THE QURANIC MYTHS
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, 2000.
At the Divine Feet of Sai Baba
You made me lovingly,
Put me in a dress of skin and blood.
Then planted deep inside me
A seed from Your Heart.
You turned the whole world into a sanctuary
Where You are the only ONE."
(From Jalaluddin Rumi Whispers of the Beloved, London: Thomsons, 1999, p.50)
Scenes at darshan: Man's Eternal Quest
Process of the eternal quest
Role of the warners and Myths
Principles of mythical perception.
The Inner Journey: Its Multi Dimensional Aspects (a)Baba, (b) Muslims (Stories from the Quran)
Devotion And the Heart traditional concept Indian Practices: Zikr / ideal. Mohammed and Imam Hussein * Present Devotees
Love and Its Forms Divine and human love Myth of Yusuf and Zulaikha
Conclusion: Unity: The Self with the self.
Preface: For the reader of this book:
When I wrote the earlier work, Sai Baba And Sufism, as a manuscript I offered it to Baba. His comment had been an eye opener. "Thesis", he said and moved on. Much later, I comprehended that it was the work of my mind, not the heart. Yes, it was a thesis and that was all.
Today I feel it in broader perspective as man and his history down the river of Time in relation to the Unknown, God.Books are there but as a secondary source. It is true I have to depend on them for verification of my own realization as a writer. But the dissatisfaction which man feels within him needs a search and a solution. This solution has to be to be found in his previous historical evidence, and, above all, within himself.
Here I am not trying to compare. Comparison is futile where there is unity. I am quoting from the sources, as they are known to me. The perception therefore is for the reader to consider the same.
The last few chapters deal with the theme of how the Self in man is united to the Overself, and man should live happily in Love, for time is passing rapidly. It is therefore incumbent for man to spend it in Love. In doing it I do not negate any belief. Nevertheless, I do not hesitate to say, "there is only one religion of Love." Histoical, Mythical, Psychological recourses of mankind show it. What more do we need as a proof? These are shared thoughts and must be taken as such. Also it is a fulfillment of an injunction where Baba has directed the educated to give back to the society what has been given to the individual.
DARSHAN: MAN'S ETERNAL QUEST
On a misty, January morning a group of people, clad mostly in white sit on a concrete floor in a small enclosure now known to the world as Prasanthi Nilayam. (1). A small town in South India, it has rapidly grown into a pilgrim centre acquiring an international reputation. Thousands of people come here daily, some do not even know what force has driven them to this place and they try to give reasons their own interpretations, for being here. At best one can consider them souls who have consciously been called to meet the Supreme Soul SAI BABA.
The cool breeze throws in their laps a leaf, a flower sometimes just a tiny sound that touches them unknowingly. but they do not even notice it let alone realize that it is a Divine symbol. In Islam it is called "the breath of the Compassionate". (2) Oblivious of their surrounding their vision is only focused on one Figure that seems to be moving towards them. Their ears eagerly wish to pickup the rustle of an Orange Robe that appears, so far, though it is so near. In other climates, wearing different garbs they have waited in the same way but just waited for the door to swing open; waited for that chance to feel the Rustle of this Robe in their hearts. But their time has not come and so they have gone their way, disappointed. In their vision they have meditated on this Reality, and have called it their Self. But many have forgotten those moments. They have forgotten also that to find this Reality is the true quest of their being, not the junk that they have accumulated for themselves. Human culture and histories of civilizations have affirmed this point. In spiritual language it is known as the thirst of the part for the Whole. In ordinary jargon it is named as the religion of love. In this study we can designate it as Mythic Perception. (3) It reaches out of time and space and tries to unite the cosmos and it Creator as ONE.
THE MYTHIC PERCEPTION
In the present study the author has tried to examine the validity of this process in the historic background of human race, selecting the examples from religious myth, especially from the Quran and Sai Baba's sayings. This is further conceptualized from the psychological terms. (4) and is affirmed through its archetypes. At the end, after studying much material and different subjects the author has reached to the conclusion that in each culture its wise men say the same thing, though in different way. This basic unity man must realize it today. Also, the humanity, in an attitude of humility must consider each revelation as the inner voice that guides mankind on to the Straight Path (a Quranic phrase).
At present this unity is not visible in secular writing. In the past many have tried to express it, but somehow their voices have been lost to the world. For instance,Goethe, a German philosopher in Faust has pointed out that the Invisible and the Visible worlds meet in man. Tennyson, in his reassessment of a myth, Oenone. has said clearly that man "must pay attention to" self reverence, self-knowledge self control. Sai Baba and the Quran have indicated that the outward and the inward have met in the man, and therefore mankind has been named as the image (Kalifha / viceroy) of God on earth. But he has misused his potentials on unnecessary facts. He has to set right his perception or else he may be destroyed. In other words man needs to take the inner journey. The Sufi literature and the Quranic myths are full of such material. For instance; there is a myth in the Quran based on a conflict and an explanation between Prophet Moses (the external approach) and Khidhr (inner approach)(7). It tells of a journey, which the two have decided to undertake. Three times Moses stops his companion and wants an explanation. For Moses the unfolding events during their sojourn lacked coherence. Khidhr once has made a hole in a boat; as a result it has sunk second time he has killed a young man. On a third occasion he has supported a falling wall. Moses was very angry with him, as He has been unable to understand the logic of these acts. Therefore, at the time of parting Khidhr explains his behaviour that has been caused by the order of the Almighty. There have been spiritual reasons for his doing them (The Quran xvii 59-81). Their parting is also significant. Jung has correctly pointed out this fact, when he says: "We limit ourselves to attainable and this means renouncing our psychic potentials."(8) Baba often repeats, echoing the Gita, "You are God." But alas! Our two aspects, the inner and the outer, remain separate. The Quranic myth forwards the same vision. The two travelers are separated, and so is the modern man. He cannot comprehend his divinity, as he is not able to undertake the inner journey. Many a time Baba has pointed out that man lives by the dictates of the mind; though there are many levels of growth after the mind, they are within Man. In Islamic vocabulary this kingdom is known as LAHUT. The journey in this kingdom has been described by sages all over the world. Yet we, despite our progress on air and water are afraid to look within ourselves. (9)
THE PROCESS OF ETERNAL QUEST
At the temple of Apollo at Delphi it is inscribed "KNOW THYSELF'. If we have a glimpse at ourselves we will see that there are basically two ways of doing it. One is called Bhakti Marg (way of devotion) and the other, a more difficult path, is identified as Gnana Marg (the way ofknowledge)(10). The most obvious one, which Baba now shows to his devotees and is also indicated in the Gita, is the way of selfless service. Named as Karma Yoga, its central point is selfless service (Nishkama karma). These processes are known to human beings .In all civilizations as well as in all languages they are communicated. Different, though in expressions, same ideas are voiced repeatedly. Here a question may be voiced, and that concerns a guide or a guru It is true that in the beginning a teacher is needed for a wayfarer's convenience Lord Shirdi Sai in SATCHARITA has pointed to its necessity and so has Rumi, the Persian mystic poet of thirteenth century, but Baba in his conversations with Sri Hislop has told that one's conscience is the best teacher. (11). In Islamic tradition as has been already said, these people are called Owasis. Here, it is essential to remember, that these processes involve a transformation, which depends on the individual and very often spreads over a whole life span in this world. Many scholars in the world now recognize the unity of these processes today. As a study here one quotes only from Baba and the Quranic myths. (12) Their spiritual aspect takes into account Joseph Campbell (13) and Jung(14). The last two names are there to give the study cosmic dimensions so that one may not forget the broader view point and may not miss the goal of universal unity, which forms the core of the work. With this aim in mind let us first consider the role of Warners and Myths here. One such word that come steadily to the mind is incarnation. The purpose? To help humanity. In shastras incarnation is a manifestation of the Absolute Godhead.
ROLE OF WARNERS AND MYTHS
A reader must be warned against the tyranny of words over our minds. We are Makers of words and their duty is to help us in communication. But, alas! We identify our minds with these words and are finally obsessed by them. For them we agree to lose or win a battle. With the Reformers who wish to save humanity words like heart, love, unity, harmony, have a divine connotations. Implied for an inner and precise meaning they must be symbolically understood for what they are referring to. Through them, since times immemorial these warners, have made themselves understood. For instance, the spiritual centre in man is the spiritual heart, and it is different from the physical heart. In the Upanishads and in the Quran it is referred to as such. "It is their hearts that are blind,"says a sentence in the Quran. This inner kingdom of man is mentioned in detail in Living Within by Dalal (16). The myth and the warner, through these signs take one to an Inner Journey inside oneself, so that man can see for himself that which is called a Garden or name it a Vaikunta or Kailash. Baba has many times observed that a heaven or hell is within man. The myths and rituals give it a different name. (17). Thus following an ancient tradition Baba has also indicated the significance of love, harmony and the spiritual heart.
With these tools in every age a well wisher of human race has tried to elevate man's consciousness, as this is part of their mission. They try to impress on man a unity where man, God and Nature are tied in an irrevocable relationship. They must be viewed as ONE. Not many enter this realm, and lucky is one who finds a way to it. Two incidents are related here to confirm the truth of the statement mentioned above. The inner journey starts with an intense yearning that impels one to take action. The Buddhist call it Thrashna (inner thirst) and it has tremendous potency. Sri Kasturiji in his biography, LOVING GOD, (20) has narrated how he has experienced the same for Bhagawan Baba. Another devotee too has tasted this nectar for short while of seven days. Within herself she felt a supreme Presence and joy has been oozing from it. It was an instance of God's Grace and not her own efforts. The cement pillar in Prasanthi Nilayam contains the image of a lotus on its top. It is called the Sarva Dharma Sthamba. On a close consideration this cement image is a mythic symbol of a fully realized heart, happy within its own bliss.
The wind blows across it and the blue air moves around, mist and rain envelope it yet it seems to be unmoved be them. To the author it represents the potency of an "aware Heart". All religions and all myths speak of this truth. That is what Baba_as well as ancient Myths try to suggest to humanity: To see Man, God and Nature as ONE in one's own heart, merging and emerging in One. This perception is God's gift to mankind alone. There is a myth of how Lord Krishna once left his butter-smeared footprints to show where he has been hiding. The story tells of God's love for humanity. Where can He hide expect within us? So little Krishna has done the same thing. He left His prints to show the hiding place.
