Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 25 Jan 2019


Swami answers devotees' questions

1) Why is alcohol prohibited for human beings but not for angels?

Discourse Podcast


Shri Kishore Ram asked: Padanamaskaram Swamiji! One of my friends requested You to kindly answer the question given below: When angels like Indra consumed alcohol (Surapanam), why is it prohibited for human beings? What is amrutapanam?

Swami replied: Angels have energetic bodies without any trace of matter. Sattvam, rajas, and tamas are the three fundamental qualities or principles that are inherent in every aspect of creation. At the cosmic level, they are expressed as the three constituents of creation namely awareness, energy and matter respectively. In our minds, sattvam appears as knowledge and goodness, rajas appears as dynamism and desire, and tamas represents ignorance and rigidity. The bodies of angels are made of rajas. Rajas actually means dust or particles. It means inert energy since energy is made of quanta or subtle particles. Angels also possess awareness, which is sattvam. But they are not made of matter and so they are almost devoid of tamas. Even in their minds, they are almost free of ignorance. Since they do not possess material bodies, angels never consume material food. So, there is no question of angels drinking alcohol, which is matter in the liquid state. Drinking alcohol is only confined to human beings. It is a well-established fact that alcohol has serious mental and health effects and hence it has been prohibited in the scriptures. Angels directly consume the energy present in the cosmos as food. ‘Amrutam means immortality. Energy is immortal and hence, the energetic bodies of angels are immortal. The reason for their immortality is this cosmic energy and not some drink consumed by them.

The scriptures describe a story in which angels and demons churned the ‘Milk Ocean’ in order to obtain the nectar of immortality called Amrutam. Space is comparable to an ocean and the gross energy obtained from space is the Amrutam. The generation of gross energy of reduced frequency from space is metaphorically described as the evolution of Amrutam upon churning the ocean. The Mandara hill used for churning the ocean represents the inertia of the energy. Sattvam on one side and tamas on the other side are depicted as the angels on one side and demons on the other side participating in the churning. The middle is rajas, which is energy or Amrutam. During the churning, some energy was also evolved in the form of harmful radiation, which has been described as the horrible poison, ‘Halaahalam’. Its ill-effects were reduced by God and this is described as the drinking of the poison by God Shiva. The whole activity of generating gross energy from space was supported by God. This is represented by God Vishnu acting as the support for the Mandara hill in the form of a Tortoise. Thus, the inner meaning of the stories in the puranas is to be understood since they are expressed in a symbolic language. Sages used to offer the filtered juice of a plant called ‘somalataa’ to angels in their rituals. The Veda says “somah pavitramatyeti rebhan”. Here, the word pavitram indicates that the drink was filtered. Such offering of this drink to angels during rituals does not mean that the angels actually drank it. Moreover, this juice of somalataa is only green tea and not alcohol. Drinking alcohol is not recommended by the scriptures. In fact, it is one of the five serious sins called panchamahaapaatakaas. Human beings are prohibited from consuming alcohol and angels, of course, never consume any matter as food or drink.

2) Why was Indra made the king of angels in spite of his many defects?

[Shri Kishore Ram asked: Angel Indra made a lot of mistakes as mentioned in the Puranas. On what basis was he made or elected as the king of angels?]

Discourse Podcast


Swami replied: Due to the absence of tamas in them, angels do not have ignorance that arises from tamas. But they have some ignorance, which is generated by rajas. Rajas is the source of ego. In the Veda, there is a story that angels became proud upon defeating demons in the war. A king is always having more ego than any citizen and hence, Indra has naturally more ego than any angel. Angels are certainly better than human beings since human beings have double ignorance due to the presence of both rajas and tamas. All three qualities always coexist everywhere. In human beings, all the three qualities exist in significant amounts even though rajas predominates. Demons predominantly have tamas. In angels, when it is said that they do not have tamas, it means that tamas is present in negligible traces. This trace amount of tamas in angels arises from the inertia of the inert energy that forms their bodies. It is the rest mass of a photon. Angels have sattvam or knowledge as the predominant quality. Human beings have rajas as the predominant quality. Demons have tamas as predominant quality. Due to the predominance of tamas, they have material bodies made of highly condensed matter. When we say that angels represent sattvam, humans represent rajas and demons represent tamas, we are only referring to their predominant qualities. It does not mean that they do not have the other two qualities in smaller amounts. Both angels and demons are not visible to human beings due to the will of God, which has unimaginable power. Angels lie above the earth and demons lie below the earth.

