Satyopanishad – Upanishad Of Sri Sathya Sai – Part 13
Anil Kumar Kamaraju Questions Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! What is wisdom?
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: Wisdom is not textual information. Wisdom is not scholarship. Wisdom is not preaching. Wisdom is not verbal or vocal. Wisdom is not an academic Master’s degree or Doctorate. Wisdom is practical experience. Wisdom cannot be stuffed into the head. Wisdom is what enables you to identify your own mistakes, faults, and defects, corrects them and leads you towards not repeating any errors of the past
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! In the big human body, where is the source of life located?
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: You think it is the heart. No. Don’t you know that today surgeons can do heart transplants also? Even while it is done, the patient doesn’t die. Then where is the life principle that keeps you living? In the spinal column between the 9th and 12th vertebrae, there is the life principle that acts as the main switch.
In the mantrapus pam it is clearly indicated: vidyullekheva bhasvara, a lightning or electric current acts as the life centre.
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! What are the main principles of life?
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: A newborn baby cries, but a grownup man should part from this world smiling. Do you know why the baby cries? It cries because of the misfortune that lies ahead of it, a long, troublesome and problematic life. In the words of Adi Sankara, punarapi jananam punarapi maranam, punarapi janani jathare sayanam.
Everyone is born again and again, life after life. So, the infant cries. But at its birth, its parents, its relatives and elders celebrate, smile and distribute sweets don’t they? Life begins with a question, koham, who am I? But, it should find an answer soham, I am He, I am God, before it ends. We get the answer, through sadhana, spiritual practice or exercise. There is no point in going through the question paper again and again without finding the answer.
We can in one way divide life into three phases morning, midday and night. Morning is the stage of an infant, the four legged one crawling on the ground on both hands and both legs. Midday is the stage of a youth, the two legged, walking with two legs. Night is the stage of an old man, the three legged with a walking stick as an aid to the two weakened legs.
Brahmacarya, celibacy is the foundation over which a three-storied building, with the first floor, the stage of a householder, the second floor that of a recluse, and the top floor that of a renunciant is built. Thus, for the mansion, celibacy is the foundation. By the time a person becomes fifty years old, he should have full control over his five organs of action, karmendriyas by the time he is sixty he should have conquered all the six weaknesses, kama, desire, krodha, anger, lobha, greed, moha, infatuation mada, pride, and matsarya, jealousy.
At the age of seventy, after overcoming the weaknesses, he is revered as one of the seven sages, saptarisis, like the seven notes of music, saptasvaras, and the seven seas, saptasamudra. At the age of eighty, having followed the eight paths of yoga astanga yoga, he shines like the eight lords of the directions as tadikpalakas. At the age of ninety, life shines like nine precious gems, navaratnas having followed the nine paths of devotion. At the age of hundred, he is master of the five organs of perception, and the five organs of action, and is divine having experienced divinity in depth, brahmavid brahmaiva bhavati.
You should also know another point. Whatever you do, it is for your own satisfaction and not for others. In other words, it is for your self-satisfaction. You put on new clothes. For whom do you wear them? It is for your satisfaction that you wear a new dress. You construct a new house. For whom? It is for you only, isn’t it? You eat an apple not for the benefit of the apple, it is for your own satisfaction.
Understand that Self is God. You have to play well your role in the drama of your life. Swami is Sutradhari, the director while you are the actor, patradhari. Consider this an opportunity. Lead your life in an ideal way and get a good name in society. God should say that you are good. This is what is said in the Gita, manman a bhava madbhakto madyaji mam namaskuru. Don’t pray for the fulfilment of desires. Pray to be with Him and Him alone. Then everything else will be added unto you. Be always humble and respectful.
In South India, food is served on plantain leaves When all the items are served, the leaf on account of its weight, remains without being blown off by the wind: When it is empty, it is blown off because of its lightness. In other words, empty vessels make much noise. A tree loaded with fruits is always bent because of the weight of the fruits. Similarly, a true scholar is humble and modest. A cloudl-ike mass of air goes up higher and higher, while a cloud of vapour comes down. A person with ego ruins himself.
There are four main principles you should know and follow in life. The first principle is tyaja durjana samsargam, run away from bad company. The second principle is bhaja sadhu samagamam, be always in good company. If necessary, you better lose or pay money if you must in order to avoid bad company. You should never be separated from good, pious and noble people.
The third principle is smara nityamanityatam, bear in mind always what is impermanent or transitory. In other words, distinguish that which is divine from the one that is temporal. You are gifted with intellect for discrimination and judgment. Discriminate between what is transient, perishable and dual and what is eternal; immortal and nondual.
