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The Sunday Talk Given by Anil Kumar

“Dasara” Part II

  

September 28th, 2003

OM… OM… OM…

  Sai Ram

  With Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan,

  Dear Brothers and Sisters,

 

I offer my greetings to all of you, on this occasion of ‘Sarannavarathri’ or ‘Dasara Navarathri’, or the nine-day celebration. May Bhagavan shower His choicest blessings on each and every one of us and our families, so that we will move ahead along the spiritual path, more actively than before, so that the very purpose of our human life will be fulfilled, so that the very dream of our life will come true.

 

‘NAVARATHRI’ IS A VERY AUSPICIOUS PERIOD

Dasara is a nine-day festival. The nine-day celebrations come under one title, ‘Navarathri’. Nava is ‘nine’ and rathri is ‘night’. It is also called ‘Sarannavarathri’ as the season is called ‘sarath’. This is a holy season. If we begin some spiritual sadhana, say recitation, worship or any spiritual discipline that we are determined to undertake, it may be commenced during this season as this is a very auspicious period.

During this nine-day celebration of Dasara, yajna is celebrated every year. In fact, I started explaining the details of yajna last week. Today I should complete it because we will be participating in yajna beginning tomorrow, and all next week, we will be busy with the yajna. Therefore, I would like to complete the remaining part of my talk this morning.

Before I begin, let me tell you very clearly that the white board you see here is full of technical terms. When we find it difficult to pronounce those words, we may feel frustrated. The complexity, the number of rituals, the jargon or the nomenclature used may confuse you. Sometimes, there is the threat of losing interest in the subject. Being a teacher for decades, I know the psychology. But I warn you, forget about it. All those details are given because there are some people who are really interested. There are some people who want in-depth information. For those people, I have provided it. We have to cater to the requirements of both categories of people -- those who want to have a bird’s eye view, and those who want in-depth knowledge.

One thing I want to say in the beginning, before I go into the details. Yajnas are of many types. The process of yajna is very long and tedious, full of manthras, which we do not understand. It is presided over by priests, whom you will be seeing on the dais tomorrow. What do they do? We do not know. Why do they do it? We should not be concerned. But we can enjoy the celebration.

 

WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF YAJNA?

My friends, the performance of a yajna, a sacred ritual, has deep significance. Every act has profound meaning. It is purposeful and meaningful, having an aim. It is not simply a ritual and a mechanical routine matter. So, what is the definition of yajna, according to Bhagavan Baba?

We may have this question: “Sir, we do not know the Sanskrit words. We do not know those manthras. We do not know that procedure. We do not know what, why, when and how. What is a yajna after all?”

Bhagavan’s definition of yajna is this:

Any act that is pure and selfless,

and performed with devotion and love, is yajna.

“Sir, I serve in the canteen. If I serve food with love, devotion, selflessness and purity, then the canteen service I do is yajna.”

“I am a businessman. In business, if I do it with all the purity and love, with a spirit of service and devotion, that very business is a yajna. “

“I am a professor. I talk to students. I love them very much. I teach with devotion and love for the profession.” That is yajna.

We don’t have to wait for a Dasara celebration for yajna. According to Swami, every act in this life is yajna. Every moment is yajna.

 

OUTER YAJNA IS RITUAL, INNER YAJNA IS SPIRITUAL

What we see there in the Poornachandra is the outer yajna. What happens within us is inner yajna. The outer yajna is seasonal, whereas the inner yajna takes place from the womb to the tomb. The outer yajna is symbolic; the inner yajna is the significance of it. The outer yajna is an expression, and the inner yajna is an experience. The outer yajna is ritual; the inner yajna is spiritual.

The outer yagna requires so many priests and paraphernalia, and it has a long procedure. The inner yajna does not need anybody else, only the real You. The Self is enough.

The outer yajna requires interaction; the inner yajna requires inquiry. The outer yajna requires interpretation; inner yajna is the very meaning of it. Outer yajna may look sectarian. It may look fanatic. It may look religious. But inner yajna is purely individual, absolutely secular. It is totally fundamental.

You may not have faith in the outer yajna. But whether you have faith or not, inner yajna is taking place already. Blood circulation, psychological reactions, the heartbeat, motivations, sentiments, feelings, thoughts, and actions all come under the category of inner yajna.

So we cannot say, “Sir, I don’t believe in yajna.” You may not believe in external yajna, but there is inner yajna, as you and I are alive. If one says, “I doubt whether I am alive or not”, well, that is a psychiatric case! We are alive. Therefore, that very life, that very vitality, that very dynamism itself is the result of inner yajna. It is the fulfilment of yajna.

 

VEDAS ARE STRAIGHT FROM GOD

I will give a few technical points, with your permission. Those who are interested may wish to know. The others may simply listen. You don’t have to memorise. I beg your pardon if they are going to disturb your peace in any way.