There is a need to comment on the word INCARNATION here. The dimension of Avatar has baffled the limited minds. One must realize that the concept of an Avatar is given only to the Indians, the rest of the world cannot comprehend it, and not being able to scale the heights of Unity, they have been shocked, as, for them God and Man have been a separate entity. The best way is to see it in the light of faith and not in the twilight of intelligence, a consolation prize is, however, offered by Martin Ling:
Islamic doctrine of Rasul is ultimately the same as the Hindu
Doctrine of Avatar. The Avatar means decent of Divinity
Whereas Rasul is defined as an archangel or a human incarnation
Of the spirit, but this difference is one of perception than of fact. (21)
The solution is to be found not in scholarship (22), but in faith and belief. Ibn-Ul-Arabi has correctly estimated when he points out that:
The subject of incarnation... will never be found on the plane of materially Realized existence. Because True Reality is the internal (transcendental) Event.
(Henry Corbin. Alone With the Alone (New York:
Mythos Books, 1976) P. 153
Moreover, a human being needs to remember a Quranic dictum. It reads: "God has Power over all things (for) He is wise." This debate necessitates here that the Principles of Mythic perceptions must be scanned from transcendental angle.
PRINCIPLES OF MYTHIC PERCEPTION
Recounted very briefly they, first of all, constitute a UNITY. Though the external forms relate to time and space and therefore are unimportant, they basically are One; hence they are united. The second and the third principles are associated to the first. Together they constitute one unit and are called love and the heart. They envelop the Self in man and work in wiping off the external vision in man. They lead to the last and the fourth principle, well known to the elite. It is known as surrender. It also means merging into the realm of the Formless.Taken as separate entities each form a different chapter in this study. The author grants the fact that there are studies on each of these aspects, but here they are treated from a lay person's view and as they are related to the myths in this world. The first mythic perception, Unity of all objects, the most important lesson that all sacred narratives relate, is valuable, and must be remembered. It conveys the truth that all belongs to God, and man, like others, has nothing that he may possess. Hence the texts as well as rituals identify that all things are transitory. The Gita suggests that the wise men are not attached to anything. One must realize that this refers to a mental attitude. The figure of sitting Buddha is a living image of this realization. It conveys that all is within man only he has to identify this Truth. In esoteric circles it is named as the One. Baba has summed up this religious idea in the following passage:
The form of God (is) energy... Everything is a temporary form of energy and
Is suffused with it. In one instance this energy is turned into matter... This
Energy destroys the previous matter. It creates a new matter. This is called a Nuclear process (which creates the universe).
(Extract from June: 22,1995.Discourse as the Inaugural Address of Lazer and AI Lab.)
Hence the real form the this energy, commonly, referred to as God remains invisible to the physical eyes as well as to the limited perception. It is seen as emptiness or even as darkness for humanity is not used to perceiving it. This is conveyed to us in the last chapter of Attar's book, The Assembly of Birds (edit.S.S.Gaurharin,Thehran,1977). The common man, nevertheless, is not to lose sight of it. The ancient mythic art has a way of projecting this role. The mythic perception assumes an image. Two such examples taken from Zimmer's book, Myths and symbols in Indian Art and Civilization may serve this purpose. These are elaborated as a yantra (p. 14) and Goddess Kali's face (p.212). It is not that mystics in mythological experiences have not gone through the unity but for reasons of their own they have resorted to a mode of duality. This unity is also expressed by Baba in the above quoted passage. In Islamic tradition it is also elaborated in the poems of Rumi (13th century mystic) and Ibn-ul Arabi(23). The realm of the Invisible and the Visible are found on earth. To experience it one has to adjust one's awareness a little. The ancients call this surrender, and it is discussed later in the study.
Enough it is, in this survey chapter, to reflect on these principles as they are also found for our benefit in a popular passage of Baba:
There is only one nation, the nation of humanity;
There is only one religion, the religion of Love;
There is only one language, the language of the heart;
There is only one God and He is omnipresent.
1. Pransanthi Nilayam in Sanskrit means "the abode of Highest Bliss", yet people identify it as any other name and thereby ignore it.
2. Morning breeze in Islam is considered to be "breath of the Compassionate" as is suggested in the Quran. In mythology it represents God's grace. It has given to Adam his spiritual knowledge and thus has made him superior to the angles.
(Ibn-ul Arabi: Creative Imagination. translated by H. Corbin as Alone With the Alone. New Jersev: Methos Books, 1981)
3. As the purpose of this study is to emphasize the unity of all that is in cosmos and how every serious material points out to it, the name is known as the mythic perception.
4. Jung, C.G The Portable Jung. (ed.) by Joseph Campbell (U.S.A.: Penguin, 1971) Pp.3-22.
5. The author has restricted the references to the Quranic narrations and Sai Baba's saying as they are best known to her.
6. Bakhtiar, Laleh SUFIS (Singapore: Thames and Hudson, 1979).
7. The Quran: XVIII: 60-82 The nearest equivalent to this figure is found in the Literature of Melchized. In Gensis XIV 18-20 "he appears as King Salem, priest Of God and blesses Abraham .Abraham gives him tithes", n.2411, pp.839-840." (the revised edition by Presidency of Islamic Ifta, King Fahd's Holy Quran Printing complex, Saudi Arabia).
8. Jung, C.G. Portable Jung. p.45.
9. One dimension of it is seen in our use of language, especially when we use a word imprecisely or with a limited meaning. It indicates our limited mind. Not only we use a limited meaning, but also shorten it. Such instances we have in words like Email, VIP, Com W.W.W.
11. These sages are known as Owasis, after the mystic mentioned by Prophet Mohammed in his sayings. For more information Corbin's book, Alone With the Alone. pp.34-35 may be referred to.
10. Antonio Rigopoulos The Life and Teaching of Sai Baba of Shirdi (N.Y.: State Univ. of New York Press, 1993) pp.262-249.
11. Hislop, John, S. Conversation With Bhagawan Sri Sathva Sai Baba (Prasanthi Nilayam: Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust.)
12. Baba, Sri Sathya Sai Discourses 1998-99 (P.N. Sri Sathya Sai Books Publications Trust)
13. Campbell, Joseph Hero with a Thousand Faces (U.S.A.: Methos Books, 1973.)
14. Jung, C.G. Portable Jung (N.Y. Penguin, 1971.)
15. The word Incarnation is used here as a common terminology known to Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's devotees
16. Dalal, A.S. Living Within (Pondicherrv: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1997)
17. Campbell, Joseph Myths To Live By (N.Y.: Penguin, 1972)
18. Hasting(edt.) Encyclopedia of Religions and Ethics.
19. The Quran XVII: I The reference here is not to the form, but to the Supreme Self that appears before devotees in the world. It is a pity that people waste a golden chance by considering it as another person like himself or herself.
20. Kasturi, N. Loving God (P.N. Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust, 1969)
21. Ling, Martin What is Sufism (Great Britain: Unwin Brothers, 1975) p. 33.
22. For an example check works like Parrinder's Avatar: Incarnation (N.Y. Oxford Univ. Press,1982),and Gazzali's Ahaya. the Greek doctrine of Logos and Jili's Perfect Man (Cairo: 1886)
23. Corbin, H. Creative Imagination in Ibnul Arabi (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1969)
24. Twidee, I. Daughter of Fire (Nevada City: Dolphin Publishing, 1986)
25. Osbon, D.K. Companion To Joseph Campbell (N.Y.Joseph Campbell Foundation, 1991)
THE INNER JOURNEY
Modern man knows many paths, many routes over earth, water and air, but he has forgotten how to travel on the most ancient road that lies within him. He has also ignored the fact that this path is known to him since times immemorial. In the Quran we are reminded of this pre-natal journey's beginning.
Your Lord took from the loins of Adam their seed and made
Them testify about themselves (by saying)
"Am I not your Lord?"
They replied "Yes, Truly we testify." 1
This then is the first stage of a journey that humanity has agreed to undertake and it may end with the Dissolution of the world when this era also will close.
We are informed that in twenty-first century most people have discarded their conscience as they have found it meddling with them in the rat-race of externalizing their energies. However, they have winked at the very purpose of coming into this world. They have forgotten the inner journey, in fact. One must recall a few things. The first purpose of the Inner Journey is to make us aware of our own mistakes and clothe us in a dress that befits the name MAN. But we turn a blank face to our own selves. The myths in all cultures remind us that we are a part of the divine self- (2), therefore we must try to reach it within us. (3) Ancient sages (4) who have traveled this path tell us what to look forward to. A unity spans our world like a bridge, between the Forms of life and their Formlessness .between the Visible and the Invisible. Finally, the journey ripens our consciousness., because to Baba there are no un-believers. Like Baba, Rumi also accertains:
In the religion of love.
There are no
Believers or Unbelievers.
Love embraces all.
(Rumi: Whispers of the Beloved. (London: Thomsons, 1999) p.71. )
In modern psychology of Jung's school it is termed as Collective Unconscious and its symbols are archetypes.
(5). And it is within us. So, who are we going to disbelieve? Josesh Campbell terms it as the "first impulse to mythology"(6) Here is it necessary to analyze a few aspects of The Journey as they have come down to us through the mythology.
