Whether you take the pot to a well or to a big lake or even to the ocean, the amount of water you can bring will be only all that it can contain and no more. So, also, wherever you may go, what you can achieve, will be only what you deserve and no more. This is the truth. What other truth can I convey to you?
It is not possible to make any noise with one hand only. In the same manner, if man wants to achieve something higher, without making an effort, it is not possible. If man wants to get the fruits without making any effort, this signifies weakness on his part. In order to achieve any result, some attempt has to be made. It is man’s duty to put in his best efforts and the success or failure will be decided by God. By making an effort, we will be able to achieve many things and good results. Creation and God are not two distinct things. In our ignorance, we regard what really is a projection of God’s maya as the world and material creation. It will appear as the manifestation of the spirit of the Divine if we act wisely and with knowledge. It is only when we can think of both and discriminate between them, will we see the difference. There is an example for this. Suppose we have learnt that, in the markets of Bangalore, there are some very sweet and juicy mangoes. Just by listening to that statement can we get the experience of eating the mango? We should go to the market and see those mangoes. Merely by looking at the mangoes, the juice is not going to enter our mouth. In order to experience the sweetness of the juice, we will have to take it in. In the same manner, the first step is to understand. After understanding, we also have to go and see. After see-ing, we have to experience. As in this analogy, when we hear the words jiva and God, it is only when we see it, go near it and experience it, can we understand their aspects. We should also recognise the truth that God, alone, cannot be separately existing without His own creation; and without creation, there is no God.
By our external understanding, we call this a piece of cloth. But by some thought and understanding, we can call it a conglomeration of pieces of thread. Without the threads, we cannot get a cloth. Without the earth, we cannot have a pot. Without the gold, we cannot have any ornaments. Without Brahman, we cannot have any creation. Here we must recognise the inseparable connection between the creator on the one hand and creation on the other hand. We should try and understand, make an examination of the meaning of the words “I, World and God.”
In the market of this world, we will be able to collect the fruit of jiva. Our attempts should be to reach the market of the world and find the fruit of jiva. In the aspect of jiva, we should experience the Brahman or the God in it. You must recognise the oneness of the Brahman that is present in all of us. You may have many different vessels of different colours, of different forms and made up of different metals, but the reflection of the sun in all those vessels is of the same sun. In the same manner, we should recognise that what we find as reflection in all the jivas is the reflection of only the one Paramatma. By entertaining different ideas, which are incorrect, we are making our own life very artificial. We should make an attempt to recognise the oneness of all that is present in everyone. Here, in this group, we call out the name of Ramudu and the one with that appropriate name will get up and respond saying, “I am Ramudu.” One other name is called out as Krishna and another individual gets up and says, “I am Krishna.” While the names and forms of Rama, Krishna, Lakshmi, Narayana and Madhava look dif-ferent, yet in all of them, when they say, I am so and so, I am so and so, the common thing is the I. This aspect of I, which is present in everyone, is the aspect of Brahman. When we ask the question, “who am I?” it will be right and appropriate to give the answer, “I am I.” This is the correct interpretation of Adwaitha. Contrary to this, even if we say “Aham Brahmasmi,” I a m Brahman, we see an amount of duality. In that statement, two things appear to us. One is the I and the other is Brahman. It is this dualistic concept in man that gives rise to several misinterpretations and several doubts.
Divya Atma Swarupas:
The knowledge of Atma, the basic spiritual knowledge, is the one which enables us to recognise the oneness of all human beings. In human beings, there are four distinct varieties which are to be recognised. The best among them are those who can recognise the faults in themselves and the good in others. The second category are those who recognise only the good in themselves and the faults in others. Worse than these are the people who proclaim the good that does not exist in them and find faults which do not exist in others. There is the fourth category, worse than all the other three categories, of persons who will always talk about the non-existent good in themselves and will always praise themselves and do not recognise anything else. This can also be called praising one’s own self. When we talk of praising one’s own self, one can understand praising one’s own self where the praise is rightfully due; but if you talk of this with ego (ahamkara), it is equal to blindness. Ravana was suffering not only from this ego but he had also other bad qualities like jealousy, anger, lust and had power based on wealth. Ravana was born to parents by name Brahma and Kaikasi. He had two brothers, with names Kumbhakarna and Vibhishana.
