God is Mahaashakthi (supreme energy) and Jeeva (individual
being) is Maayaashakthi (deluding power); He is the genuine, the
Jeeva is but the shadow, the appearance, the delusion. Even I have
to put on Maayaashakthi to come into your midst, like the
policeman who is compelled to wear the dress of the thief so that
he can get entry into the gang of thieves to apprehend them and
bring them to book! The Lord cannot come down with His
Mahaashakthi unimpaired; He has to come with diminished splendour
and limited effulgence, so that He can become the object of
Bhakthi and dedicated service.
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 realise 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.
While proceeding along the road, you can watch your shadow
falling on mud or dirt, hollow or mound, thorn or sand, wet or dry
patches of land. You are unaffected by the fate of your shadow, is
it not? Nor is the shadow made dirty thereby. It does not worry in
the least where it falls or what it wades through. We know that
the shadow and its experiences are not eternal or true. Similarly,
you must get convinced that 'you' are but the shadow of the
absolute and your are essentially not this 'you' but the absolute
itself. That is the remedy for sorrow, travail and pain.
The First step in spiritual Discipline
Of course, it is only at the end of a long and systematic
process of Saadhana that you will get fixed in the truth; until
then, you are apt to identify yourself with this body and forget
that the body which casts a shadow is itself a shadow. The first
step in Saadhana is the adherence to Dharma in every individual
and social act. The Dharma (righteousness) which is followed in
relation to Prakrithi (objective world) will automatically lead on
to Dharma in the spiritual field also; only you must stick to it
through thick and thin. When Aswathaama in the blindness of his
fury slaughtered the children of the Paandavas, Arjuna who caught
him prisoner threatened to cut off his head; but Dhroupadhi the
bereaved mother interceded to save him! She said it was not Dharma
to return murder for murder, to slay the son of one's own Guru.
Such steadfastness is needed in the path of Dharma (virtue); that
alone is the sign of true surrender: "Let the Will of the Lord
prevail; one's duty is but to connect oneself with the current of
His grace." While in jail the prisoner cannot call even his
clothes his own; so too, while in this jail serving your term, wat
can you call your own? He gives you food and clothing. He lets you
go when the sentence ends, or perhaps sooner if He is pleased by
your behaviour while in prison.
Keep the Faith in the Lord undiminished
The greatest obstacle on the path of surrender is Ahamkaara
(egoism) and Mamakaara (mineness or possessiveness). It is
something that has been inhering to your personality since ages,
sending its tentacles deeper and deeper with the experience of
every succeeding life. It can be removed only by the twin
detergents of discrimination and renunciation. Bhakthi is the
water to wash away this dirt of ages and the soap of Japam,
Dhyaanam and Yoga (repetition of God's name, meditation and
communion) will help to remove it quicker and more effectively.
The slow and the steady will surely win this race; walking is the
safest method of travel, though it may condemned as slow. Quicker
means of travel mean disaster; the quicker the means, the greater
the risk of disaster. You should eat only as much as you feel
hunger, for, more will cause disorder. So proceed step by step in
Saadhana (spiritual effort); making sure of one step before you
take another. Do not slide back two paces when you go one pace
forward. But even the first step will be unsteady, if you have no
faith. So cultivate faith.
Sathyabhaama once asked Krishna, "Why are you doing things like
ordinary men? Yudhishthira, the eldest of the Paandavas is the
best of the brothers but you hobnob always with Arjuna, whose
reputation is not above board." Her faith was not steady! What do
people know of the motives that prompt the Lord and His actions?
Some found fault with Naaradha for repeating the name of the Lord,
always, without intermission. But until Saayujyam (merging in the
absolute), the name has to be used; the idea of separation will
end only with mergence, not before that. Do not waver or doubt
when once you are convinced. Seek to understand and satisfy
yourself. After that, do not be misled. When the sun is over your
head there will be no shadow; similarly when faith is steady in
your head it should not cast any shadow of doubt.
When man loses his way and strays into the wilderness,
believing that he is the body or Gunas (qualities) or the object,
then the Avathaar comes to warn and guide. Keep the faith in the
Lord undiminished; you can then safely move about in the world. No
harm can come to you! Be like the village women with pots over
their heads, one over the other, keeping balance even while
talking and walking along the winding lane. They do not forget or
ignore the burden or the goal. They are vigilant, conscious of the
hardships on the way, the stones and pits; it is the inner
concentration that pays dividends.
One should depart the World with a Smile
Every one has to make his exit some day; hat moment should not
be moment of anguish; one should depart gracefully, with a smile
and a bow. In order to do that, a lot of preparation is necessary.
To depart, leaving all that has been accumulated during a long
lifetime, is a hard task; so prepare for it by discarding
attachment to one thing after another from now on.
You see many things in dreams and many things are acquired by
you during dreams: power, pelf, status, reputation. But when you
awake, you do not weep over the loss, even though for the duration
of the dream, all that was very real and gave you real
satisfaction and joy. That was a 'dream', you tell yourself; what
prevents you from treating with similar nonchalance the
possessions gathered during the waking stage of your life?
Cultivate that attitude and you can depart with a smile whenever
the curtain falls on this dreamland stage.
Pray to the Lord to show you the Way
In order to bring conviction to you in all this, it is best you
approach a Guru (spiritual preceptor) who knows the truth by
experience and whose daily activities, words and thoughts reflect
this realisation. The Guru is called so because the letter GU
signifies Gunaatheetha - one who has transcended the three Gunas
(qualities) - the Thaamasik, the Raajasik and even the Saathwik
(ignorant, passionate and virtuous); and the letter RU signifies
one who is Roopa Varjitha (one who has grasped the formless aspect
of God-head). Of course, he could come to that stage only through
the sublimation of the lower into the higher qualities and the
steady and conscious ignoring of the part played by mere name and
In the preliminary stages of spiritual Saadhana, name, form and
quality all have their part to play in the moulding of the spirit.
The Guru destroys the illusion and sheds light; his presence is
cool and comforting. That is why this day, a Pournami (full moon
day), is allotted for paying due honour to the Guru. Moreover, the
moon is the presiding deity of the mind and Pournami is the day on
which the mind has become fully beneficent. Of course, you must
know what you have lost, so that you may start on the search to
recover it! The Guru has very often to tell you that you have
forgotten your real name or that you have lost the most precious
part of yourself and yet are unaware of the loss. The Guru is the
physician for the illness which brings about the suffering of
alternate birth and death. He is an adept at the treatment needed
for the cure. If you do not get such a Guru, pray to the Lord
Himself to show you the way and He will surely come to your