ASPECTS OF THE JOURNEY
There is no file or research thesis available for the modern man to browse through. Depending on what one knows, a summary is given. However it must be realized that every created being has to take this journey, whether it is called an individuation process. (7) or a merely a story. It is unchangeable truth and cannot be dismissed as "fiction". In the Islamic tradition it is conceptualized in another form, especially by the phrase "die before you die"(8). The death identified here refers to the suffering that is involved in the transformation of the character. In another way it means Sadhana. The Sufis always welcome this phrase as it stands for spiritual progress, and it enables them to go from physical to supra formal Essence, which is termed as the Self or God in man. This is termed as a true education by Baba. (9). In the West it is often mistaken as Schizophrenia(lO). One must realize that its roots lie too deep in human potential to be treated by an ordinary physician. This Inner journey through the myths continues to impress sometimes even baffles human beings with its validity. It imposes a unity on human mind, which it does want to impose upon itself.because it is made of "infinite space and its light is without as well as within."(ll). Our dreams and sometimes our experiences bring this phenomenon before us. Very briefly two aspects are related here. Among the Islamic tradition, first they have assumed that there are forty states for a man to ascend to the highest degree of spiritual excellence. (12) Then, later on,they have been reduced to seven. Their meaning corresponds to the seven chakras finally, but that is a different theme. These seven states are: repentance (tawba), Fear of God (Wara) detachment from the world (Zuhd), Poverty (Fuqr) ,patience or forbearance (Sabr), Surrender (Tawakkul) and a joyful acceptance of God's Will in wordily affairs (ridza). Their knowledge and that of chakras is the same, though the Western public in a book form calls them as Serpent Power (13). We are informed how everything is within man. When the seventh chakra is reached "the two God and the soul, the inward eye and its object, are extinguished ...There is neither the object nor the subject, nor anything to be known or named, but the Silence alone( remains) that is ...the final grounding element. One's head no longer hears syllable AUM". (Campbell: Myths to Live By. Viking Press Inc. 1972,pp. 107-114.) It is said that the ordinary human being cannot even bear the tremendous rush of Energy, and therefore the body falls down within twenty one days. One can witness this phenomenon in Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and how the divine energy works at a terrific state. That is the reason why the wise men call the body "temple of God"(14). In Satcharita Sri Shirdi Sai has named the same states as nine balls of the horse's dung. Considered as nine ways to reach Divinty they are Shravanam, Kirtanam, Vishnu Smaranam, Pada Sevanam, Archanam, Vandanam, Dasyam, Sakhayam, Atma Nivedanam.(15) Of these only Namasmaranam (Zikr) is fruitful, for obvious reasons, for people of modern times. It underlines the dictum that true transformation is a slow process. It is, nevertheless also true that the true source of this journey, whether nine, or seven or forty stages, lies within man. Let us now turn to some of the techniques that Baba suggests in his book Sadhana.
The various methods for the Inner Journey are listed as follows: (16)
1) Spiritual Disciplines (pp. 1-12).
2) Realization: Viveka, Jnana_(pp. 13-37)
3) Bhakti, Karma, Jnana (pp.38-57)
4) Meditation on Pranava (pp. 58-66)
5) Dhyana and Jnana Yoga (pp.67-109)
6) Physical, mental and vocal tapas (pp. 110-156)
7) Role of Guru in Sadhana (pp.157- 168)
8) Diet, Discipline (pp.169-175)
9) The three Gunas (pp. 176-184)
10) Steady Faith and Devotion (185-188)
Baba knows the fact that we are mentally as well as physically weak and therefore He has recommended for the modern man a steady faith and devotion. Luckily, in the Quran too there is the Image of the worshipper and the worshipped .The historical aspect of Islam it suggests it. The first Principal indicates this when it proclaims :
La Illaha-Ila Allah, Mohammed ul Rasul Allah. The overwhelm love of Divinity clearly is shown here as it obviously indicates that Divinity takes care of the minutest detail.
In Mahayana Buddhist cult known as Zen in Japan and Ch'an in China another way to freedom is connoted. It is called Jirki. A man through experience learns the way, and does not expect any help from any deity. Hence it is based all on self-help. The idea of the Zen way is to have realization not naming any concept but allowing the consciousness to learn it by simple accident or by a maturing mind.
Buddha, so says the myth, has leant the final wisdom in this way, as he has been sitting under the Bodhi tree. In other words it testifies the idea that illumination cannot be communicated. A Zen story relates this idea well. In 520 A.D. a Buddhist monk Bodhidharma has asked, Hui Ko, the first master of Ch'an, about the doctrine of Buddha. "That cannot be found through another", has been the reply given to him.
Later on this principle finds its way on the monarty of Yellow Plum as a quatrain:
The body is no Bodhi tree, The mind no mirror bright, Since nothing at the root exists On what should dust alight.
These lines confirm the opinion of Baba that there is no need of a guru. Everything is in man. Very strange it may seem to us, Jung also says the same thing though his statement is based on deep psychological discoveries. "Look within"states a saying of Hui-neng (638-713 AD) "The secret is within you." Hence in Zen monasteries of Japan the preferred method is meditation, that is based on Koan (an expression for a mental state) mostly from the masters, and the students contemplate on it. It attests to a secular life, as Baba also has suggested to his students many times,the way of life is a discipline, with all its sufferings and joys. Everything negative and positive is present in its full measure. If one can escape the negative aspect it is Nirvana (17).
Yet it has its own dangers. In a popular myth associated with Sri Ramakrishna, it is related how living simultaneously on two levels of consciousness causes troubles. The myth narrates the following incident: A young aspirant's teacher has just brought to him the realization that he as well as all things are identical in essence with the Power that supports the universe. Exalted with the notion he has to face an elephant on the road, with a mahout sitting at the head of the animal. This young candidate for the sainthood meditating on the phrase: "I am God; all things are God" though seeing the elephant refuses to leave the road. The elephant nicely wraps his trunk round the youth and throws him out of his way,on the footpath. The youth in a shocked condition runs to his teacher and demands an explanation."You told me that I was God", states the young man.
"Yes, It is Truth," says the teacher.
"You also told me that all things are God" quips the young disciple.
"All thing are God. But why did you ignore the voice of God warning you from the mahout's mouth when he asked you to get out of the way?" (18)
This is the example of naive people who do not read the symbols of a myth correctly. Amazingly, some symbols are similar. For instance, in the Islamic and the Buddhist myths there is the reference to the tree and the serpent. In the Islamic story there is the mentioning of the Garden of Eden and how Eve hears a serpent-form crying on a tree. She listens to his words and eats the fruit of that tree, asking Adam to do that also.
Thereby the couple incurs the wrath of the Creator for disobedience. They are made to leave the idyllic garden and live on earth's barren surface. (19) In Buddhist narrative also there is the reference Prince Siddharta sitting under a tree to attain Nirvana (freedom from the sorrows of the world.) The state that he gains corresponds to mankind's getting back to the garden of Eden. In other words it refers to a mental equilibrium by leaving all ego-oriented desires. The serpent in Siddharta myth, instead of being harmful as in the case of Adam and Eve, is beginen to Buddha. It represents, in both the stories, the immortal energy of life on earth (20). The couple considers it an enemy, but to Buddha it is protective. In the same way in Prasanthi Nilayam Mandir there is a silver image of Lord Shirdi Sai, sitting on the coils of a serpent, like Lord Vishnu .The hood of the cobra is inverted. It is a graphic image of the universal energy helping the man who controls it. In this light the saying of Lord Christ can be truly grasped when he has said:
"The kingdom of the Father is spread upon the earth, and men do not see it." (The Gnostic Bible According to Thomas: translated by P.Q.Guiltaumont and Abdul Masih, N.Y.Harper and Row, 1959) Lord Krishna in the Gita, alludes to the same idea when He informs a bewildered Arjuna: "I am manifest and unmanifest, Arjuna. I am the Mind and in beings I am consciousness. (21)".
1. The Quran: VII: 172
2. Jung, C.G. Portable June. p. 3
3. Inspired Medicine, a manuscript (Va.:Leela Press l999) p.156.
4. Refer to the journey described by Attar in Assembly of Birds and Nachekita's story in Kathopanishad.
5. In Jung's School it is called Collective Unconscious in man and its symbolic patterns are termed as archetypes.
6. A desire to transcend is termed as "first impulse of Mythology" (Campbell, J. Myths To Live By) p. 22
7. Jung in calls it individuation (maturity of mind) process. (Check the Portable Jung)
8. It refers to the annihilation of ego, before the physical death takes place. The phrase is attributed to a saying of prophet Mohammed quoted by Hazrad Ali, fourth khalif.
9. Please check the black stone edict at Prasathi Nilayam College.Its equivalent is also seen in Quranic phrases like "seek His Face"(VI-52,and XVIII-28); "Dedicate life to Him"(VI-162) and "forget Him not"(LIX).
10. J.Campbell Myths to Live By (N.Y.Viking Press, 1972,)pp.201-232
11. Ibid, p.226
12. "MAQAMAT-I-ARBIN IN ABU SAID" by Damadi in MARIF-I-ISLAMI, vol. XII, April 1 1971,pp.58-62. Also see Abu Sarraj's book, KITAB-Ul-Luma (edit) by Nicholson, London.1914.
14. Nasr, S.H., Living Sufism (London: G.A.Unwin, 1980,) p.56.
15. Divine Discourse 24-ll'98, (India: Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust, '98)p.2.
16. Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Sadhana: The Inward Path India: Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust, 1976)
17. Hastings (ed) Encyclopedia of Religions and Ethics
18. Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna pp.146-147
19. The Quran: For reference to Adam and Eve's myth please checks Fall:iil9-25; Temptation by Satan: XX:120-121.
20. Compare the fall of Adam, and Buddha's life story the mythic symbols of the tree and the Serpent have similar significance.
21. Bhagavat Gita XI-9.
DEVOTION, ROLE OF THE HEART AND THE IDEAL DEVOTEE
A person has once asked Shirdi Sai about devotion and what will happen to the devotee if the person of the teacher is not before him. Sri Baba in turn, has pointed at the mango tree in front of him. The content of that metaphor is as follows: If all the blossoms turn into fruits it will certainly be a splendid crop. However, they do not. Many lie in the dust due to the wind. The birds peck at a few, and many fall to earth, still green and sour. Finally, the gardener is able to get only two or three in his hand as good fruits. (1) This is also a comment on the present affair of devotion. The relationship suggests that in spirituality a teacher always refers devotion as a crop (2)or a process, not the goal and therefore it always tends to fluctuate. It also indicates that the devotion must be steady, facing the tribulations of both worlds.