The fourth principle is kuru punyamahoratram, do meritorious deeds day and night. The body is meant for serving others. Paropakararthamidam sariram.
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! We hear two terms veryoften used by pandits: prakrti and purusa. Please explain these two terms?
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: Prakti and purusa are matter and energy. You can also take them as the positive and the negative. Even if there is a bulb, you don’t get light unless there is power supply. Likewise, the power supply remains useless, if there is no bulb either. Therefore, both power and light bulb are required. Similarly, this entire creation is a combination of prakrti and purusa. These two are interdependent and interrelated.
Prakrti is viewed as feminine. God is the only male.
In a College for Women, girls play all the different roles in a drama. So also, at thelevel of the body, there are differences. But, the indweller, atma, is one and the same. The body is a bundle of bones. It is like a water bubble, it is ephemeral. It is afflicted by many diseases. After all, it is full of urine, blood, muscles, bones and faecal matter. It emits only bad odour and not the fragrance of flowers and perfumes. The body is prakrti and undergoes change periodically. But, the eternal, changeless, immortal truth is purusa or God. It is only the purusa that is valued. Prakrti is accepted and cherished so long as purusa is there.
Sugar mixed with cream of wheat makes a sweet by name ravva laddu. Sugar in combination with dal makes a laddu. The same sugar can be mixed with any type of flour pistdi gudasampart. Similarly, purusa functions through prakrti assuming different forms and names. But, purusa remains a witness, who is transcendental, beyond time and space; nondual, eternal, blissful and is a personification of wisdom. It is purusa, who created prakrti the universe. Purusa is the object while prakrti is his reflection. Therefore, these twin terms are used by Sanskrit scholars to indicate purusa and prakrti: loka lksvara, visva visvsvara, jagat jagad i svara , sarvam sarv svara, prapanca paramv svara , etc. Supposing there are containers made of gold, silver, copper and clay and they are filled with water. Although the containers differ in metal and value, the reflection ofthe sun in all these containers is one and the same. So, the Sun is purusa while the containers represent prakrti. Matter + Energy = God.
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! Some worship Vishnu, while some others worship Siva. They don’t see eye to eye with one another. There seems to be constant rivalry between these two groups, the Vaishnavites and the Saivites. Kindly tell us how these two groups of devotees of God can be united.
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: This is utter ignorance and foolishness. The scripture says, ‘ekamevadvitiyam brahma,’ which means God is one without a second. It also says, ‘advaitadars’anam jnanam,’ true wisdom is nondual. Every seeker of truth or spiritual aspirant should know the essential unity in diversity. You should experience unity in divinity. The worshippers of Lord Vishnu address the Lord of the seven hills of Tirupati as Venkata Ramana while the worshippers of Siva call him Venkatesvara. But, you know both are the same.
Once a king convened a conference of scholars of both these groups to deliberate, discuss and finally decide as to who was the greater of the two, Vishnu or Siva. Both the contending groups presented their viewpoints convincingly. The king, therefore, wanted his Chief Minister to consider all the points of the scholars and then give his verdict on the issue. The latter got up and said, “Oh King! I do not think if either of these two groups has ever experienced reality. Those who argued in favour of Vaishnavism saying that Vishnu isgreater than Siva knew little of Vishnu. Had they been genuinely devoted to Him, they would have seen Siva in Vishnu also. Similarly, those who held that Siva was superior to Vishnu would see Vishnu in Siva also”.
There is another episode to illustrate this fact. One day Lord Sri Rama was passing by and on the way He saw a stone. Hanuman observed it and wanted to pick it upand throw it away. He used all his strength, but could not lift it. That very stone was the Siva linga installed by Sri Rama in Ramesvaram, a pilgrim centre in Tamilnadu. Rama, being Vishnu Himself, proved that He and Siva are basically one and the same by installing a Sivalinga. Isn’t it so? Know that all names are His and all forms are His. He is the only one who responds to our prayers.
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! You repeatedly mention ‘love’ in your discourses. Why? Don’t we have prema, love, within us? If not, how are we to develop it? What is the difference between prema, love and moha, attachment?
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: You think you have prema, love. It is a mistake. You have only abhimana, attachment. There is a lot of difference between the two. You have misdirected love and allowed it to flow in different ways and ultimately got it steeped inattachment. You have forgotten real prema.
