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  1. THE PATH OF SELFLESS SERVICE Karma and Karma Yoga Nishkama karma yoga is a word that often comes in the Bhagavad Gita. Karma, akarma and vikarma are also mentioned in the Gita (Karmanohyapi…). Karma means the work done with a selfish desire for the limited circle of one’s family. Karma yoga means the work done for the sake of Lord. Akarma means inaction; not doing either karma or karma yoga. Vikarma means action, which disturbs the peace of the world by harming good devotees. For Arjuna, participating in the Mahabharata war was both karma and karma yoga. It was karma because Arjuna could get back his rightful kingdom, which represents money or wealth. It was karma yoga, because the war was the mission of God. The Lord was destroying injustice by fighting the war against evil people. Participation in such a war is karma yoga. Therefore, it was absolutely necessary for Arjuna to participate in this war and destroy the Kauravas, who stood as his enemy. The war happened to be the personal work (svakaryam—self-serving or self-centered work) and also the work of the Lord (Swami karyam). Svakaryam is another word for karma and Swami karyam is another word for karma yoga. ‘Karma’ is common to both terms: karma and karma yoga. This means that a person always has to work. The soul is born in this world only for doing work; therefore, one cannot remain idle or avoid work. The Gita says the same thing as “Nahi Kashchit....” Now in order to do any work or karma, an aim (sankalpa) is essential. Without an aim, no work (karma) can be done. In your body the blood circulatory system, the digestive system etc., are all working with the aim of keeping your body fit to do some work in this world. You are born in this world with a purpose. The purpose is that you should do minimum karma and maximum karma yoga. Unfortunately, you are doing maximum karma without doing even a minimum of karma yoga. That is, most of the work that you do is self-centered; you do it for yourself or for your limited family. Work of the Lord While you work for your limited family, the Lord works for the whole world, which is His family. Helping Him in His work is karma yoga. He comes down in human form as a Human Incarnation or Avatara, very frequently. He even comes down in different human forms at the same time for the upliftment of the entire human race. His work involves uplifting people present at various levels to higher and higher levels. One Incarnation may concentrate on converting atheists into believers of God by showing miracles, which are beyond scientific logic. That is the main work for that Incarnation. Another Incarnation may promote worship of God. He may introduce worship of God through names and forms. He may encourage traditional worship, prayers and worship in temples. The believers in God (aastikas) can climb only this step in the beginning. Another Incarnation reveals the Absolute Truth, which is Brahma Jnana (Real Knowledge of God). That is His chief purpose. Human Incarnations—A Spiritual Educational Complex Human Incarnations of various types, such as described above, form a complex of various educational institutions. In this complex, there are different levels of institutions such as school, college and university. At each level the Human Incarnation represents the head of that institution. There is the headmaster for the school, a principal for the college and a chancellor for the university. Various types of assisting staff to assist all the three are also present. The three levels of institutions perform their duties within their limited circles. School level: Atheist becomes a believer An uneducated person is first admitted into a school. He then goes to a college and finally to a university. The uneducated person cannot enter the university directly. Similarly, an atheist should first become a believer of God by seeing divine miracles. Converting atheists into believers is the main purpose of the first type of Human Incarnation. College level: Believer becomes a devotee After becoming a believer in God (theist), a person should become a devotee through different types of worship and devotional songs. The second type of Human Incarnation works for this. The above two types (school and college) of Incarnations, work for the purification of the mind of the person. Only when the mind is completely freed from jealousy and ego, is it said to be completely purified. Prayers, worship and traditional practices, promoted by the second type of Human Incarnation, purify the mind. Thus, the person becomes eligible for jnana yoga or the knowledge of God. Lord Shankara has said that the traditional practices bring about the purification of mind, which makes one eligible for receiving jnana yoga. University level: Devotee becomes a Jnani At the university level, the devotee becomes a Jnani (possessor of knowledge). Having gained the eligibility to acquire this knowledge, he works to get established in this knowledge, in this step. This third level is the most important level. However, if the mind is not completely purified, jnana yoga cannot be achieved. Once the person is established in jnana yoga, he is liberated. When you have this jnana yoga, you will be astonished as said in the Gita (Ashcharyavat pashyati…). The third Incarnation reveals the whole true knowledge in order to convert the devotee to a Jnani. This third Incarnation is called the Pari Poorna Tamavataram. The words ‘Pari’ and ‘Tama’ both indicate the superlative degree. The use of a double superlative degree is to emphasize that there can be no greater Avatara or Human Incarnation than this. He is God who is fully revealed. He says vehemently that He is God. Lord Krishna is the highest and fullest Incarnation (Pari Poorna Tamavataram). Only He can reveal the true knowledge, which can open all the knots of your heart. All your doubts are cleared with this knowledge. Your heart is immersed in the ocean of Bliss. This Avatara reveals jnana yoga. Serving the Lord Nirvikalpa samadhi Lord Datta, who is the Human Incarnation of God, reveals Himself fully to deserving devotees and declares that He exists in that human form. If you recognize His human form and fix Him in your mind forever, such a state is called nirvikalpa samadhi. Nirvikalpa means not getting doubts after the decision. Samadhi is the unshakeable decision. Hanuman and Radha are the best examples for nirvikalpa samadhi. Both of them recognized the Human Incarnations of their time, Lord Rama and Lord Krishna respectively, and worshipped them with total faith. Both Hanuman and Radha did only Swami karyam and gave up their svakaryam. Radha and Hanuman—Ideal servants of God Radha preached firm devotion to the world. Hanuman proved his firm devotion by always doing selfless service to the Lord. Radha lived with the Lord when the Lord had not commenced His work. Therefore, Radha did not get the opportunity to participate in the work of the Lord. Hence, she did personal service to the Lord. Swami (the Lord) started His work only after leaving Radha. Radha was a simple milkmaid and could not participate in war and the destruction of evil. So she could not assist Lord Krishna in His mission on earth, which was to destroy injustice. Satyabhama, Lord Krishna’s wife, on the other hand, who was well versed in the art of warfare, helped Lord Krishna during the war with the demon, Narakasura. Hanuman was far from Lord Rama before the work of the Lord began. The reason for this was that Hanuman was a warrior and could help Lord Rama in His mission to destroy evil. Therefore, he got associated with the Lord in the latter part of the life of Lord Rama, when He needed Hanuman. Radha was associated with Swami (Lord) in the earlier part of the Lord’s life. Hanuman was associated in the latter part of the Lord’s life. When Lord Krishna left Vrindavanam, Radha did not go home. She wandered on the banks of river Yamuna till she died. Thus, Radha outwardly exhibited love for the Lord. Hanuman too had the same extent of love for the Lord in his heart. However, Hanuman did not exhibit it. He proved it in the performance of service. For all ordinary individuals, both exhibition of the love for God and proof of love through service are necessary. Arjuna, the ordinary What happened in the case of Arjuna? Arjuna refused to fight and get back his kingdom. What is the meaning of this? Arjuna did not want to perform svakaryam (self-centered work). Lord Krishna advised Arjuna to fight the war not for the sake of Svakarma but for the sake of participating in the Lord’s work, which was the destruction of injustice. So Arjuna did not participate in the war as svakaryam (karma), but fully participated in the war as Swami karyam (karma yoga). So far it was good. But there is one important point here. Arjuna had not refused to do his karma (fight the war for selfish desire) due to his devotion for the Lord. Had he left the war due to pure and extreme devotion for the Lord, it would have been good. Had Arjuna left the war due to true detachment from his kingdom (wealth), it would also have been good. But Arjuna refused to fight because of his blind attraction to family bonds. That is why the Lord advised Arjuna to first look upon the war as karma itself. The Lord wanted Arjuna to realize that the war was his duty as a warrior and was in fact beneficial for him even from the selfish point of view. Refusing to fight this war would not only mean a personal loss of kingdom, wealth and power for Arjuna and his family, but would also bring eternal ill fame to him. Arjuna did not have as much love for the Lord as Radha had for the Lord. Hanuman, who was also a warrior, had that much love. Therefore, Hanuman never had such doubts. Arjuna did not consider the war as karma yoga (the work of the Lord); in fact, this thought never even entered his mind. Therefore, the Lord first taught him karma, then taught Bhakti (devotion) through Jnana (knowledge), and then taught jnana yoga (knowledge of God) after the purification of mind through Bhakti. Lord Krishna revealed Himself as God in jnana yoga and finally advised him to participate in the war as the work of God—karma yoga. The essence of the Bhagavad Gita can be told in one sentence: Kill Duryodhana not for the sake of your kingdom, but as a servant participating in God’s mission to destroy injustice. Desireless service Hanuman’s case was different. He participated in the war as a servant of the Lord (Lord Rama) and not for any personal benefit. Therefore, nishkama karma yoga means the participation in the work of the Lord in human form, without any selfish aim. The work of the Lord is only to uplift humanity. Such participation results only through Jnana (knowledge) and Bhakti (devotion). In case of Lord Rama, the fruit of the war (freeing His wife Sita and the killing of the evil Ravana), went to Lord Rama alone. Hanuman did not get any benefit even though he fought the war by risking his life. Thus, you must give the fruit of your work to the Lord. To do so, you must get rid of selfishness. Then even in performing karma, you will not have any selfish aim. This lack of selfish aim is called nishkama. If you do not have any selfish aim, you will not be attached to the fruit of karma. Only then can you give the fruit to the Lord. Types of Devotees Highest devotees—Divine beings If one leads a life like Hanuman, who completely concentrated on the work of God, such a person can go from Brahmacharya (celibate-student stage in life) directly to samnyasa (stage of a renounced monk). A renounced monk is called a sanyasi and he too does work. But he surrenders the fruit of his entire work to the Lord. Hanuman was a brahmacharya sanyasi (one who directly took up the life of a renunciant after student life). That means that he did not marry and surrendered his whole life and work to the Lord. He did complete Swami karyam without doing any svakaryam. Adi Shankara, Swami Vivekananda, Ramana Maharshi etc., are others of this highest category of people. Mediocre devotees—Human beings People of the second category are called madhyamas (mediocre). These are people who take up family life after student life. They remain with their family for most of their life and do both svakaryam and Swami karyam. Among such people, the amount of Swami karyam that they do, is in proportion to the devotion (bhakti) they have and the amount of Svakaryam that they do is in proportion to their selfishness. In the case of Arjuna, by fighting the war, he got back his kingdom and also participated in the work of the Lord, which was the establishment of justice. Thus, he achieved both Svakaryam and Swami karyam with this one action of fighting the war. Arjuna is called Nara. Nara means a human birth. Hanuman was granted the post of the future Creator (Brahma) of the universe, in the next cycle of creation. Therefore, those of the first category become divine forms. People of the second category get human rebirths. Selfish non-devotees—Animals and demons There is a third category of people. Such people remain in Svakaryam during their entire life. That means, their time, work, energy and money are completely devoted for themselves, for their family members and for their blood relations alone. These are utterly selfish beings. They cannot recognize God in human form. They go on worshipping pictures and statues alone for their selfish ends. Duryodhana belonged to this type. He was always interested in having even his cousins’ kingdom for himself and for his blood-related family. He did not recognize Lord Krishna as God in human form. He did not participate or help in the Lord’s mission. Instead, he went to Lord Krishna to ask for His help even though Duryodhana’s cause was selfish and unjust. Even there Duryodhana was not interested in Lord Krishna but wanted Lord Krishna to give the vast and invincible Yadava army to Duryodhana. Such people are not devoted and even the worship that they perform is only to achieve their selfish ends. They will never help the Lord in His work but go on worshipping Him for their selfish ends. Duryodhana went to a terrible hell (Patala) forever. Such people are reborn as worms in pits of mud and excretory matter. They are caught in the cycle of such births forever. The Gita says that this is indeed the lowest category of people (Samsareshu Naradhaman). Your choice Therefore, you should make sure that you do not fall under the third category under any circumstances. The first category is like the sky, which you cannot reach. At least remain in the second category and attain human rebirth (Nara). That is why Lord Krishna preached the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna who was called Partha [1], the Nara. Ninety nine percent of people can reach the level of Nara by their sadhana (spiritual effort). It is better to remain on earth rather than falling to the lowest hell called Patala. The upper world (heaven) contains divine forms like angels, the earth, which is the middle world, contains human beings and lower world contains demons. This statement can be understood in the above sense. [1] Partha literally means the son of Pritha (Earth). Thus, in general, it means a human being (nara), who is a resident of Earth. More specifically, one of the main characters in the epic Mahabharata, Arjuna, was commonly referred to as Partha. He was the son of Kunti (also known as Pritha). Arjuna was an incarnation of sage Nara and Kunti was the incarnation of the Earth Goddess, Bhu Devi.
  2. APPROACH TO GOD God and Your Efforts: In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says “Bahuni me...” i.e., “Several births have passed for you and for Me. I remember all of them but you do not remember.” Sometimes the sadhana (spiritual effort) done by a devotee during this birth may be little. Yet God shows a lot of grace on that devotee. The reason for this is the penance done by that devotee during his previous births. Even that devotee forgets the penance done by him. Other devotees, who are doing a lot of penance to God in this birth, become jealous of that devotee. They do not know that their penance done in this birth is far less compared to the penance done by that devotee in his previous births. The wealth of a person should not be decided by looking into his current account only. His fixed deposits, which are like the fruits of the penance of his previous birth, should also be taken into account. Only the Lord can see these fixed deposits; ordinary people cannot. Swami Vivekananda came to Shri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa for the first time. Paramahamsa took him into a room and placed a sweet in his mouth and wept with folded hands. Vivekananda could not understand this and was confused. Paramahamsa was the Incarnation of Lord Rama and Lord Krishna together. Vivekananda was the reincarnation of Arjuna and he did not remember his previous births. But Paramahamsa remembered all the previous births. The other disciples could not digest this and became jealous of Vivekananda. Once, Satyabhama kicked Lord Krishna on the forehead by her left leg. Yet Krishna pressed her feet stating that her foot might have been pained. This looked very odd for all the other devotees. They thought that Krishna had become a slave of her beauty. Any external beauty in this world cannot attract the Lord. Only the internal beauty, which is the sacrifice and love, attracts Him. Satybhama was the incarnation of Goddess Earth. She was bearing the violence of all the demons that were strengthened by the boons of God. Thus she was tolerating God indirectly. She was tolerating the feet of all the living beings upon her. She is the other name of tolerance. Even though the Lord killed her son Narakasura, she had kept silent. In fact, she herself had helped the Lord in that war. She had crossed the wheel of ‘Anahata’, which is connected, to children. Nobody could have more tolerance than the Goddess Earth. God knew all this background. Without eligibility, God will never give anything to anybody at any time. But the devotee must take the first step towards God. The necessity is for the devotee. The Veda says “Aptakamsya” i.e., “God has attained everything and there is nothing which He has to achieve”. You have come near the sea with a pot. You should take a step into the water and make an effort to fill your pot. Then the sea moves in to fill the pot with its water. Therefore, human effort is necessary even in the case of God. When God is in human form, He is bound by the manners of humanity. The properties of human body co-exist with divinity. The electric wire has both the qualities of the wire and electricity. Giving an electric shock is the property of electricity. Being thin and lean is the property of the wire. The property of the wire is clearly seen by the unclothed eye. Similarly, the properties of the human body of God are clearly seen by people. As people misunderstand the live electric wire to be a common wire without electricity, the human body of God is also misunderstood to be that of an ordinary man. As the electric current is not seen, the divinity in the human form of the Incarnation is also not seen. But whenever a necessity arises, the electricity becomes intensive in the wire and heat is radiated out. Similarly, the divinity in the human form exposes its divine qualities like Jnana (knowledge), Love, Bliss and miracles, whenever necessary. Goal of your spiritual efforts Sudama felt bad about aproaching Lord Krishna, who was his classmate, even though Sudama was suffering with poverty. Lord Krishna also kept silent, even though He was ready to give infinite wealth to Sudama. But Sudama did not put even one step towards Dwaraka city to meet Krishna. Sudama was chanting the name and worshipping the statue of Krishna. But even a trace of his poverty was not removed because he neglected the human form of God. Until he approached the human form of God and did karma phala tyaga by offering some rice, the Lord did not respond to his need. From his level, the offering of that handful of rice to Lord Krishna was the best sacrifice. So, Lord Krishna too gave Sudama infinite wealth, according to His level. When Sudama went to meet Lord Krishna, he did not ask Krishna to remove his poverty. He was prepared to undergo the result of his sins and suffer in poverty. At the same time, he did the highest sacrifice of that handful of rice. His family was starving and if that handful rice had been cooked, at least a little food could have been given to his children. But he offered it to the Lord instead. He did not ask for anything in return and also did not even think of asking. Thus, a devotee should not ask or even think about the removal of his difficulties by God. He should be prepared to undergo the results of his sins. He should offer Guru Dakshina (donation) to the human form of God to his level best. Then God will remove his difficulties. Swami sees only the quantity of love in you and not the things you are offering to Him. The squirrel rolled in tiny sand particles and showered them into the sea with full faith, in order to contribute to the building of the sea bridge, which was the mission of Lord Rama. So the Lord patted it. The monkeys[1] were bringing big stones and tossing them into the sea but they were not patted by the Lord since their faith was not firm. Both the stones and sand particles were drowning in the water. The squirrel did not stop putting the sand particles but the monkeys got disheartened and stopped putting the big stones. So the Lord does not view what you have surrendered (sacrificed). The Lord only views the spirit with which you surrendered it. So, surrender what you have with full faith and love. Whatever the sin that may be associated with the fruit that you surrender to the Lord, will be cleansed due to your sacrifice of it to the Lord. In fact, such an offering becomes the most pious deed. Kannappa hunted animals and offered their flesh to the Lord. That is the greatest sin. There is no greater sin than killing harmless animals. “Ahimsa Paramodharmah” i.e., the greatest sin is to kill innocent harmless beings. Yet Kannappa attained the same salvation that Shabari attained when she offered fruits to the Lord. The real dharma (duty) is to please God. God created everything; He created us and is present with us in every minute of each life, as our greatest well-wisher. Nobody should be dearer to us than God. Sudama went back home without begging anything from the Lord. Yet Sudama wanted to beg to Krishna in the heart of his heart. That is not nishkama yoga (desirelessness). He was caught by the influence of prestige. While going home to his place, he was suffering mentally, thinking about his poverty. Krishna saw all this and kept silent. But Krishna is also ocean of kindness. Therefore, Krishna finally yielded. Here the victor is Lord Krishna. Kuchela (Sudama), due to his prestige, was defeated. Krishna defeated His principle [Krishna yielded] and so came out of it. Sudama gave importance to the manners of the external human body and could not understand the Lord as the Ocean of Love. The Veda declares the three qualities of God: Jnana belonging to Brahma. (Satyam, Jnanam, Anantam Brahma) Love belonging to Vishnu (Rasovai Sah) Bliss belonging to Shiva (Anando Brahma) If one quality is present, the other two must also co-exist. When Lord Datta takes the human form, all these three qualities are transmitted out. These three are the electric current present in a live metal wire. It is like the heat coming out of the fire covered by ash. If the ash is absent we will not be able to tolerate the heat. The ash controls (reduces) the heat to the extent of our tolerance i.e., the human body works like the ash. Even angels like Indra cannot see the inner form of the Lord. If the inner form of the Lord is exhibited or comes out, the entire universe disappears. Therefore, only through the human form, can one worship or enjoy the essence of Lord Datta. Nobody can establish a direct bond with Lord Datta, because, when Datta appears, the devotee disappears along with the universe. So you cannot attain Datta except through a human body (of the Incarnation). Jnana (knowledge), Prema (love) and Ananda (bliss) cannot be obtained either from the formless God or from inert statues of God. Therefore, for a human being, the Narakara (human form) is the only source. If you neglect the human form, you cannot get a human rebirth, and you will therefore be put to a permanent loss. The Veda says the same “Ihachedavedit atha satyamasti nachedihaa vedit mahati vinashtih”. Datta in Human Form Datta means the God given to the world. The Veda says that the only one God (Parabrahman) creates, maintains and destroys this world. The Veda also states that this God cannot even be imagined by people. Sage Atri saw this ultimate God through a form for the first time. This form, which was given to (seen by) Atri was called Datta. God Himself told Atri that He gave Himself to Atri through that form. Datta means the form that is given. Datta is the only form, which satisfies the definition of God as said by the Vedas. Datta is only one (one God) and He, through His three faces, creates, maintains and destroys this world. [Datta is represented pictorially as human form with three faces, to illustrate this concept]. This form of Datta is also called an Incarnation of God (Parabrahman). But this is the only fullest Incarnation of God among all His Incarnations. Therefore, this Incarnation is the original form of God. In this form called Datta, God is present. You cannot imagine God if you go beyond this form. So if you want to imagine God, Datta is the only original form that is imaginable. The limit of your imagination is Datta. If you leave Datta your imagination ends. Therefore, do not try to imagine God beyond Datta. Such imagination is impossible for anybody. So God means only Datta. This Datta is very powerful as He radiates energy of infinite millions of suns. Only Atri who became very powerful (and deserving) by penance, could see Datta. All the deities and all the planets are just Datta’s external dresses. Datta hides in deities and planets with the help of His inexplicable power called Maya. The planets, which we see in the sky, are not the planets, which I mentioned here. The planets and the sun, which you see in physical form, are inert. The planets, which are mentioned by Me, are divine forms. These physical planets are just symbolic representations of those divine forms. The Veda says “Adityam Brahmeti” i.e., “Worship the sun as God”. People started