Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 25 Jun 2019

     

PRACTICAL SACRIFICE TO THE SADGURU

Some devotees including Shri Balaji, Shri Hrushikesh, Shri Kishore Ram, and Kum. Purnima, went to meet Swami.  Shri Swami gave them a message that greatly inspired them. Presented below is the same message in brief.

Sadguru is an Embodiment of the Divine Trinity

Sadguru (Satguru), the divine preacher is God Datta (Guruh Saakshaat Parabrahma). The same Sadguru is said to be God Brahmaa, God Vishnu and God Shiva (Guruh Brahmaa...). In any divine preacher, who is an Incarnation of God Datta, all the three divine preachers exist in harmony with each other. The three divine preachers are Shankara, who was an Incarnation of God Shiva, Ramanuja, who was an Incarnation of God Vishnu and Madhva, who was an Incarnation of God Brahmaa. The preaching of such an Incarnation of God Datta involves the correlation of the philosophies of these three divine preachers. In ancient times, during every ritual, everybody would worship all these three divine preachers. This step in the ritual was known as Matatraya Taambuulam in which a Vedic hymn would be recited (Triini Triini vai Devaah...). The meaning of the hymn is that these divine preachers are the three forms of God namely Brahmaa, Vishnu and Shiva. After sometime, this step of the ritual disappeared because devotees got divided between these three divine forms of God. The devotees began to exclusively worship only one of the three divine forms and completely neglect the other two forms of God. Each group began to follow only the philosophy of one of the three preachers. At times, the followers fell to such a low level that they began to abuse the philosophies of the other two divine preachers.

Three Steps of the Spiritual Path

The devotees of ancient times realized the importance of all the three divine preachers. They knew that the three philosophies are the three sequential steps in the spiritual path. Shankara stressed on theoretical spiritual knowledge (Jnaana yoga). Ramanuja stressed on emotional devotion (bhakti yoga). Madhva stressed on practical devotion (karma yoga) which is a proof of one’s theoretical emotional devotion. Knowledge generates devotion and devotion generates its practical proof. The practical proof involves the sacrifice of one’s work, which is service (karma samnyaasa) and the sacrifice of the fruit of one’s work (karma phala tyaga), which is the offering of one’s hard-earned wealth to the Sadguru.

On listening to all the interesting information (Jnaana) about Mumbai city, one develops an attraction for the city (bhakti) and the desire to migrate to it. The first two steps, listening to the information and developing attraction for the city due to that information, are in the theoretical phase. The attraction for the city leads to the practical phase. The practical phase involves two parts: (1) the purchase of the necessary ticket for the journey, which is the sacrifice of the fruit of one’s work and (2) the work or effort of travelling to the city, which is the sacrifice of work. The practical phase consisting of these two parts is called karma yoga. This practical karma yoga alone yields the ultimate fruit. But without the preceding theoretical steps of Jnaana yoga and bhakti yoga, the karma yoga is incapable of giving the divine fruit. The generation of practice depends on the theoretical phase of knowledge and devotion.

Practice is like the mango plant. Knowledge is like water and devotion is like the manure. All the three are essential to get a mango fruit. One person says that he has hundred tanks of water and that with that water alone, he can get the mango fruit. Another person says that he has hundred bags of fertilizer and that with that fertilizer alone he can get mangoes! The third person says that he can get mangoes since he has hundred mango plants. Actually, none of them will get the fruit. No amount of water or fertilizer can yield even a single mango, in the absence of the mango plant. Also, no amount of mango plants can yield a mango without water since all the plants will die without water. Similarly, no amount of mango plants, even if well-watered will yield mangoes since they will not grow into trees without the fertilizer. The present-day followers of these three divine preachers must realize this agricultural engineering. They must correlate the three philosophies of these three preachers as three equally-essential and sequential steps in the spiritual path. The divine preachers even came in the correct order. The first step is knowledge and hence, Shankara came and emphasized knowledge. Next, the knowledge must develop devotion (attraction) in the follower and hence, Ramanuja came and emphasized devotion. Finally, practice must arise as a proof of one’s devotion and hence, Madhva came and emphasized service and sacrifice. The three energetic forms of God, Shiva, Vishnu and Brahmaa, incarnated on Earth in human form as the three divine preachers. But the three energetic forms of God are just three roles taken by God Datta in the upper world. Thus, the three preachers and their three divine forms of God are ultimately one and the same God Datta. God Datta is the ultimate form of God. The unimaginable God has given (Datta) Himself to the world of souls in the form of Datta so that souls may worship Him and obtain right direction in their lives through His preaching.