Since the time of his birth, Ravana was a great devotee and was also habituated to perform thapas. By continuous penance, he earned the grace of Easwara and secured boons from Him. On one occasion when he was engaged in deep penance, Brahma appeared before him and asked Ravana what boon he wanted. Then Ravana asked of Brahma to grant him a boon by which he will not be killed by any human being or animal. At that time, there lived a rakshasa by name Mayura. He had built a beautiful city for himself. That city was more beautiful than the city of Indra. The daughter of Mayura was Mandodari. Ravana married Mandodari. She had many good qualities like shanthi, kindness and prema and Ravana never had any one of them in him.
This daughter of Mayura, Mandodari, with all such good qualities, was married to Ravana. From the time of marriage, his wife Mandodari tried her best to communicate her good qualities to Ravana and save him, but Ravana made no attempt to change his bad qualities. As a man reaches his end, his bad qualities will also go on increasing. So also Ravana’s bad qualities began to increase. His brother Vibhishana also tried to teach him several good ideals. Ravana also knew all about good conduct and dharma. What is the use of knowing what good conduct and dharma are if it is not to put into practice?
Whatever one may learn, it is no use unless one puts it into practice. Ravana was proficient in all the different branches of knowledge. What is the use of having all these things if he cannot use such knowledge to reach the Lord? If bad ideas enter one’s head, his wisdom and knowledge will dry up. In the end, Ravana lost his kingdom and ruined his entire family.
Ravana’s brother, Vibhishana, was a great sathwik individual. From the time of his early child-hood, he was spending all his time in thinking of the name of the Lord. When Vibhishana was in penance, Brahma appeared and asked him what boon he wanted. Vibhishana, in turn, said that he only wanted to have his mind fixed at the lotus feet of the Lord. He prayed that he be given the strength by which he will always be at the feet of the Lord. Because Vibhishana had a sathwik mind and a sathwik heart, he could reach Ramachandra. Vibhishana gave up and broke his connections with his brother, his property and his wealth and reached the feet of Ramachandra. He decided that all his wealth and all that belonged to him could be sacrificed for the purpose of getting the grace of Ramachandra. If one has complete faith in God, one can achieve any difficult task.
In our daily life, we follow so many different paths for the purpose of getting some happiness and pleasure. In this world, there are many rich people, there are many wealthy people, there are many strong people and there are educated people; but we do not find any amongst them who enjoy peace of mind. The Kauravas had any amount of wealth, physical strength and weapons but still they never derived any benefit from all that. If man makes himself distant from God and from righteousness, in what manner can he get this peace of mind?
Students: The true strength which one can have is the strength which comes from God and righteousness. You should adopt the two wings, namely the aspect of God and Dharma. Our movements in this world should be on a chariot which has two wheels, the wheels of God and of Dharma. We should experience these two, God and Dharma, as ideals in our life. Dharma alone is like the heart of our life. Forgetting this sacred dharma and taking to unjust behaviour will be ruining our own lives. We should pick out all the bad habits in us and abandon them. In their place, we should take the good from the characters in the Ramayana and put them into practice. We should try and understand the good qualities of even Ravana. It is not as if there are no good qualities in Ravana. When he was fully immersed in the thought of God, he was prepared to sacrifice even his entire body. He was truly a follower of dharma and protector of dharma. The bad qualities of Ravana did not come as natural qualities to Ravana. All the bad qualities and bad thoughts came to Ravana because of a certain curse to which he was subjected at one time. For such a curse, his own karma was responsible. The kind of work and karma that we do will determine the consequences. The kind of seed that we put in will determine the tree and the fruit that we can get out of it. Unknowingly, and in some ignorance, we do some bad things. Whether we do such bad work either knowingly or unknowingly, the consequences are inevitable. This is the nature of karma.
