Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 16 Jul 2019

     

Satsanga With An Engineering Student

Following is a satsanga or divine conversation between Shri Swami and Kum. Thrylokya. Thrylokya is a B.Tech., student of Dr. Nikhil at Amrita University and had visited Shri Swami in order to have satsanga.

Thrylokya: Dr. Nikhil has told me a lot about You and explained Your spiritual knowledge in detail. I know it is very very rare to attain this knowledge and that it can be attained only by fortunate souls.

Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! Education upto a postgraduate degree is straightforward. Only concepts which are well-established to be true are taught. But in the research work done for a Ph.D. degree, even concepts that are opposite to the well-established concepts are researched. There is an effort to investigate, again and again, whether a true concept is false and whether a false concept is true. So, a researcher has a habit of always thinking in a direction that is opposite to that of well-established concepts. Myself and Dr. Nikhil are Ph.D. degree holders and hence, both of us always think and speak the reverse of what is true. So, whatever Dr. Nikhil said about Me is not true and whatever I have said in My spiritual knowledge is also not true!

Thrylokya: (with loud laughter) No, no, Sir! You are testing my faith in You! I have a poem written by my mother for You [Thrylokya read out the poem written in Telugu and presented it to Swami].

Swami: The poem is excellent, but I differ on two points expressed in the poem. The first point is the statement in the poem which means “What can I give You when everything is Yours?”. It is true that God is the one who has ultimately given us all the wealth that we possess, even though we might not realize it. Out of the wealth that we possess, we sometimes offer a small part to God in return, out of gratitude or love. If we realize that He is the original giver, then our donation is out of gratitude. But if we do not realize that He is original giver and yet we donate to Him, it must be out of love. The sacrifice of one’s wealth to God is the proof of our real love for Him since we sacrifice our wealth only to those whom we really love. There are also times, when we avoid donating anything to God. Although we know that God is the ultimate giver of the wealth to us, we pretend as if we are unable to grasp this concept. God does not exhibit His donation to us. He keeps it secret. So, we think that we have earned all our wealth by our own efforts and as a result of our good fortune.

All this is done by the divine will of God. If we clearly knew that all that we possess is given by God, we would not feel that we are sacrificing our money to God. Only when we sacrifice to God what belongs to us, does it prove our real and practical love for Him. If we knew that He is the original giver, we would only be sacrificing out of gratitude. Thus, donating out of real love and donating out of gratitude are both possible. Therein lies the confusion. If we realize that God has originally donated the wealth to us, then our donation of a part of it to Him becomes our bounden duty. We feel that it is justified to donate at least a little of our wealth to God in return as a mark of our gratitude towards Him. Such donation is only out of gratitude and not out of love. But if we feel that whatever we possess belongs to us alone and yet if we sacrifice a part of it to God, then it must be due to our real practical love for God. It is only to test our practical love for God, as separate from gratitude, that God keeps His original donation of wealth to us top secret. He makes us believe that we have earned our wealth by our own efforts. In spite of this belief, when we donate to God, our donation must be based on real love alone.

A grandfather bought a packet of biscuits for his grandson and gave the packet to the boy’s mother secretly. He told her to not reveal the secret to his grandson. The mother gave a biscuit to her son and the boy felt that his mother had purchased the biscuit and had given it to him. He did not know that it had actually been purchased by his grandfather. The grandfather was the original and actual giver even though he had given the biscuits to the boy indirectly. When somebody helps us without any reason, at least there, we must recognize the helping hand of God. But here, the drama was perfectly executed. The boy could not see through the drama since his mother usually purchased biscuits and things and gave them to her son. If she had asked her son to share with her a piece of the biscuit he was eating, he would have immediately given her a piece. His sacrifice would be out of gratitude, irrespective of his love for his mother. But in this case, it was the grandfather who asked for a piece of the biscuit. Since the son did not know that the grandfather was the original giver, there was no need to give out of gratitude. Yet if the grandson gave a piece of the biscuit, it must be taken as a proof of his pure love for his grandfather. If a beggar had asked for a piece of the biscuit, the boy might have given out of sympathy. But in the case of the grandfather, the only reason for his sacrifice can be his true love for his grandfather and not gratitude or sympathy. It becomes a perfect test of his true love for his grandfather.

