GUIDE TO

INDIAN CULTURE

AND

SPIRITUALITY

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Based on The Divine Teachings of

BHAGAWAN SRI SRI SRI SATHYA SAI BABA

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By

Smt. KAUSALYARANI RAGHAVAN

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7TH EDITION - 1997


й Sri Sathya Sai Books & Publications Trust Prasanthi Nilayam
All Rights reserved
I. The Sacred Texts of Hinduism
II. The Systems of Indian Philosophy
III. Bhagawan Baba's Divine Teachings about Spirituality and Indian Culture
IV. The Various Great Religions of the World and their Unity
V. Alphabetical Representations
VI. Numerical Representations
VII. 108 Moral Maxims


AUM SRI SATHYA SAI BABAYA NAMAHA

"Aum Guru Brahma Guru Vishnu,
Guru Devo Maheswaraha
Guru Sakshath Param Brahma,
Thasmai Sri Gurve Namaha"

Pranams to the Lotus Feet of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, who is the Loka Guru and God manifested in human form out of His mercy to save humanity and shower His blessings and Prema. He is the motivator and we are all only tools in His Divine Hand. By His blessings and mercy, I have been able to write this book intended mainly for Sri Sathya Sai Balvikas students and also for those who are interested in knowing something about Indian culture and spirituality.

Just as in Ramayana, a squirrel with a deep desire to help Lord Rama in His mission of building a bridge across the ocean to reach Lanka, rolled in the dust and then shed the little dust accumulated on its body, near the sea-shore, where Sri Rama and the Vanaras were constructing the bridge, I too with a deep desire to help Sai mission, with my limited ability have written this book with the grace and blessings of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Bhagawan gave me the rare privilege of attending except one all summer courses which He conducted at Whitefield, Bangalore (years 1972 onwards upto 1979). I have summarised what I learnt there. The first 108 questions and answers are for beginners or say Primary or Junior students and the rest contains high Philosophy and Bhagawan's Divine Teaching for the welfare of the whole humanity. The small squirrel received the praise and patting from the Divine Hand and won the Lord's grace. Similarly if I can also please the Lord by this little act and receive His grace, and blessings I will be greatly blessed.

We make a garland out of the beautiful and fragrant flowers created by God and offer it to Him as our own offering out of Prema. Similarly, I offer this book which contains the teaching of Bhagawan Baba which He Himself has taught, as a garland at the Lotus Feet of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba out of my Prema.

Asatho ma Sath Gamaya
Thamaso ma Jyothir Gamaya
Mrithyo ma Amritham Gamaya

Prostrating to the Lotus Feet of Bhagawan Sri Sri Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
Smt. KAUSALYA RANI RAGHAVAN
а
Address:
Smt. Kausalya Rani Raghavan, B.Sc.,
w/o Mr. P. Srinivasa Raghavan, B.A., B.L., CIIB.
d/o Smt. Kamala Rajagopalan,
S.B. 10, Prasanthi Nilayam,
Puttaparthy, Ananthapur Dist. A.P.,


I. THE SACRED TEXTS OF HINDUISM

1. What is the name of our country?

The name of our country is Bharath.

2. Why is our country called Bharath?

Our country is called Bharath because the people in this land have attachment toward Bhagawan. "Bha" means Bhagawan and "Rathi" means attachment. This is the Spiritual meaning of the term "Bharath".

3. Name two great epics of our country.

The two great epics of our country are the Ramayana and the Mahabharatha. Ramayana is the story of Lord Rama, The Maha Bharatha is the story of Lord Krishna.

4. Who wrote them?

The great sage Valmiki wrote Ramayana. The great sage Vyasa wrote Maha Bharatha.

5. What is "Veda"? Define it.

By definition Vedas mean "Knowledge about everything." This word has come from the root "Vith" which means knowledge. God has given us in His grace these Vedas in order to enable us to know about this world, to understand the significance of human birth and also to understand the spirit of the divine. So Veda means God's words.

6. How did Veda originate?

God has given 'Veda'. This is like the very breath of God Himself. The Sacred 'Rishis' the Seers of this country when they performed penance and made inquiries into God's Nature, perceived Veda through various divine sounds that reached them. For such a thing like what is found by hearing Divine Sounds, there is no other Pramana or authority. So Vedas are God's words and 'Swara' or 'Vani' or the sound is the origin of Veda. The 'Akshara' "AUM" is the origin for Veda and Creation.

7. Why are Vedas called "Sruti"?

'Sruti' means a note of sound. These Vedas are the products solely of hearing by seers of the various Divine sounds. Because they are received through the act of hearing, Vedas are called "Srutis".

8. How many Vedas are there? Name them.

At the time when they first came out there were an endless number of Vedas but now after the lapse of centuries there are only four different Vedas -
(1) Rig Veda
(2) Yajur Veda
(3) Sama Veda and
(4) Atharvana Veda.

9. What is Rig Veda?

Rig Veda contains small stanzas or Mantras and hence the name Rig. In addition Rig Veda gives important statements like "Sathyam Vada" - (Speak the Truth), "Dharmam Chara" - (act in a righteous manner). It also contains various rituals and procedures which are intended to help in keeping the society intact.

10. What is Yajur Veda?

This Veda helps to fulfil our duties and tells how to conduct ourselves in addition to looking after the society.

11. What is Sama Veda?

The words of Sama Veda are set to music while the text gives the essence of Rig and Yajur Vedas.

12. What is Atharvana Veda?

This Veda tells us how man should take care of his children, family, elders and live happily. It also teaches special disciplines and curative techniques.

13. Why is Veda called "Nitya" and "Apourusheya"?

Veda is 'Nitya' because it is permanent. Veda is 'Apourusheya' because it is not created by man. Its origin is divine. It is the very breath of God Himself.

14. What are the four Divisions of Vedas?

They are -
1. Samhita or collection of Mantras in praise of God.
2. Brahmanas - Detailed instructions about rites and ceremonies.
3. Aranyakas - enquiries about the highest truth.
4. Upanishad - Philosophical treatises which form the basis of the great systems of Indian philosophy.

15. How has Vedic learning been preserved?

Vedic learning has been preserved through the tradition of transmission from the teachers to the taught by word of mouth. Hence it is called "Srutis".

16. Who is a "Mantra-Drashta"?

The Rishis who received the vedic truth and vision of mantras by sight directly from the Supreme Being, i.e., God, are called "Mantra Drashta"

17. Who is called a "Brahmavadini"?

The women seers who had the vision of Mantras and Vedic truth are called Brahmavadini.

18. How many had the vision of Vedic Mantras?

300 persons are reported to have had the vision of Vedic Mantra.

19. How many women seers were there in all?

There were 32 women seers.

20. Name some of the "Brahmavadinis"?

Upanishads speak of the following women sages in particular:
1. Vagambhrani
2. Sarparajni
3. Uma Haimavathi
4. Maitreyi (Wife of Yagnavalkya)
5. Gargi (Seer at the court of Janaka).

21. What is Vedantha?

Literally it means the end of the Veda; it comprises the system of philosophy underlying the Upanishads. Upanishads constitute the essence of the Vedas and therefore are called "Sruthi Siras", the head of the "Sruthi". It is desired to lead man to the one science, one wisdom which sees oneself as real and all else as unreal.

22. How many Mantras and Suktas are there in the Veda? Based on the Vedas what are the other lores from which we benefit?

The Veda contains 10,581 Mantras and 1,000 Suktas. The (1) Ayur veda, (2) Dhanur veda, (3) Gandarva veda, (4) Natya veda, these spring up from the Veda. What is not found in the veda cannot be found anywhere else.

23. How many Upanishads are there?

There are 108 Upanishads at present which are well-known. Originally there were 1,180 Upanishads.

24. Name the ten well-known Upanishads.

1. Isavasya Upanishad.
2. Kena Upanishad.
3. Kathopanishad.
4. Mandukya Upanishad.
5. Taitriya Upanishad.
6. Prashnopanishad.
7. Chandogya Upanishad.
8. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad.
9. Mundaka Upanishad.
10. Aithareya Upanishad.

25. What is the meaning of the word "Upanishad"?

1. That which leads us to the knowledge of Brahman.
2. That which dispels the fear of Samsara.
3. That which destroys sorrow.
4. That which the preceptor teaches the pupil who is sitting near and below him.
The Upanishad embody the secret of Veda.

26. Who translated Upanishads into Persian?

Jagannatha Panditaraja taught Upanishads to Prince Darashikon, Emperor Shahjahan's son. Dara translated the Upanishads into Persian. Translation of Upanishads are found in Latin, English, German and most other languages.

27. What is the language of the Vedas?

The language of the Veda is Sanskrit.

28. The Upanishadic tales impart what knowledge?

The Upanishadic tales the knowledge of Brahmavidya.

29. What is "Upasana"?

Taking of diksha (Spiritual resolve) and doing sadhana with Guru's guidance to ultimately attain divine power is called Upasana.

30. How many types of Dikshas are there?

There are 32 types of Dikshas.

31. What are the important steps in Upasana?

Anunyasa, that is carrying on Japa and feeling the presence of the Divine in one's body are the important steps in Upasana.

32. Who is called 'Adikavi' or first poet in Sanskrit Literature?

The great poet Valmiki, the author of Sreemad Ramayana, is considered to be the Adikavi or first poet in Sanskrit Literature.

33. Why is Valmiki considered to be Adikavi of Sanskrit literature?

Valmiki is considered to be the Adikavi (First Poet) of Sanskrit literature because he is the author of the great epic Sreemad Ramayana which is full of moral grandeur and sublime poetry. The Vedic Hymns and Upanishads are earlier to Ramayana but they cannot be easily understood by the common man because they are in "vedic" Sanskrit. But Valmiki wrote his Ramayana in "Loukik" Sanskrit which is easily understandable by the common man. Yet it has a charm and dignity of its own. It is sweet and sublime in its very simplicity.

34. What is the basis of "Ramayana"?

Gayathri Mantra is the basis of Ramayana. It is incorporated in the Ramayana.

35. Which is the longest poem in the world's literature?

The Mahabharatha is the longest poem in the world's literature and it contains 18 parvas or cantos. This epic contains many upakhyanas and episodes.

36. Which is called the "Panchama Veda"?

The great epic Mahabharatha is called the Panchama Veda i.e., the Fifth Veda.

37. What is Bhagavad Gita?

Bhagavad Gita forms part of the Mahabharatha. It is the most precious of the gems of Hindu scriptures. It contains the essence of Vedantha philosophy in the form of the teachings of Lord Krishna Himself to Arjuna on the battle field of Kurukshetra. It is taken as the teaching of Lord Himself to the whole Universe. In the word Gita "Gi" stands for sacrifice and "Ta" indicates spirituality. So Gita teaches us both sacrifice and the real nature of the soul.

38. How many 'Chapters' are there in the sacred book 'Bhagavad Gita'?

There are (18) eighteen Chapters in Bhagavad Gita.

39. How many 'Kandas' are there in Bhagavad Gita? Name them.

The first six Chapters form Karma Kanda. The second six Chapters form Bhakti Kanda and the last six Chapters form Gnana Kanda. Thus there are three Kandas in Bhagavad Gita emphasising ritual, wisdom, devotion and self surrender.

40. What is the highest form of Bhakthi, taught in Bhagavad Gita?

The highest form of Bhakthi or Prapatti is to give up everything in self-surrender to God. "Nishkama karma" or Karma Phala Thyaga is considered the highest form of Bhakthi.

41. What is Nishkama Karma or Karma Phala Thyaga?

'Nishkama Karma' is doing any action with full self-surrender to God without aspiring for anything of his own that is having no selfish desire for the result of the action.

"Karmaphala Thyaga" means surrendering the results of any action undertaken to God.

42. What are Puranas?

Puranas are stories relating to God's and their dealings with men. The purpose of Puranas is to expand and propagate the meaning and content of the Vedas.

43. When were Puranas written?

Puranas were written after the Vedas but although Puranas are not older than Veda the stories might have been prior to the Vedas.

44. How many Puranas are there?

There are (18) eighteen Puranas and 18 Upapuranas and another 18 Upa Upapuranas.

45. Name the important major Puranas.

1. Brahma Puranam.
2. Padma Puranam
3. Vishnu Puranam.
4. Siva Puranam.
5. Bhagavatha Puranam.
6. Naradha Puranam.
7. Markandeya Puranam.
8. Agni Puranam.
9. Bhavishya Puranam.
10. Brahma Vaivartha Puranam.
11. Linga Puranam.
12. Varaha Puranam.
13. Skantha Puranam.
14. Vamana Puranam.
15. Koorma Puranam.
16. Machya Puranam.
17. Garuda Puranam.
18. Brahmanda Puranam.

46. What are the five characteristics of the Puranas?

The five characteristics of the Puranas are
1. Sarga (Creation)
2. Prati Sarga (Reabsorption).
3. Vamsa (Genealogy).
4. Manvantaras (Period of a Manu).
5. Vamsamcharita (History).

47. What do the Puranas actually contain?

They are really stories with a large element of the miraculous in them, showing the ultimate of power of the Godhead in His many manifestations and His divine mission of protecting Dharma and destroying Adharma.

48. What are the Upakyanas?

The Upakyanas in the various Puranas are source books for many poems written afterwards.

49. Why are Puranas important to our life?

Puranas are valuable historical records of our country. The Puranas kept Hindu religion alive among the masses by their narrative interest and the dramatic nature of their episodes.

50. What is Bhagavata?

It is one of the major Puranas. The various Manvantaras and the Avatars, the Lord took in them are described in this Purana. It narrates the stories of the incarnation of Lord Vishnu in short.

51. How many Avatars are mentioned in Maha Bhagavata?

Twenty-one Avatars are mentioned in Maha Bhagavata out of which ten are important.

52. What do these Avatars symbolise?

The various Avatars symbolised the gradual evolution of consciousness from the fish to the animal and then upwards to selfconscious man.

53. Why do Avatars take place?

God mahifests Himself in order to destroy evil and re-establish dharma. The universe has to be frequently cleansed and remade in order to be a worthy "Kshetra" of the Divine. So Avatars takes place.

54. Which Avatar is called the "Purna Avatara"?

Lord Krishna is called the "Purna Avatara". ("Purna" means "Full")

55. What kind of Bhakthi did the Gopis have towards Lord Krishna?

Gopis' Bhakthi is called Madhura Bhakthi. It is not mere ordinary love but the soul's deep longing for union with the Divine through the path of self-surrender and Prema.

56. What does the well-known "Bhramara Geeta" symbolise?

The well-known "Bhramara Geeta" symbolises perennial longing for Divine love, Example Gopis' Bhakthi. They cannot bear the separation of their Lord from them even for a moment. They poured out their yearnings to the Bhramara (bee) to be conveyed to their Lord Krishna.

57. What are the stories or Upakhyanas in the Bhagavata?

The Upakhayanas in the Bhaghavata are conveyed in the following stories. They are:
1. Daksha's Sacrifice,
2. The story of Dhruva,
3. The story of Ajameela,
4. Suyagnopakhyana and the story of the hunter and the Kulianga bird,
5. Gajendra Moksha,
6. The stories of Yayathi and Ranti, and
7. Chitraketu,
8. Bhagavata Speaks of Sriman Narayana Kavacha which protects men from all sin and sorrow.

58. What do we mean by "Yaga"?

Yagas are sacrifices performed in accordance with the Veda.

59. What is meaning of Yaga?

Yaga means the giving up of the material for the sake of the Divine. By so doing the inner power of man blossoms forth.

60. What kind of Yaga is of the highest order?

The Gita suggests many kind of sacrifices. The highest of all is Satya Yajna. God showers grace on those who perform yaga. If one who performs yaga has no selfish eye on its fruits, it will bring blessings to the world.

61. What is Yagna?

The end of Yaga is to bring out an efflorescences of the humanity in man and help the attainment of divinity is Yagna.

62. What does Yaga reveal?

Yaga reveals the Yagjneswara, the supreme Lord of the sacrifice. Though Yaga Gayatri Devi protects the world.

63. What is Yoga?

The union of Jiva and Atma is Yoga.

64. What are the different branches of Yoga?

There are several branches of Yogas like Hatha, Mantra Laya, Raja and Shabda.

65. Who wrote "Yoga Darshan"?

Patanjali wrote "Yoga Darshan".

66. How should Yoga be practised?

Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama and Pratyahara are the five external regulations to be practised. Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi are the internal disciplines. The process of yoga involves arresting of the mind from external objects. Some varittis or activities antagonistic to meditation must be arrested. They can be controlled by abhyasa (Practice) and Vairagya (detachment). Purification of the Nadis, i.e., nerve centres is also essential.

67. How has Mimamsa developed?

The Veda teaches the Dharma which is basic to four purusharthas (Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha). Mimamsa has developed in order to clarify Dharma; it is an enquiry into the nature of Dharma. It says Dharma is an instrument for gaining bliss in this world as well as in the next. Wisdom must accompany action.

68. Who wrote Mimamsa Sutra?

Jaimini wrote Mimamsa Sutra.

69. What is Poorva Mimamsa?

Poorva Mimamsa deals with the procedure for dispelling divergence and establishing unity.

70. What are the action prescribed by the Vedas?

Activities prescribed by the Vedas are three fold. They are Nitya, Kamya and Vishuddha - obligatory, purposive and pure.

71. What is Moksha?

"Moha Kshaya" is Moksha i.e. full detachment from worldly desires and considerations.

72. What are "Mahavakyas"?

Mahavakyas are the grand utterances of the Upanishads. They contain the essence of the Vedanta and the ultimate truth.

73. Write the Mahavakya of Rig Veda and its meaning.

The Mahavakya of Rig Veda is "Prajnanam Brahma". It means Divine consciousness is the Supreme Reality or Para Brahman.

74. What is the Mahavakya of "Yajur Veda"? Give its meaning.

The Mahavakya of Yajur Veda is "Aham Brahmasmi". The meaning of this is "I am Brahma". That is, that 'I' in everybody is Brahma.

75. What is the Mahavakya of Sama Veda? Explain its meaning.

The Mahavakya of Sama Veda says "Tatvamasi". Its meaning is "Thou art that".

76. What is the Mahavakya of "Atharvana Veda" and its meaning?

"Ayam Atma Brahma" is the Mahavakya of Atharva Veda and its meaning is "Atma is Brahma".

77. What are the three Mantras of Isvasya Upanishad? Explain in detail their meaning.

The essence of all the Upanishads are contained in the three Mantras of Isavasya Upanishad. The first Mantra says "Isavasyam Idam Sarvam Yat Kinchya Jagatyam Jagat". The meaning of this is everything in this world is enveloped by God. This teaches us that the highest happiness is got through Thyaga sacrificing for the sake of other's happiness. The second Mantra teaches us to work in the world and do the duties in the spirit of renunciation. The third Mantra says, one who sees God everywhere and in everything and within oneself will know no misery.

78. What is the meaning of "Kena Upanishad"? What does it emphasise in short?

"Kena" means "by what?" That is to say - by what power does everything in this universe move? The answer is "God" or "Brahman".

79. What is the story narrated in Kathopanishad?

Kathopanishad narrates the story of Nachiketas who asked Yama, the God of Death, only for Atma Vidya.

80. What is "Shreyes" and what is "Preyas"?

"Shreyas" means "the eternal good" and "Preyas" means the "pleasant". Nachiketas in Kathopanishad firmly believed that the "eternal good" is better than "pleasant" that is to say, he preferred "Shreyas" to "Preyas".

81. What does the term "Avashtha Traya Vichara" mean?

The Mandukya Upanishad consists of a detailed analysis of the nature of Atma and its manifestation in the "Omkara" or "Pranava". This analysis is known in the Upanishad as the "Avasthatraiya Vichara".

82. What are three states of experience commonly known by oneself?

The three states of experience in common life are - (1) Jagrat, (2) Swapna, and (3) Sushupti.

83. What is the meaning of the term "Jagrat"?

The term "Jagrat" means the state of awakening that is, all that happens during our wakeful period. In the Jagrat state the experiencer functions through both the mind and the five sense organs. We are therefore in immediate contact with the world around us, with persons and the qualities of external objects.

84. Explain the term "Viswa" and "Sthula Bhuk".

In the Jagrat or awakening stage, the individual is known as "Viswa" - that is, one who experiences concrete gross objects with continuous weight and dimension. This makes us enjoyers of gross entities and the individual is said to be a "Sthula Bhuk".

