Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 01 Jan 2004

     

NEW YEAR MESSAGE: Part-1

[Morning Discourse] Aim of human life: The aim of human life is to achieve God’s grace, which is the love of God. Even if you earn more money, you cannot carry it with you after death. Very little money is sufficient to eat and drink. Animals and birds manage to get that even without money. If your aim behind earning money is only eating, drinking and enjoying, you will be born as an animal, bird or worm in the next birth. If your file is opened in the upper world, you will definitely not get another human birth. Only when you serve the Lord in this world, when He comes in human form, can you get another human birth, without any enquiry. This is so that you can serve the Lord when the Lord reincarnates. You must recognize the Lord by His knowledge, because the Veda says that knowledge is Brahman. Mere miracles are not the signs to recognize the Lord since even demons can perform miracles. The Gita says that the Lord comes down in human form (Maanusheem tanum ashritam). It also says that it is very difficult to worship the Formless God (Avyaktahi). The Gita also says that if you worship an inert statue, you will be born as a stone (Bhutejya yanti bhutani).

Replace all worldly bonds with the sole bond with God and serve Him

So you must serve the Lord by doing practical service which consists of:

  1. Sacrifice of work (giving up your work, in order to work for God in His mission).
  2. Sacrifice of the fruit of your work (money) which is also a form of your work. The sacrifice must be to the full extent. When a beggar gives one rupee to the Lord, it is greater than one lakh (hundred thousand) given by a person who has lakhs of rupees, because the beggar has sacrificed all that he possessed.

The Lord wants you to have a single bond with Him and cut all the other bonds. The bond with one’s life is the strongest and only one in millions can sacrifice even his or her life for the sake of the Lord. Such sacrifice needs a lot of love accumulated over millions of births because everyone sacrifices everybody and everything to save one’s own life.

After one’s life, which is the next strongest bond? It is the bond with one’s children. Next is the bond with wealth or money. Everybody earns more and more wealth even by unfair means (breaking dharma or justice) only to give it to his or her children. Then how to break the bond with children? The bond with children is merged with the bond with money because the money [that we earn] is only for the sake our children. So if you can cut the bond with money, your bond with your children is broken. If the bond with the children is broken, all the bonds are broken except the bond with life. Therefore, the Lord competes with your money. The Lord says in Vishnu Puranam, “Yasya anugraham ichchami tasya vittam haramyaham”. It means that if the Lord wants to bless anybody with full salvation, He will take away his or her money completely. This means that when the bond with money is sacrificed, the bond with the children is definitely cut. If that highest bond is cut, all the other bonds will be cut. This is the full liberation from all the bonds, which is called complete salvation. In cutting the bond with money, you are returning Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth) to her husband, Lord Vishnu and not to the demon Ravana.

The Veda says, “Bhunjithah ma gridhah” which means that all this is the wealth of the Lord. Take the minimum needed. If you take extra, you are a thief, as Lord does not permit it. Therefore, return it back to the Lord. Indians never donate even a single penny for God’s work; they only donate their words (prayers) and mind (meditation). Even if they have earned enough to last ten generations, they will still keep working for the eleventh generation. But if you see foreigners (particularly westerners), they donate a lot for God’s work and ask even their children to live independently after a certain age. This is the reason why India suffers with poverty and the West is blessed with wealth. God blessed India with good language for their sacrifice of their words and with good knowledge for their sacrifice of mind. Swami Vivekananda wept looking at the sky asking the Lord, “Why does my country suffer with poverty in spite of so much of rich spiritual knowledge?”

Compare Dhritarashtra of the Mahabharata with the Gopikas of the Bhagavatam. Dhritarashtra could not cut the bond with money because of his blind bond with his children. For the sake of that blind bond, he was prepared to leave dharma [justice; also King Dharmaraja, who stood for justice] and the Lord (Lord Krishna). The Gopikas on the other hand, gave all their butter, which is their entire wealth, to the Lord alone, even without giving it to their children. They left money, children and also dharma (justice) for the sake of the Lord. In the beginning of the Bhagavatam, there is a verse which states that even the sage Vyasa was crying and running after his son Shuka. This shows how blind and strong the bond with children is. What is the use of the penance, sacrifices and the authorship of the eighteen puranas of sage Vyasa? He was defeated before the uneducated Gopikas. Therefore, sadhana means cutting the worldly bonds in real life—in practice—and not chanting hymns, doing penance, doing meditation, singing devotional songs, shedding pots of tears etc. All these are related to words and mind only, which are valueless. If you sell all these in the market, you will not even get a single rupee. Even if you give them free, people will reject them. Clever devotees say that the pure mind is for the pure Lord and the impure money is for the impure family!

