One may master all forms of
One may vanquish one's adversaries in debate,
One may fight with valour and courage in the battlefield,
One may be an emperor reigning over vast kingdoms,
One may offer cows and gold as an act of charity,
One may count the countless stars in the sky,
One may tell the names of different living creatures on the earth,
One may be an expert in eight-limbed (Ashtanga)Yoga,
One may reach even the moon,
But it is near impossible to control the body, mind and senses,
Turn the vision inward
And achieve the supreme state of equanimity of the mind.
Today, a number of discussions and deliberations are being held in the
field of education. First and foremost, we must try to recognize the
true meaning of education. One may read all the available books and
elucidate the meaning contained in these books. But, that does not
entitle one to be called an educated person. There are several highly
educated people today in the world. But, what transformation and
discriminatory power have they achieved on account of their education?
What benefit has accrued to the world on account of these so called
educated people? None tries to understand and evaluate this aspect. It
is only when an educated person looks inward that he will be able to
realize the true meaning and philosophy underlying education. In
contrast to this situation, people are applying their intelligence in
There are, however, some who enquire into the nature of Atma Tattwa.
Realising the importance of an enquiry into the nature of Atma Tattwa,
we have introduced this concept in the M.B.A. course in Sri Sathya Sai
Institute of Higher Learning. The letters M.B.A. stand for
understanding the nature of the mind (M), the physical body (B), and
the Atma (A). It is easier to understand the nature of the mind and
body. But, to understand the nature of the Atma is not that easy. No
one can understand what Atma is. It has no form. It is pure
consciousness. Even the educated people are unable to understand that
the Atma Tattwa is consciousness. Most of them are able to go up to
the stage of conscious. Some others are able to reach the next stage
of conscience. The sum and substance of all this is that man today is
unable to understand the Atma Tattwa, The pure consciousness. It is
only when one is able to understand the conscious, he can understand
what conscience is. Again, it is only when, one is able to understand
conscience, he can really understand the principle of consciousness.
Thus all the three categories of conscious, conscience and
consciousness are interlinked.
You may feel that spirituality is too abstract and not easily
understandable. The Atma Tattwa cannot be understood and realized by
merely developing material knowledge. In fact, Atma Tattwa is beyond
the scope of material knowledge. It is transcendental. It is
fundamental knowledge. It is at the base of all physical, material and
You may be under the mistaken impression that spirituality is that
which cannot be understood. But, this is not correct. Spirituality is
consciousness which has an inner meaning. What is awareness? Our
normal understanding of this term is awareness about a particular
object or aspect. Take for instance (showing a handkerchief), this
object. When a question is put as to what it is, the answer comes that
it is a handkerchief. This knowledge about the object is considered to
be awareness. Again, when I question you (showing a flower) what it
is, you reply that it is a flower. This is also considered to be an
awareness. All these are the outer forms of different material
objects. This is a cloth (showing the handkerchief). What is the basis
for this cloth? The thread. Again, what is the basis for this thread?
The cotton. Thus this cloth cannot be made without the thread and
cotton. The cotton is the fundamental object that forms the basis for
the thread and the cloth. Unfortunately, today we are only recognizing
the cloth, but not the fundamental object of cotton, the basis for the
cloth. Therefore, what is of paramount importance today is to
recognize the Atma Tattwa that is at the root of all knowledge. If one
is able to realize this Atma Tattwa, he can easily realize every other
What is Atma Tattwa? For example, we have the physical body. This body
has several limbs which function continuously. But, what is it that
makes the limbs in the body function? We hold a particular object,
say, a flower with one hand. What is it that gives power to the hand
to hold the flower? We smell the flower. From where did we get this
power of smelling? We do not make any effort to understand and
recognize the inner source of all these powers; i.e., the Atma Tattwa.
We say this is my hand, my leg, my finger, my head, etc. But, who are
you? This "you" has to be understood first, so that you
can say my hand, my leg, my finger, my head, etc. Whose head is this?
Whose leg is this? Unless you understand this aspect how can you say
"I" and "Mine"? Vedantha is that knowledge which is concerned about
"who are you?" and "who am I?" But, none makes any effort to enquire
into himself "who am I?" The fundamental question for the basis for
everything in this universe is: "Who am I?" If one has understood this
"I", he would have understood everything else. Spirituality is not
something ununderstandable or a futile exercise. There is a
fundamental principle in this universe which is the prime mover. We
must make efforts to understand that fundamental principle.
