Obey the Divine Command with total
Everyone has to face
the consequences of one’s own Karma. Who has made the
bats to hang from the branches of a tree with their heads
downwards? It is their fate. Likewise, nobody can escape from
the consequences of Karma.
Karma (destiny) has neither feet nor eyes nor mouth. But,
man cannot escape from it. That is why our ancients declared
that one cannot escape the consequences of one’s own
actions. Karma does not conform to your likes and dislikes.
Something happens not merely because of your desire and similarly
something is not averted because you do not desire it. Karma
follows its own course. Your thoughts and desires cause the
illusion that things happen because of your will.
The world is full of mystery and wonder.
It is nothing but a manifestation of the five elements. It
undergoes changes with the passage of time. Likewise, the
physical body which is also made up of five elements is subject
to changes. Only the Indweller is permanent.
It is not possible for anybody to go against the Will of God.
The ways of God are beyond the grasp of human understanding.
God can make things appear which do not exist in reality.
Likewise, what appears to the eye may vanish in a trice by
God’s Will. How can anybody understand such mysterious
happenings? It is not possible for anybody to protect the
physical body for ever. It remains so long as it is destined
to be. Once its purpose is served, the body will perish. Nobody
has any control over death. It is decided at the time of birth
itself. The date of departure is written on the body when
it comes into the world. It is not possible for man to comprehend
the way the universe functions. Each person’s experience
is unique. How is it that the bat hangs from the branch of
a tree with its head downwards? Nobody can explain this phenomenon.
Who is responsible for such wonders and mysteries that we
witness in this world? What each one has to do, when, where
and how, all is predestined. Man has no control over it. Everything
happens according to Divine Will and His command. It is the
primary duty of man to obey the Divine command implicitly.
Everything in this world, visible or imperceptible happens
according to Divine Will. One need not pay heed to what others
say when it comes to obeying God’s command. You have
to obey the divine command in letter and spirit without adding
any commas and full stops by yourself. Unfortunately, today
nobody is making any effort to understand the mysteries of
God’s creation. Scientists boast of having unravelled
the mysteries of creation, but they do not have true experience
of the reality behind the phenomena. Each and every activity
that takes place in this universe is full of wonder. When
you observe carefully you will be able to perceive the unseen
hand of God at work.
Embodiments of Love!
One should obey the divine command with total faith and without
any disputation pro and contra.
Markandeya was born as the result of a boon granted by Easwara
to his parents. Easwara asked his parents whether they wanted
a virtuous son with a short life-span or a son not so virtuous
but who would live long. The parents opted for a virtuous
son. Accordingly, Markandeya was born. He was one of good
thought, good behaviour and good conduct. Easwara informed
his parents that he would live only for sixteen years. Nevertheless,
the parents were overjoyed as they had been blessed with a
virtuous son. Years rolled by and Markandeya entered his sixteenth
year. Remembering the words of Easwara, his parents became
grief-stricken. His mother would often shed tears thinking
of the imminent death of her son. Markandeya could not understand
the cause of her grief and wondered why she was shedding tears.
One day, he found his parents steeped in sorrow. On enquiry,
they revealed that his death was imminent as per the Divine
Will and that was the cause of their sorrow. Markandeya felt
sorry that Easwara’s Will was not revealed to him till
then because of which he had wasted the precious time allotted
to him. He did not want to waste time any longer. He had an
early bath, went to the temple of Easwara and started chanting
the sacred Siva Panchakshari Mantra, Namah
Sivaya, with all sincerity and devotion. He lost himself
in the contemplation of Easwara. He did not expect any reward
for his prayers. He considered it as his primary duty to contemplate
on God. The following day was supposed to be the last day
of his earthly sojourn. Hence, he remained in the temple.
As he had not returned home, His parents went to the temple
and sat at its entrance. They were shedding tears thinking
of the impending end of Markandeya’s life. As willed
by the Lord, Markandeya left his mortal coil the moment he
completed his sixteenth year. His parents were in a sea of
sorrow. As Markandeya left his mortal body in the external
world, his Jiva (soul) reached Lord Siva in the divine world.
The Lord was immensely pleased with the sincere devotion of
Markandeya. He said, “Markandeya! Today marks the completion
of your sixteenth year. You have come to Me in a happy frame
of mind. You have bowed down to My Will with implicit faith
and obedience. I am pleased with your devotion.” As
Easwara was speaking to Markandeya in this manner, Mother
Parvati intervened and said, “Oh Lord! Why don’t
You send him back to his parents as he has obeyed Your command
implicitly.” Easwara wanted Parvati also to accompany
Him. Together they infused life into the body of Markandeya.
