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20 November 2000
Inaugural Discourse of the 7th World Conference of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations
Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 33 (2000)
EMBODIMENTS of Love!
Just as the birds have two wings which help them to fly,
Love and service are the two wings which enable man to reach his goal of life quickly.
Love and service are the two wings which enable man to reach his goal of life quickly.
MAN is born to render selfless service and not to indulge in selfishness. Selfless service alone can achieve unity of mankind. Only through unity can humanity attain divinity. Hence service is very essential to understand this unity in humanity. People are under the impression that service means merely to help the poor, the weak and the forlorn. It is a big mistake to think that you are rendering service to others. In fact, you are serving yourself because the same principle of the atma, the same principle of love is present in all. All men are essentially one. The differences lie only in their feelings. So, man should change his feelings and try to recognise the truth that the same divinity is immanent in all. Only then can there be transformation in man.
Selfless Service Kills Ego
The hands do the work, the tongue performs the task of talking and the head enquires. All these limbs of the body may be different from each other but the divine power that exists in them is one and the same. Likewise, the same divinity exists in all beings. Once you understand this truth, the service you render will become divine. One should not become egoistic thinking that one is doing great service. Actually, service is meant to kill ego. You cannot call it service if it is rendered with ego. First of all, ego has to be subdued. Body attachment is the root cause of ego. Ego will vanish once the body attachment is given up. The spirit of oneness will develop once the ego is annihilated.
Just as hands, eyes, nose, mouth, etc., are the limbs of the body, likewise all human beings are the limbs of society. Society is the limb of Nature and Nature is the limb of God. Seeing this vast Nature, one should not think that it is different from God. One should understand the fundamental truth that divinity pervades the entire creation. Bulbs, their colours and wattage may vary, but the current in all of them is one and the same. Likewise, names and forms of individuals may be different but the principle of the atma that exists in all of them is one and the same. The service you render will become meaningful only when you understand this truth. You should not think that you are different from the one whom you are serving. This kind of dualistic feeling gives rise to evil qualities like hatred, jealousy, etc. In fact, all evil qualities like desire, anger, greed, etc., are of man’s own making. They arise from the head, whereas noble qualities like love, compassion forbearance, originate from the heart. Head sees unity as diversity, whereas heart proves unity in diversity. Hence, head symbolizes pravritti (outward path) and heart stands for nivritti (inward path).’ Never think that society cannot progress if you do not render service. Society does not depend on you. If not you, someone else will do the needful. God governs everything. In the first instance, try to understand the meaning of the word “service”. It is possible to understand this once you understand who you are. You are a manava (human being). Manava does not mean the physical form alone. It is synonymous with the principle of the atma. Human being is the manifestation of the five elements. The ancient sages had total control over the five elements and thus could enjoy peace and security. Man will shine forth as atmaswarupa (embodiment of the atma) once he becomes the master of the five elements.
Levels Of The Mind
There are different levels of the mind, namely, Super Mind, Higher Mind, Illumination Mind and Over Mind. Man will reach the stage of totality only when he attains the level of Over Mind.
Super Mind is related to body consciousness. The source of body consciousness is the principle of the atma that pervades the entire body. Body consciousness becomes thought consciousness when one reaches the level of Higher Mind. Body consciousness is limited to physical level, whereas thought consciousness has no such limits and can travel up to any distance. That is why thought consciousness is termed as Higher Mind. Higher Mind transcends the five elements. To reach this transcendental state, one has to begin with Super Mind. Higher Mind however does not signify the highest state. Illumination Mind is, in fact, beyond Higher Mind.
The Power Of Illumination Mind
There is current in the human body from top to toe. The body itself is a big generator. Illumination Mind, which is related to the current in the body, is very powerful. When one attains this level, one will have current even in one’s nails and hair. A worldly person will not feel any pain when his nails are clipped, but after attaining the level of illumination Mind, one will get a shock when one tries to clip the nails. Modern youth may attribute this to nonavailability of nail cutters in those days. But one need not have a nail cutter to clip one’s nails. One nail can cut the other. But the person at the level of Illumination Mind will feel the shock when his nails are clipped. The thoughts, words and deeds of one with Illumination Mind are suffused with divinity. That gives rise to a very powerful ‘three phase’ current in the body. Such people will have current even in their hair. You can feel the shock when you touch their hair. Even in an ordinary individual, there is electric current in the body.
