Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 22 Jul 2005

     

GURU POURNIMA

The word Guru means Removal of Ignorance, which is like darkness. The letter ‘Gu’ indicates ‘darkness’ and the letter ‘Ru’ indicates its removal. This darkness is not in a physical sense, which can be removed by sunlight. Some people worship the sun as Guru. But it is not correct because the sun is only an inert globe and can only remove the the physical darkness. Removal of darkness by the sun is the best simile or an example or a representative model of the concept. You should not think that the model itself is the concept. The concept is removal of ignorance by the Lord who comes in the form of a spiritual preacher called as ‘Sadguru’. When you are in a state of unawareness of a concept, such a state is called as ignorance (Ajnana). Now when you are aware of the concept, the knowledge (Jnana) has come to you. Any Guru (preacher) can remove ignorance and can give the knowledge of a concept. But only Sadguru, who is the Lord in human form, can show the correct concept by discrimination and logical analysis (Vijnana). This correct concept is the final conclusion (Prajnana). Therefore, Guru is one who gives Jnana by removing Ajnana.

Suppose you are ignorant of the knowledge of physics. The Guru removes your ignorance by giving the knowledge of physics. This knowledge of physics is Jnana, which can be called as Bhowtika Shastra Jnana. Like this there are several forms of knowledge, which are related to this world and all these forms can be called as knowledge. Therefore, you can call your physics teacher also as your Guru. The knowledge of this world can give you food, money and comforts in this world. But this knowledge cannot save you after death, which you will fully realize in the last minutes of your life. The knowledge, which can save you forever, is the best knowledge and that is called as ‘Prajnana’. The suffix ‘Pra’ means best. This Prajnana is the divine knowledge and is also called as ‘Brahma Jnana’. In the name of Prajnana again there are several wrong and misleading concepts. You have to separate them. In Prajnana again there are several steps and you should not sit on the lower step thinking that it is the final step. The true spiritual knowledge must be filtered from all the impurities and the various steps in the pure spiritual knowledge should also be realized. All this is possible only by the logical analysis (Yukti), which does not contradict the experience of realized souls (Anubhava) and which follows the word of God (Veda) and its following texts written by the sages (Smriti). All this process is called Vijnana and the final conclusions are called Prajnana. Vijnana and Prajnana are possible only with the help of Sadguru.

Knowledge, love and bliss are the qualities of awareness. Wherever these three are present, awareness must be present. But the reverse is not true. Wherever the awareness is present these three need not exist. Wherever a gold chain is present, gold must exist there. But wherever gold exists, the chain need not exist there. Therefore, you should not call mere awareness as the Lord (Brahman) because an animal having mere awareness need not have these three qualities. Even all men do not have these qualities. Only the Lord in human form has these three qualities, which are infinitely intensive [in infinite intensity].

Today we should remember the three divine spiritual preachers, who are Shankara, Ramanuja and Madhva. Sage Vyasa is like Brahman where as these three preachers are like Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The three-faced Datta represents Sage Vyasa with the faces of these three spiritual preachers. In fact Vyasa is Datta because He is given in human form to this world from whom the ocean of Vijnana flowed, and gave the divine nectar (Prajnana), on being churning by these three preachers. The basic tortoise, the golden hill (Meru) and the king of serpents (Adishesha) are the churning instruments. The hill is Shankara, the serpent is Ramanuja and the tortoise is Madhva. [This refers to the mythological story of the churning of the Milk Ocean by the gods and demons, where the tortoise was the pivot, Hill Meru was the stirrer, and the Snake Vasuki was the belt that was pulled to and fro to churn the ocean. The Divine Nectar, Amritam, was one of products of the churning process]. Today we remember Vyasa with the faces of these three preachers means that we remember Lord Datta with the faces of the three divine forms. Datta is Brahman. Madhva is Brahma. Ramanuja is Vishnu. Shankara is Shiva.

