Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 27 Sep 2006



[A devotee (Sai) from Pune asked Swami for the stress relief. Swami replied like this:]

The stress is developed whenever a problem causing misery arises. Today the spiritual preachers are stressing very much on this topic and are conducting workshops. There is a lot of response from the public. Every human being is very anxious about the solution of the problem and to get rid off the misery. This natural instinct is the reason for this big response, which is misunderstood as self-greatness by these preachers. Even the priests and astrologers are earning money exploiting this natural instinct. The desire for money and fame in the public is the main cause for the concentration on this topic by the preachers, priests and astrologers. The solution given by the priests and astrologers is worst. They involve God or planets in the stress relief claiming themselves as the brokers of God or planets. A broker takes money from you and says that it is passed on to the concerned official as bribe. If the work is not done, the brokers say that you have to give more and more bribe. At last, they will say that the officials tried to help to their maximum capacity but failed because the constitution (Theory of Karma) stands very strong against the case. Suppose, the work was done by its own way (Theory of Karma), they will claim that the bribe has solved the problem.

The solution given by the spiritual preachers is certainly good but not best because such solution is only temporary which is based on the self-realization (Atma Yoga). Such remedy has no side effects on the body like the sleeping tablets when used again and again. These preachers concentrate on your liberation from the external stress by making you realize that you are neither the gross body made of five elements nor the subtle body made of the four Antahkaranams (Manas, Ahankara, Chitta and Buddhi). Since the mind is mainly occupied by the three qualities (Sattvam, Rajas and Tamas), we can say that the subtle body is made of qualities or feelings or thoughts. The dissolution of thoughts leads to reduce the strength of the subtle body. Due to this the link between the awareness or soul (Causal body) and gross body weakens. The problems of the body giving stress to the soul are weakened due to this. The attachment of the soul to the external atmosphere (world) also is reduced due to weakness of the subtle body. Therefore, the problems in the world have very little effect on the soul. The soul has two properties. One is Atma Jnanam by which the soul is aware of itself (Awareness of awareness). The second property is Para Jnanam by which the soul is aware of items other than itself. The second property weakens and the soul remains with the first property only. When the second property is weakened, it is called as samnyasa. In this state the stress is very much reduced. By practice one can attain the next stage called as Avadhuta, where the second property disappears completely. When the soul remains with the first property (Self-realization), it is said that it attained itself (Atma Yoga or self-attainment). This is also called as Mano laya Yoga which means the destruction of mind that is made of the thoughts or qualities. This is the state of meditation where the soul is limiting itself to the awareness of self only. Such determination of self-limitation is Buddhi. Such pure awareness is characterized by the pure ego (I) or Ahankara. Since, there is no will (Sankalpa) and debate of thoughts (Vikalpa), mind or manas is put off. By this the stress is either reduced (Samnyasa) or completely removed (Avadhuta).

