Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 08 Jan 2003

     

APPROACH TO GOD

God and Your Efforts: In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says “Bahuni me...” i.e., “Several births have passed for you and for Me. I remember all of them but you do not remember.” Sometimes the sadhana (spiritual effort) done by a devotee during this birth may be little. Yet God shows a lot of grace on that devotee. The reason for this is the penance done by that devotee during his previous births. Even that devotee forgets the penance done by him. Other devotees, who are doing a lot of penance to God in this birth, become jealous of that devotee. They do not know that their penance done in this birth is far less compared to the penance done by that devotee in his previous births. The wealth of a person should not be decided by looking into his current account only. His fixed deposits, which are like the fruits of the penance of his previous birth, should also be taken into account. Only the Lord can see these fixed deposits; ordinary people cannot. Swami Vivekananda came to Shri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa for the first time. Paramahamsa took him into a room and placed a sweet in his mouth and wept with folded hands. Vivekananda could not understand this and was confused. Paramahamsa was the Incarnation of Lord Rama and Lord Krishna together. Vivekananda was the reincarnation of Arjuna and he did not remember his previous births. But Paramahamsa remembered all the previous births. The other disciples could not digest this and became jealous of Vivekananda.

Once, Satyabhama kicked Lord Krishna on the forehead by her left leg. Yet Krishna pressed her feet stating that her foot might have been pained. This looked very odd for all the other devotees. They thought that Krishna had become a slave of her beauty. Any external beauty in this world cannot attract the Lord. Only the internal beauty, which is the sacrifice and love, attracts Him. Satybhama was the incarnation of Goddess Earth. She was bearing the violence of all the demons that were strengthened by the boons of God. Thus she was tolerating God indirectly. She was tolerating the feet of all the living beings upon her. She is the other name of tolerance. Even though the Lord killed her son Narakasura, she had kept silent. In fact, she herself had helped the Lord in that war. She had crossed the wheel of ‘Anahata’, which is connected, to children. Nobody could have more tolerance than the Goddess Earth. God knew all this background.

Without eligibility, God will never give anything to anybody at any time. But the devotee must take the first step towards God. The necessity is for the devotee. The Veda says “Aptakamsya” i.e., “God has attained everything and there is nothing which He has to achieve”. You have come near the sea with a pot. You should take a step into the water and make an effort to fill your pot. Then the sea moves in to fill the pot with its water. Therefore, human effort is necessary even in the case of God. When God is in human form, He is bound by the manners of humanity. The properties of human body co-exist with divinity. The electric wire has both the qualities of the wire and electricity. Giving an electric shock is the property of electricity. Being thin and lean is the property of the wire. The property of the wire is clearly seen by the naked eye. Similarly, the properties of the human body of God are clearly seen by people. As people misunderstand the live electric wire to be a common wire without electricity, the human body of God is also misunderstood to be that of an ordinary man. As the electric current is not seen, the divinity in the human form of the Incarnation is also not seen. But whenever a necessity arises, the electricity becomes intensive in the wire and heat is radiated out. Similarly, the divinity in the human form exposes its divine qualities like Jnana (knowledge), Love, Bliss and miracles, whenever necessary.

Goal of your spiritual efforts

Sudama felt bad about aproaching Lord Krishna, who was his classmate, even though Sudama was suffering with poverty. Lord Krishna also kept silent, even though He was ready to give infinite wealth to Sudama. But Sudama did not put even one step towards Dwaraka city to meet Krishna. Sudama was chanting the name and worshipping the statue of Krishna. But even a trace of his poverty was not removed because he neglected the human form of God. Until he approached the human form of God and did karma phala tyaga by offering some rice, the Lord did not respond to his need. From his level, the offering of that handful of rice to Lord Krishna was the best sacrifice. So, Lord Krishna too gave Sudama infinite wealth, according to His level. When Sudama went to meet Lord Krishna, he did not ask Krishna to remove his poverty. He was prepared to undergo the result of his sins and suffer in poverty. At the same time, he did the highest sacrifice of that handful of rice. His family was starving and if that handful rice had been cooked, at least a little food could have been given to his children. But he offered it to the Lord instead. He did not ask for anything in return and also did not even think of asking. Thus, a devotee should not ask or even think about the removal of his difficulties by God. He should be prepared to undergo the results of his sins. He should offer Guru Dakshina (donation) to the human form of God to his level best. Then God will remove his difficulties.

Swami sees only the quantity of love in you and not the things you are offering to Him. The squirrel rolled in tiny sand particles and showered them into the sea with full faith, in order to contribute to the building of the sea bridge, which was the mission of Lord Rama. So the Lord patted it. The monkeys[1] were bringing big stones and tossing them into the sea but they were not patted by the Lord since their faith was not firm. Both the stones and sand particles were drowning in the water. The squirrel did not stop putting the sand particles but the monkeys got disheartened and stopped putting the big stones. So the Lord does not view what you have surrendered (sacrificed). The Lord only views the spirit with which you surrendered it. So, surrender what you have with full faith and love.

