Sai Baba Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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Sri Sathya Sai Baba Articles

  The Divine Mother-Father, Gaytri, Spiritual and Virtual Reality

Picture courtesy: Sai Ram Website

Light and Love
     Below is an attempt to contemplate about God - Divine Mother as a Central Power of Creation, about God - Divine Father as an Absolute with many aspects, Gayatri Mantra, Swami's conclusions concern to the mentioned qualities and general spiritual science as a higher knowledge, the latest scientific discoveries and personal insights, conclusions.
     As we all, so I am too a seeker of my own Self. Some approaches from different aspects of human spiritual culture from Vedas to modern science are easily understandable when they have entwined with Swami's Teaching as today's source of general spiritual enlightenment. 
     (This story telling is not a reproduction of indicated below sites. However, the materials from them have used as references. Maybe my thoughts and conclusions need in some correction, as I’m not a professional of Vedas. I am thankful for them to all such kind notes).
     Lord Krishna declares: 
     "I am the Father- of this Universe. I am the Mother of this universe, and the Creator- of all. I am the Highest to be known, the Purifier, the holy OM, and the three Vedas" (Bhagawad Gita 9.17).
     Through the ages, the doctrine of the Motherhood of God has established a root in Hinduism. The Divine Mother is expressed as Durga, Kali, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ambika, Uma. 
     To worship God as the Divine Mother, is easier to attribute motherly traits to the Lord, such as tenderness and forgivingness. The natural love between a mother and her child is the best expression of the Lord’s unconditional love for divine creatures includes human beings. 
     By Vedas the Universe is the manifestation of the creative power (Shakti) of Brahman (Atman) whose essence is absolute existence, consciousness, and bliss (in Sanskrit, Sat-Chit-Ananda). Since all created forms proceed from the womb of the mother, the creative power Shakti) of God is as the female principle or the motherly aspect of nature - all are children of the Divine Mother.
     The motherly aspect of God in nature is full of beauty, gentleness, kindness, and tenderness, compassion, forgiveness.  When a devotee worships God as Divine Mother, he/she appeals to Her tenderness and unconditional love. The Divine Mother is the first manifestation of Divine Energy.  With her name comes the idea of energy, omnipotence, omnipresence, love, intelligence, wisdom. 
      The position of women in the Hindu religion is dignified because each woman is considered a manifestation of the Divine Mother. Through the worship of God in the form of Mother there is a unique reverence to womanhood. Man and woman are as the two wings of the same bird. Thus, a man is considered incomplete without a woman. By Vivekananda it is not possible for a bird to fly on only one wing. 
    By Hinduism exist several Gods or deities, as different aspects of only one God, the Supreme. Brahma, Vishnu and Siva are not three independent and separate deities, but three different aspects of the same Supreme God, while engaged in the processes of creation, sustenance and destruction of the universe, in that order. Other deities too have considered as different aspects of the Supreme God, manifesting themselves for specific purposes. 
    The powers of these deities, which are inseparable from them - just as the power of fire to burn, cannot be separated from fire itself. This power is conceived in the form of their consorts, Saraswati, Parvati (or Sakti), Lakshmi.  They all are different modes and aspects of Paramatman, the Supreme Self or God.
     Besides Vedas and worship God as the Divine Mother ancient Bharat has gifted to mankind Siddhartha Gautama Buddha (563 - 483 BC), the great spiritual teacher of mankind. Buddha's spiritual and moral forces have strengthened and enriched Hinduism and helped to wean it from perversions, which had set in at that time. (By glossary Buddhism is non-orthodox form of Vedic\Aryan teaching founded by the Buddha or enlightened one).
     Buddha himself has revered as a ninth Avatar of Lord Vishnu. Through it, Buddha (buddhism) has connected with the different modes and aspects of the Supreme God and His creative powers in Hinduism. (It is a good example of unity the different religions).
     "There is a Creator for this marvelous and beautiful cosmos, consisting of moving and unmoving objects. He is Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omnipresent. He has been worshipped as God by many names and in many forms by various people. Unity, fellow-feeling and devotion are essential for every human being.
