Master’s messages-2.5-Real and unreal world

illusory world

One can realise the real and unreal world only through experience.

Experience is needed for one to realise that this world is unreal. Just like a fire is taken to be only as a light till one touches and experiences the heat from it; one realises that it has both heat and light. Similarly through experience man can realise that the world is real as well as unreal.

Story based on the above message

https://saibalsanskaar.wordpress.com/2017/03/14/story-of-the-gold-ornaments/

 

Master’s messages-2.4- Devotion and Faith

The two oars to cross the worldly ocean- Devotion and Faith

oars

Bhakti (devotion) and Shraddha (faith) are 2 oars required to the cross this samsara. When there is faith; devotion comes on its own. Complete faith and trust in God with pure devotion can help one cross this world with all its ups and downs. It gives one strength and confidence to face challenging situations in life. Faith in our own self as well as in God. The lord melts at the devotion of the devotees and takes care of their needs; whatever is best for them will happen.

Story based on the above message

https://saibalsanskaar.wordpress.com/2014/07/15/the-old-man-and-his-god/

Courtesy- Sri Sathya Sai Speaks- Vol 1, Chapter 2

Master’s messages-2.2 Pain and pleasure

“Life is a journey of pain and pleasure.”

haridasa

A ‘Haridasa’ (a mendicant) has a pair of cymbals in his one hand which represents the 2 aspects of life; namely good/bad, joy/grief, pain/pleasure and he holds in his other hand the tambura (stringed instrument) which represents the samsara or the world. The cymbals provide the ‘taala’ (beat) and the tambura provide the ‘shruti’ (tune/pitch). As both of these are required to enhance the effect of glory of God sung from the mouth; the experiences of the world will one day surely lead us to understand the glory of the Lord.

Story based on message 2.2

https://saibalsanskaar.wordpress.com/2017/03/01/pain-and-pleasure/

Source- Sathya Sai Speaks- Vol 1, chapter 2

 

Master’s messages-2.1 Bhakti leading to surrender

 

“One attains self realisation only when one is ready and the time is right.”

Lord is a mountain of Love and can be attained by Bhakti (devotion). Total surrender is the highest form of Bhakti. When devotion is just emerging; as a sapling a fence is needed to protect the tender plant, the fence of sanathana dharma is needed to protect the devotion. Sanathana dharma is the eternal religion with its rules, regulations, commands etc. The spiritual practices of chanting the Lord’s name, doing selfless service, reading the scriptures, leading a noble life are all the initial things to start off in a spiritual journey. When one is mature in this and then begins the quest of self realisation; he attains the knowledge when the time is right. A fruit when it is green will not fall even if the gale is furious, but when it is fully ripe it drops to the ground even in the silence of the night.

Story based on message 2.1

https://saibalsanskaar.wordpress.com/2017/02/22/receive-the-knowledge-of-the-supreme/

Source- Sathya Sai Speaks- Vol1, Chapter 2

 

 

 

King Janaka and Ashtavakra

Value- Truth

Sub value- Strength within

ashtavakra

Once King Janaka became enlightened, he fell at Sage Ashtavakra’s feet. He said to Ashtavakra, “What am I going to do with my kingdom and my palace – these things are not important to me anymore. I just want to sit at your feet. Please let me stay with you in your ashram in the forest.”

But Ashtavakra replied, “Now that you have attained, your life is no more about your likes and dislikes. Your life is no more about your needs because you have none actually. Your people deserve an enlightened king. You must stay as their king.”

Reluctantly, Janaka stayed back in his palace and governed his kingdom with great wisdom.

Janaka was a true blessing to his people because he was a fully enlightened master, but he functioned as a king. In India, many sages and saints were once kings and emperors who willingly and voluntarily gave away everything they had and walked as beggars, with great dignity. There have been many like this – Gautama Buddha, Mahavira, Bahubali – but an enlightened king was a rare being. Janaka remained a king but as often as possible, whenever his regal responsibilities gave him some time, he would visit Ashtavakra in his ashram.

At the ashram, Ashtavakra had gathered a few monks who were being taught by him. These monks slowly began to resent Janaka because whenever he came, Ashtavakra went out of his way and spent a lot of time with the king because they had such a good rapport with each other. The moment Janaka came, both of them lit up. With the monks whom Ashtavakra was teaching, he did not light up the same way. There was something between Janaka and Ashtavakra, which was resented by the monks.

