The cleansed heart

Gain, gain; that seems to be the refrain of life in every activity of man. When a heap of grain is measured, the counting begins not with ONE but with the utterance of the word, Laabha (gain) instead! The wise hold that there is another gain which is far more desirable — attaining the Presence of God, merging in the Supreme Bliss that God is, liberating oneself from the little pleasures which divert us from the pursuit of the highest pleasure, Divine Bliss

Become a kin to God, His kith and kin. Do not aspire to be a wage-earner in God’s household. Do not demand wages calculated and bargained for. The work done for wages will not be as sincere and as joyful as that done through love, reverence. The brothers and the sons do not demand wages at so much per day, as their right. They are looked after nicely and well by the Master of the household; everything is found for them, whether they demand or not.

Ananyaas chinthayantho maam, 

ye janaah paryupaasathe 

Theshaam nithyaabhiyukthaanaam,

yogakshemam vahaamyaham.

This assurance is given by the Lord in the Geetha. Whoever has no thought other than of Me, whoever always dwells in reverence to Me, with such I always reside and for such I provide the wherewithal here and hereafter. Reading this assurance, many ask the question-’%Veil, we are doing this puuja and that; let us see what he does for us in return.” But, they pay no attention to the conditions laid down for the conferment of Grace.

Grace of God is immeasurable

In Telegu, too, there is a poem that advises people to give up kinsmen who do not come to your rescue, horses that throw you off {he saddle and gods that do not confer boons when worshipped. But, this act of discarding is allowed in the poem to sumathis only, that is to people with “good discrimination”. Of course, such people know the ways of worship as mentioned in the Geetha verse quoted above and so, the boons they deserve will be granted to them, unasked. The Grace of God is immeasurable; He is love, all of Him. Contemplate on Him as Love, recite His Name as the embodiment of Love, revere His as Love.

This is the easiest path to God. Some feel despair that to them. God is far distant, because they have no resources to visit holy places and prostrate before famous shrines sanctified by saints and sages, no time or talent to master the Vedhas. This is quite wrong for God does not measure out Grace in proportion to these external achievements. He is not moved by quantity. To appease you hunger, the grain in all the granaries of the world is not needed; a handful is enough. To slake your thirst, you do not crave for all the waters of all the rivers; a glassful suffices. Similarly, one lime act of surrender is enough to win His Grace forever. Years of asceticism or study or saadhana are not called for. “You and nothing else,” fix this in the mind and live in that conviction. That will transmute all your acts into worship invaluable puuja.

Act done in spirit of surrender becomes yajna

Arjuna was sentenced to engage himself in warfare against his elders and kinsmen, by the Lord. His heroic lineage and Kshathriya blood urged him forward to fight; his fear of sin and retribution urged him to desist. “Am I to rule over the kingdom after winning it by destroying those who I revere and hold dear”? he asked himself. Then the Lord instructed him, right in the middle of the opposing armies. In the second chapter of the Geetha, He told him of Sharanaagathi (the doctrine of surrender). Arjuna heard it and said, ‘Lord’ I have no will of my own; I surrender to you.” Thereafter, the battle was transmuted into a yajna where adharma was offered in the sacrificial fire.

When an act is done is spirit of surrender to the Lord, it becomes a yajna; when it is done in a spirit of egoism, it ends in a battle. Dhaksha, the Emperor, performed a yajna; but, in his pride, he neglected the Lord and His Shakthi. So, the yajna was upset by a fight. When there was no egoism minting the battle, it became sublimated into a yajna. That is the alchemy which sharanaagathi can accomplish.

First, self-assurance that you are dhaasoham (I am his instrument); then, through the winning of His Grace, the consciousness that you are Shivoham (I am Shiva) or Soham (I am That) will become your unshakable experience.

To grasp this grand truth of the immanence of Godhead (Sarvam Vishunumayam Jagath), the first path is bhakthi (devotion). For, generally through bhakthi, when it is intensified, one sees in all, the form of God that he reveres.