thinking that the sun is God. So the Veda again says “Nedam tat” i.e., this sun is not God. The deity form (divine form) of the sun is invisible. Therefore, the planets in their original sense (deities) and all the other deities are invisible forms. The planet-deities and the other deities put together can be called as deities in general. These deities are also very powerful and are like the radiating sun. Of course, they are not as powerful as Datta. A man can see different deities with some effort and care (spiritual effort). But you cannot touch them. We can talk with them for a while at the most. But they cannot live with us because of their radiation. We should not consider Datta as [actually] the Incarnation of God because God is beyond imagination. [In other words, we should not consider the unimaginable God to be actually modified into the human body of the Incarnation. It is true that Datta is said to be the Incarnation of God. But neither is the inert body God, nor is God modified into the inert human body. God is unimaginable. God, by His miraculous power Maya, enters the inert human body, in order to make Himself available to devotees. Thus, the human body of the Incarnation is God for the devotees effectively; not actually.] Hindus call this God beyond imagination as Parabrahma. This God is called Jehova by Christians and Allah by Muslims. You cannot say that this God is even formless because the formless object can also be imagined. For example light is formless and can be imagined, but God is beyond imagination. Therefore, we have no direct right even to mention the word God. The word ‘God’ indicates only that unimaginable thing. That unimaginable thing can be understood (inferred) only as something existing due to its effects. The Bhagavad Gita says “Avyaktahi…” i.e., “Worship of the unimaginable God is impossible and leads to grief.” So the form of Datta is inevitable and we should start with Datta. Now the word God should mean Datta. However, if you are particular of worshipping only the unimaginable God, you should understand that you can pray to Him but you cannot worship Him. Therefore, do not call God formless. Call Him unimaginable. If you imagine Him as a formless light, again your imagination is only His Incarnation. Any imagination of yours cannot be the unimaginable God. The Veda says “Na Medhaya”, “Naisha Tarkena” etc., which means that God is beyond imagination and logic. When you were imagining the light, your mind contains some limiting boundaries for it and so the light that you imagined cannot be formless. Moreover, light is made of particles called photons. Each photon is a packet of energy. So light is not formless. In this way also you cannot imagine a formless object. You can only submit your prayer to the unimaginable formless God. But this does not satisfy devotees. They want to describe Him. They want to see Him. They want to touch Him by embracing. They want to talk with Him. They want to live with Him throughout their lives. To give full satisfaction to devotees, Lord Datta takes the human form, which is made of five elements. The Bhagavad Gita says “Manusheem tanumashritam”. Just like Datta takes up radiation bodies (divine bodies made out of light) and becomes the deities; Datta takes up human bodies. Those deities and the human bodies taken by Datta are all Incarnations. An Incarnation is a two-in-one system. The first part is the inner form, which is Datta. The second part is the external form, which is either a deity or a human body. The inner form pervades all over the external form like electric current in a metallic wire. The whole wire is the current (since it gives the effect of current). Wherever you touch the wire the current gives an electric shock. It is as if there is only one thing—electric current. Similarly, in the Human Incarnation, it is as if there is only one thing—God. So the purpose of the devotees is served. Through the Incarnation, they see and touch God. They talk and live with God. Recognizing Datta How to recognize Datta in human form? He performs miracles. He gives blissful knowledge because he is both bliss and knowledge. He quotes from all the Vedas and the Bhagavad Gita because He Himself spoke the Vedas and the Bhagavad Gita, which are the Word of God. He treats this entire world as His family. He always tries to uplift all living beings. He is the embodiment of love and kindness. The Incarnation of Datta is filled with all these divine qualities. Do not decide a person as Datta by miracles only. Even demons and devils perform miracles. Do not decide an ordinary scholar as Datta just because the scholar can give knowledge by quoting the Vedas and the Bhagavad Gita. The knowledge of Datta gives bliss. The bookish knowledge of a scholar cannot give bliss. A scholar can explain the Veda and the Bhagavad Gita based on the meaning given by another scholar. These scholars cannot grasp the actual view of God present in the Veda and the Bhagavad Gita. The Veda says “Brahmavit Brahmaiva…” In this sentence the first word Brahma means the Veda. The second word Brahma means God. The meaning of this sentence is that God (Datta) alone can give the real meaning of the Veda. So, only Datta can give the real interpretation of the Veda and the Gita. Such real knowledge is called Prajnanam. The fourth great sentence (Maha vakya) says that by such Prajnanam, one should recognize Datta. Such Prajnanam is the characteristic property of the internal form of God in the Incarnation. The first three great sentences (Maha vakyas) say that the external form of God is like me, you and him i.e. like an ordinary human being. Foolish people think that God is an ordinary man by seeing the external human body, which follows all the rules of the nature. The Gita says the same “Avajanantimam Mudhah…’. The aim of God in such a human body is that He wants to suffer by taking the sins of His devotees in a real way. He will not suffer really if His body is beyond the rules of nature (if He comes in a divine body). If He took a body that was above the rules of nature, it would amount to cheating the deity of justice. Another aim of God in coming in a human body is that all the other people, who are not devotees, should not be able to recognize Him. If all recognize and follow Him, the drama of this world gets disturbed. He came only for His devotees and not for all. Only His devotees had prayed for Him. Only strong devotees can recognize Him. He will not allow weak devotees to recognize Him by deliberately talking or acting negatively (Maya). Generally people are not interested in recognizing God in human form due to their jealousy and ego. One in thousands tries to recognize. One among those recognizes and reaches Him. This is told in the Gita as “Manushyanam....” [1] Lord Rama was helped by the Vanaras, an ape-like race of forest-dwellers in locating his kidnapped wife Sita, building a sea-bridge to Lanka and fighting a battle with the evil demon-king Ravana.
  3. UNITY OF RELIGIONS IN THE UNIVERSE (Conversation between Swami and a Christian Father) [Following is the divine experience of Shri Phani Kumar, a devotee of Swami as narrated by him.] Recently, I had the fortune to accompany Swami in a train journey from Narasaraopet to Vijayawada. A Christian father was our co-passenger. The conversation between Swami and the Christian father took place as given below.] Father: Those who do not have faith in Jesus Christ will be sent to the flames of liquid fire in hell. This is the declaration of our faith. Swami: Does that mean that there is no salvation to all the generations of devotees who lived on this earth before the incarnation of Jesus Christ? If so, all those devotees were subjects of the partiality of God since they were deprived of the revelation that their successors had! Father: God is impartial in this matter. He gave Jehovah to mankind for their salvation before the incarnation of Jesus. Swami: Fine! That may be true, but devotees of this land (India) had no knowledge of either Jehovah or Jesus Christ prior to the arrival of Vasco da Gama. Vasco da Gama discovered India and only later on, did the Christian literature that speaks of Jehovah or Jesus come to India. All those innocents, who lived before the arrival of Vasco da Gama were deprived of the revelations of either Jehovah or Jesus Christ and were sent to the flames of the ‘liquid fire’ for no fault of theirs. Moreover, they did not even have the opportunity to take human rebirth birth later and reclaim salvation since the doctrine of the faith that you follow, has no place for the rebirth of the soul. Does this mean that God intended to provide the revelation only to a handful of people in a small country and deny the opportunity to all those living in rest of the world? Why did God reveal Himself at a particular point of time, in a particular land and to a particular section alone? Does that not accuse God of partiality? Father: No faith is free from such blame. Does your faith also not warn those who do not believe in your faith, of the same danger of hell? All mortals in other lands, who are not aware of the virtues of your faith, are also subjected to the same punishment in hell! Does this also not accuse God of partiality? Swami: There are fanatic enthusiasts in every faith. Christian enthusiasts claim that non-believers in Jehovah or Jesus Christ shall be subjected to the flames of the liquid fire. Hindu enthusiasts claim that non-believers in Lord Vishnu or Lord Shiva shall be subjected to punishment in hell. These enthusiasts further introduce ideas that salvation is possible only for devotees who follow that particular path, while others will go to hell. Followers of different sects criticize each other by such warnings. All these enthusiasts fail to recognize the unity in all the world religions. All these ‘approaches’ to God, accuse Him of partiality. The only way to keep God free from blame is to understand His generosity correctly. The same single God revealed Himself in different forms, in different places, in different times, to different people. He granted the same enlightenment [knowledge] to all in different languages. All those who are faithful to Him attain salvation upon receiving the enlightenment. Those who fail to accept it, are subjected to the liquid fire in hell. This approach towards God makes Him free from any blame of partiality. The God of all religions is one and the same. He may appear to be different due to differences in His approach to different people, in different times, in different forms and in different languages. He uplifts all with the same compassion. The sea receives all the rivers in the same way, whether they are straight or curved. Devotion is important; not the religion or the path. If the straight river becomes proud and mocks at the curved river, God will see to it that the straight river will never reach Him. By His will, people will build a dam on that river to divert all the water! Everyone needs to follow the path assigned in his faith to attain salvation. Every religion has different levels of spiritual enlightenment. One should move up to the higher level for achieving total enlightenment. Such enlightenment alone is the means of salvation. These levels of enlightenment in each religion are similar to the different levels in education such as school and college. Different religions are similar to different language mediums. The curriculum is same in all the language mediums. A pupil of a certain language medium should strive to reach higher levels of knowledge in the same medium of his choice. He is a pilgrim in pursuit of divinity. His medium is his opportunity. It is neither superior nor inferior to any other medium. He need not move on to another language medium to uplift himself. All the language mediums are different religions with different levels of knowledge. A school student studying science in a particular medium (language) need not change his medium, because even if he changes, the syllabus will not be changed. He should strive to change his syllabus by raising his standard of knowledge i.e. he should graduate from the school level and reach the college level while remaining in the same language medium. The school and college levels exist in every medium. A school student does not become a college student just by changing the medium of his class. He becomes a college student only when the level of his knowledge rises. Similarly, a devotee of any religion should try to reach the higher spiritual level in his own religion. His spiritual level is not raised by changing his religion. Every religion has the lower and higher levels of spirituality meant for devotees of corresponding stages. Religion is the medium and spirituality is the curriculum or syllabus. This syllabus (spirituality) has different levels, such as school level, college level etc., present in the same medium (religion). One should strive to reach the higher levels of knowledge that are present in his own faith. No one needs to move to another faith for getting a higher level of knowledge or for final salvation. All faiths lead to the same destination. In any path, you will have to proceed vertically to reach the goal. At any point, if you travel horizontally to another path, you will still remain at the same level, which is a waste. The realization of this truth alone ensures harmony among different faiths in the world. Failure to recognize the truth will not make anyone enlightened. [When Swami concluded in this way, the Christian father stood up, touched his heart, traced a cross over it and said the following words.] Father: We believe that Jesus will be born again. Yes. Jesus is born again now. Nobody else can explain like this. I am fully convinced”. [When we returned to our house, Swami said the following to me.] Swami: See, the Christian father did not rigidly limit his mind with conservatism. Every religion contains good and broadminded devotees. My effort in the propagation of this knowledge is for such devotees, who are present in every religion in this world.
  4. Permanent Solution for the Coronavirus Pandemic Shri Phani asked: How to overcome such calamities as all the world is facing now due to the present horrible virus? Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! A king passed a rule in his kingdom which was to be followed by all citizens. The citizens who failed to follow the rule were to be punished. Some citizens violated the rule and were punished by the court of law (dharmāsanam) present in the kingdom. Now, suppose these punished violators praise the king a lot and pray to him, will the king cancel their punishment using his supreme power? The other citizens who followed his rule were not punished, even though they never praised the king. Hence, the main point here is to follow the rule of the king. Whether citizens praise the king or not is immaterial. If you replace the king with God and the kingdom with this entire world, you will be able to relate the above story to the present context. God has given the divine constitution called the Dharma Śāstra, to humanity through ancient sages. Every soul is expected to follow that divine constitution of God. The constitution recommends doing certain meritorious deeds and prohibits sinful deeds. If one does not do the meritorious deeds, one only misses some benefit like going to heaven. But if one commits sin, one faces inevitable punishment. The punishment includes being sent to hell after death and undergoing suffering there. But it also includes hell-like punishment here on earth, when the sin committed is highly intense (Atyutkaṭaiḥ pāpa puṇyaiḥ, ihaiva phalamaśnute). The present calamity is punishment given by God to souls here on earth. Hence, it is indeed the result of the intense sins done by the souls in this world. Following justice, doing meritorious deeds and not committing sin is the path of pravṛtti or worldly life. Devotion to God, which includes praising God, is the path of nivṛtti or spiritual life. A soul’s efforts in nivṛtti do not save the soul from the punishment of violating pravṛtti. Hence, praying to God will not stop this calamity, since it is the punishment for the sins committed by souls in worldly life (pravṛtti). Pravṛtti and nivṛtti are independent fields and nivṛtti never interferes with pravṛtti. Even if a soul is an atheist, but if he or she follows pravṛtti (worldly justice) strictly, the soul will not face any punishment. By avoiding sin, one certainly avoids the punishment of sin. Such a person will escape the infection even in the present epidemic. The three main sins mentioned in the Gita “Kāmaḥ krodhaḥ tathā lobhaḥ…” are given below and briefly explained: 1. Illegitimate sex: Sex with anyone except one’s legitimate married life-partner is sin. 2. Illegitimate anger: The unjust anger or violence shown towards good people and harmless living beings is sin. Not showing the appropriate anger or force towards bad people is also a sin. 3. Illegitimate greed: All forms of corruption, and theft are sin. Being miserly and avoiding donation to deserving recipients is also sin. Further, irrationally donating to undeserving receivers is also a sin. These three main sins are to be strictly avoided by all people. Being ethical, following justice and strictly avoiding sin is the minimum and maximum expectation of God from any soul, be it a theist or an atheist. If the people of a country can pray to God in the following manner, this calamity can be avoided in that country. Even people who do not believe in God can make the following resolve and abide by it. They too shall be protected. The prayer or resolve is as follows: Let me propagate the message of doing meritorious deeds and not doing sins, extensively in society. By repeatedly propagating this message of living ethically in society, not only do I imbibe it fully, but the public also imbibes it fully. It brings reformation in me as well as in the society around me. At the very least, it reduces the intensity of sin. All souls including me will, at least, sincerely try to reduce the intensity of their sin. Even atheistic countries and atheists within different countries can make this resolve because it makes no reference to God. However, atheists must accept the inevitable force with which the sins of mankind get punished by nature. This mere invisible virus has brought the whole world to a halt and left even the world leaders trembling in fear. At the time of the final destruction, the final Incarnation of God called Kalki, using the electric sword (vidyut khadga) given by Lord Śiva, will destroy almost all the souls in the world with unimaginable speed. It will be a million times faster than the spread of the present virus! =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: www.universal-spirituality.org) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  5. Permanent Solution for the Coronavirus Pandemic Shri Phani asked: How to overcome such calamities as all the world is facing now due to the present horrible virus? Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! A king passed a rule in his kingdom which was to be followed by all citizens. The citizens who failed to follow the rule were to be punished. Some citizens violated the rule and were punished by the court of law (dharmāsanam) present in the kingdom. Now, suppose these punished violators praise the king a lot and pray to him, will the king cancel their punishment using his supreme power? The other citizens who followed his rule were not punished, even though they never praised the king. Hence, the main point here is to follow the rule of the king. Whether citizens praise the king or not is immaterial. If you replace the king with God and the kingdom with this entire world, you will be able to relate the above story to the present context. God has given the divine constitution called the Dharma Śāstra, to humanity through ancient sages. Every soul is expected to follow that divine constitution of God. The constitution recommends doing certain meritorious deeds and prohibits sinful deeds. If one does not do the meritorious deeds, one only misses some benefit like going to heaven. But if one commits sin, one faces inevitable punishment. The punishment includes being sent to hell after death and undergoing suffering there. But it also includes hell-like punishment here on earth, when the sin committed is highly intense (Atyutkaṭaiḥ pāpa puṇyaiḥ, ihaiva phalamaśnute). The present calamity is punishment given by God to souls here on earth. Hence, it is indeed the result of the intense sins done by the souls in this world. Following justice, doing meritorious deeds and not committing sin is the path of pravṛtti or worldly life. Devotion to God, which includes praising God, is the path of nivṛtti or spiritual life. A soul’s efforts in nivṛtti do not save the soul from the punishment of violating pravṛtti. Hence, praying to God will not stop this calamity, since it is the punishment for the sins committed by souls in worldly life (pravṛtti). Pravṛtti and nivṛtti are independent fields and nivṛtti never interferes with pravṛtti. Even if a soul is an atheist, but if he or she follows pravṛtti (worldly justice) strictly, the soul will not face any punishment. By avoiding sin, one certainly avoids the punishment of sin. Such a person will escape the infection even in the present epidemic. The three main sins mentioned in the Gita “Kāmaḥ krodhaḥ tathā lobhaḥ…” are given below and briefly explained: 1. Illegitimate sex: Sex with anyone except one’s legitimate married life-partner is sin. 2. Illegitimate anger: The unjust anger or violence shown towards good people and harmless living beings is sin. Not showing the appropriate anger or force towards bad people is also a sin. 3. Illegitimate greed: All forms of corruption, and theft are sin. Being miserly and avoiding donation to deserving recipients is also sin. Further, irrationally donating to undeserving receivers is also a sin. These three main sins are to be strictly avoided by all people. Being ethical, following justice and strictly avoiding sin is the minimum and maximum expectation of God from any soul, be it a theist or an atheist. If the people of a country can pray to God in the following manner, this calamity can be avoided in that country. Even people who do not believe in God can make the following resolve and abide by it. They too shall be protected. The prayer or resolve is as follows: Let me propagate the message of doing meritorious deeds and not doing sins, extensively in society. By repeatedly propagating this message of living ethically in society, not only do I imbibe it fully, but the public also imbibes it fully. It brings reformation in me as well as in the society around me. At the very least, it reduces the intensity of sin. All souls including me will, at least, sincerely try to reduce the intensity of their sin. Even atheistic countries and atheists within different countries can make this resolve because it makes no reference to God. However, atheists must accept the inevitable force with which the sins of mankind get punished by nature. This mere invisible virus has brought the whole world to a halt and left even the world leaders trembling in fear. At the time of the final destruction, the final Incarnation of God called Kalki, using the electric sword (vidyut khadga) given by Lord Śiva, will destroy almost all the souls in the world with unimaginable speed. It will be a million times faster than the spread of the present virus! =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: www.universal-spirituality.org) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  6. Permanent Solution for the Coronavirus Pandemic Shri Phani asked: How to overcome such calamities as all the world is facing now due to the present horrible virus? Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! A king passed a rule in his kingdom which was to be followed by all citizens. The citizens who failed to follow the rule were to be punished. Some citizens violated the rule and were punished by the court of law (dharmāsanam) present in the kingdom. Now, suppose these punished violators praise the king a lot and pray to him, will the king cancel their punishment using his supreme power? The other citizens who followed his rule were not punished, even though they never praised the king. Hence, the main point here is to follow the rule of the king. Whether citizens praise the king or not is immaterial. If you replace the king with God and the kingdom with this entire world, you will be able to relate the above story to the present context. God has given the divine constitution called the Dharma Śāstra, to humanity through ancient sages. Every soul is expected to follow that divine constitution of God. The constitution recommends doing certain meritorious deeds and prohibits sinful deeds. If one does not do the meritorious deeds, one only misses some benefit like going to heaven. But if one commits sin, one faces inevitable punishment. The punishment includes being sent to hell after death and undergoing suffering there. But it also includes hell-like punishment here on earth, when the sin committed is highly intense (Atyutkaṭaiḥ pāpa puṇyaiḥ, ihaiva phalamaśnute). The present calamity is punishment given by God to souls here on earth. Hence, it is indeed the result of the intense sins done by the souls in this world. Following justice, doing meritorious deeds and not committing sin is the path of pravṛtti or worldly life. Devotion to God, which includes praising God, is the path of nivṛtti or spiritual life. A soul’s efforts in nivṛtti do not save the soul from the punishment of violating pravṛtti. Hence, praying to God will not stop this calamity, since it is the punishment for the sins committed by souls in worldly life (pravṛtti). Pravṛtti and nivṛtti are independent fields and nivṛtti never interferes with pravṛtti. Even if a soul is an atheist, but if he or she follows pravṛtti (worldly justice) strictly, the soul will not face any punishment. By avoiding sin, one certainly avoids the punishment of sin. Such a person will escape the infection even in the present epidemic. The three main sins mentioned in the Gita “Kāmaḥ krodhaḥ tathā lobhaḥ…” are given below and briefly explained: 1. Illegitimate sex: Sex with anyone except one’s legitimate married life-partner is sin. 2. Illegitimate anger: The unjust anger or violence shown towards good people and harmless living beings is sin. Not showing the appropriate anger or force towards bad people is also a sin. 3. Illegitimate greed: All forms of corruption, and theft are sin. Being miserly and avoiding donation to deserving recipients is also sin. Further, irrationally donating to undeserving receivers is also a sin. These three main sins are to be strictly avoided by all people. Being ethical, following justice and strictly avoiding sin is the minimum and maximum expectation of God from any soul, be it a theist or an atheist. If the people of a country can pray to God in the following manner, this calamity can be avoided in that country. Even people who do not believe in God can make the following resolve and abide by it. They too shall be protected. The prayer or resolve is as follows: Let me propagate the message of doing meritorious deeds and not doing sins, extensively in society. By repeatedly propagating this message of living ethically in society, not only do I imbibe it fully, but the public also imbibes it fully. It brings reformation in me as well as in the society around me. At the very least, it reduces the intensity of sin. All souls including me will, at least, sincerely try to reduce the intensity of their sin. Even atheistic countries and atheists within different countries can make this resolve because it makes no reference to God. However, atheists must accept the inevitable force with which the sins of mankind get punished by nature. This mere invisible virus has brought the whole world to a halt and left even the world leaders trembling in fear. At the time of the final destruction, the final Incarnation of God called Kalki, using the electric sword (vidyut khadga) given by Lord Śiva, will destroy almost all the souls in the world with unimaginable speed. It will be a million times faster than the spread of the present virus! =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: www.universal-spirituality.org) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  7. Permanent Solution for the Coronavirus Pandemic Shri Phani asked: How to overcome such calamities as all the world is facing now due to the present horrible virus? Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! A king passed a rule in his kingdom which was to be followed by all citizens. The citizens who failed to follow the rule were to be punished. Some citizens violated the rule and were punished by the court of law (dharmāsanam) present in the kingdom. Now, suppose these punished violators praise the king a lot and pray to him, will the king cancel their punishment using his supreme power? The other citizens who followed his rule were not punished, even though they never praised the king. Hence, the main point here is to follow the rule of the king. Whether citizens praise the king or not is immaterial. If you replace the king with God and the kingdom with this entire world, you will be able to relate the above story to the present context. God has given the divine constitution called the Dharma Śāstra, to humanity through ancient sages. Every soul is expected to follow that divine constitution of God. The constitution recommends doing certain meritorious deeds and prohibits sinful deeds. If one does not do the meritorious deeds, one only misses some benefit like going to heaven. But if one commits sin, one faces inevitable punishment. The punishment includes being sent to hell after death and undergoing suffering there. But it also includes hell-like punishment here on earth, when the sin committed is highly intense (Atyutkaṭaiḥ pāpa puṇyaiḥ, ihaiva phalamaśnute). The present calamity is punishment given by God to souls here on earth. Hence, it is indeed the result of the intense sins done by the souls in this world. Following justice, doing meritorious deeds and not committing sin is the path of pravṛtti or worldly life. Devotion to God, which includes praising God, is the path of nivṛtti or spiritual life. A soul’s efforts in nivṛtti do not save the soul from the punishment of violating pravṛtti. Hence, praying to God will not stop this calamity, since it is the punishment for the sins committed by souls in worldly life (pravṛtti). Pravṛtti and nivṛtti are independent fields and nivṛtti never interferes with pravṛtti. Even if a soul is an atheist, but if he or she follows pravṛtti (worldly justice) strictly, the soul will not face any punishment. By avoiding sin, one certainly avoids the punishment of sin. Such a person will escape the infection even in the present epidemic. The three main sins mentioned in the Gita “Kāmaḥ krodhaḥ tathā lobhaḥ…” are given below and briefly explained: 1. Illegitimate sex: Sex with anyone except one’s legitimate married life-partner is sin. 2. Illegitimate anger: The unjust anger or violence shown towards good people and harmless living beings is sin. Not showing the appropriate anger or force towards bad people is also a sin. 3. Illegitimate greed: All forms of corruption, and theft are sin. Being miserly and avoiding donation to deserving recipients is also sin. Further, irrationally donating to undeserving receivers is also a sin. These three main sins are to be strictly avoided by all people. Being ethical, following justice and strictly avoiding sin is the minimum and maximum expectation of God from any soul, be it a theist or an atheist. If the people of a country can pray to God in the following manner, this calamity can be avoided in that country. Even people who do not believe in God can make the following resolve and abide by it. They too shall be protected. The prayer or resolve is as follows: Let me propagate the message of doing meritorious deeds and not doing sins, extensively in society. By repeatedly propagating this message of living ethically in society, not only do I imbibe it fully, but the public also imbibes it fully. It brings reformation in me as well as in the society around me. At the very least, it reduces the intensity of sin. All souls including me will, at least, sincerely try to reduce the intensity of their sin. Even atheistic countries and atheists within different countries can make this resolve because it makes no reference to God. However, atheists must accept the inevitable force with which the sins of mankind get punished by nature. This mere invisible virus has brought the whole world to a halt and left even the world leaders trembling in fear. At the time of the final destruction, the final Incarnation of God called Kalki, using the electric sword (vidyut khadga) given by Lord Śiva, will destroy almost all the souls in the world with unimaginable speed. It will be a million times faster than the spread of the present virus! =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: www.universal-spirituality.org) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  8. Permanent Solution for the Coronavirus Pandemic Shri Phani asked: How to overcome such calamities as all the world is facing now due to the present horrible virus? Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! A king passed a rule in his kingdom which was to be followed by all citizens. The citizens who failed to follow the rule were to be punished. Some citizens violated the rule and were punished by the court of law (dharmāsanam) present in the kingdom. Now, suppose these punished violators praise the king a lot and pray to him, will the king cancel their punishment using his supreme power? The other citizens who followed his rule were not punished, even though they never praised the king. Hence, the main point here is to follow the rule of the king. Whether citizens praise the king or not is immaterial. If you replace the king with God and the kingdom with this entire world, you will be able to relate the above story to the present context. God has given the divine constitution called the Dharma Śāstra, to humanity through ancient sages. Every soul is expected to follow that divine constitution of God. The constitution recommends doing certain meritorious deeds and prohibits sinful deeds. If one does not do the meritorious deeds, one only misses some benefit like going to heaven. But if one commits sin, one faces inevitable punishment. The punishment includes being sent to hell after death and undergoing suffering there. But it also includes hell-like punishment here on earth, when the sin committed is highly intense (Atyutkaṭaiḥ pāpa puṇyaiḥ, ihaiva phalamaśnute). The present calamity is punishment given by God to souls here on earth. Hence, it is indeed the result of the intense sins done by the souls in this world. Following justice, doing meritorious deeds and not committing sin is the path of pravṛtti or worldly life. Devotion to God, which includes praising God, is the path of nivṛtti or spiritual life. A soul’s efforts in nivṛtti do not save the soul from the punishment of violating pravṛtti. Hence, praying to God will not stop this calamity, since it is the punishment for the sins committed by souls in worldly life (pravṛtti). Pravṛtti and nivṛtti are independent fields and nivṛtti never interferes with pravṛtti. Even if a soul is an atheist, but if he or she follows pravṛtti (worldly justice) strictly, the soul will not face any punishment. By avoiding sin, one certainly avoids the punishment of sin. Such a person will escape the infection even in the present epidemic. The three main sins mentioned in the Gita “Kāmaḥ krodhaḥ tathā lobhaḥ…” are given below and briefly explained: 1. Illegitimate sex: Sex with anyone except one’s legitimate married life-partner is sin. 2. Illegitimate anger: The unjust anger or violence shown towards good people and harmless living beings is sin. Not showing the appropriate anger or force towards bad people is also a sin. 3. Illegitimate greed: All forms of corruption, and theft are sin. Being miserly and avoiding donation to deserving recipients is also sin. Further, irrationally donating to undeserving receivers is also a sin. These three main sins are to be strictly avoided by all people. Being ethical, following justice and strictly avoiding sin is the minimum and maximum expectation of God from any soul, be it a theist or an atheist. If the people of a country can pray to God in the following manner, this calamity can be avoided in that country. Even people who do not believe in God can make the following resolve and abide by it. They too shall be protected. The prayer or resolve is as follows: Let me propagate the message of doing meritorious deeds and not doing sins, extensively in society. By repeatedly propagating this message of living ethically in society, not only do I imbibe it fully, but the public also imbibes it fully. It brings reformation in me as well as in the society around me. At the very least, it reduces the intensity of sin. All souls including me will, at least, sincerely try to reduce the intensity of their sin. Even atheistic countries and atheists within different countries can make this resolve because it makes no reference to God. However, atheists must accept the inevitable force with which the sins of mankind get punished by nature. This mere invisible virus has brought the whole world to a halt and left even the world leaders trembling in fear. At the time of the final destruction, the final Incarnation of God called Kalki, using the electric sword (vidyut khadga) given by Lord Śiva, will destroy almost all the souls in the world with unimaginable speed. It will be a million times faster than the spread of the present virus! =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: www.universal-spirituality.org) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  9. Permanent Solution for the Coronavirus Pandemic Shri Phani asked: How to overcome such calamities as all the world is facing now due to the present horrible virus? Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! A king passed a rule in his kingdom which was to be followed by all citizens. The citizens who failed to follow the rule were to be punished. Some citizens violated the rule and were punished by the court of law (dharmāsanam) present in the kingdom. Now, suppose these punished violators praise the king a lot and pray to him, will the king cancel their punishment using his supreme power? The other citizens who followed his rule were not punished, even though they never praised the king. Hence, the main point here is to follow the rule of the king. Whether citizens praise the king or not is immaterial. If you replace the king with God and the kingdom with this entire world, you will be able to relate the above story to the present context. God has given the divine constitution called the Dharma Śāstra, to humanity through ancient sages. Every soul is expected to follow that divine constitution of God. The constitution recommends doing certain meritorious deeds and prohibits sinful deeds. If one does not do the meritorious deeds, one only misses some benefit like going to heaven. But if one commits sin, one faces inevitable punishment. The punishment includes being sent to hell after death and undergoing suffering there. But it also includes hell-like punishment here on earth, when the sin committed is highly intense (Atyutkaṭaiḥ pāpa puṇyaiḥ, ihaiva phalamaśnute). The present calamity is punishment given by God to souls here on earth. Hence, it is indeed the result of the intense sins done by the souls in this world. Following justice, doing meritorious deeds and not committing sin is the path of pravṛtti or worldly life. Devotion to God, which includes praising God, is the path of nivṛtti or spiritual life. A soul’s efforts in nivṛtti do not save the soul from the punishment of violating pravṛtti. Hence, praying to God will not stop this calamity, since it is the punishment for the sins committed by souls in worldly life (pravṛtti). Pravṛtti and nivṛtti are independent fields and nivṛtti never interferes with pravṛtti. Even if a soul is an atheist, but if he or she follows pravṛtti (worldly justice) strictly, the soul will not face any punishment. By avoiding sin, one certainly avoids the punishment of sin. Such a person will escape the infection even in the present epidemic. The three main sins mentioned in the Gita “Kāmaḥ krodhaḥ tathā lobhaḥ…” are given below and briefly explained: 1. Illegitimate sex: Sex with anyone except one’s legitimate married life-partner is sin. 2. Illegitimate anger: The unjust anger or violence shown towards good people and harmless living beings is sin. Not showing the appropriate anger or force towards bad people is also a sin. 3. Illegitimate greed: All forms of corruption, and theft are sin. Being miserly and avoiding donation to deserving recipients is also sin. Further, irrationally donating to undeserving receivers is also a sin. These three main sins are to be strictly avoided by all people. Being ethical, following justice and strictly avoiding sin is the minimum and maximum expectation of God from any soul, be it a theist or an atheist. If the people of a country can pray to God in the following manner, this calamity can be avoided in that country. Even people who do not believe in God can make the following resolve and abide by it. They too shall be protected. The prayer or resolve is as follows: Let me propagate the message of doing meritorious deeds and not doing sins, extensively in society. By repeatedly propagating this message of living ethically in society, not only do I imbibe it fully, but the public also imbibes it fully. It brings reformation in me as well as in the society around me. At the very least, it reduces the intensity of sin. All souls including me will, at least, sincerely try to reduce the intensity of their sin. Even atheistic countries and atheists within different countries can make this resolve because it makes no reference to God. However, atheists must accept the inevitable force with which the sins of mankind get punished by nature. This mere invisible virus has brought the whole world to a halt and left even the world leaders trembling in fear. At the time of the final destruction, the final Incarnation of God called Kalki, using the electric sword (vidyut khadga) given by Lord Śiva, will destroy almost all the souls in the world with unimaginable speed. It will be a million times faster than the spread of the present virus! =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: www.universal-spirituality.org) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  10. Permanent Solution for the Coronavirus Pandemic Shri Phani asked: How to overcome such calamities as all the world is facing now due to the present horrible virus? Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! A king passed a rule in his kingdom which was to be followed by all citizens. The citizens who failed to follow the rule were to be punished. Some citizens violated the rule and were punished by the court of law (dharmāsanam) present in the kingdom. Now, suppose these punished violators praise the king a lot and pray to him, will the king cancel their punishment using his supreme power? The other citizens who followed his rule were not punished, even though they never praised the king. Hence, the main point here is to follow the rule of the king. Whether citizens praise the king or not is immaterial. If you replace the king with God and the kingdom with this entire world, you will be able to relate the above story to the present context. God has given the divine constitution called the Dharma Śāstra, to humanity through ancient sages. Every soul is expected to follow that divine constitution of God. The constitution recommends doing certain meritorious deeds and prohibits sinful deeds. If one does not do the meritorious deeds, one only misses some benefit like going to heaven. But if one commits sin, one faces inevitable punishment. The punishment includes being sent to hell after death and undergoing suffering there. But it also includes hell-like punishment here on earth, when the sin committed is highly intense (Atyutkaṭaiḥ pāpa puṇyaiḥ, ihaiva phalamaśnute). The present calamity is punishment given by God to souls here on earth. Hence, it is indeed the result of the intense sins done by the souls in this world. Following justice, doing meritorious deeds and not committing sin is the path of pravṛtti or worldly life. Devotion to God, which includes praising God, is the path of nivṛtti or spiritual life. A soul’s efforts in nivṛtti do not save the soul from the punishment of violating pravṛtti. Hence, praying to God will not stop this calamity, since it is the punishment for the sins committed by souls in worldly life (pravṛtti). Pravṛtti and nivṛtti are independent fields and nivṛtti never interferes with pravṛtti. Even if a soul is an atheist, but if he or she follows pravṛtti (worldly justice) strictly, the soul will not face any punishment. By avoiding sin, one certainly avoids the punishment of sin. Such a person will escape the infection even in the present epidemic. The three main sins mentioned in the Gita “Kāmaḥ krodhaḥ tathā lobhaḥ…” are given below and briefly explained: 1. Illegitimate sex: Sex with anyone except one’s legitimate married life-partner is sin. 2. Illegitimate anger: The unjust anger or violence shown towards good people and harmless living beings is sin. Not showing the appropriate anger or force towards bad people is also a sin. 3. Illegitimate greed: All forms of corruption, and theft are sin. Being miserly and avoiding donation to deserving recipients is also sin. Further, irrationally donating to undeserving receivers is also a sin. These three main sins are to be strictly avoided by all people. Being ethical, following justice and strictly avoiding sin is the minimum and maximum expectation of God from any soul, be it a theist or an atheist. If the people of a country can pray to God in the following manner, this calamity can be avoided in that country. Even people who do not believe in God can make the following resolve and abide by it. They too shall be protected. The prayer or resolve is as follows: Let me propagate the message of doing meritorious deeds and not doing sins, extensively in society. By repeatedly propagating this message of living ethically in society, not only do I imbibe it fully, but the public also imbibes it fully. It brings reformation in me as well as in the society around me. At the very least, it reduces the intensity of sin. All souls including me will, at least, sincerely try to reduce the intensity of their sin. Even atheistic countries and atheists within different countries can make this resolve because it makes no reference to God. However, atheists must accept the inevitable force with which the sins of mankind get punished by nature. This mere invisible virus has brought the whole world to a halt and left even the world leaders trembling in fear. At the time of the final destruction, the final Incarnation of God called Kalki, using the electric sword (vidyut khadga) given by Lord Śiva, will destroy almost all the souls in the world with unimaginable speed. It will be a million times faster than the spread of the present virus! =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: www.universal-spirituality.org) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  11. Permanent Solution for the Coronavirus Pandemic Shri Phani asked: How to overcome such calamities as all the world is facing now due to the present horrible virus? Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! A king passed a rule in his kingdom which was to be followed by all citizens. The citizens who failed to follow the rule were to be punished. Some citizens violated the rule and were punished by the court of law (dharmāsanam) present in the kingdom. Now, suppose these punished violators praise the king a lot and pray to him, will the king cancel their punishment using his supreme power? The other citizens who followed his rule were not punished, even though they never praised the king. Hence, the main point here is to follow the rule of the king. Whether citizens praise the king or not is immaterial. If you replace the king with God and the kingdom with this entire world, you will be able to relate the above story to the present context. God has given the divine constitution called the Dharma Śāstra, to humanity through ancient sages. Every soul is expected to follow that divine constitution of God. The constitution recommends doing certain meritorious deeds and prohibits sinful deeds. If one does not do the meritorious deeds, one only misses some benefit like going to heaven. But if one commits sin, one faces inevitable punishment. The punishment includes being sent to hell after death and undergoing suffering there. But it also includes hell-like punishment here on earth, when the sin committed is highly intense (Atyutkaṭaiḥ pāpa puṇyaiḥ, ihaiva phalamaśnute). The present calamity is punishment given by God to souls here on earth. Hence, it is indeed the result of the intense sins done by the souls in this world. Following justice, doing meritorious deeds and not committing sin is the path of pravṛtti or worldly life. Devotion to God, which includes praising God, is the path of nivṛtti or spiritual life. A soul’s efforts in nivṛtti do not save the soul from the punishment of violating pravṛtti. Hence, praying to God will not stop this calamity, since it is the punishment for the sins committed by souls in worldly life (pravṛtti). Pravṛtti and nivṛtti are independent fields and nivṛtti never interferes with pravṛtti. Even if a soul is an atheist, but if he or she follows pravṛtti (worldly justice) strictly, the soul will not face any punishment. By avoiding sin, one certainly avoids the punishment of sin. Such a person will escape the infection even in the present epidemic. The three main sins mentioned in the Gita “Kāmaḥ krodhaḥ tathā lobhaḥ…” are given below and briefly explained: 1. Illegitimate sex: Sex with anyone except one’s legitimate married life-partner is sin. 2. Illegitimate anger: The unjust anger or violence shown towards good people and harmless living beings is sin. Not showing the appropriate anger or force towards bad people is also a sin. 3. Illegitimate greed: All forms of corruption, and theft are sin. Being miserly and avoiding donation to deserving recipients is also sin. Further, irrationally donating to undeserving receivers is also a sin. These three main sins are to be strictly avoided by all people. Being ethical, following justice and strictly avoiding sin is the minimum and maximum expectation of God from any soul, be it a theist or an atheist. If the people of a country can pray to God in the following manner, this calamity can be avoided in that country. Even people who do not believe in God can make the following resolve and abide by it. They too shall be protected. The prayer or resolve is as follows: Let me propagate the message of doing meritorious deeds and not doing sins, extensively in society. By repeatedly propagating this message of living ethically in society, not only do I imbibe it fully, but the public also imbibes it fully. It brings reformation in me as well as in the society around me. At the very least, it reduces the intensity of sin. All souls including me will, at least, sincerely try to reduce the intensity of their sin. Even atheistic countries and atheists within different countries can make this resolve because it makes no reference to God. However, atheists must accept the inevitable force with which the sins of mankind get punished by nature. This mere invisible virus has brought the whole world to a halt and left even the world leaders trembling in fear. At the time of the final destruction, the final Incarnation of God called Kalki, using the electric sword (vidyut khadga) given by Lord Śiva, will destroy almost all the souls in the world with unimaginable speed. It will be a million times faster than the spread of the present virus! =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: www.universal-spirituality.org) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  12. Permanent Solution for the Coronavirus Pandemic Shri Phani asked: How to overcome such calamities as all the world is facing now due to the present horrible virus? Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! A king passed a rule in his kingdom which was to be followed by all citizens. The citizens who failed to follow the rule were to be punished. Some citizens violated the rule and were punished by the court of law (dharmāsanam) present in the kingdom. Now, suppose these punished violators praise the king a lot and pray to him, will the king cancel their punishment using his supreme power? The other citizens who followed his rule were not punished, even though they never praised the king. Hence, the main point here is to follow the rule of the king. Whether citizens praise the king or not is immaterial. If you replace the king with God and the kingdom with this entire world, you will be able to relate the above story to the present context. God has given the divine constitution called the Dharma Śāstra, to humanity through ancient sages. Every soul is expected to follow that divine constitution of God. The constitution recommends doing certain meritorious deeds and prohibits sinful deeds. If one does not do the meritorious deeds, one only misses some benefit like going to heaven. But if one commits sin, one faces inevitable punishment. The punishment includes being sent to hell after death and undergoing suffering there. But it also includes hell-like punishment here on earth, when the sin committed is highly intense (Atyutkaṭaiḥ pāpa puṇyaiḥ, ihaiva phalamaśnute). The present calamity is punishment given by God to souls here on earth. Hence, it is indeed the result of the intense sins done by the souls in this world. Following justice, doing meritorious deeds and not committing sin is the path of pravṛtti or worldly life. Devotion to God, which includes praising God, is the path of nivṛtti or spiritual life. A soul’s efforts in nivṛtti do not save the soul from the punishment of violating pravṛtti. Hence, praying to God will not stop this calamity, since it is the punishment for the sins committed by souls in worldly life (pravṛtti). Pravṛtti and nivṛtti are independent fields and nivṛtti never interferes with pravṛtti. Even if a soul is an atheist, but if he or she follows pravṛtti (worldly justice) strictly, the soul will not face any punishment. By avoiding sin, one certainly avoids the punishment of sin. Such a person will escape the infection even in the present epidemic. The three main sins mentioned in the Gita “Kāmaḥ krodhaḥ tathā lobhaḥ…” are given below and briefly explained: 1. Illegitimate sex: Sex with anyone except one’s legitimate married life-partner is sin. 2. Illegitimate anger: The unjust anger or violence shown towards good people and harmless living beings is sin. Not showing the appropriate anger or force towards bad people is also a sin. 3. Illegitimate greed: All forms of corruption, and theft are sin. Being miserly and avoiding donation to deserving recipients is also sin. Further, irrationally donating to undeserving receivers is also a sin. These three main sins are to be strictly avoided by all people. Being ethical, following justice and strictly avoiding sin is the minimum and maximum expectation of God from any soul, be it a theist or an atheist. If the people of a country can pray to God in the following manner, this calamity can be avoided in that country. Even people who do not believe in God can make the following resolve and abide by it. They too shall be protected. The prayer or resolve is as follows: Let me propagate the message of doing meritorious deeds and not doing sins, extensively in society. By repeatedly propagating this message of living ethically in society, not only do I imbibe it fully, but the public also imbibes it fully. It brings reformation in me as well as in the society around me. At the very least, it reduces the intensity of sin. All souls including me will, at least, sincerely try to reduce the intensity of their sin. Even atheistic countries and atheists within different countries can make this resolve because it makes no reference to God. However, atheists must accept the inevitable force with which the sins of mankind get punished by nature. This mere invisible virus has brought the whole world to a halt and left even the world leaders trembling in fear. At the time of the final destruction, the final Incarnation of God called Kalki, using the electric sword (vidyut khadga) given by Lord Śiva, will destroy almost all the souls in the world with unimaginable speed. It will be a million times faster than the spread of the present virus! =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: www.universal-spirituality.org) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  13. Permanent Solution for the Coronavirus Pandemic Shri Phani asked: How to overcome such calamities as all the world is facing now due to the present horrible virus? Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! A king passed a rule in his kingdom which was to be followed by all citizens. The citizens who failed to follow the rule were to be punished. Some citizens violated the rule and were punished by the court of law (dharmāsanam) present in the kingdom. Now, suppose these punished violators praise the king a lot and pray to him, will the king cancel their punishment using his supreme power? The other citizens who followed his rule were not punished, even though they never praised the king. Hence, the main point here is to follow the rule of the king. Whether citizens praise the king or not is immaterial. If you replace the king with God and the kingdom with this entire world, you will be able to relate the above story to the present context. God has given the divine constitution called the Dharma Śāstra, to humanity through ancient sages. Every soul is expected to follow that divine constitution of God. The constitution recommends doing certain meritorious deeds and prohibits sinful deeds. If one does not do the meritorious deeds, one only misses some benefit like going to heaven. But if one commits sin, one faces inevitable punishment. The punishment includes being sent to hell after death and undergoing suffering there. But it also includes hell-like punishment here on earth, when the sin committed is highly intense (Atyutkaṭaiḥ pāpa puṇyaiḥ, ihaiva phalamaśnute). The present calamity is punishment given by God to souls here on earth. Hence, it is indeed the result of the intense sins done by the souls in this world. Following justice, doing meritorious deeds and not committing sin is the path of pravṛtti or worldly life. Devotion to God, which includes praising God, is the path of nivṛtti or spiritual life. A soul’s efforts in nivṛtti do not save the soul from the punishment of violating pravṛtti. Hence, praying to God will not stop this calamity, since it is the punishment for the sins committed by souls in worldly life (pravṛtti). Pravṛtti and nivṛtti are independent fields and nivṛtti never interferes with pravṛtti. Even if a soul is an atheist, but if he or she follows pravṛtti (worldly justice) strictly, the soul will not face any punishment. By avoiding sin, one certainly avoids the punishment of sin. Such a person will escape the infection even in the present epidemic. The three main sins mentioned in the Gita “Kāmaḥ krodhaḥ tathā lobhaḥ…” are given below and briefly explained: 1. Illegitimate sex: Sex with anyone except one’s legitimate married life-partner is sin. 2. Illegitimate anger: The unjust anger or violence shown towards good people and harmless living beings is sin. Not showing the appropriate anger or force towards bad people is also a sin. 3. Illegitimate greed: All forms of corruption, and theft are sin. Being miserly and avoiding donation to deserving recipients is also sin. Further, irrationally donating to undeserving receivers is also a sin. These three main sins are to be strictly avoided by all people. Being ethical, following justice and strictly avoiding sin is the minimum and maximum expectation of God from any soul, be it a theist or an atheist. If the people of a country can pray to God in the following manner, this calamity can be avoided in that country. Even people who do not believe in God can make the following resolve and abide by it. They too shall be protected. The prayer or resolve is as follows: Let me propagate the message of doing meritorious deeds and not doing sins, extensively in society. By repeatedly propagating this message of living ethically in society, not only do I imbibe it fully, but the public also imbibes it fully. It brings reformation in me as well as in the society around me. At the very least, it reduces the intensity of sin. All souls including me will, at least, sincerely try to reduce the intensity of their sin. Even atheistic countries and atheists within different countries can make this resolve because it makes no reference to God. However, atheists must accept the inevitable force with which the sins of mankind get punished by nature. This mere invisible virus has brought the whole world to a halt and left even the world leaders trembling in fear. At the time of the final destruction, the final Incarnation of God called Kalki, using the electric sword (vidyut khadga) given by Lord Śiva, will destroy almost all the souls in the world with unimaginable speed. It will be a million times faster than the spread of the present virus! =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: www.universal-spirituality.org) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  14. Permanent Solution for the Coronavirus Pandemic Shri Phani asked: How to overcome such calamities as all the world is facing now due to the present horrible virus? Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! A king passed a rule in his kingdom which was to be followed by all citizens. The citizens who failed to follow the rule were to be punished. Some citizens violated the rule and were punished by the court of law (dharmāsanam) present in the kingdom. Now, suppose these punished violators praise the king a lot and pray to him, will the king cancel their punishment using his supreme power? The other citizens who followed his rule were not punished, even though they never praised the king. Hence, the main point here is to follow the rule of the king. Whether citizens praise the king or not is immaterial. If you replace the king with God and the kingdom with this entire world, you will be able to relate the above story to the present context. God has given the divine constitution called the Dharma Śāstra, to humanity through ancient sages. Every soul is expected to follow that divine constitution of God. The constitution recommends doing certain meritorious deeds and prohibits sinful deeds. If one does not do the meritorious deeds, one only misses some benefit like going to heaven. But if one commits sin, one faces inevitable punishment. The punishment includes being sent to hell after death and undergoing suffering there. But it also includes hell-like punishment here on earth, when the sin committed is highly intense (Atyutkaṭaiḥ pāpa puṇyaiḥ, ihaiva phalamaśnute). The present calamity is punishment given by God to souls here on earth. Hence, it is indeed the result of the intense sins done by the souls in this world. Following justice, doing meritorious deeds and not committing sin is the path of pravṛtti or worldly life. Devotion to God, which includes praising God, is the path of nivṛtti or spiritual life. A soul’s efforts in nivṛtti do not save the soul from the punishment of violating pravṛtti. Hence, praying to God will not stop this calamity, since it is the punishment for the sins committed by souls in worldly life (pravṛtti). Pravṛtti and nivṛtti are independent fields and nivṛtti never interferes with pravṛtti. Even if a soul is an atheist, but if he or she follows pravṛtti (worldly justice) strictly, the soul will not face any punishment. By avoiding sin, one certainly avoids the punishment of sin. Such a person will escape the infection even in the present epidemic. The three main sins mentioned in the Gita “Kāmaḥ krodhaḥ tathā lobhaḥ…” are given below and briefly explained: 1. Illegitimate sex: Sex with anyone except one’s legitimate married life-partner is sin. 2. Illegitimate anger: The unjust anger or violence shown towards good people and harmless living beings is sin. Not showing the appropriate anger or force towards bad people is also a sin. 3. Illegitimate greed: All forms of corruption, and theft are sin. Being miserly and avoiding donation to deserving recipients is also sin. Further, irrationally donating to undeserving receivers is also a sin. These three main sins are to be strictly avoided by all people. Being ethical, following justice and strictly avoiding sin is the minimum and maximum expectation of God from any soul, be it a theist or an atheist. If the people of a country can pray to God in the following manner, this calamity can be avoided in that country. Even people who do not believe in God can make the following resolve and abide by it. They too shall be protected. The prayer or resolve is as follows: Let me propagate the message of doing meritorious deeds and not doing sins, extensively in society. By repeatedly propagating this message of living ethically in society, not only do I imbibe it fully, but the public also imbibes it fully. It brings reformation in me as well as in the society around me. At the very least, it reduces the intensity of sin. All souls including me will, at least, sincerely try to reduce the intensity of their sin. Even atheistic countries and atheists within different countries can make this resolve because it makes no reference to God. However, atheists must accept the inevitable force with which the sins of mankind get punished by nature. This mere invisible virus has brought the whole world to a halt and left even the world leaders trembling in fear. At the time of the final destruction, the final Incarnation of God called Kalki, using the electric sword (vidyut khadga) given by Lord Śiva, will destroy almost all the souls in the world with unimaginable speed. It will be a million times faster than the spread of the present virus! =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: www.universal-spirituality.org) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  15. Permanent Solution for the Coronavirus Pandemic Shri Phani asked: How to overcome such calamities as all the world is facing now due to the present horrible virus? Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! A king passed a rule in his kingdom which was to be followed by all citizens. The citizens who failed to follow the rule were to be punished. Some citizens violated the rule and were punished by the court of law (dharmāsanam) present in the kingdom. Now, suppose these punished violators praise the king a lot and pray to him, will the king cancel their punishment using his supreme power? The other citizens who followed his rule were not punished, even though they never praised the king. Hence, the main point here is to follow the rule of the king. Whether citizens praise the king or not is immaterial. If you replace the king with God and the kingdom with this entire world, you will be able to relate the above story to the present context. God has given the divine constitution called the Dharma Śāstra, to humanity through ancient sages. Every soul is expected to follow that divine constitution of God. The constitution recommends doing certain meritorious deeds and prohibits sinful deeds. If one does not do the meritorious deeds, one only misses some benefit like going to heaven. But if one commits sin, one faces inevitable punishment. The punishment includes being sent to hell after death and undergoing suffering there. But it also includes hell-like punishment here on earth, when the sin committed is highly intense (Atyutkaṭaiḥ pāpa puṇyaiḥ, ihaiva phalamaśnute). The present calamity is punishment given by God to souls here on earth. Hence, it is indeed the result of the intense sins done by the souls in this world. Following justice, doing meritorious deeds and not committing sin is the path of pravṛtti or worldly life. Devotion to God, which includes praising God, is the path of nivṛtti or spiritual life. A soul’s efforts in nivṛtti do not save the soul from the punishment of violating pravṛtti. Hence, praying to God will not stop this calamity, since it is the punishment for the sins committed by souls in worldly life (pravṛtti). Pravṛtti and nivṛtti are independent fields and nivṛtti never interferes with pravṛtti. Even if a soul is an atheist, but if he or she follows pravṛtti (worldly justice) strictly, the soul will not face any punishment. By avoiding sin, one certainly avoids the punishment of sin. Such a person will escape the infection even in the present epidemic. The three main sins mentioned in the Gita “Kāmaḥ krodhaḥ tathā lobhaḥ…” are given below and briefly explained: 1. Illegitimate sex: Sex with anyone except one’s legitimate married life-partner is sin. 2. Illegitimate anger: The unjust anger or violence shown towards good people and harmless living beings is sin. Not showing the appropriate anger or force towards bad people is also a sin. 3. Illegitimate greed: All forms of corruption, and theft are sin. Being miserly and avoiding donation to deserving recipients is also sin. Further, irrationally donating to undeserving receivers is also a sin. These three main sins are to be strictly avoided by all people. Being ethical, following justice and strictly avoiding sin is the minimum and maximum expectation of God from any soul, be it a theist or an atheist. If the people of a country can pray to God in the following manner, this calamity can be avoided in that country. Even people who do not believe in God can make the following resolve and abide by it. They too shall be protected. The prayer or resolve is as follows: Let me propagate the message of doing meritorious deeds and not doing sins, extensively in society. By repeatedly propagating this message of living ethically in society, not only do I imbibe it fully, but the public also imbibes it fully. It brings reformation in me as well as in the society around me. At the very least, it reduces the intensity of sin. All souls including me will, at least, sincerely try to reduce the intensity of their sin. Even atheistic countries and atheists within different countries can make this resolve because it makes no reference to God. However, atheists must accept the inevitable force with which the sins of mankind get punished by nature. This mere invisible virus has brought the whole world to a halt and left even the world leaders trembling in fear. At the time of the final destruction, the final Incarnation of God called Kalki, using the electric sword (vidyut khadga) given by Lord Śiva, will destroy almost all the souls in the world with unimaginable speed. It will be a million times faster than the spread of the present virus! =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: www.universal-spirituality.org) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  16. Permanent Solution for the Coronavirus Pandemic Shri Phani asked: How to overcome such calamities as all the world is facing now due to the present horrible virus? Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! A king passed a rule in his kingdom which was to be followed by all citizens. The citizens who failed to follow the rule were to be punished. Some citizens violated the rule and were punished by the court of law (dharmāsanam) present in the kingdom. Now, suppose these punished violators praise the king a lot and pray to him, will the king cancel their punishment using his supreme power? The other citizens who followed his rule were not punished, even though they never praised the king. Hence, the main point here is to follow the rule of the king. Whether citizens praise the king or not is immaterial. If you replace the king with God and the kingdom with this entire world, you will be able to relate the above story to the present context. God has given the divine constitution called the Dharma Śāstra, to humanity through ancient sages. Every soul is expected to follow that divine constitution of God. The constitution recommends doing certain meritorious deeds and prohibits sinful deeds. If one does not do the meritorious deeds, one only misses some benefit like going to heaven. But if one commits sin, one faces inevitable punishment. The punishment includes being sent to hell after death and undergoing suffering there. But it also includes hell-like punishment here on earth, when the sin committed is highly intense (Atyutkaṭaiḥ pāpa puṇyaiḥ, ihaiva phalamaśnute). The present calamity is punishment given by God to souls here on earth. Hence, it is indeed the result of the intense sins done by the souls in this world. Following justice, doing meritorious deeds and not committing sin is the path of pravṛtti or worldly life. Devotion to God, which includes praising God, is the path of nivṛtti or spiritual life. A soul’s efforts in nivṛtti do not save the soul from the punishment of violating pravṛtti. Hence, praying to God will not stop this calamity, since it is the punishment for the sins committed by souls in worldly life (pravṛtti). Pravṛtti and nivṛtti are independent fields and nivṛtti never interferes with pravṛtti. Even if a soul is an atheist, but if he or she follows pravṛtti (worldly justice) strictly, the soul will not face any punishment. By avoiding sin, one certainly avoids the punishment of sin. Such a person will escape the infection even in the present epidemic. The three main sins mentioned in the Gita “Kāmaḥ krodhaḥ tathā lobhaḥ…” are given below and briefly explained: 1. Illegitimate sex: Sex with anyone except one’s legitimate married life-partner is sin. 2. Illegitimate anger: The unjust anger or violence shown towards good people and harmless living beings is sin. Not showing the appropriate anger or force towards bad people is also a sin. 3. Illegitimate greed: All forms of corruption, and theft are sin. Being miserly and avoiding donation to deserving recipients is also sin. Further, irrationally donating to undeserving receivers is also a sin. These three main sins are to be strictly avoided by all people. Being ethical, following justice and strictly avoiding sin is the minimum and maximum expectation of God from any soul, be it a theist or an atheist. If the people of a country can pray to God in the following manner, this calamity can be avoided in that country. Even people who do not believe in God can make the following resolve and abide by it. They too shall be protected. The prayer or resolve is as follows: Let me propagate the message of doing meritorious deeds and not doing sins, extensively in society. By repeatedly propagating this message of living ethically in society, not only do I imbibe it fully, but the public also imbibes it fully. It brings reformation in me as well as in the society around me. At the very least, it reduces the intensity of sin. All souls including me will, at least, sincerely try to reduce the intensity of their sin. Even atheistic countries and atheists within different countries can make this resolve because it makes no reference to God. However, atheists must accept the inevitable force with which the sins of mankind get punished by nature. This mere invisible virus has brought the whole world to a halt and left even the world leaders trembling in fear. At the time of the final destruction, the final Incarnation of God called Kalki, using the electric sword (vidyut khadga) given by Lord Śiva, will destroy almost all the souls in the world with unimaginable speed. It will be a million times faster than the spread of the present virus! =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: www.universal-spirituality.org) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  17. Permanent Solution for the Coronavirus Pandemic Shri Phani asked: How to overcome such calamities as all the world is facing now due to the present horrible virus? Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! A king passed a rule in his kingdom which was to be followed by all citizens. The citizens who failed to follow the rule were to be punished. Some citizens violated the rule and were punished by the court of law (dharmāsanam) present in the kingdom. Now, suppose these punished violators praise the king a lot and pray to him, will the king cancel their punishment using his supreme power? The other citizens who followed his rule were not punished, even though they never praised the king. Hence, the main point here is to follow the rule of the king. Whether citizens praise the king or not is immaterial. If you replace the king with God and the kingdom with this entire world, you will be able to relate the above story to the present context. God has given the divine constitution called the Dharma Śāstra, to humanity through ancient sages. Every soul is expected to follow that divine constitution of God. The constitution recommends doing certain meritorious deeds and prohibits sinful deeds. If one does not do the meritorious deeds, one only misses some benefit like going to heaven. But if one commits sin, one faces inevitable punishment. The punishment includes being sent to hell after death and undergoing suffering there. But it also includes hell-like punishment here on earth, when the sin committed is highly intense (Atyutkaṭaiḥ pāpa puṇyaiḥ, ihaiva phalamaśnute). The present calamity is punishment given by God to souls here on earth. Hence, it is indeed the result of the intense sins done by the souls in this world. Following justice, doing meritorious deeds and not committing sin is the path of pravṛtti or worldly life. Devotion to God, which includes praising God, is the path of nivṛtti or spiritual life. A soul’s efforts in nivṛtti do not save the soul from the punishment of violating pravṛtti. Hence, praying to God will not stop this calamity, since it is the punishment for the sins committed by souls in worldly life (pravṛtti). Pravṛtti and nivṛtti are independent fields and nivṛtti never interferes with pravṛtti. Even if a soul is an atheist, but if he or she follows pravṛtti (worldly justice) strictly, the soul will not face any punishment. By avoiding sin, one certainly avoids the punishment of sin. Such a person will escape the infection even in the present epidemic. The three main sins mentioned in the Gita “Kāmaḥ krodhaḥ tathā lobhaḥ…” are given below and briefly explained: 1. Illegitimate sex: Sex with anyone except one’s legitimate married life-partner is sin. 2. Illegitimate anger: The unjust anger or violence shown towards good people and harmless living beings is sin. Not showing the appropriate anger or force towards bad people is also a sin. 3. Illegitimate greed: All forms of corruption, and theft are sin. Being miserly and avoiding donation to deserving recipients is also sin. Further, irrationally donating to undeserving receivers is also a sin. These three main sins are to be strictly avoided by all people. Being ethical, following justice and strictly avoiding sin is the minimum and maximum expectation of God from any soul, be it a theist or an atheist. If the people of a country can pray to God in the following manner, this calamity can be avoided in that country. Even people who do not believe in God can make the following resolve and abide by it. They too shall be protected. The prayer or resolve is as follows: Let me propagate the message of doing meritorious deeds and not doing sins, extensively in society. By repeatedly propagating this message of living ethically in society, not only do I imbibe it fully, but the public also imbibes it fully. It brings reformation in me as well as in the society around me. At the very least, it reduces the intensity of sin. All souls including me will, at least, sincerely try to reduce the intensity of their sin. Even atheistic countries and atheists within different countries can make this resolve because it makes no reference to God. However, atheists must accept the inevitable force with which the sins of mankind get punished by nature. This mere invisible virus has brought the whole world to a halt and left even the world leaders trembling in fear. At the time of the final destruction, the final Incarnation of God called Kalki, using the electric sword (vidyut khadga) given by Lord Śiva, will destroy almost all the souls in the world with unimaginable speed. It will be a million times faster than the spread of the present virus! =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: www.universal-spirituality.org) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  18. Permanent Solution for the Coronavirus Pandemic Shri Phani asked: How to overcome such calamities as all the world is facing now due to the present horrible virus? Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! A king passed a rule in his kingdom which was to be followed by all citizens. The citizens who failed to follow the rule were to be punished. Some citizens violated the rule and were punished by the court of law (dharmāsanam) present in the kingdom. Now, suppose these punished violators praise the king a lot and pray to him, will the king cancel their punishment using his supreme power? The other citizens who followed his rule were not punished, even though they never praised the king. Hence, the main point here is to follow the rule of the king. Whether citizens praise the king or not is immaterial. If you replace the king with God and the kingdom with this entire world, you will be able to relate the above story to the present context. God has given the divine constitution called the Dharma Śāstra, to humanity through ancient sages. Every soul is expected to follow that divine constitution of God. The constitution recommends doing certain meritorious deeds and prohibits sinful deeds. If one does not do the meritorious deeds, one only misses some benefit like going to heaven. But if one commits sin, one faces inevitable punishment. The punishment includes being sent to hell after death and undergoing suffering there. But it also includes hell-like punishment here on earth, when the sin committed is highly intense (Atyutkaṭaiḥ pāpa puṇyaiḥ, ihaiva phalamaśnute). The present calamity is punishment given by God to souls here on earth. Hence, it is indeed the result of the intense sins done by the souls in this world. Following justice, doing meritorious deeds and not committing sin is the path of pravṛtti or worldly life. Devotion to God, which includes praising God, is the path of nivṛtti or spiritual life. A soul’s efforts in nivṛtti do not save the soul from the punishment of violating pravṛtti. Hence, praying to God will not stop this calamity, since it is the punishment for the sins committed by souls in worldly life (pravṛtti). Pravṛtti and nivṛtti are independent fields and nivṛtti never interferes with pravṛtti. Even if a soul is an atheist, but if he or she follows pravṛtti (worldly justice) strictly, the soul will not face any punishment. By avoiding sin, one certainly avoids the punishment of sin. Such a person will escape the infection even in the present epidemic. The three main sins mentioned in the Gita “Kāmaḥ krodhaḥ tathā lobhaḥ…” are given below and briefly explained: 1. Illegitimate sex: Sex with anyone except one’s legitimate married life-partner is sin. 2. Illegitimate anger: The unjust anger or violence shown towards good people and harmless living beings is sin. Not showing the appropriate anger or force towards bad people is also a sin. 3. Illegitimate greed: All forms of corruption, and theft are sin. Being miserly and avoiding donation to deserving recipients is also sin. Further, irrationally donating to undeserving receivers is also a sin. These three main sins are to be strictly avoided by all people. Being ethical, following justice and strictly avoiding sin is the minimum and maximum expectation of God from any soul, be it a theist or an atheist. If the people of a country can pray to God in the following manner, this calamity can be avoided in that country. Even people who do not believe in God can make the following resolve and abide by it. They too shall be protected. The prayer or resolve is as follows: Let me propagate the message of doing meritorious deeds and not doing sins, extensively in society. By repeatedly propagating this message of living ethically in society, not only do I imbibe it fully, but the public also imbibes it fully. It brings reformation in me as well as in the society around me. At the very least, it reduces the intensity of sin. All souls including me will, at least, sincerely try to reduce the intensity of their sin. Even atheistic countries and atheists within different countries can make this resolve because it makes no reference to God. However, atheists must accept the inevitable force with which the sins of mankind get punished by nature. This mere invisible virus has brought the whole world to a halt and left even the world leaders trembling in fear. At the time of the final destruction, the final Incarnation of God called Kalki, using the electric sword (vidyut khadga) given by Lord Śiva, will destroy almost all the souls in the world with unimaginable speed. It will be a million times faster than the spread of the present virus! =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: www.universal-spirituality.org) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  19. God is Beyond Time Note: This article is meant for intellectuals only Shri Anil asked: Padanamaskaram Swami, A person in quora forum asked the following doubt. What is time? Can God exist outside of time? Is it possible for anything to happen without time? at Your Lotus feet, Anil Swami Replied: Shankara proposed that God is beyond space and time. According to Him space and time are conventional and they are myths (Mithya) with respect to God. Based on this, scholars say that an event (paristhiti) is defined by space (Desha) and time (Kaala) (Desha kaala paristhitih). The same concept is proposed by Einstein, who says that any event in creation can be defined with the four-dimensional model of space-time, where three coordinates belong to space and the fourth coordinate, is time. Time is based on the activity of an item composed of matter and energy and the duration for which the activity continued. The sun is an item made of matter and energy. Its activity is the movement in the sky. Actually, after Aryabhaṭṭa, Brahmagupta established that the earth moves around the sun and around itself too. But from our point of view, the sun moves in the sky. In any case, the study of time proves that time is a component of creation. It is certainly not beyond creation. The first created item is space, which is the subtlest form of energy. Time is always associated with space. From space (space-time), the rest of creation evolved. The unimaginable God is beyond creation. He is beyond the first created item, space and also beyond time, which is always associated with space. The First Energetic Incarnation is called Datta. He is also called Eshvara or Father of heaven. Even God Datta is beyond the concept of time. He is eternal and changeless. This is because the unimaginable God has permanently merged with God Datta. Before the creation of the first item of creation, i.e. space (subtle energy); only the unimaginable God existed. No concept of time existed in the unimaginable God. The word ‘before’, which indicates time, is associated only with creation. It cannot be linked with the state of the unimaginable God existing alone up to that point of the beginning of creation. The concept of time appeared only after creation. God Datta exists in creation, but for all practical purposes, He is beyond this creation due to the eternal merging of the unimaginable God with Him. This creation will never end even though it had a beginning. Hence, there is no possibility of the disappearance of time at any point in the future. Since the entertainment of the unimaginable God (or God Datta) continues forever, this creation will never disappear. Even when God withdraws from the entertainment, creation is maintained in a very subtle state (avyaktam), only to be projected again whenever entertainment is required. The disappearance of creation or space cannot even be imagined. If it were possible to imagine the disappearance of creation and space, it would also be possible to imagine the unimaginable God. Of course, that is impossible! The existence of the unimaginable God alone is imaginable (Astiityevopalabdhavyah—Veda). In fact, the existence of the unimaginable God can be logically experienced. Through the authority of experience, the existence of the unimaginable God is shown to be valid (Anubhavaikavedyam Brahma). Of course, the unimaginable God perfectly has the potency to make the entire creation, including the First Energetic Incarnation, disappear at any time. But this potency is never exhibited practically for the sake of maintaining the eternality of God Datta, who is perfectly identified with the unimaginable God. The energetic body of God Datta is to Him as your body is to you. Your human awareness or soul pervades all over your material body. Similarly, the awareness of God Datta also pervades all over His energetic body. The important difference is that the unimaginable God has merged in the awareness of God Datta. So, along with His awareness, the unimaginable God also pervades all over the energetic body of God Datta. Hence, we say that the soul as well as the body of God Datta are pervaded by the unimaginable God. Any human being who destroys his own body commits the greatest sin called suicide. Such a thing can never be imagined even in a dream, in the case of the unimaginable God! So, the First Energetic Incarnation, with whom the unimaginable God is completely merged, will never be destroyed. It remains eternal and changeless. In the case of the unimaginable God, you should not think about the time in which the unimaginable God remained in His inherent state. It is the state even before the creation of space and His First Energetic Incarnation. Even if you assume that some such time existed, when God was in that unimaginable state before creation, that time is also unimaginable! You cannot consider the unimaginable time as a separate unimaginable entity because two unimaginable items cannot co-exist. The result is that the unimaginable time is also the same unimaginable God. Hence, you cannot imagine the unimaginable time in which the unimaginable God alone existed until the starting point of the imaginable creation.
  20. Brahma Loka Comes to Shri. C. B. K. Murthy Discourse Podcast Shri C. B. K. Murthy, the first pillar of the mission of the propagation of the spiritual knowledge of Swami, expired at 11.00 pm on 09.11.2018. On the same day from 09.00 pm onwards, Swami was watching a movie on Shri Akkalkot Maharaj played on the television from a pen-drive. The last scene in the movie in which Shri Maharaj breathed His last, appeared exactly at 11.00 pm. Swami suffered in terrible pain and wept for half an hour, indicating the death of His important devotee. Swami did not weep like this previously while seeing this picture. A week earlier, the son of Shri C. B. K. Murthy had come and told Swami that his father was constantly uttering the name of Swami. Swami replied that He would come to his house to see him in just a week and that it would be His last visit to the devotee! The family members of the devotee told Swami that the devotee in his last days was always remembering the name of Swami alone and was praying to Swami to uplift his soul. Swami replied: “As per the ethical scripture, I am not supposed to visit the funeral ritual of anybody for a period of six months since I just performed the marriage of My third son four months ago. During this period I did not even attend the annual ceremony of My late mother due to that restriction. But I attended this ritual, abandoning the rules of pravrutti since this is the line of nivrutti. By this you can realize that how much value I have given to this devotee!” All the family members of the devotee said that the devotee reached Brahma Loka (Abode of God) since Swami came there. But Swami replied, “This devotee did not reach Brahma Loka since Brahma Loka itself reached this devotee!” Smt. Shrilakshmi, the first daughter-in-law of the devotee asked Swami about the journey of the soul after death. Swami gave the following message to all the family and relatives of the devotee on that day. Smt. Shrilakshmi is the fortunate devotee to whom Swami had given a vision in the past, in which He appeared as God Brahma emitting tremendous radiation. The Journey of Souls Doing Worldly Deeds Swami spoke: After death, the individual soul (Jiva) enters an energetic subtle body and reaches the immediate upper sub-world called Preta Loka. There the soul waits for ten days for the inquiry of its deeds by God. During this period, its subtle body gets food from cosmic energy. Individual souls have different shades in their energetic bodies based on their qualities and deeds done. The first world, Bhuuloka, is subdivided into four sub-worlds called Martya Loka, Preta Loka, Naraka Loka and Pituloka. This earth on which human beings exist is called Martya Loka or Karma Loka, which is the first sub-world of the first world, called Bhuuloka. This first sub-world is the place for doing deeds and hence, it is called a karma loka. Above this first sub-world, the other three upper sub-worlds of the Bhuuloka and the other worlds existing above the Bhuuloka, are invisible to human beings due to the unimaginable power of God. But by the grace of God, some souls can see them. When the inquiry is over in the Preta Loka, the individual soul with its subtle body, travels along one of four channels starting from the Preta Loka which is the junction. The channel along which a soul is sent depends on the inquiry of its deeds and the corresponding fruits that are to be enjoyed by the soul. The Naraka Loka and the Pitruloka, which are the two uppermost sub-worlds of Bhuuloka lying above the Preta Loka, are called bhoga lokas. All worlds lying above the Bhuuloka are also called as bhoga lokas, which are the places meant for the enjoyment of the fruits of one’s deeds. The four possible channels through which souls are sent after the inquiry in the Preta Loka are: 1) The third sub-world immediately above the Preta Loka is called Naraka Loka, which is hell. All sinners go to this world. Their souls are present in bodies which resemble black smoke. This body of smoke is called as Dhuuma Shariira. Note that the ‘food’ for all energetic bodies is cosmic energy itself. But for the souls in the Dhuuma Shariras this ‘food’ from the cosmic energy, is almost not supplied. The souls constantly suffer from terrible weakness. Very very little cosmic energy and that too very rarely, is supplied to them now and then; just to maintain the very mild energetic bodies. Naraka Loka (hell) is headed by Yama Dharmaraaja. In the region just above this regular hell, special hells headed by Kaalabhairava also exist. 2) The uppermost sub-world of Bhuuloka is called Pitruloka to which all neutral souls go. This sub-world is located on the moon. The body of the soul here is made of mild moonlight and is called as a Pitru Sharira. Food for these bodies is supplied in the form of the light energy of the moon. 3) The next immediate world above the Bhuuloka is called Dyu loka. It is also called as Jyotirloka or Bhuvarloka. Souls who have done social service for fame on this earth, reach this world. In this world, the soul gets a body, which is like a little bright light and is called a JyotihSharira. Food is supplied to these bodies from the cosmic energy. This world lies in between Bhuuloka and the sun. 4) Above this second world, exists the Suvarloka or Svarga Loka starting from the globe of the sun up to the pole star (Dhruva). It is also commonly called heaven. Souls reaching this world are those who have done good work of social service, which is not for fame. The soul here gets a body called a bhoga Sharira. Food for this body too is supplied from cosmic energy. Once a soul attains an energetic body, material food is not at all required by its body. It is said that the material food given to deserving priests, reaches the departed souls. But this is only an Arthavaada, which is a lie told for a good purpose. It ensures that even a greedy person performs the death rituals and donates food to deserving receivers. It is very important to ensure that the receiver of our donation during any ritual is deserving of our donation. Donation to the deserving brings merit, while donation to the undeserving incurs sin. Do not think that the donation of food, clothes and money done to undeserving receivers is a mere waste. Actually, it yields punishment since such donation is sin. The Veda says that a receiver is deserving only if the person possesses the following two things (Shrotriyasyachaakaamahatasya😞 i) Spiritual knowledge of the Veda (or of the holy scripture of one’s particular religion) and ii) The lack of aspiration for receiving anything in return from the donor or performer of the ritual. The priest is the principal receiver of the donation of money (Dakshinaa) offered by the donor. Hence, the priest must explain the spiritual knowledge to the donor and other people assembled so as to improve their devotion. If this is not done, the whole ritual is a sheer waste! If the priest does this divine duty in the service of God without any aspiration in return, God will take care of everything for the priest. Money cannot be the solution for everything whereas God’s grace solves all problems. The merit earned in donating to deserving priests protects the departed soul as well as the performer of the ritual. I am not saying that the ritual should not be performed. What I say is that the ritual must be performed properly with perfect knowledge of the background (Jnaatvaa kuriita karmaani—Gita). By doing the rituals perfectly, good fruits are attained and the punishment for the sin of doing the rituals wrongly can be avoided. For souls who are on the path of pravrutti, which is the path of worldly justice, we discussed the four channels along which they are sent depending on their good and bad deeds on earth. These four channels are limited to the Bhuuloka, Bhuvarloka and Suvarloka. The individual souls after enjoying the good and bad fruits of their deeds in the upper worlds or the sub-worlds of Bhuuloka, return to earth. This cyclic rotation always continues in pravrutti. In the path of pravrutti, there is no spiritual knowledge or devotion to God. There is only doing good deeds to serve society and avoiding bad deeds which harm society. Social service is the highest merit in this field. The Journey of Souls on the Spiritual Path The second path is nivrutti. It is the path of progressing in devotion, which is based on true spiritual knowledge. On this path too, the devotee does social service but it is not for heavenly fruits. It is done on the command of God, only to please God. Here, God is more important than the social service. The fully ripened soul who follows this path, leaves this earth after death in a very bright energetic body called a Divya Sharira and directly reaches the ultimate seventh world called Brahma Loka. Brahma Loka is the abode of God Datta or Father of heaven. Ripened devotees having some deficiencies, reach the three upper worlds, which lie between Suvarloka and Brahma Loka. These three worlds are called Maharloka, Jana Loka and Tapoloka. In these worlds, these highly devoted souls, get some special spiritual advice and guidance from divine preachers, who too are present in energetic bodies in these three worlds. In these three worlds, the souls also enjoy the fruits of their spiritual progress. These are the destinations of souls on the path of nivrutti. Uncertainty about the Departed Soul’s Destination When a person dies, we do not know in which world the soul has gone. But during the ritual, the priests pray to God for the journey of the soul to the ultimate Brahma Loka (Shaashvata Brahmaloka nivaasa siddhyartham). This is only our good wish and hope for our departed loved one. The reality depends only on the merit of the soul. We even inform others about the passing away of the person by writing that the departed soul has reached heaven (Svargasthaḥ). This too is only our good wish for our departed elders and the reality depends only on the merit of the soul. We also perform annual ceremonies for the departed souls every year assuming that the soul is in heaven. The assumption behind doing the rituals is providing food for the departed souls every day as per the duration of a day in their world. As stated earlier, traditionally it is assumed that donations of food and items made by us to deserving receivers here on earth reach our departed ancestors. One day in heaven (Svarga Loka) is equal to one year on earth, whereas one day in Pitruloka is equal to one month on earth. Up to one year, we perform monthly ceremonies assuming that the soul has gone to Pitruloka. We even call our departed relatives as Pitrudevataas assuming that they are in Pitruloka. If they remain in Pitruloka, we should continue to perform these ceremonies every month since one day in Pitruloka is equal to one month on the earth. But we do these ceremonies monthly only up to one year. After the first year, we perform this ritual annually. Perhaps, this is done due to the inconvenience in doing it every month! But at least as per our assumption, it means that the soul stays in Pitruloka for one year and then moves to heaven (Svarga Loka) after one year. Yet we still continue to call our departed relatives as Pitrudevataas, which means that they are still residents of Pitruloka! By our assumption that the departed relatives have moved to heaven after the first year, we should call them as Devataas (angels), who are the residents of heaven! Of course, we must remember that even if some departed souls actually reach heaven, they are only temporary residents there. These temporary Devataas get temporary energetic bodies and are different from the permanent Devataas, who are present there in the energetic bodies forever. After the fruit of their good deeds is exhausted upon enjoyment in heaven for the stipulated time, the temporary Devataas have to return to earth. In spite of all the above assumptions made in the traditional death rituals, we donate a cow to the priest during the ritual. It is said that the donation of a cow to the priest is necessary since it allows the departed soul to cross the river of blood called Vaitaraṇi and reach hell. This donation of a cow is performed for everybody. It means the soul certainly goes to hell alone after death. This variety in the steps and rituals followed during the death ceremonies of departed souls is due to the uncertainty regarding the exact direction of the journey of the souls after their death. The Essence of the Death Rituals When a loved one dies, the surviving relatives of that person, due to their grief, get temporary detachment from worldly issues. This is called Shmashaana vairaagyam or crematorium-detachment. This condition, when their minds are temporarily free of worldly attachments, is congenial for introducing the fear of sin in them. So traditionally, the relatives are supposed to read the secondary scripture called the Garuda Puraanam, in which horrible punishments are described for the corresponding sins. Either devotion to God (bhakti) or the fear of hell (bhayam) is essential to control the sinful nature of the soul. Actually, the Garuda Puraanam can be read at any time by anybody and it need not be confined only to the death ritual. There is one important precaution that must be taken during the death ritual or any other ritual. That is that the priests should explain the spiritual knowledge of the holy scripture which is recited, to all the people attending it, so that it improves their devotion to God. Usually, the priests simply recite the scripture blindly in an unknown language (Sanskrit) without knowing or explaining its meaning. In that case, it is the responsibility of the relatives of the departed soul, who are performing the ritual to demand that the priests explain the meaning of the scripture. The performers of the ritual donate money to priests so they are like the customers who pay the priests for their services. It is said that the customer is like God. So, the donors, who are the customer-gods, must demand the explanations of the scripture from the priests. That is the only way to change these priests who have been blindly reciting the scripture for generations. It will force them to study the scripture instead of wasting time in blind recitation without knowing its meaning. There is no need to memorize the scripture and recite it. It can easily be read from the printed book. What is important is that its deep meaning should be properly explained. This deep meaning is the actual sacred spiritual knowledge. Merely reading out the translation of the Sanskrit verses is not sufficient. If the explanation of the deep spiritual knowledge becomes the main essence of the ritual, then it will benefit everyone. The people assembled will get a chance to leave their sinful behavior and get reformed. They will also develop devotion to God. Similarly, the priests themselves will get a deep understanding of the spiritual knowledge, which will reform them and develop devotion in them. If this is not done, then any type of donation to priests is not only a total waste, but it is also a sin that brings punishment upon the performer as well as the departed soul!