The monks would whisper to each other, “Why has our Guru sold out to a man like that? It looks like our Guru is getting corrupted. This man is a king. He lives in a palace. He has got so many wives and so many children. He has so much wealth. Look at the way he walks. He walks like a king. And look at the way he is dressed. Look at the ornaments he wears. What is spiritual about him that our Guru should even pay attention to this man? We are here totally dedicated to our spiritual process. We have come here as monks but he is just ignoring us.”

Ashtavakra knew that this feeling was growing among his monks. So one day he arranged for something to happen. He was sitting and speaking to the monks in a hall and king Janaka was also present. As the discourse was going on, a soldier came barging into the room, bowed down to Janaka but not to Ashtavakra, and said, “Oh king, the palace is on fire! Everything is burning. The whole kingdom is in disarray.”

Janaka got up and just yelled at the soldier, “Get out of here! How dare you come and disturb the sathsang[1] and how dare you bow down to me and not to my Guru! Just get out of here!” The soldier fled from the room. Janaka sat back down and Ashtavakra continued to speak.

A few days later, Ashtavakra set up something else. All of them were once again seated in the hall and Ashtavakra was giving a discourse. Right in the middle of the discourse, a helper in the ashram came running into the hall and said, “The monkeys have taken the clothes off the clothes-line and are playing havoc with the monks’ garments.”

All the monks immediately got up and ran to save their clothes. They did not want the monkeys to tamper with them. But when they got to the clothes-drying area, there were no monkeys and their loin cloths were still hanging on the clothes-line. They realized what had happened. They hung their heads down and walked back.

Then as a part of the discourse Ashtavakra said, “Look at this. This man is a king. A few days ago his palace was burning. His whole kingdom was in turmoil. Wealth at its peak was burning, but his concern was that his soldier disturbed the sathsang. That was his concern. You are monks. You have nothing. You don’t have a palace, you don’t have a wife, you don’t have children, you have got nothing. But when the monkeys came and picked up your clothing, you ran. Most people would not use your clothing even as mop cloths. That is the kind of clothing you wear. But for that loin cloth, without even paying attention to what I was saying, you just ran out to save those worthless pieces of cloth. Where is your renunciation? He is the true renunciate. He is a king but he is a renunciate. You are monks. You are using things that other people discard, but there is no renunciation in you. This is where you are. That is where he is.”

Learning

One’s progress within oneself has nothing to do with what a person does on the outside, what is most important is, what a person is doing within him or herself. What we are doing with the outside world is just social; we conduct ourselves as it is suitable for the situation in which we exist. It has social relevance but no existential or spiritual relevance. How we are within ourselves is all that matters.

Courtesy-http://isha.sadhguru.org/blog/podcast/the-story-of-ashtavakra-and-janaka/

Practice of Dharma

Value- Righteouness

Sub value- Duty

Prahlad was not only a devotee of Lord Narayana but also a very righteous king. He was the most bountiful of kings. He would never say ‘no’ to anyone who approached him for a favour, gift or help.

prahalad 1
Once Indra intending to test Prahlad, came to him in the guise of a Brahmin. Prahlad offered his respects to him and asked: “What do you seek of me. How can I make you happy? The Brahmin replied: “Oh king! I want you to gift me your Sheela (character). Prahlad said: “So be it. Your wish is fulfilled. I am gifting away my Sheela to you.” The Brahmin left the court. No sooner did the Brahmin leave, then a charming young man was seen walking away from the royal court. Prahlad questioned him: “Sir! Who are you. The young man replied: “I am fame. I cannot stay with you any longer since Sheela has left you.” Prahlad permitted him to leave.

A few seconds later, yet another handsome man was seen walking away from the court. Prahlad asked, “May I know who you are?” The man replied: I am valour. How can I be with you without Sheela and fame? I am therefore leaving.” Prahlad permitted him to leave.

Soon, a charming lady was leaving the court in hurried steps. Prahlad asked her: “Mother, may I know who you are?” “I am Rajyalakshmi, the presiding deity of this kingdom.” She replied and added: “I can’t live here without Sheela, fame and valour. Then a lady was seen moving away with tears in her eyes. Prahlad ran towards her and asked: “Mother, who are you?” She said: “Son! I am Dharma Devatha (righteousness). I don’t have a place where there is no Sheela, fame and valour. Even Rajyalakshmi has left you.”

Prahlad fell at her feet and said: “Mother, I can live without Sheela, fame, valour and Rajyalakshmi but I cannot live without you. How can I send you anywhere. It is the duty of the king to protect Dharma. Dharma alone is the basis of the entire world. Please stay with me. Do not forsake me.”

Dharma Devatha agreed to stay. When Dharma Devatha agreed to stay, all the others also returned to the court and said: “We cannot exist without Dharma Devatha. Let us please be with you.”