The love you have towards your children is vatsalya, ‘affection’. Your love towards your wife is anuraga, ‘attachment’ and your love towards worldly objects is mamakara, ‘possessiveness’. Your love towards your equals is maitri, ‘friendship’. Like this, love flows in many different directions. All this is not love in the true sense of the term. This is all physical, worldly, ever changing and temporary. This may give you prapancikananda, worldly pleasure, bhautikananda, mundane pleasure, indriyananda, sensual pleasure, and manasikananda desire-oriented love. They give you only pleasure.
Today you may be happy with one thing and tomorrow you may not be with the same thing. In winter, you are happy wearing a woollen coat but in summer, you will be unhappy if you wear the same woollen coat. Therefore, time, position, space and states of mind bind happiness. This is the type of happiness you get out of abhimana, attachment. Dasaratha, the king of Ayodhya in the Ramayana, died of his attachment to Rama as he couldn’t bear separation from him. It is again, the attachment of Kaikeyi that led to the attempt to crown Bharata and the exile of Rama.
You observe the contrast between Rama and Dasaratha. The father, Dasaratha, due to his attachment to Kaikeyi, had to be separated from Rama by granting her the boon she had promised. But, his son, Rama, left his consort Sita to her fate in a forest, when a washerman spoke ill of her as she had spent eight long months in Lanka under the control of Ravana. What supreme detachment! He had no attachment to the kingdom either. So, he simply obeyed his father’s command and left for the forest.
In the Mahabharata, you know how king Dhritarashtra remained silent due to attachment when his sons were committing atrocities against their cousins, the Pandavas, which ultimately led to the death of all his progeny. Isn’t it so?
Don’t you know that Yasoda couldn’t fully comprehend the divinity of Krishna because she considered him always only her son and never as God, due to her vatsalya, attachment? Had Buddha been attached to his wife, Yasodhara and his son, Rahul, would it have been possible for him to leave them? Krishna, once he left Repalle, a place where he had spent his boyhood, never stepped in there again. He was not attached to the place. But, his connection with the Gopis continued, as it was only love to love relationship, which was divine. The love of the Pandavas suffered no decrease or loss in spite of the terrible sufferings they had gone through.
Love is changeless. Love is steady and unshakeable. Love is nondual. Love is not carried away by praise nor does it vanish with blame. Love is selfless and unconditional. Love is spiritual and essentially divine. It was the love of Jesus for humanity that made him pray for those who had persecuted him while he was on the cross. Isn’t that a climax of love?
Attachment is confined to getting and forgetting, while love always gives and forgives. Love is God. God is love. Live in love. Attachment is bondage leading to misery. Attachment is narrow and utterly selfish.
A child is full of love and bliss. As he grows up, he starts loving toys; thereafter he loves to play and slowly starts loving friends. On becoming a youth, he loves a life partner, then his family, and gradually he develops love for possessions, position and properties. Thus, love is allowed to flow in different directions, and as such, it becomes diluted and finally reduced to attachment.
Your love for God is devotion, and helps you to cultivate virtues like humility and obedience and makes your life blissful. It helps you to attain mukti, liberation. What you need today is the expansion of love.
First of all, you start with loving your family, extend your love to your relations and slowly to your community and your country as a whole and ultimately to the entire universe. You can realise and experience God only by and through Love, as God is the embodiment of Love. You may find people in want of one thing or another. But, you find none lacking in love. You have to channel it. Love is the natural quality which is God’s gift to man.
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! What are brahma, and bhrama?
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: To realise and experience unity in diversity is ‘brahma’, divinity. But, viewing one as many is ‘bhrama’, illusion. That which is bound by name and form is bhrama. Brahma transcends time and space, and is eternal and unsullied. You know many sweets such as gulabjamun, laddu, jilabi, basundi etc. These sweets have their names and forms. This is bhrama. But, they are made of sugar, which is one and the same. This is brahma.
Another example. You see cloth which is made of yarn closely interwoven. This is bhrama. Though the yarn is apparently different from the cloth, it is after all made of the same cotton only. This approach is Brahma. So bhrama illusion, is multiplicity, plurality, diversity and has different names and forms, while brahma, divinity is unity, the fundamental primordial principle.
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! Some say that God has no form. But, we see devotees praying to idols in temples. The Concept of Avatar, incarnation of God, is of special significance in our land of Sanatan Dharma. But followers of other paths argue that God has no form. We pray to you to clarify this point.