Drawbacks in Atma Yoga

In this Atma Yoga there is one important and unexpected problem. Along with the misery, the happiness is also removed. When you take the antibiotic, it destroys the virus as well as the living tissue of the body. You are relieved from the fever but you are subjected to the weakness also. To remove the weakness, you take energetic food and tonics with vitamins and minerals. You have now gained strength. But you can be again subjected to the attack of the virus. Therefore, when you are following Atma Yoga, not only the misery but also the happiness is destroyed. Such state is almost inert state. The only difference between Atma Yoga and deep sleep is that in the deep sleep this awareness also disappears. In such Atma Yoga you have to lead your life with the same weakness, using the same antibiotic again and again. The human being does not want misery but wants happiness. When the doors are opened for happiness, the misery also enters. If you close the doors by Atma Yoga, neither misery nor happiness enters. Such a state is not called as life at all. For the happiness of yourself and your family you are interacting with corruption. When you are arrested for the same, you are getting misery and stress. You are calling the stress due to misery only and not calling the stress due to happiness. In fact the stress is common to both. The poverty kills you by stress. Sometimes, the happiness causing stress also kills you suddenly by heart attack. The happiness in course of time certainly kills you because every happiness is the path to illness only. The Sanyasin is like a tree with the life energy only along with traces of Antahkaranams (since science proves the existence of feelings in traces in a very dormant state in trees). An Avadhuta is almost like a stone without the thoughts, which are completely destroyed. He is left with simple awareness constantly confined to self-awareness only. The only difference between the stone and Avadhuta is that in the stone the basic form of awareness which is inert energy exists whereas in him the inert energy is in the form of simple pure awareness. This difference is due to the existence of the biological systems of the body. When such life is led, due to such constant desire for such states, they are born as trees and stones, because they desired so much to live in such states constantly by putting lot of effort. The purpose of the creation of awareness is the activity of life. When the purpose is not served, the awareness is taken away by the Lord. Atma Yoga is just like preserving the money without any expenditure. Such stored black money is taken away either by the thief (death) or by the Government (God). When the person does not spend the money for the required purpose also and lives like a beggar only, let him become really the beggar. The main aim of creation of awareness and thoughts or qualities or feelings is to achieve God and get His grace using this awareness and thoughts. At least you are expected to enjoy this life with the help of awareness and thoughts. The main purpose of the money is to serve the mission of God or at least to spend for the welfare of the society. At least you can enjoy the money along with your family. When all these aims are not fulfilled, the existence of awareness or money is useless. Thought is the channel of awareness to function. Similarly expenditure is the channel of the money to function. When the thought or expenditure is arrested, what is the use of the existence of such awareness or money?

Therefore, Atma Yoga applied to the relief of misery only is temporary, since you are after happiness and therefore again interact with the external atmosphere. The same Atma Yoga applied to avoid both happiness and misery is destruction of life, which leads to the births of trees and stones. The scripture says that the result of the great sin is the birth of tree or stone. This means that such destruction of life is a great sin because you have not used the created item in the proper way for which God created it. This path of Atma Yoga fails because you are developing the egoism in this line being self sufficient and self-efficient. In the beginning, though the egoism is purely limited to the concept of I only, in course of time it strengthens and becomes impure resulting in pride. It will not allow the concept of God. You will become an atheist or at the maximum the present Advaita Philosopher who thinks that he himself is God. All such states are going to lead you to hell also. The final result of Atma Yoga is either Zero (Trees or stones) or minus (hell). Atma yoga is confined to the soul only, thus is limited to the creation, and never touches the creator. Therefore, it is only Pravrutti or subject of the creation. The egoism resulting in pride due to Atmayoga will lead you to fall where the external Maya will drag you by attractions and finally insults you.

Atma Yoga is Just the First Five Stages of Patanjali’s Yoga

The Atma Yoga is confined to the first five states of Patanjali Yoga. It ends at the fifth state called as Pratyahara, which means withdrawing yourself from the bonds of your body and world. The Yama and Niyama deal with control of your interaction with the external world and your body (mini world). The Asana and Pranayama result in the health of body which is again control of diseases. All these are the precautions to avoid the stress and the essence of these five stages is only to cut the second property of the soul (Para Jnanam). The detachment from the body or the world is a defensive measure. The control of food habits etc., the physical exercise along with the breathing exercise are offensive measures to avoid illness in the body. The offensive measure to remove injustice in the world is impossible for you, which God alone can do. Therefore, control of interaction and withdrawal are only mentioned as defensive measures in the case of the external atmosphere (world).

The last three states (Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi) are actually related to Nivrutti or God. Dharana means formation of bond, Dhyana means intensifying the bond and Samadhi is fixation of the bond with determination. If you slip from such fixation, it is called as Savikalpa and if you remain permanently it is called as Nirvikalpa. All these three states are extended in Atma Yoga also because the concept of God is absent. Such people interpret these three states as formation, intensification and fixation of the bond with the self only, since self is God for them. For these people the goal is self only. Such self may be limited to the single self in the body (himself or herself), or extended to some closely associated souls (family) or extended to all the souls (Society). In any case the limitation is to self only.

