Satyopanishad – Upanishad Of Sri Sathya Sai – Part 25
Anil Kumar Kamaraju Questions Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! We hear that the Ramayana shows us ideal figures even among enemies. Rivals never gave up certain values. Would you please tell us how enemies reacted towards each other in an ideal way?
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: The Ramayana is another name for idealism. It shows the ideal way in which you are expected to live and to realise the divinity within you. The Ramayana clearly explains the proper relationship that should exist between one individual and another individual, between an individual and his native land, and finally, between one country and the entire world. Enmity might crop up at any time for any reason. But, even as rivals you should maintain certain values.
On one occasion, some of the Rakshasas advised Ravana in this fashion: “Oh King! We are Rakshasas, kamarupa, capable of assuming any form of our choice. Why don’t you go to Sita in the form of Rama and be accepted by her?” Ravana replied, “What hopeless creatures you are! You are utter fools. In the form of Rama, how can you be as lustful as to run after a woman who is someone else’s wife? Can kama exist where Rama is? Rama has one wife, uses only one arrow to kill the enemy and keeps to the word given (one wife, one arrow, one word, truth). Don’t you know these sacred and noble qualities of Rama?” He praised the great, matchless and noble character of Rama who was his rival. Now, you also notice the generous and noble gesture of Rama too. When Ravana was on his deathbed, Rama sent his own brother, Lakshmana, to Ravana to learn from him rajadharma or righteous laws governing the administration and the people. Ravana was a great devotee of Siva with rich administrative experience.
Vibhishana, the only surviving younger brother of Ravana, was not prepared to perform the funeral rites after the latter’s death. Then, Rama ordered him to perform the last rites and even went a step further. He said that He Himself was ready to undertake the last rites for Ravana if Vibhishana persisted in refusing to do so.
You will also notice in the Ramayana how Vali died, shot by an arrow of Rama. Before dying, Vali placed all his doubts before Rama, got them clarified and finally died at the hands of Rama saying that it was his great fortune and merit to have been killed by Rama. Vali, though an enemy, praised the noble qualities of Rama. These are some of the ideals upheld by opponents in the great epic, the Ramayana.
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! Speaking of the Ramayana, is there a mention of things resolved by God’s grace and God’s grace alone? How did the characters manifest this in the course of the narrative?
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: Roughly, the Ramayana speaks of three things: papa, sapa, and tapa, sin, curse, and suffering. Of these, two can be set right only though God’s grace. What are those two? Sin and curse. In no other way can these be expiated. Mandodari, the wife of Ravana, knew that Sita was kept a prisoner in the Asoka garden and also that Ravana made her quake with fear. But, she could not set her free. In spite of realising Rama’s divinity, Mandodari could offer no solace or happiness to Sita. This was only because she regarded Sita as an ordinary woman. This is sinful. Ahalya presents an instance of the second kind. Transgressing discipline, she became a victim of Gautama’s curse: Release from both sin and curse can be had only through the grace of God. The third is misery or agony. Sabari tried to meet Rama. She spent long years thinking of Rama. Her desire to see Rama directly with her own eyes subjected her to extreme anguish. Such anguish is, indeed, penance. In this way, the Ramayana speaks of sin, curse, and suffering. One should grasp subtle secrets like these.
The demon Subahu attempted to harm Rama and Lakshmana with the help of fourteen. Which are these fourteen? These include the five organs of action, the five organs of perception, the mind, the intellect, the inner consciousness, and egoism. In that hour, Rama ordered Sita and Lakshmana to remain inside the cave. What is meant by the cave? The impregnable human heart. Thus are to be appreciated the subtleties of dharma.
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! Were the Ramayana and the Adhyatmaramayana written with different purposes? Many are the versions of the Ramayana. How are devotees to receive them? They are given to the repeated recital of the part called “Sundarakanda” Bhagawan, why is this so? By your grace, their authenticity is not in doubt. I wish to learn from your lips.