 The term Veda, is a very often spoken about during this season. All manthras recited on the dais by the priests are manthras from the Vedas. The text, the original, is from Vedas. It is the primal sound. Veda has another name, ‘Eeswareeya’, meaning ‘straight from God.’ You are not the author; I am not the author. The name of the author is not known. ‘Eeswareeya’ means ‘totally Divine’.  Veda has another name, ‘Apourusheya’, meaning ‘not by a human, straight from God’. So, Veda is such a holy text.

 

THE FOUR VEDAS HAVE THIRTEEN CRORE MANTHRAS

Vedas are four in number: Rigveda, Yajurveda, Atharvaveda, and Samaveda. And these four Vedas are divided into five samhithas. And these four Vedas, as Bhagavan has said, contain thirteen crores of manthras. I do not know the number of zeros. Thirteen crores, I tell you. 

Samhitha means ‘literature’. It is a mountain of manthras, a treasure of manthras. What are they? They are Ruksamhitha, Samasamhitha, Atharvasamhitha, and the fourth one, Yajusamhitha. The samhitha relating to Rigveda is Rigsamhitha. The part related to Samaveda is Samasamhitha. The part related to Atharvaveda is Atharvasamhitha and the component of Yajurveda is Yajusamhitha. It is easy to remember. So each Vedic part has a samhitha, which is noted towards the end.

Then, the wonder is how can there be five samhithas, out of four Vedas? It is because the last one, Yajurveda, is divided into two parts. One is Krishnayajurveda and the second one is Shuklayajurveda. Therefore, there are five samhithas out of four Vedas. That is the first technical aspect, which I want to draw your attention to this morning.

My friends, let me bring to your kind notice that these points are all taken from Sathya Sai literature only. Anil Kumar, standing in front of you, is a student of botany. He has nothing to do with Sanskrit or yajna. I go through the plant sciences lessons. The plants do not speak. Yet I may speak on their behalf now and then. So similarly, I thought that what Baba said to all of us on Dasara and other important aspects relating to yajna should be shared with you. Everyone should know what Baba said. That is my aim.

Now, each samhitha is divided into three parts. In other words, Vedas are divided into samhithas, and samhithas are divided into three other sections. The planet is divided into continents; continents are divided into countries; countries are divided into states; states are divided into provinces; provinces are divided into districts; districts are divided into villages. That’s all. When we believe in geographical classification, why not in the classification of spiritual knowledge? Why not?

Therefore, Vedas are divided into samhithas, and each samhitha is divided into three more parts. What are they? Brahmana, Aaranyaka and Upanishad are the three parts in each samhitha.

The first part, Brahmana, speaks of the manthra part. All manthras recited relate to the Brahmana aspect. All yajna and yagas are full of manthras. So, the first part, called Brahmana, is full of the ritual aspect.

 

RETIREMENT IS TIME FOR REST AND SELF-ENQUIRY

The second part, Aaranyaka, means ‘forest’, suggesting retirement. In every country, every job has retirement. Nobody would like to die while in service, unless one is a minister who wants to die with state honours! If he wants to have a flag flying half-mast and a 21-gun salute, well, that is a different thing. But most often, people want to have rest for sometime. While in service, we live for the family, earn money, perform our duties, perform the marriages of children, and see them well settled.

Then one has to say ‘goodbye’. If one hangs on to the children and grandchildren, woe unto him! Life is not worth living, because some day or other the children will say, “Please stop. We know what is good for us.” Before that good day dawns, better we silence ourselves. Before they openly say it to our face, better we maintain our own dignity. So, an honourable retirement is one that keeps us at a respectable distance from our kith and kin, before we are heckled at, or before we are let down.

This period of retirement is called vanaprastha. It is a period of rest and recluse, when a person starts living for the Self. Till then, they lived for the family. After retirement, they live for the Self. ‘What about me? Who am I? What will happen after this? What had happened for so long? Am I the body? Am I the mind?’ These are things of interest after retirement. If they think of the interest of the bank account, woe unto them! There is no redemption for a hundred lives to come. Nobody can help them.

So, a time will certainly come in the lives of everybody when one has to think of his own liberation, of his own Self, of his own transformation. Therefore, this is Aaranyaka, where one proceeds along the path of inquiry. And Aaranyaka begins from Brahmakanda. Brahmakanda is a chapter that begins with Aaranyakas. And it is the end of karmakanda, the field of action.

“My dear boy, for 60 years you have worked well. You are tired. Please understand. You should relax from now on. Don’t jump around. We know that you have arthritis, spondylitis, and pneumonia. You have all these problems. Why don’t you relax?“

The body warns you not to be active. But yet, the mind refuses to accept the truth, as the mind feels dynamic. The mind thinks that it is ever young. Let the mind be ever young. But the body cannot be young always. Impossible. So, the sooner we reconcile between a grudging body and a mind that is going in another direction, the better. We had better reconcile an aging body and young mind as early as possible in order to be peaceful in life. If I want to fight with my body that is aging, my mind being young, there is no other place than a hospital where I can relax.  (Laughter)

If the body acts according to the dictates of the mind, which is young, I look awful, ridiculous, a matter of fun, a big joke, and a clown in society. An elderly man cannot act like a child. There is dignity and beauty in advanced age also, why not? You are in a position to be consulted. People come to receive advice from you. Yes, you are a big man, you are honoured, and you are respected. That’s why they say, “Grey hair is to be respected.”