The electricity present within spreads in the entire body because of the pumping of the heart. The doctors say that the lungs purify the blood with oxygen and send it to the heart. But actually, the life-force present in the lungs becomes current through vibration. This current can travel a long distance. Each time the heart pumps, the blood travels a distance of 12,000 miles in the body. How can we say this? When we join all the blood vessels in the body, both small and big (arteries, veins, capillaries, etc.), they cover a length of 12,000 miles. Just as a generator can illumine a bulb connected to it even at a distance of 100 miles, likewise the current originating from the sacred feelings in the heart can travel up to any distance. This is the power of Illumination Mind.
God’s Creation Is The Most Mysterious
At the level of Illumination Mind, one’s mind undergoes a great change and becomes the subtle force. This subtle force has three powers – prana shakti, mano shakti and vijnana shakti. No scientist, doctor or engineer can understand this. You can give rest to any limb of the body but not to the heart. The heart continues to function even in your sleep. Which doctor or scientist can understand this? The eye looks so small but there are 13 lakh light rays in it. Who has made it? All this is God’s creation. God’s creation is the most mysterious, sacred and wonderful. All that is seen outside is nothing but the reflection, reaction and resound of the inner being. You go to a temple in order to have the vision of God. But when you stand in front of the idol, you close your eyes and pray. The inner meaning of this is that one has to see God not with the physical eyes, but with the eyes of wisdom. You will get the eyes of wisdom only when you turn your vision inward. That is the reason people meditate with their eyes closed and visualize God within. The whole world is just the reflection, reaction and resound. You desire for the reflection forgetting the reality.
The gross body is made up of food. The mind, the intellect, the chitta and the ahamkara constitute the subtle body. It is the subtle body that experiences pain and pleasure. The Illumination Mind comprises the causal body. It transcends worldly thoughts and feelings. There is no trace of desire, anger, greed, ego, pride and jealousy in it. The level of Illumination Mind is reached only when all the worldly thoughts are subdued. In order to control worldly thoughts, one has to reach the level of Super Mind. Super Mind is nothing but superior mind, that which transcends the ordinary mind. The fundamental basis to attain Super Mind is to cultivate super love, i.e., love without any desire. That is why I often tell you, love is God, live in love. Start the day with love, spend the day with love, fill the day with love and end the day with love. This is the way to God. When you wake up in the morning, do not think of your mundane activities. Wake up with the feelings of pure love. But today, man does not have such feelings of pure love. The reason for this, as I told you yesterday, is that the parents themselves have no sacred feelings. If the parents wake up in the morning abusing each other, the children go a step further and fight with each other as soon as they wake up.
Man Should Fill His Mind With Love For God
At the time of birth, man has no desires. But as he grows up, he acquires many desires which lead to bondage. Man should fill his mind with love for God. He should forget all his worrries and contemplate on Him. This is possible only through practice. Reading, writing, walking, talking, all these are learnt only through practice. Likewise, even in the path of spirituality, practice is very essential. Start practising love. That is the correct spiritual practice. Share your love with more and more people. You will experience oneness. Once you start sharing your love with everybody, then the whole world will become one family. After expanding your love in this manner, control your external thoughts and turn inward. Then you will attain the state of Illumination Mind where there are absolutely no thoughts and no action. Even the iron is melted by the power of electric current. Likewise, the duality of good and bad is annihilated by the Illumination Mind. In spiritual parlance, this is called samadhi state. samadhi means sama+dhi (equalmindedness). The Illumination Mind unifies good and bad and develops the spirit of oneness. What is it that you have to do in order to attain this state? Serve all with love. Consider service to man as service to God.
When it comes to rendering service, do not observe any differences. Do not consider that you are rich and the other man is poor. Who is the richest man in the world? The one who has contentment is the richest man in the world. Who is the poorest man? The one who has many desires is the poorest man. Cut short your desires. It is said, “Less luggage more comfort make travel a pleasure.” You can have a comfortable journey of life only when you reduce the luggage of your desires. The lesser the desires, the greater will be the will power. The body has death but not the mind. The mind is responsible for everything. So, fill your mind with pure and selfless thoughts. Then you will attain the state of Illumination Mind. Gradually, you will cross Illumination Mind and attain Over Mind. In Vedantic parlance, this is known as the state of amanaska (non-existence of mind). Once the mind is withdrawn, only the principle of the atma, i.e., the Superconsciousness exists.
