Tamil New Year 2003
|CHANTING OF GOD'S NAME - THE ROYAL PATH TO LIBERATION|
|(Text of the Divine
Discourse delivered by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba on 14th April 2003 in
Sai Ramesh Hall, Brindavan-Bangalore)
Today everyone is rejoicing
celebrating Tamil New Year's day. Swabhanu is the name of this year. 'Swa'
means Atma. In the spiritual parlance, we have four stages towards
liberation: Salokya, Sameepya, Sarupya and Sayujya (mental proximity to
the Divine, physical proximity to the Divine, identifying oneself with the
Divine, becoming one with the Divine). The letter 'Sa' is associated with
the Atmic feeling. With the onset of the New Year 'Swabhanu', one should
also develop new and divine feelings. Many New Years have gone by. But to
what extent man has transformed himself? Man should tread a new and noble
path and set an ideal to others. Only then would he have celebrated the
arrival of New Year in the true sense. He should practise and propagate
newer ideals in his daily life. Vedanta declares, Aham Etat Na (I am not
this). Aham means 'I', the Atmic principle and 'this' refers to body. Man
should not give scope to Ahamkara (ego) by identifying himself with the
body. 'I' does not correspond to the body. 'I' corresponds to the eternal
and immortal Atma which is not tainted by ego, pomposity and immorality.
Only when man develops such Atma Viswasa (Self-confidence), can he set an
ideal to others. Man today does not understand the meaning of
Self-confidence. First of all, man should have faith in himself.
Truth cannot be different from
nation to nation like American Truth, Russian Truth, Pakistani Truth,
Indian Truth, etc. Truth is one and the same for all nations. Hence, we
should recognise that Truth is God and worship Truth by strictly adhering
to it. We find unrest and agitation in the world today because people have
forgotten truth. Sathyam Bruyath, Priyam Bruyath, Na Bruyath
Sathyamapriyam (speak truth, speak pleasantly and do not speak unpalatable
truth). Only truth and righteousness can confer peace and prosperity on
the world today. Sathyam Vada; Dharmam Chara (speak truth; practise
righteousness). This is the most important principle of Indian culture.
Once you develop truth and righteousness, peace and love will
automatically follow. Righteousness is the head of Indian culture and,
Truth its feet. But today people have severed the head and feet of Indian
culture. They are clinging on to the trunk of Artha and Kama (wealth and
desire). What is the use of mere trunk without the head and the feet?
People are striving to protect the country. If you protect and practise
truth and righteousness, they will in turn protect the country. You don't
need to make any special efforts to protect the country. It is enough if
you protect truth and righteousness. The entire world is based on these
Body is like a water bubble. Mind
is like a mad monkey. Do not follow the body; do not follow the mind.
Follow the conscience. Conscience is your God. You are forgetting God who
is present in you in the form of conscience and who is protecting your
body in the form of Angirasa. God is changeless, pure and eternal. He has
absolutely no trace of selfishness in Him. He is always concerned about
the welfare of the devotees. Do not superimpose your selfishness on God
and get deluded. When everything is in His hand, how can there be
selfishness in Him? Whatever He does is for the welfare of all. Loka
Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu (May all the people of the world be happy!) This
is what God aspires for. He is known as Aprameya as He is beyond all
measure. He is present in man's Hridaya in the form of bliss. He shines as
Prema Swarupa (embodiment of love). He practises Dharma, being the
embodiment of Dharma. He leads from the front setting an ideal for
humanity and helping everyone. He says, "Oh man! Why fear when I am here.
Follow Me." Why should one fear when God has given such an assurance? If
you follow Him, He will certainly bestow on you pure and unsullied bliss.
Saints and Sages of yore performed intense penance in order to have the
vision of God. Some of them died during their penance, but the others did
not give up their resolve. They continued their penance with unflinching
faith and determination. Ultimately, they had the Divine vision. Then they
declared to the world that they had seen God. Vedahametham Purusham
Mahantham Adityavarnam Thamasa Parasthath (I have visualised the Supreme
Being who shines with the effulgence of a billion suns and who is beyond
Thamas - the darkness of ignorance). They exhorted people to make efforts
to see God and experience bliss. If you contemplate on God with pure and
selfless love, you can also see Him. Today, many are in the quest of God.
God is everywhere but you should have the eyes to see Him. Today people
are trying to see God with their Charma Chakshu (physical eye). That is
why they are unable to see Him. One can see God only with Jnana Chakshu
(the eye of wisdom). Sarvatah Panipadam Tat Sarvathokshi Siromukham,
Sarvatah Sruthimalloke Sarvamavruthya Tishthati (with hands, feet, eyes,
heads, mouth and ears pervading everything, He permeates the entire
universe). Where is the need to search for God who is everywhere? What we
have to search for is not God but a true human being! But he is not to be
seen anywhere. Nowadays We find only Akara Manavas (human beings in form),
not Achara Manavas (human beings in practice). Practice is very essential.