Theory and Practice

Both theory and practice are equally important. Theory is the mother of practice. Without knowing the true knowledge, you cannot select the correct spiritual preacher. Without theoretical devotion, mere practical devotion is invalid. Mere theory without practice is also useless. The Veda says that both the theoretical phase (Asambhuuti Upaasana) and practical phase (Sambhuuti Upaasana) are essential in the worship of God. Mere theoretical worship, aspiring for practical boons from God, is prostitution-devotion (Veshyaa bhakti). It is similar to a prostitute who talks cleverly (Jnana) and sings love songs (bhakti) to snatch money from the customers (practical boons). A better type of devotion than this is business-devotion (Veshyaa bhakti) in which the devotee does business with God. He exchanges practical devotion for practical boons. He serves God practically or sacrifices some wealth to God, expecting practical boons from God. The best devotion is child-devotion (apatya bhakti) in which the devotee is totally involved in practical devotion without aspiring for any fruit in return. Total practical devotion means total practical sacrifice in terms of the sacrifice of work and the fruit of work. It is the proof of one’s devotion and has the greatest value.

Service and Donation

God Datta does not see the total amount of your sacrifice. He sees the percentage of your total wealth that you sacrifice to God. A beggar donating one coin was appreciated by Jesus because it was a total sacrifice. Even though rich persons donated hundreds of coins, Jesus did not appreciate them. This means that rich people cannot purchase the grace of God like poor people. The sacrifice of the fruit of one’s work is stressed everywhere in the Gita. In the Veda, the same sacrifice has also been told to be the single path to God (Dhanena ekena tyaagena...). Sage Vashishta asked Rama to sacrifice some fruit of His work as an offering before Vashishta could preach spiritual knowledge. Datta never sees what you have given to Him. He only sees what remains in your pocket. He directly gives you the ticket to the final destination if you pay Him one coin and no more coin remains in your pocket. On the other hand, even if you pay Him hundred coins but a few hundred coins still remain in your pocket, He only gives you a ticket to the immediate next station. This removes any possible misunderstanding that might arise when Datta stresses on the sacrifice of the fruit of one’s work. It shows that He is not interested in your wealth and also that the rich have no advantage over the poor. The sacrifice is clearly realized to be the practical proof of one’s devotion.

Karma samnyaasa or the sacrifice of one’s work has the word samnyaasa which means sainthood. It suggests that the sacrifice of saints is confined to karma samnyaasa; they cannot do karma phala tyaga.  They can only serve, which is the sacrifice of their work or efforts. Since renounced saints do not possess any money, which is the fruit of work, they cannot sacrifice it to the Sadguru. For others, the sacrifice of work and the sacrifice of the fruit of work are both essential to prove their theoretical love for God. Work is energy. The fruit of the work, which is money, is matter. Matter is a highly condensed form of energy and hence, has more value. An employee works for the employer. It means that he sacrifices his energy (work) to the employer. In return, the employer pays him money, which means that the employer sacrifices matter (money) to the employee. Though this exchange should make both equal, the employee respects the employer and not vice-versa. The reason is the matter given by the employer is more valuable than the energy given by the employee. If the employer has money which is the fruit of work, a number of employees are willing to work for getting it. They are eager to sacrifice their energy in order to get the money. In contrast, even if an employee is ready to work and sacrifice his energy, getting employment is very difficult for him.