The six chakras (wheels) in yoga stand for the six bonds, with mother, father, husband or wife, children, fraud preachers, and illusory deities. The seventh chakra is Sahasrara or intelligence, in which the Lord exists. The bond with the children called as the Anahata Chakra, is located in the heart which is inbetween the other six chakras. Anahata means that bond which cannot be cut. It is your bond with your children. The heart is the abode of all your love. Thus the bond with your children is the strongest. Jesus says that wherever your money is present, there your heart exists. This means that money is related to the heart and the heart is related to children. Jesus also says that unless you hate your mother and father, husband and wife, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters and even your own life, you cannot be the disciple of the Lord. Lord Datta is famous for cutting the bonds (Dattam chhinnam). But Lord Jesus goes one step ahead by asking you to even hate the bond. Why? Cutting the bond is zero. Hating the bond is minus. Minus is farther away from plus than zero. It means that when you cut the bond (zero), there may be possibility of formation of the bond again but if you hate it (minus), there is no reformation of the bond.

In olden days people used to give more importance to dharma (justice) than money. So the Lord used to compete with dharma, by asking whether or not the devotee chooses the Lord over dharma. For example, Dharmaraja did not tell a lie when he was fighting for getting back his lost kingdom in the battlefield of Mahabharata. He gave more importance to dharma (truthfulness) than money (kingdom). But today in this Kali Yuga[1] people are giving more importance to money than dharma. Therefore, the Lord competes with money and not with dharma because people have already left dharma for the sake of money.

Practical service alone brings God’s grace

When you recognize the Lord in human form, you must give more importance to His work than His personal service. If you do more personal service He will preach to you many times. But He will not give you even a single extra mark, when He evaluates your examination paper. All your exercises with words and mind (prayers, meditation etc.,) are only the year-wise academic courses. The practical sacrifice of your work and the fruit of your work is the final examination, by which alone you can get the grace of the Lord. The academic course must help you in writing the examination well. The examination tests how much of the knowledge you have digested and not how much you studied. What is the use of preaching to you several times, when the whole worldly ocean is present in you? All the matchsticks (of knowledge) lit will be put off. If you had a really dry piece of wood, one-match stick would have been enough to light it. What is the use of pressing the feet of the Sadguru a hundred times? It will only result in the pain of your hands. What is the use of the Sadguru preaching a hundred times? It will only result in the pain of His throat?

Krishna gave the highest place to the Gopikas. What is the reason? Is it because Gopikas left their husbands and danced with Krishna in Rasakeli in Vrindavanam? Was Krishna a fan of ladies? No, He has shown the actual reason by His hand, which holds butter[2]. That butter is the entire earning of the Gopikas. The Gopikas sacrificed all their earning to the Lord without even giving to their children. This shows that they had cut the highest bond, which is the bond with their children. Therefore, the sacrifice of money proves that all the worldly bonds are cut. The Veda says, “Dhanena tyagenaike amrutatvam anashuh” which means that sacrifice of money alone can prove one’s real love towards God. This was also told in the Gita as karmaphala tyaga, which is the sacrifice of the fruit of one’s work. This is the truth and the real essence of sadhana (spiritual effort).

You have shown real love towards your children by the sacrifice of work and the sacrifice of money for their sake. Bathing, dressing, taking the child to the school etc., comes under sacrifice of work (karma samnyasa). Paying their school fees, giving them food and giving them your property, are karmaphala tyaga. Both these put together are called karma yoga or service as per the Gita. This service is called kriya yoga. Kriya yoga does not mean the sacrifice of the mind in the name of meditation by closing your eyes. Kriya means the sacrifice of work or the fruit of the work (money). Money is also another form of work. Therefore, money is also called as kriya or work. After doing this service to your son, even if he does not serve you back and even if he insults you, you still give your property to him alone. This is real love. Are you showing such real love for God? [No!] When God does not respond to your prayers, you even throw away His picture! Suppose He starts giving you trouble, you will even break the picture. But remember one point that you may get another wife, another husband, or another child by adoption, but you cannot get another God.

God is our Protector in all the worlds

In the upper world, nobody except God can save you. God loves you without any selfish interest. All these family members love you for their selfish benefits since you are giving happiness to them. If you trouble them they will leave you. The Veda says the same, “Atmanah kamaya sarvam priyam bhavati”. You are using God as an instrument for the happiness of your family members! Is it not similar to that incident in which Kaushika used his own wife Sumati, to carry him to a prostitute? The prostitute loved Kaushika only for her selfish benefit and Sumati loved Kaushika without any selfish benefit. When God comes into the picture, He takes the place of Sumati (the selfless lover), and Sumati (your wife) takes the place of the prostitute (selfish lover) relatively.

After death one has to stay for ten days in Preta Loka (the world of the dead) and during this time the person is enquired by the Lord. For good results he goes to heaven and there he gets the divine nectar (Amritam) as food. For mixed results he goes to Pitru Loka[3] where he gets ‘somarasa’ (juice of the moon) as food. For bad results he goes to hell, where he is not allowed any food or drink.

Then what about the ceremonies performed after his death? These ceremonies done by the relatives of the dead person are the prayers to the Lord and the sacrifice of money to the most deserving divine person. The people who have done these two things when they were alive, need not worry about such ceremonies done by their children after their death. Shankara, Meera etc. did not have children to perform such ceremonies. It is better that you yourself work for your protection in the upper world. You are unable to do that while you are alive and therefore you are assigning that job to somebody else! After your death, your children do the ceremony only as a formality. They donate your money to undeserving fellows, who are just like tape recorders and chant scriptural hymns without knowing their meaning.