85. What is "Swapna state"? Explain it in detail.

"Swapna" state is the state of dreaming. In the Swapna state of dreaming, the sense organs cease to function. We have no contact with the objects of the external world, but in this stage, we have contact only with the subtle ideas and urges of the mind.

86. Explain the term "Tejasa" and "Pradiviktha Bhuk" mentioned in the Mandukya Upanishad.

The Swapna state is however as rich, real and concrete as the world of awakened experiences. In this dreaming stage the mind alone is active and so the experience is called "Tejasa". "Tejasa", means in Sanskrit "Light". So the mind in dream depends upon the light of the mind itself. It is a self-generating Atmic light which shows up subtle objects and the experience is called "Pradiviktha Bhuk".

87. Explain the state of "Sushupti" in detail.

The state of dreamless sleep or "Aswapna Nidra" is called "Sushupti". Here the mind together with the sense organs does not function. Only the Atma functions by witnessing this state of Ananda. So we say only Atma or Soul is omnipresent.

88. Explain the term "Prajna" and "Ananda Bhuk".

The experience of deep dreamless sleep is called "Prajna". But even though the mind and sense organs cease to function, the person continues to experience the state of Ananda and he is called Ananda Bhuk.

89. Whom did the Mandukya Upanishad refer as "Sakshi"?

The silent witness of the self, which impartially observes both the presence and the absence of external objects and which is present in all the three states of experience, namely Jagrat, Swapna and Sushupti, is called in the "Mandukya Upanishad" "Sakshi" or witness.

90. What is real and permanent?

While the mind and the sense organs vary and change in their work, the light of the Self remains constant and changeless. It is the reality, the "Sat", the Atman, and it is the only point of stillness, a passive lamp and an illuminator. Since all the other three states of experience are temporary and unreal, the Atman or the witnessing force within us known as "Sakshi" alone is real.

91. Who is known as "Vishwavirat"?

The objective Vishwa (experience of the worldly matter) corresponds objectively to the world of matter called "Virat" and so is known as "Vishwavirat." (Jagrat state).

92. Who is a "Taijasa Hiranya Garbha"?

The Taijasa corresponds to the mind of the world. The Hiranya Gharbha is known as the Taijasa Hiranya Garbha (Swapna state).

93. Whom does the "Prajna" individual correspond?

The "Prajna" individual (person in dreamless deep sleep state) corresponds to Iswara or God from whom he proceeds and to whom he must return.

94. What is Brahman?

Atman is Brahman. Finally the subjective Atman or "Turiya" corresponds to the Brahman in which the objective and subjective are fused.

95. What is the meaning of "Om Iti Ek Aksharam"?

The Aksharam "OM" is the Brahman itself and it contains the ultimate truth. It is present in all the three states of experience as Atman or Brahman. So it is eternal witness.

96. What truth does the Taitiriya Upanishad declare?

The Taitiriya Upanishad declares that in the being there are five sheaths which can be grouped into three bodies.

97. What are the five sheaths the Taitiriya Upanishad declares in a being?

The five sheaths are:
1. Annamaya Kosa,
2. Pranamaya Kosa,
3. Manomaya Kosa,
4. Vignana Maya Kosa,
5. Ananda Maya Kosa.

98. What is the "Stula Sharira"?

"Stula Sharira" refers to Annamaya Kosa, or belongs to the gross body which undergoes changes and dies a physical death.

99. What is "Sukshma Sharira"?

The Pranamaya Kosa (life giving vital force), the Mano Maya Kosa (mind or Manas) and Vignanamaya Kosa (wisdom) belong to one body are called Sukshma Sharira. Sukshma Sharira is the subtle body which constitutes the jiva character.

100. Where does the Atman or Brahman reside in a body?

The Atman or Brahman resides in the "Karana Sharira" or causal body, which is also the body of ignorance. It is so because it is not aware of itself. On account of this Advidya or "Karana" it is subject to rebirth.

101. What is "Atmavidya"?

Atma Vidya is knowledge or Vidya about Atman or Absolute Reality. It is only when the individual recognise the Self as his reality that he can be made absolute and free. It is also Brahma Vidya.

102. What do the terms "Purusha" and "Prakriti" mean?

The entire universe consists of two fundamental realities:

1. "Purusha" and

2. "Prakriti".

"Prakriti" is primordial matter, the stuff of the universe in short. "Purusha" is individual consciousness or intelligence in short.

103. How is the universe evolved?

The universe is evolved through the interaction of Purusha and Prakriti (ref.: Kapila's Sankhya Darshana).

104. What are the three Gunas or Qualities of Prakriti?

Prakriti or primordial matter has three gunas or qualities namely,
1. Satwa,
2. Rajas,
3. Tamas.

Satwa is the quality of light, Rajas is the quality of activity, and Tamas is the quality of inertia.

105. How was cosmic evolution set in motion in creation?

In the beginning the qualities of Prakriti, namely, Satwa, Rajas and Tamas are in equilibrium. When this pre-cosmic equilibrium is upset by the instrumentality of Purusha, cosmic evolution gets into motion.

"Mahat" and "Ahamkara" are the two evolutes during this "Parinama" or evolution.

106. What do "Mahat" and "Ahankara" mean?

"Mahat" can be described as Buddhi, the cosmic intellect or world mind.

"Ahamkara" evolves into Satvik Ahankara, Rajasic and Tamasic Ahankara depending on which guna predominates. Satvik Ahankara undergoes Psychic evolution resulting in the emergence and functioning of Manas or the mind, the five sensory organs and the five organs of action. Rajasic Ahankara evolves into the world of matter perceived by the five elements:

1. Sabta
2. Sparsha
3. Rupa
4. Rasa
5. Gandha

Meaning:

1. Hearing
2. Touch
3. Vision
4. Taste
5. Smell

These five subtle elements have their material counter parts viz:

1. The sky
2. The air
3. The fire
4. The water
5. The earth

107-a. What is the difference between mind and matter?

Mind is the subtle Prakriti, and matter is gross Prakriti.

107-b. What is the difference between Purusha and Prakriti?

Purusha is passive and Prakriti is active - Purusha is conscious intelligence; Prakriti is material activity.

Purusha can free itself from the bondage of Prakriti by Vivekakhyati or discrimination.

108. Who is the Real Purusha?

God or Brahman alone is the only real Purusha. What is clear, what is clean, what is indestructible and what is self-effulgent and shining is only one and that is the soul or Purusha.


II. THE SYSTEMS OF INDIAN PHILOSOPHY

109. What is the meaning of Dharshana?

'Dharshana' is the Supreme Vision seen by the inner eye.

110. What is the meaning of Asthikas and Nasthikas?

'Asthikas' are believers in the existence of God. They have faith in 'Karma' and rebirth.

Nasthikas are those who do not accept the existence of God. They do not believe in the existence of Heaven, Hell and rebirth.

111. How many systems of Philosophies are there in India?

There are six systems of Indian Philosophy (Darshanas). Advaitha Darshana and Dwaitha Darshana are the two categories into which all Darshanas fall. Under Dwaitha there are several Darshanas of Asthikas as well as Nasthika school.

112. Briefly explain the Philosophy of "Charvaka Darshana"?

The 'Charvaka' system of Philosophy does not accept the existence of God. It considers both body and soul as transient and perishable. It does not believe in Heaven and Hell. It accepts the goal of life as material enjoyment only. According to this philosophy the nature of things and chance are the cause for creation. They do not accept any entity apart from the body. For its followers consciousness is also a physical property of the body. They belong to Nastika school of thoughts and they do not have a concept of God.

113. Explain the 'Sankhya' system of Philosophy?

The Sankhyas believe that matter or 'Prakriti' and spirit or 'Purusha' co-exist. Creation and evolution proceed when 'Prakriti' comes into contact with 'Purusha'. The self consists of the combination of 'Chaitanya' and 'Anthakarana'. The system of evolution is scientific, but still they do not recognize God.

114. Explain the 'Yoga system' of ancient India.

In the Yoga system God is recognized because he is the 'Purusha' or 'Chetana'. Yoga is theistic (Asthika). In Yoga the basic discipline is proper control of mind. Patanjali describes Yoga aptly as "Chitta Vritthi Nirodhah". Purity of mind and body is the essential requisite with which a Yogi can meditate on God. To practise it a competent Guru is very necessary. God is accepted fully in Yoga. God is a being of the highest excellence and perfection.

115. Which is the main source to know about the Yoga system of Philosophy?

'Patanjali's Yoga Sutra' is the main source for the Yoga system of Philosophy.

116. How many Padas or parts are there in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras and what are they? Explain.

Patanjali's Yoga Sutra consists of four padas or parts:

(l) Samadhi Pada; (2) Sadhana Pada; (3) Vibhuti Pada; (4) Kaivalya Pada.

Samadhi Pada deals with pure consciousness. Sadhana Pada deals with the methods and techniques of Yoga. Vibhuti Pada deals with the awakening of spiritual powers. Kaivalya Pada is concerned with Moksha or spiritual liberation.

117. What are the Five Defects an individual possess as per 'Yoga Sutra'?

The individual has five defects:

(1) Avidya (ignorance), (2) Asmiti (egoism), (3) Raga (attachment), (4) Dvesha (disgust), (5) Abhinivesa (infinite aspiration to life).

118. Explain the term 'Astanga Yoga'.

The Yoga Sutra prescribes eight important steps in the practice of discipline for realising God. They are:

(1) Yama (Good conduct), (2) Niyama (Purity of thought) (3) Asana (Posture), (4) Pranayama (Breath control), (5) Prathyahara (Mind control), (6) Dharana (Single pointed concentration), (7) Dhyana (Uninterrupted contemplation on the object), (8) Samadhi (Dhyana without self-consciousness). These eight fold practices comprise Astanga Yoga. The first five are external aids and the last three are internal aids to Yoga.

119. How to practise the step called 'Yama' in the Yoga?

Yama consists of five practices, they are (1) Ahimsa (non-violence), (2) Sathya (Truth), (3) Astheya (non-stealing), (4) Brahmacharya (celibacy), and (5) Aparigraha (non-accepting of gifts).

120. What are the steps to practise 'Niyama' in Yoga?.

Niyama consists of five practices:

(1) Sacha (purity of body), (2) Santosha (happiness, contentment), (3) Tapas (penance), (4) Swadhyaya (studying), (5) Ishwara Pranidhana (surrender to God).

121. What is the most important aspect of Yoga?

'Chittavrithi Nirodha' is an important aspect of Yoga. Complete control of mind and senses and purity of mind and body are very important. The Yoga awakens the Kundalini 'Shakthi' that lies just behind the nerves and passes through the six centres of spirituality from Mooladhara to Ajna and reaches 'Sahasrara' or the thousand petalled lotus and enjoys the bliss or union with God.

122. Explain the teachings of Nyaya Vaiseshika systems of Philosophy?

The Nyaya and Vaiseshika systems are studied together because of their similarities in many respects. Both of them say that the self or Atman is a substance independent of body. It is eternal and allpervasive. Knowledge, will, joy, etc., are external properties of the self and not the self itself. The Nyaya Vaiseshikas believe in creation and not in evolution. The agent is Ishwara. Reason is the basis of the Nyaya and Vaiseshika systems of philosophy.

123. What are the four ways laid down by Nyaya Vaiseshika Darshana in order to gather knowledge?

Whether it is worldly or spiritual, there are four ways of gathering knowledge. There are:

(1) Direct experience; (2) Reasoning and inference; (3) Analogy; and (4) The Vedas.

124. Explain the Purva Mimamsa.

It is an inquiry into or interpretation of the mantras of the Vedas. It is based on the eternity of Sound, identified with Brahmam. The Purva Mimamsa differs in some important respects from Nyaya and Vaiseshika. To the Purva Mimamsa's believers the 'Self' is a substance but knowledge is not external to it. It is a mode or 'Kriya' of the Atma or Self. The self is neither completely inert (jada) nor Chaitanya.

125. What is Uttara Mimamsa and what does it contain?

The Uttara Mimamsa came afterwards and it contains Vedanta. It has developed into three schools of thought, namely, (1) Advaita; (2) Visishta Advaita; and (3) Dwaita.

126. What does the "Advaita Darshana" proclaim?

What is not two is Advaita, that is Brahman alone, is not two. Among the six Darshanas Advaita is the only system of philosophy which regards Atman and Paramatman as one and the same Supreme Reality. The Advaita is based on direct experience. According to Advaita, the seen world of senses is Mithya-that is, neither Sathya nor Asathya. It is illusory and the unseen Atman is the one and only reality. The Advaithins believe that the self is a combination of 'Shudha-Chaitanya' and the 'Antahkarana' which comprises the 'Budhi', the 'Manas' and 'Chitta' and the 'Ahankara'. Here the Chaitanya underlies both the objective and the subjective sides. The concept of the Pancha-Kosha and the three States of Experience, the waking, Dreaming and sleeping, the Sthula, Sukshma, and the Karana bodies are elaborated here. They consider Brahman as the combination of Shuddha chaitanya and Maya. Maya with its Power of 'Avarana' and 'Vikshepa' can project the universe. "Brahma Satyam and Jagath Mithya" says Advaita.

127. What are the three essential principles in Advaita Philosophy?

In Advaita Philosophy, there are three essential principles.

(1) The first principle says that Brahman alone is real; (2) The second says that the world is illusory; and (3) The third says that the soul is nothing else but Brahman.

128. Explain the Word 'Mithya'.

'Mithya' means illusion. Neither real nor unreal: Adi Sankaracharya says in his 'Advaitha' Philosophy that this world is 'Mithya'. By the term Reality, we mean that which is not subject to change and contradiction. This everchanging world cannot be accepted as real. At the same time it is not 'unreal' or empty. It is neither real nor unreal. Therefore it is indescribable. It is just an appearance such as is found in "Vivartha" or transfiguration.

129. Explain the term "Maya".

"Maya" is the cause for the perception of the world we see, in its many forms. Maya works with two powers, one which enables it to conceal the truth and the other to protect an illusory image. 'Maya' cannot delude Brahman; but it causes 'Avidya' (ignorance) in man.

130. What are the three levels of reality accepted in 'Advaita Darshana'?

Advaita accepts three levels of reality they are as follows:

(1) Brahman the highest reality, (2) Relative truth or Vyavaharika Satya, (3) Appearance or Pratibhasika Satya. These are only levels of Reality. Truth speaking Reality is only one that is Brahman.

131. What is the method of realising truth prescribed by 'Advaita'?

The method of realising truth as prescribed by 'Advaita' is 'Jnana'. No amount of action or prayer will help to dispel the ignorance. Karma (work) and Bakthi (Devotion) help to cleanse the mind. But only Jnana gives the realisation of Truth says the Advaita Philosophy.

132. What are the ways in which 'Jnana' can be acquired?

Jnana can be got in four ways:

(1) By the study of scriptures; (2) By reflecting upon what we study (Manana); (3) By contemplation; and (4) Lastly, by direct experience or vision.

133. What are the beliefs of 'Advaitins' about 'liberation'?

It is believed by the 'Advaitins' that 'Liberation' can be had either by sudden revelation in this life or by gradual development, doing good deeds and worship. They also speak of individual salvation and the salvation of all stating that unless every soul is liberated no soul is completely released. The soul has to reach the place from where it has come.

134. Who propagated 'Advaita' Philosophy?

The 'Advaita' Darsana drawing its essence from Vedas and Vedanta was systematised first by 'Goudapada' and then latter by Adi Shankara. Adi Shankara established and propagated Advaita or non-dual philosophy in this world.

135. What are the authorities for 'Advaita' Darshanam'?

They (1) Sruthi; (2) Yukti; and (3) Anubhava, are the three authorities which Advaita quotes for establishing its Philosophy. Shankara places 'Anubhava' or common experience at the top and regards Sruthis only as guides.

136. Explain 'Dwaita' Philosophy?

The Dwaitins believe in dualism. They believe that the self is different from the Brahman. This self is a prototype of Brahman but not identical. The Dwaita Philosophy is some what similar to Sankhya and Nyaya Vaiseshikas. To them 'Prakriti' is the material cause while Purusha is the 'Karta' or creator. They say 'Jiva' and Prakriti always exist and are always there, but they never become one.

137. Who propagated Dwaita Philosophy?

Sri Madhavacharya propounded 'Dwaita' Philosophy.

138. Who propagated Visistadvaita Philosophy? Explain Visistadvaita Philosophy.

Sri Ramanuja propagated Visistadvaita Philosophy. The Visistadvaita accepts the phenomena of appearance and illusion and says about 'Chit' and 'Achit' in the phenomena world. It states that both are true and valid. Visishtadvaita has also established the oneness of Jagat which is 'Jada' or inert and Jiva which is full of consciousness. Visistadvaita also says that Jada and Chaitanya, i.e., inertness and consciousness are the manifestations of the same principle of Divinity and therefore equally valid. Jagat the universe, Jiva the consciousness and Purusha the Supreme are not three separate entities but are the same from the ultimate point of view. Though the appearance may be different the unifying spirit is the same. For example, though the ornaments may be different gold is the same. Similarly the forms are different, but there is only one Purusha which is the unity in the diversity and multiplicity.

139. What are the two aspects present in illusion or Maya?

There are two aspects present in this illusion. The one is 'Parinama' or evolution and the other is 'Vivarta'.

140. Explain in detail the terms, 'Parinama' and 'Vivarta'.

'Vivarta' is the property which makes us think that there is a change though the substance remains the same, for example, sometimes we come across a rope and get deluded to imagine it as a serpent. The rope does not go, the serpent does not come. It is Vivarta or illusion. It is the quality which makes us forget the real thing and makes us impose upon that some other thing which is not there. It is the effect of Maya.

'Parinama' is the property of evolution or change, like milk turning into curd. If there is no milk there is no curd. Parinama is that which changes. Maya is present both in 'Parinama' and 'Vivarta'.

141. We are under the influence of 'Vivarta'. Explain this statement and say how?

Though we are Atma Swarupas, we forget the Supreme Reality and we live in 'Dehabhranti' or bodily illusion. We mistake our ephemeral existence to be the real existence. We are not afraid of the rope but afraid of the serpent. Similarly, we are not afraid of "Atma" but are afraid of the "life".

Though we are "Atma Swarupas" and should be free from fear, unfortunately we are lost in fear and illusion. This is the effect of "Vivarta". It is therefore correct to say that we live under the influence of "Vivarta".

142. "Advaita, Visishtadvaita and Dwaita". Though they are different systems of Philosophy there is an underlying unity in them. What is it?

Advaita, Visishtadvaita and Dwaita, though different as systems of Philosophy, all these three talk about the 'Atmatathva'. The 'Atmatathva' is the only permanent thing and it remains eternal and changeless. In Dwaitha, duality always remains. Visishtadvaita teaches us that there may be differences of Rupa and Nama, form and name, but the Purusha behind them is the same. They also accept the permanence of both jada and Chaitanya. Jada is as true as Chaitanya. Because we have one sided outlook we are not able to recognize the other side of the picture. When we are able to recognize both, then only will be able to realise the unity. We must attempt to reach unity through duality. If we want to attain Advaita stage, we have to pass first through Dwaita state.


III. BHAGAWAN BABA'S DIVINE TEACHINGS

ABOUT SPIRITUALITY AND INDIAN CULTURE

[During the first Summer Course Year 1972]

143. It is said that Jnana is Advaita Dharshanam. How?

'Advaita' can be compared to milk, 'Visistadvaita' can be compared to Butter and 'Dwaita' can be compared to Butter-milk. Butter and butter-milk are ultimately derived from milk. The milk is the unifying substance in all of them. Similarly both 'Dwaita' and 'Visishtadvaita' are derived from 'Advaita'. Therefore it is said wisdom is Advaita Dharshanam.

144. Explain the Statement 'Sathyam Jnanam Anantham Brahmam'.

Atmatatva which is 'Jnana' is permanent. Though we do not accept it, it still exists. It is above all experience of loss and gain; nothing can shake it. This Athmatathva is the embodiment of truth. It is also the embodiment of delight or 'Ananda Swarupa'. In Geetha Lord Krishna says to Arjuna "I who am the Iswara, you who are the jiva and this world which is Jagat-all the three have always been in existence at all times". These three - 'Jiva', 'Iswara' and 'Prakriti' have been existing at all times. They were there even before the creation and they will continue to be there. Though the physical bodies may be undergoing transformation this Atmatathva remains eternal and changeless. So this Brahma is that which is Truth (Sathyam), that which is Endless (Anantham) and that which is All-knowing (Jnanam). This Sathyam and this Jnanam - everything is Brahman.

