Are words mere sound?

THOSE who listen to the teachings of these Pandiths have a great responsibility: they should not by their acts defile the lessons they learn. As you grow in years, detachment too should grow; as time passes by, the fruit must get ripe and become sweet. Life should not be frittered away in accumulating riches; it should be spent in knowing about the glory of God and in realising Him in the innermost being of oneself. No other intellectual exercise can give such joy. To discard this attempt as only seeking to discover the unknowable, as some men are prone to argue, is the height of foolishness. They are labelling the true as “trash” and cherishing the trash as “true”!

The saadhaka (spiritual aspirant) should be like a good farmer; he removes the thorny bushes and plants; he ploughs, waters, sows, manures, fences, destroys pests, and then reaps the harvest and fills his granary. Similarly, you have to remove wasteful and wicked thoughts from your heart, plough the heart with good deeds, water it with love, manure it with faith, plant the saplings of the Name of the Lord and fence the field with discipline, destroy pests with shraddha (faith) and reap the harvest of jnaana. Do not be content merely with being in sathsangh (good company) or thinking of God, or listening to such discourses; they are but preliminaries, helping to awaken interest in ‘farming.’ Many people spend all their time in fencing; they have little time left for attending to the crop which the fence is designed to protect!

What is the jnaana that you should achieve? It is the giving up of deha (identification), the escape from the belief that “you” are the “body.” You say, “My hand,” “My foot,” just as you say, “My watch,” “My shoe;” but, yet feel you are the body. Examine the reality of the body, and escape from this false identification; that is the hall-mark of Jnaana. The ‘T’ that sees, experiences, feels, knows — that ‘T’ is the Paramaathma (Supreme Soul).

There are three types of men

The truth can flash only in a mind clear of all blemishes. The first blemish that I would like to warn you against is “inability to bear the success of others.” Envy is the greatest of sins. Vanity, envy, and egoism — these three are kin. They cut at the root of man’s real nature. To feel proud that you are a bhaktha is also a blot. Though you may be a mountain, you must feel you are a mound; though a mound, you should not pretend to be a mountain.

There are three types of men: Those who consider the Aanandha of others to be their own Aanandha; those who seek Aanandha for themselves, with no attention paid to the Aanandha of others; and those who try to prevent others from getting Aanandha, even at the cost of their own. There are no Naasthikas (atheists) really speaking, though some of you might aver that there are. For, when love is God and when even those, who do not assert that God exists, love some one or something, that love itself guarantees that they are capable of sacrifice, selflessness and pity. Probably, you believe that those who have no faith in Vedhas and Shaasthras and those who do not aver that there is some Omnipresent, Omniscient Being are atheists; but let me tell you, those who revere their parents and foster them, those who 10ve and protect with care their brothers and sisters — these are Aasthikas (theists), believers in gratitude, love, affection, duty, dharma, etc., and these qualities are enough to save ‘them’ from perdition.

Love all; revere all; help all to the best of your ability. Endeavour to be as beneficial, as sweet, as soft as possible. Then the spot on which you stand become as sacred as Kaashi; the words that you utter will be as holy as scripture. This saadhana will lead you to Realisation.

Manthras can reach the deities

Aadhithya (the Sun) must be propitiated by manthras, it was said, just now. Aadhithya is the deity presiding over time. Propitiate Him better by using time well; the manthra is the vehicle of prayer so that the buddhi which Aadhithya has accorded man may be put to the best use. You might ask how manthra can reach Aadhithya. I am surprised at the question, for you know already how it is possible for people in an aeroplane to communicate with the station they have left and the station to which they are proceeding. How do they do that? There are subtler waves which will carry the manthras too to the deities to whom they are addressed. The one is yanthra shakthi (power of instruments). If you trust in inert matter, life becomes inert; trust in the active principle and life is activated.

Then, there are people who dispute among themselves whether God is Saguna or Nirguna, (with or without attributes), Saakaara or Niraakaara! (with Form or formless). Now, who are you, among these? Are you Saguna or Nirguna? Are you Saakaara or Niraakaara? Of course you are Saguna and Saakaara, because you are with body. So long as you feel you are with body, you cannot transcend the Saguna, and realise the Nirguna. When you liberate yourselves from bondage to this limitation, you become Nirguna. That happens in a flash. When the Truth dawns, all is Light. There is no more darkness. There is no more fear or hate or even love. All are subsumed into the One without a Second.

Words have tremendous power

You do not know the gem shining inside you, the Divinity whose effulgence is your to intellect, whose reflection is the Prema you evince. You know many other things other than this, but not this essential thing: you do not know where such and such a scholar lives in Venkatagiri, but know where a certain film star lives in Madras! This is something to be ashamed of – this loss of the sense of values! You must recognise the Higher, the Highest. Death stalks you at every step. Before he mauls you mortally, know the Truth and be blessed. The Name of the Lord is the rifle which guards you against beasts of prey in the jungle of life. The rifle makes a loud noise when the bullet is ejected fast. So too, along with the sound of the holy Name, eject the bullet of feeling too, so that the target is hit.

Nowadays, people laugh at the idea of Naamasmarana and Naamasankeerthana (remembering and singing God’s holy Names). They ask, what is in a Name? It is just an assortment of sounds. My words too are assortments of sound, but, when they enter your hearts, you feel content, you feel encouraged, is it not? Words have tremendous power; they can arouse emotions and they can calm them. They direct, they infuriate, they reveal, they confuse; they are potent forces that bring up great reserves of strength and wisdom. Therefore have faith in the Name and repeat it whenever you get the chance.