The Message of Sacrifice
Trees yield fruits for the
benefit of mankind without any selfish motive.
Rivers carry water for helping others.
Cows yield milk for the good of others without any trace of
The human body is given for the purpose of helping others.
EMBODIMENTS OF LOVE!
The entire cosmos is a stage for
the play of the Divine. There should be no feeling of hatred among
human beings because both in the individual and the society the
Divine Consciousness is present. The Divine Consciousness which is
termed as Chaithanya is not without purpose. The primary purpose
of human birth is to manifest the divinity within. When man is
filled with ego, he indulges in wicked thoughts and actions, while
he will do good deeds when he is conscious of the Divinity within.
Human life is made up of virtue and vice, hatred and love. The
root cause for all troubles is Raaga and Dwesha (attachment and
hatred). This had plunged humanity in misery since time
Good and bad always co-exist.
Without pain one cannot have the enjoyment of pleasure. Without
darkness one cannot feel the value of the light. Man should learn
to enjoy the dualities of good and bad, pain and pleasure, in
moderation. Food consumed in excess caused indigestion. If it is
inadequate it results in starvation. Man can even have ego in a
limited measure. If the balances his feelings he can have peace of
Kasyapa and his two wives, Dithi
and Adithi, were the parents of demons and demigods (Asuras and
Devas). Indra, the king of the Asuras, as it was common practice
in those days for one king to invade the kingdom of another to
acquire additional territory. Mahabali vanquished Indra in the war
and proceeded to annex the territory of Indra and occupied his
capital Amaravathi. Kasyapa had gone to the Himalayas to do
penance. Lamenting over the defeat grief. When she was wailing,
Kasyapa came to her. Instantly, he was able to recognise the cause
of her grief by divine insight which he had acquired as a result
of his penance. He consoled his wife Adithi saying that nothing
happens in the world without God's will and people should go on
doing their duties. He asked her to pray to Lord Narayana and
taught her a Vratha (ritual) to be followed strictly, known as
Payovratha. It has to be observed from the twelfth day of the
bright half of Karthika (Suklapaksha Dwaadasi). She observed the
vratha as prescribed. A devotee's since prayer will never go to
waste. Since she carried out the vratha with a pious heart,
Narayana appeared before her and informed her that He would
Himself take birth in her womb and help Indra. Adithi was very
happy and true to the word of the Lord, she gave birth to a son of
uncommon effulgence on the twelfth day of the bright half of the
month of Bhadrapada. That child was "Vamanamurthi". Even as a
child He demonstrated His Diving power by doing marvellous deeds.
Mahabali was performing an
Aswametha Yagna (horse sacrifice). He had previously performed a
hundred such yagnas. He declared that he would give anything that
anyone sought from him during this yagna. Vamana came to the
Yagasala. As he was approaching them, the sages assembled there
perceived the extraordinarily effulgent form of the young lad.
Mahabali went forth to receive the Brahmin boy with all
traditional honours and gave him an imminent seat befitting the
status of a holy person. Bali told him: "Master, it is my good
fortune that you have chosen to honour me with your presence.
Whatever you desire, I am here ready to fulfil the same". Vamana
smiled and said: "You need not give me anything very great. It is
enough if you give me that extent of land covered by three
foot-steps of mine.
On hearing him, Bali's preceptor,
Sukracharya, who could have vision of the future, told Bali that
the one who had come to seek a gift from Bali was not an ordinary
Brahmin boy but Lord Narayana himself who had assumed this form.
He advised Bali not to promise the lad anything. But Bali was a
kind who would never go back on his word and told his Guru that he
would never break his promise. He was determined to give Vamana
whatever he wanted since breaking one's word was a sin and he had
to keep his pledge. Sukracharya insisted that he should not fulfil
the demand of Vamana as He had come to deprive Bali of all his
possessions. He said Vamana was not really in need of anything as
everything was in his hands.
Bali, however, determined to
honour the word given to Vamana, begged pardon of his Guru for
disregarding his advice. Earlier, while Bali was embarking on the
war with Indra, he had prostrated at the feet of his preceptor,
Sukracharya, and on his advice he performed the Vishwajit Yagna
from which he secured very powerful weapons. It was only because
of Sukracharya's help that he was able to conquer Indra. On this
occasion, Bali was not prepared to heed the advice of the same
preceptor. Sukracharya cursed Bali, saying: "As you have not
heeded your Guru's words you will be reduced to ashes." Bali was
firm and replied: "I am prepared to face any consequence, but will
not go back on my word."
So saying, he told Vamana to
measure the three feet of land as desired by him. All attempts of
Sukracharya to dissuade Bali from offering the land desired by
Vamana proved futile. Bali told his Guru: "Prana (life) and Maana
(honour) are the two eyes of a person. Even if life goes, honour
should be protected. Granting that the person that has come now is
the Lord Himself, I should be the most fortunate one as the Lord,
who gives everything to mankind, is seeking something from me".
