(With the Divine)
See the Supreme Self in all beings and all beings in the Self
Realise that all is One the moment the senses (indriyas), external and internal, are put out of action. Discard them as false and misleading; merge them all in the mind (manas). Throw the mind back into the intellect and the individualized intelligence into the cosmic intelligence of Hiranyagarbha. And, having reached that stage of spiritual practice, merge the cosmic intelligence into the Atmic principle (Atma-thathwa), of which it is but a manifestation. Then you attain the stage of the perfect unruffled equanimity of Absolute Oneness (nir-vikalpasamadhi), which is your true nature.
The Atma never undergoes modification; yet, it is faster than the mind! That is the mystery and the miracle. It appears to experience all states, but it has no growth, decline, or change. Though it is everywhere, it is not perceivable by the senses. It is because of its underlying existence and ever-present immanence that all growth, all activities, all changes take place. Cause and effect act and react on account of the basic stratum of the Atmic reality. Why, the very word “Lord (Isa)” carries this meaning. The Atma is near and far, inside and outside, still and moving. He who knows this truth is worthy of the name “spiritually wise person (jnani)”.
The ignorant can never grasp the fact of Atmic immanence. Those who are conscious can see things and feel their presence. Those who have lost awareness will search for the lost jewels, even though they actually wear them at the moment. Though one may know all things, one conceives the Atma as existing in some unapproachable, unreachable place on account of loss of consciousness. But the wise person, who is aware, sees the Atma in all beings and sees all beings as Atma. The wise person sees all beings as the same and perceives no distinction or difference. So the wise person saves themselves from duality. The Isavasya Upanishad makes this great truth clear to all. Wise people, who have tasted that vision, will not be agitated by the blows of fortune or the enticements of the senses. They see all beings as themselves, having their own innate identity. When ignorance (a-vidya) prevails, difference is rampant; when spiritual wisdom (vidya) is established, oneness is experienced.
Experience oneness with the Divine through Love
Love must expand from the individual to the whole universe. We must regard Love as God. The different forms attributed to God are products of fancy. But Love can be directly experienced. Whether one is a theist or an atheist, a hedonist or a recluse, a yogi or a materialist, he will have high regard for love. Love is the one form in which everybody is ready to accept God. The cultivation of love and achieving universal Love through love is the sublime path of Love—that is the path of Bhakti.
“BHAKTI is service to Hrishikesa,” it has been said. Service to God has been described as Bhakti. The heart of the devotee flows with love of the Lord through constant remembrance and recitation of His name. Out of this stream of love, devotion emerges. One who is nourished by the nectar of Bhakti will have no desire for anything else. To be unaffected by joy or sorrow, gain or loss, praise or blame, to remain steadfast and unwavering in faith, is the hall-mark of true devotion. Affection, attachment, desire are natural qualities in man. When these qualities are directed towards God and when one is continuously engaged in good deeds, these qualities acquire purity and sacredness. Then a man becomes not only a great soul but can become divine.
State of mind of a devotee
The devotee is ever conscious that the universe is a manifestation of the Divine and is permeated by the Divine. His life is based on the recognition of the immanence of God in everything. This state of mind is called “Prema Advaitam” (unity in Love.) Through this love the devotee experiences his oneness with the Divine. Enjoying the bliss of this experience, the devotee does not even desire Moksha (Liberation from birth and death). Unremitting love of the Lord is everything for him. Such devotion is known as “Ananya Bhakti” (Total devotion to One and One only.)
The Puranas consider Moksha (Liberation) as mergence in the Divine. But the bliss that is experienced by constant contemplation of the Divine through devotion cannot be got even by merging in the Divine. Vedanta has proclaimed that the love of God is Moksha. The heart of the devotee filled with love of God is tender and sweet. Sometime or other everyone is bound to make his heart such a shrine of love for the Lord. With the Lord enshrined in him, the devotee renounces the desire for liberation. Devotion itself will make him one with the Lord.
When a drop of water falls into the ocean, it achieves immortality and infinitude. If you hold a drop of water in your palm, it evaporates in a few moments. But when you join it with the ocean, it becomes boundless and one with the vast ocean. Only through Love can union with the Universal be realised. To a devotee who has achieved such a union with-the Eternal, everything appears as Divine. The gopikas of Brindavan were such devotees. They experienced divine bliss through their intense devotion. Like a fish that cannot live out of water, the devotee, who is immersed in the nectarine ocean of divine love, cannot exist for a moment without the love of God. He cannot relish any other thing.
EMBODIMENTS of Divine Love! Devotion means seeking unity with the Divine through purity in thought, word and deed and concentrating on the oneness of the Godhead. Devotion aims at acquiring friendship with God through this triple purity. To realise the Brahman through continuous meditation on the Brahman is not an enjoyable path for all to take. This was why spiritual teachers like Ramanuja favored the path of devotion, experienced themselves the bliss flowing from the love of God and propagated the love-principle as the easiest means to experience oneness with the Divine.
(Excerpts from the Divine Writings by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba)
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