Shankara preached the knowledge of self. Self is pure awareness. Self is the common item in all living beings. This self is called as the casual body. Thus in this world-drama all roles are basically just actors or souls. In every role, the actor is present. Similarly in every living being the soul is present. This relationship between souls is the relationship between co-actors that existed before the drama and will exist even after the drama. This co-actor relationship or the relationship between souls is real compared to the relationships between external subtle and gross bodies. The subtle body is made of feelings, which are like actions and dialogues in the drama. The gross bodies are like the external dresses. Both the subtle bodies and gross bodies are unreal compared to the casual body. Again between the gross bodies and subtle bodies, the subtle bodies are more realistic because even after the drama one may carry on the feelings and dialogues to his home; but not the dress. Similarly the gross body is left over here [at the time of death] and the subtle body goes out. Some scholars are able to destroy this subtle body also and remain as souls.

Once you get rid of the illusion of the gross and subtle bodies, and remain only as a soul, justice can be established in this world. The relationship between the dress-roles or gross bodies is in terms of family bonds, relation bonds, caste bonds, nationality bonds and religion bonds. If one realizes all living beings are only co-actors (souls), all the above bonds vanish physically and mentally. The physical bond disappears when the gross body is destroyed here. But the mental bond continues with the soul and that is destroyed when the subtle body is destroyed. Thus realization of these false bonds and realisation of the only true bond in this world, which is the bond between souls as co-actors is self-knowledge established by Shankara.

When the family bonds disappear, one will not torture or kill another person for wealth to be earned for his family members. The bond with this physical body is the bond with the external dress in the drama. When one realizes the blind attraction to his body and to his family members, corruption will disappear in this world. Valmiki was a robber in the forest and would rob the wealth of travellers. One day sage Narada came and asked him whether his family members would share his sin. Valmiki went and asked his family members about this point. They refused to share his sin. In fact even if they had agreed to share, the sin cannot be shared according to the rules of karma, because Valmiki was doing the sin based on his blind attraction towards them. They never asked him to do the sin in order to provide them with comforts. No family asks anybody to do this. Therefore, this spiritual knowledge alone can transform people and corruption can be permanently removed. Fear of courts and police in this world, can never control sin because people very easily find alternative ways [of avoiding getting caught by the police]. Fear of hell is also unable to control sin because the blind attraction is more powerful than the fear. The only way to remove this blind attraction and eradicate sin from this world is to divert that very blind attraction towards God. When the attraction is fixed on the Lord and the reality of family bonds is known, the sin is controlled.

Similarly, the attraction to one’s nation in terms of devotion to the motherland is again a false bond. This entire earth belongs to the Lord. Different sons are living in different rooms according to their convenience and the whole house belongs to the father. If this truth is realized, wars between countries for the sake of national boundaries will disappear. For the foolishness of the leader of a country, several human lives are lost in a war. Human life is very precious because human life is meant for spiritual realisation and this realisation must stop even suicides.

Similarly, the bonds with one’s religion are leading to genocides and if you realise the concept of one God and the concept of souls as co-actors, all this also looks false and foolish. The realisation of the producer and the director of the drama who is the Lord and the employer of all the actors is called as the knowledge of the Lord (Brahma Jnana). When self-realisation (Atma Jnana) is achieved, the excess blind attractions are at least controlled, leading to the establishment of the justice in this world. This is called as Pravritti and God is pleased with you for this. But inspite of doing so, you are still an outsider because you have not entered Nivritti, which is his inner circle. But still the Lord is pleased with you though you are in Pravritti.

Nivritti means the introduction of producer and director of the drama who has also entered into the drama in a role. When you shift the attraction from the family and other bonds towards the Lord, you are entering into inner circle or Nivritti. The reduction of the excessive strength of the bond in Pravritti, is achieved by self-realisation (Atma Jnana). When the bond disappears completely, it is Brahma Jnana or Realisation of the Lord or Nivritti. Shankara propagated self-realisation and thus established justice in the world. Self-realisation is very easy because the self is present in every human being. There is no difficulty in searching the Self, whereas there is a lot of difficulty in searching the Lord in human form (Brahma Jnana). There is no risk in the search of the self because you are sure to reach the self within your body. It is like searching money present in your own house. But in the search of the Lord in human form in this world, you may be misled and you cannot be sure that you will catch the human incarnation. Jealousy and egoism will not come in the way of reaching the self but these two are obstructions in the way of identifying the human incarnation.

