For the sake of young Prahlada,
For the desperate elephant king,
For the infant Dhruva, steadfast in devotion
For the indigent Kuchela, prolific in family, pauper in
The lotus-eyed Vishnu, extolled by the Vedas,
The ever compassionate one of manifold bounties conferred:
Take all these together, the Lord of Lords is now incarnate,
The embodiment of love and compassion of all the above,
Where is God? When does He incarnate? Where does He incarnate? These
are the questions that are troubling the minds of people today. God
is omnipresent. All are the embodiments of God. Today, people
attribute various names and forms to God like Rama, Krishna and
Jesus, and celebrate their birthdays. Truly speaking, can there be a
birthday for God? No. To think that God took birth on a particular
day in a year is a sign of ignorance. God is in the form of breath
in every man. 'Soham', this symbolises the process of inhalation and
exhalation. 'So' means 'That' (God), 'Ham' stands for 'I'
(individual). Though there are two words, namely God and individual,
there is no difference between them. They are one and the same. God
in fact has no birth. He does not need to achieve any goals.
However, in order to instill faith in the minds of people, He
incarnates. If there is birth, there has to be death too. But, God
is beyond birth and death. He has neither a beginning nor an end. To
think there is a birthday for God is only your imagination. Devotees
limit God to a physical frame, worship Him and celebrate His
birthdays. That is all a figment of their imagination and does not
correspond to the truth.
Every day, in this world, many are born and many die. What is meant
by birth and death? To assume a body is birth and to cast off the
same is death. It is out of illusion that man experiences the
dualities of birth and death, whereas God transcends both. Sarvatah
Panipadam Tat Sarvathokshi Siromukham, Sarvatah Sruthimalloke
Sarvamavruthya Tishthati (with hands, feet, eyes, head, mouth
and ears pervading everything, He permeates the entire universe). It
is out of ignorance that man is caught in the cycle of birth and
death. Birth and death are caused by the Will of God.
God is the very personification of love. He is present in all beings
in the form of the life-breath. Since ancient times, people have
made concerted efforts to understand the mystery of birth and death.
One need not go that far to understand this mystery. The body which
we have assumed makes us experience it every moment. The process of
inhalation symbolises birth and exhalation death. Man is unable to
understand the inner significance of this breathing process. What is
it that man is supposed to do, to escape from the cycle of birth and
death? He should develop love more and more. But, today man does not
love his fellow human beings even. That does not mean that he lacks
love. There is love in him but he is unable to experience it. He
should attach value to the principle of love and not merely to
When we inhale ('So'), the life principle enters our body and when
we exhale ('Ham'), it goes out. Every moment, this process of
inhalation and exhalation reminds us of our inherent divinity (I am
God). So long as there is life-breath, the body is considered to be
Sivam (auspicious). Once the life-breath ebbs away, it becomes Savam
(corpse). Both birth and death are related to the body and not to
the life principle. Many changes take place between birth and death
in a mysterious way. It is God who is responsible for all these. But
some people deny the existence of God and waste their time in vain
argumentation. God DOES exist. He neither comes nor goes. He is
present everywhere at all times. Man experiences birth and death
because of his body attachment. He will be released from the cycle
of birth and death only when he gives up body attachment and
surrenders himself completely to the Will of God.
God, I offer the sacred heart to You which You have given me.
What else can I offer at Your Lotus Feet? I pray that You accept
my humble offering.
and death arise out of illusion. Every day in this world, many
beings are born and many die. Birth and death happen according to
the time and circumstances. Between birth and death, man gets
deluded by the physical body and develops various relationships at
the physical level. He identifies himself with the body and gets
carried away by the feeling of I and mine. This is a grave mistake.
So long as the body lasts, you are related to so and so. Once the
body perishes, what happens to your relationship? True relationship
lies at the Atmic level and not at the physical level. Prior to
birth who is related to whom? What happens after death? In fact,
both birth and death are the results of bhrama (delusion)
because of which you are unable to realise Brahma (Divinity). As we
are enmeshed in this worldliness, we are unable to comprehend the
True spiritual practice lies in understanding one's true identity.
One should enquire, "Who am I"? All the spiritual practices are
meant to make you realise who you really are. Everyone uses the term
'I' while introducing himself. It means that the principle of 'I'
(Self) present in you is the same as the one in others. But man is
unable to understand this oneness. He is carried away by the
differences based on physical body. Consequently, he is giving room
to conflicts and unrest.
Birth and death are related to the body and not to the individual
soul. Mind is responsible for both. Everything is man's own making.
Life is a dream. How can anything that appears in a dream be true?
It is all a mere illusion. So long as you are immersed in this
bhrama (delusion), you cannot have the vision of Brahma. It is
only when you break the shackles of illusion, can you experience the
You can understand your true identity by observing your breathing
process. But man is not interested in such an easy and simple path.
He is taking to rough and difficult paths and is ultimately getting
frustrated. So long as there is a thorn in the flesh, it hurts. Body
attachment is like a thorn which is the cause of all suffering. Once
you give up body attachment, you will know your true Self. You
suffer because you identify yourself with the body. It is but an
illusion. That is why Sankaracharya said:
Punarapi Jananam Punarapi Maranam
Punarapi Janani Jathare Sayanam
Iha Samsare Bahu Dustare
Kripayapare Pahi Murare.