The Gita says “Uddhared aatmanaa atmanam”, which means that you should not depend on some other person to help you but that you should help yourself in the spiritual field. You have no right to donate the fruit of your work even to your wife if she is not spiritually inclined. The devotee Tukaram agreed to take his wife along with him in the divine airplane that had come to take him to the upper world. But the wife of Tukaram was more interested in washing the vessels and clothes and being busy in these worldly activities, could not catch the divine plane. Therefore, in the spiritual field, every one has his or her own account.

God’s guidance is necessary in social service

The Lord is present in the human body of the Incarnation. In the case of a devotee, both the Lord and the soul coexist in the human body. Therefore, a devotee may err sometimes because the soul in the body may not clearly understand everthing that the Lord says. You can see the difference in the utilization of the donated money by a committee of devotees [working on their own] and a committee of devotees guided directly by the Lord in human form. In the first case, a lot of money is wasted but in the second case the money is properly utilized. Therefore, it is better to participate in the service of the Lord in human form, than in the service conducted by a committee of devotees.

The inner divine form of the Lord is this world alone. The Veda says, “Vishvameva idam purushah. Vishvam Vishnuh”. Therefore, if you serve the world, you are serving the actual form of the Lord. You will not err in your service if you serve under the direction of the Lord. If you do social service without the association of the Lord in human form, you will only go to heaven, where you will enjoy for some time and return back as per the Gita (Ksheene punye). The Lord in human form also comes only to uplift all the people in this world. If you participate in His program, you are serving the world, which is the inner divine form of the Lord. All the people in the world deserve to receive the divine knowledge, which alone can give real devotion. Among these people, poor people deserve financial help also. It is just like providing boarding and lodging (hostel facilities) to the students who have come from out-of-town. But all the students, whether they are day-scholars or hostellers, have to attend the classes and all are taught equally.

Genuine signs to recognize God

As there are fraud devotees, there are also fraud Human Incarnations. The Veda and the Gita supported by the Shastras (logic) should be taken as the authorities in recognizing the real Human Incarnation. Shankara entered the house of Mandana Mishra even though the doors were bolted. Manadana Mishra was present in the house along with sages Vyasa and Jaimini and they were engaged in a ceremony. They did not praise Shankara for that miracle. If we had been in their place, we would have just fallen at the feet of Shankara praising Him as God! That is our present standard! But the sages and Mandana Mishra knew that even demons could perform miracles. Miracles are not the only signs of God. Mandana Mishra fell at the feet of Shankara and even left his house only after debating with Shankara for twenty-one days. In the debate, both Shankara and Mandana Mishra exposed their knowledge supported by the Vedas, the Gita and the Shastras. But the knowledge of Shankara alone gave bliss to the hearts of Vyasa, Jaimini and Mandana Mishra. All the three accepted Shankara as the Incarnation of Lord Shiva.

Therefore, the real sign of the Lord is the divine knowledge which is true and infinite and cannot be possessed by any other soul. Such special knowledge is called Prajnanam. The knowledge of the Lord alone gives bliss. Therefore, the true, infinite and special knowledge that gives bliss to the heart of anybody is the real sign of the Lord. The Veda says the same “Satyam jnanam anantam Brahma”, “Prajnanam Brahma”, “Anando Brahma”. The Lord possesses all the powers and uses them only whenever there is a real necessity. Shankara entered the house through the bolted doors because Mandana Mishra did not open the door in spite of His calls. The fraud Human Incarnations get some powers from God by doing penance and they exhibit these powers to attract people and they claim to be God. Demons have done this in the past and innocent people were fooled. But sages like Vyasa and Jaimini will never accept such demons as God.

God’s Human Incarnation alone is to be worshipped by humans

Upachara means a mode of worship, which gives happiness when it is done to others. It should not be done for your own happiness. The happiness comes only when you do this upachara, to a living being. Non-living objects like statues and pictures are meant only for vision [seeing and meditating or concentrating on them]. These statues and pictures are not even direct photographs of the Lord and they are completely imaginary. They are meant only for vision and subsequent meditation because you cannot meditate upon a formless object. But when the Human Incarnation is available to you to receive all your upacharas (service), what is the necessity of worshipping these inert objects? The Veda says, “Na tasya pratima asti” which means that the Lord is not present in the statues and pictures. Therefore, your service cannot give happiness to these inert objects. They are only representative images of God and you can use these objects just for meditation or vision and not at all for service (worship). The Gita seriously condemns the worship done to these statues and pictures by saying that the worshipper of statues and pictures will be reborn as an inert object. The Gita also says that if you worship the Human Incarnation you will get the human birth again (Yanti mat yajino’pimam). The Human Incarnation comes in every human generation because God is impartial to all generations. The Gita says, “Sambhavami yuge yuge” which means that He comes in human form in every generation. The word Yuga here means a human generation. The word Yuga is also used in this sense by us everyday. People say to the youngsters, “This is your yuga”, which means that this is their generation.