All these eight states can be also in the line of Nivrutti. Then the final goal is not the self but the super self (God). A spiritual aspirant also follows the steps up to Pratyahara because he also needs physical and mental health in order to serve God efficiently. Hanuman is the best example for this having the best physical and mental health. The detachment from the body and the world also is required for the attachment to God. The student requires good physical and mental health to study the academic course. The student also requires the detachment from side entertainments like cinemas. Such detachment certainly helps the students in his main activity. In fact the cinema exists as a side entertainment for a change in the main activity. Even to enjoy the cinema, the physical and mental health is essential. Thus, for both theist (student interested in studies) and atheist (student interested in cinemas), the yoga consisting of the eight states is required. The stress in Pravrutti can be compared to the depression of the student when the ticket for the cinema is not available. Such students have forgotten main aim and activity (study). An atheist also behaves in the same way when fails in Pravrutti. The Advaita Philosopher is like the student who says that cinema itself is the study. He is the mad student who says that he has already attained the degree in distinction without study. The atheist does not recognize and even denies the very existence of the college where the study is imparted. The Atma Yoga for such people is just like telling them to forget the cinema and limit to the awareness of self only. The cinema is giving at least some false entertainment where as Atma Yoga gives no entertainment except the silence of a burial ground. Instead of this, if the student is involved in studies, he derives entertainment from the knowledge. A student who has forgotten cinema by confining to self will certainly remember the cinema after some time and will again feel stress. But a student involved in studies will not be attracted by the cinema since study is giving a better entertainment. The bond with God gives bliss and is very powerful. From such bond nobody can be dragged by other bonds. The bonds with other souls or with the self are dry because the soul is basically inert form of energy only.

Stress Experienced in Path of Real Love

Lot of stress is faced in the path of Nivrutti also. God tests the strength of your bond with Him by creating lot of stress. In fact, stress evaluates the quantity of your real love present in the bond. You are involved in corruption knowing the consequences and the stress out of it. This shows your real love in your bonds with yourself and your family. In fact, for the maintenance of yourself and your family members, God always arranged the basic provision. Even the atheist is granted with such basic provision. Even the jailed person is given food, shelter and cloths by Government. In such case there is no need of stress. You are involved in the corruption due to your ambition for wealth more than the basic needs for yourself and your family that involves you in corruption or over work resulting in stress. The souls around you enjoy your wealth but will not share your sin. Valmiki was a hunter. Narada asked him to go the house and ask the family members about their share of the sin, since they are sharing the wealth earned by sin. The family members refused to share the sin. This clearly shows that they do not love you really. Their love is selfish and they are using you as the instrument for their happiness. This is told in the Veda that every worldly bond is only an instrument of self-happiness (Atmanah Kamaaya Sarvam Priyam Bhavati). No soul can protect you after leaving this gross body. In fact, the soul does not even recognize you. Abhimanyu did not recognize his father Arjuna in the heaven. For such souls you are prepared to do sins and receive stress! In the case of God (Nivrutti) also stress is received by devotee. Hanuman received lot of stress in search of Sita. At one state He was prepared to commit suicide! The aim of Hanuman was to please Rama as your aim is to please your family. Gopikas had lot of stress due to Krishna and they committed even sin for the pleasure of Krishna. You are also similar to Hanuman and Gopikas in receiving the stress and committing the sins but only the difference is that their goal is God where as your goal is yourself and your family. The family can neither protect you nor share your sin. The Lord can protect you from the sins (Aham Tva Sarva Papebhyo…Gita).

If you analyze the way of protection of God, it is a wonder to see His real love! He has the power to cancel the sin which will be against the justice. He is the establisher and protector of justice. He transfers your sins on to Him and protects the justice. See the difference between God and family members. For the sake of God devotees committed even sins and received lot of stress. Shankara left His old mother. It is a sin. Prahlada and Meera received lot of stress for the sake of God. Hanuman tore His heart with His nails and Gopikas jumped into fire for the sake of Rama and Krishna respectively. The stress is directly proportional to the real love. Your love on your family is real since you are prepared to receive the stress in the hell for your sins. But they are not prepared to share your sins. God transfers all your sins on to Him and receives all the stress for your real love shown to Him.

