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Note: This guide is not only intended for Balavikas students, this also helps every one who wants to know about the Indian Culture and Spirituality and also refresh the memory of those who have forgotten many of them. This will also guide all parents to teach their children and putting a foundation in their mind about Indian Culture and spirituality. Therefore we take pleasure in posting this in seven parts in our Forum for the benefit of all and are intended for fact-finding reading. Thanks to the author.  ‘saidevotees_worldnet’

 Om Sri Sai Ram

GUIDE TO INDIAN CULTURE AND SPIRITUALITY

[Based on the Divine Teachings of BHAGAWAN SRI SATHYA SAI BABA]

By Smt. KAUSALYARANI RAGHAVAN


III. BHAGAWAN BABA'S DIVINE TEACHINGS (1)

[During the first Summer Course Year 1972]

143. It is said that Jnana is Adwaita Darshan. How?

'Adwaita' can be compared to milk, 'Visistadvaita' can be compared to Butter and 'Dwaita' can be compared to Butter-milk. Butter and butter-milk are ultimately derived from milk. The milk is the unifying substance in all of them. Similarly both 'Dwaita' and 'Visishtadvaita' are derived from 'Adwaita'. Therefore it is said wisdom is Advaita Dharshanam.

144. Explain the Statement 'Sathyam Jnanam Anantham Brahmam'.

Atma Tathva which is 'Jnana' is permanent. Though we do not accept it, it still exists. It is above all experience of loss and gain; nothing can shake it. This Atma Tathva is the embodiment of truth. It is also the embodiment of delight or 'Ananda Swarupa'. In Geetha Lord Krishna says to Arjuna "I who am the Iswara, you who are the jiva and this world which is Jagat-all the three have always been in existence at all times". These three - 'Jiva', 'Iswara' and 'Prakriti' have been existing at all times. They were there even before the creation and they will continue to be there. Though the physical bodies may be undergoing transformation this Atma Tathva remains eternal and changeless. So this Brahma is that which Truth (Sathyam) is, that which is Endless (Anantham) and that which is All-knowing (Jnanam). This Sathyam and this Jnanam - everything is Brahman.

145. What is the meaning of the word 'Brahma'?

The word Brahma is derived from the root "Brahvast" meaning that which does not change. It is called Brahma Tathva, because it does not change and it is eternal.

146. How can one attain this 'Brahma Tathva'?

We must adopt the theory of "Rasovai Saha" in order to attain this "Brahma Tathva". The entire universe is born out of Rasa, God Himself being "Rasa Swarupa". That which is born out of "Rasa" cannot be "Nirasa" or devoid of Rasa.

147. How many categories of Rasa are there?

There are nine categories of Rasa called Navarasas according to Pundits classification.

But according to Swami Bhagawan Baba's view there is no need for Navarasa classification. Swami says there are only two Rasas. (1) Karuna Rasa, (2) Sringara Rasa. The conditions of Daya, Prema and Anugraha merge in Karuna Rasa.

The emotions of Kama, Krodha and Loba merge in Sringara Rasa. Sringara Rasa misleads us whereas Karuna Rasa lead us. Only through Karuna Rasa we can recognize our duty and reach the proximity of the Lord. That is real bliss and Karuna Rasa offers to us pure selfless love. Selfish love leads to Moha. But selfless love leads to Moksha that is Moha-kshaya (removal of Moha) or liberation.

148. What is responsible for all joys and sorrows?

'Abhimana' and 'Mamakara' (ego and attachment) are responsible for all joys and sorrows. All this is the result of illusion or Maya.

149. What is "Samadhi"?

Samadhi is attaining a sense serene state of mind - the equanimity which enables a person not to be elated by joy and depressed by sorrow. This equanimity is above the experience of joy and sorrow. The word Samadhi is usually misinterpreted. The real meaning of the word Samadhi is conveyed by the two syllables that makes this word - 'Sama' and 'Dhi'. 'Sama' means equal; 'Dhi' means Buddhi. So to be untouched by joy and sorrow, to take them in the same stride, is Samadhi.

