VISION OF THE DIVINE
in the world desire to have the vision of God and, in fact,
crave for the unique opportunity to merge in His divine effulgence.
This intense yearning for that great privilege is not a novel
phenomenon. It has been there ever since human beings appeared
in the world. In consonance with this yearning, several sages
and seers in the past have craved for the vision of God and
ultimate merger with divinity. This is truly an ancient tradition.
Thus, the singing of the divine glory has been passed on from
generation to generation in the country of Bharath. Right
from start Narada has been an incessant singer of the glories
of the divine name. What is the use of mere chanting of the
divine name for one’s own satisfaction? He, therefore,
advocated the nine-fold path of devotion:
Kirthanam, Vishnu Smaranam, Padasevanam, Vandanam, Archanam,
Dasyam, Sneham, and Atma Nivedanam” (listening, singing,
constant contemplation on God, serving His lotus feet, salutation,
worship, servitude, friendship and self surrender.)
One day, Narada prayed to Lord Narayana “Lord!
we are only chanting the divine name, but the essence of the
divine name is in you. It is only when you bless us to partake
of that divine essence, our life will be sanctified.”
Some people misunderstood the prayer of sage Narada and started
doubting the efficacy of namasmarana in attaining the lotus
feet of God. Opinions differed. Arguments and counter arguments
for and against following a particular path continued. Such
differences of opinion have been there right from ancient
times. Some people tried to argue with Narada saying, “Sir,
we are not able to visualise God.” Narada replied, “As
much is your yearning, in proportion shall be the grace.”
Each individual in this world follows his own chosen path.
But, the Paramathma is one for all!
In Dwapara Yuga, Radha, a great devotee
of Lord Krishna continued to pine for His darshan and constant
proximity. She had a sister by name Prabha. Prabha was, however,
against such intense yearning, for Him. One day Radha was
going to Brindavan singing the divine glory of Lord Krishna.
Her sister Prabha and her husband were also accompanying her.
Prabha used to be constantly in the company of her husband.
She could not bear her separation from him even for a moment,
just as Radha could not bear the separation from Krishna.
However, Radha continued to pray to Krishna to change Prabha’s
mind and develop devotion in her for Krishna. Krishna, however,
counselled patience saying, “Why do you worry? A time
will come when she will also develop intense devotion and
yearning for Me.” Krishna used a variety of plays to
bring about a transformation in the hearts of several people.
He used to display several leelas for this purpose. Since
Radha was longing for a change of heart in the case of her
sister Prabha, Krishna told her, “You wanted Me to change
the mind of your sister and develop devotion in her. Let her
witness the glory of My leelas and develop faith in My divinity
gradually. Once she realises the nature of My divinity, she
will herself become an embodiment of divinity, in keeping
with the saying “Brahma vid Brahmaiva bhavathi”
(one who realises Brahma will become Brahman verily). Some
people worship Me with devotion (bhakthi), others constantly
contemplate on me with hatred (dwesha). I am indifferent to
both dushana (abuse) and bhushana (praise). I am beyond all
dushana and bhushana. I accept all in an equal attitude. Prabha
continued her hostile attitude towards Krishna for some time.
In course of time, there was a perceptible change in her attitude.
One day, she accompanied Radha to the place where Krishna
was happily spending His time in the midst of Gopikas, singing
and dancing. Prabha from then on continued to spend her time
blissfully in the divine presence of Krishna. Both Radha and
Prabha used to share this divine experience daily. Thus, Krishna
could bring about a change of heart in Prabha with His divine
leelas. God is unblemished and pure. In fact, He corrects
the mistakes that are there in the devotees and takes them
into His fold. He will not distance Himself from anyone. Lord
Krishna is a Leelamanusha vigraha (donning a Human vesture
as part of His divine sport). Both Radha and Prabha firmly
decided that they would not move away from the company of
Lord Krishna. In fact, Krishna gave a glimpse of His divinity
to Radha on one occasion and explained to her, “Radha!
Humanbeings are entangled in maya (illusion). They are deluded
to think that God in human form is also a human being like
them. You can not develop love towards a person without developing
attachment to him. This is true in the case of God in human
form also. Hence, first you will have to develop attachment
to a particular form of God, in order to love God. In order
that people should develop attachment to the form of their
choice, God assumes several forms. However, God is unblemished
and remains an embodiment of purity”.