Ramanuja established the Brahma Jnana by introducing Lord Vishnu as God and Lord Krishna and Rama as His human incarnations. Ramanuja established devotion that is necessary for Nivritti, where as Shankara established justice in Pravritti. After reaching the goal in Nivritti, the duty of the devotee is to do service to the Lord without aspiring for anything in return. Madhva established this service.

Nivritti means cutting all the worldly bonds and having the strongest bond with the Lord. This is like getting cent per cent in the examination. Pravritti is to reduce the extra strength of the worldly bonds so that justice is established in Pravritti and thus the Lord is pleased. You may be pleased with an outsider and you may be pleased with your wife. But there is a huge difference between the two. The same difference is there when the Lord is pleased with you in Pravritti, when you follow justice by reducing the extra strength of worldly bonds and when the Lord is pleased with you in Nivritti when you cut all the worldly bonds for the sake of the Lord. Everybody has equal possibility to reach Nivritti even though only one person in millions and that too in one birth out of millions of births, can reach Nivritti. Only one can get the gold medal in the class but every student can try since there is an equal possibility to achieve it. Therefore Nivritti must be explained to all as final goal.

Let everybody try for Nivritti so that they will at least succeed in Pravritti. If everybody tries for the gold medal by getting cent per cent, at least everybody will pass. If you teach only Pravritti and keep it as the goal, then everybody fails. If you keep 40 per cent (passing marks) as the goal, every student will fail. If you try to completely destroy the worldly bonds and try to have only one bond with the Lord, at least you will reduce the strength of worldly bonds and you have at least a thin bond with the Lord. This is the passing mark. The scriptures of Jainism and Buddhism preach only ethical rules and living for justice without mentioning the name of God. In this level the only fear that one has in doing sins is from courts and the police. He tries to escape punishment from the courts and the police by bribery and thus he fails to succeed in Pravritti. Since there is no mention of God, there is no question of pleasing God.

If you see the scripture of Islam, it mentions God (Allah) and eternal hell. At least the fear of hell controls the sins. But the blind attraction for the worldly bonds is so intense that it overcomes this fear too, and so people continue to do sins. If you see scriptures of the Bible and the Gita, Nivritti is exposed very well. Bible says that you have to hate all these worldly bonds for the sake of Lord. The Gita emphasises the attraction towards the Lord. When the attraction to these worldly bonds is shifted to Lord, only then will the establishment of justice in Pravritti be completely achieved. The policy of communism believes in distributing the accumulated wealth of some rich people equally to all. But this is not a permanent solution. The blind attraction of the rich man towards the worldly bonds is not removed. Then the rich man will feel discouraged and stop his talented work, which will reduce the production of wealth which takes place by way of business and industries. If the rich man by the realisation of the unreal nature of his family bonds, distributes his own wealth to all, then the solution is permanent. The rich man will continue his talented work in producing more wealth. Therefore propagation of spiritual knowledge will certainly establish justice on this earth and selfishness and corruption will be removed from their roots. Communism cannot achieve this because selfishness and corruption will hide and find new ways to escape the attack from communism. Communism is one extreme end of ignorance and capitalism is another extreme end of ignorance. Socialism, which is in between, is also based on the same ignorance even though it is the middle path. These three policies are only temporary emotional attacks since none of them analyse the root of ignorance. Spiritual knowledge of Nivritti will remove the ignorance completely from its root and establish eternal justice on this earth. Of course, a very few can enter the inner circle of the Lord and also succeed in Nivritti.

Circles of Illusion

You are a drop of pure awareness, which is called as the soul or casual body. Your immediate surrounding limiting circle is the subtle body, which is made of the qualities or feelings of mind. The next circle is the gross body constituted by the five elements. You are neither the gross body nor the subtle body. You are the casual body, which is the soul. Thus withdrawing yourself from these two circles is called as self-analysis. Thus the word ‘I’ which you utter itself is under illusion. Next comes the circle of your family members. From this circle the word ‘my’ starts which is also under illusion. The next circle is your relatives followed by that of your caste. The next circle is your nation and the last circle is your religion. From family to religion, the five circles are associated with the word ‘my’. In all these five circles, the word ‘my’ is under illusion as you can find by deep analysis. These seven circles are the seven hells or the seven lower worlds. If you introduce the devotees in these seven circles, who are theists belonging to any family, caste, nation or religion, then the same seven lower worlds become the seven upper worlds.