True meaning of yajna

The Veda says that food should not be wasted (Annam na parichaksheeta). The sacrifice or yajna (sacred fire-ritual)[4] is only meant to feed the guest, who is a deserving person and is like fire. The Veda says that the guest is the fire (Vaishvanaro brahmanah pravishati atithih). The word ‘agni’ (fire) comes from ‘agri’ which means that the guest should be fed first. The Gita says that the deity of the fire called as Vaishvanara, lives as the fire of hunger in the stomach. Therefore, feeding the hungry guest is the real yajna. Such a guest contains all the deities in him and so by feeding such a guest all the deities are satisfied. The Veda says the same, “Yavateer vai devatah”. In the Bhagavatam, Kapila, the Incarnation of Lord Vishnu, told his mother that only a fool burns food by putting it in the fire in the name of yajna. Krishna went to a yajna and asked the wives of the sages, who were performing the yajna, to give Him the food that was prepared to be burnt in the yajna, since He was hungry. He ate that food preaching to them that feeding a hungry deserving person is the real Yajna. Krishna, the Protector of the Dharma of the Vedas would never disturb the real sense of yajna, if it were otherwise. He also discouraged the yajna that was being conducted to worship a deity called Indra.

Similarly, you are burning oil or ghee, which is food, to light an oil lamp before God. In the olden days there was no other alternative than to light the oil lamp. In such a situation people prayed to the lamp with a divine feeling. But now electric lights are present and electricity is considered as more valuable than the physical form of fire. There are three forms of fire:

  1. Loukikagni (physical form of fire)
  2. Vaidyutagni (electric form of fire)
  3. Vaishvanaraagni (deity-form of fire).

They are in increasing order of value. So when you have the electric light why should you light the oil lamp, which is the physical form? The Veda says that no fire can shine before the Lord (Kuto’yamagnih). The Gita says the same “Na pavakah”. So you are burning food which is a form of Dhanya Lakshmi (the Goddess of wealth in the form of food)? By doing such acts how can you get wealth i.e., Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth)?

In the Veda no other upachara is mentioned except the yajna and yajna means the preparation of food and feeding the guest. The physical fire lit in a yajna, is only an instrument, like a stove, to prepare the food. That physical fire is not meant for worship. The fire that is to be worshipped is the deity-form that is present in the form of the hunger present in the stomach of a deserving human guest. Therefore, you should not waste food by burning it, in such acts which are against the Veda. Such sinful acts only increase the pollution of the environment and cause the greenhouse effect leading to and stopping of the rains[5].

Sacrifice of wealth must be done to a deserving recipient

You must sacrifice your wealth only to a deserving person like Sai Baba or any other Human Incarnation of the Lord. If you waste food and money in the name of worshipping inert objects, you will get a lot of sin. Even if you donate to an undeserving person, you will get a lot of sin as told by Vidura in the Mahabharata. The present priests are just like tape- recorders that can only recite the Vedas. In olden days the Vedas were protected by the system of recitation when there was no printing[6]. Now what is the use of mere recitation without knowing or preaching the meaning? The word Veda itself means knowledge. Such priests who only recite are called as divine animals by the Veda (Devanam pashurahah). The Veda laughs at such priests, who appear divine by their external appearance, but they are considered as animals since they do not know the meaning of the Veda and therefore, they can never practice [practically follow]. The original tradition of the sages consisted of knowing and practicing the real meaning of the Veda but the middle age-scholars have twisted everything due to their ignorance because they never cared to know the meaning of the Vedas. The ancient scholars not only recited but also knew the meaning of the Vedas.

Today people are following the majority like sheep in this blind tradition. In the spiritual field, the majority goes to hell and only one in millions goes to God as said in the Gita, “Manushyanaam sahasreshu”. There is only one Shankara or one Meera. Jesus also said that the path leading to Him is very narrow and only a few people travel on it. You should serve the Lord in human form without aspiring for any fruit in return. That little service yields infinite fruit. That infinite fruit can be converted into wealth and can be given to you here itself. But you will be spoiled by such immense wealth. Therefore, in this world, the Lord gives you, only whatever is needed. Let all the infinite fruit be reserved for the upper world, where your wealth cannot do anything. Have faith in the Lord and He will do the best for you.

Priests and astrologers cannot change your karma

Do not yield and fall into the trap of the present priests and astrologers. The present priests sacrifice their words by chanting some hymns to different statues and make you spend some money in unnecessary things like wasting food by lighting lamps, burning camphor etc., which will only cause pollution. They are only selling their words for money. The Lord is not present in these statues and they are meant only for vision and meditation. The Veda says the same, “Drashtavyah”, “Nedam tat”. The priest should explain the meaning of the Vedic hymns and he must generate divine knowledge and devotion in you. Then alone is He the real Sadguru to whom you can sacrifice any amount of money as Guru dakshina. You are misled by ignorant people on to the false path, which gives no result to you.

Similarly, the astrologers predict the future through the planets. The priests are collaborating with the astrologers. It is a joint business. The astrologers advise you to perform a particular worship to remove your problems. The problems [that you are facing in life] are the results of your sins. They are punishments that have been ordered by the Divine Judge and are being implemented by the executive officials, which are the planets [This refers to the deities e.g. Sun-God, Moon-God, Jupiter etc. The physical planets that we see are only used to represent these invisible deities]. Even the sun (Sun-God), who is the leader of the planets, does his job due to the fear of the Lord as said in the Veda, “Bhishodeti Suryah”. When the judgment is already given by the judge, can the policeman or the jailor deviate from the judicial order? Even in the planets, the power of the Lord alone exists and if the planet deviates, it would mean that the Lord has deviated!

