Sai Sandesh Volume 4, Issue
7; July 2007
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Editorial: Mind Over Matter
Leela: Resources Arranged
Boggling Miracles of Sai Baba: Sai's saving grace
Abhishekam - 11 times a day for 121 days (daily)
infinite blessings, we will be performing Rudra Abhishekam for a period
of 121 days. Abhishekam, accompanied by the chanting of Rudram, will be
performed 11 times a day for 121 days. This is a very auspicious event
and is being performed for the benefit of all mankind. All are welcome
to attend from 9.00 AM to 11.15 AM daily.
Editorial: Mind Over Matter
By The Sai
may have heard the expression "die-mind". The uncanny coinage is
not just a creative expression; it is a profound teaching that
epitomizes the essence of all spiritual practices. The coined
word is essentially a description of the ideal state where the
individual mind merges with God and all that remains is bliss
and pure love.
What is mind after all? Psychology may fumble at the question or
provide a theoretical construction of the mind as defined by
experts or professional associations. Spirituality, however,
provides a definite answer: the mind is nothing but a bundle of
thoughts and desires weaved by the individual soul over many
lifetimes. It is like a piece of cloth with individual threads
as its basic constituents. Unloosening each thread (desire) is
what sadhanä (spiritual practice) accomplishes until the mind is
conquered and merged completely.
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa would often assume different roles
while worshipping the Divine Mother. Sita, Radha, Hanuman--these
were some of the many devotional attitudes he adopted during his
quest for the divine. During one of his devotional moods, he was
worshipping God in the servant-master spirit as epitomized by
Hanuman. In that state, he developed a real tail. SucMind over
In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna has declared that for the one
who has conquered the mind, it is the best friend, but for the
one who blindly follows its dictates, it is the worst enemy
possible. In order to befriend the mind and use its powers for
the seeker's benefit, He has advocated the eight-fold path of
yoga: abstention from evil actions, various observances,
postures, breath control, sense control, concentration,
meditation, and absorption in the ätmä (soul).
The mind constantly seeks to acquire objects and possessions
that grant temporary pleasure. The moment these objects are
lost, one experiences grief again. What is the use running after
such objects, then? God, the source of bliss, can grant
permanent bliss, one that never diminishes for eternity. Taking
us away from this goal, it is our mind that prompts us to enjoy
objects of desire and thus cause our downfall. Like a pendulum,
it sways from one thought to another, from one desire to the
next, from joy to sorrow, and from pleasure to pain. Fueling the
mind's vagaries are the five senses: sound, touch, form, taste,
and smell. It experiences the external world through these five
and subsequently enjoys joy or grief that arises therefrom. In
order to escape the alternating phenomenon (duality) of joy and
sorrow, one should cultivate unconcern or equanimity that allows
one to experience both joy and sorrow as God's grace. Such an
attitude leads to the state of bliss.
The mind also has a powerful effect on the body. Modern man
suffers from many incurable diseases, many of which can be
attributed to the mind. Excessive stress and a lack of spiritual
discipline have weakened the mind and thus the body.
It is imperative, therefore, to bring the mind under control by
freeing ourselves from the entire process of mental agitation.
Constant agitation is the mind's natural state, however. Manana
sthithihi manaha (the state of cogitation or remembrance is the
mind). Through constant rumination over one's sensory
experiences and desires, the mind acquires a form and by
relating the experiences to the "I" as the experiencer, the
consciousness of a distinctive individual (ego) arises. The
process of merger with God therefore requires the elimination of
all desires, which serve to impede our path to divinity.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba once explained this principle through a
beautiful illustration. Chaitanya Mähäprabhuji once visited
Brindavan, the holy place where every dust particle was a sacred
reminder of his beloved Lord, Krishna, who had walked there many
centuries ago. The divine environment's effect was electrifying
and Sri Mähäprabhuji became completely oblivious to everything,
including food and water. Yet, he relished the desire to have
food that was consecrated in Krishna's temple. God appeared in
his dream one night and admonished him for entertaining even
that desire. Chaitanya immediately gave up even that desire and
experienced complete union with the Lord.
Lord Buddha, before attaining Nirvana (self realization), called
his brother, Ananda, to his side in order to impart his last
message. The brother was in tears, but Buddha told him: "Ananda!
It was for realizing this blissful state that I had striven all
these years. Why do you shed tears at this moment? How many are
able to secure such bliss? Few at all. You are looking only at
my earthly body; you cannot know the internal bliss I am
experiencing at this moment. I suffered a great deal over the
past thirty years because of the aberrations of my mind. It was
the mind that stood between me and self realization. Today, I am
free from the hold of my mind. That is the cause of my bliss.
When the mind is absent there is bliss."
If mind is the
monarch, senses are its ministers. For peace and security to
prevail in the kingdom, the king has to control the ministers,
not vice versa. It is very critical, therefore, for every
spiritual aspirant to gain control over the senses. Once the
senses come under control of the mind, the next step should be
conquest of the mind and ultimately its elimination. Next, the
aspirant uproots all väsanäs (innate tendencies) and strives to
attain jnäna (spiritual wisdom). The branches are the senses;
the trunk, the mind; the roots, the innate tendencies. All three
have to be overcome and destroyed so that the awareness of the
ätmic reality can be gained.