Noticing this deep ocean that confronts man one must place one's hand on the heart and judge for oneself his or her devotional attitude. Is it restlessness to be impatient, to pester a spiritual teacher with one's petty demands? One will find that one's definition of this type of devotion is unfitting to one's nature, which reflects an "image of God". We seem to have missed all points and behave like monkies. Take for instance the scene at Darshan in Prasanthi Nilayam. Two times a day, morning and evening, we see the ONE Incarnated as a Form passes by us. Yet we are not satisfied. The mind perceives Him as God, but it also forgets to assimilate the full implications of this rare chance. So that this chance falls into the dust and is lost. We fail to comprehend that we are noticing our own Self, and this moment the two have merged as One. The revelations as well as the text of ancient mystics are full of details of this relationship this oneness. The author intends to review one or two aspects that are well known to her. But about devotion let us recall what Baba has insisted as the essence of devotion (3) Relating the story of Prahlada as an ideal devotee Baba has underlined the feeling of trust and a need to remember the Divine at every step: "It is devotion that makes God manifest Himself" Baba remarks. One observes this in the story of the little boy born to Hiranyakashipu, the demon king who is killed finally by Narasimha avatar. The Islamic tradition emphasizes the same dimension of devotion, though in a different way. Zoon Noon Misry, an eleventh century mystic has been talking to an old woman about the eternity of God. She cuts Him short with the ejaculation that the "devotion to God"is also eternal. All this confirm to us that the man who associates himself to divinity also becomes immortal. This immortality is in all of us, only we look outside ourselves .We can reclaim it, if we desire it. From the life of Mohammed (through obedience) or from the life of Lord Buddha (though self-effort) one can get a vision of this devotion
Another dimension of devotion is known as discrimination. It is seen in the dilemma of Arjuna, when seeing the armies at Kurukshetra, described in Bhagavat Gita, he feels dejected. Lord Krishna, the Self in man helps him to discriminate. HE illumines the mind. Baba does a similar thing though silently, especially if one observes the Darshan and reads its meaning carefully. But look at the modern Arjunas. They look like Adam and Eve, dismantled and disobedient. Yet, as human beings, they are inheritors of the glorious tradition represented by Buddha, Christ and Mohammed. They have listened to the voice of their hearts but they have still far to go. So, let us now consider the role of the heart in drama of worldly existence.
ROLE OF THE HEART
There are many qualities of the spiritual heart which we understand with the help of the symbols and which create a kingdom for it, setting it apart from the mind of man. Its working perhaps one may call as Collective Unconscious but even this title is not justifiable as it stops at the realm of history of being. The ancients have called it the meeting place of Divinity, and such people are named as "wise men" in Gita (I: 11-20)
The Quranic stories also acknowledge its existence few examples are listed below:
"God knows what is there in your hearts". (11-235)
God calls to account" for the intention in your hearts (11-205)
"Those in whose hearts there is a disease". (V-55)
God made it a message of hope and an answer to your heart (Mohammed and the Muslims, during a war with their enemies.) (III-6)
Likewise, Baba also refers to the gravity of the heart. Mark the instances listed:
"What one has to offer God is pure heart." (Discourse: 19th.Oct.l999,p.4).
"(God) dwells in the heart." (Discourse 11-10-'98,p.4) "Heart is the seat of God". (Discourse 29-9-'98.p.5) "Hridaya (heart) is the centre of Love and Peace". (Discourse:25-9-'98.7)
"He is a true human being who cultivates love in his heart". (Discourse: 15th and 16th Feb. 1999, p.2)
In the Quran the heart is called the garden of eternity. Those who have observed Baba walking in the midst of a gathering will testify to the truth of this mythic perception. He moves in the heart of all, lotus-like, absorbing the nectar of these hearts, sweet or sour, He does not care. Thus "Heart to heart" connection is made. It is irrelevant which corner of the vast cosmos you are in. A relationship is formed. Associated with this bond is the idea of Zikr (Namasmaranam) which under Baba's direction is now a popular means of invoking the grace of God. Needless to repeat that this also is an ageless practice, known to the mystics all over the world. The Quran recommends it through an I-and -thou image:
"Then do ye remember Me;
I will remember you". (II-152)
If this subject is further detailed one may find out many more things connected to the heart's role. For example in Islamic lore the mystic's spiritual organ is called an eye, through which God knows Himself. The power of the "heart" is "a secret force or energy which perceive divine realities"(5) Its special quality is known as Rahma (Compassion) As Ibn-ul Arabi has suggested Rhama's special role is to function creatively. This process is known as himma, and it will work at the different levels in the mystic's heart. Each level is associated with the different Presence of God. Needless to point out that these levels are closely related to Islamic concept of fana (annihilation) and baqa (existence) of a human being in God. The knowledge of the spiritual heart is called in Islam as the Science of the Heart (6). To remind the reader Ibn ul_Arabi takes the help of many myths from the Quran most noted of them is the story of king Solomon and Queen of Saba (Bilqis)
For modern man it is enough to understand these terms with one word: Manifestations.
When a divine being manifests Himself He is manifested not as he would be in Himself, but in a manner conforming with the theophanic Imagination. (7) Whatever our worldly credentials, let us trust when Baba says: "all that exist in the world is divine", for, what he is saying is related to the role of the heart, a science that we are ignorant of! Another apt image is that of the Mirror for the heart. Baba, resorting to the use of mythic image, pronounces:
"You are seeing God in the form of the world every moment." (8)
This being the case let us consider what patterns an ideal Devotee's behavior.
THE IDEAL DEVOTEE
An ideal devotee brings to mind the portrait of Guru Nanak, the Vedic Rishis, many saints and prophets. Indeed they can be called real leaders of the world for they tirelessly have worked for the welfare of humanity. Their main qualification has been a steady faith and trust of the Unseen God. Baba has termed it as "Yoga". The Bagavat Gita sees it in two stages of Man. The first stage one is called man of wisdom (1:55-58) and the final stage, when the Supreme Being is realized (I:I59 )may be termed as mergence in God. In Islamic tradition one discovers the soul of a perfect devotee in the image of Prophet Mohammed, as one sees him fulfilling all the dictates of Allah In the Quran he is mentioned many times in this role.
First of all in the Book of Wisdom (another name of the Quran) he is considered to be a human being whose mission is to call man to adore Allah. (VII: 158,XLIII- 8-9). As such he must be respected (II: 104, IV:46)
His work is detailed and assessed in many Quranic verses (III: 164, IV: 107, X-2, VII: 156-157, and LXX: 1-7)
His simple and gentle nature is high lighted, but above all he is considered to be a Mercy from Allah (XXXIII: 47-48, IV: 70-71). not only to the believers but for all creatures." We have sent thee not, but as a Mercy for all creatures" (XXI: 107)
But the most important quality of Mohammed has been not to ask for a reward:
Say:"No reward Do I
Ask of you for it but this Ö
That each one who will
May take(a straight)Path
To his Lord (XXV-57)
In fact a whole chapter of the Quran(XVII) is devoted to Mohammed, and his outstanding quality is the adoration of his Lord.It is really most important factor for the modern man.
Bow down in adoration
And bring thyself
The closer (to God). (XCVI-19)
In the personality of Mohammed we see the points that are also stressed by Baba (For reference please see appendix I, where the summer course discourses at Bangalore, May: 2000 are given in the form of points.) Apart from Prophet Mohammed the character of Hazrat Imam Hussein may also be mentioned as an Ideal devotee's portrait. As a grandson of the prophet in the seventh century AD. he is represents an image of sacrifice, and Jesus-like, gives up his all for the love of Allah, As a mythic symbol the Muslim world, annually, mourns for him in "Alam" (Grief). It shows how the brave man with 73 followers faces an army of 10,000 soldiers and courts martyrdom all for love of Allah. The last prayer of Hazrat Imam Hussein shows how dear has been Allah to him:
O, my Lord, I have given up all without exception out of my love for Thee.
And I have abandoned all my family and accepted the orphaning of my children in order to meet Thee. If out of my love for Thee if my body is slayed into pieces, even then my heart will not bend to any but to Thee.
(Taken from a Persian Journal)
Significantly, Imam Hussein often is represented by his horse, that after giving the news of his martyrdom to his family, riderless and distraught, is finally lost to the world. This horse is a symbol in myths of human mind. Can a human being incurs such a loss for God!. Annually we are reminded of it, weep but drown the ideal in our sorrow.
Let us now take two instances in modern times of what an ideal means to us. They are examples of Sri Kasturiji taken from his book, "Loving God" (9), and the two O'Brien sisters "The Pink Twins" from their autobiography, "The Touch of the Lord" (10). The love that in these three souls one witnesses for God is of mythic dimensions. Like the love of Abraham, or Mohammed, or Hazrat Imam Hussein, it forms an important link and reflects the bond between God and His creation, not only humanity but the whole cosmos. Sri Kasturiji relates the experience of another devotee, Arnold Schulman that brings to mind the divine love:
A kind of warmth and closeness was spreading through his consciousness and it frightened him. He felt in danger of being smothered by it. But it was not just the intensity of the feeling that disturbed him. It was the sudden realization that this feeling of Love was different from any other kind of love he had ever felt or heard about or read of before. (11)
Kasturiji also feels that all his lifetime he has been searching for this love and he acknowledges it when he finds one:
(I) yearned since childhood for Parthasarathy since childhood and secured the Sanathana Sarathy at the age of fifty. (12)
The experiences that he has of this love are many. Sometimes he terms them as Appetizing Adjacency sometimes as the chiseled Child. Like many others he too senses "the tug at the heart all the time" and he still remembers the "Vishwa Virat Swarupa of Baba" to narrate it in the following way:
pleaded for a belated pilgrimage (to Lord Venkateshwara's temple and after getting it Baba asked him) "Whom do you hope to see there"?
I answered: "You" (when he stood before the deity) The imposing bejeweled idol of Vishnu gave place to Baba, who stood on the spot, smiling at me, eyebrows raised as if surprised to see me standing there. (13)
We are also lucky to have many glimpses into the mission of the Lord. For instance we are informed what He has told to Arnold Schulman, and it refers to us too: "Understand? You. Not a book The book is publicity. I don't need Publicity. I want you. I want your faith". (14)
We are also informed of another Truth:
His avataric mission is to awaken in us an awareness of Himself In us and around us.
