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Harih Om Tat Sat. Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.
Yesterday I was speaking for the telecast program Muktisudhakaram and we went up to something like 9:50 at night. I was speaking almost on the last verse of Bhagavad Gita, particularly Krishna’s statement:
I was explaining how Krishna’s statement becomes true. He was living and he has shed his body. All that we have are his words. How can the words be true, even after 5000 years? Naturally, the meaning, the essence, the truth and the message contained in the words are eternal and ever relevant. That point, a little intricate, nobody will think about it, I was explaining as usual.
Then Krishna proceeds to say that “Whoever is studying this message of mine will come to me, will join me”, means he will realize the self and merge into the self, not to remain as a body and separate from the rest. Then He says, “Whoever is discussing and disseminating this message amongst my devotees, he is the best person. There is nobody dearer to me than him. There was none, there is none and there will be none.” You can understand how important is then to learn this Bhagavad Gita message, to pursue it whole heartedly in life and to devote oneself completely towards its dissemination or propagation. We have a celebrated phrase:
First of all, you learn a knowledge, a treasure. Then you realise it and make it your own by actual pursuit and realization, Adhīti bodha. When these two are properly had in ample measure, then you get the ripeness, maturity and the deservingness to disseminate it or propagate it in the midst of people. So we are very clear as to who should disseminate knowledge. First of all, he should acquire it, then it should become his veritable possession, enrichment and treasure. Then he is equipped to share it with the others. This is what I have been doing for past 62 years as I say.
I have always felt that our scriptures are wonderful in every way. They are actually words of self-realized people. They were spoken by them. Because they were recorded, their words are continuously there, though their bodies have disappeared. Whenever I see a profound statement, whether it is simple, complex, great or abstruse, I always feel so happy, so ecstatic that I describe it a hundred or a thousand full moons arising on the new moon day in the sky. This is the way I feel. I hope every one of you should start feeling it, provided you are whole-hearted and you can give your mind in full measure.
In the whole of Bhagavad Gita, the message is very simple. It is to realize the truth, the identity which we refer to as ‘I’. In the whole world, you will find everything is changeful. Our earth is changing, moon is changing and sun is changing. There will come a time when the sun will start becoming cold. We may not be alive at the time. There is a fluid which goes on getting transformed into heat and light. Once the fluid becomes exhausted, then the sun will become cold. So much is the change taking place.
In all these changeful phenomena, you will find there is only one noumenon within your body, the ‘I’. Obviously and experientially, it is changeless. You have to understand what this ‘I’ wonderfully denotes. Our Sanskrit śāstras say, the word ‘self’ or ‘soul’ is denoted by the term ‘I’. So what is the supreme truth - the truth of the Self. And what is this Self? अहं प्रत्यय गोचरः । ahaṁ pratyaya gocaraḥ. It is actually what is revealed by the term ‘I’. The ‘I’ is certainly behind our chest and in front of the back, below the head and above the feet. It is within our body. There, beyond the mind, beyond the intelligence, beyond the ego, there is a dimension or a level where no activities begin from and no effects befall. It is like a pith of a tree, it is unlike the tree, unlike the trunk, the bark, the branches, the twigs, the leaves, the flowers, the buds; it is quite different from the tree. But it is that pith that forms into the full tree. No simile is perfect in this area but there is something within us.
When you realize the Self, what happens? Our mind feels contended and the intelligence becomes knowledgeable. As the stomach and body need nourishment through food, the need of the mind is contentment and joy, very emotional. All kinds of joy are emotional and hence a product of the mind. Similarly, the intelligence is always looking for knowledge, knowledge and knowledge alone. In the knowledge, there are two sectors, one is the knowledge of the object world which the senses look at and interact with and reveal. While the senses are looking at the objects of the world, they are themselves inert and insentient. They don’t have the power to see! That is why the cornea of a dead body is grafted and when it is grafted to a blind man, the cornea helps in seeing. So what sees is not the eye, it is something different. The eye is only playing an instrumental role in the perception.
So within the body, there is one sector. So the entire existence can be divided into two. One is the object hemisphere, perceptible to the senses and the subject hemisphere within our body which the senses cannot perceive. This subject is itself a full measure of knowledge, scope for knowledge. That subject knowledge is called spirituality. Our mind comes there, intelligence comes there, ego comes there and the soul is the pinnacle and ultimate of the subject knowledge.
With the help of the externals, we have to understand and infer about the internal measure. Our body is limited but the mind which animates the body is not at all like the limited body. The sky is reflected and experienced in the mind. The infinite sky, the infinite expanse and the infinite variety are experienced within the body. So what should be the mind like? It is far more infinite than what it reflects, perceives and realizes. Naturally, this knowledge will make you much more than what you are now. Your mind will go on imbibing greater and greater dimensions of expansion, ability, skills, magnificence and virtues. The intelligence will become sharper and sharper; will be able to be more and more perceptive, understanding matters quickly, fast and better.