“Sir, I am dyeing my hair.”

“OK, continue to do it until you die.” (Laughter)

Grey hair is to be respected because we have had a lot of experience, and a wise man learns from others’ experiences. Therefore, karmakanda, the field of action is over. Service is over, that’s all. The body is strained, having exerted for so long. Now begins Brahmakanda, the path of inquiry. That is the job of Aaranyakas, retired people -- the recluse stage. I am speaking vehemently, with emphasis, because I am also a retired person now for your information. (Laughter)

UPANISHADS SPEAK OF DIVINITY

The third one is Upanishad. Bhagavan gave a beautiful meaning to this word ‘Upanishad’. Upa means ‘near’, ni is ‘sit’, and shad is ‘down’. It means that a teacher sits at a higher level. A student sits just below, very close to him.

If a student sits in one corner and the teacher sits in the other corner, he can conveniently get into state of sleep or samadhi. (Laughter) And the teacher cannot go on teaching, as if it’s a monologue. Teaching is a dialogue. It is a two-way channel, a two-way transfer of information and knowledge.

So, a student has to sit down near the teacher, Upa-ni-shad. So, ‘sit down near’ is the meaning of Upanishad. That’s what Bhagavan has said. Nobody else has given that meaning to the best of my knowledge.

And then, what do the Upanishads speak of? They are very difficult to understand. That’s what people think. We don’t pay attention to Upanishads literature. Upanishad is full of science; Upanishad is full of derivations, equations and serious purpose.

It is not story-telling. Upanishads will never entertain you. A person who likes Upanishads is a man of depth. A knowledgeable man in Upanishads is a scholar. A man of Upanishads is one of inquiry. It is a serious thing, as life is not all entertainment until the end -- certainly not! Life is not a joke.

So, life, its depth, and its purpose are very well dealt with in the Upanishads. Therefore, Upanishads speak of Divinity, Brahmathwa. All the education that we have received until now is called aparavidya, material knowledge; whereas Upanishad is paravidya or spiritual knowledge.

Upanishad is the only one part where we have spiritual knowledge. It is Vedanta. Veda is the spiritual knowledge. Anta is the experience of it. Veda is the text and anta is the ‘essence’ of it, like the cream and the butter. So, the cream of Vedic text is Upanishad.  

EIGHT TYPES OF VEDIC RECITATION

Now we come to the third part. The recitation of Veda is called manthrapatha. There are eight types of recitation. That’s why, when we go to the ritual, we hear so many different types of sounds, different beats, different rhythm, different levels, different resonance, different wavelengths. The eight types of manthrapatha are called: jata, ghana, mala, shikha, rekha, dhwaja, danda, radha. These are the technical terms. Of all these eight, jata and danda are most important, as the other six are included in these two.

To sum up, there are eight ways of Vedic recitation of the manthras.

TWENTY-ONE TYPES OF YAJNAS

Now we come to the fourth aspect. There are three categories of yajnas and seven types within each category. The first is havisyajnas. There are seven havisyajnas. The second seven are called somayajnas and the third seven are called pakayajnas. So, altogether there are twenty-one types of yajnas.

And now, why twenty-one? Why not twenty-two? Why not twenty-three? Why not twenty? The modern trend is to question ‘why?’ and ‘why not?’ (Laughter)

“Yeah, Swami came that side. Why? He did not come this side. Why not?” (Laughter).

“This morning He did not come at 7:00 when I was there. Why? (Laughter) He came at 8:30, when I was having breakfast at home. Why? (Laughter) I could not be there. Why?” (Laughter)

These things bother us naturally. So, why twenty-one? This number twenty-one has its own meaning. We have five senses. There are the senses of perception and the senses of action. The five senses of action are called karmendriyas. The five senses of perception are called jnanendriyas. There are also five life breaths and five life sheaths. That comes to twenty. And all the twenty are operational with the principle of the Self, what we call Aham. That is One. Twenty plus one is twenty-one. Without this One, Aham, the Self, all the twenty are useless. I may put on ten banians and ten shirts, five coats and five pants, but if I am not there, what is the dhobi list for? (Laughter) What for? So, it is important to make use of all of them.

THE VEDA HAS NINE NAMES

After all, when you and I have two names, why shouldn’t Veda have nine names? Why not? Sometimes our names have no meaning; but Vedic names have a meaning because Veda sacred text is multidimensional. What are the nine names?

Sruthi, Anusravam, Thrayee, Amnayam, Samamnayam, Manthra, Swadhyaya, Ajamam, Nigamagam. “Oh, should we remember all nine?” Not necessary. Some of them are repetitions for emphasis.