Through Kasturiji, we, as human beings, have benefited to receive many poems where God expresses the divine relationship between a soul and the Supreme Soul. Many of these poems are very touching as they throw a light on what will be expressed in the next chapter. Two such poems are given below:
I firmly believe there is none kinder than You,
To shower Grace on me.
Tell me is this not the reason why
I am at Your Lotus Feet?
I firmly believe You will respond quick
When I do pray and plead.
Tell me, is this not the reason why
I am crying aloud for You?
I firmly believe You are ever beside me
To guide my footsteps aright.
Tell me is this not the reason why
I am Yours through day and night
I firmly believe You can never say "No"
Whatever I ask from You.
Tell me is this not the reason why
I long for a glance from You.
What have You designed for me this time?
Why this dire delay to offer boons?
However long You'll make me wail and weep
I will not leave; I'll be standing still. (15)
Unlike the first poem that expresses a firm faith in the Giver the second one has verses to show a devotee's hopes and determination:
Hoping You'll guide me,
This day or the day after
I wait for Your call from day to day.
Hoping You'll give Darshan,
But afraid You may not
I'm alert from hour to hour.
Hoping You'll come straight
This very instant,
I'm watching and praying anon.
Hoping You'll smile at me
At last, though not the first,
I am longingly gazing with thirsty eyes.
I shall stand and stay in deep distress,
Until my day of bliss does dawn;
I am Yours, Your own, though exile far.
Dear Father mine! Do heal Your child. (16)
The last three lines in the last stanza drop the veil of alienation, and assume a relation-ship that is considered most intimate, Father and son or daughter. It also reminds one of the ties that Lord Christ has referred to and the Quran speaks of in the myth of Adam as an exile from the Presence of God. Kasturiji also tells us that it is not easy to say, "I love you, God" and then pass on. God trims and prunes and teaches how to love Him, for, He is the Self that we are(17). The two O'Brien sisters also speak in the same tone. Though placed far from in time and space they share many qualities of an ideal devotee. One such dimension is their steadiness of devotion. It is reflected in their lives. The O'Brien sisters, popularly known as the "Pink Twin," make an annual trip from Australia to India which demands a long and difficult journey. Yet they undertake it as a Muslim may consider a pilgrimage of K'aba. Like Kasturiji they too can say, "God is Beauty and whenever you touch beauty of a rose or sunset you are touching God." (18). They can claim that though they live far from the physical Presence but "Baba has lighted a lamp within their hearts that has never been dimmed." (19)
Each morning they send their love to everyone whether they are in Australia or at Prasanthi Nilayam. Moyia O'Brien describes a sight that she has seen it when in Baba's presence:
Some times she sees a pink cloud of vapor in her mind and it spreads over everybody. When Baba comes out His light mixes with it and it goes around the hall,and then falls back on us. (20)
Thus pure love plays for God alone an important role in each devotee's life, be he lives far or near, belongs to any region or time. There is a beautiful relationship that binds the Creator with his Creation:
Seen through the eyes of love, all beings are beautiful, all deeds are dedicated, all thoughts are innocent, the world is one vast kin. (21)
2. As a teacher Baba refers to devotion as "crop". But in a discourse to the Institute's students he has taken a father's approach by calling them "his property" and addresses them as "Stars" in a sky and "flowers" in a garden.
Illustration of a Mythic Triangle:
3. Essence of Devotion = Please refer to Baba's Discourses !998-99.
4. Zun Noon's story, Please refer to Tazkara-tui- Awaliya (Urdu edition)
5. Corbin, H. Creative Imagination In the Sufism of Ibn-ul-Arbi (New Jersey: Princi-Ton University Press, 1998)
6. Ibid, pp.237-245
7. Ibid, p.244 (Affirms what Shastras said of incarnation)
8. Divine Discourse (Published by Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications, 23-11-1999) p.2
9. Kustari, N. Loving God (Prasanthi Nilayam: Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications, 1982) All references in this chapter will be from the same edition.
10. O'Brien, Moyia and Dorothy The Touch of the Lord (Australia: Divine Print Publishers, 1999) All references in this chapter will be from this Edition.
11. Kasturi, N. Loving God p.388.
12. Ibid, p.4
13. Ibid, pp.6-7
14. Ibid, p. 73
15. Ibid, p.82
17. Ibid, p.84
18. O'Brien M. and D. The Touch of Baba p. 154
19. Ibid, pp. 165-166
20. Ibid, p. 169
21. Ibid, p. 174
LOVE AND ITS FORMS
Much has been written on divine and human forms of love. In the mystic terminology it is named as the lover and the Beloved. If one looks at it from the human angle it is full of sorrow and grief. That is the reason why Irina Twidee's teacher, Bhai Sahib has said that the entire world is populated only with two: soul and the Over-soul.1 From the Quran one can select two myths to confirm the points made above. The first one is the story of Yusuf and Zulekha and the second is about the trials of Prophet Abraham2. Yusuf was the son of another Prophet, Jacob by name, He was thrown into a well by the jealous stepbrothers and later sold in Egypt as a slave. Zulekha whose husband has been the prime minister of Egypt buys Yusuf. Looking at the unearthly beauty of Yusuf the Princess falls in love with him. Yet Yusuf stands firm in his vows to God and pays no heed to Zulekha's tricks. Time passes and Yusuf has to spend seven years in prison. Yet Zulekha still pursues him. Then comes a day when Zulekha loses all her wealth and her charms and the same Yusuf due to his purity and sincerity becomes the minister of the King. Zulekha now realizes her mistake and approaching Yusuf demands from his God her lost beauty and youth. Her prayer is granted and finally Yusuf and Zulekha are married3. This story represents secular and divine love and steadfast-faith in God. The narrative of Abraham speaks of how a man of God is made to undergo tests in the world, very often by God Himself. Two episodes, both from the Quran reveal this aspect. We are told how once for constantly asking King Nimrod to believe he is thrown in a blazing fire. A manifestation then saves Abraham and he sits in a garden though still surrounded by fire. Symbolically, in a myth, a garden indicates the heart and fire suggests jealousy of man. This also reminds us of how Prahalad has been also saved from boiling oil. Abraham again is tested for the attachment to his young son, Ishmael, He is asked to sacrifice his son at God's altar. Abraham blind-folds himself at that hour so that his mind may not waver from obedience to God. Another manifestation prevents his son to be sacrificed, and a goat is killed. Even to this day pilgrims to Mecca relive this in the form of a ritual. In fact the fifth principle of Islam enjoins man to give up his worldly attachments. The love of God constantly calls for a hard life of self-sacrifice. It has been named as Allah's grace/mercy, for, often a Muslim is reminded of the fact that "Allah is most Merciful, kind. "This way it is His Mercy that saves his devotees by falling into many errors that an ordinary man may make. Thus one may consider His mercy / grace as a cementing factor that joins the Visible and the Invisible worlds together.
In Bhagavath Vahini we hear of simple cowherd boys and girls, the gopas and the Gopis, loving Lord Krishna with a pure heart. In seeing Lord Krishna's image one gopi so forgets her body consciousness that she does not see that her hand has been burnt in the flame4. She is dragged off the flame of the lamp. One is reminded of a of a similar metaphor from Hallaj, a Muslim mystic, who has compared the lovers of God to moths .The moth not caring for its body merges with the flame and is heard no more. Suka explaining this attitude to King Parikshit says that this is the last stage of love.
The awareness of the Gopis has become one with the
Consciousness of Krishna; so they noticed none else.
Every stone ; every tree they saw appeared as Krishna to
Them; and they held on to it calling out 5.
One may observe analysis of this love theme in Sri Naradaji's text on the Gospel of Divine Love. He divides the topic from the human point of view into eleven forms. Like Sri Ramakrishna Narada also believes that the foremost duty of a human being is to realize the Divine Truth first and then enter upon the worldly tasks.
In 84 sutras Naradaji analyzes man's love for God. He further divides this love into a premature state, Aparabhakti, and a more mature form, Parabhakti. These stages are as follows: 6
1. God is a devotee's own view of the Divine Truth from the level of his special development and his view may be different from another person's.(sutra:51.2p)
2. Self Realization and its concept.(sutra:3.p.6)
3. All men are eligible for self-realization. (s.4-p.65.)
4. Perfect Man, its concept and divine intoxication, (s. 6-p.89)
5. Philosophical idea of Reality.(s.8 -p.97-101) Dedication of the individual soul to the Divine Reality means its self-surrender. In all rituals and religious functions as well as academic circles one comes to the same conclusions about the Divine Reality. For instance, a psychologist may name it psychic energy and a scientist calls the same as Biotic energy. As a creative effort it is known in Goethe, as an inherent growth or life force in Bernard Shaw. Mr. E. W. Boide, professor of Zoology, in London explains it as something that controls the growth of matter in plants. Henry Bergson calls it elan vital (mind energy). Philosophers use the term Cosmic Intelligence for it. The same is designated in the Upanishads as Prema or Hiranyagarbha. In Spencer it is referred to as "The Unknowable" and the "Over Soul" in Emerson. With the theists it is named variously such as God, Perfect Beauty, (St. Augustan) Divine Wilderness (Ekhart) and Heart of the Universe (Jacob Boehme). The ancient Greeks have termed it as Zeus, the Romans Jupiter, The Jews Jehovah, and the Muslims Allah. It is this one Truth that the devotee realizes and serves. Herbert Spencer in Principles of Sociology observes thus:
(this) one Truth must grow ever clear everywhere it is manifested (and men of science cannot) conceives either its beginning or end.