The Recipient’s Eligibility and the Donor’s Attitude

This does not mean that you can purchase God with money alone; without theoretical devotion. Whenever you offer Dakshinaa (money offering), you should offer it with knowledge, shyness and fear as said in the Veda. Knowledge means identifying the correct deserving person. If the receiver is undeserving, it is not simply waste of your money. You are actually purchasing the punishment for a sinful donation. Donation is a double-edged knife. One edge is donating to a deserving receiver and other edge is donating to an undeserving receiver. The former is merit while the latter is sin. It is better to avoid making any donation instead of making a sinful donation. We are always hasty while donating. We neglect the deservingness of the receiver and care only for the place and time. We think “Today is Shivaraatri and this place is the holy city of Kaashi. So, I must donate to somebody before the day ends”. This is our hasty psychology. If your donation goes to an undeserving person, you have purchased sin instead of purchasing merit. Of course, you should not do all this analysis in donating to a helpless beggar since there is an emergent need to save his life by donating food and life-saving items (Aapat Dharma). Donating money should be avoided in such emergency donations since money can easily be misused by the beggar. The donor then gets a share in the sin of that misuse. Other than these emergency-donations, when you make hasty decisions of donating to undeserving persons, you purchase sin. Instead, it is better to save your money and donate the saved money later on whenever you find a truly deserving person.

When Krishna donated to Sudaama, it was neither a festival day nor was the place, Kaashi city. Krishna was so filled with emotion as He donated His wealth to Sudaama that if Rukmini had not objected, He would have donated all His wealth to Sudaama. Sudaama was a pitiable beggar and Krishna could have donated a little, which would have been sufficient for his livelihood. But Krishna gave immense wealth to him and the reason is that Sudaama was far more deserving than a beggar. Sudaama possessed correct spiritual knowledge because he had recognized Krishna as a contemporary Human Incarnation of God even though Krishna was his classmate, when they were young students. Sudaama would always chant the name of Krishna, which indicates that He was devoted to Krishna. Sudaama never aspired for getting anything from Krishna. Since they were suffering from utter poverty, his wife forced him to seek some help from Krishna, but Sudaama visited Krishna and returned without asking anything from Krishna. Both these criteria, possessing correct spiritual knowledge and the lack of aspiration for anything from anybody, are the qualifications of the deservingness of the recipient of donation as mentioned by the Veda. The Veda says that the deserving recipient must satisfy two conditions: (i) He must possess true spiritual knowledge for preaching to and guiding the world in the right direction (ii) He must not have the aspiration for any fruit in return from anybody (Shrotriyasyachaakaamahatasya…Veda). When you offer dakshinaa to the Sadguru, you must have full knowledge about Him and must show full devotion to Him even as you serve to Him.

The receiver is God Vamana and the donor is the demon Bali. The donor, donating to the Sadguru, who is the Human Incarnation of God, should not even have a trace of ego. All the wealth of the donor was attained by the donor only by the grace of the Recipient. Hence, while donating, the donor must donate with fear and shyness instead of ego. Ego, jealousy, greediness etc., are the qualities of wrong knowledge, which can be washed out by bathing in the fire of knowledge (Jnaanaagni). Bathing with water only removes the external dirt whereas bathing with the fire of knowledge removes the internal dirt.

Any bad mental quality cannot be removed by external physical actions like fasting, going around a statue of God, taking a cold-water bath early in the morning and so on. A diamond can be cut only by another diamond. Wrong qualities are based on wrong knowledge and they can be cut only by the true concepts which are part of true knowledge. You should at least hear the true knowledge. It will make a strong impression (samskaara) on your soul which will continue for all future births. Then, in some future birth, you will implement it. If you do not even hear the true knowledge, there is no chance of your upliftment in any future birth. Hence, theory is most important and learning it is the primary effort. Mere practice without theory does not give any result. I heard from a devotee that a false Human Incarnation is offering salvation for Rs. 50,000/-. A rich man will easily throw that amount and continue with his own business of cheating others. He will not even think about God and still finally get salvation. I said that the only salvation such a rich man will get will be an immediate salvation from his saved Rs. 50,000/-. It is the money that is bringing problems to him and upon its sacrifice, it will give him some peace and happiness, which itself is the salvation! The theoretical devotion and the practical devotion are like the two legs meant for walking. But with no knowledge or proper analysis, the person is blind. Due to the lack of right direction given by true knowledge, the blind person will go on the wrong path and fall in a well.

