Law And Justice

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

Law And Justice

Loving Sai Ram and greetings from Prashanti Nilayam.

Justice Dinakaran is a Judge of the Madras High Court. A scholar well versed in law, he recently wrote an article in a leading national daily entitled, Law and Justice. The article was supposedly secular but since it touched, unknowingly perhaps, a few basic aspects of Sathya Sai Baba’s teachings, we thought it might be useful to bring it to your attention.

Justice Dinakaran’s point is essentially the following. There is a thing called Law, consisting of rules laid down by Society, by due process of course, such as enactment by duly constituted legislative bodies. People are expected to follow the Law and when there is a breach, the Law is “administered” through the instrumentality of the Court. However, the Law is not supposed to be applied mechanically, but with human considerations, as Shakespeare points out powerfully in Merchant of Venice. In this context, Justice Dinakaran makes the following important observations:

Most of the legal rights and wrongs are relative to time and place. “A nuisance,” said Justice Sutherland, “may merely be a right thing in a wrong place like a pig in the parlour instead of in the barnyard.”

  • Justice means nothing else than conformity of the law of nature. Human law is subject to it, and if in any point it is directly contrary to the Law of Nature, it would no longer be law but a corruption of law.
  • The excellence of Justice consists precisely in the fact that it is compounded of the truth, the good, and the beautiful. Truth is the foundation of justice. Goodness is the end and beauty constitutes its essential quality.
  • Human law is a rivulet that flows from natural law, which, in turn flows from the Eternal Law.
  • Modern man has turned liberty into self-will and licence, which he has tried to justify with his marvellous powers of reasoning. In truth, the mind of modern man is severely blinded by the cobwebs of false reasoning and trivialised knowledge.
  • Times change, customs alter. But the history of mankind continues to testify to some constant and unchanging ideals, one of which is the concept of justice predicated upon humanitarian considerations.

Well, that in brief is the essence of what Justice Dinakaran wrote. What attracted our attention to his article were his references to 1) Eternal law, 2) the origin of “human law” in Eternal Law, and 3) Truth, Goodness and Beauty. All these have strong echoes in the teachings of Sathya Sai Baba, and that is what we would now like to discuss.

Sathya Sai Baba says that the human being is an Embodiment of the Divine Atma – in fact in earlier years He would always begin His Discourses with the word Divyatmaswaroopalara, which means exactly that. If we all are the Embodiments of the Atma, then it stands to reason that the actions expected of us ought to be in conformity with the nature of the Atma. Stated differently it means that our actions must be Selfless, Truthful, Righteous, Helpful and Compassionate, full of Love etc. We might loudly protest that all this is fanciful and not possible in this day and age. That is a different matter. The fact is that just as one expects a King or the Prime Minister to behave responsibly and with dignity, and not as a joker, serious pursuit of the Spiritual Path places on us the responsibility of ensuring that our actions are as close to the nature of the Atma as possible.

Now one might ask: “That’s OK, but what has all that got to do with Justice Dinakaran’s article?” We are coming to that, but first, we would like to introduce two key words closely related to the concepts discussed by Justice Dinakaran. They are: Atma Dharma and Para Dharma.

Atma Dharma is the Primary Principle that must govern the actions of one and all, from the King to the pauper, at all times, and in all circumstances. Para Dharma, on the other hand, is a derivative of Atma Dharma, and essentially spells out what specifically must be done by whom and when. Thus, while the Primary Principle that governs all actions applies to everyone without exception, the Derivative Principle is not only individual-specific but also time- and situation-specific. All this may sound very mysterious and so let us recall some of the examples Swami Himself has mentioned.

We will start with Atma Dharma, which is the Primary Principle. This just says that every individual, without any exception, must always act to be in harmony with the intrinsic nature of the Atma. Thus, considerations based on selfishness, hatred, anger, jealousy, etc. are summarily excluded – no justification available whatsoever. We hope that is reasonably clear.

What about ParaDharma? It simply means Rules of Conduct that are individual-specific; and these rules must not contradict the basic principle or AtmaDharma. Let us illustrate by taking the case of a Teacher. To begin with, the Teacher must start from the Primary Principle and thus make sure that when he performs his duties as a Teacher, his actions are not tainted by selfishness, greed, etc. Remember, no one is allowed to be selfish, greedy, etc., and that includes the Teacher. For example, if the son of the Teacher is studying in his class, he must not show that son of his any special favour. Likewise, he must not make private deals with backward students, offering them private tuition for fees, and so on.

Turning to the ParaDharma aspect or the Derivative Principle, here the do’s and don’ts are specific to his role in Society as a Teacher. Thus, he must be punctual, he must come fully prepared for his class, he must be neatly dressed and set a good example of behaviour to his students, he must go out of the way to help students develop their character and so on. In short, he must feel all the time that he is serving Society and through Society, he is serving God.