3) Is God not to blame for the boredom of robot-like souls?

Smt. Bindiya Chaudhary asked: Upon reading a recent discourse, some questions have arisen in my mind and are confusing me. You have said that souls can never have absolute God-like freedom in any of the four ages. Since, in the Kṛta Age, souls were like robots working as programmed by God, God took the total responsibility for their thoughts, words, and deeds. But after a long time, the souls were of living in perfect and total discipline.

Now, I am thinking that if in the Krta Age, God had full power over souls and controlled everything including their thoughts, then how could souls have developed the thought of boredom? It means that God himself must have implanted the thought of boredom in them as well. Or was it that it was God who was actually bored and wanted to let souls be free? What is the purpose of first unleashing a dog and then trying to bring it back in the house by its own will?

Shat shat pranam to Swamiji who is the almighty God himself and is helping us souls rise in the spiritual path by his enlightening discourses. Any amount of love and devotion to him is insufficient and I am thankful to him from deep within. Thank you Swamiji.]

Swami replied: While clarifying your doubt, we must carefully understand the comparison of a human being with a robot. If God had not given any freedom to human beings, there would hardly be any difference between a human being and a robot. For some time, let us think that God did not give any freedom to human beings, which was actually the condition during the Kruta age. In the Kruta age, human beings were exactly like robots in the sense that both act as per the information available to them. But there is a slight difference between the Kruta Age-humans and robots. The Kruta Age-humans got information directly from the external world. Robots, on the other hand, get information only from the information-chip inserted into them by the scientist who designed them. The scientist, after all, draws information only from the external world. So, the information fed to the robot is indirectly from the same external world. Thus, at this point, the difference between Kruta Age-humans and robots disappears. In the case of the Kruta Age-humans, no scientist inserted any information-chip into them; they themselves filled it with the information directly grasped by them from the external world. The robot, however, is dependent on the scientist to feed information into its information-chip. Leaving aside this matter of detail, the Kruta Age-human, who did not possess freedom, is exactly like a robot in the aspect of acting as per the information available.

As time passed, the Kruta Age humans felt bored. Robots, of course, never get bored and can go on working mechanically as per the program in their information-chip. This again is another difference between a human being and a robot. A robot plays a game of chess using the ‘intelligence’ programmed in its chip by the scientist. It merely executes actions based on the various possibilities of moves in the game. The Kruta Age-human being was also just like the robot playing chess. Based on these similarities, it was stated that human beings in the Kruta Age were just robots. Considering the large number of similarities, it was stated that human beings in the Kruta Age were robots in the sense of a metaphor. Saying that a person is like a lion is a simile, while saying that the person is a lion is a metaphor. Both the simile and the metaphor indicate similarity between two items, while also acknowledging their differences. Neither the simile nor the metaphor suggests an identity between the two items compared. But in the case of a simile, the differences between the two items compared are larger than in the case of a metaphor.

Once God gave freedom to human beings, after the Kruta Age, the differences between human beings and a robot increased. The robot continues to play chess based on the program in its information-chip whereas the free human being does not play as per any fixed program or policy. The freedom given, allows the human being to freely choose to follow its information-chip or not follow it. This freedom creates a huge difference between a free human being and a robot which never has any freedom. It is due to this freedom given by God to humans that God can never be blamed for the wrong choices made by human beings. Human beings alone are responsible for their own choices. If human beings had continued to be like robots, which never have any freedom, then God, who is like the scientist, would be held responsible for the behavior of human beings.

Also, there is no need to blame this freedom given by God. In spite of giving this freedom, there are some human beings who still continue to follow their information-chips like robots. All human beings have not exercised their freedom. All have not deviated from the policy of behaving as per the information chip. Had all human beings deviated, it would be correct to blame the freedom and its Giver. But after granting this freedom, some human beings deviated from their programmed behavior while others did not. Hence, you cannot file a damage suit against God for granting this freedom. If upon granting freedom to human beings, all human beings had universally deviated from the programmed behavior, your advocate could have argued your case. But due to the absence of any such uniform behavior, you cannot support your case with arguments. In that case, your damage suit will be disposed with no costs!