150. Give two examples to explain the term 'Samadhi'?

Lord Rama and Lord Krishna as Avatars have demonstrated the state of Samadhi in the following ways:

Rama who got ready for the coronation ceremony (at 7 o'clock in the morning) at the same time and in the same stride, took the opposite decision and went away to the forest. He was not elated at the prospect of becoming the future king and he did not get depressed or frustrated when he was asked to go to the forest.

Krishna always used to be smiling, whether it was 'Rudhrabhumi', the sacrificial field, or 'Yuddhabhumi', the battlefield. His "geetha" (meaning song) was delivered on the battle field. It shows that Krishna can sing even in the midst of a battle and that the real nature of Avatars is that they are always overflowing with the spirit of delight and joy.

151. What is the meaning of the term "Swabhava"?

"Swa" is Brahma Tathva: "Swa" does not refer to the individual. 'Swa' refers to Brahma. 'Sweecha' means the will of Lord and "Swabhava" means the 'bhava' of the Lord. Our nature is Ananda in reality.

152. What are the four Purusharthas? Name them.

The four Purusharthas are: (1) Dharma, (2) Artha, (3) Kama and (4) Moksha.

153. Describe the Purusharthas in detail and explain how should be followed as advised by Bhagawan Baba?

The Purusharthas, Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha are like steps of a ladder with Dharma firmly planted in the ground and Moksha as the goal, the reaching place. Without the foundation of Dharma and the goal of Moksha, Artha and Kama in the middle are of no significance. When we understand the nature of each of them, we find a unity in all the four Purusharthas. Dharma and Artha may be grouped together. Bhagawan Baba says "Adopt Artha for Dharma and develop Kama for Moksha". Our Kama or desires should be oriented towards Moksha and the Artha that we amass must be for establishing Dharma. When we give prominence to these two things Dharma and Moksha, then Artha and Kama also become sanctified.

154. What is Dharma?

Dharma is the way of higher life directed by the ideals one holds dear, by the level of attainment one has reached, by the status of the individual in society and by the individual's own awareness of himself and his status.

155. Why has the body got the name "Deha"?

This body has got the name 'Deha' because the name signifies that the body will be burnt or destroyed one day. The transient nature of the body is contained in this very name.

156. What is a "soul" or human spirit?

The indestructible divine spark which has come into this destructible body has been called man's soul or human spirit. Because the body contains this indestructible Divine, the live body has been called "Man".

157. What is the meaning of the word "Manava' '? Explain it in detail.

The very word 'Manava' which stands for man signifies the Divinity that is present in Man. It has three syllables: (1) 'Ma' stands for ajnana or ignorance or absence of knowledge. (2) The second 'Na' stands for the desire that ignorance and absence of knowledge should disappear. (3) The third 'Va' conveys the injunction of that one should conduct oneself in a manner to remove ignorance.

158. How does creation go on?

Just as for a dream, sleep is the cause, so also for creation what is called 'Maya' is the cause. For Maya there is no beginning and there is no end - Maya always loves the soul, loves the Purusha. It wants to be with the soul and reach God. So also creation wants to reach God. It is by the co-existence and by the combination of the soul, the Purusha and Prakriti (world matter) that creation goes on.

159. It is said that "Purusha is the only one and He cannot be many". Explain how it is so?

Usually "Purusha" stands for a large number of different persons and 'Prakriti' stands for a wide variety of manifestations of this universe. But in reality Purusha can be only one. He cannot be many. The 'Purusha' or the Soul is simply the manifestation of the Divine. On the other hand the manifestation of matter of the material things in this world the Prakriti or the world is filled with all the five elements. All these are destructible and not permanent. But what is clear, what is indestructible and what is effulgent and shining is only one and is the Soul of Purusha. 'Sruti' describes this Soul as something which has no attributes, as something which is superior and eternal and permanent. In the material world of many shapes, name and Rupa, we make distinction between man and woman but in reality all these are "Prakriti" aspects only so far as the 'Purusha' is concerned and there is no difference. Atman alone is the real 'Purusha'.

