LIMIT NOT THE ALL PERVADING BRAHMAN
WITH NAMES AND FORMS
Is it possible
to build a temple for the One who pervades the entire Brahmanda
(cosmos)? Can anyone give a name to the One who is present
in all beings? Is it possible to give a bath to the One who
is present in all rivers? Can anyone offer food to the One
who has the entire Brahmanda in His stomach? Man out of his
ignorance is unable to know this truth. He is under the delusion
that he is Naswara (impermanent). In fact, he is not Naswara,
but Easwara Himself for the entire world. (Telugu
Prapancha is the name we have given to the
apparent world. It is called Prapancha as it is constituted
by the Pancha Bhutas (five elements), namely, earth, water,
fire, air and ether. 'Pra' means to manifest, to blossom.
Hence, Prapancha means the manifestation of not only the five
elements, but also the five life principles, namely, Prana,
Apana, Vyana, Udana and Samana. They form the basis for the
entire world. The principle of Brahmatatwa is present in all
the five elements as the undercurrent. It is eternal and immortal.
The term Brahma refers to the divine principle which pervades
the Pancha Bhutas, Pancha Koshas and Pancha Pranas. But man
out of ignorance attributes a particular form to Brahma and
offers his prayers. Names and forms are transient. Brahmatatwa,
which is the basis of all names and forms is the only permanent
entity. Out of our ignorance and limited understanding we
confine such a cosmic principle of Brahman to a tiny form
and worship it. We should worship the cosmic form of the divine.
Brahmanda (cosmos) is the very form of God. Brahman pervades
the Anda, Pinda and Brahmanda. Anda is the combination of
Padartha (matter) and Prana (life principle). Pinda is that
which is born out of the mother's womb. Ultimately, they become
one with the Brahmanda.
Love is the basis for Brahmanda. Without Prema (love), there
is neither Prakriti (nature) nor Prapancha (world). The world
is sustained by the principle of love which is uniformly present
in the five elements. You may worship divinity in a number
of ways, but all your worship will prove futile, if you forget
the principle of love.
The five elements are responsible for the
sustenance of human life and the world at large. Everything
will come to a standstill even if any one of the five elements
is missing. We hear the sound with our ears. We see the world
with our eyes. In this manner, we are able to experience the
world through the five senses. They prove the existence of
the world. Man has forgotten the divine principle of love
and is striving to attain Ananda (bliss) through mean and
worldly pursuits. It is said, Jantunam nara janma durlabham
(out of all living beings, human birth is the rarest). In
fact, human being is essentially divine.
Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha are prescribed
as the four goals of human life. But, man today has given
up Dharma and Moksha. He is running after Artha and Kama (wealth
and desire). God has created this world. Your wife, children,
friends and foes are all created by God. It is not enough
if you maintain good relationship with your wife, children
and friends. You must be able to see God in all. That is your
primary duty. Your wife, children, friends and even foes are
all the very embodiments of Brahman. Even God had to fight
the enemies sometimes. However, in spite of their animosity
towards God, they ultimately merged in Him owing to His grace.
In this world, there is no place where God does not exist.
He is present everywhere.
Sarvatah panipadam tat sarvathokshi siromukham,
sarvatah sruthimalloke sarvamavruthya tishthati (with hands,
feet, eyes, head, mouth and ears pervading everything, He
permeates the entire universe).
The people around you may not be able to
see what you do, but He is watching you. Others may not hear
what you speak, but He is listening to you. He is the eternal
witness. Unfortunately, you are unable to realise this truth.
Some people argue, “How can you say that God is present
everywhere when we do not actually see Him? How is it possible
for Him to hear our prayers?” In fact, sound is the
very form of God. There is no place where there is no sound.
He can hear everything since sound is His own form. Light
pervades the entire world. God can see everything in this
world as the very light is His vision. Hence, never be under
the mistaken notion that God does not know what is happening.