Now you are in the biggest single circle of the earth, which belongs only to the Creator. Now you see every living being is a small spot of pure awareness moving on this earth without any limitation. All the souls are equally related to you and you neither hate nor love any soul and you will not kill any living being for your food and this is the main point of Jainism and Buddhism. This is the climax of the Pravritti or justice. You will not think that the mind or the external gross body is yourself and you will not think that only some spots of awareness are your family members, relatives, people of your caste, your countrymen or your co-religious followers. If this is achieved by this spiritual knowledge, you are now in the world of Universal Spirituality. Of course, you can have discrimination between people who help you as your friends and who harm you as your enemies. A marginal minimum attraction and repulsion exists, which is justified but an excess of blind attraction and an excess of violent hatred vanish, which are responsible for all the sins and injustice in this world.

Arjuna was under the influence of these blind seven circles. For him his grandfather was very close to him whereas a king of another kingdom was an outsider. When his brother Dharmaraja performed the Rajasuya sacrifice, Arjuna went out to fight with with neighboring kings to bring their wealth, which was injustice. He even killed the kings [when they opposed him] while doing this injustice because he felt that they were outsiders. But when he had to fight with his grandfather who was supporting injustice, he was fighting on the side of justice. But the blind attraction towards his grandfather prevented him from fighting for justice. The Lord removed all these circles for him and showed all the human beings as simple dots of pure awareness, which are equally related to each other as co-actors. To remove these circles, the Lord started with Sankhya Yoga or Jnana Yoga, which is the divine spiritual knowledge based on logical analysis. After hearing the Gita, every human being in the world appeared as a minute spot of awareness or soul to Arjuna, which is equally related [to him and each other].

Pravritti and Nivritti are quite opposite because in Pravritti there is a tendency of communism destroying capitalism. In Nivritti, it is vice versa. In Pravritti, you treat the whole society consisting of several living beings with equality and without any partiality. In this field, the concentration on one spot like one’s family is diluted and spread over the entire world. In Nivritti, you withdraw your attraction from the entire society as well and concentrate it at a single point, namely, the Human Incarnation. You should not find fault with Nivritti for diverting from communism to capitalism again. The capitalism in Nivritti is entirely different from the capitalism in Pravritti. In Pravritti there is no human incarnation and everybody is only an ordinary human being. But in Nivritti, there is only one human incarnation like Rama on whom you have to concentrate completely as Hanuman did. Some people cancel [disregard] Nivritti and end in Pravritti itself as the final step. They say that every human being is the Lord and so service to the society is service to the Lord. Shankara condemned this line of thinking, which is called as Loka Sevaka Matam. Shankara objected to every human being called as the Lord. At least this point will open the eyes of His followers. Let them realise that Shankara did not agree that every human being is the Lord.

Aham Brahmasmi or Daso’ham?

There are two words used and one has to carefully analyse the meanings of these two words. The two words are Brahman and Ishwara. Brahman means ‘greatest’ and Ishwara means the ‘Controller’. In the entire creation, the soul or life energy is the greatest. Even scientists are unable to synthesise the life energy from matter or from inert energy. Therefore, the soul is the greatest out of all the items of creation. Therefore, the soul is Brahman or the greatest among the created items, but the soul cannot be called as Ishwara because it cannot control even the internal organs like heart, kidneys etc. present in its own gross body. Therefore soul is Brahman but not Ishwara. The soul is the greatest in the creation as long as the creator does not enter the creation as a human incarnation. Once the Creator enters, He becomes greater than the ‘greatest’ soul. Then the Creator is the greatest, and not the soul. A student is the best in the classroom as the 1st rank holder, but when a lecturer enters the classroom, the student is not the best and the lecturer becomes the best, because the lecturer alone is able to control the class and not the best student. A sheep may be become the president of association of sheep. But when the lion enters, the lion is the only president since the lion alone can control all the sheep. Therefore once the Lord in human form enters the world, He is greater than the greatest soul and therefore, He alone should be called as both Brahman and Ishwara.