  21. Will it be practical to propagate the divine knowledge in this Kali yuga? Ms. Arsha asked: Padanamaskaram Swamiji! This is Arsha. I hope You are fine Swamiji. I had some questions that were making me restless. So I wanted to ask them to you and clear my doubts. I would be really blessed if You would clear them. Swamiji please forgive me if there is any mistake in any of my questions or in my way of asking the questions. Please always be with me Swamiji. The three questions are given below. Yours Lovingly, Arsha. Discourse Podcast In this cruel yuga where there is violence and misunderstanding everywhere, will it be practical to propagate the divine knowledge? Why is it important to propagate knowledge, when we know that this is the Kali Yuga, in which people criticize, kill, insult and argue with each other having no peace of mind and no patience to listen to each other’s suggestions and queries. Will it not be a waste of time? Is it worth propagating knowledge in this cruel yuga? Please clear my doubt and enlighten my path so that I can walk on it without any sorts of doubts or queries in my mind. Swami replied: We are doing the propagation of spiritual knowledge as the work of God, whom we like the most. We are not doing this work with an aspiration for any fruit from God in return as our salary. We know very well that the fruit of God’s work is in the hands of God alone. We also know very well that God is very very potent to do His work and always get a positive fruit. In fact, God can get the fruit of His work in a fraction of a second just by His will. If He wishes, the positive fruit can be achieved in a fraction of a second; however impossible it might be to succeed in that work. In spite of all this background, why is God expecting us to do the work? It is, after all, His work alone, and success in His work depends only on His will. The answer for this is very clear. God wants to see whether we have the sincere intention to do His work, in spite of all the hurdles in the path. Our firmness to do His work with an unshakable intention for success shows our unshakable devotion to Him. God is testing the strength of our devotion to Him, which is the strength of our love for Him. If we withdraw from the work due to the hurdles, our love is not very strong and complete. God is not testing us about the success or defeat in doing His work. He is only testing our firmness and consistency in doing His service, which is the practical devotion to Him. This has been clearly stated by Him that our responsibility is only limited to the work and that it does not extend to the fruit (Karmanyevaadhikaaraste...—Gita). Actually, this verse refers to the work done by us in His service. People apply this verse to their personal worldly work too. Such application is also correct since the statement of God is always multi-dimensional. Even in our worldly work, when we concentrate only on the work without thinking about its fruit, we are doing work with detachment from its fruit. The attachment to the fruit consumes our energy in the form of mental worry. It leads to a deficiency of energy available for doing the work. This is clearly understood through the first law of thermodynamics. The law states that the energy supplied to a system in the form of heat (Q), is partly used to increase the internal energy (E) of the system and only the remaining part of it gets converted to work (W). It is represented by the following equation: Q = E + W In a broad sense, the law can also be applied to human beings. The energy in our body which is available for doing work (Q) is partly wasted by us in unnecessary worries and tensions, which are like the increase in internal energy (E). Only the remaining part of our energy can be used for doing work (W). Attachment to the fruit of our work causes worries and tensions. If we are detached from the fruit of the work, we become free of worry. No energy is wasted in it. Hence, all the energy available (Q) is completely utilized to do the work (W). It brings a hundred percent efficiency to our work. This principle is very useful especially for students, who become nervous and weak due to tension about their examinations and the results of the examinations. The right answers to the examination questions are present in the student’s brain, which is like a computer disc. But the electric signal coming from the brain (Q) is mostly used up in the mental tensions (E). The remaining signal is too weak or even absent and so, it never reaches the student’s conscious memory, which is like the computer screen. Hence, the student is not able to answer the question (W = 0). This principle applies to everybody in doing any work during one’s entire life. The attachment to the fruit comes due to selfishness. It means that when you do any work, you think that it is your work. If you think that you are doing others’ work, you will be detached from the fruit. When the client of a lawyer in a court case is cross-examined by the opposing lawyer, the client gets confused. This is because the client is attached to the fruit. The client thinks that it is his case and that he is personally affected when he wins or loses the case. But the lawyer of that client argues very well in the court since the lawyer is detached. He knows very well that it is not his own case. He is only fighting the case on behalf of his client and that he is not personally affected by either success or defeat. Let us take the example of the squirrel serving God Rama in the construction of the bridge across the sea to Lanka. All the powerful monkeys and bears were dropping big stones and trees into the sea to construct the bridge. But the tiny squirrel could only carry a few grains of sand. But she worked constantly and sincerely, carrying the few grains of sand from the shore and putting them into the sea. She did not think about the fruit of her work. She knew that those few grains of sand were almost useless in the construction of the bridge. But due to her immense love for Rama, she was doing the work. Her blind love was not allowing her brain to think about the negligible possibility of success in that work. Even if the squirrel were a scholar, she would have still continued her work thinking as follows: “God Rama is omnipotent and does not require this bridge to cross the sea. He can cross the sea in just a fraction of a second by His divine will. In fact, even that is not necessary. He can kill Ravaṇa and get back Sita in a fraction of a second by His divine will. He is doing all this drama to test the practical devotion of these monkeys, who are the incarnations of angels and have come to serve God. All this is an opportunity given by God to these souls to serve God and get uplifted. Hence, let me serve the Lord to the best of my capacity continuously throughout my life, without thinking about the fruit of my service to the omnipotent Lord.” Such work done with full detachment from the fruit enables the worker to do the work by spending his total energy without any loss in worrying about the fruit. Such totally dedicated work shall succeed one day or another. This shows that both a person having full ignorance (tamas) with blind love or a person having full knowledge (sattvam) with wise determination are successful. On the other hand, a person with half-knowledge will start the work and then drop it or he might not even start the work due to doubt. In doing personal worldly work, one can think about the impossibility of one’s success. For instance, you should not start taking efforts to lift a hill without thinking of the impossibility of success. But in the work of the omnipotent God, you should never think about the impossibility of success. You should work continuously knowing that God is only testing the strength of your love for Him through the consistency shown by you in your practical devotion (service and sacrifice). (First question is completed.) (To be continued…)
  22. Does God come in the form that is wished by his devotee? Discourse Podcast Ms. Arsha asked: Does God fulfil his devotee’s desire by incarnating on earth in that particular form, even though there are enough number of incarnations for that time or that Kala? Is there a restriction in the number of incarnations in a particular period, in other words is there any limitation on the number of avatars, that have taken form during a time? Swami replied: Even before creating this world, the unimaginable God descended down as the first Energetic Incarnation called Datta or Father of heaven. He did this to express Himself for the sake of the souls who were to be created later. Datta, which is the name of the first Energetic Incarnation, means ‘given’. It means that through the form of Datta, the absolute God, who is beyond space and time, and who is unimaginable to all souls, can now be grasped by the souls. So actually, God did not incarnate because of the desire of souls. The concept of incarnation was not the idea of souls. It was the noble idea of the unimaginable God Himself. It was due to His kindness that He descended in the form of an Incarnation. Through the Incarnation, He can interact with souls, help them in every justified way, and uplift them. Along with this primary aim of God, His secondary aim is to have entertainment in a positive manner. Ignorant people wrongly blame God thinking that His entertainment is negative like that of a sadist. God enters the upper energetic worlds in the form of Energetic Incarnations. On earth, He appears in the form of Human Incarnations. Both these types of Incarnations are equal in all aspects. But the Human Incarnation is relevant to human beings on earth while the Energetic Incarnation is relevant to energetic beings in the upper worlds. When human beings die on earth and their souls pass on to the upper worlds, they too get energetic bodies. Then, the Energetic Incarnations of the upper worlds become relevant to them. Relevance is decided by the common medium. In an ordinary human being, the physical body is the medium for the soul. The medium allows the soul to experience the outside world and interact with other souls. In the case of energetic beings, their external body, which is the medium of their soul, is non-material. It is made out of energy. When God incarnates in any world, material or energetic, He enters a devoted being from that world. The external body and soul of that devotee become the medium of God. It allows God to interact with other souls who too are present in the same medium in that world. This arrangement is most wonderful like the divine nectar (amrutam). It provides the greatest benefit to souls. It allows them to interact with God and be uplifted. But before souls can be benefitted by this divine nectar, they have to survive a horrible poison. This poison is the repulsion between common media. The repulsion is the mutual ego and jealousy that exists between all fellow-beings of the same kind (common media). As a result, the energetic being is repelled from the Energetic Incarnation and the human being is repelled from the Human Incarnation. Due to this poison, the soul in a human body rejects the Human Incarnation here on earth and upon reaching the upper energetic world, rejects the Energetic Incarnation there too. The end result is a total loss for the soul, every time and everywhere! The aim of the Incarnation is only to re-establish the right path and the balance of the world, whenever it is disturbed. This is clearly stated in the Gita (Yadaa yadaa hi...—Gita). The same concept was also stated by Jesus, who said that He would come again. It means that the order in the world gets disturbed often and there is an emergent need for God to enter into His creation again and again to rectify it. When a factory is established by a person, he visits it every day so that he will be available to solve any problem that arises at once. It is necessary for the smooth administration of his establishment. No owner comes to the factory only when called by the workers after a problem has arisen. The owner has his own fundamental right and sense of responsibility to visit his establishment as many times as possible and no invitations are necessary for him. Invitations are valid when a person is invited to visit the property of someone else. In this case, all of creation is God’s own property. So, He needs no invitation from souls within His creation to enter into creation. This analogy of the factory and factory-owner has its limitations since it is an example from this world, which is the imaginable domain. In the actual concept, the unimaginable God exists in His original place surrounding the boundary of this world. At the same time, using His unimaginable power, He also visits this world which is surrounded by Him. He enters creation in the form of multiple Energetic and Human Incarnations. The various Incarnations as well as the original unimaginable God, exist simultaneously. Even though God appears to be divided, He remains undivided as clearly told in the Gita (Avibhaktam vibhakteshu...—Gita). This is possible only with His unimaginable power. While attending to His primary justified responsibility of establishing justice in the world and destroying injustice (Paritraanaaya...—Gita), He also fulfills the desires of His climax devotees as a secondary or associated activity. Fulfilling the desires of devotees is only an associated activity from the angle of coincidence. But it is also the primary activity from the angle of importance. The Human Incarnations of God are of two types, based on how long it takes to solve the problems. If long-term problems exist, Datta, the Energetic Incarnation of God selects a devoted human soul and merges with that soul. Datta is born on earth merged in the body and soul of that selected soul. This is how normal Human Incarnations are born on this earth. Apart from this, God also comes to earth in the form of temporary Incarnations. Sometimes, when a climax devotee is facing an urgent problem, God suddenly merges with any ordinary human being present nearby to help the devotee. Once the devotee has been helped, God leaves that human being into whom He had temporarily entered. These temporary Incarnations are called Aaveshaavataara. If necessary, God can even appear in the form of a newly-created Human Being by His unimaginable power. As soon as the purpose is over, the new Human Being disappears. God thus helps human beings by appearing in human form (Daivam maanusharuupena) and this concept applies to both the long-term (normal) Human Incarnations and the temporary Human Incarnations. In any case, the incarnation of God in human form is always need-based and is meant for the sake of His real devotees. The term ‘Emmanuel’ in the Bible, means the Incarnation of God, who comes here to save His own devotees. The same unimaginable God exists in every Incarnation and He always possesses His full power. So, one should not differentiate one Incarnation from another. Quantitative and qualitative differences are inherent in creation. So, two Incarnation appear to be externally different. But the same power of God always exists with God in every Incarnation. In fact, God, the Possessor of the unimaginable power is not different from the unimaginable power. The Unimaginable Entity must only be one. There cannot be two unimaginable items since if they can be counted as two, or differentiated from each other, they are not unimaginable at all! So, God’s unimaginable power is the same as the unimaginable God Himself. The power possessed by all Incarnations is the same. But the power exhibited by different Incarnations may differ based on the need of each specific program. When an Incarnation exhibits only a ray or the 1/16th fraction of God’s power, He is called as a Ray-Incarnation or a Kalaavataara. When an Incarnation exhibits a somewhat larger fraction of God’s power, He is called a partial Incarnation (Amshaavataara). When an Incarnation exhibits a major part of God’s power (more than 12/16th fraction) and the power remains with Him throughout His life, He is said to be a complete Incarnation (Puurnaavataara). When an Incarnation exhibits the entire power of God throughout His life, He is called the most-complete and greatest Incarnation (Paripuurnatamaavataara). One should never insult any Incarnation by thinking that one is lower than another since this classification is only based on the power exhibited by the Incarnation. The power possessed by each Incarnation is always the entire unimaginable power of God. The devotees propagating the true spiritual knowledge in all regions of the world are also Incarnations of God since God merges with such devotees to carry out His own work. There may be one cook in the kitchen, but there are several waiters distributing (propagating) the cooked true knowledge in this world. Krishna cooked the true knowledge-food in the form of the Gita. Sage Vyaasa recorded it and several sages propagated it. Krishna, Vyaasa and the other sages, who propagated the Gita, are all Incarnations of God since only God can do His work. They all are different media of God and God did His work through them. It only appears as if they did the divine work. The reality is that the kind God, who actually does His own work secretly, gives the fame of carrying out His work to His devotees. While doing His divine work through them, He uplifts all these devotees in various angles and stages. God incarnates everywhere in the world in every generation. By propagating His knowledge everywhere, He exhibits the power of His divine knowledge in a form that is suitable to the devotees present in each place. This propagation of His knowledge everywhere shows His kindness for humanity since all people can be benefitted by His knowledge where ever they live. If He were to incarnate only in one place many people would not be able to visit Him. Based on all these aspects related to Incarnations, we cannot limit the number of Incarnations of God. The Incarnations of God are infinite in number as said in the Bhagavatam (Avataarahyasamkhyeyaah…). (Second question is completed.) (To be continued...)