You may theoretically say that everything belongs to God and that everything you possess has been originally given by God. But when the practical situation of donation to God comes, your mind gets covered by the divine power of illusion (maayaa) and you inevitably think that whatever you possess belongs to you alone. Hence, this concept that everything possessed by you is given by God alone, is a purely theoretical concept. You say these words only to please God without practically giving anything to God. Every point in this concept is based on ‘Applied Economics’, in which you try to get the maximum benefit from God while spending minimum from your side. Some people, who are even cleverer, ask if the unimaginable God actually comes down to accept their donation, even if they decide to donate. We can say that the unimaginable God incarnates in human form as the Human Incarnation to accept and enjoy the offered donation. But they reject the very concept of Human Incarnation in order to protect their wealth, in keeping with their principle of Applied Economics.

Your mother does not belong to the category of such clever and selfish people because she has sent with you, some special food items and an offering of money as guru dakshina for Me. This shows that she is on the path of practical sacrifice. Her statement in the poem was not meant to cover her greediness for money, but it was based on her identification of the reality that whatever is possessed by us is actually given to us by God alone. Shankara mentions the same point in the last verse of the Saundarya Laharii composed by Him. He says that even the prayer He had composed, was composed by Him using the words given by God (Divine Mother) alone. He said that it was just like taking a little water from the sea and offering it to same sea (tarpanam). We must know that the grandfather is asking for a piece of the biscuit that his grandson is eating, not because he needs it, but only to practically test the reality in his grandson’s theoretical love for him.

The second point in your mother’s poem with which I differ is the line which says “Let my basic ‘I’ or self-identity merge with You and disappear, so that You alone remain”. I disagree with this point. God created this world and souls in it for His entertainment since He was bored of being the One-without-a-second. This is said in the Veda. As per your statement, you want God to lose His entertainment and get bored again! You may argue that even if you disappear, other souls would still remain to continue the world-drama for His entertainment. But it is not correct since God would not have created you at all if there was no need of your presence in the world. The devotion of a soul for God is pure love, which is the sweetest part of His entertainment. Even if you are an atheist, your absence from the world-cinema is not tolerated by God because a movie without a villain is as boring as a movie without a hero! Your contribution to the entertainment of God is fully fulfilled only if you exist in the world with your full individuality. Only then will it give pleasure to God. What more do you require than giving pleasure to God? God will never fulfil your wish to make you disappear from the world which entertains Him.

Instead of you merging and disappearing into Him, He will merge with you to become an Incarnation. In the Incarnation, both of you—God and soul—will co-exist as one. You will forget yourself and God alone will function and He will carry out a divine program for the welfare of the world. In this way, your desire can be fulfilled. You will exist but you will forget yourself in the Incarnation. Such an Incarnation is a monistic Incarnation. Some other devotees want to retain their individuality intact so that they can enjoy the sweet devotion for God which can only be enjoyed through dualism. Such an Incarnation is a dualistic Incarnation in which God and the soul co-exist without merging with each other. Even in the dualistic Incarnation, God alone functions and carries out the divine program. Krishna was a monistic Incarnation whereas Balarama was a dualistic Incarnation standing by the side of Krishna. You are aware that Balarama is counted as one of the ten famous divine Incarnations of God.

Thrylokya: You have said that the propagation of true spiritual knowledge by the devotee pleases God. Is it possible to change this entire world, in a real sense, by the propagation of true spiritual knowledge?