Conquest of the mind
Despite our best efforts, the mind escapes just the way water
slips through the cracks of one's fingers. Conquest of the mind,
though seemingly difficult, is facilitated by the availability
of sankalpa bala (will power motivated by God), a power that can
be easily developed through concentration and japa (chanting of
the divine name). Baba has also given us the acronym WATCH (W =
watch your words, A = watch your actions, T = watch your
thoughts, C = watch your character, H = watch your heart).
Our buddhi (intellect) helps us discriminate between right and
wrong. When the mind desires an object, the buddhi should serve
as a gatekeeper and say: "O, mind! Don't play your pranks with
me." Examine every desire using discrimination to determine if
the object is conducive to our progress. When the mind is
trained in this way, just like a monkey, it loses its potency
and comes under the sway of its master. Ancient seekers also
advocated the practice of concentrating all thoughts on God.
This causes one to reach the state of sushupti (deep sleep), a
state of equanimity in which one looks upon pain and pleasure
and joy and grief with equal indifference and thus remains
unaffected by either.
There is also a strong connection between mind and food. The
mind is extremely subtle and derives energy from food. Pure food
shapes good thoughts, while impure food gives rise to unholy
thoughts. Every bad thought that arises in the mind should be
rejected as unhealthy, just the way bad food is rejected.
For the one intent on his quest, nothing is impossible. If a
devotee is sincere, God will certainly grant His grace and then
even the most difficult, even impossible, tasks will become
Once, Lord Vishnu sent Sage Närada to earth. The sage went to a
priest and was offered a grand welcome. During their
conversation, the priest asked Närada what God was doing. He
responded by saying that God was passing an elephant through a
needle's eye. The priest burst into laughter and disclaimed the
statement as mere folly on the sage's part. Närada left
immediately and visited many self-proclaimed scholars and
devotees. None could believe what he had to say. Finally, Närada
saw a simple cobbler engaged in work while chanting God's name.
When Närada told him about God's activity, the cobbler burst
into tears and said nothing was impossible for God. Why just an
elephant, He could pass the entire creation through a needle's
For the one who has faith and determination, God will do even
the impossible. The elephant in the above parable could also
symbolize the mind, which is often compared to an uncontrollable
elephant. Passing it through the needle's eye is like
concentrating on the self. God's grace can certainly accomplish
that. An ant that has determination can travel any distance, but
an eagle without the will to fly will be confined to the ground.
Let us make a firm determination to continue our journey Godward
and make serious attempts toward that goal. God will certainly
do His part and take care of the rest.
Enduring bliss can
be got only by overcoming trials and tribulations. Gold cannot
be made into an attractive jewel without being subjected to the
process of melting in a crucible and being beaten into the
required shape. When I address all of you as Bangaru (gold), I
consider you as precious beings. But only by going through the
vicissitudes of life with forbearance can you become attractive
jewels. You should not allow yourselves to be overwhelmed by
difficulties. Develop self-confidence and have firm faith in
God. With unshakeable faith, dedicate yourselves to the service
of your fellowmen and lead exemplary lives.
Source: Thought for the day, Prashanti Nilayam, July 03, 2007
By A Sai
Swami had made the
divine declaration that He would undertake the construction of a
super specialty hospital within the small hamlet of Puttaparthi.
Devotees were jubilant on hearing the announcement, but some
were perplexed as to how such an impossible-sounding feat could
be accomplished without a very large amount of money.
As a devotee was pondering over this thought, Swami put His
beautiful hand into a huge pile of letters and randomly pulled
out a letter. He handed the sealed envelope to the concerned
devotee and ordered him to open it. When the envelope was
opened, there was a check that was sufficient to cover most of
the initial expenses associated with the project.
As always, Swami did not lose the opportunity to impart a lesson
and explained to the devotee that any noble project will not
suffer from a lack of resources. When any project is undertaken
with faith in God, noble intentions, and for the benefit of
humanity, God bears the entire responsibility for providing
resources. All we need to do is perform our part; God will
surely take care of the rest.
Boggling Miracles of Sai Baba: Sai's saving grace
Once, Swami was
traveling with a group of devotees. Their car was on a very
narrow road when devotees noticed a huge truck heading their
way. The truck was approaching at such a rapid speed that all
thought it would be impossible to prevent a collision.
Even in that tense situation, Baba acted as if He were
blissfully unaware of what was happening around Him. The
devotees' hearts were pounding rapidly, however. They did not
anticipate surviving the crash, but a miracle happened at the
last moment, much to the surprise of everyone.
Within a second they saw behind them the very truck that was
heading toward them. It was as if the car had passed through the
truck. None could explain what had happened, but Swami's naughty
smile appeared to say it all.
What a wonderful play by the Divine.
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