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Knowing that this world is a luxury, you must be grateful to God for blessing you with a human life. ‘A¬Rô¡V Uô²P ©\®!‘ Do as much charity and as much penance as you can. That is your passport to the other world.
"Rô]Øm RYØm ùNnYôWô«u Yô]Yo SôÓ Y¯ §\k§ÓúU"
This world does not accommodate the poor, and the spiritual world does not entertain those who lack Divine Grace. ùTôÚs CpXôodÏ CqÜXLm CpûX AÚs CpXôodÏ AqÜXLm CpûX.
Earn. Work. Be with your family. Do charity in some way, may be sharing your knowledge, serving others, do anything you can. This will help your sojourn in the other world. Give without hoarding. Knowledge is the greatest legacy you can pass on to your children. Nôuú\ôu BdÏRp RkûRdÏ LPú]! Your children will not know the pleasure of hard work if you bequeath them wealth. Guide them on the path of devotion; teach them good manners. Let them grow up on the strengths of the virtues you impart to them. Meanwhile, do charity and you will have a smooth passage to the other world. But beware! In the name of charity, do not give away your wealth to undeserving persons. Donate to worthy persons. Tôj§Wm A±kjÕ ©fûN CÓ. You will get good harvest, only when you sow your seeds on fertile soil. RôXôt± RkR ùTôÚs GpXôm RdLôoÏ úY[ôuûU ùNnRol ùTôÚhÓ.
Charity is not restricted to wealth alone. Charity can be rendered through any means; it can be the sharing of knowledge or medical services, distribution of food. In ancient days, generous persons constructed 'chowltries' (chathirams; rest houses) to shelter and feed weary and hungry pilgrims. It was considered a blessing to be able to distribute food to yatris (pilgrims).
Kaalamega Pulavar, on one of his pilgrimages, knocked at the doors of ‘Kaathan Chathiram’, near Nagapattinam. The caretaker was a lazy and cunning fellow who did not understand the noble purpose of the rest-house. The poet-pilgrim never got food on time; if he asked for supper, what he got was breakfast the next day morning. Frustrated, the poet wrote on the walls with charcoal:
LôjÕd LPp ãr SôûL LôjRu Nj§Wj§p,
AvRªdÏm úTô§p A¬£ YÚm, Ïj§ EûX«P Fo APeÏm
Au]m CûX«P ùYs° GÝm!
the ‘Kaathan Chathiram’ at Nagapattinam that is cradled by the waves,
grains are available for cooking at sunset.
The town would have slept by the time it is placed on the oven
and the morning star would have risen by the time it is placed on the
plate. This can also be interpreted thus: 'Food is
available even at night-time; the food offered fills your empty stomach,
and whatever be the time you visit, you will be served food hot from
the oven'. This
is the mark of a good rest-house; food is available anytime and
available hot, and is served with affection.
Wealth, if not used for good purposes, is equivalent to a toxic tree that poisons air. SfNlTPôRYu ùNpYm SÓq F¬p SfÑUWm TÝRtß. When a noble person gains some wealth, he immediately uses it to uplift the needy, like a well that gives water to everyone. And it must be rendered on time. Water quenches thirst, but what is the use of fetching water after someone collapses from thirst? LôXj§]ôo ùNnR Su± £±ùR²àm OôXj§u Uô]l ùT¬Õ . Timely service, small though it be, is greater in value than the Earth, itself.
the first step towards self-realization is: understanding that worldly possessions are false. Next step
is: knowing that God is the
only immutable power and He is our only refuge. And subsequently embark on the voyage towards
You maintain a separate travel kit containing your toiletries, maybe a toothpaste sachet, sample soap, a small comb and so on, to use during your travel, don't you? You have made ready everything that is required for your short-distance travels in this world. Have you prepared yourself for the long-distance travel beyond? When you start thinking thus, you will realize that nothing belongs to you, and start scoring victories in your quest, victory in terms of knowledge of Truth. Then you will be able to distinguish Truth from deception. When the Lord of Death comes to take possession of you, none gives you company. GUu YÚm úYû[«p Rm© Rû]Vo ÕûQVôúUô? But the world does not understand this Truth.
one of his visits to Vishnu loka,
Narada found Vishnu
(Lord Narayana) in solitude. He
asked the Lord, 'I thought you would be very busy; but you seem to be
relaxing', to which Narayana laughed in jest, 'Well,
no one seems to have time for me in this Kali yuga; people are engrossed
in the luxuries of the world'. Narada
refused to believe this. So Narayana
said that if Narada could find a person willing to come to Deva loka (
This is the state of affairs in society today. People pursue perishable commodities. Just like the dog gnaws at a bone, unaware that the taste is caused by its bleeding jaws, so too, people do not realize that what they think as the pleasures of this world, are, in fact, pain.
Pattinathar laments, Rôn RûP Guú\u. RôWm RûP Guú\u. R]Vu RûP Guú\u. C² Gu ùNnúLu, Gu ùNnúLu?