A simple example for Sruthi: Can the pronunciation or diction be done in any style? AAAUUUMMM… why can’t you say OM like that? No! You can’t say that. There’s a correct way. “AAA-UUU-MMM”. Aa, Oo, Mm -- the three sounds at three levels.

So, every manthra has to be recited in a particular way. You cannot say it any way you like. Here is a simple example.  My name is Anil Kumar. If you say “A-nil, how are you?” I feel, “I am not A-nil! I am Anil, OK?” (Laughter)

If you say “A-nil, how are you?” why not? The spelling is the same: A-n-i-l. But how you pronounce it makes a big difference, don’t you think so? In a similar way, every manthra has got to be pronounced in a special way. So, that is the meaning of Sruthi.

Sruthi: You can also call it ‘equal to’ Anusravam, the second name of Veda. Anusrava is ‘voice’. So, Anusrava and Sruthi are about pronunciation.

And then we come to the next one, Thrayee, meaning the three Vedas. Actually, the original classification of the Vedas says that there are only three texts. Later, there were four Vedas. But originally, Vedas are said to have been three in number. What are they? Rigveda, Yajurveda and Samaveda – only these three are recognised in the earlier classification.

And then comes Amnayam.Mna” means ‘practice’. The Veda has to be practised every day. Therefore, the priests keep on reciting it. They may be aged, but still a priest of eighty goes on repeating the manthra, as it has to be recited every day.

And now there is Sama, meaning ‘music’. Sama is ‘music’.

Now, we come to the sixth one, Manthra. What is manthra? The meaning of manthra is Shiva-Shakthi, which means ‘cosmic energy’. Shiva-Shakthi means the Divine energy. Shiva-Shakthi means the combination of matter and energy. Shiva-Shakthi means consciousness. So, Manthra means cosmic energy. It is a combination of Purusha and Prakrithi, matter and energy. 

And then comes Swadhyaya, meaning that Vedas are not taught in a regular classroom. There is nothing like a semester system, fee payment, examination, awarding of grades, or leaking of the question papers -- nothing whatsoever. The Vedic knowledge is passed on from one generation to the next. From the forefathers, this rich treasure of the Vedas is passed on, handed over from one generation to the next generation. And therefore, it is called Swadhyaya.

Then the next name is Ajamam. You see, in our breathing process, there are two parts - inhalation and exhalation. We breathe in and breathe out. This is Ajama and Nigama. Nigamagama means ‘the breathing process’. So, Ajama and Nigama, or Nigamagama, mean the same. It means that God’s breath is in the form of the Vedas. That’s what is recited here in this land. That is the fifth aspect, which is to be noted.

Now, I come to the next aspect. According to some schools of thought, according to some scholars, the Veda has got two other names besides the nine. Traditionally, Veda has these nine names. But, according to other scholars, in addition to these nine, there are two others. Well, what are they? One is Prasni, meaning ‘pure’. And the next one is Pradhamaja, meaning the word Rigveda.

WORDS OFTEN HEARD IN THE PROCESS OF YAJNA

During yajna, you will often hear this word said by the priests: “Swaha, Swaha.” They keep on saying it. What do they mean by ‘Swaha’? It means ‘that which is offered’. Swaha is offering things in the name of God. Then you also hear another word, “Swadha”, meaning Atma. That is the Self. I wanted to bring to your attention to the words that are often heard in the process of yajna.

Now we come to the other important aspect. One is the prefix; the other is the suffix. Om Keshavaaya Namaha, Om Madhavaaya Namaha, Om Govindaaya Namaha. ‘Om’ and ‘Namaha’ are prefix and suffix. Every manthra will have these two.  What do they mean?

When we know these things, we can actively participate in the yajna; otherwise, it is like a pillar, or a marble stone where we sit. We are not like that. We are supposed to know what it is, so that we can fully participate and be the beneficiaries of yajna. That’s why one should be fully aware of what is going on there.

Om Keshavaaya Namaha, Om Govindaaya Namaha. Om comes first. What does it mean? Om is Purusha, the Divinity. Namaha is Prakrithi. This electric fan and this microphone are Prakrithi. The current inside is Purusha. Without a power supply, which is Purusha, this mike or Prakrithi is useless. You cannot hear me. Or, Prakrithi is the bulb, and the power supply is Purusha. With both, you get light.

“Sir, there are bulbs, but there is no power supply.”

That is very good. Prakrithi without Purusha is useless. Purusha manifests in the Prakrithi. Purusha and Prakrithi together equal the bliss or ananda that we get. Energy and matter are responsible for the whole of the creation. That’s what is said here.

And then you find priests making offerings with the hand saying, “Swaha, Swaha.” And other priests will be offering flowers and reciting manthras. Whatever they do, that act is yajna. And whatever they spell out, that is manthra. What is said, all the words are manthras. So yajna is a combination of the act and the word. 