It all boils down to this: For all humans without exception, there is oneUniversal Guiding Principle governing every action in all situations and at all times; and that is what Swami refers to as AtmaDharma. AtmaDharma is also what Krishna explained to Arjuna in the BhagavadGita.

Para Dharma is the manual, which decodes this Universal Guiding Principle and explains how individuals apply that to specific situations. By way of highlighting how Para Dharma is very practical and situation-specific, Swami says that a man who is the Chief Justice must appear in the Court in formal Legal Robes but when he is at home, he can wear casual clothes. Similarly, when a person is say fifteen, his Para Dharma is that of a student. At thirty when he is married and has a family, his ParaDharma is that of a householder. At sixty, his ParaDharma is that of a grandfather and so on. Same person, but with change of situation, the rules of conduct change. Though the ParaDharma might change, at all times and in all circumstances, the person must be truthful and follow the righteous path – that is how the core principle always operates.

In passing, it is interesting to note the following: In the Rama Avatar, Sathya SaiBaba demonstrated to the world through every one of His actions, how ParaDharma must always be in sync with AtmaDharma. Later, as Krishna , Swami explained to the world what precisely is meant by AtmaDharma. Finally, in the current Avatar as Sri Sathya Sai, Swami is not only giving us a continuous demo of Para Dharma in action but also explaining to us on every possible occasion, what Atma Dharma is all about.

Now how does all this connect up with Justice Dinakaran’s remarks? In the following way: The learned scholar is of course concerned mostly about Law and its administration through Courts, but when he says man-made laws must be subservient to the Eternal Law, what he is saying is that rules for Society must be in conformity with a basic and fundamental as well as universal and Eternal Moral Principle. Many of today’s problems arise because law makers have distanced themselves from Morality. Thus, as a French savant once wrote, what is forbidden by Morality is now permitted by Law. This is reflected by the observation of many a Judge of the Indian Court that though they know the defendant is guilty, the loopholes of the legal system do not permit them to convict the person.

Gandhi declared most emphatically that there is a Moral Law governing the Universe. Time there was when people intuitively accepted this. Thus, thousands of years ago when Emperor Manu codified for Indian Society the rules of conduct for people in various walks of life, the so-called Manu Dharma, he was essentially giving manuals of ParaDharma that were in full conformity with AtmaDharma. Similarly, when Bhishma on his deathbed instructed Yudhishtra on the rules of proper governance, he was merely laying out the ParaDharma of a ruler, in accordance with the general principles of AtmaDharma.

In summary, while Justice Dinakaran has called attention to the fallacies of the modern legal system on account of their failure to respect the Eternal Law, we go one step further to point out what Swami tells us, namely that these days, most of the actions of humans are flawed because they are not in tune with the basic inner nature of a human being, that is the latent Divinity. As long as this true nature is forgotten, everything that humans do, in all spheres of activity, from governance to science, from business to arts, will be driven by selfishness and hence likely to be dangerous to the individual, to Society and indeed to planet earth. Thus it is that Krishna told Arjuna to always align his actions to AtmaDharma; Swami also gives us that very same advice.

AtmaDharma is not any hairy fairy concept; it is very practical and very much needed in daily life. There is no need to discover it the hard way when it has been explained to us so many times in such pitiless detail. Do you agree?

With Love and Regards,

“Heart2Heart” Team

Beauty And The Beast

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

Beauty And The Beast

Loving Sai Ram and greetings from Prashanti Nilayam.

Sathya Sai Baba reminds us again and again that our true nature is Ananda or Bliss, but the sad fact is that in this wide world, wherever we turn, there is a lot of violence. Violence always causes pain, suffering agony and anguish. It is natural therefore to wonder why there is so much violence and conflict, if we all are the Sparks of the Divine and Embodiments of Love, as Swami invariably addresses us. That is the question we wish to explore this Sunday.

A wise man once said that the Mind has infinite capacity to trick itself. This is very true; the Mind of man is indeed enormously powerful. That should be no surprise because in the Gita, Krishna emphatically declares that among the senses, HE is the Mind, meaning that the Mind is packed with vast reserves of the Power of God. It is because of that Divine Power latent in the Mind that man has been able to accomplish so much, not only in art, music, and literature but in Science as well. In fact, it is in the areas of Science and Technology that the awesome power of the human Mind becomes most evident. All this means that man must undoubtedly be incredibly clever.