145. What is the meaning of the word 'Brahma'?

The word Brahma is derived from the root "Brahvast" meaning that which does not change. It is called Brahmathatva, because it does not change and it is eternal.

146. How can one attain this 'Brahmathatva'?

We must adopt the theory of "Rasovai Saha" in order to attain this "Brahmathatva". The entire universe is born out of Rasa, God Himself being "Rasa Swarupa". That which is born out of "Rasa" cannot be "Nirasa" or devoid of Rasa.

147. How many categories of Rasa are there?

There are nine categories of Rasa called Navarasas according to Pandits classification.

But according to Swami Bhagawan Baba's view there is no need for Navarasa classification. Swami says there are only two Rasas. (1) Karuna Rasa, (2) Sringara Rasa. The conditions of Daya, Prema and Anugraha merge in Karuna Rasa.

The emotions of Kama, Krodha and Loba merge in Sringara Rasa. Sringara Rasa misleads us whereas Karuna Rasa lead us. Only through Karuna Rasa we can recognize our duty and reach the proximity of the Lord. That is real bliss and Karuna Rasa offers to us pure selfless love. Selfish love leads to Moha. But selfless love leads to Moksha that is Moha-kshaya (removal of Moha) or liberation.

148. What is responsible for all joys and sorrows?

'Abhimana' and 'Mamakara' (ego and attachment) are responsible for all joys and sorrows. All this is the result of illusion or Maya.

149. What is "Samadhi"?

Samadhi is attaining a sense serene state of mind - the equanimity which enables a person not to be elated by joy and depressed by sorrow. This equanimity is above the experience of joy and sorrow. The word Samadhi is usually misinterpreted. The real meaning of the word Samadhi is conveyed by the two syllables that makes this word - 'Sama' and 'Dhi'. 'Sama' means equal; 'Dhi' means buddhi. So to be untouched by joy and sorrow, to take them in the same stride, is Samadhi.

150. Give two examples to explain the term 'Samadhi'?

Lord Rama and Lord Krishna as Avathars have demonstrated the state of Samadhi in the following ways:

Rama who got ready for the coronation ceremony (at 7 o'clock in the morning) at the same time and in the same stride, took the opposite decision and went away to the forest. He was not elated at the prospect of becoming the future king and he did not get depressed or frustrated when he was asked to go to the forest.

Krishna always used to be smiling, whether it was 'Rudhrabhumi', the sacrificial field, or 'Yuddhabhumi', the battlefield. His "geetha" (meaning song) was delivered on the battle field. It shows that Krishna can sing even in the midst of a battle and that the real nature of Avatharas is that they are always overflowing with the spirit of delight and joy.

151. What is the meaning of the term "Swabhava"?

"Swa" is Brahmathatva: "Swa" does not refer to the individual. 'Swa' refers to Brahma. 'Sweecha' means the will of Lord and "Swabhava" means the 'bhava' of the Lord. Our nature is Ananda in reality.

152. What are the four Purusharthas? Name them.

The four Purusharthas are: (1) Dharma, (2) Artha, (3) Kama and (4) Moksha.

153. Describe the Purusharthas in detail and explain how should be followed as advised by Bhagawan Baba?

The Purusharthas, Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha are like steps of a ladder with Dharma firmly planted in the ground and Moksha as the goal, the reaching place. Without the foundation of Dharma and the goal of Moksha, Artha and Kama in the middle are of no significance. When we understand the nature of each of them, we find a unity in all the four Purusharthas. Dharma and Artha may be grouped together. Bhagawan Baba says "Adopt Artha for Dharma and develop Kama for Moksha". Our Kama or desires should be oriented towards Moksha and the Artha that we amass must be for establishing Dharma. When we give prominence to these two things Dharma and Moksha, then Artha and Kama also become sanctified.

154. What is Dharma?

Dharma is the way of higher life directed by the ideals one holds dear, by the level of attainment one has reached, by the status of the individual in society and by the individual's own awareness of himself and his status.

155. Why has the body got the name "Deha"?

This body has got the name 'Deha' because the name signifies that the body will be burnt or destroyed one day. The transient nature of the body is contained in this very name.

156. What is a "soul" or human spirit?

The indestructible divine spark which has come into this destructible body has been called man's soul or human spirit. Because the body contain this indestructible Divine, the live body has been called "Man".

157. What is the meaning of the word "Manava' '? Explain it in detail.

The very word 'Manava' which stands for man, signifies the Divinity that is present in Man. It has three syllables: (1) 'Ma' stands for ajnana or ignorance or absence of knowledge. (2) The second 'Na' stands for the desire that ignorance and absence of knowledge should disappear. (3) The third 'Va' conveys the injunction of that one should conduct oneself in a manner to remove ignorance.

158. How does creation go on?

Just as for a dream, sleep is the cause, so also for creation what is called 'Maya' is the cause. For Maya there is no beginning and there is no end - Maya always loves the soul, loves the Purusha. It wants to be with the soul and reach God. So also creation wants to reach God. It is by the co-existence and by the combination of the soul, the Purusha and Prakriti (world matter) that creation goes on.

159. It is said that "Purusha is the only one and He cannot be many". Explain how it is so?

Usually "Purusha" stands for a large number of different persons and 'Prakriti' stands for a wide variety of manifestations of this universe. But in reality Purusha can be only one. He cannot be many. The 'Purusha' or the Soul is simply the manifestation of the Divine. On the other hand the manifestation of matter of the material things in this world the Prakrithi or the world is filled with all the five elements. All these are destructible and not permanent. But what is clear, what is indestructible and what is effulgent and shining is only one and is the Soul of Purusha. 'Sruti' describes this Soul as something which has no attributes, as something which is superior and eternal and permanent. In the material world of many shapes, name and rupa, we make distinction between man and woman but in reality all these are "Prakriti" aspects only so far as the 'Purusha' is concerned and there is no difference. Atman alone is the real 'Purusha'.

160. What is Dehatma and who is Paramatma? How does human body come into existence?

By our own desires, and by the action of our parents and also by the 'Sankalpa' or the wish of God, the body which may be called 'Pot' comes into existence. The life ('Jiva') can be compared to the mud, the body is 'Dehatma'. This is going to be destroyed. The mud or the basic constituent of the human body is "Paramatma". All these human bodies in time are going to be destroyed and converted hack into elements. When we die all of us go to our original place from which we have emanated.

161. What do you mean by 'I' was Born?

What is born is the body. The real 'I' is 'Atmatathva'; it is eternal; it is always there, it has no birth or death. It existed before we were born and it will exist even after our death. What comes and goes is only our body. So Paramatma is eternal and only Dehatma undergoes changes and dies. That which dies can be born again. Since the real 'I' soul or Atma cannot be born, what is born is only our body in reality.

162. How will you answer questions such as "Is there God"? Where is God and where is He to be seen?

The question is, "Is there God or is there no God"? The fact that the word God is contained in the question asked, namely, "Is there God", is proof that there is God. If there is no 'God', then the word 'God' would not have come into existence at all. Can anyone name something which does not exist?

Something which has no shape or existence cannot get a name. For argument sake some example like "Gagana Pushpa" meaning flower of sky may be given but in reality 'Gagana' or sky, 'Pushpa' or flower are in existence though not together but as separate entities.

God is everywhere and in everything. The whole creation is from Him and He is in the creation. So God is Omnipresent.

163. How will you justify the statement that God is Omnipresent? Give the scientific as well as spiritual reasoning to explain this statement.

The five sensations sabda, sparsa, rupa, rasa, gandha (sound, touch, form, taste and smell) are all found in the earth. Because of this, the earth is solid and stable. The second element water has no smell (gandha) and all other four senses are present, namely, sabda, sparsa, rupa and rasa (sound, touch, shape and taste). Therefore, it is able to move a little more freely than earth. Fire contains only sound, touch and shape, no gandha or rasa. So it is lighter than water and earth and so it is able to go higher and higher up more freely. The fourth one is air. It has only two qualities, namely, Sabda and Sparsa (sound and touch), all other qualities, are absent in it. So it is very light and therefore air is able to move more freely and go wherever it wants to go. The sky or space has (only one) quality, the Sabda or sound. All the other qualities have disappeared and that is the reason why we find that the sky is everywhere. God is beyond and above all these five senses of perception. He has none of the five qualities or attributes of matter. Therefore, He is lighter than all these five elements and He is present everywhere. So God is Omnipresent.

164. What is the meaning of the statement, that "God is Anoras niyan, Mahato Mahiyan"?

It means that God is infinitely smallest amongst the infinitely small - Anoraniyan, Mahato Mahiyan - means that God is vastest amongst the vast Mahato Mahiyan. He is the smallest as well as the biggest amongst all in the entire creation.

165. Why do we say that the sound 'AUM' is identical with Brahman?

This sound "AUM" is a combination of three syllables:

(1) 'Aa'
(2) 'OO'
(3) 'M'.

'Aa' is connected with awareness. It is called 'Viswa. 'OO' is the subtle and is connected with ideas of the mind, with dream. It is being considered as 'Taijasa'.

'M' is causual, is connected with cause and effect and is related to deep sleep or 'Prajna'.

So when the sound 'Aa' joins with 'OO' and when the sound 'OO' joins with 'M' we get the complete sound (AUM). That is when the 'Visva' merges into 'Taijasa', and 'Taijsa' into 'Prajna', we get the darshana of Atma. In the same way it is only when we are able to combine the three states, the waking state, the dream state and the deep sleep stage, or combine the gross, the subtle and the causal aspects into one, we have a chance of getting a glimpse of Divine Soul.

Thus AUM, 'the Pranava', represents the entire content of Brahman.

166. What is the meaning of "Ekam Eva Advithiyam"?

When we say "Ekam Eva Advithiyam", the reference is to the Brahman which is the one and the only one without a second. Brahman is in everything and is everywhere, since it is omnipresent and omniscient, it is the absolute one reality without a second.

167. Why do we say that 'Jiva' or 'Soul' alone is indestructible while all other things in this world are destructible?

Everything that undergoes a change, everything that transforms from time to time is a destructible thing whereas what is permanent and eternal everpresent is indestructible. The human body is associated with six stages of transformation, namely:

(1) birth;
(2) growth;
(3) change;
(4) evolution or decline;
(5) death;
(6) destruction.

Because of this and because the body is not permanent we say everything in this world is destructible. Only the 'Jiva' the Soul does not undergo any change and is permanent. This destructible 'Jiva' or Souls dwells in this destructible body. Only the body gets destroyed but the 'Jiva' is permanent and it cannot be destroyed.

168. Is the realisation of self or soul, the final achievement?

The answer is 'No'. The realisation of self or soul will only help to understand what is destructible part of man and what is the indestructible part of him. There is something which is neither the body nor the soul. This something is what may be called the 'Purushothama', and it exceeds both these things. We can reach the goal of our realisation, only when have been able to realise this "Purushothama", i.e., God or Brahman.

169. There is a saying that "The mind is the mirror of One's inner being". Explain.

In the spiritual path, we have to find out the existence of four aspects:

(1) the soul;
(2) the intelligence;
(3) the mind;
(4) the sense organs.

For the sense organs, the mind is the master. For the mind, the intelligence is the master. For the intelligence, the soul is the master.

Therefore all the four aspects are related to one another and ultimately those four different aspect is just one aspect in reality and that is the Atman or the Soul. So what comes from within ourselves, what emanates from the inner being is the mind itself when it is reflected properly. There cannot be anything either by way of mind or by intelligence or by our action which comes from outside. All comes from within our body i.e., from Soul and so the mind is the mirror of one's innerbeing.

170. Explain the term "Vairagya" and how to attain it?

The mind is like cloth and desires are like thread. If we want to make the mind (cloth) disappear we have to remove the desires (thread) one by one. Diminishing the desires, our luggage or burden, as we go up in the journey of life is called in the language of Vedanta as "Vairagya". Vairagya does not mean abandoning the family and living in the forest. Vairagya is staying in and performing duties which we have to perform, having mind free from desires and attachment.

171. What benefit do we gain by "Vairagya"?

"Less luggage makes travel a pleasure". The mind made up of many desires can only give lots of trouble. "Vairagya" is performing duties which we have to perform, as being performed for God's pleasure. and not for our pleasure. It will eliminate losses, difficulties and troubles in our life. So by attaining 'Vairagya' our life journey is made easy, less troublesome safe and wholesome.

172. Why we call God "Madhava"?

The word 'Madhava' contains two syllables, 'Ma' and 'Dhava'. 'Ma' can be interpreted to mean 'Mava' or illusion; 'Ma' means Prakriti, or nature; 'Ma' also stands for Goddess of Wealth or Lakshmi. "Dhava" means Master. One who is the owner of 'Maya' or 'Prakriti' or Lakshmi. He is 'Madhava'. He is also the Paramathma.

173. What is difference between Jivatma and Paramatma?

'Paramatma' is independent. He is free whereas Jivatma or 'Jiva' is dependent and depends on something else. The 'Jiva' who is subordinate to nature cannot be identified with bliss. If we want to enjoy supreme bliss this can be done only when we identify ourself with 'Madhava' or God.

174. From where do the Upanishads come and what good can the Upanishad do for man?

Upanishad shows the path by which we can reach the 'Kaivalya' - or unity with God. Upanishads are essence of Veda and the basis of all the Upanishads are Vedas example from Yajur - Easavasya Upanishad. From Sama Veda - Keno Upanishad. As in Veda even in Upanishad we have 3 parts namely:

1. Upasana Kanda;
2. Jnana Kanda; and
3. Karma Kanda.

Upanishads tell man what he should, what he should not do, what paths will lead him to god, which path is bad and so on. The sole purpose of Upanishad is to lead to God.

175. How has the Sage Vyasa classified the Upanishads?

The Sage Vyasa classified the Upanishads and allotted them to the four vedas. Rigveda has 21 branches and each branch has one Upanishad allotted them to the four Vedas. Rigveda has 21 branches and each branch has one Upanishad allotted to it. The Yajur Veda has 109 branches and 109 Upanishads. The Atharvana Veda has 50 branches and 50 Upanishads. The Sama Veda has 1,000 branches and 1,000 branches 1,000 Upanishads . Thus 1,180 were assigned by Vyasa to the four vedas. Only 108 have now survived. Sankaracharya raised the status of ten by writing commentaries and so they become specially important. The ten - Esa, Kena, Katha, Prasna, Manduka, etc. (see Q.24)

176. What are the remaining 98 Upanishads apart from the Ten well-known Upanishads?

The remaining 98 Upanishads are as follows:

1. Brahma
2. Kaivralya
3. Svethasva
4. Fabali
5. Hamsa
6. Garbha
7. Aruni
8. Paramahamsa
9. Amrithanda
10. Narayani
11. Amrthabindu
12. Atharvasikha
13. Atharvasiva
14. Kasithara
15. Maithrayani
16. Nrsimhatapani
17. Brahmajabala
18. Maithreya
19. Kalagnirudra
20. Sulabha
21. Manthrika
22. Kshithi
23. Niralamba
24. Sarvahara
25. Vajrasuchika
26. Subharahasya
27. Thejobindu
28. Nadabindu
29. Dhyanabindo
30. Brahmavidya
31. Atmabodhaka
32. Yoga
33. Thathwa
34. Naradaparivrajaka
35. Brahmana
36. Sita
37. Yogachudaamani
38. Nirvaana
39. Mandala
40. Dakshinamurthi
41. Skandaa
42. Sarabha
43. Adwaitha
44. Thaaraka
45. Mahanarayana
46. Sowbhagyalakshmi
47. Saraswathiahasya
48. Mukthika
49. Bhavaricha
50. Ramathapana
51. Ramarahasya
52. Mudgali
53. Vasudeva
54. Pingala
55. Sandilya
56. Mahabhikshuka
57. Yogasiksha
58. Sanyasa
59. Thuriyathitha
60. Paramaparivrajaka
61. Narasimhu
62. Akshamalika
63. Annapoorna
64. Ekakshara
65. Akshika
66. Adhathya
67. Surya
68. Kundisakhya
69. Aatma
70. Savithri
71. Parabrahma
72. Pasupatha
73. Thripurathapana
74. Avadhootha
75. Thripura
76. Devi
77. Bhavana
78. Katha
79. Yogakundali
80. Rudrahrdaya
81. Rudraksha
82. Bhasona
83. Darsana
84. Ganapathi
85. Thaha Sata
86. Mahavakya
87. Panchabrahma
88. Gopalathapam
89. Pranagnihothra
90. Garuda
91. Krishna
92. Dattattreya
93. Varahaa
94. Vajnavalkya
95. Sathyaayana
96. Avyaktha
97. Hayagriva
98. Kalisantharana

177. Give the inner meaning of Gita Upadesha?

The Gita teaches us that the Chariot is the body. The Jiva is Arjuna. The Atma is Krishna. The reins are mind. But sense organs are the horses. The whole picture has to be interpreted by saying that Krishna who represents the Atma is leading the Chariot, which represents the body, into the battle field. The fighting armies are 'Thag' and 'Para' that is this world and the other world, or good and bad: or Atma and Anatma, or what is temporary and what is destructible. The Kauravas represent the bad qualities and the Pandavas represent good qualities. The fight in Hasthinapura, is actually going on everyday in our heart controlling the sense organs (horses) with the help of mind reins and with leadership and guidance of Krishna (Atmajnana) we should defeat the bad qualities in us and the good qualities should win. Thus we must establish Dharma.

178. What is the key-note of Bhagavad Gita?

Bhagavad Gita means the "Song of God". It consists essentially of 3 parts namely Karmakanda, Upasana Kanda and Jnana Kanda.

Bhagavad Gita in addition to all these has really also given us the great saying "Tat Twam Asi", meaning "That Thou Art", The first six Chapters teaches us about "Jiva" or the Twam, that resides in the body and through which the nature of "Jiva" manifests itself.

The next six Chapters teaches the nature and content of what we call 'Tat' or "That" (Path of Bakthi). The last six Chapters teach us the content and the meaning of "Asi", also tell how to realise the identity of the self, the Jivatma with 'That' the Paramatma. It also teaches us how to give up things, how to sacrifice and attain Moksha or liberation.

179. What is the true meaning of the word Saranagathi?

In general by the word "Saranagathi" we mean putting at the disposal of God our body, mind and all our powers and all that we have. This is not true meaning because our body is not in our control at all, we cannot control our mind. Nothing belongs to us in the true sense and so there is no point in saying, 'I surrender to God my taught mind' and so on since nothing belongs to us; it all belongs to God himself in reality. It is only when we accept and believe that the Divine is present in everything that we can understand the meaning of surrendering in thought, word and deed. Becoming one with God is true Saranagathi. So long as there is distinction in the mind of the individual between God and 'I' there is no surrender. To think that one who gives orders is God and one executes it is man, there is no surrender. There is bliss and happiness in unity and not in duality. So the feeling of unity with God is the real meaning of the word "Saranagathi."

180. What is the special merit by which Arjuna deserved to be taught the Gita?

Arjuna himself asked this question to the Lord Krishna and Krishna answered. 'Dharmaja had many more good qualities than Arjuna but he had only 'after thought'. He felt the guilt of action after it was over, therefore he did not deserve to be taught the Gita. In the case of Bishma, the great scholar and valiant son of Ganga, he realised thal Dharma was on the side of Pandavas but at the same time, he was the head and the chief of the Army of Kauravas. His action was not in keeping with his belief. So he says one thing and does another; so he did not deserve to be taught the Gita.

In the case of Arjuna, he had the forethought about all the suffering that were likely to occur in the war. He was prepared to sacrifice all the pleasure of this world and the other world for the happiness of others. He surrendered to the Lord and was prepared to take whatever instructions the Lord would give. So, we can recognise in him a person who deserved to be taught the Gita.

181. Under what conditions will God look after our welfare and future?

It is God's word that if you have devotion to God he will look after your welfare. In the Gita he said this would be done provided the devotee spends all his time in the thought of God, provided he accepts God to be all pervading and as present in every being. Just like the young monkey clinging to its mother under all circumstances. We should attach ourselves to God under all conditions and en circumstances. We should have this kind of implicit faith. If we have complete faith and surrender completely to God, like the cat looking after its kittens, God himself will look after our welfare wherever we are.

