Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 20 Nov 2003



Blind Bond: Even great scholars are blindly attracted to their family bonds in the name of tradition. Finally, they all fall into the well. Kunti was a great devotee of Lord Krishna. But she was attached to Dhritarashtra and Gandhari in the name of traditional practice[1]. Dhritarashtra was blind. Gandhari [voluntarily] covered her eyes with a piece of cloth all her life. Both were blind because they were supporting their devil son Duryodhana. Kunti neither stayed with her son Dharmaraja (deity of justice) nor with Krishna, the Lord [who was also her nephew]. When Dhritarashtra and Gandhari were caught in the forest-fire, Kunti was also burnt in that fire. So, one must cut the blind bonds in the family. The bond should be with the Lord. Or else one should at least be attached to justice. One’s association should be decided by wisdom and not by blind tradition.

Spiritual Effort

In the spiritual effort, everybody is independent. Even the wife cannot get a share in her spiritual effort from her husband. Getting a share may be possible in the religious rituals, which gives temporary heaven. In reaching God, everyone is isolated; only his or her personal effort counts. The Gita says the same thing “Uddharet….” You can advise your wife to follow the spiritual path but you cannot give any share from your spiritual effort.

The Lord is the Kindest

In the forest, sages asked the Lord to accept them as wives, since they could become women by their super powers. The Lord did not agree to this and postponed it to their next births. In the previous birth, the sages were after the Lord. In the next birth, the Lord was born as Krishna and the sages were born as maidens, and Krishna was after those maidens. The whole picture was reversed. Why? The kindest Lord protected the prestige of sages in the eyes of the world. When sages were after Him in the previous birth, He was alone with them. See the kindness of Lord towards His devotee!

Upavasa (fasting) means forgetting food, when you are immersed in God (upa = near God, vasa = immersed). But today people are fasting by force and suffering with hunger. This is not upavasa. When you do such fasting, Yogi Vemana says “Kuudu vidachi malamu kudchura upavasai”. This means a little excretory matter is left over in the digestive system even after having a motion. When you fast, the digestive system assimilates this little excretory matter. So on the day of fasting, one has eaten that excretory matter instead of food! Similarly, if you do not get sleep because you were thinking of God, then that is called as ‘jagaranam’ (the practice of keeping awake at night for God). But today people are controlling their sleep by force. There should not be any force in controlling your eating or sleeping. If they are automatically stopped without force, because you were immersed in God, then alone are the upavasa and jagaranam fruitful. Aspiring for some benefit, people are doing upavasa and jagaranam by force. Such acts are a waste and totally useless. The right knowledge is necessary in any religious deed.

Caste System

This is a cancer for Hinduism. The Gita says “Chaturvarnam…’, i.e., the four castes are created based on people’s qualities and deeds. The Veda says “Brahmanosya …” i.e., the four castes are born from the four parts of the body of God. All of them are brothers as God is the Father of all human beings as told in the Gita “Aham bija….” The different castes are like the present [social classifications such as the] teaching community, the doctor community etc., which are based on people’s different talents and professions. Greatness of a person does not come by birth but by the work he does as per the statement “Janmana jayate….” Rama and Krishna were non-Brahmins, whose feet are washed by Brahmins even today in temples. Ravana was a Brahmin and yet no temple was built for him. Does this not clearly show that Hinduism is not based on caste?

Untouchability is also meaningless. Shabari and Kannappa belonged to the so-called category of untouchables. But their pictures are present [and worshipped] along with God’s pictures in the house of every Hindu. Bhurishravasa belonging to the caste of pot-makers was made the president of a ritual sacrifice performed by sages (refer to the Bhagavatam). The actual meaning of untouchability has been forgotten. A very bad student is expelled from school expecting the punishement to change him for the better. Similarly, very bad people were expelled from the village, expecting them to change for the better. This is the actual sense of untouchability. The punishment was given to an individual. His son need not be an untouchable. Prahlada, the son of Hiranyakashipu, the demon-king, need not be a demon. Actually, Prahlada was very pious. Even Lord Datta came in the form of an untouchable and preached to Shankara, and Shankara fell at the feet of Lord Datta,[2] which proves that an individual is not [actually] untouchable.