Swami: It is really possible to change the entire world if the propagated knowledge is true as given by the Satguru, who is the Human Incarnation of God. This is because the truth has the climax of power. If the knowledge is false, it will create doubts in the minds of the people hearing it. Moreover, you need not worry whether the result of your efforts will be achieved or not. Any result is always in the hands of God. Especially, the result of God’s own work is certainly in His hands. He is not at all bothered about the result because the result can instantly appear, just by His will, even without a trace of your effort! But He delays the result only to test your firmness and patience in doing God’s work. He watches if you can go on working continuously without bothering about the result. He knows that you are fully aware that God’s work should always be done without worrying about its result since the result is completely in God’s hands. Neither should you aspire for the result for your own benefit nor should you aspire for the result for the benefit of the world. God’s work should neither be done for the selfish benefit of oneself nor should it be done for the benefit of the world. You are doing His work due to your love for God and not due to your love for the world. You love the world only because God loves the world just like an industrialist loves the factory established by him. If He neglects the welfare of the world in the work done through you, you should not bother about the welfare of the world. You should only continue to do the work that pleases Him alone. When God competes with the welfare of the world, you should vote for God alone.

At the end of the first-day’s battle in the great war between Lord Rama and the demon-king Ravana, the latter was defeated. Rama told Ravana that if he returned Sita, the wife of Rama whom Ravana had captured, Rama would not continue the war, the next day. He would simply withdraw from the war and spare the life of Ravana. It meant that if Ravana had returned Sita, Ravana would have continued to live and harass the world. It was actually a test for Hanuman. Hanuman had joined the side of Rama and was serving Him. But the question was whether Hanuman was serving Rama out of His love for justice in the world or His true devotion to Rama. Killing the wicked Ravana meant establishing justice in the world. Sparing the life of Ravana meant the end of justice in the world. If Hanuman was serving Rama for the sake of the welfare of the world, He would have left Rama that very night! He would have thought that Rama is so selfish that as soon as He gets His wife back, He does not care to fight the war for justice. Hanuman would have thought that as long as Rama can get His wife back, it did not matter to Rama even if Ravana continued to capture and seduce others’ wives. Thinking in this manner, Hanuman could have left secretly so that He would not have had to hurt Rama. But Hanuman did not do so. He continued to participate in the war, the next day. He never had any doubts about Lord Rama. He knew that Rama was the Human Incarnation of God. He was serving Rama because of His love for Rama and not because of His love for the world.

A politician, in his speech, asks people to vote for him. In return, he promises several measures for the welfare of society. These measures benefit the society as well as the individual voter since the voter is also a part of society. So, for the voter, both selfish benefit and social benefit appear to be together. Of course, today, the voter only sees selfish benefit! In any case, the voter aspires for some benefit from the politician in return for his or her vote. Let us see the case of the parents of the politician who is asking for votes. The parents will blindly vote for their son or daughter without bothering about their own benefit or the benefit of society because they have true love for their issue. They do not aspire for anything in return for their love. If a person has such true love for God, the person will do God’s work without aspiring for any benefit in return for oneself or for the world.

We must treat God as our adopted son. Datta means an adopted son and not an adopting father! But we cleverly treat God, not as an adopted Son, but as an adopting Father so that we can get benefits from Him, even without doing any service or sacrifice. The ethical scripture says that there are ten types of sons and datta or an ‘adopted son’ is one of the ten. Hence, we should treat God Datta as our Son and not as our Father to avoid exploiting Him under the influence of our Applied Economics!

If you do God’s work and aspire for some practical fruit in return for yourself, it is business devotion (Vaishya bhakti). If you aspire for practical fruits from God in exchange for your theoretical devotion in the form of prayers and songs, it is prostitution devotion (Veshyaa bhakti). Compare these two lower forms of devotion with the love that we have for our children. In the case of our own children, we express our love practically. When they are young, we serve them by working for them in many ways including bathing them, feeding them and so on. It is the sacrifice of our efforts or work for them and is called karma samnaasa. At the end of our lives, we sacrifice all our wealth and earnings to them by writing our will in their name. This sacrifice of our wealth to them is karma phala tyaaga. In spite of doing this practical sacrifice of our work and the fruit of our work, we do not aspire for any fruit in return from them. This proves that our love for our issues is both true and pure. If you are able to have such true and pure for God, which is proved in practice, it is called issue-devotion (apatya bhakti).