That is why Arunagirinathar says, 'Never again will I lose myself in the pleasures of accumulating property, women and gold'. ALm, UôÓ, UPkûR Gu\ êYôûN«p UVe¡ §¬úYú]ô? A snake swallowed a frog. Not realizing that it was imprisoned in a serpent's jaws, the frog was trying to trap a fly. Similarly, not knowing that our end is near, we try hard to hoard material possessions, and fritter away our precious lives.
If God seals you with your expiry date, like how medicines have an expiration date stamped on them, you will not get caught in illusions, will you? (Laughs). Persons imagine that they are destined to live for 100 years and that early death is only for others. Death can occur at any second. That is why wise men declare, 'I wasted my life in worldly pursuits, and did not make a single garland for the Lord of Thirutthani, the Lord of Wisdom.' EmTo TWÜm §ÚR²ûL UûX úUp CÚlTôodÏ ÕmTdÏPûX GÓdLôUp AYX Y«tû\ Y[olTRtúL ApÛm TLÛm AûX¡u\YRXôp £YdL¦ûVf úNW LÚÕ¡uú\u.
who knows that the world is an illusion, seeks the 'Maamaayan'
Buddha said, 'This world is false. This world is filled with miseries'.
úXôLm ãuVUVm. úXôLm ÌuVUVm.
And you must remember that he knew the contrast much better; his journey from Siddhartha who revelled in worldly pleasures to Gautama Buddha, the Enlightened One; a single visit out of his palace revealed to him that age, disease and the resulting peevishness are a result of man's ignorance.
King Yayati married Sage Sukracharya's daughter. And he also involved himself with the lady's maid. Sukracharya, infuriated by his son-in-law's immorality, cursed him to turn old. The King begged for mercy, and the sage told him that the curse could not be revoked, but the king could request the princes to exchange his old age for youth. The king thus obtained fresh leases of life from his sons. After several years of revelling in worldly pleasures, Yayati realized that the only way to get out of his desires was to drop them.
Desires do not vanish on their own accord. You must take the effort to free yourself from desires. It is you who are attached to the world, not the other way around. At\Õ Ttù\²p Et\Õ ÅÓ. When you become aware that the world is transient, you will seek the Only Eternal Being, God. When you reach that state, you will learn the three ways of protecting your mind from disturbances as elucidated by Arunagirinatha, 'O Mind! Here are the three ways of safeguarding yourself from the onslaught of desires.
1. Give without hoarding - LWYôÕ CÓYôn.
Do charity in some way, may be sharing your knowledge, serving others, anything you can. The fragrance of a flower remains in the hands of the one who has held it, even after it is discarded. You will find joy in giving, regardless of whether the recipient has felt the happiness or not.
Koti Mahaan, a Saint who was in a position to give anything to the seeker, used this simple way to liberate persons from their ignorance. If someone told him, 'You are God; only you can free us from our miseries', the Saint would smilingly take whatever money the person had with him, or confiscate the person's watch. Kotiswami had no need for any of these worldly trivialities. This was his way of impressing upon you, your dishonesty. And if persons tried to outwit the Saint by leaving their possessions in the gate and then deliver the same dialogue to Koti Mahaan, the saint would flash an innocent smile, and pick up their possessions from wherever they had left them. I am narrating you this to make you understand how dishonest persons are, with themselves. The world is very illusory.
2. Contemplate, always, on the Lotus Feet of the Lord - Y¥úYp CÚRôr ¨û]Yôn ¨û]Yôn.
Whatever you do, have your thoughts focussed on the Lord, in any form you like, be it Perumal or Siva or Muruga. Have the Lord in your thoughts always. Sip coffee assuming that the Lord is sipping it from within you. When you bathe, imagine that you are performing ‘abhishekam’ to the Lord. Dress well, knowing that you are adorning the Lord. When you eat, consider it as ‘neivedyam’ to the Lord. Seek God within.
3. Know that the Lord is the Doer, you are His chosen instrument - ®ÓYôn ®ÓYôn ®û] VôûYÙúU.
you perform charity, it is possible that at one stage, you become conceited.
To avoid this, remind yourself that you are the
custodian of God's money; it does not belong to you. God has entrusted you with His wealth, so that
you may perform more charity and therefore accumulate virtues on your
When you diligently work on these three factors, what does God do? Arunagirinathar says, 'I must neither remember you, nor forget you.’ It is only when you forget that you have to remind yourself of His Presence. So, Muruga, place your Lotus Feet in the lotus blossom of my heart.' LÚRô U\Yô ùS± LôQ Eu CÚRôr Y]_m RW Gu±ûNYôúV! §²Vô] Uú]ô®ûX ÁÕ A¥Vôo AW®kRm AÚm×YúRô! Footprints are visible only on soft earth but will they be visible on a cemented surface? Only if your heart is mellowed, will the Lord's Footprints be visible on it. How will God present Himself on hard surface? Azhwar sings, 'O Lord! Let my heart mellow with constant thoughts of you!' B¥ B¥ ALeÏûZkÕ U]m Sô¥ Sô¥ SW£eLô G]. Arunagirinathar states that the reason for his ‘Kandar Anubhuthi’ verses are, 'so that my stone-hard heart may mellow'. ùSgNd LQdLp ùS¡rkÕ EÚL. Why should the stone-surface mellow? Only when the surface is soft will the Lord's Footprints be visible.
