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Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 28 Nov 2022

               

Saibaba said that giving bread to a dog was equal to giving bread to Him. Is it not Advaita?

[Smt. K. Padmaram asked:- Shirdi Saibaba told that He is in the dog and the dog is in Him. Hence, He told that giving bread to the hungry dog is equal to giving bread to Him. Is this not supporting Advaita philosophy?]

Swami Replied:- Such statements are called as ‘Arthavaadas’ which mean telling a lie in order to accomplish a good purpose. The lie has to be told as per the requirement of the context. I will give a similar example from the Bhagavad Gita. Krishna told Arjuna that He Himself is Arjuna (Pāṇḍavānāṃ Dhanañjayaḥ…-Gita). In that case, why should God Krishna preach Arjuna when Arjuna himself is Krishna? Does it not mean that Krishna is preaching to Himself? Then, why did Krishna say that Arjuna is Krishna? The answer is that you shall see the context in which Krishna told like this. Krishna is encouraging Arjuna by boosting his confidence because Arjuna lost confidence due to the grief that covered his mind due to fascination to his grandfather (Bhishma) and teacher (Drona). In that context, raising the confidence of Arjuna was very essential. If Arjuna was really Krishna, why did Krishna scold Arjuna that he was controlled by ego (Yadahaṃkāramāśritya)? Does this mean that Krishna is scolding Himself? At several places, Krishna told Arjuna to worship Him in various ways (Manmanā bhava…). Does this mean that Krishna is advising Himself to worship Himself? Hence, to accomplish an urgent solution in an urgent ignorant situation, God uses twisted concepts, which will be explained by Him in course of time.

Shankara told that every soul is God to the atheist to convert him into theist and devotee slowly. He told this lie to the atheist in order to make him say that God exists. He told 1) You are God, 2) You exist, 3) Therefore God exists. Later on, He corrected this twisted concept by saying that the atheist shall worship God to become God practically by attaining purity of mind. He also practically demonstrated to prove that His wrong concept is wrong by saying that He alone is God Shiva (Śivaḥ kevalo'ham). Coming to Shirdi Sai Baba, the context is that He wanted to make the people feed any hungry dog. In support of this aimed result, He told that He is the hungry dog. This is Arthavaada. He Himself being God, why did Baba repeatedly tell that Allah is God (Allah Malik)? The context is that if Baba says that He is God, everybody will say that he/she is also God. To protect the devotees from this danger, He told that He is the servant of God. In another place, He told that He is the creator of this entire prakruti (creation). Do these two statements contradict each other? Not at all! Because the contexts are different.

The correct concept is that every soul is not God and only a specific human being (like Krishna, Shankara, Baba, etc.) selected by God becomes God, as the human incarnation. The Veda says that nothing in this creation is God (Neti Neti ityācakṣate tadvidaḥ). In the Gita also, God told that all the creation is in Him, but, He is not present in the creation (Na cāhaṃ teṣvavasthitaḥ, Na tvahaṃ teṣu te mayi). In the Brahmasutras, in the first Adhyaya-first paada, there are several sutras refuting that the soul is God (Netataro'nupapatteḥ). In this way, we must understand the true concepts with the help of the original three scriptures (The Veda, the Gita and the Brahmasutras) considered to be authorities in the Hindu religion. We shall not be misled by the Arthavaadas used by God for a good purpose. The mother tells the child that if it eats the food, the moon will come down. It is a lie, but, it is permitted since it is useful in making the child eat food and grow well.

 
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