Lord Indra tested Prahlad only to illustrate to the world the greatness of Prahlad, which was founded only on his practice of Dharma.

Learning

Great sages, saints, kings like Prahalada are remembered for their adherence to righteousness, faith and devotion. When one does all their duties with sincerity, love and devotion in a righteous manner they not only progress in material life but in spiritual life as well.

Source-http://www.saibaba.ws/stories/storiesparables.htm#Practice of Dharma

 

Bhaja Govindam- Story 25,26- Verse 23

 

Verse 23

Kastvam Koham Kuta Ayatah

Ka Me Janani Ko Me Tatah

Iti Paribhavaya Sarvamasaram

Visvam Tyaktva Svapnavicharam

Bhaja Govindam Bhaja Govindam

Who are you? Who am I? From where did I come? Who is my mother? Who is my father? Thus reflect, leaving aside the entire world, essence-less and a mere dream born out of imagination. Seek Govinda

 

Story based on Verse 23

Story of Sage Ribhu

There is a puranic story of Sage Ribhu and his disciple Nidagha. Although Ribhu taught his disciple the supreme Truth of the One Brahman without a second, Nidagha, in spite of his erudition and understanding, did not get sufficient conviction to adopt and follow the path of Jnana (Wisdom), but settled down in his native town to lead a life devoted to the observance of ceremonial religion. But the Sage loved his disciple as deeply as the latter venerated his Master. In spite of his age, Ribhu would himself go to his disciple in the town, just to see how far the latter had outgrown, his ritualism. At times the Sage went in disguise, so that he might observe how Nidagha would act when he, did not know that he was being observed by his Master.

On one such occasion Ribhu, who had put on the disguise of a village rustic, found Nidagha intently watching a royal procession. Unrecognized by the town-dweller Nidagha, the village rustic enquired what the bustle was all about, and was told that the king was going in procession.

“Oh! it is the king. He goes in procession! But where is he?” asked the rustic. “There, on the elephant,” said Nidagha. “You say the king is on the elephant. Yes, I see the two,” said the rustic, “but which is the king and which is the elephant?” “What!” exclaimed Nidagha. “You see the two, but do not know that the man above is the king and the animal below is the elephant? What is the use of talking to a man like you?” “Pray, be not impatient with an ignorant man like me,” begged the rustic. “But ‘you said ‘above’ and ‘below’ — what do they mean?”

Nidagha could stand it no more. “You see the king and the elephant, the one above and the other below. Yet ‘ you want to know what is meant by ‘above’ and ‘below”’ burst out Nidagha. “If things seen and words spoken can convey so little to you, action alone can teach you. Bend forward, and ‘ you will know it all ‘ too well”. The rustic did as he was told. Nidagha got on his shoulders and said: “Know it now. I am above as the king, you are below as the elephant. Is that clear enough?” “No, not yet,” was the rustic’s quiet reply. “You say you are above like the king, and I am below like the elephant. The ‘king’, the ‘elephant’, ‘above’ and ‘below’ — so far it is clear. But pray, tell me what you mean by ‘I’ and ‘you’?”

When Nidagha was thus confronted all of a sudden with. the mighty problem of defining a ‘you’ apart from an ‘I’, light dawned on his mind. At once he jumped down and fell at his Master’s feet saying: “Who else but . my venerable Master, .Ribhu, could have thus drawn my mind from the superficialities of physical existence to the true Being of the Self? Oh! benign Master, I crave thy blessings”.

Essence

This verse highlights the importance of questioning in our lives. We have unconsciously been thinking continuously of the body, mind and intellect being in this world. We usually never remember the presence of a fourth entity – the Self. It is only the Self that is immune to the influence of the world and only those who think incessantly of Atman become It. Thereafter they become one with that supreme Power, completely free and independent of the world.

The waking world that seems so real now is as real as the dream which we now understand to be a mere projection and dismiss. Any state appears real as long as we are in it. The moment we move to another plane it appears a meaningless projection. The waking state is also similar. So, the Master urges us to contemplate on ‘Who am I? ie The self by seeking Govinda and come out of the illusory world.

For students, from young they should be guided in this path through practise of silent sitting and in realising their inner potential which is not based on external factors. Once they develop the inner strength; their self confidence increases and they start believing in themselves ie their core rather than getting influenced by external factors limiting them. If they start practising this in their lives; in their later years it will be easier for them to understand the above concept of ‘Who am I?’

The story for students for this verse

https://saibalsanskaar.wordpress.com/2017/04/07/jambavan-and-hanuman/

 

 

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