I’ll give a simple example. When you greet a person in a Western manner, you say, “Hi! Good Morning!  How are you?” If you don’t say that, if you just lift your hand, they will think something is wrong with the hand. (Laughter) Some people hold their hand near the chest. That is a Sai devotee style of greeting. But I don’t approve of it. Is there some problem with the chest or the heart? (Laughter) It is not a healthy way of greeting. Why? It is not necessary. You can say, “Sai Ram!” You greet with the word and also salute -- do namaskaar. Don’t you think so? The act and the word together are more respectful, more meaningful. That’s what it is in yajna.  

CONTENTS OF THE VEDAS

And now we come briefly to the contents of the yajna or Vedas. First, Rigveda -- what does it speak of? It is full of praises to the glory of God. “O God! You are that and this!” Dayamaya -- that’s what we sing.

Dayanidhe Kripanidhe,

Devaki Thanaya Dayanidhe,

Dayanidhe Kripanidhe.

 

O Lord! You are Lord of Grace,

You are Lord of Mercy,

You are Lord of Compassion.

So, these manthras, which are said in praise of God, are contained in Rigveda. You can praise God in any way, with all His attributes -- Dayanidhe, Kripanidhe.

“O God! I praise You because I am aware of Your deeds. How miraculous You are! How incredible You are!”

Giridhara Gopala Muralidhara

Giridhara Gopala Muralidhara

Govinda Gopala Damodara

Govinda Gopala Damodara

Giridhara Gopala Muralidhara.

Giridhara Gopala means that it was Krishna who could lift the mountain. You want to associate Krishna’s name with Krishna’s deed. So, there are different ways of praising God -- by His Names, by His actions, by His attributes. Every way is possible. So, Rigveda contains praises and glories.

The next one is Yajurveda. Yajurveda is full of details concerning yajna and yaga. A friend asked me yesterday, “What is the difference between yajna and yaga?” Yajna takes place for a short duration, relatively speaking. Yaga is a prolonged period of spiritual activity. Yajna takes place over a limited period of time, and yajna has more manthras compared to yaga.

Therefore, yajnas and yagas, though there is a small bit of difference, are both spiritual sacrificial activities. So, Yajurveda speaks of the details and procedural aspects of yajna and yaga.

And then, Atharvaveda has so many names. One is Angiroveda, Adharvangiroveda, Bhrugwangiroveda, Kshatravedam and Bhaishajyaveda. The Atharvaveda also has other names, depending upon the utility. It is full of secular knowledge, of material knowledge. We’ve got humanities, we’ve got sciences, medicine, technology, and all that. We’ve got so many branches of knowledge. So, Atharvaveda has so many names depending upon the utility.

And then there is Yajurveda. In Yajurveda, there are two branches. One is Shuklayajurveda; the other is Krishnayajurveda. Shuklayajurveda is followed in North India. Krishnayajurveda is followed in South India.

Krishnayajurveda has a Brahma tradition, while Shuklayajurveda follows a tradition called Adithya tradition. This is solar, the Adithya tradition. Adithya is sun. Therefore, there are two traditions followed by Indians, one in the North and another in the South.

So, we have Rigveda, Yajurveda and then Atharvaveda. Then Samaveda deals with the music part of it, the rhythm and the beat.

We often hear these words repeated in the manthras: ‘Vishnu’ and ‘Rudra’. These are two Names that we often hear in manthras. Bhagavan said ‘Vishnu-Rudra’ means the sustenance, the maintenance and the annihilation or the ending. Maintenance and destruction are two aspects of Divinity. Brahma is creation, Vishnu is sustenance and Rudra is the ending, the annihilation.

During this time, we pray to Vishnu and we pray to Rudra: “O God! Make my intellect sharp. O God! Make my mind aware. Make the body physically fit. Let the mind be full of awareness. Let the intellect be alert.” That is the prayer offered to Rudra and Vishnu during this Dasara season.

We also find another manthra, the Mruthyunjaya manthra. During this time, we pray to God, uttering this manthra, which prevents untimely death. Let us leave this body when we are ready, at the right time. All the trains should not reach the station before the correct time, because the platform will not be free. (Laughter) Running late is also bad. Things should happen in the right time. So the point is, to prevent untimely death, one repeats this Mruthyunjaya manthra.

And then during this season, we also hear these words in manthras: Om Indra, Om Varuna. “O God! We want to have timely rain.“ Varuna is in charge of the rain, so we pray to Him. And then Indra is another name. Indriya means ‘the senses’. Indra is head of the department of the senses -- that is the mind.

There are different Names because the spiritual literature is meant to meet the demands of all sections of society. They are symbolic. Various aspects have been given different Names for us to make it easier to identify them. So, Indra and Varuna are different aspects of Divinity. Thus we pray to God for timely rains, safety, security, and all that.  

WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN RECITING MANTHRAS?

In addition to those technical details that I have shared with you this morning, there are some other points to which I want to draw your attention. What will happen when I recite manthras? My friends, please try it. During Suprabhatham, you hear a manthra. And during yajna time, you find the recitation of manthras. You just sit there.

