Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 01 Jan 2004



Continued from Part-1:

Ritual worship means serving the Human Incarnation of God: The Shiva Lingam is a formless stone from which all the statues are prepared. The Shiva Lingam is always associated with continuous bath (abhisheka; dripping of water)[7] which is the ‘snana upachara’. What is the inner meaning here? This means that all the statues are only for vision and they should be frequently washed to avoid the gathering of dust. Except for this one mode of worship, no other mode of worship is necessary for a statue. All the sixteen modes of worship (shodasa upacharas) are meant only for the Human Incarnation. ‘Avahanam’ means inviting the Lord in human form to your house. ‘Asanam’ means offering a seat to the Lord when He comes to your house. Like this all the sixteen modes of worship are meant only for the human form of God. Before you do these sixteen modes of worship to a statue, you are first required to do the initiation of life (prana pratishtha). This means that you should only worship the living human form (God’s living Human Incarnation) and not the inert human form (statue of God). The initiation of life in the statue does not mean that the statue has become a living form because the statue does not move even one inch after that life-initiation.

Whenever you make any decision, you have to follow three authorities:

1) Shruti i.e., Veda.

2) Yukti i.e., logic

3) Anubhava i.e., experience.

In the case of idol and image worship, the Shruti says “Natasya pratima asti” (The Lord will never enter statues). The yukti is that one cannot make an inert object alive by any technique. A dead body cannot come back to life by the mere chanting of the Vedic hymn which is recited in the prana pratishtha ritual (life initiation). If you say that life has entered the statue by such prana pratishtha, why can you not make a dead body alive by the same technique? The experience is that we cannot bring life into any inert object including a dead body, by any such technique. Therefore, if you say that life enters the statue by the technique, it cannot be accepted. Then what is the meaning of this prana pratishtha? Since you are rigid in not accepting the human form of God due to your ego and jealousy, there is no other way than to teach you like this. That prana pratishtha is teaching you that the human form with life alone should be worshipped by the sixteen modes.

Be an elephant before God; not a dog

An employee, who does service for the whole month, does not have to put in a formal request to the government to give his monthly salary. The salary is put into his account automatically. He does not beg for his salary by singing songs and weeping. Similarly, Hanuman participated in the service of Lord Rama who was in human form and he got the fruit of his service, which was the post of the future creator of the universe. Hanuman did not sing bhajans, chant hymns, meditate or shed tears etc., for that fruit. Then what is the use of doing these things instead of service? An elephant is fed with sugar cane in a dignified way. The elephant does a lot of work by carrying big logs etc. A dog does not do any service and it begs for food by wagging its tail, by crying, by falling at the feet of people but it is not given food or at the most, it is given some leftovers. Therefore, knowledge and devotion should lead to service, which are like the degrees acquired by you. No salary will be given, merely for your degree. With the help of the degree you have to get a job and do service for which alone you can get the salary. The degrees will only help you in getting a job but they cannot give you a salary directly. With the help of knowledge you can recognize the Human Incarnation. With the help of devotion you will come near Him and become dear to Him so that you can participate in His service. You get the fruit for your service and not for your knowledge and devotion.

The medium enables the experience of God

Electrons are travelling in the atmosphere but we cannot experience these electrons (electricity) directly. When these electrons pass through a wire, the wire is electrified. You can experience the shock of the electricity through the wire when you touch it. You can also use the electricity in a wire to move the fan or to light the lightbulb. Similarly you cannot experience Brahman (God), which is beyond imagination by any effort and you cannot get any fruit from It. When that Brahman enters into a human body, you can experience Brahman and can get the fruit of your service. How can you serve the unimaginable Brahman? You can only serve Brahman when It comes into this world in human form and get the fruit of your selfless service. Brahman comes down for this very purpose.

The properties of the wire are not affected by the flow of the electricity. The copper wire is red, lean and its properties are retained. Similarly, the properties of the human body are retained even if Brahman is present in it. The body of the Human Incarnation shows all the natural properties like thirst, hunger, illness, birth, death etc. Suppose electricity is flowing in a copper wire and an aluminum wire simultaneously. The current is same but a copper wire is red in color and the aluminum wire is white in color. Similarly, different Human Incarnations have different natures due to the difference in the nature of their human bodies. Rama was very peaceful by nature and Parashurama was very fierce.