Embodiments of Love!
What is Love? What is its nature? From where does this originate? Can
a human being live without love? Impossible. That is why, it is said,
"Love is God; Live in Love". One has to understand this principle of
Love, which is the basis for everything in this universe. Without
Love, there cannot be life in this world. There is an underlying power
that permeates the entire universe. That is Truth. What is Truth?
Truth is said to be "Trikalabadhyam Sathyam" - It is present in
all the periods of time: past, present and future. However, we cannot
come to a conclusion only on account of that dictum. "Sathyam" (Truth)
is that which transcends time. There is no tangible form for the
concept of Truth. But, there is meaning. We say, "Truth is God, Love
is God". We go on repeating the word "God". We make use of this word
"God" in different circumstances. Even an atheist says "Oh! My God!",
whenever he commits a mistake. People use this word "God" even without
knowing its meaning. However, none can define the term properly.
Similarly, none can define the term "Truth". The most appropriate
method would be by one's own experience. How can one correctly
describe that experience? For example, one can go on repeating 1 + 1 =
2, 2 + 2 = 4 and 2 - 1 = 1 etc., ad infinitum. He can only
repeat plus and minus, no one can define the basis for the
calculations. We are able to give names of different objects in this
world. But, we are not making any effort to understand the true nature
of these objects. The whole world is full of material objects. This is
a material world. However, there is something beyond this material
world. That is, "Buddhi grahyamatheendriyam" (that which is
unintelligible and beyond the grasp of the intellect). That is
transcendental. We can count the objects in this world and say that
there are so many crores of objects. What is there beyond that number?
Thus, when you go on enquiring, you will end up nowhere. The fact is
there is a fundamental principle that is present in every human being.
When you say "Love is God", that "Love" is everywhere, omnipresent.
This fundamental principle of Love is present in every human being,
nay, in every living being. When you say "Truth is in me" and "I am
Truth" what does it mean? What is that "I" and "Me"? If you analyse
carefully, this "I" in you is also the "I" in others. This is the only
Truth. This Truth can be understood only by spiritual enquiry. And
that too by a steady and sincere enquiry into one's own nature. Few
undertake such an enquiry today. We are making use of several terms in
a casual manner, without understanding their real meaning .
Embodiments of Love!
You need not have to waste your time, however, in trying to understand
some abstract concepts which you are unable to comprehend. You just
develop firm faith in the existence of God. You firmly believe that
there is God and you are God. We cannot understand anything
without developing faith. Hence, first and foremost, develop firm
faith in the concept of "I". Only then can you understand the second
concept "you". A small example. When "I" and "you" join together, it
becomes "we". However, "we" + "He" becomes only "He", who exists
forever. The "I" and "you" change constantly. When you are a child you
say "I am a boy". When you are a youth, you say "I am a man".
Similarly, when you are old, you say, "I am an old man". Thus, you are
undergoing constant changes in different stages of life. Hence, there
is no use in sticking on to this changing principle. Attach yourself
to the changeless principle, i.e., "He". That "He" is God.
That "He" is present in you, him and in every person. "He is
everywhere - within you, above you, below you and around you".
Therefore this "He" principle represents the omnipresent Divinity.
People should develop firm faith in such a Divine Principle. Supposing
you say "I love Him" and none else. How can this be true? It means
that you do not love yourself. When you say "this is my body", can you
believe this body? You cannot, since it undergoes constant changes and
is perishable. However, the non-dual principle of Atma Tattwa immanent
in the body is eternal and transcendental. It has no other name,
except "Atma". Then, the question arises as to who has given that
name. In fact, this name did not come from somebody. The Atma is
omnipresent. "He" is everywhere. How can one give a name to such an
all-pervading Atma Tattwa? It is only a futile exercise. Do not waste
your time in this futile exercise. Develop firm faith in this
omnipresent Atma Tattwa and propagate it. That faith is awareness.