  23. If a student surrenders his life for God, will God compensate him with an excellent school life? Discourse Podcast Ms. Arsha asked: Why can’t a student surrender his entire life time for the divine purpose? As you have mentioned in one of your recent discourses that, the leisure time which is used by a student for his entertainment can be used for focusing in spirituality i.e., in reading spiritual knowledge. But the divine knowledge is such a vast and valuable treasure which should be given enough time, rather than a 30 minute leisure period. So if a student surrenders his life including his school time and play time in God's work then will he be compensated with an excellent school life? If he spends his time with his own liking and interest in God and his knowledge will he be given good results in his school? Is it important to spend time for school as well? Because I feel school work is very boring, knowledge of God is really different and interesting. So will it be fine if i spend minimum time for school? Swami replied: The most important part of spiritual knowledge is to realize that we are not God originally. After that, it is important to study the personality of God. This means we should study how He behaves with us, in response to our behavior with Him. Our behavior is based on our worldly qualities (Durgunas), while God’s behavior reveals His divine qualities (Kalyaana gunas). Studying His behavior towards us, we can know whether God is pleased or displeased with us. But for this purpose, a clear understanding of spiritual knowledge is necessary. Studying spiritual knowledge is only a side-activity for a normal worldly soul. We know very well that we are just normal worldly souls. Our worldly duties are tied to our worldly fascinations. Since studying spiritual knowledge takes up some time and effort, which could interfere with our worldly duties, we can only treat that spiritual study as a side-activity. Here we are not discussing about the special souls, who are born here with a lot of divine background for the sake of working in divine programmes. Such souls can be counted on the fingers. Hence, this message is for the majority of humanity, which is trying to develop spiritually in life. This message is not meant for those scholastic special souls, who do not require any instructions. This message is also not required for souls at the other extreme, who are totally absorbed in their worldly fascinations alone. Effort is not necessary for the souls who have already succeeded and also for the souls who do not have even the slightest possibility of success. Keeping Arjuna as a representative of these middle-path souls, God preached the Gita to him. Such souls are said to be eligible (karmaadhikaarii) for the introduction of spiritual knowledge in controlled quantities, without affecting their worldly life. This path should be followed by the preacher especially when the receiver is a student working hard to get settled in his worldly life in the future. Settlement in worldly life is very important for normal souls like us since we are not those climax devotees. For the climax devotees, God takes up the responsibility of even their worldly life. Hence, we should concentrate completely on the aspect of getting settled in our worldly life in the future. This settlement in worldly life is the basic stage for our future spiritual development. The only problem is that we do not know how long we will live. So, it is better to start the effort for getting spiritual knowledge from childhood itself. It can be done in a way that does not interfere with our efforts of getting established in our worldly life in the future. Hence, spiritual knowledge can be taken as a limited side-activity. That way, it will not disturb our main worldly effort. We can thus study spiritual knowledge only in our leisure time. In any case, even if we do not take up this spiritual activity, we are sure to take up some other worldly activity in our leisure time. Any activity taken up for leisure must be totally different from the main activity that we do. Only then can it provide the change that we need. If the leisure activity is also like the main activity, we get bored. Spiritual activity is related to the unimaginable Domain. The main worldly activity is related to the imaginable domain. Hence, the spiritual activity, which alone is totally different from the main worldly activity, is the best leisure activity. Besides, since this spiritual activity is done only as a leisure activity, which is inevitable in any case, there is not even a trace of damage to the main worldly activity. All other worldly leisure activities like watching worldly movies, reading worldly books, and engaging in worldly gossip are not as good. They too are worldly, like the main activity, and hence, they cannot provide us with as much of a change as the spiritual activity. Until the soul gets settled in worldly life, limiting the study of spiritual knowledge to one’s leisure time is appropriate. After settlement in worldly life, one must make this spiritual activity as the main activity internally. Externally, the worldly activity can continue, but it might not need too much effort. This is because, after gaining a lot of experience and skill throughout one’s life, one can maintain the worldly activity, as much as necessary, with minimum effort. After retirement from worldly activity, one should make the spiritual activity as one’s total activity. At this stage, one should detach from the worldly activity internally as well as externally. The leisure-time activity discussed above, should not be confused with sports and physical exercise, which are essential for sound physical health, which in turn is related to mental health. Physical exercise is essential throughout one’s life since a sound mind in a sound body is very essential for any activity, be it worldly or spiritual. The point raised by you about God protecting you in your worldly life, in case you are more involved in spiritual activity, is a very critical question. It needs a lot of explanation, which is given below and is to be understood carefully by you. It is a multi-dimensional question. I can simply give its answer through the following song sung often by Bhagavaan Shri Satya Sai Baba in His divine discourses: “O mind! Don’t aspire for any fruit in return from God; As you aspire, the fruit goes down more and more, So, if you don’t aspire for it, He gives it to you at once, And know that He is omnipotent to give any fruit”. Spiritual knowledge means (i) knowing the details of the personality of God, (ii) knowing that the soul is not God and (iii) knowing the real path by which God will be really pleased. Once you know that you are not God, there will be interest to know about God about whom several people in this world are speaking. Then, you should also inquire about the path to please God since He is omnipotent and if He is pleased, He can give anything to anyone at any time and at any place. The human being passes through different stages in life called as Ashramas. In the first stage, the person concentrates on education, which enables him to earn his living throughout his life. This stage is called Brahmacarya. In the second stage, he starts earning and establishes himself in professional life, which also enables him to have a family. This is the stage of the householder or Gruhastha. In the third stage, the person is established in his professional and family life well-enough that he has sufficient leisure time to concentrate on God. This third stage is called Vaanaprastha. In the fourth stage, the person retires from his profession as well as from his duties towards his family. In this stage, he does the work of propagation of spiritual knowledge to uplift others in the world. This stage is called Samnyaasa. This is the normal course of the life of a normal human being in present times. There are deviations from this normal course in the case of some human beings and the deviations may be towards the wrong side or the right side. The deviation to the wrong side means not developing an interest in God at any stage, and being involved in worldly life alone, till one’s death. The deviation to the right side means getting more and more interested in God and concentrating more and more on spiritual life. There is no stipulated time or stage as mentioned above when one develops an interest in God. Any human being may develop an interest in God at any time. Generally, such interest comes due to a spiritual inclination in the person owing to the soul having led a spiritual life in the previous birth. A person may also develop an interest in God due to a congenial atmosphere around the soul, given to him by the grace of God. That congenial atmosphere around the soul is granted based on the soul’s spiritual life in the previous birth. This congenial spiritual atmosphere around the soul can include spiritual family members or other people outside the family who influence the soul positively. In any case, getting such a congenial spiritual atmosphere is indeed the greatest fortune of the soul. When the soul develops interest and attachment to God, it naturally brings detachment from worldly bonds. No soul should try for worldly detachment directly. It is not only impossible, but it is also a total waste. The detachment from the world should come indirectly due to the attachment to God. Some people are afraid that attachment to God might lead to detachment from the world, which in turn would result in a materialistic loss. Nobody should have this false fear since the power with which the world attracts the soul is unimaginable! It is like a person avoiding divine nectar as much as possible, fearing that the attachment to the divine nectar might result in the detachment from ordinary food. Here, divine nectar is like God’s grace and the food is like worldly life. The person is under the false impression that he will actually attain the divine nectar as soon as he develops interest and attachment to it! Developing interest in the Divine Nectar (God) itself is very difficult in the opposing atmosphere of the world. Even if the interest in the Divine Nectar is born, it is very difficult for it to grow in the negative worldly atmosphere. The Veda says that both spiritual and worldly atmospheres are opposite to each other (Duuramete vipariite Vishuuchii). Even if a person’s interest in the Divine Nectar (God) grows, it is very difficult for the person to stand firm in his attachment to It. It is even more difficult to cross all hurdles on the way and finally attain the Divine Nectar. Older people know all these practical difficulties and hence are never worried even if their children develop an interest in God. In fact, parents encourage their children to worship God. They know very well that a mere interest in God will not result in attaining the ultimate grace of God, which could spoil their worldly life. Instead, due to their children’s devotion to the omnipotent God, He will help the children in every walk of their worldly lives! The Veda says that the attainment of the grace of God alone results in the spontaneous detachment from the world (Yadahareva virajet tadahareva pravrajet). This statement means that as soon as you get theoretical detachment from the world (virajet) due to attachment to God (bhakti), you will naturally detach from the world practically (pravrajet). But we see that in the world, this rule fails. We see many people who have developed attachment (devotion) to God. Not only do they show theoretical devotion to God in the form of prayers, meditation and devotional songs, but they also show practical devotion, in the form of service and sacrifice. Yet, the natural consequent detachment from the world is not seen in them. When even theoretical detachment from the world is not seen, practical detachment from the world is out of the question! Why does this rule from the Veda fail practically in the case of devoted human beings? The reason lies in the fundamental step, which is developing an interest or theoretical attachment to God. The fundamental reason is that people’s devotion is contaminated with the aspiration for worldly fruits from God in return for their devotion. They may be devoted to God, in both theory and practice, but it is only due to their aspiration for getting worldly fruits from God. The theoretical and practical devotion developed by these devotees is not due to real love for God. It is due to their real love for the worldly fruits, which they expect as boons from God. A plant dies if you introduce poison through water poured at its root. Similarly, the real theoretical and practical devotion dies due to the aspiration for worldly fruits in return from God, which is introduced at the root-level of developing an interest in God. True spiritual knowledge can help you identify this main problem due to which your devotion fails to please God. The safest path is to learn spiritual knowledge and prevent the problem from arising before developing devotion to God. One should eliminate the tendency to use God as an instrument for attaining our worldly goals and ambitions. The devotion to God that will then develop will be free of aspiration. This is the best and easiest option. It is the defensive approach for protecting ourselves from the attack of the virus of worldly ambition. The second option is treating the devotees, who have already been infected by the virus of the aspiration for attaining their worldly ambitions from God in return for their devotion. In the case of such infected patients, the treatment is complicated and it takes some time to cure the disease. It is a psychological disease and hence, careful handling of the patient is needed. The first line of treatment is to initially allow the devotees’ worldly aspirations in the hope that in due course of time, they will be able to overcome the aspirations and develop real devotion for God. It is essential to play along with the person for some time just as you have to run along with a powerful running bull for some time before you can control it. Following this approach, God responds to the prayers and worship of devotees who have desires for worldly fruits as boons from God. The Veda also reveals formal sacrifices as paths to attain heavenly boons from God. These Vedic sacrifices essentially involve prayers to God along with the distribution of cooked food to devotees. Shankara has clarified that the Veda, by prescribing these formal sacrifices, does not induce the desire for the boons in the devotees. It only provides a path to fulfilling the desires of the devotees who already have the desires for the boons. The treatment does not induce the disease in the patient; it only aims to cure the patient! In the course of time, the devotee is expected to develop some real devotion for God. When the devotee sees that God has always been by his side and has helped him in fulfilling his worldly desires, he can develop some real love for God, which is beyond the aspiration for worldly fruits. Experiencing the greatness and kindness of God, he may realize that the eternal God should not be used as an instrument for attaining temporary worldly fruits (Naastyakrutah kruteneti—Veda). This is the sign of the cure. In some cases, as the desires get fulfilled, more desires flare up and the unreal devotion to God for the sake of getting boons continues. It means that the first line of treatment has been ineffective. Then the second line of treatment is started. This treatment takes an offensive approach. God acts shrewdly in giving boons. Boons are the fruits of a person’s good deeds in order to encourage their good deeds. Conversely, worldly difficulties and illnesses are the fruits of sinful deeds. They are punishments to discourage sin. When these souls demand for undeserved boons in the present, God merely draws some reward, which they were supposed to enjoy in the future and grants it to them in the form of a boon in the present. This premature withdrawal of the soul’s good fruits leads to a loss in the value of the fruit. Similarly, when such devotees pray for their present difficulties to be removed, God merely postpones these punishments for the souls’ sins, to the future with increased interest. Thus, in this second offensive line of treatment, God ensures that even if the souls do not get cured of the disease of worldly ambition, neither He nor His constitution is exploited by these souls at any time. There are two categories of souls who need this second line of treatment to cure their worldly ambition. The worst category of souls try to get practical boons from God in exchange for their theoretical devotion to Him. They only worship God through verbal and mental forms of worship such as prayers, meditation, and singing of devotional songs. Yet they expect practical boons from Him in the form of health, wealth and protection. Such devotion is the worst kind of devotion and is called as prostitution-devotion. A slightly better form of devotion is to try to get practical boons from God in exchange for their practical devotion to Him. In other words, apart from theoretical devotion the devotee practically donates some money for God, but expects much more in return. This is called business-devotion. Both prostitution-devotion and business-devotion are forms of unreal devotion. In both forms, the devotee’s real devotion is only for the worldly fruits and not for God at all! The best-possible devotion available in the world is issue-devotion, which is the devotion to God as a parent is devoted to his or her child. Parents not only love their issues theoretically but they also practically serve their child and sacrifice the fruit of their work (money) to their issues. The practical devotion is the proof of their theoretical devotion to their children. Their theoretical and practical devotion to their children is free from the aspiration for any fruit in return from the children. The parents continue their practical devotion even if their children behave badly with them. At the most, the parents may scold their children for behaving badly with them, but there is no change in their practical devotion to the children! In this issue-devotion, it is very important to keep God in the place of the issues and to keep ourselves in the place of the parents; not vice versa! In other words, we should always practically serve God and sacrifice our money for God without expecting anything in return from Him and we should continue the practical devotion even if He responds negatively to us. This issue-devotion should be taken as the guiding path for how our devotion to God should be. In issue-devotion, we see the essence of true devotion, which is theoretical devotion, and practical devotion involving service and sacrifice, without the aspiration of any fruit in return. In real life, when parents scold their ungrateful children for their bad behavior, it shows that the parents have lost theoretical devotion for their children. But in the case of God, we must be very careful about maintaining the purity of even our theoretical devotion along with the practical devotion. We must remember that God is not in need of our service or sacrifice and that the practical devotion is only the proof of our theoretical devotion. There is another important point to note in the context of freedom from the aspiration for worldly fruits. Worldly fruits mean not only the fruits that are to be enjoyed in this world but also the fruits that are to be enjoyed in the upper worlds. The aspiration to escape from the punishments of our sins in hell and the aspiration to enjoy in heaven without doing good deeds here are also to be avoided. In this second line of treatment for curing the worldly ambitions, it is clear that our good fruits get exhausted and the bad fruits grow more and more with increasing interest. The soul only goes deeper and deeper into difficulty and there seems to be no escape for the soul. How can it be called a treatment then? Actually, no matter how much the pending punishments grow with interest, one need not fear. In the wonderful administration of the kindest Lord, an escape and a chance for reformation is ever-present. The golden path of the propagation of God’s spiritual knowledge can be adopted by any soul at any time. The work of propagation enables the soul to learn the knowledge deeply and get the grace of God. As the soul learns and propagates God’s spiritual knowledge, his misconceptions are eliminated. He realizes and repents for his sins. When he finally does not repeat the sins practically, he is said to have reformed. Upon getting permanently reformed, all his pending punishments are canceled by God since the punishments were only meant for reformation and not for revenge. However, the soul must choose to follow this path of reformation through spiritual learning and propagation. The souls whose worldly ambitions are not cured even by the second line of treatment are thrown into the life cycles of animals, birds, worms and so on. This is not at all done for revenge but in fact, God is only fulfilling the soul’s desire. When the soul is simply attached to his worldly goals and refuses to rise above them, in spite of several efforts made by God, God finally gives the soul a congenial living atmosphere. In the animal births, the soul is driven only by materialistic goals like eating, drinking, and sex, which is exactly what these souls pursued in their lives as humans (saamanyametat pashuvat naraanaam). If apart from the strong desire for these worldly goals if the soul also has a lot of ego, it is thrown into the births of devils and demons (kshipaamyaasurayonishu —Gita). The important point is to delink our worldly ambitions from God and live like an atheist in the single aspect of taking worldly efforts to get worldly fruits. Of course, we should follow the atheist only in this single aspect and not follow him in the aspect of disbelieving the existence of God. The lack of belief in God drives the atheist to fulfill his excessive worldly ambitions even by sinful means, whereas the theist’s belief and devotion to God controls his ambition and prevents him from committing sins. Mere belief and confidence in God does not bring any result. The belief must also be associated with theoretical and practical devotion to God. If you simply have faith and confidence in the prime minister, you will not be favored by him. You must come in contact with him as a real and sincere worker of his party. Then alone will he be pleased with you and favor you. (Third question is completed.)
  24. Discourse Podcast Dr. Nikhil asked: Padanamaskarams Swamiji! Given below is a discussion regarding the systematic observations recorded by researchers working in the field of rebirth, near-death experiences, and some supernatural phenomena. These researchers are trying to convince the rest of the scientific community that such phenomena are genuine and that there is a need to revise our world-view in order to accommodate these phenomena. However, the scientists are not yet able to correlate their observations and come up with an overall theory that brings meaning to life and shows direction to humanity. Also, some of the tentative conclusions made by these researchers appear to be in contradiction with the karma theory. I request You to kindly correlate these observations in a meaning way. Your servant, Nikhil. Correlating Rebirth and Near Death Experience Cases with the Karma Theory A number of children worldwide have reported memories of their past births. Similarly, there are several reports of near-death experiences reported by people. These and other cases are found all over the world irrespective of race, religion, beliefs, and geographical location. A massive volume of scientifically verified and published cases exists and this field is the subject matter of active research at the Division of Perceptual Studies (DOPS) at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. There are only a handful of researchers worldwide who do research in this field. This small but motivated group of researchers is striving to convince the rest of the scientific community and the entire world, that the present scientific view of the world is very limited and that it must be changed. The present worldview is a materialistic or physicalist worldview, according to which nothing beyond the physical can exist. Consciousness is the product of brain activity and it ends with the death of the physical body. There is, of course, no question of the afterlife, the supernatural, or God, in the physicalistic worldview. The researchers at DOPS and a few other places are saying that the evidence and scientific investigations conducted by them, contradict the physicalistic worldview. A drastically different worldview is necessary to explain these supernatural phenomena. As a first step to developing a new worldview, the scientists at DOPS are trying to come up with possible explanations for their observations from thousands of cases. They have also consulted some spiritual masters and practitioners to help them formulate these explanations and theories. Their understanding at present is only in the early stages and they are nowhere close to developing a comprehensive theory. However, I feel that some of the tentative conclusions made by them are not in the right direction. If they do their research in better alignment with the karma theory as explained by You, not only will they see better progress in their research but it will also be beneficial for humanity. Hence, I request You to kindly enlighten us and the world in this regard. Let us first have a look at some of the important observations made by these researchers based on their investigation of thousands of cases. Then let us review some of the inferences made by them. Observations regarding remembered past lives The majority of people, who report that they remember their past births, are children. They usually start speaking about their past-life memories as soon as they are able to talk at ages of 2-3 yrs. Their past life memories usually fade as they grow between 5-7 years of age. Very few of them retain those memories into adulthood. Most of the people who remember their past births have died in a tragic manner. Some of them have birthmarks or deformities at the same place on their body where they had been hurt fatally in the past birth. e.g. a person who was shot dead with a bullet in his head was reborn with a deformity near the ear and face where he was shot in the past birth. Sometimes, they also have ailments in the new birth which are related to the cause of their death in the past birth. e.g. a person who died due to tuberculosis at a young age in the past birth can be reborn with asthma. When they are counseled by psychic healers, and once they are able to overcome the shock and pain of their death in the past life, their current ailments get cured, almost miraculously. Observations regarding near-death experiences Near-death experiences and out-of-body experiences occur with a small number of people. Thousands of such cases have been investigated by DOPS. In general, in near-death experiences, some patients who were thought to be dead by the doctors for sometime later claim that they were still conscious outside of their body during that time. The patients often claim to have floated up from their body and seeing everything accurately in the hospital room and even outside. The patients say that they were able to think much more clearly than usual and observe all minute details. At times they claim to have visited some other heavenly worlds and met their dead relatives, who told them to go back. Later, the patients shared these experiences with others after being revived by the doctors. Pleasant near-death experiences are far more common than unpleasant and terrifying experiences. There does not seem to be a correlation between the nature of the person and the type of near-death experience of the person. Good-natured people can have unpleasant near-death experiences, and bad-natured persons can have pleasant near-death experiences and vice versa. Tentative conclusions based on the above observations Following are some of the tentative conclusions drawn by the DOPS-researchers based on the observations listed above: The current scientific concept that consciousness or 'mind' is the product of brain activity alone is probably not true. There is a relation between the neurological activity in the brain and consciousness. But near-death experiences quite clearly support the claim that personal consciousness can certainly exist beyond the physical body. In other words, the death of the physical body is not the end. It is quite possible that consciousness might be the cause of the material world. At present, science says that the neurological activity in the brain (matter and energy) produces consciousness and the mind. This seems to be violated in near-death experiences. This seems to be supported by the cases of children with birth defects related to fatal injuries or ailments related to the cause of death in the previous birth. The mental shock and pain experienced by the person during the previous birth could have manifested the deformity or ailment in the current birth. In other words, consciousness (pain of past birth) is the cause of the material reality (present ailment). It is further supported by the observation that the ailment of the present birth gets cured when the person is able to overcome the pain caused by the ailment, in the previous birth. Many modern-day Advaitins enthusiastically agree with this idea that consciousness creates material reality. The ability of some people who can move, control or physically change objects by their mind is another phenomenon that supports the claim that consciousness causes material reality. From the evidence of near-death experiences and rebirth, it seems quite clear that an afterlife exists. It is not very clear yet what all experiences are present in the afterlife for a soul. But some common trends are known. The karma theory might not be valid based on the analysis of the near-death experiences. Pleasant and unpleasant near-death experiences can happen to good-natured or bad-natured people. It is not as if good near-death experiences happen only to good-natured people and vice versa. If their near-death experience is an indication of their experience upon their actual death, then their afterlife could be similarly pleasant