ATMA IS THE NAMELESS, FORMLESS DIVINITY
Draupadi’s father Drupada organised
a Swayamvara (choosing of bridegroom by the bride) to perform
her marriage. Thousands of youth, princes and kings came to
his court to win the hand of Draupadi in this Swayamvara.
Just as King Janaka had declared that he would give his daughter
Sita in marriage to the prince who could string the bow of
Lord Siva, King Drupada arranged a Matsyayantra (a device
with replica of fish). The condition of the contest was that
whosoever was able to hit the eye of the fish revolving high
above on a pole with an arrow by looking at its reflection
in water below would be successful in winning the hand of
Extraordinary Qualities of Draupadi
Many valorous youth and princes who were confident of their
victory tried their luck without any success. This was not
an ordinary test that everyone could succeed. Many people
thought that it was easy, but in reality it was not so. When
no one could succeed in the contest, the entire assembly fell
into a stunning silence. The Pandavas were also present incognito
in this assembly. Krishna, who was also present, looked at
the Pandavas and smiled. At that point of time, the Pandavas
spoke to each other in whispers. Soon after this, Arjuna walked
majestically towards the Matsyayantra, smiling all the way.
He was totally calm and composed. Looking at the reflection
of the fish in water, he shot an arrow. When it hit the target
successfully, the entire assembly went into raptures. All
the people looked at Arjuna in admiration with great delight.
Handing over a garland to his daughter Draupadi, Drupada asked
her to garland Arjuna.
At that time, the Pandavas were staying in
the house of a potter. When they went to their house along
with the bride, their mother Kunti was inside the house. Even
before entering their house, they announced to their mother
that they had earned a very valuable fruit. Their mother replied
from inside the house that they should share the fruit equally
between themselves. The Pandavas always obeyed the command
of their mother and honoured every word that she uttered.
They went inside and offered their salutations to their mother
and vowed to follow her command religiously. In this way,
Draupadi became the wife of all the five Pandavas. The Pandavas
dutifully accepted the command of their mother. But, how could
the world accept this? It is the duty of the children to obey
the command of their parents, irrespective of the fact whether
the world accepts it or not. People, however, accepted this
in view of the intimate relationship that existed between
the five brothers.
How can one consider somebody as one’s
wife? Not merely because one is married to her. One can call
her as wife only when one considers her as half part of his
body. Many people questioned Krishna how Draupadi could be
called a Pativrata (chaste wife) when she was the wife of
five husbands. Then Krishna described her qualities which
earned her this noble ideal. She dutifully obeyed the command
of her husbands. She would never say to any one of them that
she had no time to serve him. She was satisfied with whatever
she got in life. She was the supreme example of chastity and
none could match her in this respect. She never asked for
anything beyond the means of her husbands. A true chaste woman
is one who conducts herself according to the condition of
her husband. The husband should also recognise the qualities
of his wife and have equal concern for her. Only then can
both of them lead a virtuous and noble life.
Looking at her virtuous conduct and her power
to control the five senses, Dharmaraja told Draupadi, “You
do not merely belong to us; you are the embodiment of primal
energy.” Her father Drupada had also held this view
and considered her as the embodiment of divine energy. Only
those who achieve control over the five senses and the five
elements can rule the world. Only such people can know the
reality of the world and conduct themselves in a righteous
manner. One who has complete control over one’s senses
can achieve the greatest heights in life.
Draupadi was endowed with great power of
discrimination and she could discriminate between who was
good and who was bad. Both good and bad are present in this
world just like darkness and light. She encouraged all those
who were virtuous and imparted sacred teachings to evil-minded
people to transform them. Not only she had control over the
five senses and five elements, she had thorough knowledge
of Pancha Koshas (five sheaths of the soul) and Pancha Pranas
(five life-breaths) also. She could differentiate between
Atma and Anatma (Self and non-Self). Thus, she set an ideal
to the world and earned a good name.
Draupadi taught that one should do one’s
duty with dedication. She exhorted all to exercise control
over their desires and discriminate between good and bad,
imbibing all that was good and giving up all that was bad.
