Being the tiniest among the tiny particles, and being the biggest amongst the infinitely large things, and being present and recognised as a witness to all the living and the non-living things in the creation, Atma is identical with Brahman and Brahman is identical with Atma.
You cannot ascribe a time for Atma to come or go and thus place limitations on it. It is permanently present everywhere, and it has neither good qualities nor bad qualities. It is present as the smallest thing in the small things and as the biggest thing in the infinitely large things.
Like the burning power of the fire and the shining strength of the sun, Atma is all-knowing. It has no sorrow, it has no attachment, it has no special feeling like any of the five senses which man experiences. It is present in all living things. It endows all living beings with an amount of wisdom called pragnana.
Atma is not visible from outside. Atma is neither visible nor invisible. It has no special form attached to itself. It is all pervading. This cannot be something which is either seen or not seen, either experienced or not experienced. It is something which is neither manifested nor unmanifested. It is above all this and beyond all description or even comprehension.
Atma cannot be what we can hear with our ears; what we can feel with any of our sensory organs. These can only be a means or instruments, in a limited sense, for understanding the Atma.
As we can experience the presence of matter with our sensory organs, the body is experiencing all the creation around it with its senses. Like the lamp which helps one to find out things, functioning as an ancillary instrument, so also all the organs help the body to experience the surroundings.
It is not right to describe this body, which in that manner depends upon various ancillary instruments, as Atma. We now recognise that the mind, the intelligence, the body, the chitta and the Antha Karana are all distinct from the Atma. Intelligence has been given a special position, a position which is higher than those of the senses.
Here is something which can be called a clear piece of glass or stone. It is incapable of self-luminescence. Since it has no shining or effulgence of its own, it can shine only when it is close to light. In a similar manner, effulgence is natural to Atma, and when the intelligence is close to it, it acquires the capacity to shine; otherwise we see that intelligence has no shining in it.
Moon does not shine by itself. The rays of the sun fall on the moon and the moon shines by reflection. In the same manner, intelligence is not self-effulgent. As the knife can take sharpness with it, so also the knife of intelligence can take sharpness with it. Thus intelligence is also an instrument and the sharpness, which it gets, also goes with the instrument. In that context also, we cannot identify Atma with the body or the senses.
In order that we may discover and understand Atma, this container, the human body, can become instrumental and can be helpful.
We can control the desires, which arise out of the sensory organs which are present in the body, by exercising and disciplining the mind.
In the very first instance we should try to understand the nature and attitude of the mind. Many times, I have explained this to you. This is a door and there is a lock on the door. To open the lock on the door, we put the key inside the lock. If we turn the key towards the right, the lock opens. If we turn the key towards the left, the lock gets locked. In the same manner, our heart can be compared to a lock. Our mind is like the key. If we put the key of our mind in the lock of the heart and turn it towards Paramatma, we get detachment; if we turn it towards the world, we get attachment. We should, in that context, make an attempt to put the key of our mind in the lock of our heart and by using our intelligence turn the key towards Paramatma.
There is no doubt whatsoever that even by remaining a part and parcel of this creation, we can experience the divinity in our heart. And as we mentioned earlier, if we get a tree, the fruits from the tree are important. While the fruits on a tree are important, in order to get such fruits we have to protect the tree, the leaves and the branches. In a similar manner, the Atma is most important for us, but we have to protect the body and the sensory organs which help us to recognise the Atma. In this tree of creation, what is it that we are looking for? We are looking for the fruits of liberation or moksha. In this tree, as well, there are so many branches and leaves in the form of our relations and attachments. The leaves which are the ideas are present in a large number on the tree. Our thoughts and our desires are like the flowers that blossom on the tree. On the same tree is also the fruit of liberation or moksha. If we really want to get this fruit of moksha, we can do so only if we protect the leaves and the branches as well. However, this is not enough.
While having the desire to reach the fruit which is visible on the tree, what we have to do is to take care of the invisible roots of the tree and we have to water these invisible roots. These roots, which are invisible, can be compared with our faith and our belief in the Atma. On the roots of faith in this Atma is based the entire tree with all its leaves and branches. It is only when we undertake to water the roots and protect the tree, will we be able to get the fruit of moksha.