None can fathom the divine Leelas of Lord
Krishna. Sometimes, He manifested in His full divine glory.
Sometimes, He behaved like an ordinary human being. Yet another
time, He acted as a simpleton. Nevertheless, Krishna was Krishna,
i.e., God in human form! In fact, even the Gopalas and Gopikas
who moved constantly in the company of their dear Lord Gopala
and were witnesses to several divine Leelas could not fully
appreciate His divine nature. The question that constantly
baffled the minds of people was why Krishna should indulge
in such divine Leelas. It was only to develop in the minds
of His devotees intense attachment to His form and thereby
develop devotion in them. He had no desires at all, excepting
this. The constant company of Radha developed intense devotion
in her sister Prabha. Finally, as is the company so is the
transformation. “Tell me your company I shall tell you
what you are!” Accordingly, Radha and Prabha became
one in the end. In fact, Prabha’s real name was Chandrika
and her mother used to call her by that name. All others used
to call her Prabha.
It is very difficult to bring about a transformation
in the human mind. Only God can accomplish this task. Several
people approach Me and pray “Swami! Please change the
mind of my son. He has developed hatred towards his parents
for some reason; we do not know why. Normally, he is a good
boy. He never takes to bad ways. Please Swami! Change his
mind so that he will behave well towards his parents.”
A mind is a mind after all! Sometimes, some people are beyond
redemption. I therefore express My inability in such cases.
It is said “Manomoolam idam jagath”
(the mind is the basis for the entire objective world).
“A knotted gnarled tree
trunk may be made straight as a pole
A shapeless hunk of rock can be carved to form a beautiful
Is there a one who can make the wavering human mind unruffled?”
It is only when man develops faith in God
that God will come to the rescue of man. In fact, divinity
is not confined to any form. It is a power and that power
is infinite. Such an infinite power can accomplish any difficult
task. God may assume a number of forms, but the divine power
is only one and the same. The same Atmatattwa that is residing
in this body as the indweller is present in every human being
as well. For example, you may refer to the electric current
as DC or AC, but the basic nature of the current is the same.
Similarly, the Atmatattwa is the same in every human being.
Considering the prapthi (deservedness) of the concerned individuals,
God interferes to bring about transformation in them.
While doing so, God will conform to some
form of self imposed norms. Transformation of the human mind
can not be brought about by a human being or by chanting some
manthra. It is only when God wills so, is it possible. God
can accomplish anything and everything. He can be present
anywhere and everywhere. In keeping with the declaration
“Ekam eva advitheeyam Brahma” (Brahma
is only one, without a second). God does not change. If He
changes, the whole universe will change. It is a serious misconception
to think that God has changed. God is truth, eternal and unblemished.
None can change such a Paramathma (supreme self). It is not
easy to comprehend the divinity.
Embodiments of Love!
No human being’s love equals that of
God. God’s love is unchanging. He may assume any number
of forms, but His love towards human beings remains unchanged.
God is attributeless, pure, eternal, unsullied, final abode,
enlightened, liberated and embodiment of sacredness. You may
call God by any name – Venkateshwara, Rama, Krishna
or Saibaba. Only names differ, God is only one. That is why
divinity has been explained as “Ekam eva advitheeyam
Brahma” (Brahma is only one, without a second). Some
people may think that God has assumed a human form like Rama
or Krishna and hence now there is no God. What has really
happened in this example is that God has not changed, He remains
changeless irrespective of the form He assumes. It is only
a change in our perception of God. God’s will is immutable.
Embodiments of Love!
Cultivate pure love; for, purity is unity
and that unity is divinity. Let your individual love be transformed
into pure love for God. Sometimes, people have a doubt whether
God’s love towards them had undergone a change. Never;
God’s love will never undergo a change. For example,
you have a log of wood. You can make any kind of furniture
with it, like a chair or a bench. But the basic material,
that is wood, remains the same. Similarly, God’s love
always remains unchanged. God can accomplish any task. Sometimes
He may give darshan to some people, while others may not have
this benefit. Much depends upon their mental attitude. Cultivate
unflinching faith and single-minded devotion to God. Several
Yogis and renunciants yearned for the darshan of God, but
few could win that grace with unflinching faith and single-minded
devotion to God.
