Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 15 Jun 2004



Lord Datta preached to Yadu about 24 teachers present in nature. These teachers are natural items like a tree, a river etc. which are similes for the natural qualities of the Lord. When there is a great deal of similarity between a certain natural item and the Lord with respect to a certain quality, we say that the natural item and the Lord are one and the same (in a metaphorical sense). For example: When a girl is red in color, we say that the girl is red like a rose (similie). When the similarities between the girl and the rose are even more, we say that the girl is a rose (metaphor). Of course it does not mean that one can marry a rose flower instead of the girl. Only an ignorant person will actually think of the girl as a rose. Similarly, the Lord is compared with the sun, space, life etc. The Lord moves around like the sun and radiates knowledge as the sun radiates light. This does not mean that the sun is the Lord. Similarly, the Lord pervades all over the world like space. This does not mean that space is the Lord. The Lord maintains this world as life maintains a living body. This does not mean that life is the Lord.

When there is one similarity the figure of speech used is a simile. E.g. the girl is red like a rose. When there are many similarities, the figure of speech used is a metaphor. E.g. when the girl is red, bright and tender like a rose, we say that the girl is a rose. This does not mean that the girl is actually the rose or that the rose is actually the girl. Similarly, when there are many similarities between God and the sun we say that God is the sun. Neither is God actually the sun nor is the sun actually God. Sage Vyasa, in his Brahma Sutras, spoke about these similes (Adhikaranams).

Metaphors in the scriptures

The Veda has clearly told that the sun is not God (Nedam tat). Therefore, the Veda said that no item in nature is the Lord (Neti neti). Such natural objects are called representatives or models (pratikas). A teacher always teaches with the help of similes and models. The Veda is the theory-class in which the preaching about the Lord is done with the help of similes. The world is the laboratory in which one can observe these models with concentration and know the qualities of the Lord. Such a concentrated observation is called meditation and it reveals the nature of the Lord very clearly. Meditation does not mean constantly staring at the model. Meditation also does not mean closing one’s eyes and retaining the model in the mind. There is no use of such meditation, when it does not reveal the concept of the Lord. Clear knowledge should be the fruit of meditation. Keen observation of any model should give the clear concept.

The Lord is like a science professor. The Veda is like the correspondence course, which the sages read. They observed the models in the laboratory (world) and understood the concepts by themselves. Gradually the sages disappeared and ordinary human beings came in their place. Some did not understand. Some scholars misunderstood and misinterpreted the Veda. The result was that the rose flower was mistaken to be the girl. The sun was confirmed to be the Lord. The models like the sun, fire, air, water, earth etc., were confirmed to be God or Goddess. Each river has become a Goddess. The power of the Lord called Maya is constantly dynamic and it moves the world. Therefore, Maya was compared to a river. But now, each river has become Goddess. The whole Veda gives the description of several natural items as similes to the Lord and to the power of the Lord. These natural items were called as God or Goddess (in a metaphorical sense) due to many similarities. Ignorant people have misunderstood it all.

Therefore, the Lord came in human form and gave the correct interpretation. It is just like getting admission into a college instead of a correspondence course. In the college, the professor teaches everything clearly. Such college professors are Krishna, Jesus, Buddha, Mahavir, Shankara, Ramanuja, Madhva etc.

A model, which indicates the concept that the Lord comes in human form, also exists. The students prepared this model. By the will of God, human beings prepared statues in human form, which indicate the incarnation of the Lord in human form. This model tells us that a particular human being alone is the Lord and not every human being. If every human being were the Lord, the statue would have been of the form of a general human being. But the statues that are worshipped are of certain special human beings like Rama and Krishna. But again the same ignorance continued and people thought that the statue itself is the Lord.

Therefore, the Lord gave the technique of ‘life initiation’ (Prana Pratishtha). The statue associated with this life initiation is again a model, which indicates a living human being. In a living human being also the human body is inert like statue, when there is no life in it. Therefore, the inert statue with life means a living human being. Again the model is misunderstood and people thought that life has somehow actually entered the statue by this process of life initiation. If this process has the capacity of introducing life into an inert object, why don’t you do the same for a dead body and make it alive? If you say that life or awareness (consciousness) is already present in the statue, then what is the necessity of this life initiation again? Since both experience and reasoning contradict such an assertion, it cannot be valid.