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: The Ramayana came into existence to enable man to follow the dharmas set forth as ideals, and to lead pure lives. The Adhyatmaramayana is intended to open up to mankind the experience of the divine Atma within man. In other words, Ramayana is for man, Adhyatmaramayana for the mind. Since then, a series of Ramayanas have been composed by devotees and named after them. These include Tulasiramayana, Mollaramayana, and Kambaramayana. The theme of all these is Rama Himself! ‘Purana’ is but the story of the Lord, the perfect Man, and traces his career.
As for Sundarakanda, it is full of ‘Sundara, ‘ beautiful, descriptions. Very charming are the sketches of the splendour of Lanka. Hanuman’s leaping across the ocean, the Asoka pleasure garden, and the grief of Mother Sita. As the soka, grief, of Sita came to an end in the Asoka, ‘no grief,’ garden, devotees consider the recital of Sundarakanda helpful in alleviating suffering and dispelling misery.
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! Today’s atmosphere is, indeed, nightmarish. There seems to be no end to injustice, disorder, unrighteousness, and falsehood. Forgive me, Swami, if my question is not proper. Kindly clarify my doubt. How much justice did prevail in the Age of the Mahabharata? Besides serving poisoned food to the Pandavas, setting fire to the house of lac, and attempting to murder them in other ways, the Kauravas denied them their rightful share of the kingdom, not even five villages, not so much space as the point of a needle. How much of the moral code or the law of the time had the Kauravas followed? How little peace was ever there in that yuga?
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: The distinctive dharma of the Dvaparayuga is not fully found in that yuga. The beginnings of Kali, its mode and behavioural style, are already noticeable. For the wicked conduct of the Kauravas; Sakuni is largely responsible. Heeding his advice and egged on by him, they behaved in the way they did. Undoubtedly, launching themselves on unrighteous paths is the fault of the Kauravas. Remember, all this took place in the kingdom of Dhritarashtra, the blind king. Blindness is but the failure to recognise Satya, Dharma, Santi, and Prema. Walking along the main streets one day, Dharmaraja saw a farmer transporting bags of paddy in carts. He asked the farmer, “Sir! Why are you carrying paddy in bags? You can as well leave it in the fields, can’t you?” The farmer replied, “O King! A few days ago, our paddy was stolen from the fields. That is why we are pouring it into bags and moving it into our homes.” Dharmaraja noticed there the signs of the approaching Kali yuga. On another occasion, he noticed a woman walking brazenly in the main street and conversing with a man uninhibitedly, without in the least feeling shy. He thought, “Oh! The Kali yuga is at hand.” Another day he observed the citizens hanging iron lumps at the entrance to their homes. He asked them, “What is this?” The people replied, “O King! Now that so many thefts are taking place, there is no security for our belongings, our ornaments, and our food grains. That is why we are using these lumps called locks.” Thus, even in the Dvaparayuga, the symptoms of Kali were in evidence.
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! We lack adequate knowledge of many important things. We have only a partial view of divinity. Hence, we tend to ignore the reality and are prone to doubt divinity. It is our misfortune that we find fault with God too, and attribute human fallibility to him. In the Mahabharata, it appears that Krishna was very partial to the Pandavas and so he did many things unbecoming of God incarnate in order to defend them. We may cite such instances as the killing of Dronacharya, Bhishmacharya, Saindhava and a few others. We pray for your comments on these misconceptions of ours and enlighten us.
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: God is faultless. He is pure and unsullied. It will be the worst of sins to attribute any kind of mistake to God. Every inch of God, if it can be put that way, is selfless and whatever He says and does is for the welfare of humanity. He gives and forgives. He doesn’t want anything from anybody in return, nor does He keep anything in this world that doesn’t belong to Him? Maybe due to the effects of Kali, you see people with narrow, selfish ideals that are responsible for physical and mental agitations, and disturbances everywhere. Man today has no trace of gratitude left in him. He has gone even to the extent of ignoring his parents. He has grown demonic in his behaviour. So, it is difficult for him to recognise God.
