Master’s messages-Vol 1- 3.5- Keep the faith in the Lord

Keep the faith in the Lord undiminished

faith in god

One must keep their faith in the Lord undiminished. Biggest obstacle is ego and possessiveness. These are with us since many ages. It can removed only by discrimination and renunciation. Bhakti, japam, dhyanam and yoga will help to remove this quickly. We must proceed slowly and steadily, making sure of each step as we proceed; so that we do not fall backwards.

Story of the week

https://saibalsanskaar.wordpress.com/2017/02/22/bhaja-govindam-story-18-verse-17/

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Sai Satcharita- Chapter 2- Stories and essence- Need for a Guru

sai satcharita 1

Value- Truth

Sub value- Importance of a Guru

Hemadpant (author of Sai Satcharita) was very friendly with the Sai devotees; Kakasaheb Dixit and Nanasaheb Chandorkar. They insisted that he visit Shirdi and receive Baba’s darshan. He promised them to do so. But something happened meanwhile which prevented him from going to Shirdi. One of his friend’s son fell ill; and his friend tried all possible means, physical and spiritual, but the son’s fever did not abate. Then the friend got his Guru to sit by the side of his son’s bed, but this too was of no avail.

Hearing this, Hemadpant thought to himself, “What is the utility of the Guru, if he could not save my friend’s son? If the Guru can’t do anything for us, why should I go to Shirdi at all?” Thinking in this way, he postponed his Shirdi trip. But the inevitable must happen and it happened in his case.

His friend; Mr. Nanasaheb Chandorkar on his way to an official trip happened to meet Hemadpant and took him to task for putting off his Shirdi trip. Nana’s argument regarding the Shirdi trip was convincing and delightful, and so Hemadpant decided to start for Shirdi the same night.

He packed his luggage and started for Shirdi. He planned to go to Dadar (in Mumbai) ; from there to take the train for Manmad (a station closer to Shirdi), and so he booked himself a ticket to Dadar , sat in the train. As the train was about to start, a Muslim man came hastily to his compartment and seeing all his luggage etc asked him where he was bound to. When Hemadpant told him his plan; the man suggested that he should go straight to Boribunder (another station in Mumbai) and not get down at Dadar, for the Manmad Mail (the train) did not stop at Dadar at all. If this little miracle had not happened, Hemadpant would not have reached Shirdi the next day as desired and many doubts would have assailed him.

He reached Shirdi the next day before 10 A.M. Kaka Dixit was waiting for him there. This was in 1910 and there was only one place, Sathe’s Wada, for lodging pilgrim devotees. After alighting from the tanga(a small horse-drawn carriage) Hemadpant was anxious to receive Baba’s darshan when the great devotee, Tatyasaheb Noolkar, returned from the Masjid. He told him that Sai Baba was at the corner of the Wada and that he should first receive Baba’s preliminary darshan and then, after a bath, see Him at leisure. Hearing this, Hemadpant ran and prostrated before Baba and his joy knew no bounds. He found more than what Nana Chandorkar had told him about. All his senses were satisfied and he forgot thirst and hunger. The moment he touched Sai Baba’s feet, he began a new lease of life.

The peculiarity of receiving Sai Baba’s darshan , he discovered later , was  that ones thoughts were changed, the force of previous actions  abated and gradually non-attachment or dispassion towards worldly objects grew. It was by the merit of actions in many past births that such darshana was attained, and when one saw Sai Baba, the entire world became  or assumed the form of Sai Baba.

The day Hemadpant arrived in Shirdi, there was an argument between him and Balasaheb Bhate (another devotee), regarding the necessity of a Guru. Hemadpant contended, “Why should we lose our freedom and submit to others? When we have to do our duty, why is a Guru necessary? One must try his best and save himself; What can the Guru do for a man who does nothing but sleeps indolently?” And Mr. Bhate took up the other side, and said, “Whatever is bound to happen must happen; Even great men have failed; man proposes one way, but God disposes the other way. Brush aside your cleverness; Pride or egoism won’t help you.” This discussion, with all its pros and cons went on for an hour or so and as usual they did not arrive at a decision. They had to stop the discussion ultimately, as both were exhausted. The net result of this was that Hemadpant lost his peace of mind and discovered that when there is  strong body-consciousness and egoism, there will be  argument. In other words, it is egoism which breeds arguments.