     Based on teachings of the founders of different faiths, having regard to the requirements of the time and circumstance of particular countries, and keeping in view the specific needs of the people concerned, certain rules and regulations were laid down. On this account, one faith should not be considered superior and another inferior." (Bhagawan Sathya Sai Baba. SSS. Vol. 23. Chapter 36).
     The Goddess - Divine Mother and Gayatri (by glossary the Vedic chant for awakening spiritual enlightenment, for attaining self-realization) is closely interconnected. The last is one of the most important and known Vedic hymns consisting of twenty-four syllables. At first, this hymn was addressed to Lord Surya (Sun) as the supreme generative force.
     However, later Gayatri  had personified as a Goddess. Gayatri Devi (Gaayathree Dhevee) is the presiding deity of the Gayatri Mantra. She is shown as having five heads and is usually seated within a lotus. The four heads of Gayatri represent the four Vedas and the fifth one represents Almighty God. In her ten hands, she holds all the symbols of Lord Vishnu.
     By sacred texts Gayatri is Brahma, Gayatri is Vishnu, Gayatri is Shiva, the Gayatri is Vedas. 
      "Gaaythri is pervading everywhere. It consists of three deities, Gaayathri, Saavithri and Sarasvathi. Of these the first is the master of senses. The second is the teacher of truth and the third is the master of speech. Hence it is Trinity of the senses, the mind and speech. Gaayathri is hailed as Chandhasaam maathah (the Mother of all Vedhas)." (Bhagawan Sathya Sai Baba. SSS, Vol. 28. Chapter 11. The spelling of quotation is not changed).

     Clear explanation the essence and significance of Gayatri mantra has given by Swami in: Bhagawan Sathya Sai Baba. SSS. Vol.5. Chapter 7 "Recruits for my Army." There He mentions that Gayatri Mantra is the first step towards the ultimate realization of the Self and explains how practically to perform it.
     Historic evidences show the greatness of the Gayatri Mantra.  All the yogis and the rishis in India have experienced Gayatri Mantra since the Vedic times. They were endowed with super mental powers and were the true winners of immortal glory on every front of life.  Below is a compilation using some excerpts from:  http://www.akhandjyoti.org/ArticlesJulAug03/GayatriMantra-II.htm.
     When Alexander the Great came to conquer India, he had a curiosity to meet the spiritual masters of this land. On his way towards the northwest, he found a Himalayan yogi lying on the ground, blocking the march of his army. Alexander was unable to push this avadhuta (one who has shaken off himself from the worldly attachments and obligations) off the path and asked him to demand whatever he wanted. The avadhuta calmly asked whether Alexander could shift sunrise (from the East) to the West? If not, the avadhuta continued, “Then don’t disturb me; let me enjoy the sunlight from the East…”
      When the divine force of the Gayatri Mantra fills the heart of a person it clears all shadows of darkness and illuminates the inner self with divine light. It transforms the personality completely.  It is this transmutation, which metamorphosed the royal dancer Amrapali into a devoted disciple of Lord Buddha. When Amrapali went to Lord Buddha she prayed and asked whether an impure, debauched and depraved person like her could also get shelter under his divine grace and enlighten her life. The Buddha asked her too devotedly start the sadhana of a specific mantra. Gautam Buddha inspired a luxury-intoxicated beauty queen, a sex trader Amrapali. She transformed into a great disciple of the Buddha. She spread the divine message of “Bhuddham Sharanam Gacchami, Sangham Sharanam Gacchami, Dhammam Sharanam Gacchami” amongst millions of people across the globe and was instrumental in uplifting their lives.
     The divine force of the Gayatri Mantra transforms an ordinary mortal being into a great, enlightened, angelic saint.  Many live examples of the past and present evince and illustrate this fact. 