160. What is Dehatma and who is Paramatma? How does human body come into existence?

By our own desires, and by the action of our parents and also by the 'Sankalpa' or the wish of God, the body which may be called 'Pot' comes into existence. The life ('Jiva') can be compared to the mud, the body is 'Dehatma'. This is going to be destroyed. The mud or the basic constituent of the human body is "Paramatma". All these human bodies in time are going to be destroyed and converted hack into elements. When we die all of us go to our original place from which we have emanated.

161. What do you mean by 'I' was Born?

What is born is the body. The real 'I' is 'Atma Tathva'; it is eternal; it is always there, it has no birth or death. It existed before we were born and it will exist even after our death. What comes and goes is only our body. So Paramatma is eternal and only Dehatma undergoes changes and dies. That which dies can be born again. Since the real 'I' soul or Atma cannot be born, what is born is only our body in reality.

162. How will you answer questions such as "Is there God"? Where is God and where is He to be seen?

The question is, "Is there God or is there no God"? The fact that the word God is contained in the question asked, namely, "Is there God", is proof that there is God. If there is no 'God', then the word 'God' would not have come into existence at all. Can anyone name something which does not exist?

Something which has no shape or existence cannot get a name. For argument sake some example like "Gagana Pushpa" meaning flower of sky may be given but in reality 'Gagana' or sky, 'Pushpa' or flower are in existence though not together but as separate entities.

God is everywhere and in everything. The whole creation is from Him and He is in the creation. So God is Omnipresent.

163. How will you justify the statement that God is Omnipresent? Give the scientific as well as spiritual reasoning to explain this statement.

The five sensations sabda, sparsa, rupa, rasa, gandha (sound, touch, form, taste and smell) are all found in the earth. Because of this, the earth is solid and stable. The second element water has no smell (gandha) and all other four senses are present, namely, sabda, sparsa, rupa and rasa (sound, touch, shape and taste). Therefore, it is able to move a little more freely than earth. Fire contains only sound, touch and shape, no gandha or rasa. So it is lighter than water and earth and so it is able to go higher and higher up more freely. The fourth one is air. It has only two qualities, namely, Sabda and Sparsa (sound and touch), all other qualities, are absent in it. So it is very light and therefore air is able to move more freely and go wherever it wants to go. The sky or space has (only one) quality, the Sabda or sound. All the other qualities have disappeared and that is the reason why we find that the sky is everywhere. God is beyond and above all these five senses of perception. He has none of the five qualities or attributes of matter. Therefore, He is lighter than all these five elements and He is present everywhere. So God is Omnipresent.

164. What is the meaning of the statement, that "God is Anoras niyan, Mahato Mahiyan"?

It means that God is infinitely smallest amongst the infinitely small - Anoraniyan, Mahato Mahiyan - means that God is vastest amongst the vast Mahato Mahiyan. He is the smallest as well as the biggest amongst all in the entire creation.

165. Why do we say that the sound 'AUM' is identical with Brahman?

This sound "AUM" is a combination of three syllables:

(1) 'Aa'

(2) 'OO'

(3) 'M'.

'Aa' is connected with awareness. It is called 'Viswa. 'OO' is the subtle and is connected with ideas of the mind, with dream. It is being considered as 'Taijasa'.

'M' is causual, is connected with cause and effect and is related to deep sleep or 'Prajna'.

So when the sound 'Aa' joins with 'OO' and when the sound 'OO' joins with 'M' we get the complete sound (AUM). That is when the 'Visva' merges into 'Taijasa', and 'Taijsa' into 'Prajna', we get the Darshan of Atma. In the same way it is only when we are able to combine the three states, the waking state, the dream state and the deep sleep stage, or combine the gross, the subtle and the causal aspects into one, we have a chance of getting a glimpse of Divine Soul.