Develop Purity Through Service
Man has the capacity to attain any exalted position. Any task can be accomplished through practice. A small ant can travel hundereds of miles if it decides to do so. But even an eagle, endowed with strong wings, cannot move an inch without effort. Love and service are like two wings for man. He can attain any exalted position with the help of these two wings. The lives of many noble souls bear testimony to this fact.
Divinity Is Present In Every Cell Of The Human Body
Today man finds it difficult to sit quietly and steadily even for a few minutes. But our ancients could keep their body steady in one posture for any number of days. People think that the body is able to move because of the circulation of blood and the functioning of nerves. But when one reaches the state of Illumination Mind, blood circulation stops. You may think that the body becomes lifeless without blood circulation, but super blood starts circulating and makes the body function. When super blood starts circulating in the body, it becomes superior in nature.
In this connection, the Upanishads declare: “Raso Vai Saha” (God pervades the body in the form of essence). Then all that one sees, does and experiences becomes divine. Just as sugar is present in every drop of syrup, Supreme Power (Divinity) is present in every cell of the human body. But today, man considers himself to be weak. He alone can experience bliss who understands the truth that everything is within.
All that man learns from books is nothing but the reflection, reaction and resound of the inner being. Man’s speech is decided by the feelings of the inner being. Speech is resound and heart is the real sound. This real sound leads to resound. In the path of spirituality, there are many such subtle secrets. Without understanding these secrets, man undertakes various spiritual practices and wastes his time. You need not undertake any spiritual practice once you understand the fundamental truth.
Neither by penance nor by pilgrimage nor by study of scriptures nor by Japa can one cross the ocean of life. One can achieve it only by serving the pious. (Sanskrit Sloka)
When you serve others, your power will also increase. The power of attraction is present in everybody. The purer you become, the greater will be your power of attraction and so, you will absorb more power. All the powers that are present in the earth are latent in man. Man, in fact, is the reserviour of all powers – electrical, magnetic and laser. Thus, man is very powerful. Then why should he consider himself weak?
For Everything Service Is Important
Some people come to Me and complain that they are unable to control their mind. How can you control your mind ? You can control your mind only through love and not merely by sitting in meditation. When you develop love, there will be no scope for evil qualities like anger and hatred. You will be able to love even your enemies. You will not consider anybody as your enemy; you will see oneness in all. That is blissful life. Bliss sheath is the last of five sheaths present in man, namely, annamaya kosha (food sheath), pranamaya kosha (life sheath), manomaya kosha (mind sheath), vijnanamaya kosha (wisdom sheath) and anandamaya kosha (bliss sheath). Today man is able to travel only upto mind sheath. Thereafter, he does not have the ticket nor does he have the chariot to reach bliss sheath. People are under the mistaken notion that vijnanamaya kosha is related to science. But, in fact, it has nothing to do with science. There is a gulf of difference between wisdom and science. Science is related to the power of the mind and machine, whereas wisdom originates from the power of the atma. For everything service is important.
Duty Relates To Duality Whereas Service To Oneness
to perform Rajasuya Yajna, Lord Krishna approached Dharmaraja and asked if everything was ready. Dharmaraja replied that all arrangements were over and he had allotted various duties to others. Then Krishna requested for an opportunity to render some service. He used the word service and not duty because duty relates to duality, whereas service to oneness. Dharmaraja said, “Swami, what service can I assign to You? Instead give us an opportunity to serve You”. Krishna said, “I don’t require others’ service. I serve everybody”. God assumes human form to serve and sustain humanity. I am your servant, not the master. Understand this truth. I come to you to give darshan, wherever you are seated. I never say that you should come to Me. It is said, God always stands at the entrance of your puja room ready to give whatever you ask for. God is always ready to grant the wishes of His devotees. God is always with you, in you, around you. God renders service to man, so that he may serve his fellow-beings. Dharmaraja asked Krishna as to what service He would like to do. Krishna said, He would remove the plantain leaves after everyone finishes partaking of food in them. By this act of His, Krishna demonstrated the ideal of service to mankind.
