Finding Our Light -Spirituality

bluebells in the glade
bluebells in the glade
It is a sure thing that darkness and the light are equally sacred but that does not mean we benefit by becoming complacent about the darkness we may meet in ourselves or others. Others’ darkness is a constant reminder to ourselves that we need to overcome our own.  Yet, often we are complacent about our darkness and oftentimes, we accept it as the way things are. Why hurry? we lament.  What’s the point of life is there’s only suffering! And what does it matter if there’s a little dust on the mirror? Still, in the end we will  need to cleanse our mirror. The all important  mirror of perception will not cleanse itself, only we can purify ourselves. We must bring light into the darkness and that is no easy task. There has always been the path of consciousness and the  flow of illumination or light. The coexistence of darkness and light indeed creates a crazy dance in which the clarity of light is invited to lead, but it does not create a higher order . ~Eve
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“He who is in the sun, and in the fire and in the heart of man is ONE
He who knows this is one with the ONE.” – Maitri Upanishad

 

bluebells in Kent, UK Winter 2016
bluebells in Kent, UK ~ Winter 2016

One of the most beautiful meditations from Sathya Sai Baba.

 

“Let it be in the hours before dawn. This is preferable because the body is refreshed after sleep, and the dealings of daytime will not yet have impinged on you. Have a lamp or a candle before you with an open, steady, and straight flame. Sit in front of the candle in the lotus posture or any other comfortable sitting position. Look on the flame steadily for some time, and closing your eyes try to feel the flame inside you between your eyebrows. Let it slide down into the lotus of your heart, illuminating the path. When it enters the heart, imagine that the petals of the lotus open out by one, bathing every thought, feeling, and emotion in the light and so removing darkness from them. There is no space for darkness to hide.

 

The light of the flame becomes wider and brighter. Let it pervade your limbs. Now those limbs can never indulge in dark, suspicious, and wicked activities; they have become instruments of light and love. As the light reaches up to the tongue, falsehood vanishes from it. Let it rise up to the eyes and the ears and destroy all the dark desires that infest them and which lead you to perverse sights and childish conversation. Let your head be surcharged with light and all wicked thoughts will flee there from. Imagine that the light is in you more and more intensely. Let it shine all around you and let it spread from you in ever widening circles, taking in your loved ones, your kith and kin, your friends and companions, your enemies and rivals, strangers, all living beings, the entire world.

 

“Since the light illumines all the senses every day so deeply and so systematically, a time will soon come when you can no more relish dark and evil sights, yearn for dark and sinister tales, crave for base, harmful, deadening toxic food and drink, handle dirty demeaning things, approach places of ill-fame and injury, or frame evil designs against anyone at any time. Stay on in that thrill of witnessing the light everywhere. If you are adoring God in any form now, try to visualize that form in the all-pervasive light. For Light is God; God is Light.”

Om Shanti

 

painterly style - bluebells
painterly style – bluebells

Beautiful Reflections Sathya Sai – More Sathya Sai Memories

Folks, I plan on being away for a couple of months in India. I am going back to visit Sai Baba’s Ashram. I  need a break and some release from the bitter cold, lack lustre days of winter. Also some time away from a computer and blogging. I hope to return with some new travel stories and, of course, photos. Here is one of my favourite memories from many years ago while on a visit to Whitefield, in Bangalore. I don’t visit Whitefield anymore because the Bangalore traffic is too congested nowadays to make the trip. I miss the enchantment of Whitefield, and of course the  darshans in Sai Ramesh Hall. Luckily, people have created beautiful you tubes, like the one above to savor our memories forever.

Sorry for mistakes in this post, I have had quite a few computer glitches this morning.


“Blessed Sweets” – I remember the day well, like yesterday!

It was during one summer in the early 1990’s at Brindavan that I noticed Swami was blessing more than the usual number of silver sweet platters.

