Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 03 Jan 2003

     

THE ONLY TECHNIQUE

[A devotee, Shri G. Lakshman once asked Swami, “What is the use of the form of God, when I can experience God directly, once I come to know His qualities?” Swami replied to his question by a spontaneous discourse in the two parts given below.

Shri G. Lakshman is an excellent devotee who is literally crazy for divine knowledge. When he hears divine knowledge from Swami, he forgets to eat or sleep. He donates a lot of money for the propagation of this divine knowledge in the service of Lord Datta. Swami has given him a vision of Lord Ananta Padmanabha1 for a long time and Shri Lakshman was immersed in infinite bliss for several days].

The Wire Technique

Let us assume that Parabrahma (God) is fire. The qualities of Parabrahma like knowledge, bliss and love put together, can be assumed as the heat. Also, let us assume the Human Incarnation to be a wire. We agree that unless you have experienced something (by your senses), you cannot have any knowledge about it. However, Vedas, Shastras and logic should also support your experience. Otherwise, a mad person may experience some false thing, and this false experience cannot be taken as a standard. Thus, when you get experience, which is supported by the Vedas, Shastras and logic, it becomes real knowledge.

If you wanted to experience fire along with its heat directly, you would be turned to ashes and disappear. Similarly, when God fully expresses Himself along with His qualities, the whole world disappears; you too disappear. When you do not exist, there is no question of getting any knowledge. Thus, you can never experience Parabrahma (God) directly; you cannot have the direct knowledge of Parabrahma at any cost. The Parabrahma is beyond your imagination. Therefore, through the egotistic path consisting only of knowledge (jnana yoga), you can neither experience the fire nor experience the heat. You are totally lost.

But if you can get rid of your ego and jealousy and if you can accept the Human Incarnation, at least you can experience the qualities of God; even if you cannot experience fire directly, at least you can experience heat. When one end of a wire is put in fire, the fire as if enters the wire. When you touch the other end of the wire, you experience mild heat safely, without getting burnt. What is fire after all? Fire is nothing but infinitely intensified heat. When the fire enters the wire the fire is hidden in the wire but it transmits just enough heat through the wire so that you can experience heat without being burnt to ashes. By experiencing the little heat that you get from the wire, you can imagine the infinite intensity of that heat and thus you can imagine fire. The wire controls the intensity of heat so that you can ‘experience’ fire.

All you have to do is that once you experience heat, you have to multiply it infinitely in your mind and that brings the experience of fire to your brain. If you try to experience fire directly, then even before you experience its heat you will just be vaporized, in which situation there cannot be any experience or knowledge. Thus, the fire has arranged this ‘wire technique’ so that you can experience its quality of heat, within your limits and thereby even imagine the infiniteness of that heat, which is fire.

The first wire (Human Incarnation) into which the fire (God) entered, was called Datta. Thereafter, the second, third and all subsequent Human Incarnations of God were also called by the same name, Datta. Every Human Incarnation is Datta. Datta means the wire (human body of the Incarnation) that is given to the devotees in order to experience the hidden fire (God) in it. The three heads of Datta, represent the three qualities namely, satvam (knowledge, purity), rajas (activity, passion) and tamas (ignorance, inertia)2. The inner meaning of this representation is that the human body of the Incarnation is prakriti (product of nature) or Maya, which consists of all the three fundamental qualities. [Everything in creation is a product of Maya and therefore consists of all three qualities]. There is no need for Lord Datta to actually wear three heads; they are only a pictorial representation of the concept for the sake of the understanding of ignorant people.

Even Lord Rama, who was an Incarnation of God and is regarded as the embodiment of satvam (purity) became angry with sage Jabali and thereby displayed rajas (passion). On another occasion, Rama went after the golden deer to satisfy the craving of His wife and that is tamas (inert attachment). This shows that He had all three qualities and thus the three heads indicate that any Human Incarnation invariably contains all the three qualities.

Parabrahma has arranged this ‘wire technique’ to experience Him, using His highest intelligence. If anybody can suggest a better way than this, Parabrahma will acknowledge with thanks and will adopt that technique in future.