Even if you recognize the Lord and pester Him for some boons, He will push your present problems to the later part of this birth or a future birth with added interest. You cannot flatter the judge and alter the judgment. Accept the judgment and undergo the punishment. Never ask the Lord to change it. Serve the Lord in human form without asking for any fruit. When you have such real love, the Lord in human form will transfer the results of your sins to Himself and He will suffer for your sake without your knowledge. If you know that He is suffering for your sake, you will never agree to it, because you have real love for Him. Do not think that with the help of astrologers and priests you can get the results of good deeds, which you have not done. If you pester the Lord, He will prepone the results of some of your good deeds that had been arranged in the life cycle of your future birth and give it to you right now. This is like the premature encashment of a deposit, which results in a loss in value. i.e., the good result that you get will be reduced in intensity, which is a loss in value. Also by such rearrangements, your future birth will be full of problems with the added interests of postponed bad results and is devoid of any result of good deeds. You will weep with problems from birth to death in your future birth and you will scold God because you will not know that such a situation was brought onto you only due to your foolishness in your previous birth.

The bond with God is permanent; family is temporary

Therefore, the essence of My message is only one thing. Recognize the Lord in human form with the help of the scriptures and prove your love for Him practically by doing service, while trying to cut the bonds with your family members. The bonds with your family are only dramatic bonds and will vanish after death. When Arjuna went to heaven along with Krishna, to see his recently dead son Abhimanyu, Abhimanyu asked Arjuna, “Who are you?” Arjuna replied, “I am your father”. Abhimanyu replied, “I have passed through millions of births. In which birth were you my father”? Ashtavakra, the preacher of king Janaka says in the Ashtavakra Samhita that the mother and the son in this birth are born as the wife and husband in the next birth! The meaning of this verse is that two film actors may act as mother and son in one film and the same two actors may act as husband and wife in another film. They are neither mother and son nor wife and husband either before or after the shooting of the film. Shankara says “Yadanityam tat kritakamhiloke” which means “That which is temporary is also unreal”. These bonds are temporary as they exist only during the shooting of the film. Even during the shooting of the film, the actors are not actually mother and son or wife and husband. Therefore, these bonds are completely unreal. That is the reason why Shankara left His mother for the sake of God. The only real and permanent bond that each actor has is the employer-employee relationship with the producer and director of these films. For a soul, the only real bond is that with God.

Realize that real and permanent bond with the Lord and prove it when He comes in human form in your generation. The past is past. Open your third eye of the knowledge at least in this year because the wheel of the time will not stop for you. At least catch God in human form and become His servant to get a human rebirth. Otherwise, if your file of deeds is opened in the upper world, you will be thrown into the cycle of animals and birds forever. As you work to provide for your old age [in this birth], try to serve the Lord in human form for the sake of your next birth. If you are a servant of the Lord, your file of deeds will not be opened in the upper world and you will take rest in the upper divine world along with the Lord. You will follow Him as a human being to serve Him when he reincarnates in this world. You will have all the facilities that the Lord has. During birth and death you will have no agony and during your lifetime too you will have infinite bliss. These are the facilities of the Lord in His Incarnations. As His servant, you will have the same facilities forever.

The meaning of salvation

Salvation does not mean you dissappearing and dissolving in the Lord like a water drop merging in the sea. Salvation means liberation from these worldly human births, which have agony in birth and death, and also worries during the lifetime. Salvation means entering divine life cycles as the servant of the Lord keeping your identity without dissolution. As the Lord is entertained by this creation, you are also equally entertained. The Veda says that He created this world for entertainment (Ekaki na ramate). Therefore, salvation means neither dissolution of the world nor dissolution of yourself in the Lord. Salvation means eternal entertainment in divine life cycles following the Lord, having all the facilities of the Lord and enjoying just like the Lord, but keeping in mind that you are always the servant of the Lord. Dancing with a pot on the head is not possible for any ordinary human being. It is possible only for a talented dancer. An ordinary human being can either dance [without a pot] or stand in one place with the pot on his head; not both simultaneously. Similarly, an ordinary human being cannot concentrate on God while attending to his duties. He can either concentrate on God or do his duties. Only a liberated soul (siddha) can concentrate on God while doing the duties. Which of the following three options is the best?

  1. Concentrate on God always, without doing any duty.
  2. Only do your duties without any concentration on God.
  3. Concentrate on God for some time and concentrate on your duties for sometime.

The second option is the best, since in that option the whole or a part of the fruit of all your work can be sacrificed for the sake of God. Hanuman, as per the Valmiki Ramayana, never did any prayers, meditation etc., (sacrifice of words and mind). He always participated in the work of the Lord alone. Sugriva was near Rama, doing His personal service, while Hanuman was away from Rama doing the work of the Lord, which involved searching for Sita, killing Ravana and serving the world. Since the world is the inner divine form of Rama, your participation in the work of the Lord to uplift the world, is the best service. The external human body called Rama is not eternal whereas this world is eternal. Rama embraced Hanuman and not Sugriva. Keep Hanuman as your example always. He recognized the Human Incarnation and participated in His service alone and got the highest fruit by becoming the future creator.