One particularly happy afternoon I watched with interest two ladies seated on the aisle holding their bright silver platters high while waiting for his attention. Swami came to darshan walking from side to side in his usual fashion but eventually stopped in front of the ladies then blessed their platters, which contained not only toffees but also photos, vibuthi and lockets. I sat thinking to myself, I wish I too, had a silver platter to hold high for such a blessing.

Before darshan the following morning, I plucked up enough courage to buy a silver platter, a huge bag of sweets (Mango Melodies), and three packets of little golden lockets, each one with a small picture of Swami with his hand held in the ’Abhaya Mudra – ( the ‘WHY FEAR, I AM HERE’ blessing ) and one yellow rose. I wasn’t quite sure how to prepare my platter nor did I know where to place the lockets. After some thought I placed them under the toffees and then placed the rose on top. Ah, it looked pretty, I felt sure that Swami would bless my offering.

But Swami did not bless the dish on my first attempt and by the second day I lost confidence and gave the dish to an Australian colleague to offer but Swami would not bless the sweets. On the third attempt I was happy to be seated on the carpet’s edge of block two where Swami always walked. He stopped, looked, and blessed the sweets forcefully. I’d felt him taking a large swipe of the contents into his hand then he threw them, showering what seemed like a good portion of devotees. I could hear loud whoops of joy as the sweets were thrown. Puzzled, I wondered why.

After Swami had passed by, I glanced at my platter for the 3 packets of lockets but only one remained. Apparently Swami had thrown two packets of lockets with the toffees! No wonder there had been such loud whoops of joy from devotees in block two.

A few days later I learned that the lockets had been thrown without their clear wrappers. In fact they had been dispersed individually with no trace of the wrapper anywhere. One of the lockets had fallen to a lady with cancer and two others had gone to another lady with a serious illness! What I do know is the lockets made a lot of people very happy.

·**•.♥LOVE♥.•**·life·**•.♥LIFE♥.•*

Here’s a link to an interesting talk given in July last year in Puttaparthi Ashram.

http://media.radiosai.org/journals/vol_12/01JUL14/TO-FOLLOW-SWAMIS-WISH-OR-NOT-part-01.htm


Sathya Sai baba as I remember him

 Sathya Sai Baba – photo and  a few of my favourite quotes.

“Do not be misled by what you see around you, or be influenced by what you see. You live in a world which is a playground of illusion, full of false paths, false values and false ideals. But you are not part of that world.”

  ~ Sathya Sai Baba

When a person asserts that he is low and mean and that he knows but little, he becomes low and mean and his knowledge shrinks.We become what we believe we are. We are children of Almighty God, endowed with Supreme, Power, Glory and Wisdom.We are children of Immortality.When we dwell in this thought, how can we ever be low and ignorant?

– Sathya Sai Baba

The Flowers God Loves – Sathya Sai Quotations

 

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This is an old post from long ago. I have updated it with new images and also added several quotes from From Sathya Sai Sath Sambhashana, a new translation into English of a book Sai Baba wrote a long time ago. The book ‘Sathya Sai Sath Sambhashana’ is an authentic translation of Swami’s words written originally in his native Telugu, then translated “precisely” into the English language. At first glance, the words and sentences are not easily understood by English speakers, because of the phrasing used at the time the book was translated.  But the book is all Swami. Indeed it is!  From my point of view, the simple and beautiful translation is more meaningful than many other translations of his collective works.

 


 

 

Here are a collection of Sai’s quotations, where he touches on the idea of flowers. It is an interesting theme for Sai devotees who enjoy studying Sai’s collection of spiritual books.

 

1.The most complete explanation of Ashta Pushpam is in: ‘Sathya Sai Speaks,’ Vol. 15. Chapter 9, “The Flowers that God Loves.” All chapters are a beautiful explanation of  the meaning of the flowers used for worship.