When they later went to the Masjid, Baba asked Kakasaheb Dixit, “What was going on in the Wada? What was the discussion about?” and staring at Hemadpant, Baba added, “What did this Hemadpant say?”

Hearing these words, Hemadpant was rather surprised, since the Masjid was at a considerable distance from Sathe’s Wada, where the discussion had happened. How could Baba know about their discussion, unless He was omniscient and the Inner Ruler of  all?

The day after Hemadpant’s first meeting with Sai Baba, Kakasaheb went to Baba and asked whether he should leave Shirdi. Baba said, “Yes”. Then someone asked, “Baba, where should he go?” Baba replied, “High up.” Then the man asked, “How is the way that leads there?” Baba said, “There are many ways leading there; there is one way from here too (Shirdi). The way that begins here is difficult. There are tigers and wolves in the jungles on the way.” Kakasaheb then asked, “But Baba, what if we take a guide with us?” Baba answered, “Then there is no difficulty. The guide will take you straight to your destination, avoiding wolves, tigers and ditches on the way. If there is no guide, there is the danger of your being lost in the jungle or falling into ditches.”

Hemadpant was present on this occasion and he thought that this was the answer Baba gave to the question about whether a Guru was necessary. Thus, he took the hint that no discussion of the question− whether man is free or bound− is of any use in spiritual matters. On the contrary, real Paramartha (knowing the ultimate truth) is possible only as a result of the teachings of the Guru. This is illustrated by the examples of great Avatars like Rama and Krishna, who had to submit themselves to their Gurus− Vasishtha and Sandipani respectively− to attain self- realization. Therefore, the only virtues necessary for such progress are faith and patience.

Essence

The Guru Gita (verse 17) aptly describes the guru as “dispeller of darkness” (from gu, “darkness” and ru, “that which dispels”). A true, God-illumined guru is one who, in his attainment of self-mastery, has realized his identity with the omnipresent Spirit. Such a one is uniquely qualified to lead the seeker on his or her inward journey toward perfection. The guru-disciple relationship is the highest expression of friendship, for it is based on unconditional divine love and wisdom.

When we are moving blindly through the valley of life, stumbling in darkness, we need the help of someone who has eyes. We need a guru. To follow one who is enlightened is the only way out of the great muddle that has been created in the world.

guru-disciple

Through sympathy and deep vision, a true guru sees the Lord suffering in the physically, mentally, and spiritually poor, and that is why he feels it his joyous duty to assist them. He tries to feed the hungry God in the destitute, to stir the sleeping God in the ignorant, to love the unconscious God in the enemy, and to waken the half-asleep God in the yearning devotee. And by a gentle touch of love, he instantaneously arouses the almost fully awakened God in the advanced seeker. The guru is, among all men, the best of givers. Like the Lord Himself, his generosity knows no boundaries. Such a guru is a human vehicle whose body, speech, mind, and spirituality God uses as a channel to attract and guide lost souls back to His home of immortality.

Saibaba was one such Guru.

For Children

From  this story children will be grasp  that Sai Baba was omniscient (one who knows everything). He is the Inner Ruler dwelling in each one of us, as divinity. He knew about the discussion of the author and another devotee on ‘the need for Guru’ at the Wada which was far away from the Masjid; though He was not present there physically. The kids are led to see Baba’s love for the author,Hemadpant in this case; as to how Baba drew him closer to Himself , made the author come to Shirdi through the author’s friends;  as well as  through the Muslim gentleman in the train; despite the fact that the author had not met Baba ; also was  hesitant to accept a Guru, after he heard of his friend’s son’s story.