182. What are the two ways by which we can free ourselves from the chain of affection and attachment or get liberation?

One way is to get the strength by which to break the chain. The other way is to make yourself so tiny, that you can slip and get out of the chain which is binding you. These two are called 'Jnana' of the path of knowledge and 'Bhakti' or the path of devotion. Bakthi path teaches us the attitude of "Dasoham" or behaviour which says "I am your servant". When you are bound by a chain and within that chain if you can tell yourself "Dasoham". "Dasoham" that means you are humble, you are developing humility, your ego it becoming less and less, it shrinks you so much that your humility grows and you can slip and get out of the chain.

The other Jnana path is getting out of the chain by telling yourself "Sivoham". Sivoham, that is "I am Siva", 'I am Siva' - that means you are expanding and becoming bigger; finally, you become so big that you can break the chain and get out. There are the two paths for 'Moksha' or liberation.

183. What is Kama? What is the difference between 'Kama' and 'Prema'?

The getting of desires and harbouring them are called 'Kama'. The word Bhakti is sometimes also known as 'Prema' or love. Although Prema and Kama may look Synonymous there is a vast difference in reality.

Kama gets tied up to persons or things. It is narrow and confined. Worldly desires are Kama and the desire for the universal, eternal God is "Prema".

184. Explain the term "Janthoonam Narajanma Durlabham"?

Everything that is born out of the womb is called a "Janthu".

Since Man is also born from a mother he is also referred to as "Janthu". The only distinguishing feature which marks out man from the animal is he has got intelligence he is just like an animal.

"Janthoonam Narajanma Durlabham" means that amongst all the animals, to be born as a man is extraordinarily lucky. Therefore you have to give great attention to cultivate good conduct and good behaviour throughout life.

185. What does Ramayana teach us?

Ramayana teaches us that the two qualities 'Kama' and 'Krodha' are responsible for all kinds of sad experiences which we have in our lives.

For Rama, to go to forest, Manthara was responsible and for Sita to be carried away by Ravana, Soorpanaka was responsible. Manthara signifies anger, that is "Krodha". Soorpanaka signifies desire that is "Kama". These two 'Kama' and 'Krodha' or lust and anger are responsible for all sorrows and experiences. Even in the case of Sita also it was only when she sacrificed all her "Kama", that is desires, she could get Rama, but the moment her mind turned to a desire for the Golden deer, Rama became distant. Ramayana thus teaches us that where Rama is, there will be no kama; when kama enters Rama will be distant from us.

186. What is "Vishnu Maya"?

The permanent basis, Brahman, is like a cinema screen. When it gets mixed up and combines with impermanent or transient people who come and go, then you get the picture of the world like the picture in the cinema hall. This process by which the untrue or transient picture and the permanent screen are together combining and giving you an impression of permanence may be called "Vishnu Maya" of the Jagath. The word "Vishnu" here should not be understood as an individual wearing his insignia like Sanka and Chakra. The word "Vishnu" means omnipresence. For this mixture of truth and untruth Sankara gives the name "Mithya". So he says "Brahma Sathyam" and "Jagat-Mithya"

187. "Maya is the inseparable shadow of God"? Explain this term with reference to the Ramayana.

In the forest, we know Rama was leading and walking first; immediately behind him was Sita and behind Sita, Lakshmana was following. Rama represents God or 'Paramatma'; Sita represents 'Maya', and Lakshmana represents 'Jiva'. If Lakshmana (Jiva) has desire to have a look at God or Paramatma, Sita who is between, has to move away and let Lakshmana have the darshan of Rama or Lakshmana has to move aside.

If you try to force Maya away, hate maya and push her out of her way, then maya will become angry. Not only that, God too will not allow such thing and we cannot get the grace of God. So the only way for a jiva to see God and win his grace is to realise that Maya is the inseparable shadow of God Himself and pray in all humility and ask for an opportunity to have the vision of Lord. Then Maya herself will graciously move aside and will help the jiva to have the Darshan of the Lord or God.

188. Who am I?

In order to understand this question we have to ask many more question like - 'Am I the body'?, 'Am I the mind'?, 'Am I the Anthakarana'? and soon. If you believe that you are the body, then what is the meaning of the statement we generally make namely, "my body"? Who is 'my', and who is the 'body'? When you say 'my body' it means you are separate and that 'I am' distinct from the body. Again when you say 'my mind' here too it is clear that 'I' is separate from 'mind'. In the same manner we are experiencing these things by saying "these are mine". Indian culture and teachings of vedantha take you through making the statement "this is not I" 'this is not I' and so on until you are to realise what 'I' is. The real 'I' is the Atma.

189. Who is our true Kinsman or relation?

When a Kinsman dies, one says for example a mother, she has left me and gone away. But in reality who is it that has left? The body of the relative is still there, only the life has gone. The real mother is only the life. So once life has fled then we realise that the relationship which we were enjoyed was only bodily relationship which has no value. So anything that has been permanent was only in respect of the Divine Soul that is contained in the body and not the body itself before very clear. Therefore the one true relation, true friend, true guide can be God alone and none other.

190. When can we realise our own real form?

In the context of our believing that God is omnipresent, that God is present in front of you, and outside you, there is no need for you to give any special importance to what comes from outside. You have to believe that everything is contained within ourself. The essence of all the Vedas, comes from within the man. It is not coming from outside. On account of ignorance, on account of some illusion and due to some of the actions of ourselves in the past births, we are thinking that there is something which is coming from outside into ourselves which has got some sanctity. This is not correct. It is illusion. It is only when we are able to throw away this illusion and overcome ignorance and understand that everything is within us and turn our attention inward, then we can realise our real form.

191. We have the story in our Mythology about the churning of the ocean with the "Manthara Parvatha". What is the inner significance?

In the parable we note that there was a hill called "Manthara Parvatha" and with this hill, the milk ocean, was churned with the "Rakshasas" or the bad qualities on one side and the "Devatas" or the good qualities on the other side. Out of the ocean came some good things like, diamonds, "Kalpavriksha" or desire-fulfilling tree, "Kamadhenu" or Divine cow that gives all that you want, and the "Amrutham" or the immortal nectar, and so on, as well as bad things like poison. It is outer story. The inner meaning is - our life itself is churned. The 'viveka' or wisdom is the source. The body is the churning vessel: Our "intelligence" is the "Manthara" hill put inside for churning. The essence of Vedanta is the milk with which we are churning. "Eada" and "Pingala" are the two nerves and these have been taken as rope for churning, taking the name of the God. The churning or the "sadhana" or the practice has to go on.

Then there will arise what is called Divine Nectar.

192. Our life is compared to a football game by Bhagawan. How?

Our spiritual heart is the playground - one side are the "Arishad Vargas" or the six bad qualities. These bad qualities are:

1. Kama (Lust)
2. Krodha (Anger)
3. Lobha (Greed)
4. Moha (Attachment)
5. Mada (Arrogance)
6. Matsarya (Envy)

On the other side are six other players, the good qualities like:

1. Sathya (Truth)
2. Dharma (Righteousness)
3. Shanthi (Equanimity)
4. Prema (Love)
5. Ahimsa (Non-violence)
6. Poornathwa (Sense of fullness)

Dharma Vidya - that is the education relating to this world and the Brahmavidya - that is education relating to outer world are the boundaries beyond which the ball should not go. The good people and the bad people are hitting the ball of the life. The bad people are having physical strength whereas good people are having Divine Strength. When and after what length of time we will achieve victory or send the ball to the goal, is to be seen. Thus Bhagawan compare our life to a football game.

193. What is the inner meaning of the subtle sound we hear while breathing?

"Soham" - that is the way we take the breath in and breath out. "So" stands for the word 'that' - 'That' means God or Brahman. "HAM" means 'I' or 'Me'. Thus when we breath in we say 'So' and when we breath out we say "Ham". So it makes the word "Soham"-"I am God".

194. We hear different sounds. Where from, do these different sound come?

In sound, the one that is all important is called Pranava. From this one single sound all other sounds emanate. Different sounds are mere transformations of "Ekoham Bahusyam". The one willed to become many.

195. Explain how Aum is "Ekaksharam Brahma" and Rama is no other than Omkara.

Just as for the Omkara, there are three principal sounds which go to make it up, namely A, U, M, Rama who is the embodiment of Dharma also has three supporting characters who are Lakshmana, Bharatha and Satrughna. The sound A can be compared to Lakshmana. 'U' to Bharatha and 'M' can be compared to Sathrughna. The combination of all these three is Omkara, and Lakshmana, Bharatha, Sathrughna together make up Rama. Our Vedas and Upanishads teach us that Om is "Ekaksharam Brahma" or 'OM' is the one thing which is the same as Brahman: "Ekam Advithiyam Brahma" i.e., Brahman is the one and only one. Rama who is no other than Omkara, has taken birth on the earth in order to establish Dharma or righteousness on the surface of the earth. Rama is God.

196. Ramayana has two other names. What are they?

The Ramayana has two alternative names and these are: (1) the killing of Ravana, (2) Seethaya Charitha or the story of Sita, and Ramayana is called Srimad Ramayana because it describes all the great qualities of Sri Rama. It is also called "Seethaya Charitha" because Sita is the ideal woman possessing all the qualities that an Indian woman should possess, such as chastity, purity and so on; and she even teaches Dharma to Rama. Because Ramayana describes all these qualities perfectly it is called "The Story of Sita" Ravana is a very powerful, knowledgeable person and achieved many great thing's. Though he had all these, he could not follow the righteous path; and because of this he was killed by Rama. Ravana did not have strength of Dharma. Since Ramayana teaches the moral that we should not give room in the field of our heart to bad deeds, and that the strength of Dharma is the real strength it is called "The story of the killing of Ravana".

197. Explain the term "Saguna Brahman" and "Nirguna brahman".

To explain these terms let us also take the example "Uddalaka" the great guru gave to his son while explaining about Brahman. Take a pot filled with water, bring some sugar and mix it well in the water. We have seen the sugar before mixing. After mixing it with water can we tell where in that vessel does the sugar lie now?

The sugar will be there in every drop of the contents of the vessel. So also in Brahman who is "Nirguna" that is one without 'guna' or attributes and "Nirvikara" - the one without form, there are no limitations of space or time; This is called "Nirguna Brahman". This Brahman assumes the form of a "Saguna" or one who has attributes or 'guna' and comes into this world and resides in every being, in everything that you see around you in this world. It is not possible to see Him separately with our eyes, it is not possible to get hold of Him separately with your hands, but it is only possible to recognize him by experiencing Him in the state of the world. You cannot do anything more with your gross body than to experience Brahman who is omnipresent and all pervading.

198. God is present everywhere and anywhere. Why should one then go to a specific place or why should one go on pilgrimages and seek God only in those specific place?

Let us take the excellent example through which our Bhagawan Baba explain this.

Let us take a cow; inside the cow right through there is blood which is flowing in the body. We can infer that milk, can be, and is present all through the body of the cow. But if you get the ear of the cow and twist it, are you going to get milk? If you want to get milk, you can do so but there is a chance of your getting milk only from a specific place. So also while God is omnipresent and is everywhere, if you want to see Him. If you want to realise Him, then you have also to choose a place and a time. If we start our life by fixing a time and by fixing a form and begin our worship, gradually by our practice we reach a stage when out of that worship we will later on realise the Nirguna aspect of Brahman. Everything will appear to us later as one infinite thing. When we attain that state of Advaitha and transform the philosophy into our experience then you need not have to go to a specified place at all. We will realise that God is everywhere and is not bound by time and we will realise God within ourself. This is true God realisation.

199. What is meditation?

The concept of "Saguna" and "Sakara" we have to accept because with the help of that we can reach the goal of 'Nirguna' or 'Nirakara'. This process is called Meditation or 'Dhyana'.

200. What is the meaning of Dhyana?

Unless there is an object on which you could meditate, it is not possible to meditate. This is called Dhyana. Process in which you meditate is called "Dhyana". The person who is meditating is called "Dhyatha". You Dhyatha, through Dhyana, have to reach and experience the object of meditation or the Dhyeya. When we go through the process of meditation, then all three coalesce into one. One who gives Prema, one who receives Prema, and the process of Prema, all three are one. Even if one of these three is missing, it is not possible to realise completeness. In all these three, Prema is present to the same extent. This is referred to by saying "Love is God and live in love".

201. How to do Dhyana?

For Dhyana, the time is important. During the period, called the "Brahma Muhurtha" which is from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. you will have to meditate at the same time every day. Sit on a wooden plank on padmasana style. Have a small jyoti or a candle light in front of you, you look at that "Jyoti", well with open eyes. After a minute, close your eyes; feel the light in the centre of the eyebrows and gradually lead it into the heart. Have the feeling that inside the lotus of your heart, right at the centre is the jyoti; if you cannot picture like that look at the jyoti again and try. After that, you take the jyoti from the centre of the heart and move it to each part of your body - bring it to your neck, from neck bring it to your mouth, from the mouth bring it to your hand, from the hand take it to your head, from the head bring it out all around you, give it to those who are related to you, affectionate to you, your friends and also to your enemies. Then you spread this light to all birds, beasts, everything around you. End your Dhyana with a prayer to your indwelling God - "Asathoma Sath Gamaya, Thamasoma jyotirgamaya, Mrithyoma Amritham Gamaya" - Meaning, lead me from Ajnana to Jnana, from Darkness to Light and from Mortality to Immortality.

202. What is the use of this Dhyana?

Where this Jyoti or light has moved, during Dhyana there will be no darkness. Our Upanishads have said "Thamasoma Jyotirgamaya" in this context. Since this Jyoti has reached your eyes, you will no longer have any bad vision or bad sight. Because this Jyoti has gone to your ears you will not her evil, because this Jyoti has reached the tongue, you will no longer utter any bad words. Since Jyoti has reached your head, evil thoughts will not enter your head or arise in you. Because the Jyoti has reached your heart, no bad ideas can enter your heart. Since the Jyoti has travelled through your hand and feet, you will no longer engage in bad acts and your feet should no longer walk into bad places. Feel so by this meditation, not only bad traits in you will have been removed, but in their place noble and sacred ideas and sacred actions would have entered. Not only that, you would be able to get the glorious Dharshan of Eswara, or you would experience Advaita, the experience of oneness, because the light that is in you is present in all human beings, because the light that is present in you is present in everything and in everywhere.

203. Can we not meditate on one of the forms of God?

A form is not a permanent thing. It is not right that you should put your concentration on something which will change, which is not permanent. You must have something which will not change. Having the Jyothi which does not change, in your meditation you can certainly see in it, the 'Roopa' or form which you like and which you want to pray to. From one Jyoti you can light a number of Jyoti's but still the Jyoti will not change or lose. The first Jyoti is called 'Akhanda Jyoti'. Those who light their lights are called Jeevan Jyothis. The result of the meditation, will be that this single Jeevan Jyoti will merge itself in Akhanda Jyoti and will reach Advaita or the Oneness of this world or the entire creation. So we have a light in front of us during meditation.

204. What is "Prarabhda" Karma? What is 'Sanchita' and what is 'Agami' Karma?

Prarabhda Karma is that which we are presently, undergoing and experiencing. "Sanchita" means all the past karmas and 'Agami' refers to Karma that will follow in future. Prarabhda is in between the Sanchita and Agami and we are experiencing this Prarabhda on account of the Sanchita. The result of what we do will come in future. Even though there is Sanchita, if you try to behave in a sathwic way, in a pious and good way, you will be able to change even Sanchita. but if we perform all actions for the pleasure and glory of God, no Prarabhda will trouble us: (From the example of Druva and Markandeya, we know how karma can be overcome). So even though Prarabhda is there, the grace of God will certainly remove to a large extent the bad effects. If we can become beneficiaries of God's grace, we need not be afraid of either Prarabhda or Sanchita or Agami. So "be good, do good and see good; that is the way to God" says Bhagawan Baba.

205. What is the inner significance of the story of Gajendra Moksha?

Gajendra was a king in his previous birth and he became an elephant on account of a curse given to him by a sage. Here king signifies Atma. Atma is the king and Paramatma is the kingmaster. This elephant forgot the Atmatatwa and he was leading a life of attachment and illusion, entering the forest of life. Wandering in the forest of life it became thirsty. This thirst relates to the enjoyment of the senses. Immediately it saw a lake. This lake signifies worldly desires and that is called the samsara. He wanted to enjoy the pleasure of samsara and entered the lake. At once a crocodile, which can be compared to 'Mamakara' or attachment and 'Ahamkara' or ego, caught hold of its leg. The elephant was not able to escape from it. It tried all its physical and mental strength but in vain. At last it prayed for God's help. Similarly we are leading our lives entirely depending upon the strength of the body and mind. But these are not capable of giving happiness or peace. When we dedicate these two strengths to God and think that everything depends upon the grace of God, then we may get peace and happiness with the grace of God. When the elephant prayed, God sent his Chakra called "Sudarsana Chakra" and killed the crocodile and saved the elephant. The inner meaning of 'Sudarsana' is "Su" means good - darshan means vision. So Sudarshan is not merely a weapon or instrument: it is the good look of God, when elephant turned his sight to God, the look of God also turned towards the elephant. So also our Bhagawan says "You look to me and I shall certainly look to you".

206. What is the one thing we must first try to know?

You first try to know yourself. The attempt to know yourself is called "Sankhyajnana" and "Tarkajnana" is that by which to know what the 'I' is and where from this 'I' has come. Living steadily in the state of 'I' if a person tries to know the truth, that state is called 'Amanaska'. So every individual should try to know and attain the state of complete "Amanaska".

207. What is ours in Reality?

We are under the mistaken idea that one thing or another is ours but this is incorrect. This body is not ours, this mind, this life itself is not ours, since nothing is under our control. There are several divisions in our body like (1) Annamaya (Physical strength), (2) Pranamaya (subtle body), (3) Manomaya, (4) Vignanamaya, and (5) Anandamaya. As long as man depends on annamaya kosa he will not be able to know the Vital things and will live like animal. When man depends on pranamaya kosa, he partakes in it in the belief that there is God. When he tries to realise the Vignanamaya he will know the happiness and sorrow and finally when we realise that nothing belongs to us, we enter the Anandmaya kosa and enjoy bliss. Everything is created by God and belongs to God. Ours in reality is only the experience of Unity with God.

208. What are the three types of Sathya ordinarily known? Explain how in reality truth is only one?

We are told that there are three truths: (1) Prathibhasika Satya, (2) Vyavaharika Satya, and (3) Paramarthika Satya. Truth is only one and it is never three fold. We only think that it is of three kinds (1) For example when there is a little light and a little darkness, we come by a rope and mistake it to be a snake. In reality the snake is only in our mind and the thing that is really there is another thing, the rope. This is "Prathibhasika Satya". This Satya has neither basis nor existence. (2) If we stand before a mirror, we see our reflection in it. When we move away, the reflection vanishes. Here there is one basis, namely, the original thing, without original there is no reflection. This is 'Vyavaharika Satya'. (3) On the other hand 'Paramarthika Satya' is an Entity which is present everywhere and at all times. This is the true and eternal reality. Even though we see many forms, many names, various things, many races, many creeds and many castes in this world, we must know that the God is present in all of them; the inner Being, is in reality only one.

209. Who is a 'Sthitaprajna'. How to attain that State of mind?

A Sthitaprajna is one who is neither elated by joy nor depressed by sorrow. He has got equanimity of mind. To attain this state one has to have complete control over his senses. Though it is not easy to control the senses it is easy to divert all of them in the direction of God and give them a new orientation. By directing the powers of your senses towards God all impurities of the senses are eliminated in the process. The first step is cultivation of love towards all living creatures. This is the first and important step. One who is able to control and overcome his anger, ego and attachments becomes a great yogi. We must realise that anger, pride, and other passions reduce man to the level of an animal. So recognise vignana, pragnana and sugnana which are latent in man and direct the senses along the proper channel and thus achieve the highest state of supreme bliss.

210. How is one's anger the greatest enemy and one's calmness is one's own protection?

It is true that anger is one's greatest enemy and calmness is the best armour. If a person is angry he, loses all calmness and becomes a worried man. In reality one's joy is one's heaven and one's sorrow is one's hell. He who is possessed by anger will be hated by people, because he will commit bad deeds and great sins as well. At times Ego also enters the feelings of anger. Anger is caused by weakness of mind. When we become angry, our nerves become weak and feeble and we lose as much strength as we gather by eating good food for three months. Anger not only debilitates us and takes away the merit of our good deeds, but also enfeebles our condition. If we are able to control anger we can attain merit through, the utterance of the Lord's name, Calmness gives strength to our mind and gives us a state of "Sthitapragna" or equanimity of mind. In order to attain this state try to fill the mind with good thoughts, good feelings and good ideas. So it is living death, if one is stressed by pride, ego and anger. A state of mind in which one overcomes these feelings and attain calmness is called Sthitapragna. This calmness is our own protection.