(From birth to birth
From death to death
From womb to womb
Tarrying a while
Such is the sojourn
Of this transient life,
Oh destroyer of the demon Mura,
Be my boatman
On this turbulent ocean
By your bounteous grace.)
One need not undertake intense spiritual practices to cross the
ocean of Samsara. All that one has to do is to contemplate on God
incessantly. Though God is within, man is unable to realise Him. In
the dream state, man may experience death and feel sad about it.
When he wakes up, he will heave a sigh of relief realising that what
he saw was only a dream. Then who was the one who died in the dream?
It was just a creation of the mind. Similarly, even in the waking
state, whatever man experiences is a creation of the mind. My
father, my mother, my wife, my children, etc., all such feelings
arise out of illusion. They do not correspond to the reality. It is
because of illusion that man develops physical relationship and
ultimately subjects himself to suffering. When man develops pure and
unsullied love, he will not experience pain or suffering. Love for
the physical body is false and fleeting. Love for the Self is true
and eternal. In order to understand the truth of your identity, you
should enquire within.
Once Sankaracharya was proceeding to the river Ganga along with his
disciples. On the way, he found a person sitting under a tree and
repeating Dukrun Karane, Dukrun Karane. He was in fact trying
to master the rules of Panini's grammar. Sankara took pity on him
and advised him to contemplate on the Lord instead of wasting his
time in the acquisition of worldly knowledge.
Bhaja Govindam, Bhaja Govindam
Govindam Bhaja Moodha Mathe
Samprapthe Sannihithe Kale
Nahi Nahi Rakshati Dukrun Karane.
(Oh foolish man, chant the name of Lord Govinda; the rules of
grammar will not come to your rescue when the end approaches.)
Bhrama and Brahma are based on your mind. They are not
present outside. Brahma is within you. But as you are immersed in
bhrama (delusion), you consider Brahma (Divinity) to be a
distant entity. Once you realise that you are Brahma, you will be
free from bhrama once for all. You suffer because you
identify yourself with the body. Once you get rid of body
attachment, you will experience everlasting happiness.
Pleasure and pain are your own making. They are not given by God.
You are the cause of your suffering, none else. Understand this
truth. From the spiritual point of view, pleasure, pain and the
worldly relationships are illusory. They are not real. Right from
dawn to dusk, man is leading a life of delusion. Having been born as
a human being, man should experience the truth. The physical body
grows for a certain period and later on becomes weak and decrepit.
Birth and growth are related to the body which is unreal. But man
considers body to be real and thereby suffers. When you see with
your eyes wide open, you are able to see many people. But, when you
close your eyes, you cannot see anybody. From where do so many
people come when you open your eyes? Where do they go when you close
your eyes? You do not know. In fact, you do not know the place of
your origin and also your destination. That is why you suffer. Once
you realise that you are not the body and nothing in this world
belongs to you, you will not suffer. Everything in this world is of
your own making. Nothing is real.
It is only God, the embodiment of love, who is with you and in you
always. Bereft of love, man cannot exist. Love is your life. Love is
the light that dispels the darkness of ignorance. One who does not
cultivate love will be born again and again. Punarapi Jananam
Punarapi Maranam. Whoever is born will die one day and whoever
dies will be born again. Birth and death are the Prabhava (effect)
of the objective world. As he is deluded by the Prabhava, man is
subjecting himself to Pramada (danger).
Worldly love is transient; it cannot be called love at all. True
love is immortal. You should cultivate such love. Physical body
grows and decays. How can you consider it to be real? In fact,
nothing in this world is real. Body attachment is the cause of
delusion. Hence, gradually reduce your body attachment. This is the
most important sadhana you have to undertake. Japa (chanting), Thapa
(penance), Dhyana (meditation), Yoga (communion with God), etc., do
not constitute true sadhana. Whatever you consider to be real is in
fact unreal. Whatever is unreal has to be given up. This truth has
to be understood in the first instance. It is very easy to give up
body attachment. I wonder why people are not able to do so!
You can see a number of bulbs glowing in this hall. But the electric
current passing through them is the same. Bodies are like bulbs and
the principle of Atma is like the current passing through all the
bulbs. Understand this oneness and share your love with one and all.
Do not consider anyone to be your enemy. You consider the one who
loves you to be your friend and the one who hates you to be your
foe. In fact, there is neither friend a nor a foe. It is only your
people perform various sadhanas to experience divinity. Will God
come closer to you because of these sadhanas or does He go away from
you if you do not perform them? No. It is only the bhrama
that goes away from you when you perform the sadhanas. As a result,
you become closer to Brahma. You should make every effort to get rid
of bhrama. Give up the feeling that you are the body and you
are the doer. Only then can you be free from delusion and fear.
