Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 08 Feb 2005


Why does Your preaching contradict that of Shri Satya Sai, who is also a Sadguru?

[I am a devotee of Sadguru Bhagavan Shri Satya Sai Baba. He always says that every human being is God. But You say the opposite. Then how can one reconcile this contradiction because I am treating You also as a Sadguru? You have condemned the idol worship. But Shri Baba says that idol worship should not be condemned].

I agree that Shri Baba has told that every human being is Brahman. But did you hear His discourse on 16th June, 2005 (Thursday) on Gemini Television around 6.00 am? His words are “Let human beings behave like human beings. They are not Brahman and Brahman is also not in them. Brahman is only in one place”. Similarly, regarding idol worship He gave a discourse on the television some time back and His words are “Fools criticize idol worship. See this is a flower and this is My index finger [pointing to a flower with His index finger]. To see the flower, My index finger is necessary. But once you have seen the flower there is no need of the finger. Similarly, the idol indicates God. But once you have seen God, the idol is not necessary”.

This is the whole problem. People do not have the patience to completely study what the Sadguru says. People censor a portion of the concept, which is convenient for them. When a single sentence is isolated, it gives a different meaning. Once, an Indian minister went to a foreign country. The press media there wanted to present him badly in the newspapers. They asked him as soon as he got down from the aeroplane "Do you want night clubs here?” The minister was astonished and exclaimed, “Are there night clubs here!” Next day, the press published the the news in bold letters that as soon as the minister got down from the aeroplane his first enquiry was, “Are there night clubs here?” His original sentence was an astonished exclamation and ended with an exclamatory mark. But in the newspapers the same sentence ended with a question mark indicating an anxious enquiry. The whole concept is turned 1800 opposite!

Therefore, you must study all the concepts patiently given by Sadguru, which are interrelated with each other like a polymer. The entire divine knowledge of Shankara which consists of various interlinked concepts is like a copolymer. The copolymer consists of several monomers of the same type or of different types interlinked with each other. If you want to understand Shankara you must read all His commentaries, all the prayers composed by Him and all the incidents of His life. You should not simply study what He wrote. But you should also study what He practiced. You may misunderstand what He wrote. But you will never misunderstand what He practiced. His practice is the correct interpretation of what He wrote. Apart from the commentary, you should study the incident in which He swallowed molten lead and asked His disciples to do the same. You must also study the verse in His prayer in which He stated, “The quantitative difference exists between the Lord and the soul like the difference between the ocean and its wave” (Refer to the prayer to Lord Jagannatha of Puri by Shankara). You should also understand the significance of the word ‘Kevala’ (only) in the prayer “Shivah Kevaloham”. This means that He alone is Shiva and not others. The Advaita scholars are forgetting the word ‘Kevala’ here. Then in His commentary He established that there is no difference between the human being and the Lord. Therefore, the commentary is referring to human incarnations like Himself, Lord Krishna etc. This should not be extended to all the human beings and this point is explained by Him in His prayers and that practical miracle. Therefore, a total observation is necessary to understand the total concept of Shankara.

In the initial stage He [Shankara] might have attracted Buddhists with the theory of monism i.e., the Lord and human beings are one and the same. After this initial attraction the whole divine knowledge was preached thoroughly. Finally He established the concept of the human incarnation and told a few deserving disciples that He alone is the Lord Shiva. Some disciples who misunderstood Him extrapolated the concept to themselves and said “Aham Brahma Asmi” [I am God]. He taught the truth to them through the miracle of swallowing molten lead.

Similarly Sadguru Bhagavan Shri Satya Sai Baba also initially attracted all the people and preached the divine knowledge in depth. Finally He disclosed the truth. This is the tradition of Sadgurus. A doctor hides the injection behind him in one hand and shows a chocolate to the little boy with the other hand. When the boy comes near and is immersed in eating the chocolate, the doctor gives the injection quickly. The same psychology is seen in the teaching of both Shankara and Shri Baba. However, I am the doctor with an injection in both My hands, which I keep in front of Me. Little boys will never approach Me; only mature adults will come to Me! [Immature devotees will not come to Me, only mature and spiritually advanced devotees will come to Me.]

I never condemned idol worship. I only said that idol worship is the worship of a model or representative of God. It is meant for the lower cadre people as said in the Veda “Pratima Swalpa Buddhinaam" and “Natasya Pratima”. Since the statue is inert and the inert object is not independent, God, who is always independent, can never be identified with an inert object. If the statue is God, God is in your control since the statue is in your control. [This is absurd and not true.] But idol worship is essential for beginners. I cannot condemn the textbook of the L.K.G [lower kinder garten] class. I have only advised that you should come to U.K.G. [upper kinder garten] class before this human birth ends. Shri Baba tells the same.

The picture of any God is not even a direct photograph. It is only an imaginary picture. If you argue that the pictures of the artists are the results of their divine visions in which the Lord appeared to them, then there should be uniformity in the faces of at least one particular God like Lord Krishna. But different artists draw different faces for the same Lord Krishna. When Lord Krishna was alive, all the people saw only one face. Therefore, if all the artists had had any real divine vision of Lord Krishna, there must have been the same face in all their visions. But they have drawn different faces for the same Lord Krishna. This clearly proves that they did not have any real visions of Lord Krishna and their pictures are just imaginations. Thus the uniformity of even one form of God like Lord Krishna does not exist in these pictures! Then, what to speak of the uniformity of God in different forms like Lord Krishna, Shiva etc. Thus statues and pictures spoil the concept of uniformity of God in different forms.

If you catch the Sadguru, you will treat Him as the single God and you will see all forms of God in Him alone. Therefore, the concept of human incarnation is the higher divine knowledge and one should reach this higher level before the end of this human birth.