The question now arises: “If man is so very clever, how come he is not able to see the obvious?” The word obvious here refers to the dangers that Mind can create. This is precisely where the quote we offered becomes relevant, besides uncovering an immense tragedy. It all starts with the question as to what man thinks he is. This is not a trivial matter, which is why Swami often poses the question: “Who am I?” in His Discourses. Man has to constantly ask this question of himself, and look for the answer from inside. Broadly speaking, he can get two kinds of answers. Category 1 would be, “You are so and so, you are a terrific person because you achieved this and that,” and so on. This answer that man gets is from what might be called the lower-self or ego, as spiritual philosophers describe it. Basically, the ego is shorthand for a man who identifies himself with his body, his senses and his Mind. Such a man is all the time focussed on the external world, concerned about the success and fame he must achieve in the world, etc., etc. He is highly body-conscious. In other words, the lower-self is almost entirely preoccupied with the external world and the way the individual must respond to it.

We must mention that preoccupation with the external world need not always be in terms of achieving fame, wealth etc. For millions if not billions, it is sheer survival that is priority number one. There are millions without food, water, clothing and shelter, the primary needs of every human being, but which they do not have access to. Such people become worried, depressed and a good many of them even end up taking their lives.

One might at this point ask, and legitimately too: “Listen, it is God who created the world and it is God who put us there. It is also God who gave us the body, the senses and the Mind. And now you seem to imply that the body, the senses and the Mind form the ego, that they are dangerous, etc. There is something funny going on here and I am very confused. Can you be more clear about what you are trying to say?” A valid point and that is precisely what we wish to address today.

Let us get back to the category of answers that one would get, and consider what we would call Category 2. In response to the question “Who am I?”, the answer in Category 2 would be: “The human being is actually a composite of the body, the senses, the Mind and the Atma. This composite entity thinks it is the ego. This is a wrong choice or identification. The correct choice is for the human to say, ‘I identify myself with the Atma.’ So, the answer to the question who am I really is: ‘I AM THE ATMA.’ ”

So it all boils down to a matter of identification. The human can identify himself or herself with the ego/lower-self – that is choice one. Alternately, the human can identify herself/himself with the Atma/Higher-Self – that is choice number two. OK, there are these two choices for identification. What do they mean in practical terms? What has all this got to do with the enormous amount of violence that we see all around? That is the question we shall now turn to.

Trouble starts, sometimes in a big way, when a person identifies himself with the body. Such a person easily gets affected by the six deadly viruses lurking in the Mind – Lust/desire, anger, etc., which have been pointed out to us by Swami innumerable number of times. The senses then take over and get into the act and constantly take the person in the direction of worldly pleasures. The Mind gets corrupted, and soon the person is in the control of desires, jealousy, greed and so on. The Mind keeps on prompting: “Hey, you are born free. Why restrict yourself? Go out and have a ball!” When lust grips a person, there is trouble for sure. When greed and ambition rule a person, there is trouble for sure; and so on it goes. The problem is that the actions of an individual affect not only affect that person or those close to him but often also affect large segments of Society, if not the whole of it.

Take the case of a computer hacker, who creates a computer virus just “for kicks”. The virus may spread and affect millions of computers the world over. Thus, with Science and Technology in hand, the individual’s capacity to cause havoc on a large scale has now greatly increased. Let us now focus specifically on violence, physical violence that is. Here, one might perhaps distinguish two types: a) violence caused by the greed of some to make money, etc., and b) violence that is the result of poverty.

Let us start with the first category. We start with the gun. Everyone knows that guns kill people. Yet, there is a thriving gun industry that makes huge profits. It is simply not bothered that free availability of gun actively promotes a gun culture and thus violence. The gun industry is vigorously aided by lobbies that secures political patronage. And the movie industry aids the process for it does not bat an eyelid in the graphic portrayal of violence.

The most serious aspect of the gun industry is the huge export market it caters to. Take Africa for example. Everyone knows that there is widespread poverty in Africa , and that the continent has all kinds of problems , that need urgent solution. Yet, powerful commercial forces are busy marketing small arms, which in turn have promoted innumerable conflicts and even genocide. So Africa which ought to spend all the money it has for solving problems, ends up buying guns which add to the problem. The matter was taken up by a Committee of the UN. The Chairman of the Committee, an African, pleaded to the members from the rich countries: “Please for heaven’s sake, place an embargo on the sale of arms to Africa . These guns that you sell for profit are killing thousands and thousands of people.” His plea did not make any impact on the arms traders; all they were interested in was their market share.

That the arms industry can become excessively obsessed with sales and profits to the point of completely overlooking danger to humanity was foreseen by Gen. Eisenhower, when he retired as the President of USA. Now Eisenhower was the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II. He was a much-decorated military officer. Yet, quite contrary to the hawks that military officers usually are, Eisenhower, in an address that he delivered when he stepped down from office, said that humanity had to protect itself from the dangers of the Military-Industrial Complex or MIC as it was referred to in those days. It was a most perceptive warning with far-reaching implications. Unfortunately, what Eisenhower feared is precisely what happened later, with many countries making small arms an important item of export.