211. What is "Sathwic Food"?

Many people think that sathwic diet consists of milk, curd and other things. We must try to know the real nature of sathwic food. Sathwic diet does not mean simply the food we take through our mouth, which is only one among our five senses, but also means the pure air, we breathe, the pure vision we see through our eyes, the pure sound we listen and pure objects we touch through our feel. All that we take in through the doors of the five sense may be described as the sathwic diet. All the five senses it must be pure and immaculate. Then, we must endeavour to gain mastery over our senses.

212. What is the real inner meaning contained in the statement that Lord sleeps on "Ksheera Sagara", the ocean of the milk?

We all know about the Lord who sleeps on "Ksheerasagara" or the ocean of milk. Our "Anthakarana" or the inner subtle body is the "ksheerasagara" or the ocean of milk. And that which remains after Dhyana - the sesha or the remnant is the "Adisesha" or the great Serpent. The consciousness that lies in between the two is Lord "Vishnu" Himself. And the one who worships or the worshipper is Goddess Lakshmi. Several great man has taught us how to make God steep on the ocean of milk or our own "Anthakarana" or in our own heart. There is a hidden meaning as to why we think of the 'sadhaka' as Lakshmi. Unless the inert nature is completely shaken off, the Jeevi cannot be called Purusha. It is possible to attain that principle of Purusha through the feminine nature of stree-thatva. This is the inner meaning of 'Ksheera-Sayana' of our Lord.

213. What is "Jadathwa" or inertness is? Explain in detail.

There are five phases or aspects of this inertness. They are (1) Ghatakasa, (2) Jalakasa, (3) Daharakasa, (4) Chidakasa, and (5) Mahadakasa.

(1) The name refers only to the body and not to the Atma in it. Ghatakasha is that state which says, "This is I". Even when we are lost in the knowledge of body, still there is that feel for the Atma within us. This is like the sky within the pot.

(2) The "Jalakasa" is that state which is full of "sankalpa" or intention and may be described as the sky reflected in the water. The 'sankalpa' and 'vikalpa' in us are the water.

(3) 'Daharakasa' is the state when one looks at Sankalpas and 'Vikalpas' but one is aware that he is looking at them; for example when the image is hurt physically by anybody, that injury is not felt by the object, but when the image is insulted and abused by anybody then the object, whose reflection is found in the water, also feels the insult. So in 'Sabda' or sound there is unity, but in action or 'kriya' there is no unity. And the nature of 'sabda Brahma tatva' is hidden here. Thus in Jalakasa we also find the nature of 'Daharakasa'.

(4) Now coming to 'Chidakasa', this refers to man remaining a mere spectator. "Chidakasa" is a state when man without being, upset, without being in any way influenced by emotion, just observes and remains like an observer or a spectator whatever may happen to the body - it may be insulted or injured - the person is not affected by them - he is always engrossed in higher consciousness. This state is "Chidakasa".

(5) The pot may be broken, the pond may run dry but the 'akasa' stands there. The great sky is the state known as 'Mahadakasa'. Nirvikalpa is the state attained by controlling the senses and under this state it is possible to realise this highest state of realisation and that is the nature of 'Mahadakasa'. And the 'Mahadakasa' is called 'Akasa' because it has an element of 'Jada' or inertness in it. The sky is known by several name such as 'akasa', 'gagana', 'soonya' or nothingness and so on. The state of nothingness is called by this name of sky. We call "Hridayakasa" to refer the heart because there is no shape for the 'hridya' or heart in spiritual sense. So, 'Akasa' has to be cleared of all base, intentions and instincts, all 'sankalpas' and 'vikalpas'. By God's grace it is possible to go straight to the state of "Mahadakasa" without passing through all the various stages of Ghatakasa and Jalakasa and so on.

214. Where that luminous "Chitshakti" which is our 'Atma' resides?

All the figures that we find in the world are only projections of the "Chidakasa". It is the atma that projects on the screen the several figures that are seen to move as in a cinema. When we close our eyes we see no one but all these people must be there. When the eyes are opened, their all these appearances are seen through the eyes, but all these appearances do not flash upon the eyes and enter the eyes. One light is projected from the eyes. The light is not projected by the object upon the eyes. For example, the sun illuminates the whole universe. The universe do not illuminate the sun. The moon is like the mirror and the light of the sun is reflected on the surface of the moon and therefore it is cool and pleasant. Our vedas say that the moon is like the mind which reflects the glory of the soul. Of the light of the 'Atma' is reflected in the mirror of the 'buddhi' or intelligence, then the entire dark mind may be seen shining with the light. Mind is responsible for our being to derive "Prajnana" - even though we are in the state of 'Ajnana'. When we turn our buddhi towards 'Atma', we shall be able to dispel all the darkness from our mind Atma is the master of intelligence and what is grasped in the intelligence is beyond the senses.

215. Explain how Dharma has lost its Padas in spite of the appearance of the great Avatars?

Bhagawan Baba says that Dharma used to live and move about in 'Krithayuga' on four feet. The four feet are : (1) "Yajna" (2) "Yaga" (3) "Yoga", and (4) "Thapas". Rishis of Kritha Yuga followed all these four padas in order to harmonise thought, word, and deed. The loss of one 'Pada' in Treta Yuga really means the loss, of one sadhana - namely Thapas. In the Dwapara Yuga with the help of only two Yogas and Yajna was possible to attain Dharma. In Kaliyuga Dharma has only one 'pada' namely Yoga, that is, Bhakti yoga, the yoga of devotion. Thus the inner meaning is that they have facilitated the process. Avatar has eliminated the difficult ones. So Dharma has not changed. Only the means of attainment have been facilitated. Until you are one year old you use four legs (two hands and two legs to walk), later 3 legs (two legs and one helping hand), then two legs and later you start running; in this state you use only one leg actually one after the other. Dharma is imperishable and indestructible. The Avatars have taken place only to facilitate the path of attaining this Dharma.

216. Where does the Atma go after the death of the body?

There is only one reality just as there is only one Sun. Likewise, this body may be compared with the pot which is filled with water and one and the same Atma is reflected in each pot and though each image appears to be separate. When the pot breaks and the water spills on the ground, where does the Sun, who has hitherto been 'reflected' in the water go? The Sun has not come and has not gone. But he has appeared as a reflection because there is pot and there is the water in the pot. The value of the pot varies according to the material with which it is made but the reflection has the same value. So also Atmaswarupa has the same value. So all the differences are illusory. The Atmatathva is one and indivisible.

217. What are the three types of Karma?

Though the path of Karma is difficult, it gives us varied experiences. There are three kinds of Karmas, namely, 'Karma', 'Vikarma', and 'Akarma'. Karma may be described as the ordained duty ; Vikarma deals with actions which are prohibited. But such actions if and when they are undertaken for God realisation, become sanctified. Akarma is described as pure laziness or inertness. Karma is our responsibility since our birth. So Gita refers to man as 'Karmaja',

218. What does the Gita say regarding Karma?

Action will always lead to reward or fruit. The fruit of an action is a reaction, a reflection and a resound of the action itself. But the Gita teaches us that the actions we undertake must be free from consideration for reward or fruit.

Many say man has only the right to act and has no right to claim the fruit of that action. But it is wrong. The Gita has not said that man has no authority to enjoy the fruit of action. Gita has said that man should voluntarily give up the right to enjoy the fruit of the action. It has not said, "Na Phaleshu" or there is no fruit. It has said "Ma Phuleshu" or though there is the fruit, the injunction is that you must give up the desire for the fruit of action.

219. What is perfect Bliss?

When we throw anything into this great fire which is generated through the vital airs of our bodies, then it is transformed into something sacred. Through the process of dedication, jiva is transmuted into the Iswara, and then elevated into the highest state of delight. In that state, he will be absolutely silent and he is absorbed in the supreme bliss. This may be described as perfect bliss. God who is Mahakarma Swarupa has assumed the karma roopa and appears as Krishna. When Krishna in a Karma roopa is delivering the message Arjuna prayed to the Lord to remove the Veil which is born in sthula roopa and only when it was removed, he could assimilate the Gita and have a glimpse of the Viswa Roopa. Dhritarashtra also listened to the same Gita. He could not find any wisdom in it, because he simply listened to it in his Sthula roopa (gross mind). So an awakened consciousness is important for our enjoyment.

220. Into how many parts all our enjoyment can be classified?

All our enjoyment may be classified into three parts (1) "Priya", (2) "Moda" and (3) "Pramoda". When we look at an object which is after our own liking and feel happy about it, it is 'Priya'. 'Moda' is the joy we feel when we acquire that object we like. 'Pramoda' is the highest joy, the joy we feel at what we have really acquired. We must develop an attitude of Pramoda and through it develop Priya. We cannot enjoy real happiness first by Moda and Priya. For example, you want to have the Darshans of the form of God. If you only look at it, it is 'Priya' and it does give you much satisfaction. If you try to gain and master it, it gives greater happiness; when you are able to enjoy it completely that is Pramoda. In that state only you become a part of it and enjoy highest happiness. Example, only seeing the mango in the market is Priya. Acquiring it by purchasing the item may be compared to Moda. Finally only by eating that mango we can enjoy the taste. This can be compared to Pramoda.

221. Krishna was all pervading and yet the same Krishna was responsible for the destruction of forty lakhs of men on the battle-field. Was it violence or non-violence?

An individual, let us say, has developed cancer on his back. There are millions of germs in that cancerous boil. Does the doctor pause and ask "Should I kill so many millions of germs? Is it not the duty of the doctor to save the life of the patient? Which is of greater importance? The doctor comes to the conclusion that to save the life of the patient he must kill the dangerous germs. He considers quality and not quantity. In the same way, the world at that time had developed cancer in the shape of Kauravas. Lord Krishna became a surgeon, took Arjuna as His assistant and performed the great operation because the protection of Dharma is more important than anything else. So in this case, it cannot be called as violence at all.

222. What is 'Kshetra' and what is 'Kshetragna'?

The principle which is changeless is Brahmatatva. Human life is made up of several stages. Birth, growth, ageing, getting debilitated and death are the various stages of the changing body. So the body is full of 'Vikaras' but the atma is the 'Nirvikara'. These are referred to in the Gita as 'Kshetra' and 'Kshetragna'. Kshetra is the body which is the field and the Kshetragna is Paramatma. We visit the field not to see the field but to see the master of the field, that is God.

223. What is the difference between Kshetra and Kshetragna?

In the Gita Lord Krishna says He is both the Kshetra and Kshetragna. The Kshetra is not useful without the Kshetragna and vice versa. Both are inter-dependent and God is prevading through both, but there is a little difference between these two. When we take the syllables of these two words 'Kshetra' and 'Kshetragna', the syllable 'gna' is an addition in the word 'Kshetragna'. 'Gna' means 'Gnana'. Since in this Kshetra of our body, the God himself who is 'Gnana Swarupa' is residing, God is known as Kshetragna. We will never enter into bad ways and have evil thoughts when we bear in mind that Kshetra which is almost inert becomes sanctified by the residence of Kshetragna which is "Gnana Swarupa" or God.

224. What is the lesson we derive from Mahabharatha? Explain the inner significance of the Great Epic Mahabharatha?

The lesson we derive from Mahabharatha is that real strength is 'Daivabala' and 'Dharmabala' i.e. the strength, that comes from God and from Dharma. The inner meaning of Mahabharatha is that the Pandavas are like the five Pranas in our body and the body is like Hastinapura, the city in which they lived. The human body should be considered as 'Hastinapura' which had nine gates like our body. The Pandavas are of Sathwic nature. On the other side are the Kauravas who have the rajasic and tamasic qualities. 'Pandu' means white - so pure. The action of purifying is called the battle. The battle is really between good qualities and bad qualities. If we install God in the chariot of our heart, He will lead us to success. Where Dharma is, there God is and where God is, there will be victory.

225. Do the objects we offer during Pooja, have an Allegorical significance?

We offer to God articles like leaf, flower, water, and fruit. We offer these things to God not because God does not possess all these things, nor is he just pleased with these ordinary things. In fact everything is created by God and belongs to God. All the objects we offer, therefore, have allegorical significance.

The word 'leaf' does not refer to 'Tulsi' or any other ordinary leaf. Our body is a leaf; this body is full of the three gunas. The word 'Pushpa' stands for the flower of the heart and not earth flowers, which fade away. Similarly, the word 'fruit' means the fruit of the mind. It means that we must do our deeds without expecting any reward and if action is done in that sprit, it becomes a holy sacrifice. Water does not mean that which is drawn from the walls. It refers to the tears of joy which springs from the depth of the heart out of devotion of God. We must offer all these from the tree of our body which is sacred to God; then grace will be bestowed on us.

226. What is the inner meaning of offering coconut to God?

The heart is the coconut and it is covered by the fibre of desires. The water that flows out is the 'samskara' or 'earned merit'. The fibres on the surface are the desires. We must strip the heart of all desires and offer the core without the fibre. It then becomes an offering to God. If we try to get the kernel out, plant it and water it, nothing will happen. Our body may be compared to the shell and our life to the kernel. Our Samskaras are the water inside the coconut. As long as there are Samskaras within us, the heart will always cling to the body consciousness just as the kernel clings to the fruit. Control over the senses is the golden way to get rid of evil tendencies. Any action good or bad can be compared to seeds. In order not to sow such seeds. We should do all actions without desire. All action should be done in and only for the pleasure of God.

227. What is the real nature and meaning of "Yagna"?

The real nature and meaning of "Yagna" is the overcoming of all evil tendencies, throwing them into the fire of sacrifice. This is described as "bhootabali". The word 'bhootabali' has been misinterpreted as "animal sacrifice", and this has given rise to evil practices. 'Bali' means tax. By sacrificing all our evil tendencies as tax to God we are blessed with what man badly needs in this world. The sages used to perform "Yagnas" and "Yagas" for gaining mastery over their senses and desires.

228. Virtue cannot be practised in vacuum. Explain.

If we improve our Sathwic tendency, we will be able to gain control over Tamasic and Rajasic tendencies. If we are angry with anybody, try to think of the good qualities of the person. Anger will gradually subside. Our anger grows by leaps and bounds, if we think only of the weakness of the person, there will be no place for anger, if we always dwell on the good points of every individual. Our ancients have given us the path of Yoga and Dhyana to over come evils and gain control over our senses. To control anger and hatred, ancient sages have left their villages and gone into the forest. But if you live in a forest where there is no room for anger and say that you have controlled your anger, it is not victory. Today it is not necessary to retire to the forest. If you live in an atmosphere of anger and are able to control it, then it is a meritorious achievement. So Bhagawan Baba says virtues cannot be practised in vacuum.

229. What is the method to reach the higher attitudes of living?

We describe Lord Krishna as wearing "Kasturi Thilaka" and Kankanas. Lord Krishna has taken two pledges and so the Kankanas. The Pledges are to protect the right and the good, to protect Dharma when in danger and the second is to look after the welfare of those who devote themselves with single mindedness to God and think only of Him. Lord says "If you think of me only and of none else and if you worship, I shall take care of your welfare". So think of God as soon as you get up from bed - place your trouble and burdens at the feet of the Lord and pray to Him to guide you through life and give you only good thoughts and noble ideas which always serve as uplifting factors in life. When you go to bed at night, tell yourself that during the day you have acted according to the Lord's will and ask forgiveness if there is anything wrong and ask for His help not to repeat the wrong again. Even during your bath, if you remember the name of the God, it will be like bathing the form of God. If you offer food to God before eating, it becomes Prasad and, all the evils are eliminated and if you take such food, you become healthy and pure. Taking active part in seva and helping the suffering and poor and needy, and doing Nama Sankirthan are some of the means to win God's grace. Whatever you do, do it remembering God and with an attitude of pleasing God. If you try to live in such a way, it will help you to reach higher attitudes of living. As our Bhagawan Baba advises, try to do good, and see good and try to be good. That is the way to God.

230. Why nama sankirthan is important for spiritual Sadhana? Is it not enough to think of God in our mind?

The mouth is the main entrance to the house, the body, and so the sacred flame of the holy name sheds light inward and outward, if we do nama sankirthan. The birds that perch on the tree of our life are the bad qualities and bad desires and the name and 'Tala' of nama sankirthan will drive them away. If the birds, try to come again, do nama sankirthan continuously, they will stop coming. The tongue of man is the holiest instrument because it can utter the sweet name of God. To purify our mind and to prevent the bad tendencies from entering our heart and thought, it is not enough to think of God. In addition, Nama sankirthan is also very important. The name of the Lord must dance on our tongue for ever.

231. What are the two things one must forget and the two things one must always remember?

There are two things, one must forget; you must forget what ever help you have done to others. Secondly, you must forget whatever harms others have done to you. Because when you remember the harm done by others to you, you will always try to take revenge on them. It is bad. When you remember the help rendered by you to some one then you will be looking forward for the reward. That too will lead to disappointment and grief. On the contrary, there are two things that you must always remember. One is that God is one, and the other is that death is one. These two are eternal truths. The last journey i.e., you death can neither be cancelled nor postponed. So each individual must be prepared to face the death and should not waste this human birth which is very rare to get. He should use this life for realising God and must try to lead a good life.

232. What are the four wheels of the chariot that lead man safely to his destination?

The four wheels of the chariot that lead man safely to his destination are (1) character, (2) truth, (3) sacrifice and (4) tolerance. We should try to install God in our heart and pray to him to drive such a chariot safely to the destination. With His grace, we can achieve success in our life journey.

233. What are the four steps to reach the destination of God?

It is Baba's view that each individual should be guided on the four-fold path of (1) Self-confidence, (2) Self-satisfaction, (3) Self-sacrifice, and (4) Self-realisation. Self-confidence comes of as intensity and earnestness of aspiration which makes a person march towards his goal, regardless of all difficulties on the way. Self satisfaction is born of the fact that he has been able to put his goal first before everything else and pursue it single-mindedly. When he has settled down to the quest, it is a pleasure for him to spend all his energies for its fulfilment, even beyond his normal capacities. In this way, the seeker becomes one with his goal, the devoted with God. God - says Baba - is so much inter twined in every word and thought of the people. So to reach the goal of God-realisation we have to climb these four steps.

234. What is the meaning of the prayer:

Man's ultimate abode is God. The infinite or God is the chief goal of the finite (Man). The Existence of man is limited by Maya or illusion, ajnana (lack of wisdom) and tamas (darkness). We live in a world of pluralities, of constant change and subject to all ills of such as existence, sickness, sorrow and suffering. We must find the unity in diversity and must be taken into the One, from which there is no return or rebirth. The above prayer expresses the essence of all ideas of the Upanishads.

"Asathoma sad gamaya" means "lead us from falsehood to truth". "Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya" means "lead us from darkness to illumination", and "Mrityorma Amritam gamaya" means "lead us from death or mortality to immortality".

235. What is Bhakthi and what are the different types of Bhakthi?

Bhakthi is devotion to God. Supreme love for god is known as Bhakthi. The great Bhaktha Naradha says: ''Satwasmin parama prema rupa". Bhakthi expresses itself as the most intense form of devotion to 'That' or God. Sometimes Bhakthi has been classified according to "gunas" such as satwik Bhakthi (God is propitiated by good deeds, love, self satisfaction and renunciation). (2) Tamasic Bhakthi (by animal sacrifice and other cruelties), (3) Rajasa Bhakti involves himsa or violence, (4) The highest Bhakthi is what is called "Para Bhakthi" is classified into five types. (1) Shantha Bhakthi, (2) Dasya Bhakthi, (3) Sakhya Bhakthi, (4) Vatsalya Bhakthi, (5) Madhura Bhakthi.

(1) Shantha Bhakthi is like satwik Bhakthi, makes the devotee absolutely devoted to God. He has no other desire. He lives free from worries and troubles and always seeks peace and inner tranquility. Example: Ambarisha, Bhishma etc.

(2) Dasya Bhakthi is like the utter devotion of a loyal servant to his Lord and master. It is complete self-surrender. It makes the devotee an absolute 'slave' of God, ready at all times to serve Him and obey His every wish and command. Example: Guha, Sabhari and Hanuman.

(3) Sakhya bhakthi - God is the devotee's friend with whom his relations are most intimate. Mutual love and trust bind God and His devotee. God, like a true friend, guides and protects the devotee. Example: Arjuna and Kuchala.