Do not doubt or deny His existence just because He is not
visible to the naked eye. How does sankalpa originate in your
hridaya (heart)? It happens as per the Will of God. There
may be ups and downs from the worldly point of view, but divine
principle always remains steady.
The Loka (world) and Lokesha (God) are inseparable.
The creation and the creator are one. There is an intimate
and inseparable relationship between the two. Atma is the
name given to the principle of divinity. It has no specific
form. It pervades the entire world in the form of sankalpa
(will). It is a grave error to attribute a particular name
and form to the Atma. It is essential that we understand the
oneness of Atma and experience the same. Everything is divine.
Sarvam khalvidam Brahma (verily, all this is Brahman). As
you are unable to comprehend the divine principle in totality,
you confine God to a specific name and form such as Rama,
Krishna, Vishnu, etc., and worship Him. A potter makes the
idols of Rama, Krishna, etc. However, it is only the clay
that takes the forms of various deities. The same clay is
moulded into various forms.
many but gold is one.
Cows are many but milk is one.
Beings are many but breath is one. (Telugu
As you are unable to understand the principle
of unity, you are deluded by the apparent diversity.
No one can describe God as having this form or that form.
He permeates the entire universe. Without name there can be
no form and vice versa. The principle of divinity is represented
by a name and a form. Every object and every being in this
Prapancha (world) is the manifestation of divine love. Hence,
do not see the world merely from the physical point of view.
Consider the world as the very form of God and the manifestation
of divine love. Because of your limited understanding, you
confine such an all pervading divine principle to a name and
a form. Yad bhavam tad bhavati (as is the feeling, so is the
result). God responds according to your feelings towards Him.
If you have purna bhakti (unwavering devotion) and love God
with all your heart, He will confer on you purna ananda (supreme
bliss). God transcends the dualities of birth and death, happiness
and sorrow. You may think that even God has pain and suffering.
But, from God’s point of view, pain does not exist at
all! It is an aspect of divinity. Bliss also is an aspect
of divinity. God is beyond pleasure and pain, merit and sin.
Happiness and sorrow are of your own making. Pleasure is an
interval between two pains.
Do not consider God as a separate entity.
Unfortunately, people are unable to understand the principle
of divinity and hence indulge in all types of imaginations.
God is one. The Veda declares, Ekam sath viprah bahudha vadanti
(truth is one, but the wise refer to it by various names).
However, when the situation demands, Divine incarnations appear
on earth and play a role in the cosmic drama. When Droupadi
was humiliated by Duryodhana and Dussasana in the royal court,
Bhima was seething with anger. He wanted to crush them to
pulp. But, even under such circumstances, God did not kill
them. It is most essential you understand that everything
happens as per His will. Whatever happens is for your own
good. With such firm conviction, you should accept pleasure
and pain, good and bad with equanimity. It may be difficult
for you to bear misfortunes. You should pray to God to grant
you the necessary strength to bear them. You may have difficulties
today, but tomorrow it will be different. Difficulties are
like passing clouds. They will certainly give way to happiness.
Man always strives for happiness. How can he attain it? True
happiness lies in union with God. In fact, God is beyond happiness
and sorrow. Whatever you may do, He says, “Tathastu”
(So shall it be). He showers His blessings on you saying,
“Let it be for your own good.” You will be free
from sorrow once you understand the Bhagavadtatwa (nature
of divinity). If you are undergoing difficulties, do not get
disheartened. Have faith that God is making you go through
the ordeal for your own good. Happiness and sorrow coexist.
You cannot attain happiness without undergoing difficulties.
Do not attribute multiplicity to divinity. Consider everyone
as the embodiment of divinity. Install such sacred feeling
firmly in your heart. Treat even the person who hates you
as your own. Having attained human birth, you should be able
to withstand pain and suffering with courage and fortitude.
Be convinced that they are good for you. All that God has
created is good. In God’s creation, everything is good
and sacred. There is nothing which will cause sorrow and misery.
