Editor’s note. This discourse does not appear in the Sathya Sai Speaks series.
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Divine Discourse
Dasara, Prasanthi Nilayam, 11 October 2005.
All people in the world desire to have the vision of God and, in fact, crave the unique opportunity to merge in His divine effulgence. This intense yearning for that great privilege is not a novel phenomenon. It has been there ever since human beings appeared in the world.
In consonance with this yearning, several sages and seers in the past have craved the vision of God and ultimate merger with Divinity. This is truly an ancient tradition. Thus, the singing of the divine glory has been passed on from generation to generation in the country of Bharath.
Right from the start Narada has been an incessant singer of the glories of the divine name. What is the use of mere chanting of the divine name for one’s own satisfaction? Therefore, He advocated the nine-fold path of devotion:
Listening, singing, constant contemplation on God, serving His lotus feet, salutation, worship, servitude, friendship and self surrender.
Sravanam, kirthanam, Vishnu smaranam, padasevanam, vandanam, archanam, dasyam, sneham, and Atma nivedanam.
One day, Narada prayed to Lord Narayana “Lord! We are chanting only the divine name, but the essence of the divine name is in you. Only when you bless us to partake of that divine essence will our life will be sanctified.”
Some people misunderstood the prayer of sage Narada and started doubting the efficacy of repetition of the name (namasmarana) in attaining the lotus feet of God. Opinions differed. Arguments and counter arguments for and against following a particular path continued. Such differences of opinion have been there right from ancient times.
Some people tried to argue with Narada saying, “Sir, we are not able to visualise God.”
Narada replied, “As much is your yearning, in proportion shall be the grace.”
Each individual in this world follows their own chosen path. But, the Supreme Self (Paramathma) is one for all!
In the Dwapara Yuga (era), Radha, a great devotee of Lord Krishna, continued to pine for His sight (darshan) and constant proximity. She had a sister by name Prabha, who was against such intense yearning for Krishan.
One day Radha was going to Brindavan singing the divine glory of Lord Krishna. Her sister Prabha and her husband were accompanying her. Prabha used to be constantly in the company of her husband. She could not bear her separation from him even for a moment, just as Radha could not bear the separation from Krishna. However, Radha continued to pray to Krishna to change Prabha’s mind and develop devotion in her for Krishna.
Krishna, however, counseled patience saying, “Why do you worry? A time will come when she will also develop intense devotion and yearning for Me.”
Krishna used a variety of plays to bring about a transformation in the hearts of several people. He used to display several plays (leelas) for this purpose
Since Radha was longing for a change of heart in her sister Prabha, Krishna told her, “You wanted Me to change the mind of your sister and develop devotion in her. Let her witness the glory of My leelas and develop faith in My Divinity gradually. Once she realises the nature of My Divinity, she will herself become an embodiment of Divinity, in keeping with the saying ‘One who realises Brahma will become Brahman verily (Brahma vid Brahmaiva bhavathi).’
“Some people worship Me with devotion (bhakthi), others constantly contemplate on me with hatred (dwesha). I am indifferent to both abuse praise. I am beyond all abuse and praise. I accept all in an equal attitude.”
Prabha continued her hostile attitude toward Krishna for some time, but in the course of time, there was a perceptible change in her attitude. One day, she accompanied Radha to where Krishna was happily spending His time in the midst of cowherd maids (gopikas), singing and dancing. Prabha from then on continued to spend her time blissfully in the divine presence of Krishna. Both Radha and Prabha used to share this divine experience daily.
Thus, Krishna could bring about a change of heart in Prabha with His divine plays (leelas).
God is unblemished and pure. In fact, He corrects the mistakes that are there in the devotees and takes them into His fold. He will not distance Himself from anyone.
Lord Krishna dons a human vesture as part of His divine sport.
Both Radha and Prabha firmly decided that they would not move away from the company of Lord Krishna. In fact, Krishna gave a glimpse of His Divinity to Radha on one occasion and explained to her, “Radha! Human beings are entangled in illusion (maya). They are deluded to think that God in human form is also a human being like them.