Om Sayeeshvaraaya Vidmahe,

Sathyadevaaya Dheemahi,

Thannah Sarvah Prachodayaath.

 

Om Bhur Bhuva Suvah,

Thath Savitur Varenyam,

Bhargodevasya Dheemahi,

Dhiyo Yonah Prachodayaath.

If you continue to listen to that sound, what will happen? Just close your eyes and watch. What is happening? We don’t know the meaning of the words, but sound waves have got their own strength. The sound waves, the electromagnetic waves, as they touch our eardrum, will make the mind pure and sacred. 

 SOUND IS NOT AN ORDINARY THING

So, we have to listen to those manthras. We may not know the meaning, yet the very sound, the very vibration, has its own effect. How do you know that? We sing so many songs. I don’t know Hindi, but the tune is very nice. I feel like hearing the tune. Many people don’t know Telugu, but they do bhajans. Why? The song and the tune have their own meaning, their own effect.

Gopika Mala Haari Pyaari,

Mayi Meera Mana Vihari,

Madana Mohana Muralidhaari, Krishna Jai!

Krishna Jai Hai! Krishna Jai Hai! Krishna Jai Hai!

Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Jai!

Arey! I don’t know why. Krishna Jai…la-la-la-la… (Laughter) Why is it that this happens? That’s the effect of the sound.

Sound is not an ordinary thing. First, there was the Word, according to the Bible. The primal sound Omkaara, out of which all the letters emanated, originated thereafter. So, when we listen to this manthra, what happens?

Om Bhur Bhuva Suvah…

  Sayeeshvaraaya Vidmahe…

When you say that, what will happen? The latent energy in you will find an expression, which gets unified with the cosmic energy around, manifesting in the form of Vedic sound. I repeat once again, the sound of Vedas is nothing but the unification of the individual vibration with the totality. That is Vedic sound.

So my friends, there is great joy in the merger. There is great joy in unification. Separation hurts; separation damages. Union thrills, union excites, union makes you joyful, and union makes you blissful. Separation is misery and sadness.

When all of us join and say, “Om Bhur Bhuva Suvah, Thath Savitur Varenyam, Bhargodevasya Dheemahi”, when we say that with full-throat, what happens? The individual sounds, those individual electromagnetic waves, get merged with the universal cosmic sound, like a drop in the ocean. The drop becomes the ocean. That’s all.

Another point is this: Om…Namah. They say, towards the end, “Namah”. As I said earlier:

Om Madhavaaya Namaha,

  Om Keshavaaya Namaha.

Bhagavan made another point. We can take it this way also: ‘Na’ and ‘mama’. Swami is the master of literature. Bhagavan Baba is Saraswathi. The master of all words, He splits this into ‘na’ and ‘mama’. ‘Mama’ means ‘attachment’, while ‘na’ means ‘I don’t have attachment’. So ‘Na mama’ means, “I have no attachment, O God! I am attached to You.” I am not attached to the plots and the flats and the people here, no. I am attached to You -- Na mama. So, this Namaha wants us to be desireless, to be totally detached. That’s what Bhagavan has said.  

MANTHRAS WILL TAKE YOU ALONG THE RUNWAY VERY FAST

Now, by reciting these prayers, these manthras, we are progressing, we are journeying. Yes, as the flight starts, it moves along the runway for take-off, right? If it does not take-off, it will find its place next day in the morning newspapers’ headlines. (Laughter) Similarly, the recitation of Vedic manthras will take you along the runway very fast. Takka! Take-off!

We go from form to formless. Form is sakara; formless is nirakara. We move from attributes, saguna, to attributeless, nirguna. So, the holy performance of yajna, listening to manthras in rapt attention, with full faith and devotion, will help us in this flight -- the ‘Sathya Sai Intercontinental flight’. (Laughter) Go from form to formless, and then a safe take-off and landing is guaranteed. That is the goal and aim of yajna, as Bhagavan Himself says.

It is also relevant to know the results of yajna. You have Samaveda, Yajurveda, Rigveda, so many priests reciting so many manthras, so much activity going on there. What is the ultimate result? Is it wasting of money? Or waste of time? No. To think like that is waste of life. No.

The end product, the result of yajna, is Self-awareness, Self-inquiry and manifestation of the Self. We will experience the fullness of the Self, the depth of the Self, the cosmic vision of the Self and the universality of the Self. These are the results of yajna. It is not a simple ritual. It has a target, an ambition and an aim that is universal. The universality of yajna has to be understood in order for one to be totally benefited. 

GRATITUDE IS SPIRITUALITY

My friends, before I close for this morning by taking up two or three questions at the end as usual, let us kindly remember this: Let not any one of us think that we are totally independent. Let us not think, ‘I am self-grown. Without anyone’s help, I have come up in life on my own.’ Oh, I see. 

No one can come up on his own, take it from me. If anyone says, “I have come up on my own”, it is bogus or humbug, because you do not make your life.