2. “Of course, floral offerings are commendable. The sixteen items are good. But, one should progress from this stage to the awareness of the Aathma. Flowers fade and wither. The effect of offering flowers may not last long. What God loves more are the flowers blossoming on the tree of man’s own life, fed and fostered by his own skill and sincerity. They are the flowers of his virtues grown in the garden of his heart.” (‘Sathya Sai Speaks,’  Vol. 15. Chapter 25, “The Garden of The Heart”). In this chapter Swami clearly explains the properties of flowers from the heart’s garden.

3. “Eight types of flowers can be offered to God, viz, (1) Ahimsa (Non-violence), (2) Indhriya  Nigraha (Control of senses), (3) Sarvabhootha Dhaya (Compassion towards all beings), (4) Sathyam (Truth), (5) Dhyaanam (Meditation), (6) Shaanhti (Peace), (7) Vinaya (Humility), (8) Bhakthi (Devotion).” (‘Sathya Sai Speaks,’ Vol. 16. Chapter 3, “Ceiling on Desires – 1″).

4. “Since you cannot swim across the flooded stream, you board a raft. So also, since you cannot master the Nirguna (formless), you resort to the Saguna (form with attributes) and struggle to swim across to the Nirguna through Araadhana and Upaasana (worship and contemplation).

But it is not advisable to remain ever on the raft, amidst the currents and whirlpools, is it not? You must discard this conventional Araadhana some day and reach higher. Pathram, Pushpam, Phalam, Thoyam, (leaf, flower, fruit, water) – are all primers for the initial stages when children join schools. Clean the mind of all the animal and primitive impulses which has shaped it from birth to birth. Otherwise, just as milk poured into a pot used for keeping buttermilk curdles quickly, all the finer experiences of truth, beauty and goodness will get tarnished beyond recognition.”

(Sathya Sai Baba. Discourse) ” Primers of Spiritual Education.” 26 Oct 1961, Prasanthi Nilayam;

 


Beautiful Clematis
Beautiful Clematis

The inherent joy derived in the process of performing karma is not found in its fruits. The immense joy that one derives while performing karma is like a stream of joy. Will an artist stop painting if money is offered to him? If you offer money to a poet to stop composing poetry, will he do so? Do real artists submit themselves to these kinds of deals? They derive purest joy in expressing their art. That joy is the true fruit of those karmas. In comparison, its external fruit is negligible. The word karma is used in the sense of swadharma. (ones particular duty. We eat, drink and sleep. All these are karmas, but not in the way the word “karma”  is referred to in the Gita. There, the word means “to follow one’s path or dharma.”  In this way, those karmas performed in introspection, is referred to as vikarma in the Gita. Karma is the solid state, (Sthoolarupa), or to follow one’s Dharma. Concentrating is chitta (consciousness), while external karma is “vikarma.” When we offer our salutations to somebody, if we do not bow our heart along with the head, the external salutation has no value. The external and the internal should be unified.

From Sathya Sai Sath Sambhashana

 

iris in the rain
Iris in the Rain

Whether one remains in the affairs of the world (samsaara) or renounces it thinking that everything depends on God’s will,  and offers everything to God and performs one’s karma, there is nothing one can do beyond this.  Just as the quantity of bread depends on the quantity of flour, so is it  jnana of the divine realm that one attains, and  depends on the devotion (bhakthi) that one has gained. It is an act of insanity to search for jnana in a place where there is no dedication or true worship to God. Undeterred faith is essential for God to reveal himself. Undeterred faith in chanting His name and is essential for the revelation of God. Discriminate between the permanent and the transient. To kill others, one may require swords and spears, but to kill oneself – is not a small needle enough? In order to preach to others, one has to study many scriptures (shastras) in order to attain revelation of God; repetition of a single mantra is enough.

From the book Sathya Sai Sath Sambhashana

The Teacher – Inspirational Quotations and Photos

For My Sai Baba friends who enjoy photos. Here’s several from my collection.. Sai Ram 

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aswami9

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True teaching is always an epiphany: sometimes a clap of thunder …but often only a whisper, easily missed.