The State of God

Avoiding the stress of misery only is the climax of ignorance because it is impossible. When you shut your doors to the stress of misery by Atma Yoga, the doors are shut for happiness also simultaneously. Atma Yoga is cutting the interaction of yourself with the body and world. Therefore, both misery and happiness are cut. Moreover such Atma Yoga keeping the self only as the final goal makes you become stone or tree. Such Atma Yoga definitely develops pride in the name of self-confidence or self-efficiency and also leads to hell. The realized soul is said to be the person who realized the self. He becomes a liberated soul temporarily without a trace of entertainment. But a realized soul who realized the super self is liberated permanently with bliss through constant entertainment. Such a devoted and liberated soul gets the state of God (Brahmi Sthiti) in this world by which he enjoys both happiness and misery as continuous entertainment which results in constant happiness or bliss (Ananda). He will never fall from such state due to the grace of God. The bonds with other souls give you temporary happiness and misery by which you will be vibrating like a wave. The final result of such bond is only hell or constant misery (Duhkhayonaya eva te…Gita). There is no bliss in such bond because the soul is basically inert energy. The Veda says that God is the possessor of infinite love and bliss (Rasovai sah, Anando Brahma). Therefore, the bond with God makes you taste the real love and bliss through entertainment of misery and happiness like Him which is the basic motive of creation. Yoga means equality according to the Gita (Samatvam Yoga…). In Atma Yoga also both misery and happiness are equal in the sense that both are not received by you as a stone does. Such equality is not the sense of Yoga. The equality means the equal bliss you derive from both happiness and misery through entertainment. Such equality (bliss) is seen in God. The equality (silence) seen in the stone is different. Perhaps for this reason, people have made the stone as God!

Stress in work is the first step and committing sin crossing the boundaries of justice is the next step. Both these steps indicate the reality of your love in your bond. Hanuman got stress in the search of Sita and tried to commit suicide twice for the sake of Rama. Gopikas got stress from families due to love on Krishna and jumped into fire when Krishna left the world. Even the suicide, which is the greatest sin, has its own value in the spiritual path. Jesus told that one should carry on his own cross for the sake of God. He carried on His own cross for the sake of God. He preached the correct knowledge and was killed. If He preached the wrong knowledge in line with priests, He would have been honored. Crucification of Jesus is a form of suicide only for the work of God. Krishna says that His real devotees leave their lives also for His sake (Mat Gata Pranah…Gita). Thus, all the sins also created by God have their own real value in the spiritual path (Matta Eveti…Gita). Even a good quality diverted to the world only is misuse and wastage. The practice of justice applied to this world only gives you the temporary heaven only. Any quality applied to world only is either a waste or will give little fruit temporarily. Any quality for the sake of God is divine and serves the original purpose of its creation. Thus, there is nothing bad in this world, if your looks are in the path of divinity. The ignorance is partial choice of happiness leaving the misery. Atma Yoga which shuts doors to both happiness and misery is like burning the house to remove the rats. You are burning your life to remove the stress by the fire of Atma Yoga. Thus, such Atma Yoga is foolishness. Deriving bliss by entertaining both happiness and misery as sweet and hot dishes is divine path of God and this is the basic divine motive of the creation. In fact, the creation is meant for the entertainment of God only. But the God extends this entertainment to the liberated souls also who surrender to Him. Except such liberated soul, every soul is for the entertainment of God only since it is an iota of this infinite universe. Attaining such state of God is the highest (Mat bhavayopapadyate…Gita). You may say that you can directly attain such state of God by practice. It is not possible. You can attain the Atma Yoga because it is your natural state. But such divine state belongs to God and He has to grant it to you with His grace. In Atma Yoga you may continue for some time. But in such divine state you will fall immediately by the force of divine Maya. Your egoism in not accepting God cannot allow you even to reach the doors of such state. You have to recognize God other than your self and surrender to Him to get such divine state. The surrender should continue even after attaining such divine state of liberated soul, because the liberated soul did not become God by attaining such state of God. The state of God in the entertainment is only attained by the liberated soul but not the state of creatorship etc. Therefore, to attain such divine state and even after attaining such divine state surrender to God is essential.

