Anna and amritha

You must all be getting very tired by this long sitting though I know you are benefitting by these discourses since three days. To reach the goal, one must know where it is, how glorious it is, and what the obstacles are, and what the preparatory discipline is. A little tiresomeness is inevitable, in the attempt to know these. These Pandiths explained the statements of the Vedhas and the Shaasthras, which reveal these points and you must be grateful to them for the care they have taken to preserve such valuable wisdom.

The first requisite for the seeker is the quality of detachment, of Vairaagya, a quality that is the product of deep discrimination on the nature and characteristics of the senses, the mind and the intellect, besides the nature of the objects around us. Think deeply of the relative validity of experiences during the waking, the dream and the deep sleep stages and of the ‘I’ or Self that is the witness of these experiences.

That witness is you, the real you, a spark of the Eternal Universal Witness. How then can you, with such a grand’ heritage and such a grand destiny, run after mean ends and short-lived successes? It is by such discrimination that you get established in detachment. When you know that the ‘diamond’ which you treasured so carefully is just a piece of glass, you need no persuasion to cast it out. Employ yourself usefully; earn, but do not clasp the riches with fanatic zeal. Be like a trustee, holding things on trust, on behalf of God, for purposes which He likes and approves.

A headmaster when transferred from one school to another, goes to the new place, unconcerned and carefree, leaving behind him the laboratory, library, the furniture, the desks and boards which he cherished and loved; he knew even when he cherished them and loved them for their usefulness, that they were only in his custody for some time, that he held them on trust, and that a day may come sooner or later when he will have to leave them and go. Develop the same attitude towards the riches you accumulate and adore. Then, you can die in peace and live in contentment.

Today Man is sliding into paltry pomp

One great temptation for weak minds nowadays is the opportunity for publicity. Even a gift of five rupees to some charitable organisation is announced in thick banner headlines! Conceit is thus encouraged and man slides into paltry pomp. Kindness has to be fostered in the silence of the mind. The seed should not be scattered on the rocky surface, it has to be embedded in the depths, so that it can germinate.

Life nowadays lays before man many a handicap, in his march towards God. All around, the forces of evil lie in wait to drag him down in the quest. Faith in God and in His Omnipresence has to be unshakable so that man can win. Cynicism is such a force, cynicism in conversation, in judging works of art, the achievements of science, the attainments of adventure, the heights of saadhana, the pronouncements of the wise. “If you sit in one place, reciting God’s Name – Raama, Krishna, Govindha, etc.” they ask “can they get food and clothing?” They do not know that God can give such men not merely Anna (food) but Amritha (Divine Nectar). The Name is enough; it has all the potentiality needed. A single gasp, a tiny gesture, an anguished cry, an agonised shriek, is enough to win the answer of God.

I Surrender the ego, dedicate every moment and every movement to Him; He has assured mankind that He will ensure liberation from pain and evil. When asked where God is, people point towards the sky or some far distant region; that is why He is not manifesting Himself. Realise that He is in you, with you, behind you, before you and all around you; and He can be seen and felt everywhere. Realise also that He is all mercy, eager and anxious to fulfil your prayers, if they arise from a pure heart.

Pray to God to illuminate your mind

He who tells you of this all-pervasive God is the real Guru; not he who promises you salvation if you place a purse at his feet. Do not be misled by such worldly men full of greed and egoism. Pray to God to illumine your mind, awaken your intelligence and be your Guru. He will surely guide you allright, from the altar of your own heart. For many a Guru today, the fence is more essential than the crop, so he emphasises the restrictions and rules, to the detriment of the saadhana, which they were designed to protect. So they insist fanatically on the observance of out-dated regulations and checks, while the very purpose of the regulations is allowed to decay. They magnify the role of Fate, and of the consequence of karma, without at the same time, consoling man by describing the overpowering might of God’s grace.

If there is an iron law of Karma which binds man hand and foot, why do the Shruthi and the Smrithi extol the earnest efforts and penance of aspirants? Those efforts and that penance can surely transmute the evil consequence of karma, and save man from the fate that he has woven for himself. The story of Maarkandeya, whose date with Death was cancelled, is an instance in point. His thapas achieved that victory, by drawing down the Grace of God. There are countless instances in the earthly careers of all Avathaars to show that Grace is greater than garnered karma.

God has no likes and dislikes

Whatever God grants is for your good, for your liberation, not for your fall or bondage. A God who does evil is no God at all. God had no likes and dislikes; he is above and beyond all traits and characteristics. He is Gunaatheetha (beyond all gunas). So, how can He be hating or revengeful? He is Love. He is Mercy. He is Goodness, He is Wisdom, He is Power. He gives you what you ask; (so be careful what you ask). Learn to ask the really beneficial boons. Do not go to the Wish-fulfilling tree and come back in glee, with a towel that you asked and got!

I do not prescribe elaborate Japam and Dhyaanam for you to win Grace. Control your tongue, make it sweet and soft, do not yield to the whims of the senses, dwell always in the thought of God, remind yourself always of the glory and majesty of God — that is enough religious discipline for you. Spend all the time that you can command in the recitation of His name – that is sufficient Saadhana for you.