Thus AUM, 'the Pranava', represents the entire content of Brahman.

166. What is the meaning of "Ekam Eva Advithiyam"?

When we say "Ekam Eva Advithiyam", the reference is to the Brahman which is the one and the only one without a second. Brahman is in everything and is everywhere, since it is omnipresent and omniscient, it is the absolute one reality without a second.

167. Why do we say that 'Jiva' or 'Soul' alone is indestructible while all other things in this world are destructible?

Everything that undergoes a change, everything that transforms from time to time is a destructible thing whereas what is permanent and eternal ever-present is indestructible. The human body is associated with six stages of transformation, namely:

(1) Birth;

(2) Growth;

(3) Change;

(4) Evolution or decline;

(5) Death;

(6) Destruction.

Because of this and because the body is not permanent we say everything in this world is destructible. Only the 'Jiva' the Soul does not undergo any change and is permanent. This destructible 'Jiva' or Souls dwells in this destructible body. Only the body gets destroyed but the 'Jiva' is permanent and it cannot be destroyed.

168. Is the realisation of self or soul, the final achievement?

The answer is 'No'. The realisation of self or soul will only help to understand what destructible part of man is and what the indestructible part of him is. There is something which is neither the body nor the soul. This something is what may be called the 'Purushothama', and it exceeds both these things. We can reach the goal of our realisation, only when have been able to realise this "Purushothama", i.e., God or Brahman.

169. There is a saying that "The mind is the mirror of One's inner being". Explain.

In the spiritual path, we have to find out the existence of four aspects:

(1) The soul;

(2) The intelligence;

(3) The mind;

(4) The sense organs.

For the sense organs, the mind is the master. For the mind, the intelligence is the master. For the intelligence, the soul is the master.

Therefore all the four aspects are related to one another and ultimately those four different aspects is just one aspect in reality and that is the Atman or the Soul. So what comes from within ourselves, what emanates from the inner being is the mind itself when it is reflected properly. There cannot be anything either by way of mind or by intelligence or by our action which comes from outside. All comes from within our body i.e., from Soul and so the mind is the mirror of one's inner being.

170. Explain the term "Vairagya" and how to attain it?

The mind is like cloth and desires are like thread. If we want to make the mind (cloth) disappear we have to remove the desires (thread) one by one. Diminishing the desires, our luggage or burden, as we go up in the journey of life is called in the language of Vedanta as "Vairagya". Vairagya does not mean abandoning the family and living in the forest. Vairagya is staying in and performing duties which we have to perform, having mind free from desires and attachment.

171. What benefit do we gain by "Vairagya"?

"Less luggage makes travel a pleasure". The mind made up of many desires can only give lots of trouble. "Vairagya" is performing duties which we have to perform, as being performed for God's pleasure. and not for our pleasure. It will eliminate losses, difficulties and troubles in our life. So by attaining 'Vairagya' our life journey is made easy, less troublesome safe and wholesome.

172. Why we call God "Madhava"?

The word 'Madhava' contains two syllables, 'Ma' and 'Dhava'. 'Ma' can be interpreted to mean 'Mava' or illusion; 'Ma' means Prakriti, or nature; 'Ma' also stands for Goddess of Wealth or Lakshmi. "Dhava" means Master. One who is the owner of 'Maya' or 'Prakriti' or Lakshmi. He is 'Madhava'. He is also the Paramatma.

173. What is difference between Jivatma and Paramatma?

'Paramatma' is independent. He is free whereas Jivatma or 'Jiva' is dependent and depends on something else. The 'Jiva' who is subordinate to nature cannot be identified with bliss. If we want to enjoy supreme bliss this can be done only when we identify ourself with 'Madhava' or God.

