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Posted at 17:32:05 Hrs. IST on 27 Dec 2009

By living in an age where spiritualism has become an industry our vision has blurred, failing to realize the flow of love and divinity; hearts filled with religion are unable to fathom it. But, even then, there are a few stars, shining …

(The writer K. Jayakumar is a senior Indian Administrative Officer from Kerala, currently serving as Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Kerala. Jayakumar is also a popular Malayali Poet, Lyricist and Script Writer)

There is nothing unusual about words undergoing depreciation. But such words lose their clarity of expression—lose their light. A classic example is, ‘Sambhavami Yuge Yuge’(I will happen yuga after yuga) from the Bhagavad Gita.  Its usage in any and every context has led to the fading of a great meaning. It shows how the depths of its implication have been over looked. Similarly, quite often, we miss out on the fact that through the yugas, the supreme soul happens amidst us for the establishment of moral values. This, too, is due to the depreciation of words. 

When we say yugas, we understand it as one for Treta yuga, one for Dwapara yuga and one for Kali Yuga. Actually, such an estimate does not do justice to the Gita verses.

Our interpretation goes astray when we pretend to overlook the initial word which contains the truth, as to when the supreme soul will happen. It will happen whenever there is the slighting of dharma; whenever there is the strengthening of adharma. The Lord will manifest himself yuga after yuga. The estimate that God appears only once in every yuga is immature. Besides, due to such a constricted idea, people fail to see or realize the supreme soul when He is amidst us. While waiting for Kalki (whom we have heard will take birth in this yuga) it becomes natural and at the same time pitiable that we miss the supreme reality who takes birth amongst us when darkness envelopes life’s situations and morals degrade.

Established religions leave no scope for personal interpretation or thought. Nor is there any encouragement for those who seek Truth, motivated by personal experiences. But, whatever the case, true spirituality is the attainment of divine experience individually. Even priests, the guardians of tradition, show little interest in inspiring man to seek Truth. Then, it is under such a context that prophets come, to prepare man to experience that aesthetic sense of divinity. While religion transforms the search for Truth into tradition and rites, a true guru dispels darkness and prepares human souls to receive God. Such gurus are the ones who can be called avatars.

The Bhagavad Gita does not use the word avatar. It simply says ‘Sambhavami’. Here, the unclear becomes clear and the abstract becomes concrete. The ultimate divinity can happen within any person. When it manifests itself into such prepared souls we behold an avatar. And in that mood of being a witness to that glory, all shadows of illusion and unrealism disappear.

But fake prophets have polluted the very aspect of spiritualism through their means of crookedness, greed and acts of show. When words like spiritual industrialism, human god and fake saint denigrate such teachings to mankind, how will we know who a true guru is, or a true avatar for that matter? How to differentiate a gold coin from a fake one? In the process gold coins are also called fake and the resulting loss is inevitable. But hearts that recognize love and visions not clouded by religion are sufficient to realize this divinity that comes to re-establish dharma. It is enough to accept such gurus teachings and understand if their lives are examples to it.

If a guru teaches that all beings come from the same source and that no body has any right to hurt any being, then, listen attentively. When a person, through his words and deeds, continuously communicate that human fate is only to share love with all beings and that differences are merely superficial; that the order of life is to view everything as one, such a person must be realized as a guru, an avatar. When a person manifests love, service, unity and the great truth of non-duality in his life he can be truly called an avatar. Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, through His splendidly illuminating life, expresses nothing else but this truth.

In a discourse He speaks thus: “When we practice dharma the divinity within us will manifest naturally. The most important dharma in one’s life is to attain oneness with God. We should develop faith in that divinity. As this faith gets stronger a life immersed in observance of duty, truth and justice is possible, leading to the goal of life. A person who does not follow dharma is definitely a burden for the world.”

Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba has dedicated His life completely to interpret and express the Vedanta in plain terms, in a manner suitable to this age. This is how he has become the Sathya Avatar of the age. Greed and the race behind transient pleasures have heightened the differences between man, leading him to narrowness of thought and thereby into selfishness, competition, failure and violence, making this age polluted.

Though this age has gifted man with new realms through science and technical knowledge, man is unable to experience them completely as he is immersed in selfishness. Bhagawan says, “Students should practise endurance. Whatever you do, do it without selfishness…. Spirituality is not something that stands apart from life. It is within life. Science is spirituality. Mathematics is spirituality.”

Such expressions from Bhagawan relieve this generation from the illusionary notion that the best education is that which helps in ultimately earning more money. He repeats to the society, plunged in the grips of materialism and pleasure, to exercise self-control. Those who regret that they were unable to earn enough money, fame and positions in life forget to meditate on God lovingly, even for a second. And, incase they meditate on Him at all, it could be only for the fulfillment of a new desire. Bhagawan says human life must be refined and brought out like gold.

“Unpurified gold will have fine dust and the like on it and, hence, will not shine. When thoughts become clear and purity of mind is gained life becomes similar to the shining gold by transforming itself into beauty.”

Thus, with a pure mind, when we desire the welfare and peace of mankind our deeds become a service to God by itself. By keeping definite limits to our desires and doing work that springs from the love for God leads our souls to brilliance and also causes progress to society.

Feelings of hate that emerge from minds plunged in religion and sects have made life in different parts of the world equivalent to hell. Under such a context, this beautiful darshan of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba has come as a revolution of love, influencing us. A great life has been dedicated for the re-establishment of dharma for which our world is quenching today. What else can such a life be called other than avatar!

(As published in “Devaragam”, Birthday Supplement from the house of Mathrubhumi Daily. Translations by Ms. Vidya K. Moorkoth, Abu Dhabi)