When the electricity leaves the wire, it remains as an ordinary wire. The electricity is only present in the wire and is not modified into the wire. Therefore, when the electricity leaves the wire, you can even push the wire with your foot. People misunderstand that the electric wire is insulted. When electricity was present in that wire, the wire was the electricity itself because you cannot separate the electricity from the wire and if you touch the wire anywhere, it gives an electric shock. Similarly, when Brahman left the body of Lord Krishna at the end, Arjuna cremated that body, as any other human body. People think that Lord Krishna died or was cremated. The Lord left that human body and it was only the body of the Lord that was cremated. When the Lord was present in that body, that body was the Lord because the Lord and the body cannot be separated. The Gita says, “Manusheem tanumashritam”, which means that Brahman enters the human body. The Gita also says, “Avyaktam vyaktimapannam” which means that ignorant people think that Brahman is modified into the human body.

The scriptures and justice are at the mercy of Datta

Justice [deity of justice] in the form of a cow follows Lord Datta[8]. This means that Justice also follows His actions. Whatever the Lord does is justice. He is the Protector of Justice and Justice is the protected. The Protector is always greater than the protected. The Lord followed justice as Rama. Justice became proud and therefore, the Lord in the form of Krishna deviated from justice and Justice had to follow Him. Thus, He removed the pride of Justice. This means that we have to follow the Lord alone and leave justice when the Lord competes with justice. This is the test of Datta and even great scholars have failed in this test. When Krishna asked Dharmaraja to tell a lie on the battlefield, Dharmaraja refused and went to hell since he did not follow the order of the Lord.

Similarly, the Vedas are lying at His feet as dogs and are following Him[9]. What does this mean? This means that whenever Datta preaches, He will not preach according to the Vedas like an ordinary scholar. The Vedas obey His preaching and follow the preaching as faithful dogs. He is the Creator of Vedas and whatever He preaches is the Veda. Datta means the human form of the Lord, which comes to the world. So whenever the Lord in human form preaches here, that preaching can be seen in the Vedas because the Vedas are the knowledge that was told by Him earlier. So whatever He preaches here should not contradict whatever He preached earlier. Therefore, He quotes from the Vedas since they are what He has already preached. One should not misunderstand that He is quoting from the Vedas and following them. Ignorance is very strong in this age of Kali [the dark age of materialism] and it is also a natural force, like water falling down vigorously. Water has to be forced to go up. So the ignorance due to which people fall, is natural and powerful. The knowledge due to which people go up, needs a lot of effort by the Sadguru and also by the devotees in the propagation of the knowledge.

Give to God what is most precious

It is always great to give to God that which you cannot give to anybody. What is the greatness in giving that which you can give to anyone? People easily give words and mind and there is no greatness in sacrificing such things. It is very difficult to sacrifice the fruit of your work (money). Therefore, the greatness lies in sacrificing work or the fruit of work. The Gita emphasized on karma phala tyaga in view of the nearing Kali Yuga. Soon after the Mahabharata war, Kali entered [the kali Yuga began]. Since the Lord knows that in the Kali age, money, which is the fruit of the work, is going to be the topmost item, He emphasized the sacrifice of money (karma phala tyaga) everywhere in the Gita.

There are three ishanas which are very strong bonds:

1) The bond with money

2) The bond with wife or husband

3) The bond with children.

Unless these three bonds are completely broken, salvation is not complete. Indians are very poor in the sacrifice of the fruit of their work, which is the real essence of the whole spiritual effort to reach God. In order to revise the syllabus for the benefit of the dull students in the class, the teacher conducts several revision sessions. Therefore, the Lord is coming again and again in several Human Incarnations to India since Indians did not digest His preaching. Ironically, Indians take pride in the fact that the Lord incarnates so often in India! In foreign countries one Incarnation was sufficient and therefore there was no reincarnation. The foreigners have digested the actual essence of the spiritual path after listening to just one lecture. They practice karma phala tyaga to the full extent.

Types of Incarnations

Human Incarnations of God (Avataras) are of several types and they are meant for different levels of people. In a Kala Avatara (ray-Incarnation) a ray of the energy of the Lord enters the human body e.g. Sage Vyasa. In an Amsha Avatara (partial Incarnation) a part of the energy of the Lord enters the human body e.g. Sage Kapila. In an Avesha Avatara (temporary Incarnation), the Lord enters the human body for some time to do some work and later leaves that body e.g. Parashurama. In a Purna Avatara (complete Incarnation) the Lord exists in that body from the birth to the death of the human body, but the Lord exhibits only some of His divine qualities e.g. Rama. In the Paripurna Avatara (highest and complete Incarnation) God exists in the human body from birth to death and exhibits all His divine qualities completely e.g. Krishna. As you have different levels of teachers like school teachers, college lecturers and university professors, there are different Human Incarnations, according to the standards of the people to whom they preach.