(4) Vatsalya Bhakti is unique. It is the feeling of intense love which the mother has for her child. The Supreme God loses His "distance" and comes close to the devotee as a child is to its mother. It is pure love, like the love of mother, without limit and without any desire for reward, absolutely unselfish. Example: Dasaratha, Kausalya, Nanda and Yasoda.

(5) Madhura Bhakthi: Madhura means "Sweet". The devotee Feels ecstatic in the presence of God who is the Supreme, Divine lover. In Madhura Bhakthi, the devotee cannot bear separation from the Lord and it is delight and overwhelming 'Ananda'. Example: the love of Gopis of Brindavan, Radha, Meera. Their love is not mere lust. They dedicated their lives to the service of God. Whatever may be the type of Bhakthi one possesses, if he is devoted to God, and remember Him always, every where, without allowing the mind to wander, then he can easily attain God and win His grace and that is supreme bliss. Bhakthi leads to Sakthi and Sakthi will grant Yukthi. The Yukthi will help you to fix your rakthi or attachment on the proper objects and your Bhakthi thus promoted finally results in Mukthi.


IV. THE VARIOUS GREAT RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD AND THEIR UNITY

236. What is a religion? Define it.

Religion may be defined as any Prevalent System of faith in super human power.

237. Why do we lead a religious life?

By submitting to God's will and by acting in such a way as to earn His grace, we lead a religious life. Every religion has its philosophy. Religion belongs to the region of the heart and philosophy belongs to the region of the head and both should go hand in hand. Religion is an essential ingredient in the making of man.

238. What is the basis of Religion? How many Religions are there? and how are they classified?

Religion is an essential thing for man to lead a good living. The basis of all religion is Faith. There are at present eleven religions and they are classified as (1) Aryan, (2) Semitic and (3) Mongolian. Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism and Sikhism are of the Aryan Group; Hebraism, Christianity and Islam belong to the Semitic group; Taoism, Confucianism and Shintoism, come under the Mongolian group.

239. What is the central truth of all religions?

The Central truth of all religions is that God is the perfect embodiment of love, grace and compassion; He is absolute perfection; He is the father of all creation; All creatures are His children. This is the central truth of all the world's great religions.

"Ekam sad vipra bahuda vadanti" - God is one, though the wise speak of him in many ways. So each religion is a revelation in its own way of this great truth. God is not the monopoly of any particular creed or religion.

240. How a Hindu refers to God?

The Hindus call God by different names like Iswara, Rama, Krishna etc., or Paramatma or Brahman.

241. What is the concept of God for jains?

The jains who do not directly refer to God, yet speak of the divine principle of perfection. When this principle is embodied in a being, he is called 'Arhat'. The realm of the Divine where no evil can exist, where every bondage to samsara and its sorrows and tribulations is destroyed and where the individual atttains eternal bliss is the highest goal. When all desires are burnt away, all attachment disappears, it is called the state of 'Nirvana' or 'Moksha'.

242. What is the concept of God for Buddhists?

The Buddhists who like the Jains do not postulate the existence of God in a specific or direct manner. They believe that the highest state that a man can reach is the state of "Buddha". He is actually not much different from the "God" of the so-called theists. He is divine, the 'Kevalin' or 'Mukta' or the 'Buddha', the embodiment of love and Pragna.

243. How do the Zoroastrians call the God?

The Zoroastrians call God, the holiest principle in the universe, "Ahura Mazda", the God of truth, wisdom and illumination.

244. How do the Muslims call the God?

The Muslims call Him "ALLAH". The Merciful, the compassionate, the sole Lord of the creation.

245. How do the Jews call their God?

The Jews God is "Jehovah".

246. Who is the God for the Sikhs?

To the Sikhs God is 'Sat' or 'Akal' - the true and the eternal.

247. The different Religions are so many paths to God. Explain.

From the earliest times, man has been aware of the transcendental power, which governs and sustains the Universe, As this idea developed through the centuries a variety of creeds arose. When we examine the world's great religions we will discover that all religions have more or less the same idea of God - though He is called by different names. From the beginning, man hungered for God and has longed to understand His ways. All religions have, with one voice, accepted the three fundamental qualities of God - they are (1) God's omnipotence, (2) His omniscience and (3) His omnipresence; without God's love nothing can live and without His power nothing can be done in this creation. So all the different religions are various roads leading to the one and the same goal which is God.

248. Each religion has its own way of understanding God. Explain it in detail.

Each religion has its own way of understanding God. The Ancient Hebrews regarded God as God of Justice, because the Hebrews have throughout been, for some reason or the other, a persecuted minority in the countries they occupied. The Buddhists and Jains who attached great importance to the destroying effects of greed and desire, tended to dream of a passionless Principle of Divinity, yet full of compassion for oppressed and suffering humanity. All religions believe in Prayer. Prayer is a means of intimate communion with the almighty. The Vedic religion frequently emphasised sacrifice and renunciation and in its later development as 'Vedanta' it stressed the need for man's ceaseless search for the supreme reality, through introspection, Sadhana and love of Truth. Christ emphasised the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. He made His followers dedicate themselves to the service of their fellowmen.

The Hindus have their Avatars - God manifesting Himself in human form from age to age to restore Dharma and Satya in this universe. Being embodiments of the Divine their influence has been immense upon the whole of India and even abroad.

Mohammed is considered as Allah's (God's) own prophet, God's mouth-piece and in his life he struggled hard and suffered much to save his people from sin and barbarism. Moses was one of the great prophets of the jews, Buddha for Buddhists and Mahaveera for the Jains. So all these prophets taught about God and what they understood they gave it to this world in the name of religion. In their own way of understanding, they gave their teachings. The doctrines of the World's religions have been preserved in their scriptures.

249. What are the great scriptures for the Hindu?

The Hindus have the Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas and the Dharma sastras. The scriptures lay down with great elaboration the eternal values of life.

250. What is the holy scripture of the Christian?

The Holy scripture of the Christians is the Bible, particularly the New Testament, the section of it which tells story of Christ and his Ministry.

251. Name the sacred scriptures of the Zoroastrians, Hebrews, Sikhs, Buddhists and Islam?

The Zoroastrians sacred scripture is "Zendavesta". The Hebrews sacred scripture is called "TORAH" and the "TALMUD". The Sikhs sacred book is called the "ADI GRANTH". The sacred scriptures of the Buddhists are called "PITAKAS" and the sacred scripture of Islam is called the "QUORAN".

252. What is the meaning of the word "Jina" and who is the founder of Jainism?

"Jina" the founder of the Jainism was also called Vardhamana Mahaveera. "Jina" means 'the victor' and it was a sort of a title given to him. The word 'Jina' is also applicable to those who have conquered their lower selves and attained self-realisation. Jina Vardhamana Mahaveera was the elder contemporary of the Buddha and was the second son of the Kshatriya ruler of Magada. Actually legends describe the beginning of Jainism to "Rishabha", who is said to have lived many centuries before Vardhamana. This view is supported in the Bhagavatapurana. But Vardhamana organised Jainism into a coherent creed and the Jains into a solid community.

253. What are the basic principles of Jainism?

The basic principles of Jainisms are - (a) AHIMSA (Positive kindness) (b) SATYAM (Truth-Speaking) (c) ASTEYA (Non-stealing) (d) APARIGRAHA (Non-grasping or contentment) (e) BRAHMACHARYA (Literally, proceeding towards Brahman).

254. What are the beliefs of Jainism?

(1) Jainism believes that every material thing has a spirit in it and so it stresses on Ahimsa.

(2) Jainism lays great stress on purity, that is, purity of inner being as well as external purity.

(3) Sadhana is important to attain perfection. Mahavera himself declared that there are two kinds of spiritual discipline - or 'Vrita' (a) "Mahavrita" or great discipline for munis or Monks and (b) "Anu-Vrita", the lesser discipline for ordinary folk. The Jain religion did not make much of God or the Transcendent Reality. However they believed in soul. The soul because of its entanglements with the impurities of the world becomes subject to ceaseless rebirth. So to get rid of impurities is the foremost aim of life.

255. Explain in detail the beliefs of Jainism about the soul and karma and who is called a "Holy Man"?

The pure soul is all brilliant, having Anantha Darshana, Anantha Jnana, Anantha Veerya and Anantha Sukha. Because this pure soul gets mixed with the impurities of the world, it gets rebirth. So Jainism says that impurities should be got rid of through pure living. They also believe in Karma or action and its effects. These action binds the soul and cause rebirth. The pure state of being is called "Jnana" and when karma is annihilated through pure and proper living the soul becomes "Anpashamika" astate in which karma is neutralised, though it is still present, like fire covered by ashes. When Karma is annihilated altogether the soul is said to be in the "Kshayika" state which leads to 'Moksha' or 'Kaivalya'. There is another state of the soul called "Kshayopastramika" state where some karma is still active. In this state men are called God. But when they reach "Anpashamika" or "Kshayika" state they become "Holy man".

256. In Jainism what are the different stages of moral and spiritual evolution?

In Jainism, all substances or "matter" is of two kinds (a) Astikeya (extended) and (b) Anasti Kaya (Non-extended). The first which is different from matter is spiritual. It is the peculiarity of Jainism that some Jevas are "Muktas" (the liberated) and others are "Buddhas" (the bound). They lay stress upon faith and work. All action leading to peace of mind are "Punya" and Jainism mention nine ways of securing punya - like giving food to deserving, water to the thirsty, and so on. 'Himsa' or causing injury is the great Sin - papa. In the Jain code injury in any form, from simple abuse to murder is a sin.

257. What is "Nirvana" State?

The nirvana of the Jains is not annihilation of the self, but it is new birth into a state of absolute purity and blessedness. It is the state that cannot be described. It is absolute freedom from desire and action - a state of perfect quiescence. The soul exists but it is so much beyond anything. This state is "Nirvana" State. Jainism does not accept a personal God or even a transcendental Brahman. They believe in "Arhats". They are souls full of knowledge and purity like the great Tirthankaras. The 'holy persons' are those who have reached the State of "Nirvana".

258. Who was the founder of Buddhism?

Siddhartha (meaning he who has attained his goal) was the founder of Buddhism. His family name was Gauthama. He was a prince, son of King Suddhodhana and Queen Maya of the Kingdom of the 'Sakyas' whose capital was Kapilavastu. He was born about 567 B.C. He became "Buddha" or the enlightened one, later in his life and formed the religion Buddhism.

259. Explain briefly what Buddha taught?

He taught the gospel of the four Aryan truths : (1) Life is full of suffering. Every event is in life painful (birth, age, disease, desire and so on). (2) It is desire that is the origin of suffering. It is the craving or thirst (Trishna) that binds us to the unending cycle of birth and death. (3) It is possible to achieve the suppression of suffering. He said by wisdom and understanding and through full awareness of the self, man can attain the state of bliss. For this he must awaken himself from the Anjana to Jnana. (4) The way to end suffering is to follow the noble eightfold path. In this all extremes are to be avoided and middle path has to be followed. He also said that by torture of the body "Nirvana" or salvation cannot be achieved. He taught non-attachment. He said a wise man, who is a 'Sama Darshi', who looks upon everything in an objective unattached manner, is a real "Bodhi" or truly enlightened person. He said only a pure in heart shall attain Nirvana or liberation. The Buddha does not mention either God or the soul in his teachings. Instead he refers constantly to 'Manas' or mind, which prompts all actions and words.

260. What is Buddhist 'Pancha-Shil'?

The whole of the simple doctrine of Buddha is best expressed in the Buddhist Pancha-shil. It consists of five resolutions. They are:

(1) I will refrain from killing any creature.
(2) I will refrain from false-hood.
(3) I will refrain from adultery.
(4) I will refrain from stealing.
(5) I will refrain from intoxicants.

261. Who was the founder of Zoroastrianism?

The founder of Zoroastrianism was the Persian prophet, Zoroaster, who lived in the 7th century B.C. Zoroaster was greatly concerned about the superstitious beliefs of his people, and so the first truth he taught was that God is one - the wise Lord 'Ahura Mazda' or 'Ormuzd', who is the creator of the universe and who lives in the heart of man as external Righteousness and the truth.

262. What are the characteristic belief of Zoroastrians?

The sanctity of Nature is their special belief. Earth, Air, light and water are four sacred elements of nature. So even when they die they do not bury or cremate because they think that will pollute Nature. So the dead are merely consigned to what they call "a Tower of Silence" where the birds of prey devour the bodies.

They are called "Fire-worshippers". Agni is a symbol of purity, Zoroastrians worship Sun, who stands for illumination (Tejas) and purity. They must follow four purities - pure thoughts, pure words, pure deeds and chastity.

263. What is the religion of the Parsis?

The Zoroastrians who emigrated to India are called the Parsis. They also worship the Sun. Their temples are called "Agiyaris" where the sacred fire fed by sandalwood is placed. They are strictly urged to follow the Zoroastrian ethical code summarised in three words (1) 'Humata' (Good thoughts), (2) 'Hukhata' (good words) and (3) "Huvrashta" (good deeds).

264. What is Judaism?

Judaism is the religion of the jews and is older than Christianity. It is strictly a monotheistic religion. Judaism is rooted in the ancient scriptures known to the Christians as the old Testament. Its central belief is a merciful universal God.

265. Who is the founder of Islam?

Mohammed was the founder of Islam. He declared that there is no other God than "Allah" the all powerful, all wise and all merciful. He revealed these sublime truths in his "Holy Quran" - a book which is the holy scripture for Muslims.

266. What are the important ideals of Islam?

Islam rests on five solid pillars in short. A muslim has five moral duties : (1) Prayer, (2) Charity, (3) Fasting, (4) Pilgrimage to Mecca and (5) Holy war.

267. What is Christianity?

Christianity in general, is the religion of those who believe in Christ, as a unique revelation of God. It arose nearly 2,000 years ago, as a section within judaismin in Palestine. It accepted at first the Jewish scriptures as its own, but instead of the traditional belief of the Jews that the expected Messiah or Christ was yet to appear, it held that he had already appeared on earth in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. So Christianity centres round the life and message of the Jesus who was called "Christ" or the Messiah.

268. To whom and where was Jesus born?

Jesus birth itself seem to have been a miracle. He was born in an inn in a cowshed in Bethlehem to Mary, wife of a carpenter, Joseph. He was not born in an ordinary way. He was son of a Virgin, upon whom the grace of the Lord had fallen.

269. Give an idea of Christ's Sublime moral preachings?

An idea of Christ's moral preachings can be got from the famous "Sermon on the mount". The main points are as follows:

(1) Blessed are the pure in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
(2) Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.
(3) Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
(4) Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.
(5) Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
(6) Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of God.
(7) Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
(8) Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
(9) Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

270. Who is the founder of "Sikhism"?

Sikhism is the latest and the youngest religion perhaps in the world - Nanak was its founder. He was born in 1496 in the village called Talwandi.

271. What is the holy book of the Sikhs called?

The holy book of the Sikhs is called the Granth Saheb. Their temples called "Gurudwaras" have no idols and no elaborate worship. Only the "Granth Sahib" containing the hymns and saying of the Guru is kept in the altar inside these temple.

272. What is the most important Principle of Sikh religion?

One most important idea of Sikh religion is that of devoted discipleship. The Word 'Sikh' means "A disciple". The Sikhs venerate their Gurus greatly. Nanak was their first Guru, and Guru Goving Singh their last. The teaching of the Guru is called "Guru Vani" - it is extremely sacred to them. The Sikhs conceive of God as their illumination or Jyothi - Sikhism attaches great sanctity to Japa or meditation on the Divine Jyoti and on the Gurus who are regarded as embodiments of this Jyothi.

273. What are the five requirements for the Sikhs, prescribed by the Gurus?

The Sikhs are distinguished by the following five requirements:
(1) They should wear their hair un-cut (Kesh)
(2) They should carry, by tradition, a steel comb (Kanga)
(3) They should wear a steel bangle (Kada)
(4) They should carry a short and sharp sword (Kirpan)
(5) No Sikh can be without a kachcha - small-sized tight under wear.

274. What is Taoism?

Taoism is a creed of pure Chinese origin based upon the teachings of "LAO-TZE". Along with Confucianism and Buddhism, it is one of the chief religions of Chinese culture. It may be called 'poly demonism' or worship of numerous demons. Magic plays an important role in it. Taoism proclaims the doctrine of "Quietism" - man should possess an inner power which is called the "TE" by meditation and by occult means. 'Lao-Tze' is credited with many miracles and is regarded as the incarnation of the 'Tao' an immaterial omni present and eternal power. He is an embodiment of Absolute good, incessantly waging war against Evil.

275. What is Shinto?

Japan's ancient religion is called Shinto or spirit's way. It is earlier than Confucianism and Buddhism. In its earlier form it was simply a form of nature worship. It gave rise later to a sort of polytheism. Shrines were built in honour of their many Gods. No image but only symbolised tokens of Gods are worshipped. These are called "Shintai" - a good body - out of which the term "Shinto" has come. The ruler of heaven called Amaterasu, who ruled heaven and earth with the help of her brother, Susanowo (thunder-God). The first creatures were divine couple - 'Izanigi' and 'Izanami' who are said to have created the island of Japan. The chief plank of Shinto ethics is that good is an absolute divine quality and must be ceaselessly practised. Charity is also a characteristic virtue.

276. What is Secularism?

It does not mean anything anti-religious. It merely implies "Sarva Dharma Samabhava" that is, a believer in secularism while remaining an ardent follower of his own religion, looks up on all other religions as different pathways to same goal God.

277. Secularism, in fact, is only a modern term for the old phrase "Religious tolerance" or Sarvamatha sammathee (The Symbol of our Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Seva organizations is an excellent example for secularism and we see the harmonious blending of all religions in this symbol). Explain How?

The symbol of Sri Sathya Sai Seva organizations (Printed on the cover page of this book) is an excellent example of the harmonious blending of all religions. The Om in this symbol refers to the universal Om kara Brahman or Hinduism. The Chakra is Dharma chakra, of Buddhism. The fire symbol refers to Zoroastrianism and the crescent moon with a star refers to the religion of the Islam and the cross represents Christianity. We have got the "Prasanthi symbol" of the lotus in the middle. This Symbol emphasises the ideals of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai namely Sathya, Dharma, Shanti, Prema and Ahimsa. The Symbol teaches us the noble way of living to reach the goal of God. It says that to attain immortality one has to cross it out the "I" feeling in oneself that is the Ego, and that is the sacred holy cross. Make your ego die in the cross. (Put I and cross or cancel it becomes the cross, the symbol of Christianity). Destroy your evil thoughts and bad tendencies in the holy fire and purify yourself and do good, see good and be good. Just like the star that never leaves or moves away from the crescent moon you also see or try to be fixed in your faith to God and never vascilate from your faith and be firm in your faith. Realise that just like the wheel or Chakra, the cause and effect are always rotating and realise every action has got a reaction and if we do good and follow Dharmic path then we will enjoy good results and good life and our Dharma itself will save us from this Bhavasakara which is always changing. Try to Recognise the Om kara, or Pranava, which is the eternal sound, called the "Akshara-Brahmam" or God. God is present every where in this universe which is Omnipresent and which is present even in your heart as well. Try to listen to this Omkar and follow the path of spirituality. All religions all morals codes like Dharma, Shanti, Ahimsa, Prema, and Sathya, all leads to the one and the only goal that is God who is Sathya Swarupa. All religions speaks about God alone who is the Eternal Truth. The "Prasanthi" symbol of the Lotus in the middle shows that if we follow the spiritual path shown by our Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba then Akanda Jnana will blossom in our hearts and will make us realise the unity in all religion and above all, it will enable us to realise the Eternal Truth or Sathya Swaroopa. So what Bhaghawan Baba teaches us applies to the whole universe and to all creations and not to one separate Religion or part or sect of Religion. Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Himself is Sathya Swaroopa in the True sense.

278. Describe the greatness of Indian culture and spirituality?

Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba says that Indian culture is born of the heart and of intuitive wisdom. It is the source of all religions of the world. It is difficult to properly and fully understand the multifaceted Indian culture. It is not connected with odd and fertile things such as the objects of the material word. Indian cuture can be compared with 'Kalpavriksha', the tree that gives all one wants. Approach with reverence and in a spirit of earnest enquiry alone will enable you to comprehend it.