Human body may be compared to a tender plantain leaf. The five senses of man are like the delicious items served on the leaf. One should offer the food to God before partaking of it. But man in his foolishness is offering the ‘delicious items’ to the demons of desire, anger, greed, pride and jealousy. After the demons consume the ‘delicious items’ and spoil the leaf, the leftover is offered to God! First and foremost, these ‘delicious items’ should be offered to God who is present within in the form of Vaishvanara. You offer food to God by chanting the sloka:
Brahmarpanam Brahma Havir Brahmagnou Brahmanahutam Brahmaiva Thena Ganthavyam Brahma Karma Samadhina.
Immediately God replies from within:
Aham Vaishvanaro Bhutva Praninam Dehamastrita Pranapana Samayukta Pachamyannam Chaturvidham.
God is present in everybody in the form of Vaishvanara. So, whomsoever you serve, consider that you are serving God.
Experience Unity In Totality
Love has no form; it has only name. Gold by itself has no form. But people mould it in the shape of a ring or a chain, thereby giving it a form. Likewise, many forms are attributed to the formless Divinity.
Divinity is pure, immortal, attributeless, formless, ancient and eternal. But people worship a form for their own satisfaction. That is why God incarnates. He is the creator, sustainer and destroyer. But you think different gods exist for creation, sustenance and destruction. They are all like ministers of God. Everything is under His control. So, when you offer something to God, it amounts to offering to all gods.
Easwara Sarva Bhutanam (God is present in all beings). Formless God can be visualized in the form of all beings. He is the Reality and all the forms are His reflections. He is one, but you see many reflecions. You may find the projection of earthquakes, floods and volcano eruptions on the cinema screen but the screen is unaffected by all this. You may find a river on the screen but the screen does not get wet. Likewise, all the multiplicity appears only to the external vision; the Illumination Mind sees only oneness. That oneness is the Divine Power. It is present in one and all. You search for God at various places as you are unable to understand this truth. To know this truth, love all. Then you can visualize unity in diversity. Lord Krishna declared, Mamaivamsho Jeevaloke Jeevabhuta Sanathana (the eternal atma in all beings is a part of My Being). Do not get deluded by the differences in physical form. Treat everyone alike. Con-sider all that you see as your own reflection.
When you cultivate this feeling of oneness, you will attain the level of Illumination Mind. When you are at the level of Super Mind, you think that you are different from others. This is dualism. It is said, “A man with dual mind is half blind.” Gradually, go up to the Higher Mind where you understand your true nature. Then you reach Illumination Mind. Once you experience this unity to totality, you attain Over Mind. That is your goal. That is everything for you. All the spiritual practices are meant to attain this goal. Practices that are done with the physical body cannot improve the state of the mind. What is essential is the purity of the mind.
Speaking Softly Is Also Service
Remember Swami’s words whenever you participate in service activities. Some rich people feel that they are unable to serve the community and participate in service activities. Service does not mean helping with hands alone. Talk softly and sweetly. Speak good words. That is also a form of service. Give food and money to the needy and work for their welfare. That is also a form of service. Cleaning the streets or serving the patients is not the only means of service. But those who get the opportunity can certainly do it as per their capacity.
The other day, Anantapur College girls came to Me and said, “Swami, boys are going to each and every house in the villages distributing food packets. Once we finish packing the food, we have no other work. Please give us some work.” I told them to go to the villages, clean the temples and whitewash them. Body itself is the temple of God. When you white wash the temples outside, think that you are painting the temple of body with love. That is true service. Never use harsh words. You cannot always oblige, but you can speak always obligingly. Bodily wounds can be cured by the use of medicines. But the wounds inflicted by the tongue can never be healed. That is why I repeatedly tell you to cultivate love and talk with love. I never use harsh words even when I appear to be angry. I always speak lovingly. You too will become divine when you cultivate such Divine Love.
Cultivate good thoughts. Good thoughts lead to good actions. Good actions lead to sathsanga (good company). Cultivate love. Everything is based on love and love alone. Man is born in love, is sustained in love and ultimately merges in love. Love is the basis of human life. But you are forgetting such true love and are getting carried away by the worldly and physical love, which is not love in the true sense.
The dhobi beats the clothes on the hard stone and draws over it the hot iron to straighten the folds. So, you too, will have to pass through a terrain of travail in order to become fit to approach God. See Me as resident in everyone. Give them all the help you can, all the service they need. Do not withhold the sweet word, the supporting hand, the assuring smile, the comforting company, the consoling conversation.
– Sri Sathya Sai Baba