Children also learn about the Selfless love Baba  had for all. He did not expect anything from the people who visited Him. He was only interested in leading them to  the right path of life. It was an unconditional love.

We must also try to help the needy whenever we can without any expectations. This will give us immense happiness from within.

To teach the above lessons a teacher or a Guru is needed. Children should develop the right values from young age. It is said that a small plant can be moulded but a tree will break when trying to mould it; which means children at a younger age can absorb whatever is taught to them and this age can be used to teach them the human values of love, truth, peace etc rather than when they grow old when they already have their own mindset. A true guru will guide them in the right path and make them a good human being by guarding them and empowering them with the right values taught to them. A true Guru will lead by example.

The need for a guru can be learned more from this parable of Sri Rama Krishna Paramahamsa.

https://saibalsanskaar.wordpress.com/2016/09/26/the-importance-of-guru/

Sai Satcharita is a treasure trove of divine experiences and messages for Sai devotees who were not able to see and interact with Baba physically.

Bow to Shri Sai and peace be to all

Courtesy- Sri Sai Satcharita

Essence- http://www.yogananda-srf.org

 

Bhaja Govindam- Verse 30 with stories and essence

 

Verse 30

Prāṇāyāmaṁ pratyāhāraṁ nityānitya vivekavicāram,

jāpyasameta samādhividhānaṁ kurvavadhānaṁ mahadavadhānam 

The control of breath, the sense withdrawal, discriminating between the permanent and the impermanent, along with a mind that is absorbed in doing  japa, perform these with care, with great care.

Story based on Verse 30

https://saibalsanskaar.wordpress.com/2017/02/15/the-saint-and-the-cow/

https://saibalsanskaar.wordpress.com/2015/04/29/importance-of-prana-the-life-force/

Essence

In this verse we are told by Shankara what to do in order to withdraw our mind from this preoccupation with artha and kāma, so that the attention of the mind can be drawn to what we really have to do.

The first step is the practice of discipline and having a sense of proportion in all our activities, through self-control (control of breath and control over our sense enjoyments) and alertness. The second is the withdrawing of the mind from its external preoccupations and focusing it upon the self.

There must be a sense of proportion in everything that we do in our life. In āhara, food, and in vihāra, walking, moving around and in whatever karma we perform. When we talk, we must talk what is necessary, what is proper, what is right, what is pleasant and what is truthful. In whatever we do, we must always be alert.

Let our mind become enquiring, thinking or contemplative and not take things for granted. There are so many notions and assumptions in our life, which we have never stopped to analyse and to seek what is permanent. By practising sense control it is possible to understand what is permanent and what is impermanent, what is desirable and what is not desirable, what is conducive to our goal and what is not.

The study of Vedanta also helps us develop the ability to discriminate between the truth and the untruth, the real and the unreal.

Samādhi means the relaxation of the mind, the absorption of the mind. When the mind is devoid of the various distractions and disturbances, it becomes silent. That silence is the total relaxation of the mind, the absorption or total abidance of the mind. How is that to be achieved? By doing  japa or the repetition of a holy name in the mind. It prepares the mind and cleanses the mind, purifies the mind and makes it silent. Ultimately, that silent mind can have abidance in the self.

We should do this every day with great care and patience.

In the practice of aṣṭānga-yoga, meditation or dhyānam is only the seventh stage: yama or restraint, niyama or good conduct, āsana or correct posture, prāṇāyama or regulation of breath, pratyāhāra or withdrawal of the mind, dhāranā or fixing the mind, and then dhyānam or meditation. Only when we have completed the first 6 stages is our mind is ready for dhyānam.

Yama is having the values of life like non-violence, honesty, self-control, truthfulness, and non-possession. Niyama is santoṣa or contentment, tapaḥ or austerity, saucam or inner and outer cleanliness, svādhyaya or the study of scriptures, and Īṣvara pranidhanam or the worship of the Lord.