The point we are making is that the free availability of guns and various types of arms in the global market has made an enormous contribution to the killing of hundreds of thousands, if not millions every year. And this sale is promoted by the greed of the arms merchants. This is not to say that the rich alone are responsible for all the killing. Far from it. Poverty produces its own “reasons” for people to resort to violence, sometimes in the extreme. In the slums and the ghettos of the world, it is the poor who kill the poor; and yet, the asymmetry of wealth distribution is an important contributing factor to slum violence.

We do not wish to imply that violence and cruelty are a recent phenomenon. Far from it; they have come to man from the time he evolved from lower species. However, technology, communications, and extreme asymmetry of income now prevalent have vastly enhanced the scale of violence. It is time now to return to the starting point and link it all up.

A human being is Divine at the core but is shaped at the level of the senses and the Mind by the environment around him. If, for example, the external environment says a girl child is bad news, then people in that society try to get rid of the girl child before birth or immediately after birth. This makes two things clear. The first is that violence really starts in the Mind. The second is that it really starts with individuals, just as cancer starts with individual cells that start malfunctioning. Thus it is that violence has always been present in human society to varying extent. Having said that, we must also acknowledge that in today’s circumstances, violence has galloped and become a most horrifying phenomenon, largely due to the social climate prevailing.

Have things gone beyond the point of no return? Is there no hope for a return to sanity? There is, provided we take level 2 of individual identification seriously. Suppose each one of us says, seriously that is: “I am not the body, I am not the Mind; I am a Spark of Sathya Sai Baba at the core. Therefore, my actions should be similar to that of Swami, at least in spirit though not may be in quantity.” Suppose we make this identification seriously and start living our lives in this manner. It is not difficult to see that it would make a sea change in our individual lives. Equally important, this change would also have an impact in the environment immediately surrounding us, like our family, like our work place, etc. In other words, when individuals change their identification, there is definitely a multiplier effect.

Today, the population of the world is six billion plus. Just imagine if a mere one million people identify themselves in this manner and lead lives that are only 10 % Selfless as Swami is. What a change that can bring about in our society immediately! That really is the point we are trying to make.

Himsa and Ahimsa [non-violence] start really in individual Minds. One Hitler, for example, could eventually cause the death of over 20 millions in World War II. The Mind becomes prone to violence when in the grip of the internal enemies. One might be immensely clever but when it comes to selfishness, greed, anger, desire etc., logic almost invariably fails. As Krishna told Arjuna,

Dwelling with the Mind on sense objects develops attachment; attachment leads to desire, and desire breeds anger.

From anger arises delusion; delusion promotes confusion of the Mind; confusion generates loss of reason; and finally, loss of reason leads to complete ruin.

So you see, a person may be very clever in the worldly sense, but if he lacks discrimination, then he can become blinded to reason, cause havoc, and himself rush to ruin.

So the bottom line is, humans have two fundamental choices: 1) To submit to the senses and the Mind and identify themselves accordingly. 2) To submit to the Atma and identify themselves accordingly. If they prefer the former identification, then they would become a prey to the beast, if not become the beast themselves. On the other hand, if they make the second choice, they would emerge as the Beauty instead of as the Beast.

It is thus entirely within our power to be the Beauty or the Beast. Long ago Plato talked of Truth, Goodness and Beauty. Those three words have also often been referred to by Swami, who uses the more ancient Sanskrit terms, Sathyam, Sivam, Sundaram. If we follow Sathya, we would transform into Sundaram or Beauty. If we follow Asathya and all its companions, then we are sure to become the Beast. If the world is full of beasts, then it becomes a jungle. If the world is full of Beautiful people, it becomes Heaven. It is not God who is going to make this world into Heaven. He merely gives the recipe. It is we who have to do that. And whether that happens or not depends on which of the two identification options we prefer to make.

Jai Sai Ram. H2H Team

Is God Really Present In Everyone?

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

Is God Really Present In Everyone?

Loving Sai Ram and greetings from Prashanti Nilayam.

People often write to us and ask: “How can you say God is present in all? Surely God is NOT present in a murderer. If He were, then how come the man committed murder? There is something wrong somewhere in the assertion that God is present everywhere.” Today, we would like to offer some thoughts on this question.