In fact, misery arises out of man’s delusion. The delusion
is because of his identification with the form. What is the
meaning of the term Manava? ‘Ma’ means Maya, ‘Na’
means without and ‘Va’ means Varthinchuta (to
conduct oneself). Therefore, Manava is one who conducts himself
without maya. If you fall a victim to maya, you will never
be able to understand marmamu (reality). In fact, maya is
man’s own making. It arises out of his imagination.
However much one may try, it is not possible
to know God in totality. Once mother Kunti said to Krishna,
“Oh Krishna! Though You are verily God, sometimes we
are deluded to think that You are also a human being like
us.” Saint Thyagaraja too echoed the same feelings in
the following verse:
Oh Lord! You answered the prayers
of Droupadi and saved her from humiliation. You made ugly-looking
Kubja beautiful. You protected the Pandavas. Is it possible
to estimate Your glory and splendour? You are beyond all description
and human comprehension. Krishna, it is not possible for even
Brahma to describe Your glory. (Telugu
Good and bad lie in your mind; they are not
outside. Hence, correct your feelings in the first instance.
Get rid of all animal qualities so that humanness can blossom
in you. If you notice even a trace of hatred in yourself,
drive it away at once. Having attained human birth, it is
shameful on your part to have evil qualities like hatred.
Do not fall a prey to infatuation. You should be attracted
only towards God and none else. You love your son because
you consider him to be your reflection. In fact, the one who
loves you, the one who hates you, the one who criticises you,
all are your own reflections. At one time, one may be angry
and later the anger may give way to love. People are carried
away by the vagaries of the mind. Being deluded by the names
and forms, they are unable to know the transient nature of
the world. Truly speaking, you have neither friends nor enemies.
It is only your love or hatred that is reflected from outside.
God does not give you happiness or sorrow; they are of your
own making. They originate from you.
God is present everywhere in the form of five elements. Everyone
is endowed with five elements and everyone is an embodiment
of love. All are one. There is no second entity. Wherever
you see, there are five elements. You do not find a sixth
element anywhere. The principle of love present in you represents
Easwaratwa and Brahmatatwa. It is merely Bhrama (delusion)
to think that Brahma is separate from you. Everything is Brahman.
Everything is the manifestation of Atma and Ananda. That is
why God is extolled as Nityanandam, Paramasukhadam Kevalam
Jnanamurtim … (God is the embodiment of eternal bliss,
He is wisdom absolute). Even the karma (action) that you perform
is the manifestation of Brahma. When you perform your actions
with such divine feelings, they will yield good results. Never
criticise God. Never deny Him. Everything is the manifestation
of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara. All are divine. This is what
you have to learn on this auspicious day of Sivarathri. There
is nothing other than divinity in this world. The principle
of divinity present in a grain of sand and in a big laddu
is one and same. Once you realise this truth, you become Brahma
verily. You do not need to search for Brahma elsewhere. You
are Brahma, you are Vishnu, you are Siva, you are the very
embodiment of the Divine Trinity. It is only your feeling
that assumes the form of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara.
You are subjected to unrest and suffering
because of your dualistic feeling. You perceive unity as diversity,
instead of visualising unity in diversity. Number one is the
basis for all other numbers. Likewise, names and forms vary,
but all are essentially one. There is no second person. Other
than divinity, there is no second entity in this world. Many
spiritual aspirants and yogis have made concerted efforts
to understand the principle of divinity. They ultimately realised
Ekam sath viprah bahudha vadanti (truth is one, but the wise
refer to it by various names). As you have not understood
this truth, you are deluded by the apparent duality. You should
understand the spiritual Mathematics in order to know that
divinity is one. It is most essential that you understand
this principle of oneness and conduct yourself accordingly.
When you understand this oneness, you will experience divinity.
