Discover and decide

In spite of warnings, admonitions, advice and appeals that he should not submerge himself in the trivial and the transitory, man is still drawn towards misery by defects in his understanding. All the scriptures that are revered in all lands and climes proclaim that love alone prevails, detachment alone is the lasting wealth, unity alone is the truth, God alone is the goal. But, in spite of all the reverence and study that these scriptures have received and are receiving, hatred and greed are in the ascendant everywhere; factions and fights are rampant in every human community; and God is discarded as superfluous or as superstition! Just as when a petromax light gets dull, it helps to brighten it when air is pumped vigorously, so too, it is now time to invigorate the higher impulses of man, so that he can be saved from calamity. Man has to be liberated from the bonds he has woven round himself.

The scriptures are the records of the thoughts and experiences of pure, unprejudiced, love-filled seekers of truth; but men do not believe them: they put their trust in the wayward vicious whims of vainglorious individuals. Of course, each one gets the guide he deserves. And, the lamentable plight of the world today is proof of its having been led astray by its blind guides. The patient is clamouring for the medicines that he can relish, not for the medicine that can cure him according to doctors who are experts. The patient chooses the diet and the regimen which are congenial to him; he bids adieu to the directions given by the doctor, for, they restrict and regulate. The patient has his own categories of judgement, his own doubts and hesitations, created by his own fears and foolishness. He does not accept the conclusions of those who know, for, he is afflicted with a perverted egoism.

Derive divine bliss by diving into the depths

Ice and water are but one in two names and forms; hard ghee and liquid ghee are one and the same; so too, the Nirguna (Formless) and the Saguna (with Form) aspects are both the same Godhead. But, yet, man uses this simple problem for perpetual argumentation and dispute. He talks of the omnipresence of God, but disputes the value of image worship.

Even about Me, there are some who have had a glimpse of the Truth; there are others who have not been able to achieve even that. But, My prema is showered equally on all; I do not reveal or refuse; it is for you to discover and decide, derive divine bliss by diving into the depths. How can an ant calculate the depth of the sea? How can a man on the ground describe the features of the pilot of a plane in the sky? Unless you rise to the heights, by following certain disciplines, you cannot experience Godhead. Once you do that, all judgements, all disputations and even sense of victory, disappear.

I know many are puzzled by my practice of listening to your ‘korikas’, (wants, wishes, desires), calling you individually and spending long hours with you to satisfy you and to speak to you on these ‘earthly’ demands. They say, no avathaara has done this before; it is like catering to worldly things; people come with all kinds of worldly desires and everyone is welcomed with sympathy and love. But, I alone know the basic thirst which expresses itself in these desires and wants, the fundamental discontent.

It is always preferable to approach God for the fulfilment of wants, rather than cringe before men, who’ themselves are but tools in the hands of God. In his own silent way, God will transform the mind and turn it towards saadhana and successful spiritual pilgrimage. He cannot allow his children to lose their way and suffer in the jungle. When you approach God and seek his help and guidance, you have taken the first step to save yourself. You are then led to accept His will as your own. Thus, you achieve shaanthi.

Come with hands that supplicate, not supply

You know there is a rule here that you should come with empty hands, without even the traditional offerings of pathram, pushpam, phalam, thoyam (leaf, flower, fruit and water). Come with clean hands, hands that supplicate, not supply; hands that proclaim that they have renounced attachment to riches; then, I fill them with Grace. I must say that I accept certain things before giving you that Grace: I demand and take sathya, dharma, shaanthi and prema. I seek the gifts of truth, virtue, peace and love. I draw you to me and then re-form and re-shape you. I am a kind of smith who repairs broken, leaky damaged hardware. I repair broken hearts and fragile minds, warped intellects, feeble resolutions and fading faith

Do not be under the impression that all these people come to me seeking worldly favours or blessings for worldly advancement or fortunes. At least ninety among a hundred of them ask from me spiritual guidance only. They do not ask for worldly boons at all. They are eager to be directed along the path of japam, dhyaanam, namasmarana or some such saadhana. They are full of prema for the Divine Principle and the Divine is full of prema towards them. It is a question of Prema responding to prema; Prema which is saturated with sathya, as Vivekaananda was saturated with viveka.

Do not become a puppet in others’ hands

No one has the authority to hate another or condemn him. You have the chance to love him and serve him; or, to keep yourself free from him; that is all. If you are attracted when people praise you or repelled when they defame you, you become a puppet in their hands. I have been steadily fixed on this line since twenty-six years and no amount of calumny or praise will swerve me from the path. I do not agree that torn clothes or shaven head or vows of diet or silence mark out superior claims for spiritual leadership. People may carp at silken gowns or a crown of hair, but I know why I have come and I will not yield. Approach me with prema and I shall reciprocate with prema. That has been my nature even in the past ages. In the Dhwaapara age there was a vainglorious individual who set up as a ‘double’, with the same appurtenances and appearance as Krishna and challenged him with calumnies and scandals. But, can a film-star who plays the role ever become the original itself? Saaruupyam and saayujyam (sameness of form and absorption into the Diety) are won by love, devotion, faith, humility, wisdom.

Raama is described as tenderer than the petal of a rose, but, at the same time, harder than diamond. He pined for Seetha with extreme tenderness; he sent her to the forest as an exile, with a hardness of heart that shocked even Lakshmana. The nature of every Avathaara is such. Vasishta and others who were in great sorrow at the fate of Seetha thought of a stratagem to get her back to Ayodhya; they persuaded Raama to agree to the performance of an Ashwamedha sacrifice; the main performer of this yajna must have a legally wedded wife as an active participant and sharer; otherwise, he cannot claim the right to perform the rite! So since Raama will never take another wife, they hoped Raama will recall Seetha so that he may perform the sacrifice, as agreed upon. But, Raama was too clever for them; he observed the Shaastraic rule correctly, by making a golden image of Seetha and allowing it to take the place of the living wife, during the ceremony.

Win Lord’s Grace through faith and devotion

Through a desire to judge or estimate or evaluate, you cannot discover the mystery of God; through devotion and faith, you have to win His Grace, which will reveal Him to your understanding and experience. Steady faith alone can earn victory. You cannot be changing your allegiance as and when you please. Hold fast until the realisation is awarded; when a man is suffering from the effects of cobra-bite, they give him chillies to chew; the idea is they will not taste “hot” if the poison is still in his system. So too, when the poison of worldly sensualism is there, worship, japam, dhyaanam all will taste drab and dismal.

People may laugh at you for going on pilgrimages or coming to Puttaparthi, especially if you are young and have no problems of illness or no crisis in fortune. They cannot appreciate the urge for liberation or for everlasting joy; they cannot sympathise with those who long to answer the call of the vast magnificence that surrounds them. They try to scotch the beginnings of spiritual yearning in children, not knowing that they will grow into a strong armour for them in future years. They are afraid their children may become monks in later life and leave their homes. So they try to plunge them deeper into pleasures, so that by developing their own type of madness they may be cured of divine madness!

Above all, insist on the senses obeying you, when you command them to desist from dragging you. Or else, you are like a horse without a bit in the mouth, a car without a break. With the senses under control, your intelligence will become clear to reflect the Glory of God that pervades the Universe. That is the teaching of the Vedhas and of Vedhaantha.