About self-surrender the Hindu mythology talks of the word "Naysa" of dedication of all acts. Naradaji says that it is the only direction of human activities. It shows the love of man for the Cosmic Spirit. And it lies at the root of the evolutionary progress. Therefore it is the cause of self-realization .commonly named as union of the part with the whole, This union has many dimensions, as explained in Sutra: 9. (p.101-103)
6. In the next verse Naradaji explains about the Man of Realization Every age has its own man of realization who explains scriptures in the light of his spiritual experience. Realization once gained and fully established can never be lost. A man of realization considers his body belonging to God and to the society. Verses 15-25 contain the sacred names of some writers who have preceded Naradaji. Next few verses tell the truth that the whole world likes to speak of the Beloved and this love is expressed in various forms such as prayer, japa (Baba's term is Namasmaranam while the Sufis call it Zikr), Harikatha, very often it is in the form of an epic. The Alvars, Mirabai, and Kabir inspire. The Gopikas exemplify the activities that come under the name of love of God. The condition is similar to the one described in Bhagavatam:
With their minds fixed on Me, through Love. They knew neither their kinsmen, nor their bodies; nor things far and near as sages in Their super conscious state know, no name or form like the rivers merging in waters of the ocean. Not knowing My real nature, the gopis, who were ignorant women, desired Me, as their Beloved and they attained Me ,the Supreme Brahman by hundreds through the Power of holy association. (XI 12-13)
This, then, is called the path of constant remembrance of the Lord. It must be noted that spirituality has nothing to do with the mind power and the yogas (sadhana) are considered to be inferior to this highest stage of Divine Love. For the soul especially during the last stages of the quest is only concerned with the Lord, and it is named as "the flight of the alone to the Alone".
8. In the verse 30 Naradaji explains the nature of the Self in man. The nature of the Self in man awaits "grace" That is in the form of inflow of Divine Energy, and it is a response of God for human effort.
9. The remaining verses (34-80) form the second part of the Gospel of Divine Love and convey the disciplines about the spiritual realization.
10. Of these, as Baba has pointed out, japa / Namasmaran or Zikr is most important. Sri Ramakrishna has divided them into three categories: a) loud, b) Muttering to oneself, c) Repetition in thought. (Sutras: 37 p.156) It is important. In Buddhism, Christianity and Islam such repetition is considered to be highly effectual.
11 and 12. Divine Grace is described in verse 38.One is told to avoid evil things. Vigilance and zeal are to be given priority in self-mastery. (Verse 43-45)
13. Steps to realization are talked of in verse 46(p.l91).
14. God sees to the devotee's needs (sutra: 47-48)
15. Supreme Love is considered to be indescribable (Sutra:51,p.l99).
16. A devotee's entire life is said to be a Yajna (Sutra: 55, page: 203)
17. Divine Love is contrasted ,and lust and greed are considered as main obstacles (Sutra63-p.211). Passion and impulses must be conquered (Sutra: 65-p.215).
18. Sutra 69 relates again to the holiness of the heart.
19. Perpetual moral sense and effort is advocated in verse 78 (page: 233).
20. Compassion is stressed and faith is known as the essence of all faiths. Freedom is at the centre of Compassion.
One must have noted that in Naradaji's Gospel of Divine Love there are many points that are common to all scriptures. Perhaps most significant is the idea that freedom from bondage is realizing one's own Truth. It is gifted to man, especially as the Self / Jivatma (as Baba calls it). It is differently named by various Masters .It is also an accepted fact that all human being especially, and all created objects can realize this Reality.
This aspect grants a dynamic role to Self in life, and the Universe moves in a planned direction as thought of by the Divine. We are now in a position to observes two views of Love. One aspect relates to what Baba calls Divine love. The other refers to the view of the Sufis, and what they mean when they use the phrase "unity in love".
BABA: ON DIVINE LOVE AND ITS FORMS
Love being a vast topic, each generation has viewed it differently, and narrowed its definition. Today is has been only taken in terms of sensual love. This, however, is a changing dimension. Baba looks at it from the divine the permanent angle. If we check His last two years' discourses (1998-1999) one comes across many references of the divine love. Listed are a few of them:
1. (One) should be full of love should love everybody for devotion to grow and yield fruit you have to water it with love (25-8-'98, p.4-5)
2. The Principle of love is most important of all. Love is Atma. Love is wisdom, Love is Truth, Love is Righteousness, Love is Peace, Love is non-violence. (five Human Values)
3. What I want is your Love pure, steady and selfless love the relation between devotee and God is only heart to Heart and. love to Love. Let love be The underlying principle in whatever you do. (11-10-'98,p.10-11)
4. Offering total Love is devotion. (11-10-'98,p.8)
5. Only love brings Unity (of mankind) I am teaching you all these prompted by Love so that you may develop love. (21-11-'98,p.l2)
6. Out of Love has emerged creation, (check Prophet Mohammed's saying where God indicates that "He was a hidden treasure He wanted to be known so He created the cosmos.") Only when Love is manifested one attains self-realization (23-11-1998,p.6.).
7. O man how do you expect to attain divinity Without understanding and experiencing the Principle of Love which is the-very form of God (Oct.l9th, 1999, p.2).
8. Worldly love is tainted by selfishness, but divine love is absolutely selfless (19th .Oct.'99,p.7.)
9. Love exists as your right from the time of birth. Enjoy this bliss of love, share it with others. Absence of Love is root cause of unrest in the World. Develop love and uphold Truth. (18-11-1999,p.6)
10. When love is in human beings and is unified it becomes cosmic love.
11. Love is the goal of human life(A true Hindu, Christian or Muslim can only be called such if He reaps the harvest of love.
12. GOD IS LOVE (1998-1999) (7)
A South Indian Myth may bring home the idea of what Baba points out in each discourse. In the ritual named Varalakshmi Puia the married women, worship the goddess of marriage in South India. It focuses the mind on the idea of marriage between Lord Shiva and Shakti. Its symbols stand for bringing the secular and divine aspects together, which is another name for divine Love It opens three incalculable vistas for the human mind. These happen to be:
a) Unity of God and man.
b) Love as a sign of God.
c) Love as the only process open for man to understand and follow his innate divinity, leading to vast areas of mental activity.
ALONE WITH THE ALONE
This is one topic wherein there is hidden great potentialities for Man. The way has been explored before him by quite a few mystics, especially those who have crossed the threshold of Aparabhakti. For a Sufi belonging to this group The Quran itself becomes a symbolic story of the Beloved, which the lover can read, as he alone understands the dialogues in it. It is for such men that the Quranic verse says:
"Have Me present to your heart I shall have you present to Myself."(II: 147)
So also such a soul is supposed to be well pleased and well pleasing, reserved to be alone with Him in His paradise. Even the traditional prayer becomes a conversation with Him. Such a prayer has three successive movements:
a) The faithful places himself in the company of his God and converses with Him,
b) He imagines that God is facing him.
c) The intuitive vision activates the Devotee's heart, so that his heart sees and hears. He is lost to the world. Ibnul-Arabi, as an example of such a prayer, quotes the opening verse of the Quran, explaining in detail the full process. It is like the Song of Song among the Christians, and constitutes a "shared divine service" accomplishing an essential Unity between the Creator and the creature. (8)
Ibnul-Arabi details this passage. (9)
Henry Corbin further elaborates this point in the following manner:
The creative meaning of the prayer (is) that it accomplishes its share of the Divine being's desire To create the universe and reveal Himself in them, In order to be known to himself. (10)
It is said by Corbin that these configuration of Sufism are same as those found by the Ancient Indian Rishis. Whether one believes it or not this is suggested in the following two Quranic verses:
1) Each being knows his/her prayer and his/her form of glorification (XXIV: 41)
2) There is no being that does not glorify God. (XVII: 46)
According to Sufis a prayer in essence unites the Divine with the human. Furthermore, Ibnul-Arabi has left for the believers the following verses:
I know the Lord without doubt or wavering My essence is His Essence in Truth, without default or flaw. There is no becoming between the two, and My soul it is which manifests the secret. And since I know myself without blending or mixture, I obtained the gift of the Lord of Affluence Without upbraiding and without recrimination, I did not lose to Him my soul, nor does it remain to the Lord of discrimination. (12)
However not many may believe what Ibnul-Arabi says. This is revealed in the sad story of Sarmad, a Mystic who lived at the time of Aurangzeb, in Delhi, India, beheaded by the orders of the Emperor. It is recorded that after the execution Sarmad dipped his Finger in the own blood and kept on writing Allah's Name. His Guru ordered him not to expose this secret, Only then the headless body fell as a corpse on the earth. This myth confirms the fact that beyond body, emotions and mind there is a world of Atma that never perishes. This is also confirmed in the Quran. In the Verse of Light:
God is the Light of heaven and earth.
The parable of His Light is
As if there were a niche,
And within it a Lamp.
The Lamp enclosed in glass, the glass
As if it were A brilliant star,
Lit from a blessed Tree,
An olive neither of the East nor of the West,
Whose oil is well nigh luminous,
Though fire scarce touched it.
Light upon Light.
God doth guide to whom He wills
To His Light. (13)
It sums up what Ibnul Arabi has earlier suggested as well as what Naradaji speaks of in The Gospel of Divine Love. It is in the Gita, and Baba tries to point out to humanity:
"There is a Cosmic Unity that binds all as ONE"
1. Irina Tweedie, Daughter of Fire. Nevada City: Blue Dolphin Publishing House, 1986.
2. The Quran ii. 124
3. The Quran, xii. 4-101. Marriage in Sufi terminology means merging in God
4. Sri Sathya Sai Baba Bhagavat Vahini. Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust, 1978, page243.
5. Ibid, page 242
6. Swami Tayagananda (Trans) Divine Gospel of Love. Madras: Ramakrishna Math, 1978. Page, 23.
7. Sathya Sai Baba Discourses 1978-99 Prasanthi Nilayam: S.S.S. Books and Publications.
8. Henry Corbin Creative Imagination in Sufism of Ibinul-Arabi Jew Jersey: Methos Publication, 1998,pp. 251-256
9. Ibid, p. 252
10. Ibid, p. 257
11. Bid, p. 260
12. Ibnul Arabi Whoso Knoweth Himself... Oxford: Bashera Publication, 1988,p25.
13. The Quran. XXIV: 35.
UNITY THE SELF WITH THE SELF
Unity of the divine and the secular worlds, the Infinite with the Finite, is very often described through images such as water and wave, sun and its rays. The duality is not perceived in the spiritual realm. There is no division, and all is conceived as ONE. This is one reason of the mystic saying: "I communicate with Myself".
Many, however, eagerly ask: "Why man has to suffer so much at the physical, emotional and mental levels." The answer usually given to him is as follows: "Man suffers because of his otherness (Ego)". As an example the Quranic myth of Satan is told. Satan falls because of his pride, and the worst punishment is that for eternity he has been denied to look at the Face that he has loved so much.
