Satyopanishad – Upanishad Of Sri Sathya Sai – Part 14
Anil Kumar Kamaraju Questions Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! We experience love in our worldly life. How is it different from spiritual love?
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: Split of love is worldly, but the spirit of love is spiritual. Love shared with one’s own kith and kin is the split of love. This is worldly love. The primordial principle governing the entire universe is spiritual love. This is the spirit of love. Spiritual love is universal.
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! Today everyone speaks of Free Will. Do we really have Free Will?
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: Man has no Free Will. It is only God who has Free Will. Being a slave to the senses, how can you claim to have free will? Where from do you get Free Will? God alone is free and hence He alone has Free Will and that is why this Free Will is an absolutely divine attribute. How? Here is a small example. When a man suffers from a paralytic stroke, he is not able to lift or move the paralysed part ofhis body. Come on! Let him now try in the name of Free Will! So, there is no Free Will as such, and it is ridiculous to think so. There is no meaning in the claim.
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! In modern society, much knowledge is only half knowledge and partial understanding: We don’t have a clear picture of anything. We want to know the difference between Free Will and Divine Will?
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: It is ego and ignorance that prompt doubts of this kind. On account of body identification, you are not able to know reality. In fact, you are a slave to your senses. So, you are not free. How can you have Free Will then? God is the master of all. He is above everything. He is not bound or limited by anybody or anything. He is absolutely free. Hence, it is only God who has Free Will or Divine Will.
Today everyone thinks that he has Free Will enabling him to do anything of his choice and that he can decide anything in the name of his Free Will. This maybe one thing today and quite a different thing tomorrow, but Divine Will never changes. While exercising your Free Will, you may succeed or fail, win or lose. If you succeed, you become proud and egoistic. If you fail, you become frustrated and disappointed. But, Divine Will is a transcendental phenomenon. What you should do is simply surrender to Divine Will. It means readiness or preparedness to receive and accept happily whatever happens in your life, good or bad, with the feeling that it is only for your ultimate good. You must accept it as God’s gift to you. This is true jnana and bhakti. In fact, you do not know what is good for you. God knows the when, the why, the what, and the how, of everything, of everyone. Everything happens according to God’s will or Divine Will. If you know and sincerely believe this, you will never be elated, egoistic, proud, frustrated, depressed and disappointed once you have surrendered truly to the Divine Will.
Divine Will is present in the guise of conscience, reminding you of your responsibility. It is the antarvani, Inner Voice. But, you neglect it and don’t pay heed to its appeal and message, and so you suffer. With your mind turned inward, your intellect tuned to the fundamental principle and your senses kept under strict control, you can hear clearly your Inner Voice, which is none other than the voice of God. Divine Will is the master plan of God.
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! Kindly let us know the difference between devotion and surrender.
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: Devotion is dual. Here is one who is devoted to God. Therefore, devotion is the path of dualism. A devotee has no meaning if there is no God. So also, God is associated with a devotee. It is devotion that links them. But, surrender is nondual. In the path of nondualism, we find this surrender. Once you surrender to God, you donot exist for yourself any longer. You do not have anything of your own.
For example, you have water and sugar. As it is, these two are separate and different from each other in their names, forms and tastes. This is the principle of dualism, since sugar and water exist apart from each other. Now, mix both, what happens? It is neither Sugar nor is it water. It becomes syrup. So also, the devotee who totally surrenders himself to God does not consider himself as aseparate entity apart from God. This is true surrender and the spirit of non-dualism.
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! Out of the two, faith and love, which precedes the other? Is it true that we love if only we have faith or is it the other way round? Kindly tell us about it.
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: You should definitely have faith first in order to love. Do not doubt this. Unless you have full faith that so and so is your father, mother, son, wife or husband, you will not be able to love any one of them. If you have no faith, and if you are not sure of the dear ones how can you love them? Is it possible for you to love the one you doubt? So, faith comes first and love next.
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! We meet many persons who say that they can believe only after going through an intimation of divinity, develop faith only after they experience. But, many also feel that only strong faith gives us that experience. So, which of the two precedes the other? Please tell us, Swami.
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: Faith, which comes first gives you experience. You must have unwavering faith in order to experience. Faith is the foundation. For example, to swim, you should jump into water. You cannot say that you will jump into water only after learning swimming. You cannot learn it on tar roads or cement roads. You can learn it only in water. Here water is faith and the art of swimming is experience. So, faith precedes experience.
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! Is it proper to say that ‘I am in God’? Or should I say that ‘God is in me’? Which of the two is appropriate?
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: Our scripture says, ‘sarvam vis n umayam jagat,’ God is all pervasive. He encompasses the entire Universe. ‘Vasudevas sarvamiti’, ‘isavasyamidagm sarvam’ are our scriptural dicta. They make it very clear that the entire cosmos is in Him.