God’s Response is a Reflection of Your Approach

God said in the Gita that He will respond to you in the same way that you approached Him (Ye yathaa maam...). If your worship is only in the theoretical phase, the fruits given by Him to you will also be in the same phase. If you praise Him as the great God, He will praise you back saying that you are a great devotee. This is love in return for love. If you analyze Him deeply avoiding any theoretical or practical devotion, He will also analyze you and reveal your personality to you through very sharp analysis. This is knowledge in return for knowledge. He will give more sharpness to your brain for your deep analysis about Him. He will give you a sweeter voice if you sing songs in His praise.

If you sacrifice work and the fruit of work for Him, He will also bless you by doing your work and giving you a lot of wealth. But while sacrificing wealth to God and serving Him, you must also sacrifice your words and mind (theoretical devotion) to Him. If God were a beggar begging for materialistic benefits from you, you could have only made the practical sacrifice of work and the fruit of work to Him; practical devotion alone would have been sufficient. There would have been no need of having mental (theoretical) devotion for Him. But the reality is that He is not in any kind of need. He needs nothing practically from you. A beggar, who is in need of your offering of money will not mind even if you insult him while donating the money to him. He just wants the money. Even if you exhibit ego during your donation, the beggar will not mind it since he is in need of your help. But the Satguru, the Human Incarnation of God, is not in need of anything from anybody at all. He is only testing the truth of your theoretical devotion (love) and the proof is your practical devotion. In fact, what you possess is His property, after all. It was given to you by Him due to His grace on you. He is standing as the receiver asking you to sacrifice it, only to test your real love for Him, which is proved through your practical devotion.

A grandfather buys a packet of biscuits for his grandson. He gives it to the boy’s mother, asking her to give it to the grandson. The boy is unaware that the biscuits have been indirectly given to him by the grandfather. Now, the grandfather tests the real love of his grandson for him by asking the boy to give him a biscuit while the boy is enjoying the biscuits. It does not mean that the grandfather is in need of that biscuit from his grandson. If a beggar asks for the same, the beggar is in real need of it. This point must be remembered well. King Bali gave the promised donation to God Vamana, knowing that Vamana was an Incarnation of God. He gave the donation with all humility even after knowing that God had come to punish him through that donation. This shows that his practical donation was associated with pure theoretical devotion. God was greatly pleased with him and became his gatekeeper in the afterworld!

A king does a ritual sacrifice (yajna) and gets the total result of that sacrifice because he is the one who has spent entirely for that sacrifice in practical terms. The priests, who have only shown theoretical devotion to God by reciting prayers, do not get even a trace of its practical result. The king alone gets the practical result because he worshipped God practically as well as theoretically. The priests were paid for their service by the king. Even if the priests worshipped God theoretically without taking any fee from the king, the priest would not get any share of the practical fruit of the worship. His theoretical devotion would be paid by God by sanctioning a theoretical fruit like the development of theoretical knowledge and theoretical devotion in the priest. The theoretical phase of knowledge and devotion is like an application for a position. The position is the attainment of the grace of God. The application alone is of no value unless it is accompanied by the certificates of qualification and work experience. Karma phala tyaga and karma samnyaasa are like these certificates. Hence, mere theory without practice is like an application without enclosed certificates. It will not be considered. On the other hand, if one merely sends the certificates without any application, the certificates will be thrown in to a dust bin and the employer will consider the applicant to be a mad person. Thus, both theoretical and practical phases of the spiritual path are essential.

Swami Vivekananda wept seeing the terrible poverty of India in spite of its excellent spiritual knowledge and its excellent devotion to God. The reason for this situation is that practical devotion is weak in India. In the West, practical devotion is high and so, they are blessed with a lot of material development. The Veda says that God is just a reflection of the devotee (Ruupam Ruupam pratiruupo babbuuva). When both theory and practice are associated together, they form the complete real devotion. It is like scented gold. It does not matter who the devotee is and which form of God he or she chooses to worship. The relationship between these two is the devotion, which decides the value of the fruit. The initial stage of the relationship between God and the devotee is certainly based on business. But it should result in a real relationship in the course of time. Any initiative is always defective in the beginning, just as a freshly kindled fire gives off a lot of smoke. But after sometime, the smoke disappears and the fire burns brightly. Similarly, the devotee’s attraction to the fruit in a business-like manner is not wrong in the initial stage. It becomes wrong only when that initial stage continues forever.