You will realise that the individual is not different from
God. When you put a zero after the numeral 1 it becomes 10;
put one more zero it will become 100. In this manner if you
go on adding zeros, the value also increases to 1000, 10,000,
and so on and so forth. Zeros gain value only when they are
positioned next to the numeral one. ‘I’, ‘my
wife’, ‘my children’, ‘my property’,
etc., all these are like zeros. They will have value only
when they are associated with God who is like numeral one.
The entire world is like a zero. It has emerged from the Hero,
God. It is because of your delusion that you mistake zero
for Hero. So long as you are immersed in delusion you will
never be able to realise divinity. Delusion gives rise to
doubts which will rob you of your bliss. They will poison
your mind and put you to danger. Hence, never entertain doubts
with regard to Divinity. Strengthen your faith in God.
A car can run smoothly only when there is
air in all its four tyres. Even if one tyre is punctured,
it may lead to accident. The human body is like a car. Mind
is the steering wheel. Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha are
its four tyres. They should be filled with the air of faith.
Even if one of the tyres is punctured, your life will be put
to danger. Your mind should be steady and under control. Only
then can you reach the goal of life, i.e., Moksha (liberation).
The entire world is pervaded by the five elements. You should
maintain perfect balance and harmony among them. When you
are riding a cycle, if you do not maintain proper balance,
you will fall down. Likewise, you can lead the life of a true
human being only when you have proper balance of mind. If
you lack proper balance of mind, your humanness will be ruined.
It is said, Jantunam nara janma durlabham (out of all living
beings, human birth is the rarest). Having been blessed with
such precious human birth, what a shame it is if you behave
like an animal! You should live like a human being. Keep your
mind under control. This is My message to you on this holy
night of Sivarathri. Understand that you are born as a human
being, not as an insect or a worm. Neither are you an animal,
nor a bird nor a beast. You should understand the meaning
of the term Manava. ‘Ma’ means not and ‘Nava’
means new. You are not here for the first time. You are not
new to this earth. You have gone through a number of births
before attaining this human birth. Give up all your old and
mean qualities and start your life afresh. Human life is highly
sacred and mysterious. Only God can unravel its mystery. Visweswara
(the Lord of the universe) permeates the entire Viswa (universe).
He transcends all description. He is present in you in the
form of Atma. There is only one path for the realisation of
Atma. Give up the feeling of ‘Mine’. You say ‘this
is mine and that is mine’. Once you get rid of such
worldly attachment, you will develop purity, steadiness and
selflessness. You will be free from suffering, worries and
anxiety. Ultimately, you will attain Moksha (liberation).
Having attained manavatwa (humanness), you should make efforts
to rise to the level of Madhavatwa (divinity). That is your
goal. What is the use if you remain in manavatwa forever?
You should develop sanmathi (pure mind) to rise to the level
of divine. Unity confers purity which will in turn lead to
divinity. Hence, all of you must stand united. You belong
to the human race. You belong to one family. Hence, you must
conduct yourself like brothers and sisters. Absence of such
spirit of unity will diminish purity and take you away from
Being students of Sathya Sai College, you must set an example
to others with your spirit of unity. You deserve to be called
Sai devotees only when you develop unity. Love God with all
your heart. Love for God will transform your heart. It will
drive away hatred and other evil qualities. You can achieve
anything through love.
(Bhagawan sang the Bhajan “Prema
muditha manase kaho…” and continued His
Since time immemorial, the divine name of Rama has been protecting
the devotees and leading them on the right path. One can very
well imagine the divine potency of Rama’s name as it
has remained etched in the hearts of people through all the
ages. This in itself is a mystery. Thousands of years have
passed since the advent of Rama, yet His name remains ever
fresh and ever new. One may be on the top of the mountain
or in a village or in a city, everyone derives immense delight
in singing the name of Rama. Ramayathi ithi Ramah (that which
delights is the principle of Rama).
Once in the court of Krishnadevaraya, there
was a debate in which the eight scholars of the royal court
popularly known as the ‘Ashta Diggajas’ participated.