It is difficult to understand the Adhwaithic conception that “My reality and the Reality of the Universal are the same.” “I am That”; this can be realised only through the sharp intellect and clear discrimination. This cannot be established in the consciousness, by external argument or efforts. One has to be an adept in dhyaana and vichaara (meditation and enquiry). Once the illness of a rich lord was diagnosed by stranger monk as a defect in the eye and he was advised to cast his eyes on a single colour only. The lord collected all the paint he could get and all the painters of the region and daubed everything green — walls, roofs, fences, roads, tree stumps. When the monk returned after some months, he was surprised at the stranger appearance of the town. He asked the lord the reason for this and he was told that it was in accordance with his own prescription! The monk chided him for taking all that trouble and spending all that money, for, he could have gained the same end by putting on a pair of green glasses! When the vision is clarified into Brahma thathwam, then, all will be seen as the One Basic Brahmam. No amount of external asceticism or attire can instill that conviction.

Speak words that are true and beneficial

The basic Brahmic unity makes everyone equal; this equality can be realised only at that high level of experience. Until then, all talk of treating all as equal to one another is more self-deceit. Why, even such a simple thing as the advice to speak the truth leads to complications which can be resolved only by compromise. The Geetha advises you to speak, “Anudhwegakaram vaakyam, sathyam, priyahitham” (words that are true, that are pleasant and beneficial). There is a story in connection with the Paandavas and the short-tempered sage, Dhuurvaasa. When at the conclusion of the battle of Kurukshetra, Ashwatthaama returned from the pilgrimage and learnt that the Paandavas had won, he swore that he would exterminate the victors single-handed and set out to discover them. Shri Krishna desired to save them from the mighty man’s mortal ire; he approached Dhuurvaasa and requested him to keep the brothers in his custody in some hiding place. Dhuurvaasa agreed, but, on one condition: if Ashwatthaama asks him where they you can speak the truth, but, speak it in an angry tone, that is enough. So the five brothers hid themselves in a cave over which the sage (who had destroyed many by the terrible imprecations with which he reacted whenever he was provoked into anger) sat in silent meditation.

God cares for purity of motive behind the act

Ashwatthaama saw Dhuurvaasa and with nervous steps and palpitating heart, he ventured to disturb his meditation. He asked him hesitating with fear, whether the Paandavas were anywhere near him .… Dhuurvgaasa was silent for some time. Then in one burst of thunder and lighting, he shouted “Where do you think they are? THEY ARE HERE!” His tone was full of disgust and resentment at being interrupted and his face indicated that an imprecation was on the tip of his tongue. Ashwatthaama dared not stand there any longer. He interpreted the statement “THEY ARE HERE” to mean only “well, what are you looking for here? If they are here, what dare you do about it?” and left. By watching mere external appearance, you cannot judge the reality.

Sudhaama too was in the same predicament. When his wife directed him to proceed to Dhwaaraka and pray to his boyhood churn’ Shri Krishna for material help in running the family, he was nervous about the success of his mission, for, he fixed his attention on the externals, namely, the fort, palace, bodyguards and all the paraphernalia of kings. He compared them with his own dress, appearance and the low value of the offering that he was taking to Him. The Lored cares for the purity of the motive behind the act, not for the pomp and the show.

Man’s supreme ignorance

Real bhakthi is also a matter of the inner consciousness, not of the outer behaviour. There are people who complain that their devotion to the Lord is limited and shaped by the wordly bonds that bind them. It is not the world that binds them; it is they who bind themselves to the world! People trap monkeys by placing big pots with small mouths in the gardens and putting some groundnuts inside them. Then they wait nearby. The monkeys come and put their hands inside the pots and fill their fists with the nuts. Now, they find that the hands full of nuts cannot be taken out of the pot, for the mouth is too small for the fists. In this helpless condition, they can be caught easily. They fall a prey to the trappers. If only they drop the nuts, they could escape from the burden of the pot and get free. But the attachment to the nuts spelt disaster to them. So too, man gets attached to sense-objects which he is loth to give up and so, he gets entangled in the world forgetting the purpose for which he has come. This is the supreme ignorance. You must try to make the best use of the time allotted to you.

You do not try to find out what you were before birth, after birth, and after death. The potter digs up clay to make his pots; that creates a pit but, before his house, the clay has become a heap. And after the process on the wheel, they become pots, which become clay again, when they break and disintegrate. Clay persists in the pit, the heap and the pots. The pots are short- lived and so, they represent the jeevas, the individuals. Clay is the Brahmic substance, which underlies all creation.

Know this and get established in the Absolute.

Editor’s Note. The date of the discourse is December 1966, the exact date is not known.