“Yes, I made this life on my own.” I see. Where have you manufactured your life? (Laughter) Let me know the formula of your life. Let me patent it, if possible!

So, you are not doing it. Let us be aware of that. Breathing -- you can stop if you want. If you stop for a very long time, that’s the end of the matter. Circulation? You are not the cause! The heartbeat? You are not doing the pumping! No. It’s not like opening the tap and closing the tap. Nothing of the sort!

So many things are happening in our life without our knowledge. We are totally unaware, but many things take place. So you cannot say, “I have come up on my own.” No. You have come up in spite of yourself. Let us put it that way.

So, my friends, no one has come up on his or her own. No. We should remain grateful to three people. Gratitude is religion. Gratitude is spirituality. Gratitude is thankfulness. As Baba says, a dog is thankful if you offer a morsel of food. And when we are not grateful and thankful, we are much worse than a dog. We are indebted to three people, and we have to offer our salutations to those three so long as we are alive.  Who are they?  

HOW DO WE EXPRESS OUR GRATITUDE TO GOD?

First, we are indebted to God. We express our indebtedness to Deva, meaning God.

 “O God! We are indebted to You! We are grateful to You, Swami! We are thankful to You, Swami!” That is the first thing.

How do we express our gratitude to God? “Shall I praise You, O God?” as if You are short of praises!

“Shall I bring all the flowers in the village and offer to You?” He says, “Flowers are not your property. Keep quiet.” 

“O God, shall I bring apples?”

“No. No. No. No. I have plenty of apples.”

“Bananas?”

“Keep them for yourself.”

So, God is not interested in the flowers and the fruits that we offer. So shall we stop doing it? No, No, No. You can do that. But they are symbolic. Whatever worship we do, we do it with the full understanding that they are symbolic.

Then, how do we please God? How do we express our thankfulness to God? How do we express our gratitude to God? It is done by service, by serving the poor, helping those who are poor and needy. That is the way of expressing our gratitude to God.

“O God, You have helped me. Therefore, I help others.”

It was Jesus who said, “I love you because He loved me. He loved me, so I love you. God gave me all this, so I will give to everybody.”

So, service is the best way of expressing our gratitude to God. Having taken a loan from the bank, we cannot escape -- you have to pay it back. You cannot evade it. You are a criminal if you don’t pay back the loan that you take.

“So God, let me pay back the loan. Let me express my gratitude to You by serving ever, by serving everybody.” You can pay back the loan to God by serving others.  

WE ARE INDEBTED TO OUR GURUS

Secondly, we are indebted to saints, sages, prophets, Avatars, great men and noble people. I am indebted to my gurus.

I think all of you would agree with me if I say that we are indebted to Baba, because without these discourses, we would not have come to know anything at all. I am sure you will all agree with me when I say that the secrets of Vedanta, the depths of philosophy, the unity of faiths, the subtle meaning of subjects that are so complex and difficult, are conveyed in the simplest way by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

Though the subject was there, it was conveyed in such a way that you were afraid of the subject, let alone the teacher. But Bhagavan conveys these concepts in such a simple way, relevant to our times that we want to hear and we want to learn. I think you will remember Bhagavan speaking about lasers, speaking about sound, magnetism and the computer.

“O Swami! You are the ‘latest’ God. You speak of electrons, protons, photons and neutrons. You speak of astronomy, science, surgery and biosciences. Aaaah! There is no subject that You have not touched upon, my Lord! You are Saraswathi, the embodiment of knowledge. You are Saraswathi, the personification of wisdom. O God! You are Lakshmi, the very form of affluence, plenty and prosperity. O God! You are Durga, as You are the body, the vitality, the leadership and the dynamism.”

So, Bhagavan is Durga, the vitality and the energy. Bhagavan is Lakshmi, the life force. Bhagavan is Saraswathi, the radiation, the soul, the consciousness and the spirit behind everything. Bhagavan is three-in-one! Just as we have two-in-one these days -- the tape recorder and the radio!

Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswathi, Sai Jaganmatha,

                         Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswathi, Sai Jaganmatha.

Three-in-one, that is Sai. Durga is the body, Lakshmi is the life, and Saraswathi is the consciousness. Durga is the materialisation, Lakshmi is the vibration and Saraswathi is the radiation. The energy and the matter go together.

So my friends, we are indeed very grateful to God, Bhagavan Baba, for telling all those important sacred things to us. How to express my gratitude to Bhagavan Baba? By following His commands, by following our Guru, by not doubting Him at anytime.

“Why is Swami coming in a cart these days? Why not walking?” (Laughter)

“Why these days is He not coming towards the men?” (Laughter)

“Why not coming in the morning?”

Why and why not? Brush it aside! They are the worst of our enemies. ‘Why’ and ‘why not’ will help us in the world, but they will ruin us in religion. ‘Why’ and ‘why not’ are poisons in religion. ‘Why’ and ‘why not’ are scientific and technological, applicable for advanced physical, worldly life, to acquire comforts and conveniences.