The question posed is one that is frequently asked. Interestingly, the answer was given – tersely though – as far back as five thousand years ago, by Lord Krishna Himself. Krishna did not elaborate. Swami too has spoken about the Omnipresence of God, but unlike Krishna He has commented extensively on aspects of the Divinity latent in man and how it can be made to manifest. Unfortunately, few pay any attention to these great expositions of profound truth, which is one of the reasons why this question of God being present in evil men comes up again, and again.

Let us go back to the Bhagavad Gita. When Krishna first tells Arjuna that God is present in all, Arjuna is not quite able to understand and wants further explanation. That Krishna offers in the eighth chapter, using three key words – Adi Bhoutika, Adi Daivika, and Adhyatmika. In simple terms, these three words refer to the presence of God within each one of us at three levels, the gross, the subtle and the causal. Perhaps these words sound mysterious but don’t worry we shall try and explain what precisely they mean.

Let us start with the presence of God within us at the gross level. What does this mean? Simply this: Our bodies are all made up of atoms and the power of God is unquestionably present in every single atom. By the way, please do take a minute off to appreciate that the atoms in the body are not there “permanently”. Atoms are all the time coming in and atoms are all the time going out. Let us say we walk bare feet; as we do so, millions of cells get removed from the foot due to friction, and in that process out go billions of atoms. When we breathe in, atoms get in, and when we breathe out, atoms go out. Similarly, atoms go in when we eat and atoms go out with sweat, excreta, etc. In short, there is a constant and dynamic traffic of atoms in every living body.

OK, accepted but what has all this got to do with the presence of God within? Simply this: We all know that there is power within the atom. This power is enormous, especially if we look within the nucleus of the atom. How do we know? Via Hiroshima and Nagasaki. You know something? These cities were each destroyed by the release of the energy contained in just about five grams or so of matter – yes just five grams or so of fissile material, Uranium in the case of Hiroshima and Plutonium in the case of Nagasaki . Imagine that! Apply the famous formula E = mc2 to five grams of atoms and you can enough energy to wipe out a big city. Supposing this formula is applied to say seventy kg, which is the weight of a moderately-built person. You get an energy equivalent of 70 x 200 or 14,000 Hiroshima bombs! In other words, if all the atoms in the body of a person weighing 70 kg were to be converted into energy according to Einstein’s famous formula, it would mean a release of energy equivalent to that of 14,000 Hiroshima bombs! Mercifully, it is not easy to release such energy, and we have to be thankful to God for packing it all very safely inside, but let us remember after this calculation how much of mass-energy each one of us packs in! Whether we like it or not, whether we believe in God or not, this mass energy is present in not only every living being but also in every inanimate being. Just to amuse yourself, try and figure out the mass energy of the earth! It would be astronomical; and yet we routinely dig this earth, tear it apart to build skyscrapers and what have you. It is lucky for us that the earth bears it all patiently and does not release even a tiny fraction of the energy packed within it. That is God’s Grace!

We hope we have been able to convey the important truth that God is present at the gross level in all of us as the energy of the atoms that make up the body. Even the body of the murderer is made up of the same atoms as are present in the bodies of saints. Thus, at the gross level at least, the presence of God in all, including a murderer cannot be questioned. In fact, the murderer may weigh more than a saint, in which case his latent atomic energy would be more!

All the above is an amplification of the word Adi Bhoutika, used by Krishna to describe the presence of God within us, at the so-called gross level. He is immanent and therefore not easily recognised, but that does not mean He is absent. Let us now move on to the next level, that is the subtle. As already mentioned, Krishna uses the word Adi Daivika to describe the presence of God at this level. Now what exactly does this word mean?

Consider any living person. What do we mean by saying a person is alive? If a doctor is examining a patient who is on the deathbed and is about to die, he watches carefully for vital signs, sometimes simply by feeling the pulse, sometimes using the stethoscope and sometimes using more complex electronic monitors. Whatever the method, he looks for signatures of life such as breathing, blood circulation, etc. Now the ancients of India said that life is sustained by some vital forces that control breathing, circulation, response of the nervous system, etc. They then argued that these vital forces or Praanas as they called them, are all controlled by certain deities. What Krishna told Arjuna was that it was not really deities who were managing the vital forces within but He, the Lord. Remember the Gita sloka that begins with the word Aham Vaishvaanaro Bhutva…, that we chant before meals? Through that sloka, Krishna asserts that He is the vital force presiding over the process of digestion. In fact, He is the vital force that controls blood circulation, nerve conduction, respiration and what have you, a fact that is echoed again and again in various ways in the Vedas. Now you will surely agree that these vital forces operate even in a murderer; if they did not, he would be dead. So, whether we like it or not, we have to concede that God is present even in a murderer at the so-called subtle level. That makes it two of three. What about the third level? That is what we shall consider next, and it would turn out that it is at this level that one does see a difference between a murderer and a saint.