The Kauravas were wicked and spent their lives in injustice, untruth and unrighteousness. They were full of hatred and jealousy. Out of greed and envy, they did many cruel things like poisoning the Pandavas, setting their house on fire, making them play dice where they cheated, only to end their own lives. So, they had to be checked and controlled. You know, a diamond cuts a diamond. You can remove a thorn only with the help of another thorn. A simple example here will make this point clearer to you. When thieves run away with valuables through the back door, to catch them you also should go through the back door. You just can’t say in such a moment, “What! I am the owner of the house. I can only go out of it through the main door and not the back door.” So, the back door is the only way for you to catch the thieves. Is it not so? Similarly, to catch the Kauravas, who trod the wrong path, you had to go by the same route. Krishna did exactly the same thing in order to protect the Pandavas and bring about their ultimate victory. There was little trace of selfishness in Krishna.
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! Krishna made Dharmaja utter the lie “asvatthama hatah, Asvatthama is killed, adding in a low tone, “kunjarah,” the elephant. This led to the death of Dronacharya. Was it proper on the part of Krishna to make Dharmaja tell a lie like that?
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: This is a foolish question. As the facts are not known to you correctly, you think like that. Here, there was no mistake on the part of Krishna and there was no mistake in Dharmaja too. It was entirely the fault of Drona that was responsible for his death. Dharmaja said loudly “asvatthama hatah,” Asvatthama died and also said softly “kunjarah,” an elephant by name Asvatthama died. Dronacharya did not listen completely to what Dharmaja had said. He heard only the first part “asvatthama hatah,” Aswatthama died. Out of his attachment to his son, Dronacharya died immediately on hearing the first part of Dharmaja’s statement. He died of the shock. His attachment was the only cause of his death. So the fault finally lies with Dronacharya, not hearing patiently and completely what Dharmaja said. How do you accept that Dronacharya, who loved Arjuna more than his own son, could be prepared to fight and kill Arjuna? Being a teacher and a Brahmana for that matter, should he fight like that? So, the mistake was Drona’s only.
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! In the Mahabharata, it is a pity to notice the killing of youngsters like Abhimanyu and Ghatotkacha for no fault of their own. It is justifiable if bad people are killed or punished. But, how can we account for the death of these youngsters?
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: The answer is very easy and simple. A small example I give you here to make you clearly understand the answer to the question. When there are a large number of mosquitoes in your house, what do you do generally? You spray some kind of insecticide like Flit all over the house or use DDT to kill the mosquitoes, don’t you? You have to notice one point here. Due to spraying poisonous insecticide, all the mosquitoes die. After all only one or two mosquitoes must have bitten you, not all of them. But, all those mosquitoes that have not bitten you also die in your operation. Similarly, in a war some innocents also die. This is natural.
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! We hear that Arjuna was the only one capable of breaking open and emerging victorious from the Padmavyuha, the lotus-like military formation or manoeuvre, set up as a death trap. But, Abhimanyu knew only how to get in and not how to get out of it; a fact that resulted in his death. There are some stories heard about this episode from the Mahabharata. It appears that when Narada was describing the whole manoeuvre to Abhimanyu who was still in the mother’s womb, Krishna prevented him from teaching the unborn baby the way out of the Padmavyuha! What are your comments on this story, Swami!
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: The ancient literature of Bharat has many secrets to be unravelled and grasped. So, many subtle points are not known to everybody. They show the goal and the way of life. They remind you of the duties, responsibilities, and obligations you owe to the society you live in. They point out your mistakes as well so that you may correct and rectify yourself and thus experience the divinity within. Every episode or anecdote in the epics or in the religious texts in story form has a message for you.
Arjuna had, to his credit, many titles like Savyasachi, Phalguna, Partha, Vijaya, etc., that are much higher than our modern Padmasri, Padmavibhushan and other honours. Arjuna’s surrender to Krishna was total. This was the reason for his acquiring the skill to manage to come out of the impenetrable Padmavyuha. The word ‘Arjuna’ means whiteness or purity and it was the purity of his mind and heart that gave him the needed capacities.
But things were different in respect of Abhimanyu. He was challenged to fight and proceed to the battleground at a time when his wife, Uttara was pregnant, His father Arjuna was not at home and his uncle Krishna was away. Abhimanyu had much abhimana, attachment to his wife and his father. This attachment trapped him in the Padmavyuha and as such, he couldn’t come out of it and ultimately died.