Real Yoga is Attainment of God

Yoga means simply attainment. Astrologers use this word frequently in stating Dhana Yoga, Putra Yoga etc. Attainment of any item in the creation cannot be the real attainment. All the items of creation are basically inert energy. A soul (inert energy) attaining any item of the creation is attainment of itself (inert energy only). Attainment of self has no meaning. Attainment of another item of the creation is at least different as another modification of the energy. But attainment of self is attainment of exactly the same. In Atma Yoga, you may say that you may get rid of the illusion that you are the body and you may say that you have attained your self which is forgotten by you. Is it really the attainment, which means the profit of a different item? Suppose you are in the illusion of thinking the wealth of some body as your wealth and you have forgotten your own wealth. Now you have come out of both the illusions. You neither lost your wealth nor gained the extra wealth. Therefore, the word Yoga utterly fails in this self-attainment even after coming out of the two illusions. The yoga can have the perfect meaning only when you attain the creator, who is completely different from the creation. The entire creation is imaginable energy. The creator is completely unimaginable. Thus, the creator and creation are completely two different items. Yoga becomes meaningful when an item attains another different item. Such attainment should not be also momentary. When you attain money, it should be with you for a long time. If I show the money to your eyes for a few minutes, it is not Dhana Yoga. Similarly, when you see God in energetic form for a few minutes after doing such a long penance, it is not the real Yoga. If you attain statues and photos, which can stay with you, it is also not yoga. Suppose I give you a photo of money. Can it be Dhana Yoga? The attained object should be real. Therefore, statues and photos of energetic forms (Vishnu etc.,) and past human incarnations (Rama etc.,) do not have the real existence of God in them. Even though in the energetic form that appeared, God exists, it is a momentary vision only. Therefore, attainment of God in a live human form and having close contact with Him is yoga. The different item (creator) exists really in such human form and you have attained really the God. You have constant possession of God with you. Thus the word Yoga is completely satisfied since the main purpose of God to come into this world is only to guide the devotees to the correct spiritual path. The present alive human body is inevitable for such main purpose. Therefore, God comes really in human form only.

The Advaita philosopher has come out of the two illusions and therefore he is neither thinking that others’ wealth as his own wealth nor thinking that his own wealth is lost. He has realized that his money is in his house and the money of others is not his money. Here neither profit nor loss exists. He can be peaceful but there is no place for happiness. Happiness comes only when the extra money comes. The poor fellow is happy thinking his own money as the extra money. He thinks that his self is God and he is happy. Let the ignorance be his bliss.

Three Types of Preachers

There are three types of preachers, The Satguru, Guru and Asatguru. The Satguru preaches the truth always irrespective of your liking and disliking. His knowledge is complete and true. He will show the elephant completely. The knowledge of Guru is true but incomplete. He will show only a leg of the elephant and will say that it is the total elephant. The preachers confined to Atma Yoga are such gurus. The Asatguru has complete or incomplete wrong knowledge. He will show the leg of cow or cow and say that it is the elephant. Beware of such Asatgurus! The point is not your liking and disliking, but the point is finding the truth by doing very shrewd and intricate analysis. Only the complete truth can save you completely. When your love or devotion (Bhakti) is based on such complete truth, your love is divine and your total welfare is assured. Otherwise your love or devotion is blind. Of course, the liking towards a preacher depends upon your corresponding level also. A school student will like the schoolteacher and dislikes the college lecturer.