When you contemplate on all these factors and try to do good in the best way possible, you will know that since there is no way to discard this physical form that has been ordained by the Lord, it is better to start seeking the Lord within. And when you start looking within, you will start imbibing divine qualities. You start becoming Divine. Till then you are 'half man, half beast' (Baba smilingly hums the lines 'Manithan paadhi, Mirugam paadhi' from ‘Alavandhan’ movie) When you start doing good, you are in the process of becoming divine. And when you comprehend that you are God, you will never stoop down in life. Ruû]V±V R]dùLôÚ Rôr®pûX.
Why must you know yourself? So that you understand that you are not this physical form that you assume yourself to be; you are an aspect of the Divine. And then you will accept the bouquets and brickbats handed down to you, with equanimity, because you know that it is the God within you who is receiving them. If someone garlands you, he or she is garlanding the Lord within you. If someone ridicules you, he or she is ridiculing the Lord within you. Surrender everything that happens to you, to the Lord within. This is the state of self-realization. When you attain this state, there is nothing you have to do. Arunagirinathar sings, 'Grant me that I may understand that You and I are one' ¿ úYß G]ô§ÚdÏm Sôu úYß G]ô§ÚdÏm TY¾Rm AúsYôúV! Then you will be in constant bliss. And to reach this state, you must overcome the barriers of worldly attachments. When you try to cross this hurdle, God Himself will guide you. Till you attempt to free yourself from these worldly fetters, God will be a silent spectator.
There is only one difference between an Agnaani (ignorant person) and a Meignaani (realized person). An agnaani's soul watches in silent amusement, the person fooling himself with the bodily illusions of this world. When someone realizes that this physical form and the world it is attached to, are false, then this physical form starts enjoying the bliss of the Supreme Soul within.
NÃWj§u úbxûPLû[ BjUô W£jÕdùLôi¥ÚlTÕ AdOô¦«u EPp. BjUô®u NujLôWjûR, ARu lWTôYjûR NÃWm úY¥dûL TôojÕdùLôi¥ÚdÏm Oô¦«u Epp!
Siva Shankar Baba is happy always, in a constant state of ecstasy, because he has become a Gnaani (realized person) by God's Grace. I can bring forth any Divine Aspect from within Me, because the physical form is able to visualize that aspect of Divinity as the soul guides it. I am seeing with my physical eyes, everything that goes on at the soul level. I am able to visualize Muruga dancing on His Golden Peacock.
you want this to happen to you, overcome your attachment to your physical
form during your lifetime. Learn to see the Light within.
Familiarize yourself with the sound vibrations
within you and you will attain that bliss. Then
nothing in the world can affect you. No one can disturb your poise.
You have comprehended God's presence within you.
And He will start performing
for you. You can extend this to help anyone who seeks your help. That is how it happens to me. I have
realized God within, and so He attends to every task of mine.
He knows what is needed for me.
You have come to me, because of your faith in my Divinity. I tell God within me, 'These persons have come to me with faith. Please take care of them'. If prayers are powerful enough to ignite the power from within an idol, how much more powerful a human form can be! Pamban Swamigal vows, Guû] ûL®¥àm Guû] Sm©]ôûW ûL®úPp! He means to say, 'Even if you let me down, do not let down those who have come with the faith that I am You'. This is the thinking pattern and living philosophy of a Gnaani. It is possible for you too to attain this state. You only need to set out on your quest for Truth, then results start happening. That is what Jesus means by saying,
Ask and you shall receive
Knock and the doors shall open
Seek and you shall attain.
Unfortunately, persons are asking for or seeking worldly
trinkets. It is difficult for you
to believe me when I say you are seated on water. But dig the ground and you will find water at
some depth underground; continue digging, you will hit oil, and if you
dig deeper you may strike gold. If
your search is true, you will truly find what you are searching for.
If your search is for Truth, you will attain
Truth. úRÓYÕ EiûUùV²p EiûU«p AÕ ¡ûPdÏm. To strike gold, you will have to dig deep. You
know that Pillaiyar (Lord Vinayaka) is one form that can
be moulded into any substance, be it clay or turmeric or gold. I have
dug deep within me, and I have become a gold Pillaiyar. Let us assume you are not able to put in as much
effort as I did. Dig till you hit clay at least. I will then be able to mould a clay Pillaiyar
of you. And you will be worshipped
on Vinayaka Chathurthi day! It
does not really matter if you are not yet able to become a gold Pillaiyar.
If you nurture the drive to become at least a
clay Pillaiyar, you will become a Pillaiyar. And you know that Pillaiyar is the principal deity; all prayers are directed to Him first.
So it will be worth your while! This
is what spirituality is all about. But, you
must initiate that thought.
Quotations by Baba
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