Why Human Incarnation?

As per the Vedas, knowledge, bliss, and love are the characteristic properties or qualities of God (Parabrahma). Any property must be possessed by a base-material or entity called the substratum (dravya). Light and heat are the characteristic properties of the sun. The sun is their substratum and possesses the properties. The substratum may be regarded as the concentrated form of the properties. So, God is the substratum and hence the concentrated form of knowledge, bliss and love, as said by the Veda (Prajnanaghanah, Brahma pucchampratishtha). This God, who is the substratum of the qualities mentioned above, is actually beyond imagination.

Imagination too is a form of knowledge. We have seen earlier that knowledge must be born from experience (perception by senses) and that the Vedas, Shastras and logic should support it. Only then can it be real knowledge. Mere experience cannot be treated as real knowledge because the experience of a mad person cannot be regarded as true. Yet direct experience is a must for any knowledge. If somebody says that honey is sweet, such knowledge cannot be real unless you taste honey and experience it. Consciousness is also a quality. A quality cannot exist independently. Consciousness can be found only in a living being and that living being is the substratum of consciousness. Similarly, power is another quality. The sun is the condensed form of light and when the sun is absent, light too is absent. God is the condensed form of knowledge, bliss, and love, and God created this world through His creative power called Maya.

When you say that someone has knowledge, it automatically means that the ‘someone’ also has consciousness. Knowledge assumes consciousness. However, every conscious being need not have knowledge. Knowledge normally means the knowledge of a certain concept (Shastra). Prajnanam means the true and infinite knowledge of God, which is also called as philosophy. Vedanta is philosophy, because it is the topmost knowledge of the Vedas. Vedanta is fully known only by God. Therefore, God is ‘Sarvajna’ (He who knows everything). Although He is all-knowing, God Himself created ignorance, which is called Maya and He got covered by this Maya with His own will. He enjoys by watching this world like a movie, which is nothing but His ideas. If Maya is removed, the world disappears and God (He who is beyond all qualities, such as knowledge and ignorance) alone remains. This God without ignorance is called Parabrahman. However, when there is no ignorance (Maya), there is no creation and no individuals; therefore, no one can know Parabrahman since the person trying to know God disappears.

The Veda says “Brahma vit Brahma....” This means that God alone knows God. The Bhagavad Gita also says the same thing “Mam tu veda nakashcana”, which means that nobody knows God. Therefore, you cannot directly experience God and in fact you cannot even experience His three properties directly from Him. When you yourself do not exist, how can you experience God and His qualities? When there is no experience, real knowledge cannot be obtained. It is not sufficient to simply know that God possesses the knowledge of Himself, which is called Prajnanam by Veda. Did you hear Prajnanam from God? You have not understood anything simply by hearing the word Prajnanam. If you have heard the word mathematics, do you know all that is to be known in mathematics? So you must hear that special knowledge, Prajnanam, from God, get bliss, develop love for God through your service, and then God will love you. Only then you can say that you have experienced God, and that you have real knowledge of God, which is called Brahma Jnanam. Already we have seen that it is impossible to attain the special knowledge directly from God because you cannot exist in that situation.

Yet we must somehow get the knowledge of God and the question is how to get it? God must enter the world secretly and give you the special knowledge. If God is fully revealed, the world disappears. Therefore, God enters a human body, which is a product of His Maya. His entrance in the body is also a Maya. Now He is hidden in that human body in order to maintain the existence of you and the world. Now He gives you the special knowledge through that human body. That special knowledge will also be given in a greatly reduced dosage so that you can safely receive it. If the dosage is more, you will vanish. Now you are getting the special knowledge directly from God and the human body is only a medium. God pervades that human body from top to bottom; internally and externally as said by the Veda (Antarbahishcha…).