It is ridiculous if we, having been born as Indian calling ourselves Indian, are not able to understand the inner meaning and the real significance of Indian culture. Like the elephant which inspite of its strength, obeys the trainer, ignorant of its own strength, we are ignorant of our own strength and follow others. Like a beautiful garland of flowers, our Indian culture is made up of variety of castes, creeds, religions, customs and we have got a variety or number of languages and differences; yet we live in unity. Our devotion to God and spiritual way of living is the unifying factor. In no other country we can see such a variety and such a high standard of living. Indian culture and spirituality, has got no equals. Our Veda is our treasure. What is not in Veda cannot be seen anywhere. In the "spiritual field, India occupies a very significant role of a Guru". We Indians have got such a great heritage and culture to our credit. God has chosen this land for proclaiming His truth. The very fact that all Divine Avatars have taken place in this sacred land shows its greatness. Our land is a Yaga Bhumi and not a Bhoga Bhumi. Our ancestors, the great sages had realised Divinity and gave great Truth to the whole universe in the treasure of Vedas, Upanishads and great Epics like Ramayana, Mahabharata etc. Our culture and spirituality and our Sanathana Dharma does not belong to one company or religion, but it is for the whole universe. This is the greatness of India and her culture.

279. Bhagawan Baba compares Our Indian culture and spirituality to the great "Triveni Sangam". Explain in detail.

Bhagawan says that we must consider Sathya, Dharma and Ahimsa as manifesting themselves to us in the form of silvery mountains. The great Ganges is considered to be sacred and pious and has been born on this Mountain. The culture of India is just like the pure stream of the Ganges. Just as the Ganges can never become dry so also Indian culture can never be rooted out. The deeds we do can be compared to sacred 'Yamuna', 'Saraswathi' the third river is the spiritual stream which flows in our lives like blood flows in our bodies. We see that the blood of the Indians is like Saraswathi river. The performance or deeds of Indians like the Jamuna and their Cultural life is like the Ganga. So we see in an Indian the great "Triveni Sangamam". The combination of these rivers is the country of India. We cannot say that an Indian is a combination of just flesh and blood or a combination of earth and water. We should regard an Indian as the combination of these three the Triveni Sangamam. Indians trying to go in an improper way and trying to imitate other culture because they are not aware of the sacred stream flowing inside which is the stream of knowledge. Saraswathi does not mean only literature but also is the goddess who gives perfect bliss and Ananda. This Saraswathi will establish the atma and is the stream connecting man with God. She will root out the impurity of man and make him sacred and pious. So the greatness of our culture and spirituality is thus compared to the great and sacred 'Trivenisangam' of our country, by Bhagawan Baba.

280. Who is an Avatar and why does an Avatar take place?

The word Avatar means "descent". It is the descent of God on the earth in a human form. Its purpose is to establish Dharma, the supreme Law of righteousness in the world again and again. There are two aspects of the Divine birth, One is the descent that is the birth of God in humanity another is the 'ascent' that is the birth of man into the God-head or rising into the Divine nature Or consciousness. The supreme Divinity resides in the heart of everyone and yet conceal from us from yogamaya. The Divine birth is different from ordinary birth. The God-head takes birth through his own maya. The God-head dwells in and yet stand upon and over Nature as its Lord and master, is the special feature of an Avatar. In the case of an Avatar He is manifest in physical form and that Nature is conscious of the Divine presence of the Lord, the inhabitant. (Adhistatri Devata). An Avatar is thus a dual phenomenon of Divinity and humanity. The Avatar comes to bring near the kingdom of heaven to earth as well as to build the kingdom of heaven within the individual human heart. The Avatar comes to reveal the Divine nature in man above his lower nature and to show what are the Divine works by which he can achieve unity with the Divinity residing within him.

281. Why do we call our Bhagawan an Avatar Purusha?

Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is really Sathya Swaroopa. He is in reality Sathyam, Sivam and Sundaram. That is Sath, Chit and Ananda. His real nature is that He is Siva Sakthi Swaroopa and he has taken this human form in order to reform us and to re-establish our old Sanathana Dharma. He is an embodiment of Prema, Karuna and Shanti. The Leelas and miracles performed by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Baba clearly prove that he is the God in human form. He is the Lord of the nature, which is his own creation and agency and therefore though in a human body, he has supreme control over Nature, which is ever at his service for carrying out whatever may be his 'Sankalpa', 'Leelas' and miracles with him or what we normally call 'Siddhis'. If used freely these Siddhis, the power will be lost. But in the case of Bhagawan Leelas and Miracles are an innate part of his 'Swabhava' - his nature. He was born with them as Lord and Master of nature, as the supreme Purushottama,- and they were not acquired after birth through yogic practices. That is why Bhagawan not only uses these powers freely but extensively over a very wide range for the propagation of the objective for which he has incarnated himself on this earth. He has got all the qualities of an Avatar. Bhagawan is Omnipresent, and Omnipotent. This is evident by his life itself. Bhagawan Baba's Leelas show clearly well that he is not bound by time, qualities and nature. He is beyond everything. He is in everything and everywhere.

Sarvabhootatma, Sarvantharyami indweller of all the hearts. He is the external witness. Bhagawan Himself have declared it in his Divine discourses and has shown many forms of the Divine, to his devotees and has proved that he is an Divine Avatar. Let us see what Bhagawan says about Himself.

282. What does Bhagawan say about Religions and about the symbols used to describe God?

Bhagawan says all religions are but roads leading to the same goal, God. We must try to know the unity and should show respect to all religions. Bhagawan Baba says as few blind, feeling some part of an elephant and describing it, the great thinkers of God, describe what they felt and formed their own religion and modes of living. All religions shows the path way to God. So all are same. All religions comes under Sanathana Dharma. Society or religion is very important. In diversity one should see the unity. We think God Shiva have 'Damaruka' or Drum and 'Trisula'. Lord Vishnu have 'Chakra' and 'Sankha' what does it really mean? 'Damaruka' and 'Sankha' both represent the sound and Trisula or Chakra both represents the Kala Chakra or Trikala or Time. It only means God is beyond Time and God is Sabdha Brahman. We describe God as having Sankha, Chakra, Ghada, Padmarn in his four hands. All these symbols have asignificant meaning. 'Sankha' means sound. It means God has control over sound. 'Chakra' means the time. God controls the time in his hand. 'Ghada' means strength. So it only means all the strength are in God's hand and Pushpa or Padma means flower. It is our "Hirudayapushpam" or "heart". It only means that we must offer our heart as flower to God and then He will accept it in His hand. So each religion has its own way of worship - and moral codes. We must treat them equally and show respect to all the religions. We should not forget god is one, and only one without a second, we must develop this unity, and 'Samabhava' to all religion and must try to recognize the Eternal Truth that is God.

283. What are the four pillars of Baba's Philosophy?

The four Chief Principle which Bhagawan Baba ask us to follow are (1) Sathya, (2) Dharma, (3) Shanthi,and (4) Prema. If we follow Sathya, Dharma, Shanthi and Prema it is possible to attain God. Bhagawan asks us to Arise and Awake to establish the Sai Sam Rajya and Sanathana Dharma based on the solid foundation of Sathya, Dharma, Shanthi, and Prema.

284. What is Sathyam?

The prompting that comes out of the heart or the feeling that emanates from the heart is called "Rutha". "Rutha" means the feelings and the ideas. They are of paramount importance. They set out all the guidelines for action and have a determining influence. The feeling that has been shaped in the heart when it comes in the form of speech, it is called "Sathya" or Truth.

285. What is Dharma?

When Sathya or Truth, is put into Practice that is called Dharma. Dharma is that which is born from the heart, that which is then expressed in the shape of words and that which is then put into practice. Dharma is not a thing that can be determined by each and every person as per his whim. Dharma that comes out of one's heart is his 'Dharma' then how can it become the Dharma of the God? So in our heart - not physical but spiritual heart, we must try to locate and recognize Atma thatwa. The word I refers to Atma and never to body. The Vyavaharika Dharma or Dharma relating to the daily routine will be changing from day to day. So it is not real Dharma. But Dharma is not changeable, it is eternal, it is immutable, it is Truth. Our Swadharma really means "Swa" means Atma. So it is Atma Dharma

286. What is Prema?

The selfless love for God or the supreme is called Prema. This kind of love expect nothing in return. True Prema flows from the heart and it is real devotion. The fuel Prema yields the Divine flame of Shanti.

287. What is Shanti?

Shanthi, or peace, in its lower aspects is that equal state of mind which remains unaffected either by joy or sorrow or by any other pair of opposites. In its higher and more positive aspect, it is not exactly Ananda but Madhura Ananda. When you apprehend the prevalence of God everywhere - the entire manifestation appears as the projectin of Divinity.

288. How is Prema to be cultivated?

Consider always the faults of others however big to be insignificant and negligible and consider your faults however insignificant and negligible to be big and feel sad and repentant. Realise that the one and the only God resides in the heart of all creatures and try to love them all. Try to understand the fatherhood of God and brotherhood of all creatures. Follow Bhagawan Baba's advice. Start the day with love, fill the day with love and end the day with love for that is the way to God. Realise that God is Pure love or Prema and He is Prema Swaroopa. That is why we say "God is love" if we realise all these things then we can follow the path of love.

289. Quote some of the great saying of Indian culture or the words of Indian Wisdom?

Some of the great words of Indian Wisdom - are ''Sathyam Vada" (meaning Speak the Truth and "Dharmam Chara" - meaning do the right thing. The greatness of our Indian Culture lies in our belief "Mathura Devo Bhava" - (worship mother as God), "Pithru Devo Bhava" - (worship father as God), Acharya Devo Bhava - (worship the Guru or teacher as God), and "Athithi Devo Bhava" - (worship your guest as God). These advices deserve to be preserved in the caskets of our hearts like precious gems and to be followed in order to win the grace of God.

290. Who are the main religious reformers of our country?

The Alwars and Nayanmars established the faith of Hinduism in South India. The Alwars are worshippers of Lord Vishnu and the Nayanmars are worshippers of Lord Siva. The Alwars are Ten in number and the Nayanmars are sixty-three in number. The great Shankaracharya, Madvacharya, and Ramanujaacharya established the ideals of Hinduism and spread their philosophy namely Advaita, Dwaita and Visishtadvaita throughout the world. This great and sacred country Bharat is well known for its attachment towards God. A number of great sages and seers of Vedantic Truth are born in this country. Great Maharishis like 'Valmiki', Vyasa, Agasthiar are all born in this country. The great sages proclaimed the Truth of Veda to the whole world. In the later years, Mahapurushas and Siddhupurushas like Ramana Maharishi, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Vivekananda, Aravinda, spread Indian culture and Spirituality by their teachings and life. Great Seers like Buddha, Mahavir, Gurunanak all are born in this holy land as they have enlightened the whole world by proclaiming great Truths. Great Bhakthas like Meera Bai, Kabir, Tulasidas, Ramdas, Surdas, Andal, Jayadeva and so many have been born in this holy land and have spread devotion in this country. Even God has taken birth many times in human form as 'Avatars' in this holy land. Example Rama, Krishna, Shirdi Sai, and Sathya Sai Baba. Avatars have taken place in order to preserve our Sanathana Dharma and they have enlightened the whole universe by their life and teachings.

291. What is real Vidya or Education?

Vidya is enriched by Vinaya and humility. True education is judged from the cultivation of good character and good conduct and not merely from the attainment of degrees. "Brahmavid Brahmaiva Bhavati" is the saying. One who understands the supreme being will himself become the supreme being. The real Education is the Education about Atma or Brahman. So "Brahmavidya" is real vidya. That is the supreme knowledge or wisdom or Jnana.

292. What is the end of all these Education and Wisdom?

The end of education is Character and the end of Wisdom is freedom.

293. What will be the end of all culture?

The end of culture is perfection.

294. What is the end of knowledge?

The end of all knowledge is love.

295. What is the purpose of all these information?

The purpose of all this information is Transformation. The Transformation must be in our character.

296. When and where was Bhagawan Baba born?

Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba was born on November 23rd, 1926 on a Karthikai Somawaram day in the village called Puttaparthy in Andhra Pradesh.

297. Who are the blessed couples to whom Bhagawan Baba was born?

In the village called Puttaparthy in the Ratnakaram Raju family Kondamaraju was a saintly centenarian who built a temple for Sathya-Bhama, the consort of Lord Krishna. His eldest son was named by him after a famous recluse who adorned the family Venka Avadhoota (Venka - who has given up all attachment to wordly things). He called him Vengappa Raju. This son married a distant relation, a daughter who was born after the construction of a temple by her father to Siva and so named Iswaraamba. This pious and holy couple had a son and two daughters. Then afterwards Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba was born to them, who proved quite soon that he was uniquely Divine in nature and attainments.

298. What was the name given to Bhagawan Baba by His Parents?

Since Bhagawan Baba was born soon after finishing the Sathya Narayana Pooja, His parents named him as Sathya Narayana.

299. How Bhagawan came to know in the name of Sri Sathya Sai Baba?

At last in the village of Puttaparthy on the twenty-third day of May 1940, while scattering gifts into the outstretched palms of all who came, Baba declared that He was Sai Baba of Shirdi come back again to Save Humanity from down fall. He asked them to worship Him every Thursday as the first instalment of spiritual discipline. Afterwards Sathya Narayana was worshipped as Sai Baba, the saint of Shirdi, come again, according to the promise he had made at Shirdi. Bhagawan Sri Sathya Baba has proved that he is the same Sai Baba of Shirdi without doubts to his devotees by his leelas and by performing many miracles. He gives to his devotees sacred ash or other curative gifts of Grace like pieces of the gerua gown that Sai Baba wore at Shirdi. (The saint had entered the tomb in 1918).

300. What was the very first song which Bhagawan Baba taught to humanity?

The very first song which Bhagawan Baba taught was an invitation to surrender to the feet of the Guru who had so mercifully, appeared to save this humanity. It is as follows "Maanasa bhajare Guru charanam, dustara Bhava saagara tharanam". The meaning is "Oh ye seekers! worship the feet of the Guru with all your mind. You can thus cross the ocean of grief and joy and the cycle of birth and death".

301. What is the real meaning of the word "Guru"?

The "Guru" is called so because the letter "Gu" signifies "Gunathitha" one who has transcended the three Gunas or qualities, the Thamasic, the Rajasic and even the Sathwic and the letter "Ru" signifies one who is "Roopavarjitha" who has grasped the formless aspect of God-head. Of course, he could come to that stage only through the sublimation of the lower into the higher qualities and the steady and conscious ignoring of the part played by mere name and form. The Guru destroys the illusion and sheds light his presence is cool comforting. In order to realise God, one should approach a Guru who knows the Truth by experience and whose daily activities, words and thoughts reflect this realisation. If we do not get such a Guru let us Pray to the Lord Himself to show the way, and then he will surely come to our rescue. The Guru helps us to cross this 'Bhavasagara' if we surrender to him whole-heartedly, and fully. Guru is the physician for the illness which brings about the suffering of alternate birth and death.

302. What is the meaning of Baba? Why does he calls himself by the name Sri Sathya Sai Baba? Who is He in reality?

Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in reality is God and he is Sat-Chit-Ananda (Satchidananda). He has come in this human form as an 'Avatar' to save this Humanity and to restore the Dharmic path and establish the glorious Sanathana Dharma back in this universe. Bhagawan Baba himself proclaimed to the world that he is in reality "Sathya Sai Baba" and he says "SAI BABA" means the Divine father and mother. The word 'SATHYA' means Truth, it is something which is unchanging during all the limes. The word 'SAI' has three sounds in it. 'SA' 'AA' 'YE'. 'SA' stands for the sacred and Divine. 'AAYE' means mother. In different languages, we have for mother Aayee, Mayee, and Thayee. Like Aayee means mother, Baba means father. SAIBABA is therefore Divine mother and father of this creation. In the same way we use the letter 'SA' for Divine, for mother we can use the word 'AMBA' for father we can use the word 'SIVA'. SA-AMBASIVA (SAMBASIVA) or SAIBABA are exactly the same. There is no difference between the two. Therefore it becomes evident that Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is Siva Sakti Atmaka Swaroopa in reality. If we take up the word BABA, it is B.A.B.A. The first B stands for Being. A stands for Awareness; the third letter B stands for Bliss; the fourth letter A is for Atman. The first B - Being - is sat, the next letter A - Awareness - is 'Chit' and the third letter 'B' is Bliss or Ananda. The last letter A stands for Atma. That means Satchidananda is Atma. Bhagawan's name itself clearly tells his real nature, and there is no doubt about it. His life and message itself will prove it. Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is in reality "Siva Sakti Atmaka Swaroopa" or God. He is the indweller of all beings and He is the Omnipresent, Omnipotent God come in this Human form. He has taken up this form out of his mery and Prema towards Humanity. He is "Loka Guru" and the "real Guru" and it is our greatest luck that we have got the God, our Bhagawan right in our midst.

"MAANASA BHAJARE GURU CHARANAM
DUSTHARA BHAVA SAGARA THARANAM"

Worship the Divine Lotus feet of the Guru, the Guru who is announcing Himself, who has come again for taking upon Himself, the burden of those who take refuge in Him. (This is the only way to escape from this endless round of birth and death and attain Divinity). I feel myself greatly blessed in obtaining the Divine permission and blessings of Bhagawan Sri Sri Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Himself, to release this book and also Bhagavan's special permission to add the texts, based on His Divine teachings, namely, the Alphabetical representations, Numerical representations and the 108 Moral Maxims, from this second edition onwards. (Hence this additional preface).

God's word is that if you have devotion to God, He will look after your welfare as eyelids look after the eyes. But when would this be? He says that would be done provided the devotee spends all the time in the thought of God, provided he accepts God to be all pervading and as present in everything.

So in order to promote this attitude, let us try to realise the divine advice given by Bhagawan in each and every basic word or alphabet and number so that we will ever remember His divine advices.

By the grace of Bhagawan, I have collected 108 valuable and simple moral codes for daily practice since Bhagawan says wisdom or self realisation can be attained only by practice and not by reading or preaching. Let us accept these 108 Divine sayings of Bhagawan Sri Satya Sai Baba as the most precious, noble and divine 'Japamala' (or say 'Thapamala' for sadhana is tapas) given by Bhagawan specially for our benefit and specially handed over to us in order to save us from this Bhava Sagar (endless suffering from the cycle of birth and death) for the prosperity and welfare of ourselves and the whole humanity as well. If we wear it as a "Kankan" with a determination to practice and ever remember in our heart, then God will install Himself in our hearts and enable us to attain Divinity. All this information is for transformation's sake. As we read Ashtothras and prayers every day, so also let us read these moral codes daily with devotion and prayers to Bhagawan to purify our hearts and minds and enables us to put into practice His valuable commands in order to win the grace of our beloved Lord and attain His lotus feet by service, devotion and prema.

Bhagawan, please grant us the fragrance of prema Bakthi and the beauty of good conduct and character fully blossomed with wisdom of Jnana without any blemishes of bad qualities, bad deeds or bad thoughts, so that we can be like specially accepted Lotus flower in your divine hand, specially chosen for your worship, that is specially chosen for your divine mission and shower your grace and blessings on us to enjoy your prema and attain your lotus feet.

AUM SANTHI SANTHI SANTHI


V. ALPHABETICAL REPRESENTATIONS

Each letter of the alphabet reminds us of one or more of Bhagawan's sayings:

A - Arise! and Awake from the sleep of ignorance and attain a state of realisation, that is the realisation of Atma. Atma is what is infinitesimally small; envelopes That which is infinitely large. It is present everywhere and manifests itself under all circumstances, Atma is Brahmam.

B - Brahma is the only truth. It shines as Atma in all the different forms of living being. That which is eternal Truth, that which is unchanging, that which is pure knowledge and That which cannot be described by words is Brahmam. The knowledge of Brahmam is Brahma-vidya; it is the true and real vidya. Brahmam is the One without a second.

C - Character is our wealth and good conduct is our treasure. Knowledge of the God in us is the foundation for both. The voice of God, our conscience, is our master and guide.

D - Duty is God: Work is worship. Discipline, devotion and duty are the three "D"s essential for our welfare.
Do not be afraid of death.
Do not forget God.
Do not get yourself involved too much in this world. "Dil me Ram, hath me Kam" Think of Ram (God) and do Kam (Work). In the heart Ram or God and in the hand do the work.

E - Education has the proper effect only if you are able to control your senses, set your ideas on the right path and keep your mind clean.

Real education requires the cultivation of humility. The education that builds bliss in our hearts, peace in our minds, and happiness in our lives is the true education. Education must result in the development of 'Viveka' and 'Vinaya'. (Discrimination and humility).

F - For your future to be happy, you must even now, be good, do good and see good. Follow the master-that is, your Conscience.

