“I Am Thine”
Giving up of one’s evil thoughts constitutes sacrifice and Yoga—leaving one’s wife, giving up one’s material possessions and retiring to the forest will be of no avail. I speak to you the truth that exists.
Embodiments of Love!
Thyaga (sacrifice) is the touchstone of righteousness, charity, yagna (sacrifice) and yaga. Lobha (greed) is the root cause of sinful actions resulting in injustice, unfairness, falsehood, misconduct and weakness. Man should first realise his responsibility, discriminate between good and evil, sin and virtue, and then begin to act in the right manner. It is a mistake to think that control of senses is necessary only for yogis and sanyasins. Sense control is essential for all human beings. When all humans are able to control the senses, it will lead to the well-being of the world. Devotion without humanity and patriotism without morality will be of no use and will bring harm to the community. However, actions undertaken to please God assume the nature of sacrificial offerings and are conducive to the well-being of all.
The six evils of lust, anger, pride, greed, desire, and jealousy spring from man’s identification with his body. Compassion, love, and the spirit of sacrifice arise, on the contrary, from the Atma. Every individual must develop and follow the virtues proceeding from the Atma. We have forsaken the noble human virtues and are pursuing instead the temporary pleasures that gratify the senses. Krishna said, “The Lord is the father of the entire creation comprising the sentient and insentient objects, Arjuna! There is only one Lord who holds sway over the entire universe. He is the Lord of the universe, the Jagan Natha, the Vishwa Natha and also the Master of all life or the Prana Natha. The governance of this world is in the hands of the Lord of the universe. He gets work done through all human beings. Without the Lord’s prompting, human endeavour cannot progress. This Divinity is manifested and demonstrated in all creatures in the form of Truth—Consciousness—Bliss.
“Arjuna! Undertake work in order to please God and not to gratify the senses. Your actions are responsible for elevation to the highest state or degradation to the lowest planes. Your joys and sorrows proceed from your own actions. Your actions are responsible for your sins and virtues. Fix your mind on the Atma and do your work for the pleasure of God; your actions will then be disinterested. Disinterested action destroys the demoniac qualities of man and promotes the divine tendencies. It strengthens pure and sathwic qualities in man. Thus it is said that man has only the authority to act and that it is God who dispenses the fruits of man’s actions. You should not undertake any work in the hope of receiving its fruit. You will become an exemplar for the world when you achieve control of the senses and undertake disinterested actions. As the representative of mankind, O Arjuna, you should take a pledge to perform sacred actions.”
The human aspect (jivatva) and the Divine aspect (Daivatva) have a close connection. You should recognise the significance of the cycle of creation. The cycle starts with akshara (indestructible); from akshara comes Brahma; yajna comes from Brahma; from yajna comes karma; from karma comes parjanya, and from parjanya, our food; and from food comes life. This is the cycle of creation. When we consider their sequence—Akshara (The Word), Brahma (the Cosmic Reality), yajna (sacrifice), karma (action), parjanya (clouds), anna (food), and prana (life)—we notice that Akshara comes first and prana stands last. All living creatures are born from food, live by food, and are nourished by food. It is declared that “Food is God” (Brahma). When we examine the cycle of creation commencing with Akshara and concluding with prana, we must recognise what entity lies closest to Akshara. The first is Akshara, then comes Brahma, then comes yajna, then we have karma, parjanya, anna, and prana. In this cycle, prana, life, comes closest to Akshara, the permanent reality. It goes to prove that life in its essential quality stands closest to Akshara. Karma Thathwa (action) achieves coordination between these other entities. On one side, we have Akshara, Brahma, and yajna. On the other side, we have parjanya, anna, and prana. Karma stands in the centre with these entities on either side. Karma offers a synthesis of the three aspects, Akshara, Brahma, and yajna on one side, and parjanya, anna, and prana on the other side.
Life is not permanent. It is encased in the body that is ever-changing and is made up of the five senses, five sheaths and five elements and is related to the ksharapurusha, whichis subject to destruction and decay. But, life endowed with Divinity is related to Akshara which cannot be destroyed. These two aspects, the destructible (kshara) and the indestructible (Akshara) are also characterised as ahara (unstable) and Sthira (stable) respectively.
Sthira is also Akshara because it is beyond change and above the mutations of place and time. Chara is that which is connected with the five senses, compounded of the five elements and goes on changing. Our life is subjected to many troubles between these two aspects of Sthira and Chara. A small illustration. In the villages, people use the grind stone. It consists of two round stones; the one at the bottom is stationary while the one at the top rotates. If we place some grains between the stones, they get crushed to powder. The grains keep getting scattered and crushed between the stones. But the few grains that remain at the centre of the stones remain safe and do not get crushed. That safe place may be compared to the sphere of God. Living beings that exist close to God will be free from all danger. Therefore, in all our actions we should manifest the Divine aspect and thereby proclaim through our deeds the joy of Divinity concealed in humanity.