Therefore, we can express our gratitude to our Guru, Bhagavan Baba, by following His commands.  

EXPRESS GRATITUDE TO PARENTS BY SERVING THEM

Thirdly, we are indebted to our parents. Had they not been there, we would not have had this body. You enjoy all the pleasures of life. You share all the bliss of life. You experience all the loveliness in nature, the galaxies, the lunar and the solar systems, the forests, the valleys, the mountains, the worlds and what not. I enjoy all this beautiful nature because of this body, gifted by my parents. So, I am indebted to them.

You can express gratitude to your parents by serving them, and making them happy in every possible way. You can show it by not disobeying them, by following them, by doing whatever things please them. That is the way of expression of gratitude to the parents. 

QUESTIONS -- SEPTEMBER 28th, 2003

 

BODY, MIND AND ATMA IS MBA

Q. “What are the three worlds, and the fourteen worlds?”

Well, Bhagavan said at one time, there are three worlds. What are they? Then in another context, Bhagavan said there are fourteen worlds. What are they? Neil Armstrong could go to the moon, but there is nothing on record of any scientist of any nation visiting these three worlds. There is no record of any person aware of these fourteen worlds. Bhagavan said three worlds at one time, and fourteen worlds at another time. So, what time is it now?

The simple answer is that the three worlds are the three planes of understanding. There are three levels of comprehension, three levels of consciousness, three levels of awareness. They are body, mind and Atma. MBA, that’s easy to remember. The body is the underworld, and I don’t mean black marketing! The mind is this plane. Atma is the higher plane. So, there are three worlds.

Then, Baba said this about the fourteen worlds: They are the five senses of perception (Karmendriya) and five senses of action (Jnanendriya). What are the other four? They are manas, the mind, buddhi, the intellect, and chittha, the emotion. Finally, ahamkara is the individual self or ego. Ten plus four is fourteen. So, there are also fourteen worlds.

Let us not look at the map to locate these fourteen worlds!

 

SOLVE YOUR PROBLEM WITH OFFICE-BEARERS

Q. “There are so many devotees who want to do some activity. What is your guidance?”

This refers to the organisational aspect. Activities are there and office-bearers are there. If I give you directions from here, you cannot follow me -- they won’t accept it. Please solve your problem with your office-bearers, as I don’t want to get into it and become controversial. There is enough controversy here! Why import controversies? It’s not worth it. 

AT THE END, YOU WILL BE REDUCED TO VIBHUTHI

Q. “Why do we do arathi? What is the significance?”

We keep camphor on the plate, light it and give arathi. At the end of the arathi, the plate is empty. In the beginning, there was camphor. This means, “O God! I think of You; I praise You. Just as camphor has come down to the level of nothingness, just as camphor is lost, I get lost in Thee. I get merged in You. I do not exist.”

You may own all the land, the whole property, but at the end you will be reduced to vibhuthi, the sacred ash.

And vibhuthi also speaks of Divinity. The whole creation, the whole universe is God’s play, God’s will and God’s vibhuthi. Creation is vibhuthi. That’s what is meant.  

DO RIGHT THINGS

Q. “Why do we have to always use our right hand?”

Unless you are a left-hander, you make use of the right hand only. (Laughter) There are some left-handers too. But Baba said one thing. You do things with the right hand because they are right. They are always right. (Laughter). You do things with your left hand because they have to be left some day or other. So do right things, and don’t do those things that have got to be left. That’s a joke that Bhagavan made. 

EXPERIENCE GOD IN EVERYONE

Q. “Why do we have to do seva?”

First, do seva to give up ego. But there are many who develop ego by doing seva. (Laughter). That’s a different category. It is not service. It is a disservice and waste of time.

Number two, do seva to give up jealousy.

Number three, do seva to experience God in everyone.

Number four, do seva for self-effacement, not self-glorification.

So, there must be egolessness, desirelessness, detachment and the feeling of identification with everybody. Service, being an opportunity, is a blessing that way.

But service is sometimes a cadre, with two-star, three-star, super-star and convenor positions. Well, that is only worldly. That service cannot be spiritual by any standard. I can say that.

These were the only three questions passed on to me.

Thank you very much. I wish you all a very happy, holy Dasara celebration. May Bhagavan be with you forever and evermore, and with your families as well. Have a happy time. May Bhagavan bless you!

(Applause)

 

Anil Kumar closed his talk by singing the bhajan,

“Jaya Ho Jaya Ho Gopalana”.

Thank you very much.

 

Om Asato Maa Sad Gamaya

Tamaso Maa Jyotir Gamaya

Mrtyormaa Amrtam Gamaya

 

Om Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu

Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu

Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu

 

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

 

Jai Bolo Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Babaji ki

JAI!!!

 

May Bhagavan Baba shower His choicest blessings on everybody on these auspicious days of Navarathri. Sai Ram!

(Audience) Sai Ram!