Without that awareness you cannot exist. This is a rose flower
(showing a rose flower). You have recognized it as such. But, who gave
that name to this flower? You do not know. You simply repeat a name
that is given to a flower in the English language. Thus, we go on
repeating the words without understanding the underlying Truth. Hence,
first and foremost, one has to turn his vision inwards and meditate
upon the Atma Tattwa present in him. This Atma Tattwa can be realized
only by constant sadhana. It is only after realizing this Atma Tattwa
can one enter into any discussion. Also understand the nature of the
physical body. The physical body consists of various limbs. In all
these limbs, you will find the principle of "I", immanent. That is
why, you say that this is my body, my hand, my finger, etc. When you
go on enquiring into the nature of the body, you will realize that the
same principle of "I" is present in all the limbs. It is very
difficult to understand the spiritual concepts. But, you should not
give up your sadhana on that score. On the other hand it has to be
pursued vigorously. It is futile to run after the worldly objects. If
you are able to understand the Atma Tattwa, it amounts to
understanding everything else. If you go on enquiring "who am I", you
will ultimately realize the Truth that the "I" principle is nothing
but the Atma Tattwa. Develop firm faith in that Atma Tattwa. Several
people give different names to the principle of Atma Tattwa. But, it
has no name and form at all. It is beyond all names and forms. It is
transcendental. The power of consciousness immanent in man is not to
be found anywhere else. One has to understand and realize this
consciousness. This is possible only by constant sadhana and enquiry.
Embodiments of Love!
You students cannot understand spiritual concepts so easily. However,
if you develop firm faith, you will be able to understand these things
easily. But today people have become blind having lost the eyes of
faith. What is Prema (Love)? You do not know. What is darkness? Is
there anybody today who has seen darkness? Just close your eyes. What
do you see? You reply that you are seeing darkness. It means that you
are able to see and recognize darkness. Otherwise, how can you say
that it is darkness? Therefore, it is established that there is a
basis for everything in this world. In order to realize the Truth, one
has to develop faith. You carry on your life's journey with firm faith
as your guide. You are going somewhere, unless you know where you are
going, how can you reach your destination? Hence, make a firm resolve
that you are going to the Mandir. Only then can you reach the Mandir.
Similarly, first and foremost, make Atma Tattwa as your goal in life's
You are not able to understand what real Prema (love) is. You love the
physical body and its beauty. You love wealth. You love the external
form. You love one's outward behaviour. Wherefrom do all these things
come? What is the basis for all these aspects? How long will these
external forms remain? All of them undergo changes continuously. What
is the use of clinging to these changing external forms? You must
direct your love to the changeless principle of Atma Tattwa. The Atma
Tattwa does not undergo any change, whatsoever. Nothing can be added
to it nor deleted from it. Therefore, you must develop firm faith in
such a changeless principle. You often say that you love so and so
very much. But, what do you know of him? Do you love his physical
form? Did you develop liking for his behaviour? Do you love his sweet
disposition? What is it that has drawn you to him? In fact, all these
factors are only transitory. There is, however, one quality in you
that is responsible for all this. That is love. That love of God. Love
is His form. Hence, you cultivate love for love's sake. There cannot
be life without love. A small example to illustrate the point. A
mother has a son. He is 20 years old. After sometime, the son died.
Then, the mother was wailing over the body of the son "Oh! Son! I was
able to live as long as you were alive. How can I live now?" Such type
of grief is the result of attachment of the mother developed towards
the physical form of the son. It is not true love. What is important
is love; but not love for the physical form. It is only those who are
able to love for love's sake, can attain real love. Those who love the
physical body do so as long as the body is present. Thereafter the
love ebbs away. Therefore, love for love's sake. Such love is life.
That life is God. That is Atma Tattwa, verily. Atma Tattwa is the only
Embodiments of Love!
You have to seek love through love only. The Gopikas prayed thus:
Krishna, play your sweet flute and sow the seeds of love in the
desert of loveless hearts.
Let the rain of love fall on earth and make the rivers of love
The rivers of love must flow
continuously. It is enough, if you can understand the one principle of
love. This love is everything. Treat this love as the be-all and
end-all of your life. Do not direct your love towards material
objects. If you continue to love for love's sake, then such a love
will be eternal. It is not the body that is to be loved, but the
principle of love. All the names and forms are evanescent and
impermanent. We should not love such things. Love directed towards
such things is physical, whereas love for love's sake is eternal.
Consider Truth as Truth. You should not associate Truth with material
objects. Similarly, love should not be associated with material
objects. Love is simply love. As such, love is God. You must attain
Divinity with such love.
