The road to bliss

Eyes made of earthly material, intelligence shaped out of incompetent senses – with these you cannot comprehend Me. The jnaana-nethram (the eye of pure wisdom), alone can see the Lord in all His Glory. That eye is won by shravana, manana and nididhyaasana (listening, reflecting and meditating). Listen with faith; reflect with discrimination; meditate with one-pointed devotion. Then the truth will be revealed and doubts will disappear. Arjuna, Janaka and Parikshith all had the fortunate chance of shravana; they followed it up with reflection and meditation and so were blessed by realisation. The process is an inner transformation, an inner discovery. The fog is inner, the veil is across the heart’s door: the veil which Thyagaraaja prayed to Lord Shrinivasa to move out of the way.

Do not select tonics and drugs for the illness you have diagnosed as yours and believing in the labels and advertisements, do not start using them. Take the advice of a doctor who has known the peculiar problems of your body and its upkeep; accept his diagnosis and his prescription with full faith. Such a one is called the Guru; he will help the process of removing the veil.

When the veil is removed, God can be experienced everywhere in full. When someone told Socrates that he could not see God in the sky or the upper regions of space, which were pointed out by men as the dwelling place of the Deity, he said that He can be seen only by wearing a three-fold lens over the eye: bhakthi or prema or adoration; viveka or discrimination; and vairaagya or renunciation. Prahlaadha wore these lenses and he saw Him everywhere, in pillar and plant. His father had bandaged his own eye with cynical doubt and so he could not see Him.

Don’t neglect or bypass God

There was a king who sought a teacher who could put him into heaven; he was so conceited and drunk with power that he felt he deserved it. When any one came forward, he plied him with such impossible questions that they were aghast at his impertinence; but the king did not leave them at that. He threw them into prison. At last, one man came promising to show him the way. He was brought into court and seated before the king. The man, however, took no notice of the king, but began conversing with the courtiers and the pages and attendants, inquiring after their health and wishing them well.

The king was incensed at this neglect of his high authority and he asked the soldiers to lead him out and give him a thorough beating. The man said, “Before I am led out, let me tell you this: I am to be given a thorough beating because I did not respect you first, but bypassed you and talked to these servants of yours. Well, God is the king of kings, the Lord of all the worlds; you have neglected Him; you are bypassing Him; you talk only to these servants; consider what punishment you deserve for this. The king realised his blunder and thanked the teacher for removing the veil of conceit.

The ego is at the root of all the factions that rob the world of peace today. Individual fights with individual, country hates country; in every field, in every community, hatred and envy are having full play. People whose noses drop when they cough, how can they keep their noses on the face when they sneeze? Those whose anger is aroused for petty things at home, how can they pacify the people of strange nations waging war? The cause is in ourselves; but we accuse others and multiply discontent, through avarice and fear. When some aspirant follows a saint, another asks him why; and when the reply is given that it is to gain mental peace, he tries his worst to cast doubt and turn him back. Ghandikota Shastry said just now that I gave him a Shivalinga for puuja with the remark that it was My Swaruupam. I do not like this contribution to publicity; I want publicity for the teachings and the message. I want thathwa-prachaara, not vyakthiprachaara — publicity to principles, not to individuals. That is more important. About Me there is no need to talk.

Getting rid of envy is difficult attainment

There are some vyakthis (individuals), who publish their attainments and boast they walk on water or fly in the air and challenge others to do likewise. It is a far greater and a far more useful attainment if a man can rid himself of envy, pride, greed and malice. This is a more difficult attainment too, as evidenced by their behaviour. The person who is established in His Divinity cannot be shaken by these. Thothapuri wanted that Raamakrishna must give up even his Ishtadevatha Kaalimaatha, when he sought the highest bliss, and he helped Raamakrishna to overcome his deep-rooted attachment to that Name and Form. What then are we to say of the attachment to mere name and fame of these yogis and rishis (sages), at the present time? They will not stir a finger; they will not give up a single desire or habit; they cannot miss a meal or sit quiet for an hour; but they expect that God must grant them immortality and men must take them as their example!

Escape from the anaemia of want of faith

People become anaemic and then they are liable to be infected by more serious fevers, because their powers of resistance are weakened. So too, when they lose faith in God, they lose faith in themselves; when they lose faith in their own strength and divinity, they lose faith in the source of that strength and divinity, namely God. They then become the victims of pride, hate and envy and such other acute fevers, which rob them of mental health. To escape from the anaemia of want of faith, practise Naamasmarana (remembrance of the Lord) the reading of scriptures and the contemplation of the evanescence of the world with all its charms. The vibhuthi (holy ash) which you smear on your forehead is intended to convey this basic spiritual lesson that every thing will be reduced to ashes, including the brow that wears it.

Though I am speaking to you since half an hour, My concern is more for the boys behind the curtain there, in the green room. They are preparing to enact the drama Raadha bhakthi and they are so enthusiastic about it that they did not take time off, even for food. The love that these boys have towards Me and the love that I shower upon them are matters that only they and I can know. I may say that it is this prema that induced Me to express through this drama the bhakthi of Raadha. Though we persuade these boys of the Paatasaala to go home during the summer holidays and be for some weeks with their parents, they do not seize the chance; they start weeping when they think of leaving. Their pure hearts are saturated with sweet devotion.

I am not inclined to entrust such boys to the care of others, so far as this Drama is concerned. So I have Myself supervised over the rehearsals; I Myself making ready their costume, their makeup. I have also brought here, from their far-flung villages, the parents of the boys who appear on the stage so that they too may share in the joy. Let them be thrilled at the opportunity to see their boys enacting, in My presence, a play that I have written for them and you. The play itself has in the dialogues, songs and words, the quintessence of a dozen discourses of Mine; the boys will now provide answers to the doubts that haunt the intelligence of every one of you. Watch; listen and benefit.