Without Acharana (practice), what is the use of merely having Akara
(form)? Do not repose your faith in the body and consider it to be
permanent. It is merely an instrument given by God. Make proper use of
this instrument by discharging your duties and serving society. Help the
needy and the forlorn. Take good care of the destitute and the poor with
love. Dedicate your life for the cause of Sathya and Dharma. That is how
you have to celebrate the arrival of New Year. You should give up your old
and mean thoughts, fill your heart with novel, fresh and noble feelings
and lead a new life. But where is such a new life in the present-day
world? Days have changed but feelings have not. Guddalu (clothes) are
changed every day but Gunamu (character) has not changed. Merely donning
ochre robes will not make a Sannyasi (renunciant). You should develop good
qualities and become a Sarvasanga Parithyagi (totally devoid of
attachment). Only then can you be called a true Sannyasi.
You have to think of God every
moment. If you win the grace of God, you can overcome any obstacle and
acquire any type of wealth. Once Ramdas prayed, "Oh Lord! What did I do to
deserve Your bounteous grace? I have not offered anything to You, yet You
shower Your grace on me." Then the Lord replied, "My dear, the spirit of
Thyaga that you have developed is the true Yoga. I know the sense of
sacrifice that is there in your mind, you may not be aware of it. Only God
can understand the sacrifice you have made mentally. Others need not
understand; they cannot understand any way. Only God can understand your
Thyaga, Yoga and Prema."
Nobody can estimate the infinite power of Rama. It can only be experienced in the heart. Love is the only yardstick to measure the power of Divinity. Hence, we have to develop love to experience Divinity. Hanuman could jump across the vast ocean because he chanted the Name of Rama always. With the power of Rama's Name, he could lift mighty mountains. How could the monkeys build a bridge across the ocean? In the beginning, the boulders were getting drowned in the ocean and the monkeys were frustrated. Then Hanuman thought of a plan. He inscribed the letter 'Ra' on one boulder and 'ma' on another and threw them in the ocean one after the other. They stuck together to make the Name 'Rama'. With the help of many such boulders bearing the letters 'Ra' and 'ma', a bridge was constructed. The boulders became light and floated on water only due to the power of Rama's Name. There is an intimate and inseparable relationship between the love of a devotee and the grace of God. Only love can win the divine grace. You have to practise righteousness and tread the path of sacrifice to experience everlasting happiness. The Name and principle of Rama will give you tremendous strength and power. The divine principle underlying the Avatars of Rama and Krishna can neither be explained in words nor understood with the help of worldly education. It is only through love one can understand them. Fill your heart with love and chant the Name of Rama forgetting yourself in bliss. Then Rama will certainly give you His divine Darshan.
Once there lived an ardent devotee
of Rama in Chengalpat near Madras. He wanted to attend the marriage of
Thyagaraja's daughter in Thiruvayyar. He wanted to present a picture of
Rama to the bride. In those days, there were no buses, cars or aeroplanes.
Therefore, he walked all the way from Chengalpat to Thiruvayyar, carrying
the picture of Rama. On seeing the picture, Thyagaraja was ecstatic and
burst into a song - "Oh Rama! You walked all the way in order to protect
me. You have taken so much trouble Oh Lord." In this manner, he went on
extolling Rama's love and compassion. He experienced unity with Rama's
Divinity. He considered Rama his dear old friend. You don't need to
observe any formalities or use respectful words when you address your old
friend. Thyagaraja addressed Rama with the same intimacy in the song, "Ra
Ra Ma Inti Daaka …" (Oh Rama! Come to my house). There is another song
which reflects the feeling of friendship: "Enta Vedukondu Raghava …
Panthamelara Oh Raghava …" (How long should I plead with You, Oh Raghava!
Why are You so obstinate and not responding?…) Thyagaraja felt, "It is my
duty to pray till Your heart melts. But the warmth of my prayer does not
seem to have touched Your heart. One day or the other, Your heart will
surely melt. I will wait till such time. I am in no hurry." In this
manner, he consoled himself. It was only then that Rama granted him His
divine vision. No one can comprehend, how and when God is going to shower
His grace on a Sadhaka and what type of boons He is going to grant him. He
gives so many gifts and ultimately gives Himself and makes you ecstatic.
Why then are you distancing yourself from such all-merciful Lord?
You say that the food is an
offering to Brahman. Then where is Brahman? He is within. So, immediately
God replies from within:
Embodiments of Love!
In this New Year, develop new and noble feelings; contemplate on God with full faith that He will grant you all comforts and happiness. Lead your life with love and enjoy peace and happiness. You should strive for the happiness of not merely yourself, your friends and relatives, but for the welfare of all. Strive to make everyone happy with the constant prayer, Loka Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu (May all the people of the world be happy!) Then you will certainly experience true peace and bliss. Those who help others will always be helped in turn; they will never be put to harm.
Bhagavan sang the Bhajan, "Rama
Rama Rama Sita …" and then continued the Discourse.