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  Volume 4 - Issue 01
JANUARY 2006
 
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OUR JOURNEY… TO LOVE, WITH LOVE

By Sri Jagdish Chandra
- A Current M. Phil Student in Swami's Institute.


This is the text of the talk delivered by Jagdish Chandra in the Divine Presence of Bhagawan Baba on 18th Aug 2005, the second day of the conference on "EDUCATION FOR THE 21st CENTURY- EDUCATION TO EDUCARE".

With humility, and love, I offer myself at the Lotus Feet of my Beloved Swami; my Lord, my Master. Honorable Chief Guest, Distinguished Dignitaries, Revered Elders, dear Sisters and Brothers. Sai Ram to One and All.

A few days back, as I was going back to the hostel, from the mandir, I saw a person wearing a T-shirt which sported a peculiar saying, it said, “I was born Intelligent, but Education spoiled me.” As I walked into the Mandir today, and stood right in front of the banner that portrays the theme of the conference, I read “Education to Educare.” What is this journey? How does one go about it?

Let me start with a small anecdote. A man once dreamt that he went into a beautiful shopping complex and after making a tour and buying some items he finally went to the billing counter. To his utter astonishment, he finds God standing there! He plucks up courage and asks the Lord,

God Points the Way…

God! What are you selling here?” God replied: “Whatever is good for you!” The man started thinking. After a while he said, “God, then give me something that can take away my pain.” God said: “No, I will not do that, for trials, tribulations and pain draw you away from the world and closer to me.”

Then the man said: “God, give me happiness!” God answered, “No. I can bless you, but happiness is up to you.

The man pondered a little and said, “God give me all the things so that I can enjoy life.” “No. I have given you life so that you can enjoy all things,” replied the Lord.

At the end the man was exhausted. He thought frantically and came up with a wonderful solution. He said: “God, now I understand the most essential, the most valuable thing for a human being. And they are the Human Values! Give me Sathya, Dharma, Shanti and Prema.” This time God chuckled, “Son, you have got me wrong! We don’t sell fruits here. We sell only seeds. It is up to you to inculcate them. I can only point, but you have to follow.” That is what we have to do.

And what is the necessity of these Human Values? They show man the highest of goals. The path to tread - where to begin and where to reach. The Ultimate Reality that each and every human being is essentially Divine. And the basic purpose of his life, his existence, is to merge back into the Source from where he originated.

THE FOUR BEAUTIFUL PILLARS THAT SHOW THE WAY

TRUTH

There are four Beautiful Pillars that take us to the goal. The first is truth, Sathya. Bhagavan beautifully teaches us that Sathya is beyond our ordinary understanding of the word truth. It denotes the Ultimate Truth - the Truth that reveals to man that he is essentially Divine.

Divine Arithmetics…Divine Lessons

It once happened that a group of devotees came from Madras. And as Bhagavan glided by in Darshan, He went and stood in front of them. Bhagavan asked the group leader, “How many members are there?” The group leader said: “Bhagavan, 20.”

Swami said: “No, 21.”

The man counted once more. He thought there might an error. But his counting was perfect. He said: “Bhagavan, we are 20!”

Swami replied, “You forgot to count Me! I am always there in that group! How could you forget this?” Overjoyed, the man had to agree!

The next day Swami approached the group again. This time the leader was ready to face another question. But he did not know that a different answer was asked of him. Bhagavan again asked: “How many members?” The man said, “Swami, 21.”

Swami answered, “No, 40.”

There could be a slight difference when one considers 21, 23, and 22. But 40 is altogether a very huge number. He could not have made that mistake.

And then Swami said: “You think I am alone with the group? I am with each and every one of you! Then if I am with each and every one of these 20, then in fact, we make 40!”

The final lesson was still waiting. The next day Bhagavan came to the group. The group leader too was ready but this time not to give an answer but to learn from Bhagavan. Bhagavan asked: “How many members?” The man stood up. He did not know which to say - 21 or 40. But he said: “Bhagavan, 40.”

Swami said: “No, one. All are One.

Who can teach this most important lesson in just three apposite and powerful statements? To teach the Reality which the Vedas, Upanishads and great Scholars have struggled to expound! Only the Avatar can come to our level and teach us everything in just three axioms. The only Truth which God comes to teach is: “All are One! Everyone is essentially Divine.”

Bhagavan once said:

“I am not a Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya or a Shudra.
Neither do I relate myself to any of those four Varnas.
I am Sathya Bodhaka…The teacher of Truth.
I am Sathyam, Shivam, Sundaram.”

When one follows this Truth, what he actually follows is Dharma. The Scriptures declare: Sathyam Nasti Paro Dharma. There is no greater Dharma than following Truth.

DHARMA – What Exactly Is It?

There may be differences of opinions over the definition of Truth, what exactly is Dharma (right conduct) and how to follow it. As I entered the portals of this Institute on my first day in the hostel at Brindavan I remember a board which had the following inscription: “A hostel is a place where each one lives for the other; and all live for God.” This is Dharma simplified so that it can be easily put into practice. Just do whatever you want keeping in mind the Indweller in your heart and offer everything to Him - that automatically becomes Dharma.

“My Krishna is Suffering!”

When Krishna was suffering from a headache He asked for dust from the feet of His devotees to cure it. There were intellectuals and scholars who recoiled at the possible blasphemy - but the Gopikas did not listen to this. They said, “My Krishna is suffering! All that I want is just to carry this dust and to place it lovingly on His head!”

The scholars argued with them saying, “How dare you do this? It is sinful? You will end up in hell for all the remainder of your lives for having done such a thing!” But the Gopikas replied “We don’t mind spending the rest of our lives in hell! But if it gives a moment of joy to our beloved Krishna, that is enough!” What can be greater Dharma than pleasing God?