You should not follow the example of Radha because She became fully mad and was unable to do any worldly work. You cannot attain such madness by your efforts. Therefore, only Hanuman is the real guide for you, since he did not become mad like Radha. Both achieved the highest result equally. Both Hanuman and Radha recognized the Human Incarnations present in their times and both never worshipped any previous Incarnations or statues.

The Gita says, “Jnanaat dhyanam vishishyate, dhyanaat karmaphala tyagah” which means that devotion is greater than knowledge and service (sacrifice of the fruit of your work) is greater than devotion. The knowledge of the Lord produces devotion and service is the proof of the devotion. Shankara, Ramanuja and Madhva preached these three gradual steps one after the other. Rukmini came to know about Krishna from Narada (knowledge) and then loved Krishna (devotion). By devotion she attained Krishna [got married to Him]. The Gita says that Lord is attained by devotion (Bhaktya tvananyaya). After achieving the Lord, she pressed His divine feet, which is the service.

The Veda says, “Yat sakshat aparokshat Brahma” which means that the unimaginable Brahman is always present in every generation in human form. The salvation achieved here (jeevan mukti) alone continues after death (videha mukti). Whatever you have achieved here that alone continues after death. If you do not become a servant of the Lord here and do not associate with Him here, you can never associate with Him there also. You will lose the opportunity of getting the next human birth and this is a permanent loss as said in the Veda, “Ihachet avedeet”. When the hunter Kannappa, offered the flesh of a rabbit to Lord Shiva, the Lord gave salvation to him, ignoring even the sin in his hunting because the hunter did not give that flesh (fruit of his work) to himself or his family. Such is the greatness of the sacrifice of the fruit of one’s work, which is repeatedly emphasized in the Gita as karma phala tyaga. This is the real fire-test for your real love for God and your real color comes out there alone.

Only when you develop a new bond with the Human Incarnation, are the family bonds automatically broken. When you taste divine nectar, the bonds with all other drinks here are automatically broken. Samsara means your limited family alone and not this entire world. Samsara means the bonds, which have entered your mind deeply. So crossing samsara does not mean leaving the world. It only means leaving your family for the sake of the entire world. The bonds with your family can be broken only with the divine bond with the Lord in human form and not by the bond with formless God or statues. The human form alone can compete with the bonds with human beings here.

Priests to become Sadgurus

Participate in the propagation of the knowledge since knowledge is required as the basic step to achieve anything and to choose the right path. The Gita says, “Jnana yajnena tenaham” which means that the Lord is pleased only by the propagation of knowledge and not by any other rituals. Let the priests not be angry with Me since I am teaching the true meaning of the worship of statues and of their rituals. The priests are just reciting the Veda and acting like a compounder [a person who mixes and dispenses medicines] working under a doctor. When a compounder claims to be the doctor, he collects Rs.10/- as his fees and prescribes medicines worth Rs.100/-. The patient is not cured and is attacked by more diseases since the compounder is not a qualified doctor. The patient has spent Rs. 110/-. I pity the fate of these patients. I request these priests to become Sadgurus. I mean, let the compounder become a qualified doctor. Let that doctor collect Rs. 100/- as fees and prescribe a medicine of just Rs.2/- by which the disease is completely cured. The patient is cured of his disease by spending just Rs.102/-. The priest should become the Sadguru and preach to the people who attend the temples or do rituals. Let the people become strong devotees by the preaching of divine knowledge. I am worried about the public, who should get the real fruit. The present priests, who are just tape recorders and merely recite the Veda, are making the devotees spend a lot in unnecessary items like lighting the lamp, burning camphor, breaking the coconuts etc., which are not at all mentioned in the Veda. The Veda is the source for the entire Dharma, and not the Puranas. The Veda was protected by recitation in the olden days and so interpolations were not possible. However, several verses were interpolated in the Puranas in course of time. Therefore, whatever is said in the Veda alone is valid and if the Purana says anything extra, it cannot be valid as per the statement, “Shruti smriti virodhetu….