or unpleasant, irrespective of their nature. Rebirth of a person on earth certainly seems possible. Whether rebirth on earth happens for everyone or it happens only for people who died tragically is unclear. It might be possible, that people who died tragically 'before their stipulated time' might be given a 'second chance' to live out their life completely. In that case, rebirth might only be in these exceptional cases. For the majority, they might be going to some other destination or different destinations based on unknown criteria. Necessity of correlation Given above are only some proposed tentative explanations. Clarity is still lacking. The DOPS-researchers are not claiming to have a complete theory. Perhaps they are being extra-cautious to not make any conclusion that will appear ‘too spiritual’, since that would make them completely unacceptable to the mainstream scientific community. Mainstream scientists do not openly accept spiritual concepts like the afterlife, theory of karma and rebirth. Hence, the main focus of DOPS-researchers is on diligently-recording the available evidence and analyzing it using well-accepted scientific and statistical methods. They are taking this effort so as to maximize the chances that their research gets accepted by mainstream scientists. The DOPS-researchers are not openly stating whether or not they accept the karma theory. They say that they are consulting spiritual masters and practitioners, but they are coming up with their own theories. Unfortunately, some of their tentative conclusions seem to be in contradiction with the karma theory. For instance, the aspect of reward and punishment for one's deeds is not at all accounted for by their explanations. Their understanding is far from comprehensive as of now. They have not been able to relate all these observations and define the meaning and purpose of life. These scientists do not have clarity on how this ‘new’ knowledge about the afterlife and rebirth can be used for the benefit of an individual as well as society. I request you to kindly correlate the scientific observations made by the DOPS-scientists with the karma theory. I believe that a proper correlation would bring out the true meaning and purpose of life and would show the path to individual and societal progress. Rebirth Cases as Concrete Evidence Discourse Podcast Swami replied: A number of cases of rebirth have been reported are still being reported all over the world. I have even seen two to three page long reports of such incidents published in English newspapers. The instances clearly establish the concept of rebirth. Human beings born in faraway places speak of intricate details of their previous birth, which on verification, are found to be exactly correct. It would be better for you to find that report because reading the detailed report makes things crystal clear. A few years ago, the news of a case of rebirth was published on the front-page of the Eenadu Telugu newspaper. A small girl of four to five years, born in the city of Khammam, started talking about her previous birth. She even described details about her house in the previous birth, which was located about 150 km in the city of Tenali. Finally, she was taken to the house described by her in Tenali, and all the details were found to be accurate. The child gave exact details of all the jewelry worn by her in the previous birth. She even described all her properties and children in the previous birth. A photograph was published on the front page in the newspaper in which the adult daughter of the past birth, was seen holding her reborn mother in her arms. The headline read “Daughter holding her mother in her arms!” These examples are very very concrete. The verified details are clearly related to the physical world and there is no obscure point anywhere. Some people try to reject such examples as mere personal experiences of certain individuals. They try to explain away such cases as the mental imaginations or psychological disorders of those individuals. But these cases cannot be mere imaginations since they involve facts from the practical world, which are fully verified. We can draw clear philosophical conclusions from such genuine cases of rebirth just as we can draw clear scientific conclusions from experiments conducted in a laboratory. Near-Death Experiences Yield Uncertain Conclusions The concept of the individual soul leaving the physical body during death is a prerequisite for the rebirth of the soul. So, when clear-cut evidence of rebirth exists in the form of practically-verified cases of rebirth, the concept of the soul leaving the physical body during death is automatically established. Yet, in the context of near-death experiences, researchers make certain doubtful conclusions based on the near-death experiences alone. When clear practical examples of rebirth are available, why should the doubtful observations and conclusions related to near-death experiences be considered? Since the brain of the person is not in a good and stable condition during these near-death experiences, the experiences of the person can always be doubted. If we limit ourselves only to these near-death experiences, it may not be possible to disprove the doubts using mere logic since concrete facts might not be available. The researchers discussing the near-death experiences and drawing doubtful conclusions appears quite odd to Me. They are like the person who has physically seen an elephant clearly with his own eyes in this very physical world but who still doubts whether the animal that just walked away was an elephant or not. Later, upon seeing the footprints of the elephant on the path, he finally decides that the animal was indeed an elephant (yathaa gajo neti samaksharupe …—Kaalidaasa)! At least this person finally concluded that he had seen an elephant. But these researchers are still not able to reach a conclusion! They are limiting themselves only to these imaginary ideas based on the near-death experiences. As long as a person limits himself to his mental doubt or debate of whether or not the animal is an elephant, without considering concrete evidence, he can never reach a definite conclusion. He must accept the concrete evidence of physically seeing the elephant. Experience based on correct perception alone can be the authority. The experience of a person with a defect in his perception cannot be taken as the authority. Shankara has stated that a person having a defective eyesight which causes him to see two moons in the sky, cannot be taken as the authority even though experience is treated as the final authority (Netrataimirikadoshasya dvichandradarshanavat ). I am not saying that the reported experiences of those patients at the time of death are wrong. Their experiences are certainly in agreement with the independently-established concept of rebirth. What I am saying is that there is no need to draw conclusions only based on the doubtful near-death experiences, when concrete examples that are verified through practical experience are available separately. It would be better for these researchers to shift to the study of the concrete incidents of rebirth and draw clear conclusions. Miracles by Human Incarnations as Evidence Apart from these supernatural phenomena, we can also consider the miracles performed by Human Incarnations. Audio-visual recordings of miracles performed by the recent Human Incarnation of God Datta called Shri Satya Sai Baba, exist today as a practical reference. They too can be taken as the concrete basis for drawing conclusions related to unverified hypotheses and doubts. The conclusions drawn by the researchers can be clearly verified by analyzing the clear concrete examples of rebirth along with supporting concrete evidence in the form of the miracles performed by Human Incarnations. About Consciousness Outside the Body The conclusions such as consciousness extends outside the human being or that consciousness causes materialization, must be carefully examined. At the death time, the consciousness (awareness), which so far was confined to the body, leaves the body and goes outside. Hence, some people report these out-of-body experiences. It means that the awareness was not already existing outside the body. It certainly does not mean that the whole world is pervaded by awareness. If the awareness that leaves the body had an independent isolated existence, we would have found awareness in space just as we find electromagnetic radiation moving independently in space. Even though inert energy has an independent existence and pervades all over the world, its specific work-form called awareness is not all-pervading. The mud out of which a mud-pot is made, also exists spread-out everywhere on earth. But it does not mean that the mud-pot extends all over the earth! The Advaitins say that this entire world is made of awareness alone. This is not correct because you have already made a basic distinction between an inert item and a non-inert item. The non-inert item or awareness, which is only observed in living animals, is a specific work-form of inert energy generated in a special functioning device called as the nervous system. Let us call this awareness as relative-awareness since it is a part of this world, which is relatively true. Since awareness does not have an independent existence, it requires a container like the physical body. The positive proof (anvaya) for this is that awareness exists only in a physical body. The negative way of proving the same (vyatireka) is that awareness does not exist in empty space; or in other words, awareness does not exist in the absence of the physical body. Hence, the awareness that leaves the physical body must be leaving in an invisible energetic body, which acts as its container. The Existence of Heaven and Hell In rebirth cases, a time-gap is observed between the date that a person dies and the date when the same soul takes a new birth. It means that the soul, along with its energetic body, must be spending that time somewhere in space. There are also several near-death experiences in which the person after being revived, reports that two energetic forms had dragged his or her soul out of the body and had taken the soul to the upper energetic world called hell. These experiences are also true even though near-death experiences generally remain doubtful as explained earlier. The only reliable authority for the existence of hell and heaven is the preaching of the Human Incarnation of God. Miraculous materializations Human Incarnations perform miracles like the materialization of objects at will out of empty space. Such materialization-miracles cannot be explained scientifically by saying that the human will or awareness, being inert energy essentially, gets converted into matter based on the principle of conversion of energy into matter. Although the conversion of energy into matter is generally agreeable, it cannot explain this miracle. We find that only a specific human being, who is known to be an Incarnation of God can do this miracle. Ordinary human beings are unable to perform it. It indicates that there must be a difference between the awareness of an ordinary human being and that of a Human Incarnation of God. The relative-awareness of a human being requires basic inert energy along with a material nervous system. The Human Incarnation also possesses that relative-awareness but His awareness must have some additional unimaginable factor, which allows Him to perform the miracle of materialization at will. Due to the presence of that additional unimaginable factor, we can say that the relative-awareness of the Human Incarnation becomes unimaginable. The Incarnation’s awareness is, therefore, an unimaginable awareness. It is acceptable to call that additional unimaginable factor as unimaginable awareness since no matter how many unimaginable items we define, they all ultimately become one. When an item is basically said to be unimaginable, it is meaningless to say whether it is one or two. If you can count two different unimaginable items, i.e. they are countable; then they are not unimaginable at all! Thus, the conclusion is that the unimaginable awareness alone can be the cause of the miracle; not the relative-awareness existing in every human being. The Human Incarnation, who possesses that unimaginable factor, performs miracles which are beyond the capacity of human beings. The mechanism or power behind the miracles is also beyond our imagination. The same Human Incarnation possessing that unimaginable factor also reveals hidden concepts such as heaven and hell, which are beyond the capacity of our senses and intellect to know independently. Hence, the revelation by the Human Incarnation inevitably has to be treated as the final authority for knowing the existence of the invisible heaven and hell, which exist somewhere in space. Where does the soul go first? Heaven or hell? Every soul does good deeds as well as sins. After death, the soul has to enjoy the fruits of both in heaven and hell respectively. Between the soul’s merit and sin, the soul is first sent to enjoy the lesser of the two. In the Mahabharata, Dharma Raja found that the evil Kauravas, who had earned very little merit in their lives on earth, had gone to heaven. They were enjoying that little merit in heaven for a short while before being sent to hell for a very long time. On the other hand, the righteous Paandavas, who were the brothers of Dharma Raja, were first sent to hell since their sins were few. After suffering in hell for a short while, they would be sent to heaven to enjoy for a long time. Revelation is the authority for the unimaginable domain The concept of the existence of the unimaginable domain is established through unimaginable miracles, which are practically experienced. The Human Incarnation possessing that unimaginable power must then be taken as the final authority for knowing at least those concepts that are related to the unimaginable domain. His revelation must be kept above science, which is the study of the imaginable domain (creation) alone. Science can be considered as the true authority in the imaginable domain due to its perfect analysis that follows imaginable logic and experience. But just because it has this merit, there is no way it can enter unimaginable domain by any way. Soul and individual soul Actually, the basic soul or Atman is the essential inert energy that gets converted into awareness in the functioning nervous system. The generated awareness is called the individual soul or Jiiva. The basic soul is like mud and the individual soul is like the pot made out of the mud. The soul exists in the individual soul in a basic sense and hence, the individual soul can loosely be called as the soul. But there is a clear distinction between the two. You can fetch water in a mud pot, but you cannot fetch water with just a lump of mud. Mud can be said to pervade all over the earth qualitatively. But the pot having a limited round shape does not extend all over the earth. When we call the mud-pot as mud or a golden ornament as gold, it is said only in an approximate sense. God controls the unimaginable and imaginable domains In fact, the unimaginable God created the even imaginable domain and He completely controls it at all times. Both the imaginable domain and the unimaginable domain are His properties. He has given the imaginable domain to the souls, keeping the unimaginable domain with Himself. Even science was developed by souls in creation by the blessing of God. Science only studies the imaginable domain and the credit for developing the field is given to the souls. Science is perfect as far as the imaginable domain or creation is concerned. But it can never enter the unimaginable domain. It is the unimaginable domain or the unimaginable power of God which basically controls all the principles of science. God proves this by miracles, which are the violations of the principles of established science. Hence, we should take God as the authority on the unimaginable concepts at least. The Human Incarnation is also an item of the imaginable domain, but He exhibits unimaginable miracles since the unimaginable God has merged with that selected imaginable human being. If the unimaginable God were to enter into an unimaginable medium It would not be visible to human beings even to exhibit unimaginable miracles. The unimaginable power or unimaginable God is the Controller whereas the imaginable power and the principles, which are known as science, are controlled by God. They are subordinate to God. Subordinate does not mean that they are wrong. It only means that these scientific principles are under the control of some superpower. Hence, science is correct but it is subordinate to God since it is the study of the subordinate domain which is the imaginable domain. The propagation of spiritual knowledge, which is often done by God through Human Incarnations, is not done because God desires fame in the world. The purpose is to bring devotion along with fear in the minds of human beings so that sins are controlled as far as possible and society remains balanced. The unimaginable miracles exhibited by God are also for the same purpose, which is to establish control in society. Since miracles are practically seen and experienced, they form the most concrete evidence for the existence of the unimaginable God. Science too ultimately relies on the same authority of perception.
  25. Discourse Podcast Parabrahma Samaarambhaam, Shrii Dattatreya Madhyamaam, Shrii Satya Sai Paryantaam, Vande Guru Paramparaam. Starting with Parabrahman, the unimaginable God, With Shrii Dattatreya, the Energetic Incarnation, in the middle Upto Shrii Satya Sai, the previous Human Incarnation, I salute to the divine chain of My spiritual preachers. The Incarnation of Sai God, being beyond space, is unimaginable. Just after the creation of space or subtle energy, He expressed Himself as the First Energetic Incarnation, which is known as Datta, Eshvara or Father of heaven. He incarnated in a form so that the souls, who were to be created later, could grasp Him. The three potencies of God namely, creation, maintenance and destruction of the world are expressed in the form of the three Divine Personalities namely, God Brahmā, God Vishnu and God Shiva respectively. These three Divine Forms represent the three divine qualities called rajas, sattvam and tamas respectively. The word Datta simply means ‘given’ and it stands for the unimaginable God who has ‘given’ Himself to souls in the form of the First Incarnation. Datta has no connection with any specific religion. This eternal God Datta is the First Energetic Form into which the unimaginable God has completely merged. He further merged with other Energetic Forms in the upper energetic worlds to form more Energetic Incarnations namely Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The same God Datta also merges with selected human devotees on earth to become Human Incarnations of God. Energetic Incarnations are relevant to souls in the energetic worlds and the Human Incarnations are relevant to human beings. There is absolutely no difference between the unimaginable God and God Datta since the energetic form of the eternal God Datta is the permanent address of the unimaginable God. All the Incarnations of God are one and the same in the sense that the same God Dattatreya (Datta) has merged into them. But more specifically, the three Incarnations namely Shri Shirdi Sai Baba, Shri Satya Sai Baba, and the future Shri Prema Sai Baba are considered to be the Incarnations of God Shiva. Here, God Datta is taken to be God Shiva. Shri Shirdi Sai Baba was an Incarnation of God Shiva. Shri Satya Sai Baba was the Incarnation of God Shiva and Goddess Shakti. Shiva and Shakti together constitute the Divine Form called Ardhanārīśvara, which has the right half as God Shiva and left half as Goddess Shakti. The next Incarnation, Shri Prema Sai, will be the Incarnation of Goddess Shakti. As per the boon given by God Shiva and Goddess Shakti to sage Bharadvaaja, these three Incarnations were to be born in the dynasty (gotram) of sage Bharadvaaja. Miracles Overcome the Starting Trouble of Incarnations The spiritual standards of souls in this Kali age are very very low. They have reduced to 1/4th of what they used to be during first age called the Kṛta Yuga. People in this present age do not recognize the divinity of a Human Incarnation by His spiritual knowledge. The Incarnation is forced to show miracles so that people may recognize Him. This is especially true in the beginning when the public does not know the Incarnation. It is a starting trouble faced by any Human Incarnation particularly in present times. Even Rama, as a boy of twelve years, showed the miracle of turning a stone into a lady called Ahalyaa. Krishna, as an infant, showed the miracle of killing the demoness Puutana. Shankara also showed a miracle by entering the house of Mandana Mishra by passing through the bolted door before starting the spiritual debate. As soon as Shri Shirdi Sai Baba arrived in the village of Shirdi as a boy, He had to perform a miracle of showing four divine lamps burning in a pit that was dug. Shri Satya Sai Baba also showed several miracles as a boy. He stated that He would attract people through these miracles and then preach spiritual knowledge to them. Due to the miraculous grace of God Datta, even though I never studied Sanskrit from anybody, I became a scholar and poet in Sanskrit. I composed more than a hundred books on spiritual knowledge in Sanskrit by the age of sixteen years. While doing My job for the sake of fulfilling My worldly responsibilities, I could only spread spiritual knowledge to very very few Sanskrit scholars. But I spent My entire leisure time for it. My Close Connection with Bhagvaan Shri Satya Sai Before describing how I came in close contact with Bhagvaan Shri Satya Sai Baba, I have to speak about another incident in My life. I was very much influenced by the character of Kunti in the Mahabharatam. Towards the end of the epic, when all her difficulties were over, Lord Krishna told her to ask for a boon from Him. Kunti replied “During all these years when my life was full of difficulties, I was constantly remembering You. Now that all my difficulties are over, I will not be forced to remember You. I am afraid that I might forget You. Hence, even in the future, grant me difficulties alone, so that I will always be driven to remember You”. This is practically true. In difficulties, one is more active and alert in one’s devotion to God. In times of happiness, one gets lazy and proud, and goes away from God. So, one day, I performed a special ritual worship to God Shiva called Mahaanyaasa Rudraabhisheka. Traditionally, the purpose (samkalpa) of performing the worship is to be declared in the beginning. The purpose of performing the worship declared by Me was that I should get all problems so that I can become more devoted to God. Immediately, I saw that Lord Shiva was startled. He kept looking at Me with surprise since this special worship is generally done by everybody to get rid of poverty and difficulties. Immediately, after the worship, I was attacked by several problems and severe poverty. During that period, Bhagvaan Satya Sai Baba was about seventy years old. But one day, Baba appeared before Me as a young boy of sixteen years, sitting on His silver throne. Actually, Baba was in Puttaparti when this incident occurred. Yet, He was also present right before My eyes in a young body, far away from Puttaparti. The following conversation occurred between the two of Us. Baba: I have selected You to spread true spiritual knowledge in this world as a full-time activity. Myself: I am just a teacher of chemistry. It will be better if You select some saint, who is totally dedicated to spirituality. Baba: Who is better than You in this world for doing this work? Myself: But I have the worldly responsibilities of a big family which is dependent on Me. Baba: I will take care of all Your worldly problems. After this conversation, I immediately resigned My job as a professor of chemistry and got involved in this divine work. As per His promise, Baba is taking full care of all My worldly responsibilities. After this conversation, God Datta appeared to Me at the holy site, Shrishailam, and merged with Me. God Datta, through Shri Satya Sai, even performed some miracles through Me to overcome the usual starting trouble. Two Levels in the Spiritual Journey There are two levels in the spiritual journey: Pravrutti and Nivrutti. Pravrutti is the human level related to the behavior of a soul towards fellow-human beings. It is the step in which one’s worldly fascinations are reduced by the devotion to God. As a result, the soul follows justice and avoids injustice and sin. Nivrutti is the divine level related to the behavior of a soul towards God. In it, all the worldly fascinations totally disappear as the soul reaches the climax of devotion to God. In fact, even justice is sacrificed for the sake of God since the soul is completely filled with love for God alone. In this Kali age, the souls are at a level below the human level of pravrutti. They are committing sins for the sake of achieving their worldly fascinations. This is actually the level of animals and devils. Hence, every Human Incarnation in this world in the Kali age gives a lot of stress on pravrutti, which is to be achieved by the majority of human beings. Baba used to pose this question in His speeches “When at present you are at the lowest level of animals and devils, how can you aspire for the divine level without first reaching the human level?”. It is perfectly true! Unless we first reduce the force of our worldly bonds, how can we think of the total destruction of our worldly bonds? The worldly bonds are weakened due to our devotion to God, which is the level of pravrutti. When our devotion to God intensifies and reaches the climax, the worldly bonds are totally destroyed. This is the level of nivrutti. Unless we first reach the middle-level of moderate devotion, how can we reach the climax of devotion? The most important point here is that, be it the weakening or the complete destruction of the worldly bonds, it should happen only due to the devotion to God and not by forced efforts. Detachment from the world should come only due to the attachment to God. The first part of the path to reach God is pravrutti and the second part is nivrutti. Since the majority of humanity is below the first part, all spiritual preachers like Krishna, Buddha, Mahaaviir, Jesus, Mohammad etc., stressed only on the initial part in their preaching. Shri Satya Sai too stressed on pravrutti in His divine discourses. Interestingly, even in pravrutti, developing devotion to God at least to some extent is essential to weaken the worldly bonds. So, even pravrutti begins with devotion to God. Thus, nivrutti, which is totally related to devotion to God, comes in at the very starting point. Controlling Atheism In this Kali age, atheism has gained a lot of strength due to the rapidly falling spiritual standards of people. So, to pacify the atheist’s ego, Shankara preached that every soul is God. This philosophy is acceptable to the atheist since according to it, there is no God other than the atheist himself. If Shankara had preached that He alone is God, while all others are ordinary souls, the jealousy in the atheist would not have allowed the atheist to accept it. Democracy means treating all as equal. The atheist’s psychology does not allow him to accept monarchy, which treats only one as great or aristocracy which treats only a few as great. The concepts of democracy and equality are good as far as the worldly life of human beings is concerned. But spiritual life is totally different. The Veda says that both spirituality and worldly life are opposite to each other (Duuramete vipariite vishuuchii). However, Shankara applied these policies of worldly life in spiritual life too since it is easier for common people, and especially people influenced by atheism, to accept one uniform policy. However, Shankara revealed the truth to His disciples, who were spiritually advanced, that He alone is God (Shivah kevaloham). Shri Satya Sai followed the same path of Shankara when He addressed everyone as divine souls, and when He stated that every soul is God. This is highly essential in present times when the development in science had led to the spread of atheism. In the beginning, the Incarnation has to follow the psychology of the people to whom He intends to preach spiritual knowledge. The philosophy of monism provides the climax of attraction for any soul since it preaches that any soul can become God just by recognizing that he or she is already God! It makes the philosophy tremendously attractive. But that attraction is necessary in the beginning for a person with an atheistic mentality so that it can gradually change to a theistic mentality. Once Shri Satya Sai warned people that a human being should not think that he is God and behave like a madman. Even the human being-component of the Human Incarnation can slip sometimes and develop an ego like Paraṣurāma. Then what to speak of ordinary human beings claiming to be God! The other main aspect of the program of Shri Satya Sai was also the performance of miracles continuously throughout His life. The miracles are essential to prove the existence of an unimaginable domain. The tremendous development in science in recent times is promoting the false belief that nothing beyond science can exist. Many people have come under the influence of this false belief and they refuse to accept the existence of anything supernatural. Miracles cannot be explained by science and they indicate the presence of the unimaginable domain, which is not different from God. Hence, they are most essential to control the rapid growth of atheism. Shri Satya Sai preached lot of spiritual knowledge through His divine discourses and developed devotion by singing several devotional songs with His excellent sweet voice. I convey My auspicious greetings to Bhagvaan Shri Satya Sai Baba on the eve of His auspicious birthday through the following verse: Chitraavatii nadiitiira, puttaparti nivaasine, Shrii Satya Saayine tubhyam, uchyate janmamangalam . I convey My auspicious greetings On this auspicious birthday to You, Bhagvaan Shri Satya Sai Baba, Who lived in Puttaparti on the banks of river Chitraavati.
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