“You cannot develop love toward a person without developing attachment to them. This is true in the case of God in human form also. Hence, in order to love God, first you will have to develop attachment to a particular form of God. In order that people should develop attachment to the form of their choice, God assumes several forms. However, God is unblemished and remains an embodiment of purity”.
None can fathom the divine plays of Lord Krishna. Sometimes, He manifested in His full divine glory. Sometimes, He behaved like an ordinary human being. Yet another time, He acted as a simpleton. Nevertheless, Krishna was Krishna, i.e. God in human form!
In fact, even the cowherd boys and girls (gopalas and gopikas) who moved constantly in the company of their dear Lord Gopala and were witnesses to several divine plays could not fully appreciate His divine nature.
The question that constantly baffled the minds of people was why Krishna should indulge in such divine plays and sports (leelas). It was only to develop in the minds of His devotees intense attachment to His form and thereby develop devotion in them. He had no desires at all, excepting this.
The constant company of Radha developed intense devotion in her sister Prabha. Finally, as is the company so is the transformation. “Tell me your company I shall tell you what you are!” Accordingly, Radha and Prabha became one in the end. In fact, Prabha’s real name was Chandrika, and her mother used to call her by that name. All others used to call her Prabha.
It is very difficult to bring about a transformation in the human mind. Only God can accomplish this task. Several people approach Me and pray “Swami! Please change the mind of my son. He has developed hatred toward his parents for some reason; we do not know why. Normally, he is a good boy. He never takes to bad ways. Please Swami! Change his mind so that he will behave well toward his parents.”
A mind is a mind after all! Sometimes, some people are beyond redemption. I therefore express My inability in such cases. It is said, “(The mind is the basis for the entire objective world (Manomulam idam jagath).”
A knotted gnarled tree trunk may be made straight as a pole.
A shapeless hunk of rock can be carved to form a beautiful divine idol.
Is there a one who can make the wavering human mind unruffled?” (Telugu Poem)
Only when humanity develops faith in God God will come to the rescue of humanity. In fact, Divinity is not confined to any form. It is a power, and that power is infinite. Such an infinite power can accomplish any difficult task.
God may assume a number of forms, but the divine power is only one and the same. The same Atmic Principle (Atma thathwa) that resides in this body as the indweller is present in every human being as well. For example, you may refer to the electric current as DC or AC, but the basic nature of the current is the same. Similarly, the Atmic Principle is the same in every human being.
Considering the deservedness of the concerned individuals, God interferes to bring about transformation in them. While doing so, God will conform to some form of self-imposed norms.
The transformation of the human mind cannot be brought about by a human being or by chanting some mantra. Only when God wills it is it possible.
God can accomplish anything and everything. He can be present anywhere and everywhere. In keeping with the declaration “Brahma is only one, without a second (Ekam eva advitheeyam Brahma),” God does not change. If He changes, the whole universe will change. It is a serious misconception to think that God has changed. God is truth, eternal, and unblemished. None can change such a Supreme Self (Paramathma). It is not easy to comprehend the divinity.
Embodiments of Love!
No human being’s love equals that of God. God’s love is unchanging. He may assume any number of forms, but His love toward human beings remains unchanged.
God is attributeless, pure, eternal, unsullied, the final abode, enlightened, liberated, and the embodiment of sacredness. You may call God by any name —Venkateshwara, Rama, Krishna, Sai Baba, etc. Only names differ; God is only one.
That is why Divinity has been explained as “Brahma is only one, without a second (Ekam eva advitheeyam Brahma).”
Some people may think that God has assumed a human form like Rama or Krishna and hence now there is no God. What has really happened in this example is that God has not changed, He remains changeless, regardless of the form He assumes. It is only a change in our perception of God. God’s will is immutable.
Embodiments of Love!
Cultivate pure love, for purity is unity and that unity is divinity. Let your individual love be transformed into pure love for God.
Sometimes, people doubt whether God’s love toward them has undergone a change. Never; God’s love will never undergo a change.
For example, you have a log of wood. You can make any kind of furniture with it, like a chair or a bench. But the basic material, i.e. wood, remains the same. Similarly, God’s love always remains unchanged.