Some people argue that according to the genetic theory a man of a particular caste gets the qualities of all his ancestors and so caste is [and should be] based on birth. But we find both good and bad qualities in all castes. Can you show me a caste, which is completely good or bad? We must give value to good qualities in the case of Rama and Krishna and reject the bad qualities in the case of Ravana. At the same time, just because Rama was good, the entire kshatriya caste (warrior caste) does not become good. Similarly, just because of one Ravana, the entire Brahmin caste (priest caste) does not become bad. Analyze any individual independently and respect or discard him based on his qualities and deeds; not by his birth.

Service (Karma Yoga)

Knowledge means preaching to others and not merely knowing [and keeping the knowledge to oneself]. Love means loving others and not being loved by others. If you love others, others will love you. So loving is the characteristic property of love. Bliss is giving happiness to others and not being happy oneself. Knowledge, love and bliss are the characteristic properties of Datta (God), which contain the [element of] sacrifice. You recognize the human form of Datta only by these three qualities.

Datta means sacrifice (donation). Sacrifice (Datta) is the essence of the whole path to reach God. There are two types of sacrifice:

  1. The sacrifice of your work (karma samnyasa) [and doing work for God].
  2. The sacrifice of the fruit of your work i.e., the sacrifice of your money (karma phala tyaga) [by donating your money to God].

Both these put together are called karma yoga (service). These are the two eyes of God. Without these two, there is no use of prayers and meditation. Prayers and meditation are only the sacrifice of words and mind. The Lord gives you His grace and that grace is nothing but the fruit of the service that you have done for Him in the above two ways. So whenever God shows grace on some person, people should understand that the grace was the fruit of the service done by that person to God. The Lord is giving your own fruit [the fruit of your service] back to you from His pocket. [It is not some new or additional fruit from the Lord’s side]. You can earn this fruit only by your service. That fruit earned by you gets deposited in the Lord’s pocket. The Lord does not give any grace or benefit to anybody simply because the person praised God or expressed some feelings or emotions or wept and begged before God. God is impartial and cannot be prejudiced or fooled. He is the cleverest judge. You cannot fool Him by any amount of praise (kaka) or by expressing feelings of artificial love or by weeping and trying to invoke His kindness. Hanuman never did such low things in the presence of Rama as per the Valmiki Ramayana. He served Rama in His work since Rama was the Human Incarnation of God in Hanuman’s time. Hence, Hanuman stands forever like a majestic hero. He was given the fruit of his sacrifice i.e., the position of creator (Brahma), for which he had never aspired.

So recognize the human form of God present before you and participate in His work. This is the meaning of doing service (karma yoga). Never weep, never beg, never praise Him and never do any other type of worship. Serve Him in His work without aspiring for anything in return. Hanuman only did the following three things as per the Valmiki Ramayana.

  1. He recognized the Human Incarnation (Rama) not by His miracles. In fact, Hanuman himself could perform all the miracles.
  2. He participated in the work of that Human Incarnation with full sacrifice. He had no personal work other than the work of the Lord.
  3. He never aspired for any fruit in return for his service. So, God gave Him the highest fruit.

Energy and Work

In science, the first law of thermodynamics explains that:

Heat absorbed = rise in internal energy + work done

Now, let us say that you have eaten food, which gives you 100 calories of energy. If you are able to make the rise in internal energy (mental tension) as zero, then all the energy supplied will be converted to work i.e. you will do the work to your level-best. The Gita says the same thing as “Karmanyeva adhikaraste…” i.e., concentrate all your energy on work alone. The Gita says that mental tension can be made zero, when you do not spend any energy in thinking about the fruit of that work. On the day of the examination, the student spends all his energy in mental tension and so his brain does not work in the examination. So do not think about the fruit. When mental tension becomes zero, you work output is maximum. This is the secret of success in your worldly life and also in spiritual life.