In our prayers, we theoretically say that God is above all, including our issues! But practically, we do not sacrifice either our work or our wealth to Him, even to a small extent. Are our prayers not blunt lies? Are we not trying to fool the omniscient God and trap Him in the net of our clever false words? To cover up our lie and to protect our greediness, we say that God does not directly come here to enjoy whatever we sacrifice. We flatly reject the concept of the contemporary Human Incarnation of God, even though many of us accept past Human Incarnations. We feel that there is no harm in accepting past Human Incarnations since they will not come in the present time and demand any practical sacrifice from us. All this elaborate falsehood and pretence is only to avoid the practical sacrifice of our work and the fruit of our work. The people, who accept past Human Incarnations of God, make representative images and statues of the Incarnation and offer food (naivedyam) and money (dakshnia) to the representative images theoretically. Later, they take back and consume the same themselves, assuming it to be ‘sacred leftovers’ (prasaadam). After playing this clever trick on God, they expect to earn His grace! Of course, there is good side to the worship of statues, in that it develops our theoretical devotion. The theoretical devotion, in turn, develops practical devotion in due course of time.

Alright, even if you are very poor or very greedy and do not want to sacrifice money, you can, at least, sacrifice your work by propagating the true spiritual knowledge in the world. By doing so, you will earn God’s grace. If you are greedy or poor and also lazy and you do not want to sacrifice either money or work, then you had better stick to the following cleverest argument. You can say that God does not come here to directly receive my service or sacrifice and that God never comes in human form. If somebody quotes the Gita to support the concept of the Human Incarnation (Manushiim tanumashritam), you can say that secondary scriptures such as the Gita are always polluted by some insertions as preached by Swami Dayaananda and Datta Swami! Actually, insertions are to be identified and rejected in order to reject misinterpretations of concepts. Statements from scriptures, which represent genuine concepts, are not to be rejected just because they are inconvenient to you.

Thrylokya: I observe a lot of sins everywhere. Rich girls use costly cosmetics to improve their appearance. What can poor girls do then? Moreover, I also find several girls changing their boyfriends frequently without any loyalty!

Swami: This point belongs to pravrutti (worldly life) and not to nivrutti (spiritual life). But I will answer it from a spiritual angle. Beauty is always natural and is always gifted by God. Cosmetics are chemicals that spoil the tenderness of the skin. External appearance fades away with age and with the passing of time. A newly married couple was walking down the road. A small stone got into the bride’s chappal (footwear) and pricked her foot. She cried in pain. The new bridegroom was deeply moved and said “O angel of my heart! I cannot tolerate even a single tear in your eyes”. A month later, the same thing happened. The wife cried out in pain as a stone hurt her foot but, this time, the same husband got angry at his wife. He scolded her and told her to walk properly. One more month passed and the same thing occurred again. This time, the husband became furious and shouted at his wife saying “Are you blind? You are an idiot! How many times do I have to tell you to walk properly?”. If this is the story just after two months of getting married, while the wife is still young and beautiful, what will be the story in their old age when the wife loses all her beauty?

What pleases God is not the external beauty but the internal personality, which is made of good qualities. Hanuman was not beautiful externally, but His internal beauty was so excellent that He was named as the Beautiful (Sundara) by poet-sage Vaalmiiki and a whole chapter in the Ramayana was named Sundara Kaanḍa after Him. There is a mantra of Hanuman called the ‘Mantra of the beautiful Hanuman’ (Sundara Hanumat Mantra). The grace of God is also reflected in the external personality of a person in the form of divine radiance (brahma tejas). It makes even the external body extremely attractive and beautiful (Sarvadvaareshu dehasya, prakaasha upajaayate —Gita). Such radiance was seen in the personality of Swami Vivekaananda when he gave his famous spiritual speech at Chicago, USA, as part of God’s mission. The audience was dumbstruck, not only by the speech of the saint, but also by his attractive personality.

This world is a playground for God but not for the soul. For the soul, this world is very serious, like an examination hall. Here, the soul is expected to behave with full discipline. When a girl does not control her mind and has affairs with several boyfriends, she will face horrible hell in this world, during her lifetime and also in the upper world, after death. She is violating pravrutti which is the path of justice in worldly life. Such illegitimate behavior belongs to the lowest level of dushpravrutti. An ordinary soul cannot imitate the behavior of God Krishna, who had many girlfriends. Krishna was the Human Incarnation of God and the Gopikaas, who were the girlfriends of Krishna, were the greatest sages reborn. Their relationships were not worldly romantic affairs but examples of the greatest devotion of devotees to God, which included severe tests of the devotees conducted by God. Imitating the behavior of Lord Krishna is utter foolish ignorance and it will certainly lead an ordinary soul to hell.

