Sri Sathya Sai Speaks

Divine Discourses spanning 7 Decades (1950 – 2011)

Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 26 (1993) (Download)

26 April 1993 | Kodaikanal |

The juice, the sugar and the sweets

Download – The juice, the sugar and the sweets

EMBODIMENTS of the Divine Atma! From ancient times, the culture of Bharath has been upholding high ideals. Foremost among its teachings was the concept of reverence for the mother and the father as embodiments of the Divine. “Ma thru Dhevo Bhava! Pithru Dhevo Bhava!” (Esteem the mother as Divine, adore the father as Divine). Human life is indeed extremely sweet. Without this sweetness, life will be worthless. Man struggles in a myriad ways to secure sensual enjoyment, but there is sweetness which transcends these physical pleasures. This is the precious fruit of Bharatheeya culture.

Realise the sacredness inherent in motherhood

The mother sacrifices her all for rearing the child, protecting him and bringing him up well. Hence, the sweetness manifest in material love cannot be found in any other object or experience, “What greater sweetness is there in our land than a mother’s love One’s honour is greater than one’s life,” goes the saying. Everyone should realise the sacredness inherent in motherhood.

When Rama went to the forest with Seetha, one day he told her: “Bhuujatha! In this world there are no greater adorable deities than one’s mother and father. When one has near to him a loving mother, who cares for him continually and fosters his well-being, without adoring her as Divine, how can a man contemplate on a Being that is subtle and beyond his daily experience The Divine transcends all human understanding. How can this be recognised People who cannot comprehend the hearts of parents who are close to them, whose love they experience in daily life, how can they comprehend the Absolute, which the Upanishaths declare is beyond the reach of speech and the mind Hence, the injunction that the mother and the father should be adored as Divine. It was my foremost duty to carry out the will of my father.” However, if we wish to understand the Divinity that transcends the human understanding, we should seek to reach a level above the human. Till that is reached, we have to experience everything at the human level alone. Living as a human being, how can one recognize That which transcends the human capacity Therefore, in the first instance, man must try to live as a human being. He has to recognise the divinity that dwells in the human form. Man has to cultivate faith in the truth and live accordingly. Leading a life of dedicated service, man must enjoy the fruit of Prema (Divine Love). The best way to love God is to love all and serve all. Svami was telling the students the previous day that though the Divinity that resides in all human beings is one and the same, the capacities and personalities of various individuals are different. Depending on the ripeness of their experience on the cultural practices they have pursued, on the nature of their spiritual disciplines, and on their parental background, these individuals have a wide or narrow outlook. The attitudes of individuals are determined by their day-to-day experiences. Hence, people should engage themselves in good deeds. Only through hard striving can the Divinity in man be realised, like the fire that emerges from the rubbing of two sticks and butter from the churning of butter-milk.

Adhi Shankara’s Adhvaitha

Adhi Shankara, at the age of five, after the performance of his Upanayana (spiritual initiation) ceremony, approached his preceptor and within three years was able to master the four Vedas and the six Shasthras. Through earnestness, anything can be accomplished. From his studies, Shankara realised that Ekathvam (oneness) is the essence of all knowledge. This is the doctrine of Adhvaitha. “Ekameva Adhvitheeyam Brahma” (The Absolute is one alone, not two). There is no second, but there is the appearance of an enormous multiplicity. How, then, can oneness be claimed Here is an example. You have the number one and the number nine. Of the two numbers which is the bigger The natural answer will be nine. But this is not so. One is really the bigger number 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 ….. up to nine, make up nine. Hence, the Vedas declare: “Ekoham bahushyam” (I am One; I willed to be many). Only the one exists. But it has assumed numerous forms. Shankara declared that Anekathvam (the many) is subsumed by the one this is the unity in diversity. There may be many stalks of sugarcane, but the juice from all of them has the same sweetness. Beings are many, but the breath is the same. Nations are many, but the earth is one. In this manner, Shankara proclaimed to the world the unity that underlies the apparent diversity. He used the analogy of the same sweet juice that is present in all sugarcane stalks.

Vishishta-Adhvaitha and Dhvaitha

Ramanuja asked the question: “How long can the sweetness of the juice last” Not for long. If the sugarcane juice is converted into some other lasting form, it could be used for sweetening many things. The conversion should be in the form of sugar, which could then be used for making any sweet preparation. Without the sugarcane juice there can be no sugar. The sugarcane juice represents the Adhvaithic principle and sugar represents the Vishishta-adhvaitha principle. Then came the declaration of Madhva: “Pishtadhi gunasamparkath.” The variety of sweet preparations is the result of the bringing together of Pishta (flour) and sugar. Without some kind of flour, the sugar by itself cannot appear in different forms. Flour of the sort or another, combined with sugar, can serve to produce any number of sweets. However, it is not the flour that is the source of sweetness. It is the sugar in the sweet that is made out of the flour which accounts for the sweetness. This is the analogy employed to explain Dhvaitham (the dualistic doctrine).

Common sweetness in all the philosophies

Shankara, as the exponent of Adhvaitha (Nondualism). Ramanuja as the exponent of Vishishtadhvaitha (Qualified Non-dualism) and Madhva, as the expounder of Dhvaitha (Dualism), stood out as great teachers who taught the path of spirituality to the world. However, there is common sweetness in all the three schools of philosophy. Shankara insisted on the recognition of the unity that underlies all diversity. “Eesha, Gireesha, Naresha, Paresha, Bilvesha namo Samba sadhashiva Shambho shankara sharanam mey thava charanayugam,” declared Adhi Shankara, in praise of Shiva. In listing the different attributes of Shiva, the Acharya declared that Shiva is everything, by whatever name He is called. Thereby, the omnipresence of the Lord is proclaimed. The Adhvaithic doctrine of Shankara propagated the view that bodies are manifold, and in these separate bodies the one Divine is present. With regard to Adhvaitha, however, it is possible only to experience it as bhava (a conscious feeling), but not to apply nondualism on carrying out one’s activities in daily life. There is the divine in a tiger, a snake and a human being. You can recognise this as a concept, but on that account, you cannot go and embrace a tiger. The tiger must be treated as a tiger and a snake must be treated as a snake. The human being must be given the status that is appropriate to the human. You must have the faith that the same Divine dwells in all beings. This is indicated by the presence in all beings of three divine characteristics: Asthi, Bhathi and Priyam, (existence, recognisability and utility). This is also expressed in other terms as: Sath-Chith-Anandha (Being-Awareness-Bliss). Sath refers to That which is unchanging. This is a Divine attribute. Chith refers to total Awareness to know the complete nature of anything. When Sath and Chith are together, there is Anandha (Bliss). This Bliss is unchanging. It is described as Brahmanandham (Supreme Bliss). It is like mixing sugar with water, resulting in a syrup.

Sath-Chith-Anandha (Being-Awareness-Bliss) is Divinity that is unchanging. Forms and names are continually changing. They are transient and momentary. The forms of tiger or a snake are impermanent. They have, therefore, to be dealt with as transient. If you sustain a fall, your foot may suffer a fracture and you may have a bandage. But irrespective of the love your mother bears for you, she cannot bandage her leg to relieve you of your pain. She may feel sympathy for you, but she cannot take over your fracture by bandaging her leg. In the phenomenal world, such differences are inherent.

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