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: When you see a doctor, you will be reminded of your physical complaints. When you meet a lawyer, you think of litigation and court cases, don’t you? Likewise, when you see a gopuram, temple tower, you will be reminded of God. As I often say, love may not have a form, but a loving mother has. Water may not have form, but the tumbler with water has a form; air may not have a form, but the balloon into which it is pumped has a form. In the same manner, the formless divine has its form or forms. The formless expresses itself through a form.
A simple example. You know the screen in a theatre. You find pictures projected on the screen. In every picture, there is the screen. Without the screen, you can’t see the picture. Pictures come and pass. Not even one remains permanent. This screen may be described in spiritual parlance as ‘sat and asat’. Sat is existence asat is non-existence. Like this, these two coexist, sakara one with form and nirakara the formless.
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! We hear of cellular phones and remote controls everywhere. All the necessities of our worldly existence seem to be from Electronics and Computers, drawing the attention of everyone. How does the subject of Spirituality come into the picture here? Where is the time for it? As if this is not enough, we hear of nuclear tests also. How are we to coordinate and integrate these diverse aspects? Kindly show us the way.
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: Men are more valuable than all the wealth of the world. Having been born as human beings, you should strive to attain moksha. Science and Technology can provide you many comforts and conveniences. They can’t confer on you peace and bliss. What is Science? What is Spirituality? What is the difference between the two? Science is below the senses. Spirituality is abovethe senses. Spirituality speaks of tat, that, and Science speaks of tvam, you, so as to make you learn tattvamasi, That thou art. This is nature, world, or prakrti. That is purusa or God.
Spirituality is like the letter ‘O’ which is full and complete, whereas Science is like the letter ‘C’ which is incomplete with a hollow space within, starting at one point and ending else where. Spirituality begins where Science ends and it takes you from the world to God. Spirituality makes you feel and experience divinity in this world. This is the way to integrate Science and Spirituality. Spirituality is the unseen principle behind the apparent electronic or scientific gadgets and equipment.
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! Are Science and Spirituality contradictory to each other? We are eager to know Swami’s views on this subject.
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: Science operates below the senses, while Spirituality functions above the senses. Science speaks of ‘this’, ‘tvam’, world, while Spirituality thinks of ‘that’, ‘tat’, divine. Science refers to tvamidam, ‘near’ while Spirituality concentrates on ‘far’ param, beyond. Science is meant for the padartha, ‘material’ and Spirituality is for the ultimate paramartha. Science deals with the jada, inert, and spirituality, with caitanya, awareness. Spirituality aims at the adhara, base and Science experiments on the adheya, superstructure.
Science is the ‘split of love’ while Spirituality is the ‘spirit of love’. Science deals in pravrtti marga, the external world, and Spirituality in the intuitive nivrtti marga. Science can visualise the vyakta, apparent, while Spirituality dives into the avyakta, hidden. You can learn Science with your carmacaksus, physical eye, but the understanding of Spirituality needs the jnanacaksus, ‘eye of wisdom’. Science is the collection of facts, which are stuffed in your ‘head’. Spirituality is metaphysical, and touches your ‘heart’. Science is incomplete like the letter ‘C’ which begins at one point and ends somewhere else. Spirituality is purnam, full like the letter ‘O’.
Science supplies implements. Spirituality tells you how to use them. For example, a knife with which you can cut vegetables, fruits and so on can be used to cut throats. Science shows what you see, like your photo or picture. But, Spirituality is an xray film. Science is ‘negative’ while Spirituality is ‘positive’.
Creation is ‘negative’ while the Creator is ‘positive’. Fill your heart with positive spirituality as you fill the tank with water. Senses are the taps through which you draw the water of love. Science states facts, but Spirituality symbolises unchangeable truth.
Upanishad means the “inner” or “mystic teaching”. The term Upanishad is derived from “upa” (near), “ni” (down) and “shad” (to sit), i.e., sitting down near. Groups of pupils sit near the teacher to learn from him/her the secret doctrine. In the quietude of the forest hermitages the Upanishadic thinkers pondered on the problems of deepest concerns and communicated their knowledge to fit pupils near them. The most well known Upanishads are: Aitareya, Brihadaranyaka, Taittiriya, Chandogya, Kena, Isa, Svetasvatara, Katha, Mundaka, Mandukya, Prasna, Kausitaki, Maitrayani, Muktika and Shakta. The Satyopanishad is the Upanishad of Truth (Sathya) but more specifically the Truth as revealed by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Anil Kumar questions the illustrious Guru and provides us with Sathya Sai Baba’s answers to ponder, ruminate and derive ananda.
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