174. From where do the Upanishads come and what good can the Upanishad do for man?

Upanishad shows the path by which we can reach the 'Kaivalya' - or unity with God. Upanishads are essence of Veda and the basis of all the Upanishads are Vedas example from Yajur - Easavasya Upanishad. From Sama Veda - Keno Upanishad. As in Veda even in Upanishad we have 3 parts namely:

1. Upasana Kanda;

2. Jnana Kanda; and

3. Karma Kanda.

Upanishads tell man what he should, what he should not do, what paths will lead him to god, which path is bad and so on. The sole purpose of Upanishad is to lead to God.

175. How has the Sage Vyasa classified the Upanishads?

The Sage Vyasa classified the Upanishads and allotted them to the four Vedas. Rigveda has 21 branches and each branch has one Upanishad allotted them to the four Vedas. Rigveda has 21 branches and each branch has one Upanishad allotted to it. The Yajur Veda has 109 branches and 109 Upanishads. The Atharvana Veda has 50 branches and 50 Upanishads. The Sama Veda has 1,000 branches and 1,000 branches 1,000 Upanishads. Thus 1,180 were assigned by Vyasa to the four Vedas. Only 108 have now survived. Sankaracharya raised the status of ten by writing commentaries and so they become specially important. The ten - Esa, Kena, Katha, Prasna, Manduka, etc.)

176. What are the remaining 98 Upanishads apart from the ten well-known Upanishads?

The remaining 98 Upanishads are as follows:

1. Brahma

2. Kaivralya

3. Svethasva

4. Fabali

5. Hamsa

6. Garbha

7. Aruni

8. Paramahamsa

9. Amrithanda

10. Narayani

11. Amrthabindu

12. Atharvasikha

13. Atharvasiva

14. Kasithara

15. Maithrayani

16. Nrsimhatapani

17. Brahmajabala

18. Maithreya

19. Kalagnirudra

20. Sulabha

21. Manthrika

22. Kshithi

23. Niralamba

24. Sarvahara

25. Vajrasuchika

26. Subharahasya

27. Thejobindu

28. Nadabindu

29. Dhyanabindo

30. Brahmavidya

31. Atmabodhaka

32. Yoga

33. Thathwa

34. Naradaparivrajaka

35. Brahmana

36. Sita

37. Yogachudaamani

38. Nirvaana

39. Mandala

40. Dakshinamurthi

41. Skandaa

42. Sarabha

43. Adwaita

44. Thaaraka

45. Mahanarayana

46. Sowbhagyalakshmi

47. Saraswathiahasya

48. Mukthika

49. Bhavaricha

50. Ramathapana

51. Ramarahasya

52. Mudgali

53. Vasudeva

54. Pingala

55. Sandilya

56. Mahabhikshuka

57. Yogasiksha

58. Sanyasa

59. Thuriyathitha

60. Paramaparivrajaka

61. Narasimhu

62. Akshamalika

63. Annapoorna

64. Ekakshara

65. Akshika

66. Adhathya

67. Surya

68. Kundisakhya

69. Aatma

70. Savitri

71. Parabrahma

72. Pasupatha

73. Thripurathapana

74. Avadhootha

75. Thripura

76. Devi

77. Bhavana

78. Katha

79. Yogakundali

80. Rudrahrdaya

81. Rudraksha

82. Bhasona

83. Darsana

84. Ganapathi

85. Thaha Sata

86. Mahavakya

87. Panchabrahma

88. Gopalathapam

89. Pranagnihothra

90. Garuda

91. Krishna

92. Dattatreya

93. Varahaa

94. Vajnavalkya

95. Sathyaayana

96. Avyaktha

97. Hayagriva

98. Kalisantharana

TO BE CONTINUED …

Source:  GUIDE TO INDIAN CULTURE AND SPIRITUALITY Published by

Sri Sathya Sai Books & Publications Trust Prashanthi Nilayam, India

Sent with Sai love by Sai brother M. Palaniswamy, ‘saidevotees_worldnet’

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