….
aagiving99

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An old man was once warned that there was a cobra on the roadside of
the path he proposed to walk through. But he said, he had never seen
it and so he did not believe it. Unfortunately for him, he did believe
in it later, after it bit him. But then, it was too late to benefit
from the information that he had heard earlier. Several leaders had to
acknowledge that there is destiny that shapes events in lives,
irrespective of individual efforts.

Know that everyone has to come to the same conclusion, sooner or later
– for, there is a limit to the capacity of the individual to control
events in the world. Beyond that, there is an Unseen Hand that takes
over the wheel of events. One may call it Destiny, another may call it
Providence and the third may call it God – the Names do not matter.
What matters is your humility, your ability to wonder, and sense of
awe at the grandeur and magnificence of Divinity.

– Divine Discourse, 14 Jan, 2002.


aaDivineLord699

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feet3999


awake

The Divine Likeness – Inspirational Quotations

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The Bhagavad Gita tells us:

“Freedom from activity is never achieved by abstaining from action. Nobody can become perfect by merely ceasing to act. In fact, nobody can ever rest from his activity even for a moment. All are helplessly forced to act. . . .
A man who renounces certain physical actions but still lets his mind dwell on the objects of his sensual desire, is deceiving himself. He can only be called a hypocrite. The truly admirable man controls his senses by the power of his will. All his actions will be disinterested.
Activity is better than inertia. Act, but with self-control. If you are lazy, you cannot even sustain your own body.”

and about consciousness:

“The supreme state of God consciousness can never be realised by any separate means; it can only be realised by the means that is filled with God consciousness. So then there is no need to realise anything; it is already realised. Just as one’s shadow cannot be overtaken, the supreme state of independent God consciousness can never become objective. It is never found, it is never realised. Why? Because it is the state of the finder, the state of the realiser…

The supreme reality of consciousness is that it is in a state of movement. It is not fixed or situated in any one place. It is located everywhere. Wherever there is space, it is there. Wherever there is not space, it is there. It is in space and beyond it.”

– Swami Lakshmanjoo

“When the soul begins to perceive the Holy Spirit with full consciousness, we should realise that Grace is beginning to paint the divine likeness over the divine image in us.

Artists first draw the outline of a man in monochrome, and then add one colour after another, until little by little they capture the likeness of their subject down to the smallest details. In the same way the Grace of God starts by remaking the divine image in man into what it was when he was first created. But when it sees us longing with all our heart for the beauty of the divine likeness, and humbly standing naked in its atelier, then by making one virtue after another come into flower and exalting the beauty of the soul ‘from glory to glory’, it depicts the divine likeness on the soul.

Only when it has been made like God – insofar, of course, as that is possible – does it bear the divine likeness of Love as well. In portraiture, when the full range of colours is added to the outline, the painter captures the likeness of the subject, even down to the smile. Something similar happens to those who are repainted by God in the divine likeness: when the luminosity of Love is added, then it is evident that the image has been fully transformed into the beauty of the likeness.”

– St Diadochos of Photiki

Another Realm, You Tube – More Sathya Sai Memories

Just finished and polished a new you tube with many beautiful Sri  Sai Baba photos edited in painterly style.. I do hope you will take 5 minutes of your time to view this nostalgic you tube,  created with all of my heartfelt feeling…  just saying. 🙂  The quotations on the you tube are:

aarttexturesix99

When you realise the Self, then there is no separate individual. You can think of individuals as different light bulbs. There will be differences in wattage. There will be differences in age, in colour, in form, in name. One is a tube light and another is a bulb light. There will be differences in shape, but everywhere the current that powers them is the same. That current is you. You are not a bulb which appears different from any other bulb. You are the current, the one current that is found in all the bulbs. That is who you are. – Sai Baba

….