We should try to live without being affected by joy and sorrow caused by birth and death of the body. No one weeps when he finds ice to be cold or when he is told that fire is hot. It is natural that ice is cold and fire is hot. In the same manner, death is natural for the body that is born. Why should one weep over that? We are becoming victims of sorrow by regarding a natural phenomenon as unnatural. The cause for this is attachment. Infatuation stems from the instinct to possess. By developing fondness for the phenomenal world, we are becoming unmindful of our Divinity.
Krishna advised Dhananjaya, “Arjuna! You are becoming a victim of abhimana and mamakara and falling into a mood of dejection. You should not allow your human nature to be affected by feebleness. One who wants to live in this world must be manly. When you undertake action in a spirit of dedication to the Lord, when you work with your body without any consideration of the fruits of your action, then you tread the royal path.”
That is why it is said that King Janaka could attain the highest state by doing his daily work always in a spirit of dedication. We should cultivate the spirit of surrender, saying, “I am Thine.” There is an apt illustration. In the Bhagavatha, the gopikas from the beginning used to tell Krishna, “We belong to You.” This is the characteristic feature of true devotion and surrender. Therefore, Krishna protected them at all times wherever they were. On the other hand, the people of Dwaraka regarded Krishna as their possession. “Krishna is our brother, our aunt’s son, our uncle’s son, our cousin, our nephew,” they thought. Such relationships clouded their attitude towards Krishna. This feeling that Krishna belonged to them made them feel that the Pandavas triumphed because of Krishna, who belonged to the Yadava clan, and that, therefore, the credit should go to the Yadavas. Thus, they developed ahamkara also; and this marked the beginning of their destruction taking the shape of a catastrophe (pralaya) and wiping out the entire race itself. On the other hand, the gopikas were always safe and happy because they were devoid of ego, possessiveness and pride.
In Arjuna’s case, however, the Lord Himself claimed him as His own. How fortunate Arjuna was! Krishna and Arjuna were described as nara (man) and Narayana. Krishna showed Arjuna as the ideal man and the model representative and through Arjuna as His medium, He communicated to mankind the sacred message.
Though we are enveloped by Divinity, we become victims of sorrow by cultivating attachment to worldly phenomena. The ash conceals the fire from which it arises. The moss covers the water from which it is born. The cataract that is formed in the eye blinds the vision. The dirt that gathers on the mirror makes the mirror give a blurred image. In the same manner, ignorance which had its origin in Divinity ultimately shrouds our sacred knowledge. The evil tendencies in us are responsible for this. When we banish these evil tendencies and thoughts, it will be possible for us to behold Krishna, the Lord.
It is only when we remove the evil propensities in our mind and visualise Divinity that we can live according to Easwara dharma. A person desiring to live according to Easwara dharma should purify his mind. When the head is stuffed with evil tendencies, when the ears listen to evil words, when the eyes peep at evil scenes on the sly, when the mind is wavering and deceptive, dharma cannot come anywhere near you.
Students and Teachers!
It is proper that you should feel that you belong to Swami, instead of feeling that Swami is yours. If you undertake the journey of life in this spirit of surrender, you will be greatly blessed. You shall enhance the sacred nature of our country by such an attitude. You can propagate the spirit and the message of the Gita if you preserve in your heads this one line, “He is the Father and the Lord of the Universe.” You should strengthen your faith in the Lord who rules over the universe and prompts all your actions. This faith left a strong impact on Arjuna’s heart and he acted according to the Divine ordination.
Arjuna said, “I will act according to Your Command. Pardon me for having posed so many questions knowingly or unknowingly. I have misused precious time, feeling proud of my intelligence, ego and physical prowess.” Strength of body, strength of mind, and strength of learning are of no avail without the strength derived from God. Without divine strength, all these are feeble.
Do not feel proud of your youthful vigour and beauty. All your freshness and lustre shall fade away like the beauty of a flower which blossoms at dawn and fades by dusk. The stories of your petty achievements flash like lightning and then vanish, leaving behind utter darkness. We should not forget our divine destiny and be enticed by evanescent pleasures. Every student must make sincere attempts to understand and implement the spirit of the Gita. They should preserve in their hearts the sacred and blissful Atma Thathwa, which is glorified by the Bhagavad Gita.
BHAGAWAN SRI SATHYA SAI BABA