4) Can You please bless me to translate Your books to Indonesian?

Shri Guna Darsana asked: Om sai ram. Jay guru datta i have finished translate the books of divine discourse of Swami volume 1 to indonesian. I need blessing of Swami, so i can do more with this translating. I am verry glad if Swami can advice me for propagate it to serve Swami mission. SWAMI, PLEASE BLESS me, thanks you, jau guru datta, omsai ram

Swami replied: You are doing very good work, which is liked by God and God is giving blessings to you through this Datta Swami.

5) May I have the golden opportunity to serve You?

Shri Sathyamoorthy Renganathan asked: Residential disciple at Ashram. Pranams. May Adiyen know if I shall have a golden opportunity to be with you in Ashram serving you please in a favourable climate like June or July 2019 being a senior citizen living in Tamilnadu ji. By, Sathyamoorthy Renganathan

Swami Replied: I am very happy about your proposal. Let us do the service of God, the Creator. Let us not get attracted only to creation without remembering its Creator. The beauty of creation should remind us about the beauty of the Creator.

6) Why should we use only the right hand for doing good things?

Smt. Lakshmi Lavanya asked: I am left handed. I am facing many obstacles in using left hand. I want to know logic behind it. While worshiping god, while crossing door, i unknowingly use my left hand and left leg, is it really wrong? By, K Lakshmi Lavanya

Swami replied: These points are very simple and negligible before the spiritual knowledge, devotion, and service to God.

7) Could You please heal my father-in-law who is suffering from severe health problems?

Shri Sreenivas asked: prayer & healing request dear swamiji, paada praanam, my wife's father mr.sriman narayana aged 69 yrs is suffering from liver cirrhosis due to which has gone weak, lost weight, not fluently speaking, indigestion, swamiji by your healing power touch all the organs & heal him completely. swamiji with your grace & compassion heal him. paada praanam, sreenivas, By, Sreenivas

Swami replied: Pray to Lord Subrahmanya. He will help you.

8) Is it not better to donate our earned money to God rather than saving it?

Shri Hrushikesh asked: Dear Swami, I have a question about the Karma phala tyaaga and karma samnyasa. I have heard the statement "Nityam sannihito mrutyhu". Death always faces us and can occur any that case what is the point in saving for retirement? Why can't we donate the saved income to God. Esavashya upanishad also says that even the earned income should be used for the basic needs and rest should be given to God. Saving one's earned income is also considered to be a theft. I request you to kindly enlighten us how to apply this in our lives. Your Servant, Hrushikesh

Swami replied: What you said is correct and noble. This concept is like the sky. Everybody cannot jump and reach it. Only a very few blessed souls can reach this concept preached by the Eshavaasya Upanishad. When our life is not certain, we have to see both possibilities, which are that we might have a long life or a very short life. We have to be prepared for both these possibilities. After preparing for the possibility of our long life, we can sacrifice the remaining efforts and wealth for God’s work. Only a very few exceptional devotees do not care about this possibility and surrender everything to God. Such exceptional devotion is not possible for everybody. Most devotees do not even show ordinary devotion, which is surrendering their extra wealth and efforts to God after first taking care of their old age needs. How can they even think of such exceptional devotion, which needs full practical faith in God? The Eshavaasya Upanishad speaks about the normal devotion which is applicable to the majority of humanity. It involves taking care of oneself till the end of one’s life and sacrificing the excess to God (Tena tyktena bhunjiidhaah). While earning, one should avoid earning sinful money at any cost (maa grudhah …). Sinful money brings problems later on in one’s life and fills one’s old age with suffering. Sinful money can be digested by donating it for God’s work. It does not mean that one should go on earning sinful money for the sake of God’s work. This point applies only to the sinful money that has already been earned. Such sinful money, when kept with oneself, destroys one’s future generations. Hence, it should be donated for God’s work which includes helping the poor. Mere social service is good, but it is not the best. The best is to do God’s work in which social service is a part.


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