The effect of all these will be, you will become more and noble, liberal, gentle and beget three important virtues. What are they? Love, sympathy and sacrifice. Krishna and Gita put it in this way सर्वभूतहिते रताः | sarva-bhūta-hite ratāḥ (Bhagavad Gita 12.4), one will become interested in the welfare of one and all. As an individual is interested in his own welfare and the welfare of the family, exactly in the same manner, his mind will start drawing a larger circle of his family. So he will be interested in the families of the others in the social segment, in the nation, in the globe. Sarva-bhūta-hite ratāḥ, interested in the welfare of all beings. This is where our purāṇas come up and tell us:
In all the 18 purāṇas which are trying to convey to you the supreme knowledge held by the Vedic Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita etc. but in a common folklore, it has only two messages to give. To help and be of benefit to others in this world is puṇya, to harm and destroy others is pāpa. Paropakāraḥ puṇyāya pāpāya parapīdanam.
So if you can be of help to the others, service to the others, that means have love for one and all. It is not enough if you have love. Corresponding to love, your mind should also feel sympathetic to the others. I love all people and become joyous about it. I love my garden, very nice to see the flowers. But how did they bring up the flowers? They need fertility, they need water, they need air, they need sunlight. Make sure that they have all these and give them their own food and nourishment and look after the garden. That is called love and sympathy for it. And in that process, you will have to make some sacrifices.
What is a sacrifice? When something that belongs to you, part of it is at least given to others calling them, “Here is something, please take it and use it. I am happy if you use it; I feel happy.” With a lot of love, affection and concern, you should give. Then it becomes sacrifice. Love does not become meaningful unless it triggers sympathy in you. The sympathy also, the child or son is very sympathetic to the father and mother. “O my dear mother, I love you, I am sympathetic to you.” Then help the mother, she becomes older and older. Try to relieve her of some of the routine jobs. Enquire about her needs and welfare and try to give some help or make some sacrifices. So these are the triple virtues which alone will decorate and ornament the inner personality of ours - Love, sympathy and sacrifice.
In the twelfth chapter of Bhagavad Gita, when Krishna starts defining the devotee, “Such a devotee is dear to me”, He says. And the first statement he makes is, अद्वेष्टा सर्वभूतानां adveṣṭā sarva-bhūtānāṁ (Bhagavad Gita 12.13), adveṣṭā sarva-bhūtānāṁ, do not have the least hatefulness towards any creature in this world. As you are a human creature, there are other creatures. They may not have that wisdom which you have. So use your wisdom to appreciate and let others live. The world is a complex and it needs everything. Everything is required to constitute the world; you may not know the meaning and relevance of matters.
One person was telling me a story. It is actually a fact. A person was suffering from Tuberculosis. He was a Brahmin, a vegetarian person, so everybody knows that he will not take anything non-vegetarian etc. During those days, there was no medicine for it. It was considered to be a mahāroga. A very good doctor said, “You go and live on a bank of a river”, and he indicated the spot. “Make a small cottage there and live there. I want you to go every day, take your bath twice in the river. Spend enough time, let the body be sufficiently soaked in water. Let the contact be as much as possible. Don’t do it in a hurry and you can have your ablutions, japa, sandhyāvandana etc.” He went on living there for a few months. All his disease was cured.
Then he asked how he got cured. The doctor said, “Come along with me.” So they started climbing up, climbing up. At a certain height, a python had died and it was lying in the water entangled by some rocky structure. So that python, after death got rotten, it mixed with the water and the water was flowing and part of it was supposed to be a medicine for his disease. Do you know that every plant upon the earth is a medicine and not only that every excreta of a creature is a medicine? Everything is a medicine. But we don’t know what is the medicine for what.
So why I say this, adveṣṭā sarva-bhūtānāṁ, never be hateful of any bhūta, any creature or anything in this world. You may hate X and X will be happy and moving about jovially in the world, and because of your hatred, your mind burns. Tell me who suffers by it?
Maitraḥ karuṇa eva ca. It is not enough if you are not hateful, you should also feel friendly towards them (Maitraḥ). Then sympathetic towards them, karuṇa eva ca.
This is how our scriptures in various ways, whether it is devotion, whether it is spirituality, whether it is knowledge or whether it is yoga, it has only one focus - that is to deal with the inner personality and make it more beautiful, more viable, more flexible, more tolerant, more assimilative. Every day of our life should be a greater enrichment for us, a greater empowerment for us. Externally we may lose or gain, undulating will be our life but internally every episode, event or otherwise must be assimilated by your system and you should be always enriched. Make sure and declare, every day of my life is an enrichment for me and every day I am a more enriched person, striving for enriching the world by my activity and interaction. So getting enriched and enriching the world, progress as long as the body lives. So remember - love, sympathy and sacrifice. Also remember - to be of help to others is puṇya, virtue and to be hindering or hurting others is pāpa, vice. This is the long and short of our whole dhārmic life.
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.