Whatever the sin that may be associated with the fruit that you surrender to the Lord, will be cleansed due to your sacrifice of it to the Lord. In fact, such an offering becomes the most pious deed. Kannappa hunted animals and offered their flesh to the Lord. That is the greatest sin. There is no greater sin than killing harmless animals. “Ahimsa Paramodharmah” i.e., the greatest sin is to kill innocent harmless beings. Yet Kannappa attained the same salvation that Shabari attained when she offered fruits to the Lord.

The real dharma (duty) is to please God. God created everything; He created us and is present with us in every minute of each life, as our greatest well-wisher. Nobody should be dearer to us than God. Sudama went back home without begging anything from the Lord. Yet Sudama wanted to beg to Krishna in the heart of his heart. That is not nishkama yoga (desirelessness). He was caught by the influence of prestige. While going home to his place, he was suffering mentally, thinking about his poverty. Krishna saw all this and kept silent. But Krishna is also ocean of kindness. Therefore, Krishna finally yielded. Here the victor is Lord Krishna. Kuchela (Sudama), due to his prestige, was defeated. Krishna defeated His principle [Krishna yielded] and so came out of it. Sudama gave importance to the manners of the external human body and could not understand the Lord as the Ocean of Love.

The Veda declares the three qualities of God:

  1. Jnana belonging to Brahma. (Satyam, Jnanam, Anantam Brahma)
  2. Love belonging to Vishnu (Rasovai Sah)
  3. Bliss belonging to Shiva (Anando Brahma)

If one quality is present, the other two must also co-exist. When Lord Datta takes the human form, all these three qualities are transmitted out. These three are the electric current present in a live metal wire. It is like the heat coming out of the fire covered by ash. If the ash is absent we will not be able to tolerate the heat. The ash controls (reduces) the heat to the extent of our tolerance i.e., the human body works like the ash. Even angels like Indra cannot see the inner form of the Lord. If the inner form of the Lord is exhibited or comes out, the entire universe disappears. Therefore, only through the human form, can one worship or enjoy the essence of Lord Datta. Nobody can establish a direct bond with Lord Datta, because, when Datta appears, the devotee disappears along with the universe. So you cannot attain Datta except through a human body (of the Incarnation).

Jnana (knowledge), Prema (love) and Ananda (bliss) cannot be obtained either from the formless God or from inert statues of God. Therefore, for a human being, the Narakara (human form) is the only source. If you neglect the human form, you cannot get a human rebirth, and you will therefore be put to a permanent loss. The Veda says the same “Ihachedavedit atha satyamasti nachedihaa vedit mahati vinashtih”.

Datta in Human Form

Datta means the God given to the world. The Veda says that the only one God (Parabrahman) creates, maintains and destroys this world. The Veda also states that this God cannot even be imagined by people. Sage Atri saw this ultimate God through a form for the first time. This form, which was given to (seen by) Atri was called Datta. God Himself told Atri that He gave Himself to Atri through that form. Datta means the form that is given. Datta is the only form, which satisfies the definition of God as said by the Vedas. Datta is only one (one God) and He, through His three faces, creates, maintains and destroys this world. [Datta is represented pictorially as human form with three faces, to illustrate this concept]. This form of Datta is also called an Incarnation of God (Parabrahman). But this is the only fullest Incarnation of God among all His Incarnations. Therefore, this Incarnation is the original form of God. In this form called Datta, God is present. You cannot imagine God if you go beyond this form. So if you want to imagine God, Datta is the only original form that is imaginable. The limit of your imagination is Datta. If you leave Datta your imagination ends. Therefore, do not try to imagine God beyond Datta. Such imagination is impossible for anybody. So God means only Datta. This Datta is very powerful as He radiates energy of infinite millions of suns. Only Atri who became very powerful (and deserving) by penance, could see Datta. All the deities and all the planets are just Datta’s external dresses. Datta hides in deities and planets with the help of His inexplicable power called Maya. The planets, which we see in the sky, are not the planets, which I mentioned here. The planets and the sun, which you see in physical form, are inert. The planets, which are mentioned by Me, are divine forms. These physical planets are just symbolic representations of those divine forms. The Veda says “Adityam Brahmeti” i.e., “Worship the sun as God”. People started thinking that the sun is God. So the Veda again says “Nedam tat” i.e., this sun is not God. The deity form (divine form) of the sun is invisible. Therefore, the planets in their original sense (deities) and all the other deities are invisible forms. The planet-deities and the other deities put together can be called as deities in general. These deities are also very powerful and are like the radiating sun. Of course, they are not as powerful as Datta. A man can see different deities with some effort and care (spiritual effort). But you cannot touch them. We can talk with them for a while at the most. But they cannot live with us because of their radiation.