Krishna tells Arjuna:

“My dear fellow, besides the gross and the subtle levels, I am also present as the spiritual force in the Heart of every person. Whether you like it or not, every person has not only a physical heart but also a spiritual Heart. The spiritual Heart is where I reside, and I do so in every person. I make Myself present in everyone so that whenever anyone wants Me, I am available immediately. Remember Draupadhi? When she called out to Me by crying, ‘Oh God the Resident of my Heart, why don’t You help me?’ I responded instantly. So this is the first point you have to understand. I am present in all, without any exception, including in a murderer. Now comes the question: ‘In that case, why do people commit murder? How can they do so, when God is within? And why does not the God within prevent the murder?’ Well, you see, just because I am inside, it does not mean that people always listen to what I have to say. Sometimes, they simply lock Me up inside and do not allow Me to manifest Myself. I don’t push Myself or throw My weight around. I just say, ‘I am here and you can take My help anytime you want. If you want Me, then I am ready to help.’ I am sure you have noted that right now I am helping you because you asked Me for it. But if a person does not want to use My services, then I am happy to sit inside and just watch. I have given every person the option to call for Me or to ignore Me. If the person calls, I respond; if there is no call, I do not. I just take it easy and watch as a witness, that’s all!”

We agree that Krishna does not quite put it this way in the Gita, but if you read Swami’s Discourses carefully, you would discover that this is effectively what God tells man. So what does it all boil down to? Simply this: God is present within us even at the spiritual level but unless we allow that spiritual force to manifest, our actions would be tainted and even evil. Let us put it this way: God is present at three levels, with each level having a switch. The switch for level 1 is put on by God Himself and we do not have any role to play. The same is true for level 2; when we are born, God puts on the switch. As for level 3, God has left the job of putting on the switch to us. The switch is there in everyone including a murderer; however, the murderer does not put it on, while the saint does; that is what makes the difference between a murderer and a saint.

Incidentally, this also makes it easy for us to understand how a notorious criminal named Ratnakaara became Saint Valmiki and wrote the Ramayana. Initially the third and crucial switch was off but when Ratnakaara met the seven sages and heard their advice, he flicked the third switch to the ON position. That is how he became a saint. Barely five hundred years ago, the same thing happened to a stingy miser and pawnbroker named Narayana Shetty. But one day due to some powerful incidents, he put on the switch; overnight he became Saint Purandaradasa, who, incidentally, is also the founder of Carnatic system of Indian classical music.

So the bottom line is this: God is present at three levels as explained above. The switch that makes Him present at level 1 and level 2 are put on by God Himself. However, the switch for level 3 is not put on by God. He leaves that job to man. If man flicks that switch, then God manifests in that person via qualities like love, compassion, forbearance etc. If man does not bother to put on that switch, then God does not certainly manifest in the actions of the concerned person. In other words, God is present but only partially shall we say? In short, we cannot simply say that God is not present in a murderer.

Let us leave the murderer and for a minute consider a person who is very corrupt. If we accept the argument that God is not present in a murderer, then we can jolly well ask: “Is God present in a corrupt politician? Is He present in a crooked businessman,” and so on. If we started doing that, then pretty soon we would have to rule out the presence of God in practically all of us! Fortunately, that is not the way it is. God is the resident of all Hearts but His manifestation is a different matter. The purer a person is the greater is His manifestation through virtues, goodness of action etc.

Now some might ask: “Why on earth did God do this? Why could He not have flicked the third switch also?” Well, we cannot answer that question! God is the One who created this Universe and living beings, and He alone can answer that question. But this much we can say: Life is a game. Every game, be it baseball, cricket, golf, or soccer or whatever, has its own rules, and when one plays the game, one must follow the rules. If there is a violation, it is declared a foul, and in soccer, one gets yellow and red cards! In the same way, we have to play the game of life according to God’s rule and we have no choice!

Perhaps you are not happy about that, but we hope that you would at least agree that God is present even in a murderer, though He may not manifest in terms of virtues and humanness.

Jai Sai Ram.

With Love and Regards,
“Heart2Heart” Team

Sathya Sai Baba Inspires Love

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba Inspires Love

Do not restrict your service within certain limits. Be alert to the call everywhere, at all times; be ready with a smile, a kind word, a useful suggestion, some knowledgeable care, a pleasant reply. Look for chances to relieve, rescue or resuscitate. Train yourselves so that you may render help quickly and well. Service is the most rewarding form of spiritual discipline, the most satisfying and the most pleasurable. It springs out of love, and it scatters love in profusion. Plant a seed on stone with love, and the seed will discover love inside the stone and draw sustenance therefrom. – Divine Discourse, 18th May 1969

Love is Selflessness. – Sathya Sai Baba

Loving Sai Ram and greetings from Prashanti Nilayam.