Top Marks From God!

Once it so happened that the examinations in the Institute were going on. A boy who was on his way to the examinations hall found an old woman who had met with an accident lying in a pool of blood! Not knowing what to do, He prayed to the Lord within His heart; He prayed to His Dearest Swami. He then took the lady to the General Hospital and made sure that she received treatment. He then ran to the examination centre. By then, most of the time which was allotted for writing the paper had elapsed. He wrote whatever he could for the paper and then went to the Mandir. That day Bhagavan called him and said: “Good boy! You will get top marks!” Needless to say, that boy got top marks!

One’s Own Heart…The Simplest Guide

Thus, to the question “What is Dharma?” there arises the simplest of answers. Follow whatever pleases the Lord most. If one ponders what is the means by which the most complicated dilemma of Dharma can be understood, it can be realised that the devotee’s own heart is the simplest of guides.

 

PEACE

When one practises Dharma it leads to the next level of the Human Values…Peace. When one practises Dharma to the extent that he surrenders himself totally at the Lotus Feet of his Lord…

Sarva Dharman Parityajna Mam Ekam Saranam Vraja
Aham Tvan Sarva Papebhyo Moksha Yisyami Ma Suchah.

(One who surrenders to Me forsaking all, I will take care of Him and even grant Him liberation).

That Moksha, the Peace that he feels, is the Peace which is mentioned as one of the Four Pillars of Human Values.

The Temple of a Thousand Bells!

A traveler once heard that under the ocean lay buried a temple of a thousand bells. He was gripped by a wish to find this temple and so he went to the ocean. Day after day, he put his ear to the sands to listen for the faintest tinkle of a bell. But he never came across any sign of this. After searching for many days he finally decided to give up. And on the last day he was standing on the seashore one final time, just looking at the magnificent ocean as the waves came crashing onto the shore; and he gently lost himself in the symphony produced by the waves. He slowly went deeper and deeper inside that experience.

And in that depth, he heard a small bell ring. And then he heard two…and then three…and then thousands of bells ringing! So much so that he did not hear the voice of the ocean - he only heard thousands of bells ringing all around him.

LOVE - The Ultimate Purpose!

Similarly, when man loses himself totally in what God is telling him…what he hears, and what he feels is Peace - the Voice of the Lord. And that Peace leads him to the Ultimate Love.

I used to wonder, God is such a poor businessman! He does not know how to barter! How could He barter a few handfuls of puffed rice and shower boundless wealth on Sudamma? How could He take a piece of cloth from Draupadi’s sari and shower an infinite number of saris when she needed help? How could the Lord eat the berries eaten by Shabari? How could the Lord eat banana peels which had been already partaken by Vidura? I could see the material actions but there was a hidden aspect behind - the aspect of Beautiful Love!

Once a T.V mechanic went to a particular devotee’s house. And as he was repairing the T.V., he saw the Bhagavan’s photograph there. He asked the owner, “Do you believe in this person?” The devotee humbly said, “He is my Master…my Guide, my Everything.” The mechanic said, “Mine too!” “How can you say that?” said the devotee. The repair man gave a very simple answer, saying, “If I have ten rupees in my pocket, I would see it to it that come what may this ten becomes a hundred, the hundred into a thousand, and the thousand into ten thousand.

But here is God Who is giving away whatever He has! Sometimes in the form of a Super Specialty Hospital, sometimes in the form of a Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, sometimes in the form of a Water Supply Project…and His projects never end! One after another, even before a project can come to an end another project starts! It is impossible for an ordinary human being to do all this - He can only be God, our Bhagavan! In what way can one measure Thy Love!?

Saint Francis of Assisi once said, “Oh Lord! All through the day I searcheth for You! And all through the night, as I dream, You searcheth for me! When, when shall this dream come to an end and I shall meet You?”

There was once a boy who had newly joined the hostel and had been brought up in luxury at his home. He had never learnt the art of sweeping and one day he found that it was his turn to sweep the room. With great effort, and with whatever courage and talent he could muster, he swept the room. At the end of it and with the broom in one hand, and the dust-pan in the other, he went in front of Bhagavan’s photo and said, “Swami, I have accomplished such a great task! Now give me my reward!”

But then, at the following Darshan, Swami came right in front of him, materialized Vibhuti and gave it into his hands saying, “This is the reward for the great task that you accomplished this morning.” Sweeping the room is such a small thing; does it require any merit or any talent? But what transpired was just Love!

Anything that can make us become better human beings and a little more evolved, maybe sweeping, maybe mopping, helping in some way - that is dear to the Lord! And when He sees that, He does not mind to come down to our level and reward us even for sweeping! That is the Love of God!

After Love, What Next?

Finally, what does this lead to? What does Love lead to? Once, there was a disciple who was always at his prayers. His Master took him to task “How long will you keep praying like this?” The disciple replied, “Master, it is you who taught me to pray like this! It is you who taught me that I should lean on God as He will solve our problems.” The Master retorted,

“When will you learn that God is not a person to lean on? He is the one who rids us of our tendency to lean. He makes us realize that we are no ordinary human beings. We too are Divine! The day you learn that lesson, you will no longer lean.”

Lord, I would like to close with a prayer inspired by a story which Shri Ramakrishna Parmahansa beautifully narrated. It is about a small salt doll that tried to measure the depth of the ocean. It went into the ocean and it found that it could measure nothing. It just dissolved.

Let each one of us, who are simply puppets, merge into the Fathomless Infinity, into the Fathomless depths of Love that You are!

Jai Sai Ram!

- Heart2Heart Team




 
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Vol 4 Issue 01 - January 2006
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