Action that does not bind

The Gita says that karma (work) cannot bind you if the fruit of that karma is sacrificed to the Lord and is not taken for yourself or for your family. The same work binds you when it is done with selfishness, which means that you aspire for the fruit of that karma for yourself, or for your limited family. When the fruit is sacrificed, even if the karma is done it is karma not at all. The Gita says this as “Karmanyakarma yah pashyet”. This means that inaction is present in the action. When you aspire for the fruit of the work with selfishness, then even if you have not done the karma you are treated as if you have done the karma and you will receive its result. The Gita expresses this as, “Akarmanicha karmayah”. When the evil Ravana kidnapped Sita, there was contact of her body with Ravana’s body. But Sita did not aspire for the fruit of that karma [the action of touching Ravana’s body]. She never wanted to embrace Ravana. Since she did not aspire for the fruit, the sinful karma was treated as akarma [inaction; or an action that did not take place] and Agni (Fire-God) told Rama that she was sinless and pure. When Renuka went to the river Narmada, she saw a person called Chitraratha who was taking bath with his wives. She saw that person and her mind was attracted to him and she aspired for some happiness from him. Actually she did not even touch Chitraratha. There was no karma done here. But she was mentally aspiring for the fruit of that karma. Therefore, she was treated as if she had done that sinful karma and was punished by Parushurama. Therefore, when you do not aspire for the fruit of the work, that work cannot touch you even if it is sinful. The hunter killed a rabbit and killing harmless animals is the highest sinful action. But he offered the flesh of that rabbit to Lord Shiva. He did not kill the rabbit to eat its flesh or to give that flesh to his family. There was no selfishness in his action. Lord Shiva gave him salvation and that sinful karma could have no [bad] effect and its [bad] result was not given to the hunter. Therefore, if you sacrifice the fruit of your work, for the sake of God’s mission, such work cannot bind you however sinful it may be. This is the wonderful clue given in the Gita by Lord Krishna.

Karma yoga means always doing work and sacrificing its fruit to the Lord. Such practical sacrifice alone can prove your real love. Your meditation, prayers etc., are related only to your words and mind, which are the most valueless items. Therefore, the Lord said that the sacrifice of the fruit of work is the best and for that, one always has to keep doing work. Compared to this (karma yoga), even knowledge and devotion are thrown away by the Lord in the Gita [even knowledge and devotion are of lower value than karma yoga].

Swami’s Wish for the New Year

This New Year, Swami wishes the following:

Let the saints (monks, samnyasis) sacrifice their complete work for the sake of God (karma samnyasa). Let the householders sacrifice a part of their work and a part of the fruit of their work (karma phala tyaga). Let all participate practically by doing karma yoga or seva (service), which consists of karma samnyasa and karma phala tyaga in the propagation of this divine knowledge. Let temples become centers for the development of divine knowledge and devotion to the Lord and not business centers to fulfill the desires of the people. Let the priests become scholars in Sanskrit and preach the knowledge of the Vedas, Gita and the shastras to the public in temples and while performing rituals. Let the priests not just act as tape recorders by recitation of the Veda without knowing the divine treasure of its knowledge, since the Veda means knowledge alone. Let Indians stop the sacrifice of words by prayers and the sacrifice of mind by meditation and devotion because much has been done in these two lines already. They are mere pickles without the central rice. Let all Indians learn practical sacrifice by doing karma yoga and prove their real devotion to the Lord by following the foreigners and let the Lord bless India with immense wealth and prosperity by this.

Permanent devotion

[Evening Discourse] As per the Vishnu Purana, Bhagavan means God who preaches both pravritti and nivritti. Pravritti means knowing the way to behave with fellow human beings for maintaining world peace. Nivritti means knowing the way to reach God. The love for human beings gained in pravritti will help you love the human form of God without any repulsion. Your devotion to the Lord in human form should be permanent and should remain at the same level throughout your life. The devotion should have longevity. What is the use of all the merits of the bridegroom if he does not have longevity? Do not laugh at the old people of the previous generation, who are innocent while you are worldly-wise. Remember that they are very near to God due to their innocence. All wisdom fails before God and He only loves innocence. The easiest way to be near God is to get deceived by others and not to deceive others. God will always be by the side of the deceived person.

The Incarnation shows human characteristics

The Human Incarnation remains only as a human being at all times except in cases of emergency. The lightbulb normally remains without electric current and the current flows through it only when it is lit. As a human being, He will always undergo suffering for the sins of His devotees and this is the main purpose of His coming in human form. He undergoes the pains as an ordinary human being and thereby justice is done to theory of karma (every action must yield a proportionate result). The Human Incarnation is Datta (‘given’) to the devotees mainly for this purpose. When the human form of God preaches knowledge, He is like a thousand-watt bulb. When He taught Arjuna in the battlefield or when He taught the Kauravas as a messenger, He showed His Vishwarupam which is His full potential state. When He performs miracles, He is only a zero-watt bulb since He even created this entire world just by His will. Therefore, do not think that He is in a greater excited state when He performs miracles. The fully excited state is that in which He preaches divine knowledge. When He incarnates as a human being in this world, His body will have a usual birth and death. His body also consists of the usual five elements and the usual three qualities, which are sattvam (goodness), rajas and tamas (badness). Even Rama, considered as an embodiment of sattvam showed anger (rajas) on Jabali and ran after the golden deer for the sake of Sita (tamas). The Human Incarnation also exhibits bad qualities to test the devotees for their firmness in recognizing Him.