You encounter several appointments (expectations) and disappointments
in life. When you have an appointment, you will have a disappointment
also when it is not fulfilled. Therefore, do not have appointments
(desires) at all. Then, there is no scope for disappointment. Do not
give importance to the form. In fact, your Atma Tattwa represents your
true form. Do not confine Divinity to a particular name and form. The
names like Rama, Krishna, Govinda are only names attributed by man to
God. They are not innate. Not much of importance can be attached to
them. However, one has to take a particular name in the initial stages
of his spiritual quest. For instance, it is necessary to acquire
different types of education. It is also necessary to realize the
essence of all the education. That is, of course, the Truth. But how
long? Until you experience that essence. Once you experience the
essence of knowledge, even that vanishes. Hence, do not depend upon
the name and form. Truth is Truth. That is the only Truth. It has no
form. Love is God. Love has no form. Cultivate such Divine Love. God
exists. There can be no doubt about it. If God does not exist, there
is no scope for nature to exist. From an experience of Prakruthi
(Nature) emerges apprehension of Paramathma (the supreme self). From
Paramathma, the realization of Paratattwa (Supreme Reality) springs.
That Paratattwa is Atma Tattwa. Therefore, always love that Paratattwa.
Do not confine your love to the particular, which is always
susceptible to change. Time permitting, I will delineate on this Prema
Tattwa (Principle of Love) in greater detail. When students are able
to understand the nature of this divine love, there can be no scope
for disappointment. They are always engrossed in appointment and
disappointment. Love has only a name, but no form. You can direct that
love towards any form.
Embodiments of Love!
God can be attained only through one route. That is Love. That is
Truth. Do not confine the principle "I" to a particular form. A small
example. Janakiramaiah (younger brother of Swami's physical body) died
recently. There are several people who loved him. They have been
making obituary references everyday in the newspapers, saying "Janakiramaiah!
You have left your mortal coil, leaving us alone. You please take
birth again, so that we can love you again". Is it necessary for
Janakiramaiah to take birth once again in order that these people may
love him? Is that what these people wish for? Should we confine our
entire life to birth and death only? In fact, both birth and death are
unreal. Where there is birth, there is death surely. The twin stages
of life, i.e., birth and death are only for the body, not for the Atma.
We have to direct our love towards the Eternal Atma Tattwa, not the
body which is subject to birth and death. I often address you as "Bangaru!"
What is the underlying meaning in addressing you in that manner? Gold
as a metal does not perish. Its shape changes when it is melted and
made into different types of ornaments. You, as gold may take
different forms, but your Atma Tattwa does not undergo any change. You
have to strive to attain the changeless principle of Atma Tattwa, but
not the changing forms. I address you as "Bangaru!", reminding you of
your real nature, i.e., the changeless Atma Tattwa. Gold is always
gold. It is Truth. It is eternal. You have to always crave for
attaining such an eternal reality. Keeping this aspect in view only,
Adi Shankara in his famous "Bhaja Govindam" sang thus:
Punarapi Jananam Punarapi Maranam
Punarapi Janani Jathare Sayanam
Iha Samsare Bahu Dustare
Kripayapare Pahi Murare.
(Oh Lord! I am caught up in this cycle of birth and death; time and
again, I am experiencing the agony of staying in the mother's womb. It
is very difficult to cross this ocean of worldly life. Please take me
across this ocean and grant me liberation.)
We have to crave for that principle which has no birth and death. Why
should we wish to be born again?
Embodiments of Love!
There is Divine Love in you which has neither birth nor death. You
direct your love towards that Divine Love. That love is always with
you. If you cultivate such love, you will always remain as embodiments
of love. Have firm faith in this Divine Love. Do not believe the
worldly love, lest you should be deceived. The worldly love is like
passing clouds. Such clouds come and go. They are not permanent. Love
the eternal love. That is the Atma Tattwa. Love that Atma Tattwa.
People who wish to enter the spiritual field and to know the path that
leads to Divinity, please come to Me. I will explain. Do not be
deceived by worldly love that causes only disappointment. Cultivate
such type of love that will not cause disappointment. Pursue any type
of education; but, understand the inner meaning of education. Then put
it into practice, experience and enjoy that essence of that education.
Do not be disappointed by directing your love towards all and sundry.
Several students are being disappointed in that manner. In the end,
they are unable to love anybody. That is not the right way. Love the
principle of Love itself, which is Divine and Eternal. The more you
love that Divine Love, the more it grows.
Embodiments of Love!
I always address you as "Embodiments of Love!" Cultivate such type of
love only. When you cultivate such love, it will, in turn, protect
you. That is what is meant by the saying, "with you, in you and around
(Bhagawan concluded the Divine Discourse with the Bhajan "Prema
Muditha Manase Kaho…")
(The Programme ended with singing of the National Anthem.)