Bali was an example of supreme
sacrifice. He sacrificed all his possessions and himself too to
God. Bali said: "The hand of the Lord, which gives Abhaya
(graceful benediction) to all, has been stretched to take
something from me. The Lord's hand is below while my hand is
above. This must be the fruit of my penance in several births. I
am prepared for anything". This was the spirit of Bali. Bali was
also a very good ruler who was much concerned about the welfare of
his subjects. He was the son of Virochana and grandson of
Prahlada. They were both devotees of Narayana. Is there any one
who has perished having believed in God? There might be people who
have perished without belief in God?
Prahlada was happy and
appreciated the good fortune his grandson Bali when Narayana
himself sought a gift from him. He blessed Bali that he had kept
up the noble tradition and name of the family. It is only by
sacrifice that one can attain immortality and not by any other
Sukracharya?s anger was growing
because of his selfish motive that he should continue to be the
preceptor of the Asuras, He did not want Bali to give the gift
sought by Vamana as he was sure that the last vestige of power of
the Asuras would be destroyed by vamana. Earlier when a fierce
battle was raging between Indra and Bali, Indra used his
Bajrayudha (thunderbolt) against Bali. The latter fainted. There
was one Asura, Namuchi by name. The Bajrayudha would not be
effective against him. An ethereal voice said, "Namuchi is very
powerful. As he has Brahama?s boon, nothing will affect him. Only
a weapon that is neither wet nor dry will be effective". Indra
looked at the ocean and recognised that the foam was neither wet
nor dry. He applied the foam to his weapon and attacked Namuchi.
Namuchi fell down.
Indra is hailed as the chief of
the gods. In the Purushasooktha, it is said that out of the face
of the cosmic purusha emerged Indra. Indra is one who is the Lord
of the senses. In man, the mind is the Lord of the senses. In man,
the mind is the master of the senses. No one can estimate the
power of the mind. Brahmastra and Vajrayudha are not more powerful
that Ekagratha or concentration which is mightier than any weapon.
For this, sense control is essential. There is always a battle
raging in the body between vice and virtue and only the one that
has Ekagratha can come out victorious.
Bali is the symbol of sacrifice
(Thaga). He controlled everything by his spirit of sacrifice. The
Gayathri Mantra begins with the utterance: "Bhur-Bhuvas-Swaha."
These represent the three words which are in the body itself.
"Bhu" represents Prakrithi or Earth, which is the physical body.
Mind is Bhuvarloka. Prajnana is Suvarloka. Body represents
materialisation as it is made up of the five physical elements.
The mind is ?Vibration? and ?Prajnana? is ?Radiation?. If you
enquire into their inner significance, all the three are in your
body itself. The battle between Bali and Indra represents the mind
battling to control the senses. When the mind is controlled one
attains Divinity. This is the spiritual state. Bali performed many
sacrifices to attain this state. "Bali? means tax. You pay taxed
to the Government for electricity, water, drainage etc. What tax
did Bali pay? He gave all his possessions, body, mind and soul, to
the Lord. The Lord?s first foot covered this world and the second
foot covered the other world. How huge the Lord?s feet should have
been to cover the whole world? How can such a huge foot be kept on
Bali?s head for the third step of land? The inner significance of
this action is that Lord entered Bali?s body, mind and soul. Once
the ego or body consciousness is surrendered, there is no bar t
one?s realisation. It is the body consciousness that stands in the
way and makes your forget God. Vamana opened Bali?s eyes to help
him realise the Divine. The imprisoned man had to be freed. Bali
offered his body, mind and soul to the Lord.
Kerala is a sacred land where
Bali performed this action of supreme surrender to the Lord. He
had good relationship with his people and they loved him in turn,
and had faith in him. That is why Kerala is still fertile and
prosperous. The Lord goes about freely in this land. Bali sought a
boon from the Lord that he should visit Kerala every year, on this
day of Sravana asterism in the month of Sravan. This day is
celebrated as Onam by Keralites. They have been following this
faithfully since ancient times. This day is considered important
for the people of Kerala. They prepare many dishes and eat
together on this holy day.
We should appreciate the spirit
of sacrifice of the devotees from Kerala who sacrifice the
comforts of the homes and the company of their near and dear ones
and make a pilgrimage to this place to celebrate this festival in
the immediate presence and company of Swami. They do not mind the
inconveniences and lack of comforts here. They reflect the spirit
of sacrifice demonstrated by Mahabali even today. It is my
blessing that you should enjoy this and should never give up your
Love of God. God?s Love is permanent while all other love among
human beings is only transient and temporary.
Because this faith is imprinted
strongly in the minds of Keralites you are making your trip to
this place leaving your own native place with your unstinted
devotion to Swami. It is my wish that other States should emulate
your example. People may brand Kerala was dominated by Communist
doctrine but I am sure the people of Kerala are filled with pure
devotion to God, whatever may be their political affiliations.
I bless you all to cherish
this pure love and devotion always.
Bhagavan sang the two Bhajans
songs - "Bhajana Binaa" and "Prema Muditha", at the conclusion of
His discourse. The entire gathering joined in the singing with
(From Bhagawan?s Discourse in the
Poornachandra Auditorium on 16-9-94)