Now by this experience, you have attained the complete Brahma Jnanam. There is no other way than this. If you want to see God by your two eyes, it is impossible because if God appears, you will disappear along with this world. God can be seen only by the third eye, which is the eye of knowledge, and that too with God’s grace. You cannot see God. You cannot touch God. You cannot talk with God. You cannot live with God. So what is the use of such visions? Visions are useless unless you attain God’s grace. Grace is more important than visions. God gave His vision3 to Arjuna as well as to the blind king Dhritarashtra4. Yet Dhritarashtra was not blessed like Arjuna. Radha5 and Hanuman were never given any such visions. But both attained the highest fruit6. When Arjuna saw that vision, he shivered with fear and prayed to the Lord to come back to the form of a human body. Arjuna was the bravest man in the world. He was sage Nara, who had worshipped Lord Narayana (God) continuously for the past thousand births. He also saw God through the third eye (of knowledge) alone and that too with the grace of God. If such an Arjuna shivered with fright looking at God, what will be case of ordinary human beings? They will simply vaporize before the power of God. If you receive knowledge, bliss and love of God and if you love God through your service, you are really blessed. You can experience these three qualities only through the Human Incarnation.

Some people claim to be Human Incarnations by saying that they have infinite bliss and love. Yet they do not possess the knowledge supported by the Veda, Shastras and logic. Even if they speak the knowledge, they cannot quote the scriptures and cannot give correct logic. Such people are fraud Incarnations because knowledge cannot be separated from bliss and love. The light of the sun cannot be separated from its heat. Both light and heat always co-exist. If you neglect Krishna, how can you get the special knowledge in the form of the Bhagavad Gita? If you neglect the divine form of Lord Brahma (Brahma Deva), how can you get the knowledge of the Vedas? Sages have heard the Vedas from the four faces of Lord Brahma7. Sages sitting near Lord Brahma are attaining the special knowledge, called Vedanta, and are immersed in infinite bliss and love.

Lord Buddha, who is one of the ten Incarnations of Lord Narayana, said that the Vedas are Paurusheyas, which means that Vedas are spoken by a form i.e., Lord Brahma and hence cannot be the Word of God. But some have condemned Buddha and have insisted that Vedas came directly from God. Yes, it is true that the Vedas were told by God. But He did it through the medium of a form; not directly. God pervaded the entire divine body of Lord Brahma, and through that body the Vedas were told to the sages.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says that foolish people insult the medium of the human body because of their jealousy and ego (Avajananti…). The Veda says “Vedahametam…”, which means “I have recognized the Human Incarnation, who removes the darkness of ignorance and radiates the light of the special knowledge like a sun”. The Veda further says “Tamevam Vidvan…’, which means “He who recognizes such a Human Incarnation becomes liberated in this world itself (jivanmukta)”. The Veda further says “Nanyah panthah…” which means “There is no other way to experience God other than through the Human Incarnation”.


1 Ananta Padmanabha is the form of Lord Vishnu, resting on the bed of the thousand-headed cobra (Ananta) in the milk ocean in Vaikuntha Loka (highest heaven and abode of God).

2 The three heads of Datta also represent the three fundamental qualities, sattvam, rajas and tamas, each of which is predominant in the divine trinity (Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva) respectively.

3 Vision of the Vishwarupa or the Cosmic Form of God.

4 Dhritarashtra, the blind king is one of the characters in the great epic Mahabharata written by sage Vyasa. His blindness is also symbolic of his blind love for his cruel and unjust son, Duryodhana.

5 When the Lord incarnated as Krishna, His divine consort Radha incarnated as a milkmaid and was the epitome of selfless devotion.

6 Radha was made the queen of Goloka—a new heaven made by Lord Krishna especially for his exemplary devotees, the Gopikas (milkmaids) of Vrindavan, who served Him through the sacrifice of their wealth (butter). Goloka is even higher than the Lord’s own abode Vaikuntha. This shows His extreme pleasure with the Gopikas. Hanuman too served the Lord in the Lord’s Incarnation as Rama. Due to Hanuman’s excellent service, Lord Rama made Hanuman the Creator (Brahma) of the universe in the next cycle of creation.

7 The form of Lord Brahma, the Creator, is said to have four faces. Each of the four Vedas are said to have come from each of the four mouths of Lord Brahma.