Swami says that His Love is present everywhere and that life without Love is impossible. We all nod our heads when we hear this but do we spend even one moment to reflect on what exactly Swami means?

Let us start with a newborn baby and compare it with, say, a newborn calf. The calf may be an infant but almost immediately after it is born, it manages to struggle to its feet and drink milk from its mother. The human baby, on the other hand, has to be picked up by the mother and fed; if the mother fails to do this, then the baby has to starve. One might ask what has all this got to do with Divine Love? Everything. God it is who gives the gift of life; and amongst all living beings, human life is the most precious, as Baba reminds us ever so often. And human life gets off to a start with a wonderful taste of Divine Love. How? Well, it is like this: Divine Love is present in everything in Creation, and this includes every insect, bird and animal. Thus it is, for example, the tigress protects fiercely its cubs.

And, as Shirdi Baba reminds us, little tortoises feel highly reassured by the mere glance of the mother tortoise. But in the case of humans, Divine Love works at a much higher level. For months when the baby is in the womb, the mother thinks fondly about the baby to be born. When the child makes its appearance, the mother takes care ever so sweetly throughout the childhood period, and in so many ways too.

Swami says that while we might think all this to be natural, what is really happening is that that the Divine Love embedded in the mother is resonating with the Divine Love embedded in the child. Remember what Baba tells us about Creation? He says, ‘I separated Myself from Myself so that I could love Myself.’ What precisely does this mean? It means that God is latent in the diversity found in Creation. It is to stress this that Swami often quotes the Gita where Krishna declares that He is the Atma and this Atma is present everywhere, including in all beings, human or otherwise. Thus, the love a mother shows for her child is Divine Love at play that is to say it is a case of ‘Myself loving Myself’, as Swami puts it.

Innumerable are the ways in which God promotes such love. While the love feast between a mother and child is associated entirely with happy circumstances, there are occasions when tragedy triggers Divine Love into glorious action.

Some years ago, a musician in England contracted flu and unfortunately for him, the flu virus caused some brain damage. As a result, this man lost a good bit of his memory. For example, he did not remember who he was. His wife, who used to be with him in the hospital, was frustrated. But then one day when the friends of this musician came to visit him in the hospital, he spontaneously began to conduct them, as if they were an orchestra. The wife was puzzled and asked the doctor how he could remember music but not what was happening currently. The doctor said that music was in a part of the brain that had escaped damage, whereas the part that had been infected leading to partial loss of memory was different.

One fine day this man was discharged and went home with his wife. For her, it was an agonising period. The man did not even know how to dress. He would sit in front of the piano and play pieces he had learnt a long time ago but when he turned the stool to face her, he would not even remember that a moment ago he was playing music.

For months the woman stayed with him and nursed him as best as she could, but it was proving to be a huge strain. She then arranged for this man to be in a home for the disabled and went off to America. Her aim was to divorce this man, forget him and start a new life. She stayed separated for several months; she was physically free but mentally tormented. All the time she worried: ‘How is he getting along?’ She then decided to come back because love dragged her, she said. It was back to a tough life and called for plenty of sacrifice but she did not mind. She said that she realised that true love meant sacrifice.

From England, let us move to America. A young man lies there, totally paralysed by an injury he suffered while on military duty in Iraq. He is 23 but absolutely helpless, more than a newborn baby; he cannot even turn in the bed. His mother has left her job so that she could attend to her son 24 hours a day. The father too is there to help as much as he can, even as he struggles to earn more to pay for the unanticipated expenses.

Recently, this young man was able to move his facial muscles just a bit and to the parents that looked like a smile. How thrilled they were! Yes, there are millions of people all over the world who are taking care of mentally retarded children, spastics, polio victims, people paralysed by accidents and so on.

For every one of them, life is a perpetual and harrowing struggle; yet, they all do not mind the struggle because it enables their loved ones to live. Few of us understand the intimate connection between true love and sacrifice. We all talk enthusiastically about Swami’s Love; yet, how many of us know about the sacrifice that Swami is making? Just consider. From 20th October 1940 when Swami dedicated Himself to the service of mankind, has Swami taken one day off in 65 long years, one single day? Has He had a single day of vacation? Remember on Sports Day in 1999, He took upon Himself a grievous injury to save boys who were doing a stunt from disaster? If all that is not sacrifice then what exactly is it? Yes, whether we like it or not,

Pure Love and Sacrifice always go together. Love without sacrifice is meaningless while Sacrifice without Love is impossible.

Think about it! Jai Sai Ram.

