequence of “doubt”; doubt leads to perdition, spiritual ruin. Dwell on these axioms and practise the spiritual discipline of Naamasmarana, Japam or Dhyaanam. This is the pursuit that is worthy, not the pursuit of fame, nor the friendship of the famous.

You ask for grace, which is available only at a very high cost; but, you pay only trash. It is sheer avarice, like asking a gourd as extra, when what you have paid is for a bean! You may claim that you have been coming to Puttaparthi for ten or twelve or sixteen years or that you have even stayed here long; but, it is not the years that matter; it is the depth to which the roots of karma have grown in previous births. They decide the ears of corn that you have to live upon. It takes a long time and systematic saadhana to clear the field of all those growths — the saadhana, as the Shaasthry said, of Karma and Upaasana which leads to Jnaana.

Three stages in spiritual awareness

This is the meaning of the injunction that you should dip thrice in succession, when you take a bath in any holy river. The first dip is to cleanse the sthuula sareera (the gross physical body); the second is to cleanse the suukshma sareera (the subtle body), of the praanamaya, the manomaya and the vijnaanamaya koshas (sheaths of vital energy, mind, knowledge) and third is to cleanse the kaarana sareera (the causal body) or the vijnaanamaya kosha, with just a tinge of maayaa still left. They are also meant to consecrate the karma and the upaasana saadhanas and confer jnaana. Dhwaitha, Visishtaadhwaitha and Adhwaitha are also only three stages in spiritual awareness.

Somasekhara Shaasthry spoke of the Dhwaitha and Adhwaitha (dual and non-dual) attitudes which colour people’s outlook in every field. But, they are not distinct; they are stages of mental transformation. The fruit is the same; the soil and the sun make it reach the ripe stage, through the intermediate stages of tender fruit and mature fruit. When you realise that the Lord is at the address that He has given towards the end of the Geetha in the 61st sloka of the 18th chapter, namely, “Ishwarassarvabhuthaanaam hriddese, Arjuna, thishtathi,” that “He is in the heart of every being,” then you know the one, with no other.

To realise the Lord in every being, you must cultivate Prema and drive out the bats that infest the dark caverns of your heart, the bats of hate, envy and malice. Let the light of Prema illumine your thoughts, your words, your movements, your activities, your judgements. When you become transmuted into Prema, the Lord who is Premaswaruupa, will reveal Himself to you, and play on the Flute, awakening your higher consciousness in the flood of Universal love.

Saadhana is essential because the effects of karma have to be removed by karma alone, as a thorn is removable only by another thorn. You cannot remove it by a knife or a hammer, or even a sword. The knowledge that the world is unreal was itself spread by Shankaraachaarya by means of activity in the unreal world, the establishment of mutts the writing of books and partaking in disputations. You cannot desist from arm; only, you have got to take care that it is saturated with prema and promotes the welfare of the world.

The grand combination

Tomorrow again, the path of the Presence of the Lord will be explained by these Pandiths as well as by Me. Whoever may speak, whatever the text, the substance is the same in no other place can you have this grand combination: Pandiths who expound, as if to their own kith and kin, the great truths contained in the scriptures with such faith and devotion and a congregation of listeners which listens with devoted avidity, eager to learn and practise what they learn. You must be devoted, as devoted as a boy who studied in the Aashram of Dhoumyarishi. When the guru was conducting his lesson assiduously, the rain came in torrents and the boys ran helterskelter to roll up their beds or collect their clothes or save their kusa grass bundles. But, one boy reasoned out within himself: we had heavy rain last evening too, so this downpour will certainly damage the dike. So, to save the two acres of land that the guru owned, he went and laid himself across the breach. You must so act that the heart of the Guru melts at your devotion. Only that will cleanse the mind of evil and vice. If you develop devotion and steady faith you will achieve the Glory of Self-realisation.