We should not consider Datta as [actually] the Incarnation of God because God is beyond imagination. [In other words, we should not consider the unimaginable God to be actually modified into the human body of the Incarnation. It is true that Datta is said to be the Incarnation of God. But neither is the inert body God, nor is God modified into the inert human body. God is unimaginable. God, by His miraculous power Maya, enters the inert human body, in order to make Himself available to devotees. Thus, the human body of the Incarnation is God for the devotees effectively; not actually.] Hindus call this God beyond imagination as Parabrahma. This God is called Jehova by Christians and Allah by Muslims. You cannot say that this God is even formless because the formless object can also be imagined. For example light is formless and can be imagined, but God is beyond imagination. Therefore, we have no direct right even to mention the word God. The word ‘God’ indicates only that unimaginable thing. That unimaginable thing can be understood (inferred) only as something existing due to its effects. The Bhagavad Gita says “Avyaktahi…” i.e., “Worship of the unimaginable God is impossible and leads to grief.”

So the form of Datta is inevitable and we should start with Datta. Now the word God should mean Datta. However, if you are particular of worshipping only the unimaginable God, you should understand that you can pray to Him but you cannot worship Him. Therefore, do not call God formless. Call Him unimaginable. If you imagine Him as a formless light, again your imagination is only His Incarnation. Any imagination of yours cannot be the unimaginable God. The Veda says “Na Medhaya”, “Naisha Tarkena” etc., which means that God is beyond imagination and logic. When you were imagining the light, your mind contains some limiting boundaries for it and so the light that you imagined cannot be formless. Moreover, light is made of particles called photons. Each photon is a packet of energy. So light is not formless. In this way also you cannot imagine a formless object. You can only submit your prayer to the unimaginable formless God. But this does not satisfy devotees. They want to describe Him. They want to see Him. They want to touch Him by embracing. They want to talk with Him. They want to live with Him throughout their lives. To give full satisfaction to devotees, Lord Datta takes the human form, which is made of five elements.

The Bhagavad Gita says “Manusheem tanumashritam”. Just like Datta takes up radiation bodies (divine bodies made out of light) and becomes the deities; Datta takes up human bodies. Those deities and the human bodies taken by Datta are all Incarnations. An Incarnation is a two-in-one system. The first part is the inner form, which is Datta. The second part is the external form, which is either a deity or a human body. The inner form pervades all over the external form like electric current in a metallic wire. The whole wire is the current (since it gives the effect of current). Wherever you touch the wire the current gives an electric shock. It is as if there is only one thing—electric current. Similarly, in the Human Incarnation, it is as if there is only one thing—God. So the purpose of the devotees is served. Through the Incarnation, they see and touch God. They talk and live with God.

Recognizing Datta

How to recognize Datta in human form? He performs miracles. He gives blissful knowledge because he is both bliss and knowledge. He quotes from all the Vedas and the Bhagavad Gita because He Himself spoke the Vedas and the Bhagavad Gita, which are the Word of God. He treats this entire world as His family. He always tries to uplift all living beings. He is the embodiment of love and kindness. The Incarnation of Datta is filled with all these divine qualities. Do not decide a person as Datta by miracles only. Even demons and devils perform miracles. Do not decide an ordinary scholar as Datta just because the scholar can give knowledge by quoting the Vedas and the Bhagavad Gita. The knowledge of Datta gives bliss. The bookish knowledge of a scholar cannot give bliss. A scholar can explain the Veda and the Bhagavad Gita based on the meaning given by another scholar. These scholars cannot grasp the actual view of God present in the Veda and the Bhagavad Gita. The Veda says “Brahmavit Brahmaiva…” In this sentence the first word Brahma means the Veda. The second word Brahma means God. The meaning of this sentence is that God (Datta) alone can give the real meaning of the Veda. So, only Datta can give the real interpretation of the Veda and the Gita.

Such real knowledge is called Prajnanam. The fourth great sentence (Maha vakya) says that by such Prajnanam, one should recognize Datta. Such Prajnanam is the characteristic property of the internal form of God in the Incarnation. The first three great sentences (Maha vakyas) say that the external form of God is like me, you and him i.e. like an ordinary human being. Foolish people think that God is an ordinary man by seeing the external human body, which follows all the rules of the nature. The Gita says the same “Avajanantimam Mudhah…’. The aim of God in such a human body is that He wants to suffer by taking the sins of His devotees in a real way. He will not suffer really if His body is beyond the rules of nature (if He comes in a divine body). If He took a body that was above the rules of nature, it would amount to cheating the deity of justice. Another aim of God in coming in a human body is that all the other people, who are not devotees, should not be able to recognize Him. If all recognize and follow Him, the drama of this world gets disturbed. He came only for His devotees and not for all. Only His devotees had prayed for Him. Only strong devotees can recognize Him. He will not allow weak devotees to recognize Him by deliberately talking or acting negatively (Maya). Generally people are not interested in recognizing God in human form due to their jealousy and ego. One in thousands tries to recognize. One among those recognizes and reaches Him. This is told in the Gita as “Manushyanam....


[1] Lord Rama was helped by the Vanaras, an ape-like race of forest-dwellers in locating his kidnapped wife Sita, building a sea-bridge to Lanka and fighting a battle with the evil demon-king Ravana.