The sweet rasa, or the juice that can be extracted out of the fruit of moksha, is our character. If this juice of character and the faith, which is the root of the tree, are not present, then the tree becomes useless. Young people, if this faith does not exist in the form of roots, if the character does not exist in the form of juice, then it is no longer a tree; it is as bad as firewood. The first thing we must do is to promote our faith in Atma, faith in one’s own self, and then we must try and reach the fruit of liberation.
Lakshmana, Bharatha and Satrughna regarded this as important. Faith in Atma is identical with faith in Rama, and is identical with faith in Brahman.
In the story of Ramayana, just as Lakshmana was closely following Rama, so also Satrughna was closely following Bharatha. Such was the inseparable connection that existed between Bharatha and Satrughna. If Rama was not present, Lakshmana would not be happy at all. In the same manner, if Bharatha was not present for a moment, Satrughna would be in great sorrow.
Like Lakshmana, Satrughna was also easily excited. When Satrughna saw Manthara, his anger was so much that he caught hold of her hair and pulled her towards Bharatha. Satrughna was prepared to kill Manthara. On that occasion, Bharatha advised Satrughna that if he wants to get the grace of Rama, he should refrain from doing such harsh things. Bharatha said: “Could I not have punished my mother for her guilt? But if Rama comes to know that we have been cruel to our own mothers, he would send us away and would not show grace to us.”
We should see here that Bharatha and Satrughna were prepared to cause hurt and harm to their own mothers, but they were not prepared to displease Rama by their acts.
Bharatha and Satrughna were always following Rama because Rama was the embodiment of dharma and they were always wanting to please Him and earn His grace. Rama, Lakshmana, Bharatha and Satrughna were the embodiments of the four great qualities of sathya, dharma, shanthi and prema.
In order to experience prema, man goes about searching for several methods. If we really want to experience prema we have got to understand what peace or shanthi means. If we want to follow the path of peace, we will have to accept the path of dharma. If we want to follow the path of dharma, we will have to accept the path of truth. Here is a small example. Let us take prema as the shining light. If we want to experience this shining light, we should have a bulb. If we want the bulb to glow and experience the shining light, we should have a connection to the bulb. By just a connection of wire to the bulb, the bulb is not going to glow. In that wire, we should have an electric current. Here we see that the electric current can be compared to the truth, the wire can be compared to dharma while the bulb can be compared to shanthi or peace. If we have all these three things, then only we will get prema, the light. We may have a good new bulb, we may have a wire, are we going to get light out of that? Unless there is current inside the wire, we cannot get the bulb to glow.
That is how Bharatha and Satrughna were following Rama and Lakshmana and were demonstrating their ideals in life to the people. In this manner, when Rama became the King and when Bharatha was the Prince and while the kingdom was being happily ruled and after all the rakshasas in Lanka were destroyed, a very powerful son of Ravana by name Lavanasura was still alive. Lavanasura was the eldest son of Ravana. He had the grace of Shiva. He had acquired the Trisula from Shiva. Depending upon the power of his Trisula, Lavanasura was giving a lot of trouble to the rishis and other good people.
The rishis could no longer bear the atrocities committed by Lavanasura, and they came running to Rama and begged Him to protect them and kill Lavanasura. Rama knew that this kind of prayer from rishis would come. He looked at Satrughna who willingly accepted to go and destroy the enemies. Satrughna was a very strong person and had many good qualities. Devotion and faith were his strong points, but unfortunately, in Ramayana, Satrughna’s qualities were not described to the people in a prominent manner. As soon as this was known to Satrughna, he went and touched the feet of Rama. He told Rama that by His grace, he could undertake the task and destroy the enemies. Rama knew very well that Satrughna was a powerful person and so he smilingly blessed Satrughna. Not only this, Rama explained to Satrughna the secret of the weapon, Trisula.
Summer Showers in Brindavan 1977
BHAGAWAN SRI SATHYA SAI BABA