Face the devil. (The evil urges)
Fight till the end. (Till you realise the One)
Finish the game. (Merge in God)

G - Guru is none other than God. The vision of God that resides in the heart can be had through an un-wavering devotion for the Lous feet of the Guru and by following His teachings.

H - Humility gained by Vidya will lead you to deservedness: Deservedness will in turn get you prosperity. Prosperity will make you righteousness or Dharmic and you will be able to serve and save yourselves. This is the way to win the grace of the Lord.

I - "I" is in all. "I" is everywhere. Therefore, if one is able to understand, that "I" is everywhere, he can easily realise it as the Atma.

J - Jeeva and Brahma constitute one seed. They are like two halves of the whole seed and ut of it life sprouts. God is Mahasakthi and the Jeeva is Mayasakthi. God is genuine, Jeeva is the shadow, God the reality, Jeeva the appearance.

K - "Kama" (Lust) and Krodha (Anger) are the basis for all the sins and the root causes for all troubles. When Rama (God) enters our heart than Kama (Desire) will be destroyed.

L - "Less luggage makes travel more comfortable". Our life is a long journey, because we are accumulating a lot of luggage in the form of many desires, life is filled with anxiety and troubles. Diminishing the luggage (shedding desires) is Vairagya. If we lessen our desires then life's journey, will be comfortable.

M - "Mathru Devo Bhava,

Pithru Devo Bhava
Acharya Devo Bhava
Athithi Devo Bhava

That is worship the mother as God, the father as God, the Guru as God and the guest as God. These are injunctions given to us by the scriptures. God is pleased only if we do the above duties properly. Mother and father are visible living Gods for they have given birth and have undergone so much of sacrifices and troubles for our welfare and happiness. If today, you show respect to your parents, your children will respect you and give you happiness in future.

N - Noble thoughts, deeds and words make one noble and enable him purify his heart so that Para Brahmam may be reflected therein. Nara should make attempts to become Narayana.

O - One and the only reality is the omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient God. OM or Omkaram represents Brahmam.

P - Path of Karma or work is like the path by which you go by foot. The path of Bakthi or Devotion is like path by which you go by a car. The path or Yoga or concentration is like path by which you go by steamer. The path of Jnana or wisdom is like path by which you go by aeroplane. All paths lead to (Puttaparthy, the abode of) the living God.

Q - The quest for knowledge is the doorway to wisdom. The quest to know one's real self is the Atma Vidya or Brahma Vidya, by which one knows the real truth.

R - Remember! so long as sankalpas or desires are in you, you cannot escape being born, again and again.

Life + desire = Human
Life - desire = Divine

S - Self-confidence will ensure self satisfaction. Once you have self satisfaction, then you can acquire the great virtue of self sacrifice and by self sacrifice alone can you attain self realisation. It is quite possible to understand the Divine Spirit while-young When your mind and body is strong and healthy. So start such good practices and get fixed in them while still young "Start early, drive slowly, reach safely".

T - The tongue is doubly sacred. It should be used for uttering the name of Lord in order to transform the Manava (man) into Madhava (God).

Instead, if you abuse the tongue and talk ill of others, you become an animal. If your foot slips the injury can be healed but if your tongue slips, the injury it causes in the heart of another will not heal for ever. The tongue is liable to commit four wrongs : (1) Uttering falsehood, (2) Scandalising, (3) Finding fault with others, and (4) Excessive talk. Always talk sweetly and softly. You cannot always oblige; but talk obligingly.

U - Utter the name of God, meditate continuously on God, Spend your time in the company of the good. Give away your wealth to the weak and the needy. Ultimately you will feel the unity in all and attain unity with the Almighty. If you end your life remembering God and uttering the name of God, you can surely attain immortality. So practise uttering the name of God, along with every act of breathing.

V - "Virtues cannot be practised in a vacuum." It is not necessary to retire to the forest to get rid of anger, hatred and other bad qualities. Remain in worldly surroundings when there is ample scope for the rising up emotions and there learn to control them. That will be a meritorious achievement.

W - The Three "W"s which you have to aspire in order to win God's grace are (1) Work, (2) Worship, and (3) Wisdom. Work stands for sacred work, to promote the prosperity and happiness of the country. You should worship with a pure mind and aspire for wisdom. The three 'W's which one should avoid are (1) Wealth, (2) Women, and (3) Wine.

X - X-mas or any other such holy days shown in the calendar are not the real holy days. The day when we start realising divinity in everything around us and in us, that day is the real sacred and holy day.

Y - Yearn for God's grace through Prema, Bakthi and sincere Seva. Whoever comes seeking service from you is the best of individuals at that time. Whatever help you can give him by serving him will be your best duty and this will be the best work that you can do to earn God's grace. Seek all chances of serving others.

Z - Zoo is the place where animals are caged and bred. Do not allow your heart to become a zoo by allowing animal like qualities like anger, jealously and hatred to breed. Suppress these tendencies by namasmarana and try to develop Sathwic qualities by sadhana. If you install divine qualities in your heart, then God himself will reside there and make you also divine by his Grace.

* * *


VI. NUMERICAL REPRESENTATIONS

Numbers too represent Bhagawan's Teachings :

0 - (Zero) - Zero represents the world and the integer one stands for God; without "One" the "Zero" has no Value. That is, without "GOD" the real I, the world "0" is meaningless.

1 - (One) - The one and only reality is God. There is only one religion, the religion of love. One caste - The cast of humanity. One language - The language of the heart, and there is only one God - He is omnipresent.

2 - (Two) - There are two things you must always remember. The existence of God, and the inevitability of death. There are two things one should forget: whatever help you have done to others, and whatever harm others have done to you. There are two duties to be done by man, the one along the Dharma Marga for this world and the other one along the Brahma Marga for his liberation.

3 - (Three) - You are not one person but three, namely, the one you think you are, the one others think you are and the one you really are. If we are able to guide our life bearing these three aspects in mind, then it will be possible to get the Atmathatwa into our lives.

There are three things one should keep in mind always and do. They are -
(1) I will not think of anything else except God.
(2) I will not do anything else without the permission of God.
(3) I will have may attention completely fixed on God.

4 - (Four) - There are four purusharthas or goals of life, "Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha". Earn Artha (Money or wealth) through Dharma and for Dharma; develop Kama (desire) for Moksha.

We have to pay off four kinds of debts in this world, namely debt to your parents, debt to the sages, debt to nature and debt to God. Only four days deserve the honour of being holy;

1. the day on which Bakthas gather to sing the glory of God;
2. the day when the hungry are fed;
3. the day when we meet a great sage and
4. the day on which Viveka dawns on us.

5 - (Five) - Five sheaths encase the Atma and hide its splendour from revealing itself. Make all these pure and shining.

(1) The Annamaya Kosa must be purified by good clean pure food;
(2) The Prana Maya Kosa by calm steady breathing and an equanimous temper;
(3) The Mano Maya Kosa by holy thoughts and emotions untouched by attachment to senses or unaffected by joy or grief;
(4) Vijnana Maya Kosa must be purified by contemplation of the Reality; and
(5) The Ananda Maya Kosa by getting immersed in the ecstasy of God realisation;

6 - (Six) - There are six bad qualities which will degrade human being to the level of animal. They are (1) Kama (Lust), (2) Krodha (anger), (3) Lobha (greed), (4) Moha (attachment), (5) Mada (arrogance), (6) Matsarya (jealously). Bhagawan has six chief characteristics.

The divine qualities are :

(1) Aiswarya, (2) Keerthi, (3)Jnana, (4) Vairagya, (5) Srishti, Sthithi and (6) Laya.

Whoever has these qualities you can consider as being Divine. Splendour, Prosperity, Wisdom, non-attachment, the powers of creation, preservation and destruction - these are the unfailing characteristics of avatharas of the Mahasakthi which persists fully when it has apparently modified itself with Maya Sakthi. Whenever these are found, you can identify God head.

7 - (Seven) There are seven things that have to be fostered for the welfare of the world. They are:

(1) The cow, (2) the Brahmam-ward aspirant or the Brahmin, (3) the Vedas, (4) Chastity, (5) Truth, (6) non-attachment and (7) Dharma, when all these decline, God comes as Avatar to restore them to their pristine purity and strength.

8 - (Eight) - There are eight stages in spiritual discipline until one attains fulfilment. These are called "Ashtanga Yoga".

9 - (Nine) - There are nine forms of Bakthi. They are (l) Sravanam, (2) Keerthanam, (3) Smaranam, (4) Vandanam, (5) Pada Sevanam, (6) Archanam, (7) Dasyam, (8) Sakhyam (9) Atmanivedanam.

In all these forms prema is the essential component. It is prema that thrills and fills the mind with joy and hope.

10 - (Ten) - Ten Indriyas (Five Jnana Indriyas and five karma Indriyas) should be controlled. The one who has mastery over his Indriyas is really Dasaratha. Clasp the ten Indriyas together and merge the Jivathma with the Paramathma. That is the meaning of putting both palms together as Namasthe.


VII. 108 MORAL MAXIMS

The Divine Sayings of Bhagawan Sri Satya Sai Baba.
(Practical Ashtothrams or 108 maxims to be practised in daily life).

1. Arise and awake to establish the Sai samrajya based on the foundation of Sathya Dharma Shanthi and Prema.

2. All is one; be alike to everyone. The world is one; be good to everyone.

3. Be good, see good and do good. That is the way to God.

4. Our life becomes one of fulfilment when we live in morality.

5. Money comes and goes; but morality comes and grows!

6. Kala, or time consumes everyone. So do not waste time. Time wasted is life wasted.

7. The past is beyond recovery. We are not sure of the future. The given moment is the right time. Do not delay; do right action.

8. Silence is the only language of the realised. It is only in the depth of silence that the voice of God can be heard. Silence stills the waves of one's heart.

9. Life is lost in dreaming and being is lost in becoming.

10. Do not be misled by this illusory world. Realise the permanent Atma - the ultimate and absolute Reality, Unchanged and eternal, without end or beginning.

11. One who understands the supreme being or Brahma (God) will himself become the supreme being "Brahmavid Brahmiva Bhavathi".

12. Man is born not to go in quest of Anna (material prosperity). He is born to go in quest of Atma.

13. Man without God is not a man. God without man is always God.

14. Realise that the Divine is present in every living thing, as the indwelling Atma.

15. There is bliss and happiness in realising the unity inherent in diversity.

16. All religions are roads leading to the one and the only goal, that is, God. So regard them all with equal respect (All religions, teach that you should purify your mind, know your own self and develop prema).

17. The truth is only yourself, what you see during the day is a day dream, what you see during sleep, is a night dream.

18. Brahma is present in your own heart and functions as the witnessing consciousness all through. So we cannot hide anything thinking God is elsewhere.

19. Since God is the indwelling Atma of all living beings, doing service or good to a person is in reality worshipping God. Similarly talking ill or doing anything bad to a person is in reality doing bad to God Himself or talking ill of Him.

20. Good and bad, peace and agony, pain and pleasure, all these Originate within man and not outside him.

21. Turn your mind inwards to the Atma and enjoy peace and equanimity. Be immersed in that bliss.

22. Good and bad, happiness and sorrow, which appear to be different and opposite, are in reality, two faces of the same coin.

23. The mind is the soul cause for happiness as well as for misery, for bondage or for freedom.

24. If there are no two periods of pain there will be no experience of pleasure, for pleasure is only an interval between two pains.

25. We must try to do good to others and keep the loss or suffering if any to ourselves. Then only do we deserve to assert that God is with us.

26. True spiritual life is that which teaches unity or oneness and makes us selfless and full of love.

27. Philosophy is the butter churned out of the milk of knowledge. Brahma Vidya is the Vidya, by knowing which we know everything and the ultimate reality.

28. Every action of ours and every thought of ours causes a reflection and a reaction and a resound.

29. All that we do, either good or bad, knowingly or unknowingly produce a result always and so it is necessary for us to do good, so that the consequences will also be good.

30. Life is not a one-way traffic. We should be prepared to give and take.

31. Love lives by giving and forgiving. Self lives by getting and forgetting.

32. The thought that comes from your mind should be pure; the words you utter should be true and sweet and the work you do should be sacred.

33. The Good life is a journey from the position of 'I' to the position of 'We'.

34. When you wear the glasses of prema you will see everywhere prema and can realise the prema Swarupa Bhagawan.

35. Whatever you may do, if you do it with the feeling, that you are doing the same thing to yourself, you will never do anything bad.

36 Without first becoming a servant, you cannot become a leader.

37. Recognising one's error is the beginning of Wisdom.

38. When you point one finger at others note the three fingers that point towards you. That is, when you point out one fault in others, you must examine thrice whether there is any fault in you.

39. Practice before you preach; do not yourself do the mistake which you find in others.

40. If any points out any fault in you, you must thank him, because by yourself you will not be able to find out your own fault, as your eyes are directed outwards. You can find the faults only in others.

41. Satsang-good company is important; it helps to cultivate good qualities.

42. God gives you a garland made of all the good and bad that you have done in previous lives. You have been born with that garland round your neck.

43. A bad act cannot give you good results; a good act cannot give you evil results. You plant the seed; it grows into the tree the seed contains.

44. We are born not to be reborn again. We have to go back to the place from which we have come, that is, Brahman. Attaining that source is our ultimate goal of life.

45. Brahman (or God) is not something which is external or outside you. It is present in you and is in your ownself. Realise this.

46. It does not matter if you live in this world, but do not let the world live in you.

47. Install God in your heart and offer Him the Fruits of your good feelings, the tears of joy on the leaf of your sacrificed body.

48. Worship the Lord (God) in mind and offer Him something that is yours, which is clean and fragrant, with the perfume of virtues and innocence and washed in the tears of repentance.

49. Implicit faith in the Divine is the road to spiritual success.

50. The Lord Loves not the Bhaktha, but his Bhakthi - remember this.

51. Saranagathi - Leaving everything to God's will is the highest form of Bhakthi. Whether we lose or gain, have pain or pleasure, our faith must be unshaken. Whatever happens, accept it as His gift.

52. God is an ocean of mercy. Bhakthi is the easiest way to win His grace. God's grace is like sunshine, available to all.

53. Sraddha and Bhakthi are the two oars with which you can row the boat of life across the sea of Samsara.

54. It is not possible for us to enter God's abode without sama (sense control) and Dama (Mind control).

55. We can attain Moksha even while performing worldly duties, if our mind always remains immersed in divinity. Whatever work we may do, do it as offering to God.

56. Having got this sacred chance of life as a human being (which is very difficult to get) if we conduct ourselves like animals, we will be wasting our lives and not justifying this gift of God.

57. When the mind is turned inwards, it looks only at the Atma and enjoys the bliss. Therefore you will not notice any difference between pleasure and pain, bad or good. You will only realise the oneness of everything and become one with God. This is real Samadhi, meaning Sama - (equal) and 'dhi' - (budhi).

58. With the fear of sin love for God "Papa bheethi and Daiva preethi" we must try to lead our lives in a disciplined way in order to get real happiness.

59. Whatever strength we have, if we do not have the strength of Dharma, all is futile. Real Dharma, is "Daivabala" and "Dharmabala", the strength that comes from God and from Dharma.

60. "Satyam Vada" - Speak the truth.

61. Where Dharma is, God is, there is victory. Without God's Grace it is impossible to gain success.

62. When God's Anugraha or grace is there, no 'graha' (horoscopic influence) can do us harm. Try to earn that Anugraha by sincere prayer and devotion with prema.

63. Just as the mother comes running as soon as she hears her baby cry, (she will not stop to consider in which 'raga' or 'tala' the baby is crying). If man cries to the Lord from the depth of his heart, He will help his devotee wherever he is.

64. The Avatar never does things which do not have good reasons behind them. God never utters words which have no meaning. Whatever He does, sees and says, carries with it an inner deeper spiritual meaning.

65. You may worship a picture as God but not God as picture. You can elevate everything to the level of God, but you should not bring God down to the level of a picture.

66. Only God's name can win Him, and only by sincere Prema and Bhakthi one can get round God - not by money or otherwise.

67. To seek peace and happiness from outside us is a great mistake. We should look within ourselves for peace and we can enjoy real happiness if we do so with a clean mind.

68. Watch - your Words, Action, Thoughts, Character and Heart. The mind is mad monkey. You should not surrender to it. You should watch it carefully as above and should have control over it.

69. Ignorance is false identification of self with ones own body. No one is isolated from the full stream of life. Each one is a part and parcel of society.

70. Friendship should not be based on considerations of fear and favour. The only friend who will continue to be with you for all time is the Divine friend - God.

71. 'Upavasa' is to live close and 'Upasana' is to sit close by God. The benefit of both is that the Satchidananda of God will then flow to us.

72. As close as you are to God, so close is God to you. One who realises that God is omnipresent will recognise that God as closest to him and that he is nothing but God himself.

73. Unless God's grace and human efforts come together the desired result cannot be achieved. So try to win God's grace by your Sradda and Bhakthi.

74. Pour out all the water of desire from the vessel of heart, and Fill it with the oil of Namasmarana of God. Take the wick of Jiva and dry it in the sunshine of Vairagya. Then Amarjothi, immortal light of wisdom will burn, straight and bright.

75. Laziness is equivalent to "Dust" and "Rust", whereas selfless active work is like "Rest" and "Best".

76. Haste make waste. Waste makes worry. So do not be in a hurry. "Slow and steady" wins the race.

77. One's anger is one's greatest enemy and one's calmness is one's strongest armour. One's Joy is one's best heaven and one's sorrow is one's worst hell.

78. Even the Avatar subject Himself to discipline for elders and leaders must first practice discipline and then only preach to others. Even God does not violate the regulations and the principles that He has laid down.

79. Realise the brotherhood of man and the fatherhood of God. By your selfless service and Prema serve all, and try to realise the unity in all.

80. It is possible we may commit some wrong; but we must not commit it, after knowing it is wrong.

81. In your words, thoughts and deeds there should be unity.

82. The real marks in school and college and in life we should aim at are Not getting any remarks.

83. Regard the country as the mother. We should serve this divine mother. Follow our own sacred culture, that the mother has preserved for us. Imitation is weakness.

84. Those eager to rectify the world and put it on the proper path, have first to rectify themselves and their own conduct by controlling their senses and desires.

85. Truth is God. To attain truth, we have to hold on to truth.

86. "Nadeenam Sagaro Gathih".

All rivers merge with ocean. Similarly all creation and all streams of life merge with the source, namely Brahman. Aspire for that happy consumation.

87. We come into the world with a cry but we should not end our life with a cry but we should end our life with a smile.

88. Life is granted to us by God to enable us to seek and attain God.

89. Eyes are given to us in order to help us and see the supreme one, the omnipotent Divinity.

90. Legs are provided for us in order to visit the temple of God.

91. Hands are given to us so that we may perform good acts and offer Puja for the Lord.

92. Intelligence is granted to us so that we may realise that all that we see in the world is temporary and that God ALONE is the permanent reality.

93. The tongue is given to us so that we might sing the glory of the Lord and do Namasmarana.

94. Ears are given to us so that we may listen to songs praising the glory of the Lord.

95. We have been given this body so that with its help, we may do good to other beings.

96. The basis for the entire world is the prema of the Lord. However intelligent and scholarly a person may be, if that person does not have love in his heart, he is a useless person.

97. God is love - Live in love.

Start the day with love.

Fill the day with love.

End the day with love.

That is the way to God.

98. Love and regard your mother and father as God and serve them - then God's grace will fall on you unasked

99. There is no use filling your head with mere information and knowledge; instead fill your heart with prema. (Learning derived from vedas and sastras is of no avail if it does not help you to reach the feet of the Lord.

100.The essence of all Purana and Veda is: Do good to others and keep away from doing harm to others. Doing harm to others is great papa (sin).

101.If you are not able to do good to others at least do not harm others and hurt their feelings.

102. Do not forget God and do not fear death. Wait for the happy moment of union with God. That is immortality.

103. Vidya is en-riched by Vinaya and humility. Be humble and Noble.

104. If we do not gather information, it is not possible to achieve transformation.

105. The guide posts or books will only tell you the road or the direction for the destination. You must make the journey and experience the joy and the victory.

106. Wisdom is acquired by experience - Try to spread the joy you have experienced to others and make them also happy.

107. Only through acting according to His guidance, you can have the vital presence of the Guru deep in your heart. Then he will be living presence within you.

108. Install "SAI" in your Hridhayasthayi and be "HAI". That is to say install God "SAI" in your heart and be happy and peaceful for ever.


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