Perfection, therefore, is not possible without the Grace of God. It must be noted that perfection is synonymous with Unity. Though, Naradaji has claimed that every age has its perfect man, it must be acknowledged that in this "plastic age" it is very difficult to achieve this unity. The myths are far too numerous that portray an image of darkness of a Whale's belly or a blind well or a blazing fire, a storm, a famine, an earthquake. But not that often one listens to the description of blissful life in a garden. Beauty that constitutes a flower, light from a star or peace that surpasses understanding. May be we as human race, have not reached that level. Here and there one comes across an example of how an awareness unites with the Cosmic Self but these are only glimpses. Here is an example of such an experience:
To see a Face, eternal, ageless, in the shadow of abundant yogic curls that very often hide the Divine features. Later on, one only remembers that Face with its enigmatic smile and unfathomable eyes, and searches for it among the crowds of men. But alas (Anonymous)
This experience, like many similar ones, speaks of a unity that is unearthly yet, conveys a glimpse of what we have to discuss in this conclusive study as "the self with the SELF". Let us therefore formulate our survey on material that is readily intelligible and easily mastered.
THE MYSTIC DANCE: A HUMAN ANGLE
A Muslim Myth tells us the story of how the "blanket wearers" have gone to Prophet Mohammed whose glance teaches them how to love God. Enamored by his glance they feel so satisfied that they decide to stay and initiate the Sufi Movement. (1) This myth indicates two ways that have been popular in Islamic world. Both of them initiate a way to connect one's self to the Supreme Self. The first one is called the Remembrance: The repetition of His name speaks of the potency of words as a remembrance His name gradually pervades our whole being until every cell in our body knows whom it belongs to. From duality we turn towards oneness as we remember Him. (2) The Quran suggests the second method of recognizing Him. It is also method of Baba when He calls human beings as Atmaswaroopa or Premaswarupa Lara. The Quran calls them signs or manifestations and says: "And we will show them our signs in the horizons and in themselves." (41-53). Hence the seeker who takes the part in the affairs of the world sees all activities as divine as His Signs.
For the weaker beings like us Baba has suggested the practice of Remembrance. It is true that these two ways need a century, and often we make mistakes but one should believe in the Supreme Selfs Mercy and not his Justice. God's Mercy is greater than his Justice. Here too one can disregard time as essentially a creation of our imagination not God's. In the Eastern myths also this idea is expressed. For instance the symbolism of Shiva and Parvathi's union we can see the sacred unity of two-in-one. Also in Lord Vishnu and the cosmic ocean, in Shri Yantra, in Cosmic Lotus figure from Tibet, in Buddhist Stupas, in the sculptured caves of Ajanta, we are reminded of the same idea. This is the dance of Self with Self and the following passage beautifully describes it: "(this is) the very Absolute, but under its dynamic aspect the relentless energy, (this is) our life (that) has become transformed into us and the effects our bewildered thoughts and deeds We are no further from the divine than are the yogis We are the Absolute in as much as we are the children of the world (Maya).(4)"
We misdirect our effort unnecessarily to concerns of the material (visual) aspect only. Thus far and no further the mind can go. One may conclude that each peak of Human civilization be it a book or art form or scientific theory is a gift from the Divine and therefore a pointer in the same direction i.e. All manifestation are His signs. In this light, therefore, browse over some of Baba's sayings
ON UNITY: BABA
1. a) There is no place where there is no God. All names and forms are His (11-10-'98) p.4.
b) From the physical point of view you may consider yourself different from God. In the mental realm you should feel that you are a spark of the Divine. But from the Atmic point of view, you should realize that you are not different from God. (11-10-'98) p. 6.
c) Your Heart is My chariot. (11-10-'98) p.10.
2. a) Unity is most essential for man. Unity leads to purity which in turn leads to divinity brotherhood of man and fatherhood of God. (20-11-98) p.3.
b) Lack of unity leads to fragmentation of the country. (20-11-98) p.4.
c) Let us grow together, enjoy together. Let us perform heroic deeds by working together (20-11-98) p.8
3.a) You are in Brahman and Brahman is in you. In fact you and Brahman are one. (23-11-98) p. 2.
b) God is not separate from you (23-11-98)p.4
c) Cultivate the sense of unity that I and you are one (23-11-98) p.5.
d) God is immanent in every inch and every hair of your body (23-11-98) p.8.
4. We need not search for God outside. He is within us (17th Oct. 1999) p.3.
5. Jnana refers to experience of oneness (17 Oct.1999) p.2.
6.a) When you are one with the Self there is no scope for birth and death. (24-11-1998) p.6.
b) What is essential is recognizing unity in Divinity. (24-11-1998) p. 9
c) Happiness lies in union with God. (24-11-1998) p. 12.
The Quran in the verse on faith asserts the same unity:
Say He is God;
The One and only.
God the Eternal, the Absolute,
He begets not, nor is He begotten,
And there is none like unto Him. (CXII 1-4)
1. V. Lee Paradoxes of Love (California: Golden Sufi Center, 1996) page 146.
2. Ibid p. 147.
3. V.Lee Travelling the Path of Love (California: Golden Sufi Center, 1995) adapted from The Secret of God's Oneness (trans.) John O. Kanep.379.
4. H.Zimmer The Myths and Symbols In India Art and Civilization (New Jersey: Mythos Books, 1974) p.208.
5. Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Discourses 1998-1999 and 2000 (Pransanthi Nilayam: Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust).
In points: Baba's Summer Discourses, 2000
1. Education and culture are like the negative and positive poles. Education caters to providing information. Culture leads to transformation. E. without C. is like field without water.
2. Educare is related to the heart. Education is related to the head.
3. Man is afraid of the five elements but not their Creator.
4. The lack of compassion and love in his actions has caused the five elements to fear man, and keep away (from him).
5. Realize that nature is very powerful, and has no faults associated with it. The fault is not in srishti but with drishti (vision).
6. A true Sadhaka must investigate and discover where the bad qualities had made entry into his life, and influenced him. Example: Ointment is meant for application to the spot of injury. Efforts must be to strike at this spot (for the application of the ointment.).
7. Thoughts are controlled by the kind of food we eat.
8. The elements are dependent on Divine Power, and Divine Power takes care of everything.
9. In everything there is reaction, resound and reflection.
10. Repeat God's name. The sound waves of God's Name remove all pollution.
11. All mistakes can be taken out if feeling is good. Develop good feelings, the problems will be solved.
12. Remember if you suffer. Tell yourself: "This is also good for me." Be equalminded.
13. Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwara are not physical bodies. They represent attributes. They move in the human body from top to toe. The body is the living place of them. Brahma is the faculty of speech; Vishnu represents the mind; Ishwara the heart.
14. What is the form of the spirit? It is in the form of consciousness, Ishwara represents consciousness. Out of consciousness comes the conscience (mind).Out of the mind is born the speech faculty. All these three are interrelated. These three stand for Brhama, Vishnu, and Maheshwara.
a) The one you think you are.
b) The one others think you are Maheshwara.
c) The one really you are.
15. Every word uttered represents Brhama. Do not misuse words. Excessive words lead to lies.
16. Too much talk hurts others. Too much talk leads to misdeeds and agitations. Therefore sages have said follow the silence. Silence is not with lips, but with thoughts. If that is scared the results are sacred too.
17. Realize the principle of the Trinity of Brhama, Vishnu and Maheshwara by sanctifying your words, mind and heart.
18. God is time. He transcends and controls time.
19. Human life is the rarest of all. To have experiences body is essential. Even a simple task cannot be experienced without the body. Example : Ripened fruit once fallen cannot be reattached. The Ganges once when it falls in the ocean cannot return. Once the human body drops it cannot be regained.
20. Body is an iron safe that has no value. The iron safe becomes valuable as divinity. Human life has got value because of virtues. Body is gifted by God to render service, but man is using it for selfish purposes.
21. The ancient sages taught that all you see around you is inside each one of you.
22. Body is given to follow two principles, a) Sathyam vada = Speak Truth.
b) Dharmam chara = Follow Righteousness
23. That which is imperishable we take as Truth. That which is eternal, we do not take as untruth.
24. Real beauty is character.
25. Students, never give up your mission. Always have a goal and go ahead. Bank on and draw from your inner strength.
26. Determination is very important. Hold on till successful. Do not turn back till your desire is fulfilled.
27. Just as garland painted in a picture cannot be shaken, so too Divinity imprinted in the heart cannot be shaken under any circumstances. Heart should be steady and mind should be stable.
28. Human body is like a bamboo. A bamboo is bent in many places. The bends denote the weakness of man (anger, avaricious etc.)
29. Human body in human life is called Thungabadra. Badra = auspiciousness, Tunga = Infinite. Hence Tungabadra means human body is gifted with Infinite grace.
30. Each one must question oneself: how we are using this sacred divine, auspicious human body.
31. Nara, Narayana, Narada = same meaning. Nara = No death (imperishable), Na = no. Narada shows Narayana to Nara.
32. Individual is God himself. The good one watches, Divinity in human beings. The bad one watches humanness in the divine, (e.g. Ravana). Narada saw Narayana in Nara.
33. In humanity lies happiness. The four brothers: Rama, Lakshmana, Bharat and Satrughna, were happy. Two brothers: Surya and Ball, no unity, and therefore no happiness. They suffered all the time.
34. You do not have to decorate God with jewels. Bliss alone is the jewel that God likes to be adorned with.
35. Sai is patience, purity, perseverance.
36. Make your parents happy. Respect them ;take care of them and serve them.
37. Devotion does not mean penance or meditation. Devotion means intense love for God.
38. Best example of one pointed devotion is Dharmaraja. In spite of hardships, humiliation of Darupati, loss of sons of his own brother, loss of kingdom,at every moment he thought of God.
39. Once you follow the command of God you will attain bliss.
40. As the devotion is offered to God, so is God's love for devotee. As you repeat God's name again and again, so He repeats your name. No one can stand between God and his devotee. This is a sacred principle.
41. The chief aim of God is to protect his devotee his devotion. As the sound is so resound. The pining of the devotee is the yearning of God.