Two partners in a partnership business became life-partners, in the course of time. In the initial stage, both were very careful in calculating their respective shares of the profit in the business. But later on, when they both became life-partners, there is no such calculation. Each of them feel that the total profit is his or her own. As per the need, one extends help to the other. Draupadi tore a piece of her sari and gave it to Krishna as a bandage when His finger was wounded. Krishna only needed that small piece of cloth at that time. When Draupadi was being unclothed in the royal court by the wicked Dussasana, Krishna rescued her by giving an infinite number of saris, which was her need. Such is the real bond between a devotee and God.

The Gita says that the sacrifice of the fruit of one’s work is the final step of the spiritual path (karmaphala tyagah, tyaagaat shantiranantaram). The employee who sacrifices his energy (work) respects the employer who sacrifices his money (the fruit of work) to the employee in return. The employer does not respect the employee as much. A lot of energy, when condensed, becomes a small quantity of matter (E = mc2). Hence, the sacrifice of the fruit of work (money or matter) is greater than the sacrifice of work (energy). We also see in the world that the climax of real love exists only where there is practical sacrifice of the fruit of work. Actually, theoretical love is greater than practical sacrifice because theory is related to awareness and awareness is greater than inert practice. But the practice is the proof of the truth of the theory. God is not in need of your practical sacrifice at all. He tests you for your ability to do practical sacrifice only to prove the reality of your theoretical love. Hence, you must also express theoretical love towards Him while doing practical sacrifice to Him. As told in the Veda, you must be attentive, respectful, full of faith, fearful and shy as you perform the sacrifice. You must always remember that He is not a beggar even though He might look like a beggar. He can take any form to test how real your theoretical devotion is based on your practical sacrifice. The fact is that He is the actual donor of even your energy (work) and the fruit of your work.

Practice Proves True Devotion

Regarding the sacrifice of the fruit of work, the Veda simply mentions the sacrifice of wealth or money (Dhanena tyaagena). The Gita, however, is more specific. It says that one should sacrifice the fruit earned by doing hard work (karma phala tyaga). The Veda is said to be the cow and the Gita is said to be the milk of the cow. In this case, the milk (Gita) has further sharpened the statement of the cow (Veda). There is an important difference between just wealth and hard-earned wealth. A person’s wealth might have been inherited from his ancestors. A person’s bond with such inherited wealth is not very strong whereas the bond with his hard-earned wealth is very strong. Krishna stole butter from the houses of the Gopikaas since it was the fruit of their hard work. If a person’s bond with God is the strongest compared to all other worldly bonds, then all the bonds will be defeated before that strongest bond. Hence, the background of Krishna’s stealing butter from the Gopikaas must be properly understood. It was the God’s main test of the Gopikaas, who were reborn sages. By that one test, God tested both their bond with their hard-earned wealth and their bond with their children. The stored butter was their hard-earned wealth and it was also meant for their dear children. So, their bond with the butter had the combined strength of the two bonds. The Gopikaas had to overcome this bond of double strength for the sake of Krishna, who was God-in-human-form. The three strongest worldly bonds of a soul which are called Eshanaas, are the bond with money (dhaneshanaa), the bond with one’s children (putreshanaa) and the bond with one’s life-partner (daareshanaa). Out of the three, Krishna tested the first two bonds by stealing the butter of the Gopikaas. Their third bond was tested by dancing with them in Brundavanam. In this test, the married Gopikaas had to overcome their bond with their husbands for the sake of Krishna. These two activities of stealing and dancing done by God Krishna have to be understood deeply. They were the tests of the three strongest worldly bonds of the greatest sages, who had been reborn as the Gopikaas. The purpose of the tests was to grant them salvation, which is nothing but the liberation from all worldly bonds due to the strongest attachment to God. In the absence of the attachment to God, these two activities of stealing and dancing with illegitimate partners, become very serious sins.