One should never forget to perform good actions and discharge
one’s duties, she advised. Everyone should discharge
his duty with dedication and should not interfere in the duties
of others, she counselled the people. “You may have
wife and children. It is your duty to fulfil your responsibility
towards them, but at the same time all your desires should
be directed towards the path of goodness and righteousness”,
she said. Thus, she became an ideal to the world and showed
the path of truth to one and all. One can attain Dharma only
by following the path of Sathya. Sathyannasti Paro Dharma
(There is no Dharma greater than adherence to truth). There
can be no Dharma without truth. It is the path of truth that
leads one to God.
Follow the Path of Sathya and Dharma
Everyone should perform his duty meticulously and adhere to
Dharma. Even an ant follows its Dharma. Wherever it finds
food, it carries it to its place and consumes it. It does
not harm anybody nor does it steal anything from anybody.
All the birds and animals follow their natural Dharma and
conduct themselves accordingly. The path of Dharma is the
same for the Cheema (ant) and Brahma. The same principle of
truth is present in both. This truth was propagated by Draupadi.
She also taught that one should not become a victim of the
six inner enemies, namely, Kama (desire), Krodha (anger),
Lobha (greed) Moha (attachment), Mada (pride) and Matsarya
Anger is the greatest enemy of man. One with
anger cannot follow the path of Dharma. This is contrary to
human nature. One should not unnecessarily show anger towards
One with anger
will not be successful in any of his endeavours.
He will commit sins and will be ridiculed by one and all.
His own people will abandon him.
He will lose all wealth and respect.
His anger will ruin him completely. (Telugu
Hatred is another great enemy of man. Whom
should you hate? Should you hate those who oppose you or those
who have harmed or those who dislike you? No; none of these.
You should hate only the evil qualities. You should extend
your love and support to those who follow Sathya and Dharma.
If you hate Sathya and Dharma, you are not a human being at
all. Truth is the basis of all virtues. By following the path
of truth, Draupadi could experience peace and love. She taught
that one should restrain from violence. One should not indulge
in violence through one’s actions, words and even thoughts.
By following the path of truth, Draupadi set the greatest
ideal to the world.
As you Sow, So you Reap
By exercising sense control, man can achieve great heights
in life. Damayanti was a woman of great virtues like Draupadi.
She earned this name as she was endowed with Dama (sense control).
The senses are wayward by nature, and it is difficult to control
them. Man should, however, do his best to control them and
put them to right use. Why has God given you ears? Is it to
hear vain gossip? Never listen to anything that is bad. Listen
to all that is good. Why has God given you tongue? It is not
merely to satisfy your sense of taste. It has been given to
sing the glory of God. Just as the tongue accepts all that
is tasty and palatable and rejects all that is bad and unpalatable,
man should accept all that is good and reject everything that
People think that it is God who is the cause
of their happiness and sorrow. But it is not really so. Each
one is responsible for his actions and reaps their consequences,
good or bad. God is the eternal witness and does not interfere
in this. He neither gives happiness nor sorrow. If you talk
endearingly to someone, he will also speak to you in the same
loving manner. But if you talk in an arrogant way, you will
get a similar response. As is the action, so is the reaction.
The reaction, reflection and resound are based on your own
thoughts, words and actions; God is not responsible for them.
If you stand before a mirror, you will see your own reflection.
In whatever way you speak to others, you will have the resound
in the same way. Whatever thoughts you have in your mind,
they will be reflected back to you. It is therefore essential
for man to know whether his thoughts and actions are good
or bad. Whatever good or bad you experience is the result
of your thoughts, words and actions. When any bad thought
comes into your mind, give it up immediately. If you conduct
yourself in this manner, you will become a true devotee of
God and achieve liberation.
to face the consequences of his actions, whoever he may be.
No one can know what lies ahead for him in future.
But this much is sure that everybody has to reap the consequences
of his actions. Even the mighty Rama suffered the pain of
separation from His wife and cried like an ordinary person.
Good and bad coexist. It is not possible for anyone to separate
them. When you cultivate more of goodness, the bad in you
will become absolutely insignificant. There is no need to
use any force to drive all that is bad. When you forget bad,
goodness will develop in you in full measure.