Finally, the human being is given as a model. The human being has all similarities with the human incarnation, except that in the human incarnation, the Lord is living inside that body instead of an ordinary soul. Thus, the human being is the best metaphor for the Lord in human form. Again this model is misunderstood and every human being is thought to be a human incarnation. In this way, starting from inert objects like the sun up to a living human being, all are only similes or models. Thus, you have to eliminate every inert object and every living being and such elimination process is called ‘Neti neti’ as per the Veda.

The various inert models in nature explain the qualities of the human incarnation. The human body of any human being explains the external human body of the human incarnation. Let us take a king. He is compared to the sun in his valor. This does not mean that the king is the sun. His silk clothes are compared with the same type of silk clothes of a rich man. This does not mean that the rich man is the king. The external human body is like the external dress for the Lord or for the soul.

Difficulty in accepting divine knowledge

Every human being is repelled from another human being. This is due to the natural jealousy and ego. It is the main reason, which hinders the acceptance of the Lord in human form. This is the only actual reason for the misinterpretation that comes at every stage. People will be prepared to accept the statue of human form as the Lord. Otherwise, people are prepared to accept every human being as the Lord. But accepting a particular human being as the Lord is very very difficult. Therefore, knowledge of the Lord (Brahma Vidya) is very complicated. The reason for the complication is not in the subject. But the reason is only the ego and jealousy of human beings. Due to such jealousy, several enemies opposed Lord Krishna in His time. Lord Rama was not opposed as much because Rama behaved just like any other human being. He never exposed His divinity and so nobody was jealous. Jesus revealed His divinity and so He was killed. Shankara revealed His divinity and He was killed. Swami Dayananda spoke the truth of the Vedas and so He was killed.

Even a temple is a model of the body of the human incarnation. The statue in the temple represents the Lord. Thus, a temple is a model for the body of the Lord (Deho devalayah proktah, jeevo devah sanatanah). The outer compound wall of the temple is the gross body (Sthula Shareera). The inner temple is the inner subtle body (Sukshma Shareera). The innermost chamber of the temple (sanctum sanctorum) is the cause-body (Karana Shareera). The statue represents the Parabrahman with Maya[1].

If you take the human body of an incarnation such as Rama or Krishna, the external human body is the outer compound wall. The inner subtle body is Lord Vishnu. The innermost causal body is Lord Datta. The innermost statue is Saguna Brahman (Brahman associated with Maya). The Nirguna Brahman (Brahman without Maya) can never even be imagined.

Shri Chakra

Each yantra[2] is a design indicating a concept of spiritual knowledge. For example, the Shri Chakram indicates the whirlpool or illusion of money. The four triangles in this pattern represent the Lord indicating manas (oscillating/vacillating part of the mind), buddhi (intellect), chittam (memory) and ahankara (ego)[3]. These four indicate the life energy or the basis of knowledge. The five triangles in the Shri Chakram indicate the five elements, which constitute Maya or ignorance. In one type of Shri Chakram the knowledge becomes the base. In this type, the base of the four triangles of knowledge is upwards and it is called the Samhara Chakram which means the destruction of the mental bond with money. In the other type of Shri Chakram, which is called the Srishti Chakram, the base of the five triangles of Maya is upward and this denotes the formation of the mental bond with money.

The three circles denote the three types of bodies in both types of Shri Chakrams. In the first type of Chakram the eight petals of a lotus indicate the eight super powers and the sixteen petals of another lotus indicate the sixteen divine qualities of the Lord. The four gates indicate the four Vedas. In the second type of Chakram the eight petals indicate the eight forms of wealth and the sixteen petals indicate the sixteen kalas (phases of the moon, representing the mind). The four gates indicate the four purushaarthas or human goals. They are: dharma (righteousness), artha (wealth), kama (pleasure) and moksha (liberation).

The essence of the concept indicated by the Shri Chakram is only that you should come out of the influence of the Chakram (vicious cycle) of Shri (money). Shri Chakram is considered to be the root of this world because the influence of money is the root of all family bonds. Without understanding this concept, ignorant people have started worshipping the Shri Chakram!

Proper use of a model

Thus the temples, statues and yantras are all models, which are teaching aids used in teaching spiritual knowledge. Of course, all these models must be protected carefully, but the model becomes fruitful only when people understand the concept. A planetarium is a model for teaching scientific knowledge. When you visit the planetarium you must learn the concept from it. Without this, what is the use of simply enjoying the visit of a planetarium like a small child? Once you understand the concept, the model is not necessary, for you. Of course the model should be preserved for the sake of future ignorant people. When the finger points to a dish of food, you must look at the dish, go and eat it. Instead of doing that, what is the use of constantly looking at the finger? Of course, once the purpose of the finger is served, you should not cut off the finger of the person, who showed you the dish! Let the finger remain; it will be useful for the next person.