In the spiritual path, your energy is wasted in watching cinemas, watching television, reading useless books and talking unnecessarily. These activities neither help you here nor there[3]. These four are the divine dancers like Rambha etc.[4], sent to spoil your efforts in achieving success in this world or in achieving God. They will make you fail.

A beggar praises you for getting a donation of food from you and you reject him [because his praise is with a selfish aspiration]. But a guest comes to meet you and not for getting some food from you. So you treat the guest in an excellent manner. Thus, you must approach God as a guest and not as a beggar.

Rama and Krishna

Rama came to teach ‘pravritti’, which is the way to live in this world peacefully by choosing the path of justice and discarding injustice. Krishna came to teach ‘nivritti’, which is the way to reach God by choosing God alone, whenever there is a competition between God and justice. God is the highest and He even protects justice. The Protector is always greater than the protected.

The sages in the forest asked Lord Rama if they should become women using their super powers in order to get rid of their male ego. Lord Rama told them that unless they were born as women, they could not get rid of their male ego. Accordingly, the sages were re-born as the Gopikas (milkmaids) and in that birth they got rid of the male ego. But they got jealousy, which is natural to women. It was as if the headache disappeared and malaria appeared! Hence, Lord Krishna danced with all the Gopikas simultaneously to remove jealousy from the heart of each Gopika. This is the aim of His dancing with all the Gopikas together (Raasakeli) in the Vrindavanam gardens. Thus, Raasakeli was a training program to remove jealousy from the hearts of the sages. God belongs to all devotees equally. When the ego is removed, the soul becomes a sage (Atri) and when jealousy is removed, the soul becomes Anasuya. Only Atri and Anasuya achieve Datta (God)[5].

Nara and Narayana

‘Nara’ means a man. Rama only acted as a Nara. Godliness was hidden in Him just as in a sweet dish, the sugar (stuffing) is hidden in the outer shell made out of wheat dough. Unless you bite into the sweet dish, you cannot taste the sweetness. The Ramayana is that type of a sweet.

Lord Narayana (God) is the Superman. He is like sugar candy (intense sweetness). The Bhagavatam [which describes about Lord Narayana] is like pure sugar candy.  Only angels and sages can consume the [intensely sweet] sugar directly. Coming to the Bharatam (Mahabharata), it is a mixture of the story of the Pandavas and the story of Lord Krishna. It is like wheat flour mixed with sugar to make a sweet-dish called a laddu. For human beings, both man (nara) and Superman (Narayana) are mixed to make a Human Incarnation such as Lord Krishna.

Human beings cannot directly tolerate Narayana, who with His intense divine qualities, is like sugar candy. They cannot relish an ordinary human being, who is like the tasteless wheat flour either. They can relish a Human Incarnation in which both the normal properties of nara (human) and the divine properties of Narayana (God) are mixed. This is like the laddu prepared by mixing sugar and wheat flour. Hence, Human Incarnations are mixtures of nara and Narayana in various propositions. Krishna, Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha etc. are such Human Incarnations of God.

[1] Kunti, the mother of the Pandavas stayed with her husband’s brother, king Dhritarashtra and queen Gandhari, after the battle was over, in order to take care of the blind couple, who were part of her family. The three old people retired into the forest.

[2] Falling prostrate on the ground at someone’s feet and touching the person’s feet is an act of surrender. In this particular incident, Shankara accepted His own error and the correct preaching given by the Untouchable (Lord Datta). In other words, He accepted the Untouchable as His Guru.

[3] These activities neither help you in this world nor in the after-world.

[4] This refers to the several stories from the Puranas, in which the gods and angels from heaven would send beautiful divine dancers (celestial nymphs) to disturb sages, spiritual aspirants or demons, who were doing penance for some boons from God.

[5] The Supreme Lord took the human form of the son of sage Atri and his wife Anasuya. He was called as Dattatreya (the Lord given to Atri). There is a deep symbolism in this. ‘Atri’ means ‘not three’ or the person who is free from the three types of ego (ego of being a man, ego of being born in a high caste and the ego of being learned). ‘Anasuya’ means ‘the one without jealousy’. Thus, it means that the Lord gives Himself to that devotee, who is free of ego and jealousy.