     Madhavacharya was a saint living in Vrandavan. He performed the upasana of Gayatri for twelve years but lost patience thereafter, as he did not get the desired divine benefits. He left the sadhana of the Gayatri Mantra and began worshiping Bhairav on the advice of a tantrika.  In less than a year's time he succeeded in the sadhana of Bhairav. The celestial body of Bhairav appeared but stood at his back and asked him to demand what he wanted to be blessed with. Madhavacharya said; “If you are the real Bhairav, please appear before my eyes”. Bhairav said : “I can't appear in front of you, because the brilliance of Gayatri- Shakti infused in you will burn me”. The devotee was surprised and inquired that if Gayatri sadhana was so powerful, why couldn't he get the desired benefits for such a long time? Then Bhairav explained to him how his Gayatri sadhana up till then had destroyed his sins and burnt out the evils accumulated during his past lives and that it was only after this purification that he would have deserved realization and attainment of the divine boons of the mantra. Now there was no doubt left in Madhava’s mind. He restarted the sadhana of the Gayatri Mantra and was soon blessed with divine boons. With the awakening of inner intelligence and acumen, he wrote the “Madhav Nidan”, which remains till date, a crucial treatise for the education and expert practice of the Ayurvedic System of Medicine.
     Another story from history is following. One day Emperior's Akbar prime minister Mansingh when he was strolling in the forests by the banks of the holy Ganga, he saw a saintly yogi engrossed in meditation. Suddenly he noticed a boa around the yogi, which was trying to entrap the latter into its fold and gulp him. Amazingly, the dragon-folds of the boa were not able to tighten around the yogi, nor his poisonous breath able to have any effect. He stood stunned for a few minutes. Meanwhile, the yogi opened his eyes and effortlessly threw off the python by the power of his yoga. Mansingh could not believe his own eyes; he was vividly and concretely witnessed the supernatural strength of spirituality. 
     Since the time, this cosmic mantra, the boon of Lord Brahma, was beatified in the Vedic Age, there awakened the dawn of the divine culture on this earth. Those who practiced its devotional japa, and adopted its inspirations in life received immense peace, blissful contentment, moral dignity, selfless love and amicable cooperation in every phase of life.  There is nothing illusive or unscientific about their effects; there should be no doubt whatever about this. The spiritual evolution induced by the Gayatri Mantra progresses gradually and steadily - but certainly, with the progress in sadhana. 
     The sublime force generated by its japa sadhana can vibrate in the subtle as well as the external world. Its immediate benefit of purification and enlightenment of the intellect is the key to spiritual refinement and evolution of personality.
    Gayatri Mantra is as an integral part of life-style.  The vibrations of this universal mantra can spread this invisible Atmic light to the other people near or far. Its collective sadhana can arouse collective consciousness and progress in the world together with the spiritual upliftment of humanity. However, for that the purity of heart and faith to Almighty, Swami, Swami's Cosmic form is needed. Nothing can be achieved without developing the necessary abilities and eligibility. It is more essential for the invaluable attainment of divine blessings.
    Blossoming of divine realization also is not possible without the immersion of the identity of the individual self in the cosmic self.           
    Below is a general conclusion by Swami in form of a tiny compilation from:  Bhagawan Sathya Sai baba. SSS. Vol. 13. Chapter 34. (The spelling of excerpts are not changed).
     "The Gaayathri (Vedic prayer to illuminate the intellect) prayer enshrined in the Vedas, the most ancient scriptures of man. It is addressed to the Immanent and Transcedent Divine. First the Divine is praised, then It is meditated upon in reverence and finally an appel is made to the Divine to awaken and strenghten the intellect, the discriminating faculty of man.
     The Gaayathri is considered as 'the essence of Vedas.'
     The Gaaythri is usually repeated at dawn, midnoon and dusk. It can be repeated always and everywhere, only one has to ensure that the mind is pure.
     Your two eyes cannot reveal to you the magnificence and the majesty of the realm of the spirit.  So the Gaayathri manthra has been given to you as a third eye to reveal to you that inner vision by which you may realize Brahman.
     Never give up the Gaayathri. It will protect you from harm wherever you are - travelling, working or at home. Vesterns have investigated the vibrations produced by this manthra and have found that when it is recited with the correct accent as laid down in the Vedhas, the atmosphere around becomes visibly illuminated." 