Therefore, respect the statues, temples and yantras and meditate upon them. Meditation means learning the concept of the Lord clearly. Once you understand the concept, there is no use of worshipping the temples, statues and yantras. When you have recognized the human incarnation of the Lord, there is no need of the temple and the statue. When you have broken the bond with money, there is no need of worshipping the Shri Chakram. The Lord comes in human form in every generation to avoid being partial to a particular human generation. Therefore, if you can get rid of your jealousy and ego towards the human form and identify the human incarnation with the help of the models like temples and statues, your life becomes fruitful. If you become His servant in His mission and participate in it by sacrificing work and the fruit of work (money), there is no need of worshipping the Shri Chakram. If the concept is not understood, all the models are useless.

Recognizing the Human Incarnation

When the Lord comes in human form, you have to recognize Him and serve Him. Even if you do not serve Him, at least do not insult Him. Generally, people insult the Lord in human form because of jealousy and ego. To avoid this, try to love all your fellow human beings. This is called pravritti (righteous worldly living). By this, you will at least not insult the Lord in human form. Rama preached pravritti. Serving the Lord in human form is called nivritti. Krishna preached nivritti. The aim of pravritti is only for reaching nivritti eventually. Without this purpose, simply following pravritti, which is social service without God, is a waste. You are accepting the statue prepared by a human being, but you hate the human being indicated by the statue. The human being itself is only a statue prepared by the Lord.

The identity signs to recognize the human incarnation are knowledge (jnana), love (rasa) and bliss (ananda). These three are the characteristic marks (qualities) of the Lord just as heat is a characteristic of fire. The Veda says the same (Satyam-jnanam, Raso vai saha, Anando Brahma). These three signs are associated with sacrifice (Datta) because Datta means donation or sacrifice. Therefore, knowledge means that He preaches the knowledge. Love means that He generates love in your hearts. Bliss means that He generates bliss in your hearts. If you go near the fire, you will experience heat. Similarly, you must experience the knowledge, love and bliss from the human incarnation. If you do not experience, He does not possess these three characteristic signs and therefore, He is a false incarnation. The Veda says that He possesses special knowledge, which is impossible for any other human being (Prajnanam Brahma) to possess. Such a special knowledge generates love for Him in our hearts and we are filled with bliss.

The associated sign of the Lord is His super power, which does miracles as said in Veda (Satya kamah). He may reveal the super power as Lord Krishna did or He may hide it as Lord Rama did. Even if He uses the super power, He will not use it for exhibition or for attracting people due to ego. He uses the super power only when there is an emergency. Shankara entered the house of Mandana Mishra by using His super power because the doors were not opened in spite of His several calls. But Mandana Mishra did not give any importance to that super power. He became Shankara’s disciple only after hearing the divine knowledge of Shankara, which created love and bliss in his heart after a debate, which went on for twenty-one days. Mandana Mishra’s own knowledge did not fill his heart with bliss although Mandana Mishra was a great scholar himself. Therefore, a scholar whose knowledge cannot give you bliss is not the Lord. A scholar is also not associated with super powers. A demon is always associated with super powers. But He is not associated with knowledge, love and bliss. Thus, one can easily eliminate false incarnations. The knowledge of the Lord is always full of quotations from the Vedas, Shastras and the Gita because He is the author of the Vedas and the Gita. The Gita says that the Shastra is the authority (Tasmat shastram pramaanam te).

The first three great sentences of the Vedas, (Maha Vakyas) indicate the similarity of Lord Krishna (Lord in human form) with the three human beings (I, you and he, respectively). It is just like showing three roses and saying that the girl is similar to the three roses. The fourth great sentence gives the actual difference between the rose and the girl to avoid the misunderstanding that the rose is the girl. The fourth great sentence says that Lord Krishna possesses the special knowledge (Prajnanam) which is not possessed by any other human being.

Pure awareness (chaitanyam) is never meant by the word jnana or prajnana. Nobody says that a living animal or bird (which is aware) is a jnani or prajnani. A jnani means a scholar and not every human being. A Prajnani means the Lord whose knowledge is even beyond the scholars.

[1] Many temples have statues of one of the various forms of God along with His divine consort, Divine Mother or Maya. She represents the power of God.

[2] Mystic designs or patterns.

[3] These are the four parts of the human mind.