42. There is an intimate relationship between Bhagawan and his devotees. Bhagawan's life is devotee's life and devotee's life is Bhagawan's life. With this feeling that Bhagawan will protect you, and the devotees will never suffer or face problems one should spend one's life. But the heart should be sacred.
43. We should be firm as a boulder in the sea. No matter how many waves come and hit against us. Heart = boulder, Waves = suffering. That is the true Bhakta (devotee).
44. You can give up anything but never give up God.
45. The man of wisdom is he who understands the unity between the individual and the divine.
46. Man is gifted to know:
a) The Divinity within.
b) The individual soul is the spirit.
c) The spirit is divine.
47. Man can change attachment to liberation.
48. If there is no reality there can be no reflection. Reflection is outside; Reality is inside. Action is inside, reaction is outside. Object and reflection speak of reality.
49. In ancient time, the inner desire to know the divine was 75%. Today in the percentage it is not even 20% but they all desire to get liberation.
50. Modern education is no liberation, (it is) only bondage. In earlier days they sacrificed attachment, and gratitude was of prime importance.
51. Educated people are full of doubts. They grow in intelligence but have no trace of virtue.
52. Only support must be God's or else we become slaves.
53. Welfare of the community depends on the character of citizens.
54. Whatever happens, good or bad, we have to take it in the spirit that" this is good for me."Example: the doctor operates to relieve pain. God also puts tests to' strengthen us from within.
55. When one becomes the servant of the servants of God, the whole world will serve you.
56. Secular knowledge is for living, Spiritual knowledge is for liberation.
57. Right hand is for spiritual knowledge; left is for secular knowledge .Catch only right. Left side is weak. Our aim should be only right side only.
58. As you grind sandalwood more, the fragrance increases. As you chew sugarcane more you will get more experience of its sweetness. Similarly, as a human being loves his fellow beings more he will experience more bliss.
59. When thoughts are weak, body is weak. While you have a physical body be concerned of divinity.
60. What is liberation? When we have total love for all our fellow beings and we make utmost effort to share that love; it is liberation.
61. Practical experience in everything is necessary. Else, one become a hero on platform but a zero in practicality.
62. The teaching of Lord Buddha was all sacred and good. Make your sight, thought, and actions all sacred.
63. Parents give us our names. When we meet people we give our visiting -cards. To God, give only our love, unconditional and selfless.
64. Body is a gift given by the Will of God. Treasure it and make a proper use of it.
65. Sacrifice the spirit of ego. Accept the sacred things and reject the unsacred.
66. We pay heed to the words of everyone around us, but we have forgotten the God within us .We pay no attention to the inner voice, though we breathe 21,000 times Soham I am God, daily.
67. Preyosakthi = To help you acquire worldly goals and happiness and_to get strength from the senses limited and temporary joy. Shreyesakthi = The strength that comes from the inner spirit, like love, compassion, tolerance and sacrifice. You can bridge the two forms of Divine energies by performing all the worldly tasks with the Divine name.
68. God is always blissful for He has no desires at all.
69. Vyashti = Individual
Samathi = society
Paramesthi = divine
If the individual has to reach the divine, he has to connect himself to the society. He Has to serve the society.
70. How does one experience divinity in the real life? Give service and receive service.
71. You must take it in the spirit that God has given everything. He takes it back whenever he wishes. Example: On railway wagons there is stamp on the goods as "Return by date". Everything in creation has such a date stamped on it, at the time of birth.
72. Love has no hatred. It can transform an animal into Divine.
73. Forbearance is the main offshoot of love. It cannot be got from books. Problems, grief, loss, help to develop this noble quality.
74. Once you accept your mistake, the situation can be found. Go ahead in life with this in mind, and with the determination that you will not repeat this mistake and you will prosper. Never blame others for your failures. Develop forbearance from these situations.
75. A photographer will alert you before taking a picture; but the Divine photographer can click any time. Always be ready.
76. A life without an aim is a wayward life, leading to total confusion and ultimately a failed life.
77. In Krita age meditation was for months and years prescribed. In Treta age ritual was prescribed. In Dwapara age worship was in practice. In Kali age Namasmaran is prescribed.
78. A man of position must have a pure heart. Every one wants the position but not the progress of the country.
79. Do not cheat or betray your country The feeling must be that all are brothers and sisters. For example Vivekananda in America said "Brothers and Sisters of America". Today we are ashamed to address in this manner.
80. Culture polishes and refines you. What is refinement? Give up bad and do good.
81. Manava = mind (burn the desires of the mind). Manava = Ma + nava = not ancient.
82. What is Sadhana? Convert bad into good.
83. Ancient education emphasized on obedience and humility.
84. Wherever you go you will be judged on the basis of your conduct (Sai Devotees).
85. Sai culture is eternal, pure unsullied and crystal clear.
86. Whole universe rests on the mind. First correct the mind then the country will be automatically good.
87. Sita lost dear because of deer. If you can conquer your senses, then you are a warrior.
88. Everyone is happy to listen to Bhagawan. What one has listened here it is very important to practice. To listen and recapitulate what have you heard in your heart.
89. Scholarships are easy to attain; to fight in the battlefield is very easy, but to the mind inward and uphold human values is very difficult.
90. Today the world needs men and women of character. The progress depends on them. This is true culture of Bharat.
91. Dust of Bharat = Principle of Truth. Sand of Bharat = Compassion. The flowing Gangese = Love. Sacrifice is the divine strength and power. Dharma is noblest.
92. In ancient times education was sacred. In ancient times prayers were for the welfare of the world, and they were always virtuous prayers.
93. Never go by others words. Follow your own conscience.
94. Always question yourself. Is this right or wrong. Remove the wrong and do the right thing.
95. Act in a righteous way. Always question yourself: What is Dharma (righteous way) and what is not. The moment you think of God it leads to Dharma.
96. Baba wants our behaviour to be sacred. Have smiling faces, words should be sacred. That is the true sign of a student of Sathya Sai. Swami belongs to you arid you belong to Him.
97. Our true wealth is love for God.
98. Bring a good name to Sathya Sai Institue. That is what Bhagawan wants. Baba will give you what you want, just earn a good name.
99. Outer dress is not so important as inner qualities.
100. Always remember the self in others. It is the same Self as in me.
101. Watch yourself inside all the time. (Art is outside, heart inside)
102. SAI = See always inside.
103. Be clear and success will follow.
104. Stop not till the goal is achieved.
105. Success is a journey not destination.
106. Reality inside every man reflects as external world.
107. The spiritual heart is the seat of Ishwara. It is unfortunate that every man has a heart But is heartless in behaviour.
108. Do not let problems and obstacles hamper your progress to God. Take Him as the basis of your life. That will protect you at all times.
"EXISTENCE, KNOWLEDGE, BLISS"
POEMS : UNITY
1. Existence .Knowledge, Bliss
Are divine, everlasting properties.
The dream-bound cosmos like a pigeon
Flies in the blue sky,
Then disappears from the sight.
Merging, in the cerulean infinity.
*In line three the words in quotes form the first half of the first Principle of Islam; there mean "God alone Is". In the next line the words are from the second half of the first Principle of Islam. Here they convey the meaning: one who proclaims the first half of the words is to be glorified. (They refer not to the historical Mohammed: the Prophet of Islam.)
There are no two, though garments differ
In colour and shape the cloth is one.
Existence also is One: like rainwater
Drop by drop it forms a puddle or a stream
That moves or may not move. Its goal
Is from nowhere to nowhere.
1. Attar, Fariduddin The Assembly of Birds. (Trans) N.C. Nott, London: Routledge, 1961.
2. Tazkarat-ul-Awaliva (Urdu) India: Hyderabad, 1979.
3. Baba, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Discourses. Prasanthi Nilayam: Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications, 1998-2000.
4. Bhagavath Vahini. Pransanthi Nilayam: Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications, 1998.
5. Sadhana:The inward Path. Prasanthi Nilayam: Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publication, 1976.
6. Damadi, M. "Maqamat-I- Arabin In Abu Said", Marif Islami. Vol. XII, April 1971.
7. Guiltmont, P.G., and Masih, A. Gnostic Bible According To Thomas. New York: Harper and Row, 1959.
8. Ibun-Arabi "How so ever Knoweth Himself" Oxford: Bashara Publication, 1988
9. Hasting (EDT) Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics. New York: Macmillan, 1997
10. Kasturi, N. Loving God. Prasanthi Nilayam: S.S.S. Books and Pub. 1982.
11. Lee, V. Paradoxes of Love. California: Golden Sufi Center, 1996.
12. Travelling Through the Path of Love. California: Golden Sufi Center, 1995.
13. Ling, Martin What is Sufism. Great Britain:Unwin Brothers, 1975.
14. Nasr, H. Living Sufism. London: George Alien and Unwin, 1980
15. O'Brien, Dorothy and Moyia The Touch of The Lord. Australia: Divine Print Pub. 1999.
16. Osbon Companion to Joseph Campbell. 1998
17. Taygananda (Trans) Gospel of Divine Love. Madras: Sri Ramakrishna Math. 1978
18. Tweedei, I. Daughter of Fire. Nevada City: Blue Dolphin Pub. 1986.
19. Veshwarananda (Trans) Bhagavat Gita. Madras: Sri Ramakrishna Math.
20. Woodroffe, J. The Serpent Power. Madras: Ganesh and Co., 1913.
21. Zimmer, H. The Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilization. New Jersey: Methos Books, 1974.
My heart-felt gratitude to all the rishis and the saints who have helped me to complete this manuscript. I feel their unseen, yet sacred assistance. Also my many thanks to the Vice-Chancellor, the Registrar and the Principal of Prasanthi Nilayam Campus of the Institute for allowing me to complete the text.
Many, many thanks to the four children of this body and their families, without their strength this book could have never seen the light of the day. To Ms. Raghubir Kaur my humble pranams for providing the appendix.
Prof. (Dr.) ZEBA BASHIRUDDIN
Prasanthi Nilayam College
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning.
The above-stated text is intended only for fact-finding reading.
No reproduction of this book in any form is authorized for commercial purposes.