Āsana is control at the level of the body. Prāṇāyama is the control of the breath. Pratyāhāra is the withdrawal of the senses. Dhārana is the ability to concentrate. Then comes dhyānam, meditation. Therefore, the whole life is designed for accomplishing the goal that we are discussing.

For students

https://saibalsanskaar.wordpress.com/2017/09/11/parable-of-the-zither-middle-path/

Children should be taught about the value of being moderate. The middle path is the best path. Everything from moderation in eating, playing, studying etc can be inculcated from a young age. This will teach them the value of food by not wasting excess food, managing time well by balancing both studies and playing.

Another important lesson is to be focussed. Never letting go the sight of the goal. Always being alert and aware of distractions when pursuing the goal.

Such students will have a well-rounded personality and be happy who will in turn grow up to be contented adults. All these values if developed from young will make their life meaningful, contented and balanced. It will be easy for such people to understand the above verse and to realise the difference between what is real and what is unreal and work towards attaining that goal by always being alert and aware.

Essence adapted from

advaitavedaanta.wordpress.com

Parable of the Zither- Middle Path

Value- Right conduct

Sub value- Moderation in everything one does

Sona was a young disciple of the Buddha. Born into an affluent family, he was diligent, astute, and cheerful.

Ever since renouncing his secular life, he was highly motivated and more assiduous in his meditation practice. As the days went by, he found himself mired in melancholy which gave way to frustration, befuddlement, and agony. Before long, he became so emaciated and haggard-looking.

Exasperated over his lack of spiritual progress, he went to the Buddha to seek guidance.

The Buddha said: “Tell me Sona, in earlier days, were you not skilled in playing the stringed music of the zither ( stringed instrument)?”

“Yes tuneful and easily playable?”

“Certainly not, O Lord.”

“And when the strings on the zither were too loose, was then your lute tuneful and easily playable?”

“Certainly not, O Lord.”

“But when, Sona, the strings of your lute were neither too taut nor too loose, and adjusted to an even pitch, did your zither have a wonderful sound, and then was it easily playable?”

“Certainly, O Lord.”

“Similarly, Sona, in the practice of the way, if energy is applied too strongly, it will lead to strain and restlessness; if energy is too lax, it will lead to lassitude. Therefore, Sona, keep your energy in balance and you will then be able to focus your attention on the spiritual cultivation.”

Learning

Practicing Middle way is the key to happiness. One must do everything in moderation exercise, diet, sleep, work and we then be able to have a balanced lifestyle brimming with joy.

 

Master’s messages- Vol 1- 3.4 – Let the will of Lord prevail

Do your duty with an attitude of surrender

surrender

True surrender is to tell “Let the Will of Lord prevail”. One’s duty is to connect oneself with the current of His grace. A prisoner in jail doesn’t own even his clothes; similarly in this world we don’t own anything, everything is given by Him. One has to give up the doership. Do one’s duty sincerely but with an attitude of surrender.

Story of the week

https://saibalsanskaar.wordpress.com/2013/12/27/surrendering-at-the-feet-of-our-mastergurugod-sub-value-faith-devotion-value-love/

Sathya Sai Speaks Vol 1- Chapter 3

Sai Satcharita Chapter 1- Stories and Essence-Grinding of Wheat

 

Value- Truth, Right Conduct

Sub value- Looking within, Serving society

One morning in the sacred land of Shirdi; Sai Baba began to make preparations for grinding wheat. He spread a sack on the floor; and thereon set a hand-mill. He took some quantity of wheat in a winnowing fan, and then drawing up the sleeves of His Kafni (robe); and taking hold of the peg of the hand-mill, started grinding the wheat by putting a few handfuls of wheat in the upper opening of the mill and rotated it. Hemadpant (the author of Sai Satcharita) thought ‘What business Baba had with the grinding of wheat, when He possessed nothing and stored nothing, and as He lived on alms!’