“Do not be misled by what you see around you, or be influenced by what you see. You live in a world which is a playground of illusion, full of false paths, false values and false ideals. But you are not part of that world.”

  ~ Sathya Sai Baba

 

When a person asserts that he is low and mean and that he knows but little, he becomes low and mean and his knowledge shrinks.We become what we believe we are. We are children of Almighty God, endowed with Supreme, Power, Glory and Wisdom.We are children of Immortality.When we dwell in this thought, how can we ever be low and ignorant?

– Sathya Sai Baba


Reflections on Sathya Sai Memories – Sai Baba Quotations

 

….swami9599

The Heart filled with compassion and generosity

is the temple of God. ~ Sathya Sai Baba

……..

When you realise the Self, then there is no separate individual. You can think of individuals as different light bulbs. There will be differences in wattage. There will be differences in age, in colour, in form, in name. One is a tube light and another is a bulb light. There will be differences in shape, but everywhere the current that powers them is the same. That current is you. You are not a bulb which appears different from any other bulb. You are the current, the one current that is found in all the bulbs. That is who you are. – Sai Baba

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aaswami490

 


Sai Baba Gita- Sathya Sai Memories

Sai Baba Gita – Through Arjuna Krishna taught the Whole World

Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is the Sanathana Sarathi, the timeless charioteer, who communicated the Geetha Sastra to Adithya and helped Manu and king Ikshvaku to know it; He was the charioteer of Arjuna during the great battle between good and evil fought out at Kurukshetra. When the rider, Arjuna, was overcome with grief at the prospect of the fight, Krishna instructed him in the science of recognising one’s oneness with all, and removed the grief and the fear.

N. Kasturi

and so the story goes:

Krishna had a similar intent when he taught the Gita to Arjuna. Arjuna was also a sacred person, and he had qualified himself for the teachings by his character and his high ideals. Arjuna had control of the senses; he had won a great deal of spiritual power from the penance he had performed. He had, to a large extent, suppressed his worldly attachments. He had a highly developed intellect and had become skilled in many arts. And he had surrendered himself to Krishna in true humility.

Krishna decided that Arjuna was ready for the highest wisdom and resolved to turn him into a truly wise being. With the intention that if Arjuna could be corrected, the whole world would benefit thereby, Krishna took great care to give these sacred teachings to Arjuna. Arjuna had both the capacity and the virtue to rise to great spiritual heights. That is the reason he had been given a number of titles. The Sanskrit word arjuna means one who is pure.

Another title Krishna gave Arjuna was the sacred-hearted one; another was the jewel-of-men. Arjuna was such a powerful person that he could, if he wanted to, undertake acts which would terrify the entire world. But Arjuna always acted purely in keeping with righteousness. He earned the right to use a powerful weapon which could not be wielded by any other living person of his day. Originally, this weapon belonged to Lord Shiva. This same fearsome weapon which was originally with Shiva and then with King Janaka in an earlier age, in Krishna and Arjuna’s time, became the Gandhiva, Arjuna’s formidable bow. By earning the grace of Shiva, Arjuna was able to obtain this magnificent weapon. In every respect Arjuna was an outstanding hero, and it was such a noble and righteous human being that Krishna chose to teach the Gita, so that the entire world would benefit thereby.

It is through your mouth that you offer food to the stomach. Then it is through the stomach that the food reaches the entire body. In the same way as food reaches all the limbs of the body when offered to the stomach, the Gita was given to a pure and selfless person such as Arjuna so that it might reach the entire world. One of Arjuna’s names is Parthiva which means son of the earth. All of you are children of the earth. Since Arjuna may be considered an outstanding representative of all mankind, Krishna felt that the whole world would in time be transformed by converting him into a sacred person.

NextSai Baba Gita, Compiled and edited by Al Drucker – Published by Atma Press –
http://www.atmapress.com – ISBN: 0963844903Online Edition:
http://www.atmapress.com/saibabagita/index.html