The parents’ joy knew no bounds when they noticed some
movement in Markandeya’s body. He got up and said, “My
dear mother and father, Lord Easwara and Mother Parvati have
brought me back to life. I will stay with you as long as you
want me. Let us entertain noble thoughts and undertake good
deeds. I will discharge my duties as your son and give you
happiness.” Accompanying his parents, Markandeya went
home. The people of the village were struck with wonder when
they came to know that Markandeya was brought back to life
by Lord Easwara and Mother Parvati. Markandeya narrated to
them in detail all that had happened in the divine world.
God responds to the prayers of devotees and comes
to their rescue only when they have purity of heart. One with
a pure heart can even alter the Sankalpa of God. The story
of Markandeya bears ample testimony to this. Markandeya had
no desires. He made sacred use of the time granted to him.
It is the primary duty of devotees to cultivate noble thoughts
and perform sacred actions. Markandeya remained a Chiranjeevi
(immortal), served his parents and gave them immense happiness.
In the normal course, God’s Will cannot be altered.
But, sometimes God does change His Sankalpa in answer to the
prayers of a devotee who is sincere and pure at heart. The
devotee has the power to change the Will of God. Devotion
does not mean mere vocal expression of prayers; one should
have purity of heart.
Adi Sankara was born in Kerala during the 7th
century A.D. and propagated the essence of all scriptures
to mankind. But he left his body at an early age of 32 years.
Ramanujacharya was born in 11th century A.D. and propagated
the efficacy of the Divine Name. That was the time when devotion
to God was on the decline. It was because of Ramanujacharya’s
teachings that people developed devotion and a sense of surrender
to God. Madhwacharya was born during 13th century A.D. and
propagated the principle of Dvaitha (Dualism). Even He taught
that the Jiva (individual soul) and Deva (universal soul)
are not different from each other in essence. However, the
underlying principle in all the three systems of philosophy
as propagated by Adi Sankara, Ramanujacharya and Madhwacharya
is one and the same. The same principle of Atma is present
in all beings. It is referred to as Easwaratwa (divinity).
The divine incarnations such as Rama and Krishna can be recognised
by their Divine forms. Every incarnation has a particular
form. But Easwaratwa has no form. It represents the principle
of truth that is present in all beings. It is responsible
for Srushti, Sthiti and Laya (creation, sustenance and dissolution).
Easwaratwa, which has no specific form is
symbolised in the form of a Linga. It is usually placed on
a horizontal base which is known as Panavatta.
Do you know how it looks like? (At this, Bhagawan with a wave
of His hand materialised a Linga with Panavatta.)
Lord Easwara exhorted Markandeya and his parents to sanctify
their time in the contemplation of God. He materialised a
Linga like this and gave it to Markandeya’s parents.
They sanctified their lives by worshipping the Linga. Linga
represents the Atmic principle which is present in all. It
is not possible for anyone to understand or estimate the divine
power. The principle of Atma is changeless. It can assume
any form in accordance with the feelings of devotees. Linga
is not something which man has made for worship. It is the
direct manifestation of Divinity (Sakshat-akara).
This truth was very well understood by Markandeya and his
father Mrukanda and hence they worshipped divinity in the
form of a Linga.
Every living being comprises three aspects –
Sthula, Sukshma and Karana (gross, subtle and causal). The
physical form represents the gross aspect. The same principle
of divinity is present in all the three levels. Without thread,
there can be no cloth. Without silver, there can be no plate.
Without clay, pot cannot be made. Likewise, without Brahma
(Divinity), there can be no world. Without the creator, there
can be no creation. The creator can be compared to thread
and the creation to cloth. The creator is the embodiment of
gross, subtle and causal aspects. When you contemplate on
God, you should transcend the mind. By merely having threads,
one cannot make cloth. They have to be interwoven. Likewise,
self-effort and divine grace, both are essential in order
to achieve the desired result.
Sukshma Sarira (subtle body) is the source
from which our words and deeds originate. Our students are
chanting the Vedas everyday. Each Mantra is attributed to
a particular form of divinity. It is necessary that one knows
all the Mantras. If one wants to purify his thoughts and understand
his true Self, he should take Vedas as the basis. Unable to
understand this truth, many students are behaving like thieves
when it comes to chanting the Vedic Mantras. One who does
something wrong and feigns ignorance is a thief. Likewise,
one who has the ability to chant the Vedas but does not do
so full-throated and wholeheartedly can also be called a thief.
All students can chant the Vedas, but some of them are not
joining others in chanting. They are not making proper use
of whatever they have learnt. They are keeping to themselves
all that they have learnt. I am observing the students as
they chant the Vedas. Having learnt the Mantras, they are
expected to chant them. But, some of them are keeping silent.
In a way, they are resorting to vidya choratwam and daiva
droham (theft of knowledge and betrayal of God). In this manner,
the educated are becoming traitors and betrayers. Only those
who chant wholeheartedly whatever they have learnt are eligible
for Sakshatkara (God-realisation). When the students chant
the Mantras, ladies sitting on the other side also join them.