Some people who had come there thought likewise, but none had the courage to ask Baba what He was doing. Immediately, this news of Baba’s grinding wheat spread into the village, and at once men and women ran to the Masjid and flocked there to see Baba’s act. Four bold women, from the crowd, forced their way up and pushing Baba aside, took forcibly the peg or handle into their hands, and, singing Baba’s Leelas, started grinding.

At first Baba was enraged, but on seeing the women’s love and devotion, He was much pleased and began to smile. While they were grinding, they began to think that Baba had no house, no property, no children, none to look after, and He lived on alms, He did not require any wheat-flour for making bread or roti, what will He do with this big quantity of flour? Perhaps as Baba is very kind, He will distribute the flour amongst us. Thinking in this way while singing, they finished the grinding and after putting the hand-mill aside, they divided the flour into four portions and began to remove them one per head.

Baba, Who was calm and quiet until now, got wild and started abusing them saying, “Ladies, have you gone mad? Whose father’s property are you looting away? Have I borrowed any wheat from you,  which  gives you the right to take the flour? Now please do this. Take the flour and throw it on the village border limits.” On hearing this, the women felt abashed and whispering amongst themselves, went away to the outskirts of the village and spread the flour as directed by Baba.

Hemadpant asked the Shirdi people – “What was this that Baba did?” They replied that the Cholera Epidemic was spreading in the village and this was Baba’s remedy against the same; it was not wheat that was ground but the Cholera itself was ground to pieces and pushed out of the village. From this time onward, the Cholera Epidemic subsided and the people of the village were happy.

Hemadpant was much pleased to know all this; but at the same time his curiosity was also aroused. He began to ask himself – What earthly connection was there between wheat flour and Cholera? What was the casual relation between the two and how to reconcile them? The incident seemed to be inexplicable.He felt he should write something  about this and sing to his heart’s content Baba’s sweet Leelas.

Reflecting and thinking about this grinding wheat Leela, Hemadpant’s heart was filled with joy and he was thus inspired to write Baba’s Life – The Satcharita.

Hindi video of the story

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2S1seDLd38

Essence

Philosophical Significance of Grinding

Sai Baba lived in Shirdi for about sixty years and during this long period, He did the business of grinding almost every day – not, however, the wheat alone; but the sins, the mental and physical afflictions and the miseries of His innumerable devotees. The two stones of His mill consisted of Karma and Bhakti, the former being the lower and the latter the upper one. The handle with which Baba worked the mill consisted of Jnana. It was the firm conviction of Baba that Knowledge or Self-realization is not possible, unless there is the prior act of grinding of all our impulses, desires, sins; and of the three gunas, viz. Sattva, Raja and Tamas; and the Ahamkara, which is so subtle and therefore so difficult to be got rid of.
Once we start working to eliminate our six inner enemies namely Lust, Anger, Greed, Attachment, Pride and jealousy along with ‘Ego’ we will begin to slowly understand the true ‘self’. This can be done through selfless actions-Karma, knowledge or understanding of the scriptures- Jnana and Namasmarana- chanting the name of the Lord- Bhakti.

Another aspect of grinding the wheat can also be interpreted as Sai with His merciful love and grace was signifying through the wheat; that His devotees are like the wheat which when in a raw state is of not much use compared to when it is ground and made into flour which can then be used to prepare the life sustaining ‘roti’. He was making His devotees understand the need to destroy the ego and become selfless and serve all humanity with love and compassion.

For children

Through the above story, children can know that SaiBaba was divine and had miraculous powers to prevent the village from a dreadful disease like cholera by just grinding the wheat and throwing at the outskirts of Shirdi. Children can learn the selfless love of Baba for His devotees and village people. And they can learn this value of showing concern for others.

Another important lesson children can learn is to start realising that their inner strength is within them and not anywhere outside. Only one needs to be aware of it and see it.