God can accomplish any task. Sometimes He may give darshan to some people while others may not have this benefit. Much depends upon their mental attitude. Cultivate unflinching faith and single-minded devotion to God. Several yogis and renunciants yearned for the darshan of God, but few could win that grace with unflinching faith and single-minded devotion to God.
Some time ago when I visited Rishikesh, I gave darshan to Swami Purushothamananda, who was living in the Vasishta cave located on the way to Badrinath in the Himalayas. He was doing penance (thapas), living alone in that cave. He used to keep a small oil lamp in that cave. The cave was located a little interior from the road point. He used to purchase milk and make some tea with it. That was his only food. The rest of the time, he was always immersed in penance.
Days rolled by. After some time, he did not have enough strength to come to the road point to purchase milk and then get back to his cave. Hence, he made his trips less frequent, that is, once in a week, to obtain milk.
One day, he came to know that Bhagavan Baba was staying in the Sivananda ashram for a few days. He was longing to have Swami’s darshan. He, therefore, sent a letter through a messenger praying “Bhagavan! Please come to our cave and grant darshan to me.”
I was aware of his intense devotion toward Swami. I saw his letter and I immediately rushed to the Vasishta cave to give him darshan.
The entrance to the cave was closed with a door. Purushothamananda had no energy left to get up and open the door. Kasturi accompanied Me during My trip. He was quite strong then. Both Kasturi and Myself tried to open the door. At last we could succeed in opening the door.
Purushothamananda was extremely happy on seeing both of us. He wanted to spend a few minutes alone in the Divine Presence of Swami. Therefor, He advised Kasturi to go inside the cave and look at it. Kasturi, with his journalistic inquisitiveness went in. Purushothamananda fixed his gaze on Me and was lost in bliss. After a few moments, he regained his normal self.
I told Purushothamananda that I would visit his cave once again. The very next day I visited him and spent some time with him. After My return to Sivananda ashram, Swami Sivananda was a bit disappointed that I visited Purushothamananda’s cave twice and did not find much time to spend in the Sivananda Ashram.
On my second visit to the Vasishta cave, I took a piece of paper from Kasturi and wrote a particular date for My next visit to Purushothamananda’s ashram. On the scheduled date, Purushothamananda took a holy bath in the Ganges and was eagerly waiting for My darshan. Deeply lost in contemplation on my Divine Form, he had divine vision after sometime. A few minutes later, he left his mortal coil in that deep samadhi state itself.
The news was conveyed to Me while I was in Delhi. I was informed by a telegram that Purushothamananda merged in Swami. I confirmed the news saying, “Yes, yes.” Strangely, his birthday and the day on which he attained samadhi were one and the same.
Later on, when the door of the Vasisthta cave was opened, the entire cave was smeared with vibhuti! The body of Purushothamananda was later let into the river Ganges by the disciples of Sivananda. From then on, the name and fame of Purushothamananda spread far and wide.
The disciples of Purushothamananda thereafter visited Prasanthi Nilayam to have My darshan. They stayed in the ashram for full ten days. I provided them good accommodation and all conveniences. They enjoyed Swami’s sight, touch, and conversation (darshan, sparshan, and sambhashan) in full measure and finally left for their place, carrying with them the love and blessings of Swami.
Purushothamananda was a noble soul. He was really a Purushothama (the best among men). This is the story of Purushothamananda.
Everyone was happy to read in newspapers that Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba had visited on two days the ashram of Swami Purushothamananda. Your happiness is My happiness. The Vasishta cave is still as it was when Purushothamananda lived there. It is perfectly clean and holy, permeating divine atmosphere in the entire ashram.
The disciples of Purushothamananda told Me: “Swami! The entire atmosphere in the ashram is permeated by divine vibrations. We feel as though Swami Purushothamananda is still with us”.
I told them: “Fine! Continue to feel his presence there and enjoy bliss”. During My last visit to Delhi, I arranged for conducting bhajans on Purushothamananda’s birthday, keeping a photo of Purushothamananda there. Thus, several sages and seers display intense love and devotion toward Me and pine for My divine darshan.