Krishna-devaraya wanted to know who among them was the best.
He wanted them to frame a meaningful sentence consisting of
five letters, each letter having the same meaning in five
different languages. “Whoever comes out with an answer
to this question by seven tomorrow morning will be suitably
rewarded”, he added.
Since his house was far away, Tenali Ramakrishna
decided to spend the night in his brother-in-law’s house.
When he was provided with a comfortable bed for the night,
Ramakrishna refused to sleep on it. He said, “I have
to think of an answer to a question put by the king by tomorrow
morning. A bed like this is certain to put me to sleep in
no time. So, provide a cot for me in the cow shed.”
As he was lying on the cot, at one o’clock
in the night, one of the cows in the shed gave birth to a
calf. Ramakrishna called out to inform his brother-in-law
about this. His brother-in-law wanted to know which cow had
given birth, since he had given different names to his cows,
like Parvati, Lakshmi, and Saraswati. He asked Ramakrishna,
“Ye Aav Ra Bava” (which cow is that, Oh brother-in-law).
When Ramakrishna heard this, his joy knew
no bounds, since he had found an answer to the king’s
question. So, he too repeated the phrase again and again.
His brother-in-law thought that Ramakrishna was behaving in
this strange manner due to lack of sleep.
The next morning, Ramakrishna went to the
royal court and found that no one else had a solution to the
question. All others were convinced it was not possible to
frame such a sentence. “Ye Aav Ra Ba Va” is the
answer, he said. Everyone was intrigued. Then he explained,
“ ‘Ye’ in Marati, ‘Aav’ in Hindi,
‘Ra’ in Telugu, ‘Ba’ in Kannada and
‘Va’ in Tamil convey the same meaning, i.e., ‘come’.”
Five languages are represented in this sentence.
The words you utter sometimes convey different meanings. Hence,
you should be very careful while speaking. Develop virtues
and lead an ideal life. Only then will Swami be pleased with
you. If you make Me happy with your ideal conduct, I will
confer much more happiness on you. Your happiness is My happiness.
Wherever you go, earn a good name for yourself. Your character
is very important for Me. Hence, make every effort to mould
your character and be an ideal to others. This is the message
I would like to give you on this auspicious day of Sivarathri.
The day on which you experience eternal bliss is Sivarathri
Once Thyagaraja performed a musical concert
at Thanjavur. Many eminent musicians and scholars were present
in the concert hall. In the beginning of the programme Thyagaraja
offered salutations to all of them through his famous composition,
Endaro Mahanubhavulu, Andariki Vandanamulu … (there
are many great souls who have had the divine experience; I
prostrate before all of them). Everyone was blissful listening
to his melodious singing. He demonstrated by his example that
one should pay his respects to everyone in the assembly before
addressing them since there was divinity in all of them. Many
years ago, in Prasanthi Nilayam, a scholar was invited to
address a congregation. While commencing his speech, he addressed
the audience thus: “Brothers and Sisters except one!”
Then he explained that his wife was also present among the
audience. Even while addressing a congregation he was remembering
his wife. One should not observe such differences while addressing
a public gathering. One should offer his salutations to one
I shower My blessings on all of you on this holy night of
Sivarathri. Sing the Divine Name throughout the night. To
the extent possible, spend the night in the contemplation
of God. Only then can you experience divine bliss. You can
even witness the manifestation of divine effulgence. Sing
the Divine Name wholeheartedly. You may sing any name, but
you should understand its inner meaning.
For example, ‘Digambara’ is one
of the names of Lord Siva. Digambara in common parlance refers
to the one who is naked. But if you enquire into the inner
meaning, you will know that ‘Digambara’ is the
One who has dikkulu (four sides – East, West, North,
South) as His ambara (vesture). There is a possibility that
people misunderstand this word and think that Siva does not
wear anything on His body. Hence, it is better that you do
not use this word in Bhajans.