Reduce your body attachment. That is the sadhana you are supposed to
undertake. Spiritual practice does not lie in the performance of
Japa , Thapa, Dhyana , etc. They are done only for your mental
satisfaction and not for having the vision of God. Give up all these
practices. Develop firm faith that you are God. Remind yourself
constantly, "I am God, I am God, I am God". Then you will become
God. Body is merely the vesture you have put on. It is not your true
Self. As the body attachment increases, the suffering also
Tyaja Durjana Samsargam; Bhaja Sadhu Samagamam; Kuru Punyam
Ahorathram (Give up bad company; join good company and perform
meritorious deeds day and night). In this world, you see many names
and forms. Does it mean that they are all different from each other?
No. All are one. It is only divinity that expresses itself as
mother, father, brother, sister, etc. Names and forms may be
different, but the underlying truth is one. When you keep this
principle of truth in view, love will flow from you incessantly.
Immerse yourself in the river of love. Do not give up love under any
circumstances. Even if someone were to hate you, treat him as your
own brother. If you were to meet him on the road, do not show anger;
greet him with love. Your love will certainly bring about
transformation in him. True happiness lies in the spirit of
sacrifice. Thyaga (sacrifice) is the true Yoga. Man, today, does not
cultivate Thyaga. On the other hand, he seeks Bhoga (pleasure) and
thereby subjects himself to Roga (disease). When you develop the
spirit of sacrifice, you will be free from suffering. True spiritual
practice is that which helps you to overcome delusion. What is the
use, if you get drowned in delusion more and more with the
advancement of age?
I am not the body, nothing is mine." This is what you should know.
Question yourself, "Who am I"? You will get the reply, "I am I".
When you understand and experience this truth, nobody can cause any
suffering to you. You cannot escape from suffering so long as you
are immersed in the dualistic feeling that you are a mere mortal and
God is separate from you. The feeling that "I am separate from you"
is your own imagination. When 'I' and 'you' are joined together, it
becomes 'we'. However, 'we' + 'He' (God) becomes only 'He' who is
changeless. 'I' and 'you' change constantly.
Many people do sadhanas like Japa and Dhyana, but they are not of
much use. However, they lead to some change in due course of time.
They may confer temporary results but they cannot grant eternal
bliss. You should not worry for temporary results. The feeling of
'I' and 'mine' is the root cause of worry. You will be haunted by
worry so long as you don't realise Hari (God). You are worried
because you identify yourself with the body. Once you identify
yourself with the Self (God), you will be free from all worries.
Hence, you should make every effort to realise your true Self. Under
any circumstances, do not shed tears of sorrow. One will be free
from sorrow when one gives up body attachment. In order to be free
from worry and fear and to attain everlasting peace, you should
realise that "I am I". When you have firm belief in this statement,
nothing can shake you. Do not develop undue attachment to the body
and material possessions. You will be redeemed only when you lead
your life with a spirit of sacrifice. What you should achieve is
Thyaga and not Bhoga. To consider something as yours ('mine') is
Bhoga. To realise that nothing is yours ('not mine') is Yoga. This
Yoga bestows on you the true strength.
Jesus performed various types of sadhanas and ultimately realised
this truth. Once Mary and Joseph took their child Jesus to a fair in
Jerusalem. In the crowd, the parents lost trace of Jesus and
searched for him everywhere. All the while, Jesus was sitting in a
corner of the temple and listening to the sermon of the priest. The
parents were searching for him outside the temple. Mother Mary
ultimately found him in the temple. She rushed towards him and
affectionately embraced him saying, "My son, what happened to you?
Where had you gone? We have been in search of you." Jesus told her,
"Mother, I have not stepped out of the temple. I have been listening
to the sermon of the priest. Why should you have any fear? Those who
believe in the world will have fears. But, why should anyone
believing in God, fear at all? I am in the company of my Father, why
do you fear?"
Forgetting your innate divinity, you are in search of God in the
external world. You are God yourself. Is it not foolishness to
search for yourself in the outside world? Look within, only then can
you find God. It is very easy to understand this oneness. However,
you should have firm faith to begin with. You should believe that
God is not separate from you. On a deep enquiry, you will realise
that God is in you and also outside.
Turn your vision inward and search for your true Self. Self-enquiry
leads to true Sakshatkara (vision of God). Once you have Sakshatkara,
you will be free from all worries. It is a mistake to say that you
have not experienced God. He is present in you. A person kept a ten
rupee note in a book and forgot about it. He was carrying it all
along. One day he was in need of ten rupees. He asked his friend to
lend him ten rupees. His friend readily agreed. But before giving
the money, his friend wanted to see the book he was carrying. As he
opened the book, the ten rupee note fell from it. He was happy that
he had the required amount with him and that there was no need to
borrow it from his friend. Likewise, today man is in search of God,
as he has forgotten his innate divinity. Man can realise God only by
Embodiments of Love! Students!
You are making various efforts to experience Divinity. Do not search
for God outside. He is in you. Everything is in you. All that you
see outside is illusory. Do not be carried away by the illusory
world. Only then can you attain peace and ultimately realise the
truth "I am I". To know this simple truth, you need not go through
various sacred texts. Keep the texts aside. Enjoy the taste of
divinity within. Develop inner vision and visualise your true Self.
(Bhagavan concluded His Discourse with the Bhajan,
"Bhaja Govindam …")