Steps in developing devotion for God

Try to love the Lord rather than respect or fear for Him. You are respecting your parents with fear because they have already spent a lot of wealth on you and you expect them to give their property to you. But you love your children and not respect them. This is because you are spending a lot of money on them and you are going to give your property to them. You respect and fear the Lord since you are expecting some benefit from the Lord. You never give anything to the Lord and so you do not love Him. The Lord creates the Human Incarnation for your sake, to give you the fortune of His vision, touch, conversation and living with Him. You ignore His most wonderful creation and worship inert statues and pictures, which are imaginary forms that are prepared by other human beings. You are not accepting the Human Incarnation since He is in human form like yourself. Likes always repel each other. You are therefore trained to worship statues and pictures, which are always in human form. By such worship you are expected to get rid of your repulsion from the human form. Slowly, you are made to worship the statues in temples in which life has been initiated (by the ritual of prana pratishta). [The concept behind this is that] The inert human form of the statue, combined with the initiation of life, is equated to a living human being. This is a slow training to develop the worship of the human form of God. The Lord is never in inert objects as said in the Veda (Natasya pratima asti). Neither is the inert object the Lord nor is the Lord in the inert object. The Lord is not even touching this Universe [He is beyond it]. Therefore, no living being or inert object is the Lord as told in the Veda (Neti neti). The Gita says that the Lord is not in the world (Natvaham teshu). The Gita also says that the world is in God and also that the world is not in God (Mat sthani sarva bhutani, Nacha mat sthani). This means that the man is in the cot but the man has not penetrated into the cot. Similarly, the world is in God but the world has not penetrated into God and neither has God pentrated into the world. God is only the base of the world like the cot. God penetrates into a certain human body and that human body enters into the world as said in the Veda, “Tadevanupravisat”. Such a human body is the Human Incarnation, which enters the world. Therefore, God enters the world only through a human form. God did not enter every human form or every inert object. Even though God is the base of the world, the world does not touch Him as the man touches the cot.

An example is the case of a daydreamer. A city imagined by him exists in him and he is the base for that city. Even if the city and the people in that city burn, the daydreamer is not burnt. Thus, the world is based on God but the changes in the world cannot affect Him. Neither the changes in the inert objects nor the changes in the human beings can affect God. Hence, no inert object or human being can be God and neither does God exist in them. They are all based on God and are not present in God. Therefore, you can worship a statue or a human being as a representative of God (prateeka). The Veda recommends the worship the sun as God (Adityam Brahmeti). Again the Veda says that the sun is not God (Nedam tat). Neither is God in the sun nor is the sun in God. The sun is based on God. You can meditate upon the sun, who is a representative of God. The similarity here is that God shines like the sun. Due to this similarity, the sun is taken as a representative object to indicate God. Similarly, you can treat a human being as a representative of God because God also comes down in a similar human form.

In pravritti (path of worldy life) you are advised to love all human beings so that you can love God in human form later on in nivritti (path of spiritual life). In nivritti you have to leave all other human beings and concentrate your love only on that Human Incarnation. The initial love for all the human beings that you had developed in pravritti, should be withdrawn in nivritti and it should be concentrated on the human form of God alone. You respect monkeys since Hanuman is in that form. If you start laughing and mocking at monkeys, you might also laugh and mock when you see Hanuman. This does not mean that you should worship every monkey as Hanuman. The worship should be limited only to that particular monkey called Hanuman.

Atri and Anasuya adopted Datta. This means that the human form of God (Datta) can be achieved only by a devotee, who (1) gets rid of the three types of ego (sattvika, rajasa and tamasa) i.e., Atri and (2) who gets rid of jealousy (asuya) i.e. Anasuya. The pride of knowledge, the pride of the physical power of the body and the pride of the body itself are the three types of ego respectively. You must always try to understand the inner meaning. Datta is the son of sage Atri and Anasuya and this is only a story for children, who are in the initial stage and cannot understand the inner sense.

 

(To be Continued...)


[1] Kali Yuga can be understood as the present Dark Age of Materialism. It is the last of the four Epochs or Ages, which keep repeating cyclically.

[2] Krishna is often portrayed as a child with a lump of butter in His hand.

[3] Pitru Loka is the world of ancestors.

[4] The yajna or the Vedic fire-ritual is commonly conducted by pouring food materials including ghee (clarified butter) into the ritual fire accompanied by the chanting of Vedic hymns by the priest. This common practice leading to the wastage of food results from is a misunderstanding of the word ‘agni’ (fire) in Sanskrit.

[5] In the event of a drought, people conduct yajnas to appease the god of rain. However, Swami is indicating that such burning of food in the name of yajna will have the opposite effect.

[6] The sages, who received the Vedas from the Lord, codified the Vedic knowledge into hymns. Each hymn was recited in one of several poetic meters (chandas) and a tune (swaras).  The entire Vedas were memorized and taught from teacher to student starting from the original sages. The Vedas would be recited with phenomenal accuracy (in the proper tune and meter) regularly by thousands of Brahmins spread out all over the country. This ensured that no verses or words could be inserted into or deleted from the Vedas. Any insertions or deletions can be immediately caught, since there would be a discrepancy between the recitations by different Brahmins from different parts of the country, who would keep meeting regularly for scholarly discussions. On the other hand, scriptures written on palm-leaf manuscripts could be (and have been) easily altered by tyrannical kings or selfish Brahmins, to suit their own selfish interests. This is because, there were very few copies of these manuscripts in olden days, before the advent of printing technology.  Any changes made in those few existing copies would lead to a permanent change in the scripture.