Similarly, the whole world is a Padmavyuha. Our life is a Padmavyuha. Man is caught in this Padmavyuha and his sense of attachment and possessive instincts will not release him out of it. Since he had abhimana, he bore the name Abhimanyu.
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! It is said that Draupadi laughed at Duryodhana in the Mayasabha, which made him revengeful and highly furious and which ultimately led to the Kurukshetra war. Will you kindly bless us with your special interpretation?
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: These are words of those who do not know the reality. Draupadi was not an ordinary person. She was a queen, known for her chastity. She was the wife of the great Pandavas. It is ridiculous to say that she laughed at Duryodhana in the Mayasabha. You are mistaken if you think so. She was not of the type to laugh at people. Those who don’t know what had actually happened think like this.
On that day after taking a head bath, Draupadi was drying her hair and was about to come out of the palace through the main door. It was at that time that Duryodhana fell down mistaking the place for open ground when there was water. Watching, this, the maidservants started laughing at the ludicrous, sight. As Draupadi was coming out just then, Duryodhana saw her and mistook that she was laughing at him. In fact, she did not laugh at all. So, it was the fault of Duryodhana to think so.
There was no flaw in Draupadi. She never raised her voice at any time. Contented with whatever she had, she was never tired of serving the Pandavas under any circumstances. She was the noblest of them all. It is your foolishness to think that she laughed at Duryodhana or at any other person.
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! Krishna was surrounded, by eight consorts and is stated to have been associated with 16,000 Gopis, cowherdesses. It is very disturbing and embarrassing to hear of Lord Krishna’s many wives. Kindly enlighten us on this matter.
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: This is what you have learnt from movies, isn’t it? Krishna of the Bhagavata was totally different from what you know about Him. It is because of such perverted and distorted versions that the number of atheists has been on the rise day by day and devotion is declining. The eternal, nondual and divine truth is viewed from the ephemeral, worldly norm and perspective. This is the unfortunate situation of the modern times. The scriptures want you to consider the world as a divine manifestation, but to take God too in a worldly way. God is free Himself, and it is only He who liberates you from bondage to the world.
Tell me, who were the eight consorts of Krishna? Every human heart is a lotus flower with eight petals. These eight petals are the eight consorts. In the human body are the seven mystic chakras. The one at the bottom of the backbone is muladhara and the seventh on the top of the head is called sahasrara. Kundalini ascends from muladhara to sahasrara, in the state of samadhi. Now, the sahasrara chakra is compared to a thousand petalled lotus. Each of the petals has 16 shades or faces. Thus, they add up to 16,000 representing the Gopis whom Krishna is said to have been associated with.
Actually, Krishna was a young boy while he was in Brindavan. All those Gopis were elderly married women. They played with Krishna, as they would with their own children of the same age group. To those Gopis everything looked filled with Krishna. The kumkum they put on their forehead was blue. They wore blue bangles and blue saris. Every article they used was blue. Why? The reason is, Krishna was blue in complexion. In their devotion to Krishna, they excelled Narada and all the other celestial singers. The Gopis had more intense love for Krishna than for their husbands. They remained in a state of joy and ecstasy singing His glory all the time. They grew immensely restless when they had even a momentary separation from Krishna. When Krishna left for Mathura, the bodies of the Gopis appeared as though they were burning and writhing in unendurable pain, due to separation from their beloved Krishna. They blamed and accused Akrura of taking him away from them. Theirs was the bliss of atma or sprit. Your feelings are worldly, physical, and narrow. Therefore, you view the sublime from the standpoint of your own sense perception. Truly speaking, none can estimate the standard, the depth, and the level of devotion of the Gopis. Their devotion to Krishna ever remains immeasurable and unfathomable to the ordinary mortal.
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.
Filed under: Anil Kumar, Anil Kumar Kamaraju, Sai Baba, Sathya Sai, sathya sai baba, Sathya Sai Baba Answers, Sathya Sai Baba Quotes, Sathya Sai Baba Wordpress, Sathya Sai Speaks, Sri Sathya Sai | Tagged: Baba, Faith, God, Guru, philosophy, Sathya, Satya, Satyopanishad, Spirituality, Upanishad, Upanishadic, Upanishads, Vedanta, Vedas |