On the other hand, if a girl controls her mind and sticks to only one boyfriend with the clear intention of getting married to him later, she will enjoy heavenly happiness here as well as hereafter, for following the middle-path of pravrutti. If she leaves both illegitimate and legitimate bonds for the sake of God, like Meera, she will be associated with the God, here as well as hereafter. This is the highest level of nivrutti, which is beyond both injustice and justice. Dushpravrutti is the path of demons. Pravrutti is the path of human beings and nivrutti is the path of angels. Angels and demons even exist among human beings, in terms of their nature. Of course, they also exist as separate beings in the upper worlds. The human being thinks that it is in the middle-level of pravrutti by virtue of its external physical appearance. But by nature, the person might be in the lowest level of dushpravrutti. Such a human being, misled by its own external appearance, thinks that its next destination is to climb up to the level of nivrutti. The reality is that, being at the level of dushpravrutti by nature, it must make efforts to first climb up to the middle-level of pravrutti.

Even though God has full freedom to play in this world as He likes, upon sharp analysis, we understand that He is not playing so. Lord Krishna’s stealing butter, which was the wealth preserved by the Gopikaas for their children, was only a divine test. Krishna was testing whether their devotion to God-in-human-form was greater than their worldly bonds with wealth and their children. His dancing with the Gopikaas was to test whether their devotion was stronger than their bond with their life partners. Jesus told His devotees that He had come to separate His devotees from their families by creating quarrels. The meaning of this is that He had come to break the worldly bonds of devotees. If we only take the superficial meaning, instead of the deeper true meaning, we will misunderstand Krishna and Jesus.

Thrylokya: The Nirvana Shatkam composed Lord Shankara has been set to a beautiful tune and many devotees enjoy singing it greatly. The last line of each of the six verses “Chidananda rupah Shivoham Shivoham” especially appeals to people since it means “I am Shiva, I am Shiva, who is of the nature of Awareness and Bliss”. But Dr. Nikhil said that this last line of each of the verses can apply only in the case of a Human Incarnation of God. In the case of an ordinary soul, he has proposed a new line to replace it. The new line is “Parabrahma Dattasya Daasah sadaaham”, which means “I am ever a servant of God Datta”.

Swami: With the words “Shivoham Shivoham”, Shankara meant that He was Lord Shiva incarnated in human form. But the disciples also repeated the same words thinking that each one of them was also Lord Shiva. To correct them, Shankara drank molten lead and said that He alone was Lord Śiva (Shivah Kevaloham). In the verses of the Nirvana Shatkam, the word ‘Shiva’ means Lord Shiva. But in general, the word Shiva also means pure and auspicious. ‘Shiva’ has been used in this sense also by Kaalidaasa in his epic, the Shaakuntalam, where he writes, ‘May your path be pure and auspicious (Shivaaha te panthaanah)’. So, the word Shiva, in the sense of purity, can certainly be applied to a soul. Saying “I am Shiva, I am Shiva” will make you feel that you are the soul, which is pure awareness and not the impure material body. Awareness is a form of energy and energy is always pure. Taking ‘Shiva’ in the sense of purity, there is no harm in reading or singing the verses composed by Shankara, since they only mean that you are the pure soul. But you should be careful and not get misled into thinking that you are Lord Shiva.

However, the common interpretation of the word ‘Shiva’ as God Shiva is most famous. If you want to stick to this meaning of the word, then it cannot be used to indicate an ordinary soul. In that case, it is correct to replace the last line with the line composed by Dr. Nikhil. This new line indicates the reality, which is that you are not God Shiva but are always a servant of God Shiva. God Shiva is not different from God Datta. Any form of God is Datta alone because the word ‘Datta’ simply means the unimaginable God given to the world through a medium. That medium can be energetic or material leading to Energetic or Human Incarnations of God.