Tree of Knowledge
On Tuesday 23rd November we will be celebrating the 85th birthday of Sri Sathya Sai Baba who has come to light the lamp of Love in your hearts and see that it shines day by day with added luster. For this special occasion we have picked up the following beautiful teaching from the Master’s collection on Realizing the Principle of Unity.
Everyone desires peace and happiness. Nobody wants sorrows and difficulties. All are the embodiments of God. God is one. There is no second entity. When you think there is a second entity, then it is untruth. Therefore, there is nothing like a second entity. All are One. Right from small ants, mosquitoes, and birds to mighty elephants, every being is the manifestation of God. Even the trees, hills, and mountains are manifestations of God. Such being the case, how can there be a second entity?
In the same way, Atma is only one. The mind, the intellect, the subconscious mind, and the ego sense are like different vessels. Therefore, divinity is one. God can be seen in a pure heart Everything is God. If you think otherwise, it is only your delusion, i.e. maya. When the sun is shining above, you can see its reflections in all tanks. Even where the water is dirty, you can see its reflection. But when the water is totally dirty, then, of course, you cannot see its reflection. In the same way, when your heart is pure and clear, you can see the direct manifestation of God in it. But your heart is impure. When you thoroughly clean your heart, you can very well see God. God is immanent in everyone. Right from a newborn baby to a grown-up and old person, He is present in everyone. A small baby grows up and ultimately becomes old. The baby, the woman, and the old lady are the same person. Because of their thinking, people see many different forms.
But God does not have different forms. In fact, He has no form. However, he has many names, but they all correspond to the many reflections of the same divinity. You can see the reflection of the sun in flowing water and also in stagnant water. In the flowing water, the reflection appears to be wavering, but in steady water, the reflection is also steady. Your mind develops attachment to the world because of your delusion. Everything in this world is just a projection of maya.
Hiranyakasipu asked his son Prahlada, “Where is God? You are always chanting Narayana, Narayana. Who is Narayana?” Prahlada replied, “Man himself is Narayana. Wherever you see, you see only Narayana. He is in me, He is in you, He is in all others.” Hiranyakashyap asked, “Is He there in this pillar?” “Surely, He is there in it,” replied Prahlada. Hiranyakashya took a mace and hit the pillar with it. At once he saw the manifestation of Lord Vishnu. Therefore, wherever you see, God is there. But people like Hiranyakashyap have no faith in God. Develop the vision to see unity. Though there is total unity in creation, we look at it from the angle of diversity. We say, “He is my father, he is my mother, she is my elder sister, she is my younger sister.” We develop relationships on the basis of forms. Where have these relationships come from? Nothing can exist without the principle of unity.
Here is an example. A dog entered a room fitted with mirrors and saw many dogs in the mirrors. It was afraid to see so many dogs in the room, considering them as a threat to its life. In order to escape from the situation, it jumped upon one of the mirrors, considering its own reflection in it to be another dog. As it did that, it saw that the dog in the mirror was also jumping on it. In the process, the mirror broke. Then, it felt that there was no other dog at the place and escaped from the room. It felt greatly relieved that it could save itself from so many other dogs. But where were so many dogs? It saw its own reflection in so many mirrors.
The same is the case with people today. If one sees all other forms as his own reflection in the mirror of the world, one will realise the principle of unity. So, there are no such separate entities like father, mother, brothers, and sisters. But one develops worldly relationships due to one’s delusion and says, “She is my sister, he is my brother, he is my father, she is my mother.” These are all only physical relationships and not the relationships based on your divine reality. Try to understand that the same Atma is present in all.
Wherever you look, there is God and God is one. People say, “He is Rama, He is Krishna, He is Shiva, He is Vishnu.” What does it mean? Does it mean that Vishnu, Shiva, Rama, and Krishna are separate entities? These are the different names of the same God. God appears before you in a particular form based on your own imagination. When you contemplate on the form of Krishna as portrayed by artists like Ravi Varma, God will manifest before you in the form of Krishna. In the same way, God will appear before you in the form of Rama. But God is neither Rama nor Krishna. Both Rama and Krishna are you only. The forms of Rama and Krishna are nothing but your own reflections. When you say, “I want Rama”, God manifests before you in the form of Rama. Similarly, when you say, “I want Krishna”, He appears before you in the form of Krishna. All these forms are nothing but your own reflections.
Reduce the burden of your desires
When you are in difficulty, you say, “Alas! Why has God given me this difficulty? What sin have I committed?” On the other hand, when you earn wealth and are happy, you say, “It is my good fortune.” Neither this is your good fortune nor that is bad. When you have good thoughts, you will have good results. On the other hand, if you have bad thoughts, you will have bad results. Good and bad do not come from outside. Everything is God. When people see a scorpion, they are afraid that it might sting them. But, in fact, there is God even in that scorpion. There is no being in whom God is not immanent. However, you have to get rid of your delusion. People have too many desires. These far too many desires are the cause of delusion. Therefore, people should reduce their desires. How should one do so? All desires are the creation of the mind, which behaves in an arbitrary way.
Mind is the cause of bondage and liberation of man. You should make efforts to follow the path of liberation. Then there will be no scope for delusion. Therefore, first and foremost, control the mind. If you do so, you will not have even a single desire. It is said: less luggage more comfort makes travel a pleasure. God will be pleased with you only when you reduce the luggage of your desires. More desires become a great burden for life. With less luggage, you will be happier. All that we experience is the result of our own actions. It is not given by God. God does not give anything to people except ananda (bliss).
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* Published in print edition on 19 November 2010