It is correct to say that you are in God. It is not correct to say that God is in you. Of course, when the whole universe is in Him, naturally you are in Him. How? A small example. You are holding in your hand a rose flower. It means that the rose flower is small and you are big. Since God is infinite, the world is in Him. But, if you put it in the reverse order by saying that God is in you, you become bigger than God. This is not a proper feeling. You are a spark of that divine, says the Gita.
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! How is it possible not to be attached to the family and to rise above the feeling of ‘mine’ and ‘thine’?
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: A small example here. A rich man who resides in a big bungalow has an Alsatian dog. This dog is always vigilant and will not permit anyone to enter the house. Now to get into that house, what is to be done? You are left with two ways. Either you should tame the dog and get in or call for the rich man to escort you. Otherwise, the dog will not permit you to move forward even an inch.
Similarly, to pass through the main gate of attachment, you have to tame possessiveness, like a dog. This is karmamarga, the path of action. Alternatively, you can call for the help of God and get in. This is bhaktimarga, the path of devotion. Hence, karma, selfless action and bhakti, devotion, are the two alternatives, for developing detachment and giving up possessive instincts.
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! We come across certain terms used in philosophy and get very much confused. For instance, ‘conscience’ and ‘consciousness’. Are they not synonyms? If not, what is the difference between the two? Scholars, when consulted, add to the confusion. I am at a loss to know what these two terms ‘conscience and consciousness’ mean?
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: There is difference between the two. They definitely are not synonyms. You should know here three terms: ‘subconscious, conscience, and consciousness’. That which works below the senses is the subconscious. But, ‘conscience’ is above the senses. ‘Consciousness’ is all pervasive.
A small example. You have air all around. You fill a balloon with air. It gets inflated. Now, there is air in the balloon and also outside it. If you pump in more air into the balloon it bursts with the result that the air in the balloon gets merged with the air around. You can equate the air within the balloon with ‘subconscious’ and the air all around with conscience. The divinity within the individual is conscience while divinity in everyone, which is all pervasive, collective, and universal is consciousness. Spirituality refers to many subtle things. You must understand them very carefully.
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! Almost all of us claim to have immense faith in and intense love for Bhagawan. But, we also notice at the same time a lot of ego and pride in our words and deeds. What is to be done then?
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: It is impossible for an egotistic person to know and experience God. This is very certain. Just as water flows always downwards, so also a proud man is sure to fall. You may say that you love God. But, God also must acknowledge your love. Should He not? Suppose you send a registered letter to your friend, should you not get the acknowledgement? Similarly, God also should be touched and moved by your devotion to Him in order to respond to your love. This will never happen so long as there is ego in you.
One day Krishna and Arjuna noticed a Brahmin who was holding a sword and eating a dry blade of grass. They were very surprised to see such a peculiar Brahmin. Slowly, they approached him and softly asked him why he was carrying a sword as he was a Brahmin. The Brahmin said, “I am in search of four persons, whom I have decided to kill”. Krishna asked, “Who are they?” In reply, the Brahmin said, “The first person I want to kill is Narada, the celestial singer. He sings continuously the glory of Narayana all the time and everywhere he moves making Narayana, my God, restless. So, I must kill him.”
“The second person I am going to kill is that boy Prahlada. His father put him to suffering of all kinds. My Lord had to rush every time to save him. When Prahlada was given poison, my Lord had to be there in the poison to save him. When he was thrown from the mountain top, my God, had to stretch His hands to hold and save him. When he was thrown into the sea, my Lord had to rescue him. When he was thrown into the fire, my Lord had to be there too in the fire to save him. He was trampled under the feet of an elephant and Narayana had to be there for his protection. Every time he prayed to God, He, out of compassion, responded to his prayers. In a way, Prahlada made my God constantly wait to save him so that nothing untoward might happen to him at any time. So I plan to kill him.”
“The third person in my hit list is Draupadi. She prayed to my Lord Krishna as the only refuge of the forlorn when she was being disrobed in the open court by Dussasana. My God Krishna had to rush to help her out of a most humiliating situation leaving all his consorts behind him and without saying anything to anyone. And last but not the least, the person whom I want to kill is Arjuna, He made my Lord his charioteer during the Kurukshetra war and gave him a great deal of trouble.”
Arjuna standing by the side of Krishna heard the entire conversation. He bent his head in full recognition of the Brahmin’s devotion to God, a kind of devotion which excelled even his own.
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! How can we differentiate thought from intuition?
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: Thought is the outcome of the mind and hence it is dual while intuition is nondual. A thought may arise according to your convenience. But, intuition is beyond both mind and intellect; it is direct perception of truth and hence it stands for conviction. So, intuition is said to be buddhi which is transcendental, buddhi grahyamati ndriyam.
A thought may be right or wrong, but the prompting of an intuition is nothing but truth. Thoughts are mostly of a sensual and worldly nature. But, intuition is the inner voice or the voice of conscience and is divine. Your intelligence may sometimes lead you to a situation when you begin to doubt or suspect even your wife. Sometimes you may also turn mad. But, conscience or intuition awakens your inner awareness.
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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