This is the message I would like to give
you on this day. Do not think that the New Year will give
you some new fruits. The fruits that you earn will be based
on your qualities and actions. All that you think will be
reflected back to you. Everything is the result of your thoughts.
World is Reaction, Reflection and
Once there was a cowherd who used to take the cows for grazing
to a place surrounded by three mountains. One day when the
cows were grazing, he sat down under a tree and started singing
a song in praise of God. As he sang the song, he heard its
echo. He thought that someone was imitating his song to tease
him. Therefore, he shouted in anger at the invisible intruder,
and heard its resound in the same angry tone. In this state
of anger, he went home and did not even take his food. His
mother asked him why he was so upset. He narrated what had
happened. Next day, his mother accompanied him and came to
know that it was his own echo which was the cause of his trouble.
In the same manner if you criticise or abuse anybody, all
that will come back to you. The world is nothing but reaction,
reflection and resound. Whatever you do will come back to
you, and nothing else. This is the divine law. Those who are
full of love will see love everywhere. Those who are full
of hatred will see enemies all around. Therefore, love and
hatred do not come from outside. They have their origin within
you. The good and bad you experience arise out of your own
feelings. God is not responsible for any of these. God is
Nirguna, Niranjana, Sanathana (attributeless, pure, final
abode). It is only your feelings that change. God is changeless.
All your feelings are reflected back to you. Everything is
within you. Whatever you experience is the reaction, reflection
and resound of your thoughts and feelings. You see somebody
laughing and you think that he is laughing at you. But how
can you conclude in this manner? Once a famous wrestler was
doing exercise on a road early in the morning. At that time,
a lady was coming from a village to sell milk and curd. When
he looked at her, he felt she was laughing at him. The wrestler
became angry and said to the woman, “How dare you laugh
at me? Do you know who I am? Are you aware of my strength?”
The woman replied, “I am not laughing at you. You are
so strong that you can stop a speeding car with one hand.
What is the use of your physical strength if you lack forbearance?”
All our notions are based upon our deluded feeling.
Be Good, Do Good, See Good
No doubt, your innate feelings are good. But they undergo
change depending upon what you see and hear. It is the external
impulses that are responsible for changes in your thoughts
and feelings. Truly speaking, there is no human form. In fact,
there is no form at all. It is because of your illusion that
you see a form and give a name to it. It is a sign of foolishness
to think so. You may think that you are highly educated and
very intelligent. But how can you call yourself so if you
are ignorant of your true Self? You can be called truly educated
only when you know your real nature. If you do not know your
own truth, how can you know the truth of others? First of
all, you should control your mind. Only then can your worship
and prayer be fruitful. The mind is the root cause of the
world. Manah Eva Manushyanam Karanam Bandhamokshayo (mind
is the cause for bondage and liberation of man). It is comparatively
easy to control the body, but not the mind. When Pramila,
the ruler of women’s kingdom captured the Aswamedha
horse and defeated Arjuna in the battle, Arjuna told her that
she could arrest his body but not his mind. It may be possible
to capture the whole world with army, weapons and bombs, but
it is not possible for anyone to capture the mind. When you
gain control over your mind, everything else will come under
your control. Therefore, you should make all efforts to control
your mind. Then you are sure to become an ideal and great
person. First and foremost, you should know your mistakes
and try to rectify them. Only then can you aspire to become
a Mumukshu (spiritual aspirant). Knowingly or unknowingly
you may have committed some mistakes. Once you know your mistakes,
you should have repentance. Repentance is true atonement.
This is the royal path which leads to divinity. There is little
use in performing Puja (worship), Vratas (rituals) and Yajnas
without repentance and atonement.
Jantunam Nara Janma Durlabham (out of all
living beings, human birth is the rarest). It is not easy
to attain human form. Man is not a mere mortal. He is verily
divine. Daivam Manusha Rupena (God is in the form of a human
being). If you do or think something bad, you are not divine.
First of all, you should become a good person. Be good, do
good, see good. This is the way to God.