     Real effects even from virtual reality to human health have described in the article by Hunter G. Hoffman ”Virtual-Reality Therapy."  
Scientific American.com. July 26, (http://cl.extm.us/?fe871c77706000797d-fe2d1670736004747d1574 for subscribers).
     Before the very brief description of this 'virtual-reality therapy' some insights concern to faith, rituals, mantras, especially Gayatri and 'Om.'  It is the same not so virtual as spiritual reality what leads a human being towards his/her real Self. The healing power of spiritual reality when a person has a deep faith and belief described by Swami and Vedas would be thousands times stronger than virtual reality of technical world. There are so many practical examples of healing influence of spiritual reality. The forms of spiritual reality maybe different but the results are evident when to follow Swami's Omnipresent Cosmic Form and His advices:
     "In this world which is impermanent and ever transforming, the immanent power of the Lord is the only permanent and fixed entity. In order to realize the eternal and the true, one has perforce to attach oneself to that source and sustenance. There is no escape form this path. It is the destiny of one and all, irrespective of age or scholarship, clime or caste, sex or status." (Bhagawan Sathya Sai Baba. Divine Discourse: "God as Guide".Guru Pournami, 1 Aug 1956. Prasanthi Nilayam; also: http://beaskund.helloyou.ws/askbaba/discourses/d1956/d19560801-1.htm).

     Let's return briefly to 'playground' of researches of modern medicine by article, mentioned above.
    The author with the research team from declares that patients can get relief from pain or overcome their phobias by immersing themselves in computer-generated worlds.  
     Researchers are finding that virtual reality can ease pain, both physical and psychological. The researchers found that severely burned patients, who often face unbearable pain, can relieve their discomfort by engaging in a virtual-reality program during wound treatment. The results have been so promising that a few hospitals are now preparing to explore the use of virtual reality as a tool for pain control. By the other experiments, virtual-reality applications are capable to help phobic patients overcome their different kind of irrational fears. The conclusions have made by pain-related brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging.
    The Virtual Reality Medical Center, a chain of clinics in California was organized. There has successfully treated more than 300 patients suffering from phobias and anxiety disorders.
     It seems clear that virtual therapy can reduce the amount of pain-related brain activity. Pain has a strong psychological component. The same incoming pain signal can be interpreted as more or less painful depending on what the patient is thinking. In addition to influencing the way patients interpret such signals, psychological factors can even influence the amount of pain signals allowed to enter the brain's cortex.
     Neurophysiologists Ronald Melzack and Patrick D. Wall developed this "gate control" theory of pain in the 1960s  ("The Tragedy of Needless Pain," by Ronald Melzack; Scientific American, February 1990).
     The tests were carried out with teenage boys  who had suffered gasoline burns and showed the positive result by using certain virtual programs. 
     Research that is more recent has shown the benefits of virtual-reality therapy are not limited to burn patients. The team conducted a study involving 22 healthy volunteers, each of whom had a blood pressure cuff tightly wrapped around one arm for 10 minutes. Improving the quality of the virtual-reality system increases the amount of pain reduction. A significant positive correlation between the potency of the illusion - how strongly the subjects felt they were immersed in the virtual world - and the alleviation of their pain. 
    Virtual-reality analgesia also has the potential to reduce patient discomfort during other medical procedures. Bruce Thomas and Emily Steele of the University of South Australia have found that virtual reality can alleviate pain in cerebral palsy patients during physical therapy after muscle and tendon surgery. (Aimed at improving the patient's ability to walk, this therapy involves exercises to stretch and strengthen the leg muscles.) Authors’ team at the University of Washington is exploring the clinical use of virtual reality during a painful urological procedure called a rigid cystoscopy.
    As even technical 'virtual-reality therapy' has a real positive results then the results of 'spiritual-reality therapy' should be much more significantly powerful. I call the chanting Gayatri and Its modifications (especially Sai Gayatri) the 'spiritual -reality therapy'. It influence is significant even by listening to them from CD performed by Swami.
     Namaste - Reet

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