With Love and Regards,

Non Violence And Truth: Sai Baba’s Core Values

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

Non Violence And Truth: Sai Baba’s Core Values
Sai Baba’s birthday tomorrow:

November 23rd is the birthday of our beloved Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, who was born in the village of Puttaparthi in the State of Andhra Pradesh, in India. Bhagavan has given innumerable discourses on spiritual topics, to His devotees, irrespective of caste, creed or religion. It is well worth to know what He had said about Human values. In His discourse Swami had said:

“Sai educational institutions are based on equal respect for all religions. They are wedded to unity and harmony.”

A society without values will cease to be human. The more human values are cherished, the better will be the growth of society, the nation, and the world. We cannot rest content with an educational system which is confined to academic achievement.

Human Virtues
It has to promote simultaneously human virtues. The main problem of our education is how to adapt the spiritual and cultural traditions that we have inherited from the past to the needs of daily life today.

The relationship between the individual and society has to be rightly understood. Why should the individual serve others? What claims has society on the individual? When we examine these issues, we realize that the individual can find fulfilment only in society. Born in society, growing up in society, living in society, man ends his life in society.

Society may be viewed as a many petalled flower. Every individual is like a petal. All the petals together make for the beauty of the flower. Without the petals there will be no flower. Likewise every individual is a petal making up the flower of society. Each one should manifest the glory of the Divine. Society may also be compared to a four-wheeled chariot. The four wheels are:Unity, Control, Knowledge, and Power.

Human Qualities
How are human qualities to be promoted in society? Living amidst fellow human beings, man has to sow the seeds of love, rear the plants of harmony, and offer the fruits of peace to society. Thereby his humanness is manifested. In the language of Vedanta, non-violence, truth, non-stealing, celibacy, and non-acquisitiveness, are the five human values to be cultivated.

Non-violence does not mean causing harm to others. It really means that one should not cause harm to any one in thought, word, or deed. Only when this is developed, one can experience Truth. Truth does not change with time. It must be spoken with complete purity of mind, speech and body.

Non-stealing means the thought of taking another’s property should not arise in the mind. Nor should one tell others to commit theft. The fourth is celibacy (Brahmacharya). This means what ever one thinks or says or does should be filled with thoughts of God (Brahman).

All thoughts, words, and deeds should be dedicated to the Divine. The Ego arises from the Atma. The thoughts are produced by the ego and give rise to speech. Hence all actions are based on the Atma. When all these (thoughts, desires, and speech) are sanctified by dedication to God, the consciousness of oneness with Brahman (God) ensues.

The next human value, non-acquisitiveness, means performing actions without expecting any reward or acquisitive motives and done in selfless spirit.

Insatiable Desires
Today man is afflicted with insatiable desires, unlike the birds and animals which have no desire to hoard or to exploit others. Man forgets his natural human qualities and behaves worse than animals. When these tendencies are given up, the inherent divinity in man will manifest itself.

Human virtues cannot be nourished by study of books or got readymade from teachers. They have to be cultivated by each person. The world sorely needs today human values. Without developing devotion to God no human quality can grow. The first requisite is faith in God. Only with this basic faith can one develop one’s human personality.

The Vedas declare “Speak the truth; adhere to Dharma and right conduct”. In practising Dharma, there should be no secret desires. Actions performed with such secret motives result in bondage.

A righteous life leads to peace. Love is to be experienced in the depths of peace. Where love prevails, there is no room for doing harm or violence to others. All these basic values have to be demonstrated in action and not limited to preaching.

The world cannot be changed by mere preaching. Only through action and practical example can the impulse for change be intensified. Only when human values are practised by teachers and elders, will students practice them. Educationists must note this fact. If transformation is to be effected in students, the process must start from a very early age.

To propagate human values, it is advisable to keep as far away as possible from the powers that be. It is not possible to promote sacred values through the help of governmental authorities.

It is essential to be self-relient and stand on out own legs. Educational institutions must promote the spiritual outlook among students. When students acquire spiritual values, human values will grow in them, of their own accord.

Human values are in every one. What we need are persons who will provide the stimulus and the encouragement to bring them out.

If the feeling that the divinity that is present in everyone is one and the same, is promoted among all, human values will sprout naturally in every person. Students should not allow success or failure to ruffle their minds unduly. Courage and self – confidence must be instilled in the students.

There should be equal respect for all faiths and beliefs. There should be no hatred towards any faith. Other creeds and beliefs should not be condemned or derided. What ever studies you may pursue, do not give up your faith in God. To give up God is to give up life itself. Life is God. Truth is God. All that you do as an offering to God will be an expression of human values.

If faith in God is strengthened, all values will develop in due course. Sublimate your lives by remembering, worshipping and adoring God.

Sai Ram!