They have every right to chant the Vedas. None can deny them
their right. They feel inspired to chant the Vedas when they
see our students chant. There are many small children sitting
here. Who has taught them the Vedas? They hear attentively
while the senior students chant the Mantras and learn them
by heart. However, there are some educated persons who sit
by the side of Veda chanting boys and yet remain tight-lipped.
I am observing them. What is the use of sitting with Veda
group if they do not make efforts to learn and chant them?
They are bigger thieves. They listen to Vedic chants but do
not participate in them. One should listen and also chant
the Mantras in order to experience divinity.
The Vedas are the very form of God. There
are many Mantras to propitiate the Pancha Bhutas (five elements).
The five elements are our very life-breath. They sustain our
life. The world itself is a manifestation of the five elements.
But people forget to express their gratitude to the five elements.
What a sin it is! We fill our minds with unnecessary information
and consequently fail to give due respect to the five elements.
Everyone should necessarily learn the Vedas, contemplate on
them and chant them wholeheartedly. There is no point in merely
learning the Vedas if you do not chant them. There are some
who chant the Mantras when they are here but forget them when
they go outside. You may go anywhere but you should repeat
the Mantras at least in your mind. You should never become
a vidya drohi (one who does not do justice to the knowledge
acquired). A vidya drohi will become Daiva drohi also and
will ultimately miss the chance to become recipient of God’s
Students may commit mistakes without their
knowledge. But, once they realise their mistake they should
not repeat it. Whatever Mantras you hear today, you should
be able to chant them tomorrow. When all people chant the
Mantras in unison and in perfect harmony, Brahman will manifest
right in front of you. Our ancient sages and seers declared:
Vedahametham Purusham Mahantham Adityavarnam
Thamasa Parasthath (I have visualised that Supreme
Being who shines with the effulgence of a billion suns and
who is beyond Thamas - the darkness of ignorance). The sound
of the Vedas is highly sacred. It is extolled as Sabda Brahmamayi,
Characharamayi, Jyotirmayi,Vangmayi, Nityanandamayi, Paratparamayi,
MayamayiandSreemayi (embodiment of sound, mobility and immobility,
light, speech, eternal bliss, perfection, delusion and wealth).
It is compulsory for everyone to learn the Vedas. If it is
not possible, at least one should chant the Name of God. Whatever
Vedic Mantras you learn, you should be able to chant them
properly. Otherwise, you don’t need to learn them at
all! I have seen many boys, who learn the Vedas here, but
forget them when they go to Bangalore. They chant one or two
Mantras to satisfy the elders who visit that place. It is
not for publicity, but it is for your own benefit of experiencing
bliss that you should chant the Vedas. The three aspects,
namely, Karma, Upasana and Jnana (work, worship and wisdom)
may be compared to chanting, practising and experiencing bliss.
You should transcend Vijnanamaya Kosha (wisdom sheath) and
enter Anandamaya Kosha (bliss sheath). Karma leads to Upasana
which in turn leads to Jnana (wisdom). Once you attain Jnana,
you will experience peace and bliss. Everything depends on
Karma. You should not chant the Mantras in a mechanical way
just because others are chanting. You should assimilate and
digest them. Why do you eat food? Is it to preserve it in
the stomach? No. The food partaken should be digested and
the essence should be supplied to all parts of the body. In
the same manner, you should understand and assimilate the
Vedic knowledge and derive strength from it. It should be
expressed in your thoughts, words and deeds. You should take
part in the propagation of the Vedas and share your joy with
others. People say God is all-pervasive. He is present everywhere
in the form of five elements. Each element represents a form
of divinity. All the five elements together constitute the
form of the Atma. When you realise this truth, you will experience
of Love! Students!
Whatever you have learnt here, share it with others. It is
not enough if you share it with others, you too should put
your knowledge into practice and derive benefit therefrom.
We prepare many delicious items at home and serve them to
the guests. Is it not necessary that we should also partake
of them? Likewise, we should digest the Vedic knowledge we
have acquired and also share it with others. All types of
knowledge have originated from the Vedas. That is why the
Veda is extolled as Sarva Vijnana Sampatti (the treasure chest
of knowledge). But unfortunately, we are not making proper
use of such a treasure. Share your knowledge to the extent
you have acquired. Never forget what you have learnt. With
sincere effort, you will certainly be able to attain Sakshatkara.
How did Markandeya attain Sakshatkara? He repeated the Panchakshari
Mantra forgetting himself. As a result, Lord Easwara appeared
before him and showered His grace. Those of you who wish to
have the vision of God should digest the Vedic wisdom you
have acquired and share it with others.