The human incarnation is always present in every human generation. Therefore, strictly speaking, no soul should claim to be Brahman at any time because the Lord always exists in this world in human form in every generation. There may be a chance that one may not recognise human incarnation and therefore, may claim to be Brahman, but he should never claim to be Ishwara. When Shankara’s students uttered “Aham Brahma Asmi” (I am Brahman), Shankara tolerated it. Then Shankara said “Shivo’ham (I am Ishwara)”. The disciples also said “Shivo’ham”. Then Shankara swallowed molten lead and showed His controlling power. The disciples could not do so. Then Shankara declared “Shivah Kevalo’ham” (Only I am Shiva or Ishwara).

The simple argument of Advaita scholars is that the Lord wished to create this world. Life or pure awareness is essential to have a wish. Therefore, the Lord must be awareness. The same awareness is present in every human being. Every human being also wishes just like the Lord created this world by His wish; the world is thus the Lord’s imagination. Similarly the human being can also create its own imaginary world. But there is lot of difference between a hill present in this real world, which is the imagination of the Lord, and the hill present in the imaginary world of the human being. If the same awareness is present in the Lord and the human being, both the hills should not have any difference. Since the two hills are totally different, there is total difference between the awareness of the Lord and the awareness in the human being. In fact the Lord gave the faculty of imagination to the human being so that he will understand the process of imagination of the Lord in creating the world. But this foolish human being extends model to the concept and thinks that the model itself is the concept. A model or example cannot be the original concept.

Therefore you have to withdraw the attraction or the bond not only from the seven external circles, but also from yourself, because you are thinking that you are the Lord and you are attracted towards yourself. Thus finally this self-bond which is also an illusion should be broken and the total attraction should be shifted towards the external Super Soul or the Lord. Are you greater than Hanuman in any angle? Did He not know “Aham Brahmasmi”? Are you a greater scholar than Hanuman, who always said “Daso’ham”, which means that He is the servant of Rama, who is the human incarnation of that time? If you put these questions to yourself, your illusion of the self-bond also disappears.

When you have identified the human form of the Lord, all your logical analysis must be closed. Till you reach the goal, you must be very alert in your intelligence. Otherwise you will miss the path, which has a single narrow direction. But once you reach the city, you need not be alert and you can roam in any direction and you will not leave the city. Thus after achieving the goal, logic should be stopped and blind faith should exist. Thus blind faith has its own value in its proper place. The Lord will test your faith to see whether it is blind or still alert with logic. The Lord will show a lot of Maya [deceptive power; negative qualitites] in this angle. The Lord will appear selfish so that He will tempt you to criticise the Lord. When Sita was kidnapped, Rama told Lakshmana that He would destroy the entire world. Rama had come to this world to kill Ravana and bring welfare to the world. But now He wanted to destroy this world just for the sake of His blind attraction towards His wife! He tested Lakshmana since Lakshmana was the Lord’s closest associate known as Adishesha. But Lakshmana never misunderstood the Lord. The logic in his statement cannot be understood by our limited minds, since the background is not known, Sita was the incarnation of Shri Mahalakshmi, who is the best devotee. The Lord meant that all the souls in the entire creation are not equal to that best devotee [when He said that He would destroy the whole world for Sita]. Since this background is not known we will misunderstand Rama and doubt Him.

The human incarnation can be recognised by His Special Divine Knowledge, His intense love, His infinite Bliss and His unimaginable super powers. All these four are like the four Vedas to recognise the Lord. The Rigveda represents knowledge. The Yajurveda, which describes sacrifice, represents love. The Samveda, which is song, represents Bliss. The Atharvana Veda, which represents super natural weapons, represents the Lord’s super powers. All these four are inseparable and are a single Veda. That single Veda is the dog that is running before Datta, who is the human incarnation given to this world as SADGURU. The full moon today represents this full and complete human incarnation. The full moon also represents the full faith of the mind by which alone He is retained after recognition.