Develop the Qualities Exemplified
by Rama and Sita
First of all, you have to control your mind. Offer your mind
to God. He can do everything for you. Have firm devotion to
God with firm faith that He is everywhere.
Do not doubt
that God is here and not there. Wherever you search for Him,
He is there.
Where is God? Sarvatah Panipadam Tat Sarvathokshi
Siromukham, Sarvatah Sruthimalloke Sarvamavruthya Tishthati
(with hands, feet, eyes, head, mouth and ears pervading everything,
He permeates the entire universe). Ordinary people are not
able to recognise this truth. God is present in all beings,
be it a small insect like an ant or a big animal like an elephant
or a lion. He is present in a particle of sand and also in
a particle of sugar.
Discharge your duty earnestly with devotion
to God. Put your knowledge into practice and earn a good name.
I never prevent anyone from pursuing his studies. But along
with acquiring secular knowledge, you should acquire spiritual
knowledge also. Proper enquiry of the mind and purity of heart
are very essential.
You have completed one academic year, and you will now go
home for vacation. You will be looking for your results and
searching your roll number in the list of successful candidates.
More than searching your roll number, search your heart. If
you have really written well, you are sure to find your roll
number. On the other hand, if you have not written your examination
well, you should not be delighted even when you find your
roll number in the list of successful candidates. It is not
the number of marks that are important. What is important
is that you should become number one man (loud applause).
This morning our students sang the song conveying
the message that one should have a son like Rama and a daughter
like Sita. You may aspire to have a son like Rama and a daughter
like Sita. But, how is it possible when you have the demonic
qualities of Ravana and Surpanakha? If you want a son like
Rama, you should follow Dharma like Him. If you aspire to
have a daughter like Sita, you should have the virtues as
exemplified by Sita. Whatever form you aspire for, you should
cultivate the same type of qualities corresponding to that.
Only then can you attain harmony, tolerance and peace. Where
is peace? Peace lies in the control of the senses. If you
are not able to control your senses you cannot attain peace;
you will get only pieces. If you want to be peaceful, you
have to imbibe the qualities of quietude and composure. Let
anybody criticise, abuse or hit you; you should maintain your
composure. When someone criticises you, do not take it to
heart. Think that his tongue has produced some sound. You
have nothing to do with it. If you receive the abuses hurled
at you, you will be affected by them. Otherwise, you will
not be disturbed. Even if somebody beats you, think that he
has beaten your body and not you. In fact, none can ever harm
or hurt you, because you are not the body. If you have such
a firm conviction, then you will not have anger or hatred
towards even those who abuse or assault you. Therefore, firm
conviction is most essential for peace.
Offer your Heart to God in Prayer
Draupadi had deep devotion for Krishna. She prayed to him,
“Oh Krishna! I worship You day and night. Oh Lord! Be
compassionate and protect me. If You are compassionate towards
me, then I will not be bothered about any other thing in life.”
Draupadi faced many challenges and ordeals in life, but her
devotion towards Krishna remained unaffected. Thyagaraja said,
Oh Lord! I have been praying
to You incessantly, why are You depriving me of Your love
and compassion? What is that I have not offered to You? I
have surrendered my wealth, my family and even my soul to
You. Now, please come to my rescue. I seek refuge only in
Mere words are not enough when you pray;
you should offer your heart to God in prayer.
Man has a name and a form, but the Atma transcends
both. It has neither a name nor a form. People like some particular
names and forms. One cannot have faith in many names and forms,
but one can surely have faith in the formless principle of
the Atma which is present in all. Na Atma Sakshi (my Atma
is the witness) is a common saying, which shows that people
have faith in the Atma. That is why Atma is the common name
for all. Some may pray to Rama, others may pray to Krishna.
Names and forms are many, but Divinity is one. Atma is the
nameless, formless divinity. When you worship such a formless
and nameless divine principle, you will certainly attain Divinity.
(Bhagavan concluded His Discourse with the
Bhajan, “Prema Mudita
Manase Kaho …” )
- From Bhagavan’s Ugadi Discourse in
Sai Kulwant Hall, Prasanthi Nilayam on 30th March