Sometime ago when I visited Rishikesh, I
gave darshan to Swami Purushothamananda living in the Vasishta
cave located on the way to Badrinath in the Himalayas. He
was doing thapas, living alone in that cave. He used to keep
a small oil lamp in that cave. The cave was located a little
interior from the road point. He used to purchase milk and
make some tea with it. That was his only food. Rest of the
time, he was always immersed in thapas. Days rolled by. After
sometime, he did not have enough strength to come to the road
point for purchasing milk and again getting back to his cave.
Hence, he made his trips less frequent, that is, once in a
week, to obtain milk. One day, he came to know that Bhagavan
Baba was staying in the Sivananda ashram for a few days. He
was longing to have Swami’s darshan. He, therefore,
sent a letter through a messenger praying “Bhagavan!
Please come to our cave and grant darshan to me.” I
was aware of his intense devotion towards Swami. I saw his
letter and I immediately rushed to Vasishta cave to give him
darshan. The entrance to the cave was closed with a door.
Purushothamananda had no energy left in him to get up and
open the door. Kasturi accompanied Me during My trip. He was
quite strong then. Both Kasturi and Myself tried to open the
door. At last we could succeed in opening the door. Purushothamananda
was extremely happy on seeing both of us. He wanted to spend
a few minutes alone in the Divine Presence of Swami. He, therefore,
advised Kasturi to go inside the cave and have a look at it.
Kasturi, with his journalistic inquisitiveness went in. Purushothamananda
fixed his gaze on Me and was lost in bliss. After a few moments,
he regained his normal self. I told Purushothamananda that
I would visit his cave once again. The very next day I visited
Purushothamananda and spent some time with him again. After
My return to Sivananda ashram, Swami Sivananda was a bit disappointed
that I visited Purushothamananda’s cave twice and did
not find much time to spend in the Sivananda Ashram.
On my second visit to Vasishta cave, I took
a piece of paper from Kasturi and wrote a particular date
for My next visit to Purushothamananda’s ashram. On
the scheduled date, Purushothamananda took a holy bath in
the Ganges and was eagerly waiting for My darshan. Deeply
lost in contemplation on my Divine Form, he had divine vision
after sometime. A few minutes later, he left his mortal coil
in that deep samadhi state itself. The news was conveyed to
Me while I was in Delhi. I was informed by a telegram that
Purushothamananda merged in Swami. I confirmed the news saying,
“yes, yes”. Strangely, his birthday and the day
on which he attained samadhi were one and the same. Later
on, when the door of the Vasisthta cave was opened, the entire
cave was smeared with vibhuti! The body of Purushothamananda
was later let into the river Ganges by the disciples of Sivananda.
From then on, the name and fame of Purushothamananda spread
far and wide. The disciples of Purushothamananda thereafter
visited Prasanthi Nilayam to have My darshan. They stayed
in the ashram for full ten days. I provided them good accommodation
and all conveniences. They enjoyed Swami’s darshan,
sparshan and sambhashan in full measure and finally left for
their place, carrying with them the love and blessings of
Swami. Purusho-thamananda was a noble soul. He was really
a Purushothama (the best among men). This is the story of
Every one was happy to read in newspapers
that Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba had visited on two days
the ashram of Swami Purushothamananda. Your happiness is My
happiness. The Vasishta cave is still as it was when Purushothamananda
lived there. It is perfectly clean and holy, permeating divine
atmosphere in the entire ashram. The disciples of Purushothamananda
told Me: “Swami! The entire atmosphere in the ashram
is permeated by divine vibrations. We feel as though Swami
Purushothamananda is still with us”. I told them:
“Fine! You continue to feel his presence there and enjoy
bliss”. During My last visit to Delhi, I arranged for
conducting bhajan on Purushothamananda’s birthday, keeping
a photo of Purushothamananda there. Thus, several sages and
seers display intense love and devotion towards Me and pine
for My divine darshan.