Limit Not the All Pervading
Brahman with Names and Forms
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
delivering His Divine Discourse on 26th February 2006,
Text of the Divine Discourse
delivered by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba on 26th February 2006,
Mahashivarathri, at Prashanti Nilayam, Sai Kulwanth Hall
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.
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.
Embodiments of Love!
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.
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.
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.
panipadam tat sarvathokshi siromukham, sarvatah sruthimalloke
sarvamavruthya tishthati (with hands, feet, eyes, head, mouth
and ears pervading everything, He permeates the entire
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.
(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.
Jewels are many but gold is one.
Cows are many but milk is one.
Beings are many but breath is one.
As you are
unable to understand the principle of unity, you are deluded by
the apparent diversity.
Embodiments of Love!
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.
Embodiments of Love!
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.
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:
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.
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.
Embodiments of Love!
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.
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
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
Embodiments of Love!
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 divinity.
Embodiments of Love!
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
the Bhajan "Prema muditha manase kaho?"
and continued His discourse)
Embodiments of Love!
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
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
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
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 for Me.
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 and all.
Embodiments of Love!
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.
'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.