The story below will explain the above lesson beautifully.

https://saibalsanskaar.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/lighting-the-lamp-of-wisdom/

Sai Satcharita is a treasure trove of divine experiences and messages for Sai devotees who were not able to see and interact with Baba physically.

Bow to Shri Sai and peace be to all

Bhaja Govindam- Verse 29 with stories and essence

 

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Bhaja Govindam Verse 29

 

Arthamanarthaṁ bhāvaya nityaṁ nāstitataḥ sukhaleśaḥ satyam,

putrādapi dhana bhājāṁ bhītiḥ sarvatraiṣā vihitā rītiḥ.

‘Wealth is calamitous’ thus reflect constantly. The truth is that there is not even an iota of happiness to be got from it. To the rich, there is fear even from one’s own son. This is the way with wealth everywhere.

Story based on this verse

https://saibalsanskaar.wordpress.com/2017/08/23/the-cobbler-and-the-rich-man/

In this verse, we are again told of a very harsh or bitter fact about life concerning wealth or money.

Artha means wealth, it also includes other things like power, possessions, etc. One of the meanings of artha is wealth. Artha also denotes that which is meaningful. That which is sought by a puruṣa or person is puruṣārtha. So artha means that which is sought, or that which is desirable. Here, Shankara says, all artham is anartham, meaning undesirable or calamitous. Artha is something that is seen to bring a fulfilment to life, but what we call artha only brings about anartha or calamity in life.

money

We often hear teachers of Vedanta condemning wealth, desire, and pleasure. Why do they always talk about this? It is because there is pain and exertion involved in procuring wealth. Wealth does not come free. One has to toil for wealth.

Money brings about anxiety, greed jealousy and fear. Having procured wealth, are we free from worries and anxieties? Not really. There is the anxiety of protecting the wealth.

Money always creates greed. Howsoever much we have, we feel that we don’t have enough.

People associate pride with having money. When money comes to me, not only are we not satisfied with what we have, but we always compare ourselves with others.

People who possess wealth have a secret fear of those who do not have it. They feel that others who do not have it are seeking an opportunity to exploit them.

Money also brings suspicion. We can’t trust anybody.

Wherever money is, it divides. The wealthy fear or suspect even their own sons. If a parent makes the mistake of distributing all his or her wealth to their children, they are thrown out of the house the very soon. Therefore, everybody wants to hold on to it until death and the children wait for him to pass on. It is amazing how all the love and affection goes away when this calculation of money comes into the equation.

These verses were composed about 1200 to 1500 years ago, but they sound so modern and are so relevant even today. It just goes to show that all of this existed even then. Mankind has fundamentally not changed. Things have essentially remained the same – the same mentality, the same kinds of problems.

Why are we being told, arthamanarthaṁ bhāvaya nityaṁ, that we should always contemplate on the fact that artha is anartha?

It does not mean that we should not earn money. That is not what is meant here. Money is, of course, required in our life. It is required for basic necessities, and so on. It is, desiring for money for the sake of money which is definitely calamitous. Money for the sake of certain basic necessities of life is a requirement. We should have a healthy attitude towards money, but we should also be aware when money begins to exert its power over us and we find ourselves chasing after it. The message is that we should always remain the master of money and not let money become our master. Therefore, one must not waste or squander away precious time or energy in this fruitless pursuit.

https://advaitavedaanta.wordpress.com/category/bhaja-govindam/bhaja-govindam-verse-29/

For Students

Story based on this verse

https://saibalsanskaar.wordpress.com/2017/09/05/rajs-lesson-on-gratitude/

The value of being thankful should be cultivated in children from young. They must be taught through example of how happiness is not based on money or the things we possess. They must know the value of money from young. Yes, money is definitely required. It is important but it is not everything. One must learn to count our blessings and be grateful for what we have. Character is very important. A person with a good character will possess good values which will enrich his life meaningfully. Hence the need to develop the qualities of gratitude and all good values from young age; so that they are more contented and peaceful when they grow up and lead a meaningful life not only for themselves but care for others in society as well.

 

 

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