Here is a rose flower. There is a very nice fragrance coming from this rose flower. Whether this flower is held in the left hand or in the right hand, the fragrance that we get is exactly the same. This fragrance is being given not only to us but to all other people around us. If we hold in our hand a flower which gives a foul smell, that bad smell will be coming not only to us but to everyone near us. In the same manner, the bad qualities that were in Ravana were spreading and giving their evil results to the entire Lanka and they spread even to Vibhishana who was a sathwik person. When Vibhishana went to surrender to Rama and seek his protection, people like Sugriva, Angada and others, who were with Rama, asked whether Vibhishana, who was the brother of Ravana, would also not have the same bad qualities which were characteristic of his brother. The reason for this suspicion and for getting a bad name was the company in which Vibhishana lived. In this context, we should take great care in choosing our company. We should take care to see that we will absorb the good qualities from the society in which we live. If we join bad people and keep company with bad people, in a few days we will also get into bad habits. When we join good people and keep company with them, we will also absorb good qualities from them.
The hearts of young people are tender and clean. They are like white pieces of cloth. On this white piece of cloth, whatever colour you may put, you will immediately see the colour. You must make an attempt to keep your heart sacred and join such company which is sacred.
Having been born in this sacred country of Bharath, calling yourselves sons of this sacred country and belonging to the Hindu religion, accepting Indian culture and Indian traditions, if you only talk of them and do not practice them, you will be doing great injustice to this sacred country. All the young people should accept these good ideas and communicate them to others by their practice. This is the proper time. Your age, at this point of time, is the correct age. If during this age of yours, you acquire sacred ideas, there will be no difficulty in putting them into practice, when you get into your age of adolescence and later.
You are the future citizens of this country. You should show your good and sacred ideals not in words but in action. Instead of telling a hundred things, try and show by practice at least one thing. It is to enable you to see the importance of practice that we have organised this summer course. If, after experiencing this sacred opportunity for a whole month, you cannot use this opportunity in a good manner, you should call yourselves very unfortunate. Many elders and many experienced persons are teaching you every day about the good and sacred ideals. You should try to absorb the good ideas that are contained in all these teachings and put them into practice. You must be such that you will use this sacred opportunity in a sacred manner. Your capacity for digestion must be protected with great care. Many people are giving you a big feast. From this daily feast, you must try and digest at least a small portion and after digesting, you must get the strength therefrom into your body and put it into practice. After listening to these discourses here, when you go back to your lodging, you should not spend your time in unnecessary conversation. You should recapitulate and recollect what you have listened to. It is not as if you should only utter the words that are contained in the manthra. Mere uttering the words and reading are not sufficient. You must try and recapitulate and digest it, every word and every sound of your Omkara. All people are manifestations of Paramatma. When such a sacred opportunity has come your way, to misuse it is also a great misfortune.
The bliss that you are enjoying and the experience which you are having should not turn out to be a passing one. This should change and transform into a permanent bliss. Man is always seeking happiness and bliss. He is the embodiment of happiness. Man should never give rise to any sorrow or pain. In the young age, sometimes you may get excited or angry. When such a situation comes to you, you should try and sit alone and give some thought to it and find out what is right and what is wrong. When some thought comes into your mind, you should not immediately act with excitement. That kind of action will take you to great sin. Take time and discriminate; find out whether it is going to lead you to a good act or a bad act, is it going to give you reputation or push you down? This discrimination is very necessary for all people.
You may read many Sastras or many Puranas, but if you do not acquire the capacity to discriminate between right and wrong, all these things will become useless. In our daily life, we should conduct ourselves in an appropriate manner. We should promote a sacred life. We should establish true human nature. We should also absorb the nature of the Divine. It is for this reason that it has been said that of all things that are born, to be born as a human being is sacred. After being born as a human being, to conduct yourselves like animals is bringing disgrace to the human birth itself.
You should entertain sacred ideals in your mind and take care to see that in your daily life, you accept them and put them into practice.
Summer Showers in Brindavan 1977
BHAGAWAN SRI SATHYA SAI BABA