Animal births show the kindness of God

There are some people who limit their lives only to eating, drinking, enjoying, reproducing and loving their children. They earn money for the sake of these things and they undergo a lot of worries for earning that money. The kind Lord gives future births of animals, birds etc. to such people because in such births they can do all those things without the need for earning any money and without any worries. Therefore, granting such births only show the kindness of the Lord and not an attitude of punishment. The Lord is fully satisfied and shows His grace only when your sacrifice for the sake of the Lord is also complete. Satrajit, a devotee of Krishna came and presented some gold ornaments to the Lord. That was only a partial sacrifice. But the Lord wanted the divine gem named Samantaka, which used to yield gold everyday. What does this mean? The Lord wants to completely cut the devotee’s bond with money. The Lord wants you to sacrifice your complete work and the complete fruit of your work also. The Lord patted the back of the squirrel since it was continuously carrying the sand particles and throwing them into the sea to help with the construction of the bridge.

God’s response to us matches our approach to Him

Today, there is no Indian who sacrifices his work or fruit of work to the Lord without aspiring for anything in return. If he gives ten rupees to God, he expects ten thousand rupees in return. An even worse fellow gives ten rupees to the Lord only after first getting ten thousand rupees from the Lord. The worst fellow wants to get ten thousand rupees from the Lord and does not give even one rupee to the Lord. He wants to get money by only sacrificing his words and mind through chanting hymns, and showing devotion. Money is a form of work. When you sacrifice work, then alone will the Lord give you work (money, riches) in return. If you give Him words, He will give you very good language skills. If you give Him love through the expression of feelings and words, the Lord also gives the same thing in return [you will be greatly loved and praised]. If you discuss about the Lord through your intelligence, He will bless you with good knowledge. When you sacrifice your work for Him, He too will work for you. When you sacrifice the fruit of your work (money) for Him, He too will give money to you. By whatever route you approach Him, He will approach you by the same route.

You are coming to God to spend your leisure time for your own entertainment. This costs you nothing. Moreover, other costly forms of entertainment can be avoided and your money can be saved. Added to this benefit, by spending this leisure time for God you may even get some extra money from God by His grace. Thus, Indian intellectuals are considering God to be a multi-benefit savings scheme, like present-day financial schemes. But the Lord is very very intelligent. He gives the money which is desired by people in return for the worship through words and mind. But the money that people gain in this manner, along with the money that they had already earned earlier, is all lost by way of thieves, diseases etc. Only when you completely sacrifice to the Lord, will a graceful look of the Lord fall upon you. One can keep the money that is necessary but the extra money should be returned back to the Lord. Ravana had his own wife called Mandodari. She respresents the necessary wealth. But Sita was the extra money which was stolen by him [Ravana had kidnapped Rama’s wife, Sita]. Therefore, Sita had to be returned back to Rama. Ravana did not do so and was destroyed. The Ishavasya Upanishad says in the very first hymn that one should return back the extra stolen money to the Lord.

Datta reveals the true meaning of the Veda

Lord Datta comes in human form and gives the real meaning of the scriptures, which were written by Him. Ignorant people, unable to practice the real meaning of these scriptures will hide the real meaning and cover it with misinterpretations. This is the meaning of the demon Somakasura stealing the Veda. The misinterpretation has stolen the Veda, which means the real interpretation of the Veda. The Lord came in the form of a fish[10], killed the demon and uplifted the Veda. What does this mean? The fish indicates the eye because the eye shaped like a fish. That fish denotes the third eye of knowledge. Since knowledge is the real form of the Lord, the Lord takes the form of knowledge, which is the third eye denoted by the fish. Therefore, the fish represents the knowledge or the Lord directly. This knowledge destroyed the demon of ignorance and the misinterpretations and uplifted the real interpretation, which is called as the Veda.


[7] In temples of Lord Shiva, the Shiva Lingam (symbol of Shiva), which is a cylindrical stone rounded at the top, is continuously bathed (snana) by water dripping from a pot hung above it.

[8] Lord Datta is picturized with a cow following Him. That cow is Dharma or the god of justice.

[9] Lord Datta is picturized with four dogs (indicating the four Vedas) following Him.

[10] This refers the Incarnation of Lord Vishnu in the form of a fish (Matsya Avatara).