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Good Vision

Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

73rd Birthday celebrations Discourse
November 18, 1998

Uthsaaham Saahasam Dairyam
Budhi Sakthi Paraakramam;
Shadethe Yathra Vadanthi
Thathra Thistami Devatha

Embodiments of Love, students, boys and girls!

In the person who has all the six qualities of enthusiasm, daringness, courage, intelligence, power and valour, there will be divinity throughout his body from top to toe. Many people are engaged in the search of self-knowledge. Many approach preceptors who profess to teach them and many more study sacred scriptures. Yet, they cannot acquire the knowledge of the Self. The reason is that all these efforts are only worldly-wise and external pursuits. These pertain to the Pravrithi or External Path. They are all negative. It is extremely difficult to acquire self-knowledge through these external pursuits. Buddha was indulging in all such spiritual Sadhanas in pursuit of Atma Jnana (Knowledge of the Self). He went to many preceptors and studied several scriptures. But he was not satisfied with all these efforts. Finally he took a decision. He understood that all these pursuits can at best give only mental satisfaction but cannot bring enlightenment of the Self within. He found that these external pursuits yielding mental satisfaction were only pertaining to the physical and phenomenal world. He understood the truth that only when man controls his five senses he can hope to attain Atma Jnana (Self-knowledge).

He found out the truth and declared that one should first have good vision (Samyak Drishti). Humaness loses its meaning if one has no such good vision. It does not mean only what you see with your physical eyes but the vision of your heart. This dhrishti (vision) should emanate from the heart. 'Yad drishyam than masyam"; whatever you see with your eyes is liable to vanish sooner or later. Only when you develop this good vision you will have good feelings (Samyak Bhaavam). This feeling should be from the bottom of heart. This will come out through the tongue as (Samyak Vaak) good words. This will in turn make you listen to good things only. This will lead you to good actions. Therefore, the basic factor for man's good words and deeds is good vision. When the heart which is akin to a tank is filled with pure water, the acts of seeing, hearing and speaking which are like taps connected to the tank, will also be pure and good. Seeing good, hearing good, speaking good are all consequences of the good heart and constitute the basis of spiritual sadhana too. All these sense organs, are only interacting with external objects and radiate negative tendencies. Only when they are associated with heart, they turn positive.

For example, you have so many bulbs of different varieties here. They are all negative. Only when the positive current passes through them, they shine with luminance. Because the aspirants today are seeing with physical eyes, hearing with ears, and talking with their tongue due to the influence of mine, they are not able to have any progress towards spiritual wisdom. Only when they turn to their heart, they can progress positively towards knowledge of the Self.

Buddha practised for six long years for the development of good vision.

He used to sit on a hillock and concentrate on a single star throughout the night. Dhrishti (vision) is very precious. If the vision is spoiled the entire life is ruined. So, we must cultivate our vision as sacred, looking only at good things. You should not underestimate the value of the good vision. You need not do any other sadhana. If you develop good vision, it will purify your life. Therefore, every student should develop good dhrishti that is, seeing only good things. In the worldly physical aspect, suppose you are walking on a road, you have to keep your eyes on your path so that you may not get into accidents. On the other hand, if you turn your eye on either side of the road towards other objects, such as wall posters and cinema hoarding, you will be exposing yourself to accidents. While you are liable to such dangerous accidents in the physical world, the disasters you may encounter in the spiritual path will be much more serious. As we say "Start early, drive slowly, and reach safely"; in respect of journeys on the road, even in the spiritual path, you have to cultivate Samyak Dhrishti (good vision) early in the life. Never look at bad things and untruth. Let not your looks turn to unholy things. Turn them to the Divine. The entire Universe is manifestation of the Divine. Whatever you see, consider that as manifestation of Divine. In fact, God dwells in every one as Atma- This is conscience. The Divine is Universal Conscience. Unifying this conscience with consciousness is real good vision.

We say often peace, peace, peace. Where is peace? It is not in the outside world. "You are the embodiment of Peace. You are the embodiment of Truth. You are the embodiment of God." Everything is within you. You have to develop this outlook even from your young age. You have to develop good vision. Only then you will have good feeling. It should emanate from the heart. It should not be confined to utterance from your lips only. Only when feelings come out from heart you will do good action. That is why I often say "See no evil; see what is good".

Without your looks and feelings not being pure, any amount of spiritual practices will only be a waste. There is a small example. If you dig a well on the sea shore, or very near to the sea, you will get only salt water. Similarly, if you start spiritual practice with your eye and mind on worldly things, you will never succeed in getting good result in spiritual progress. The worldly view should be transformed to spiritual view turning your vision inwards. Only when you develop good vision you have all other good things following, like good feelings, words and hearing.

In your life, when you make proper use of the five elements you can make good spiritual progress. As long as you do not turn your view in the proper direction it will be like attempting to get sweet water in a well adjoining seashore. Even if you make such effortss for years together and for ages there will be no use. You should have good feelings and good dhrishti. When once you make the five senses sacred, you will be in right direction. There is no use in going through scriptures and approaching preceptors. You have to make efforts to make your vision pure and direct it to Divine.

Students, your looks and words should not strain any body and cause pain to others. When once you control your vision, hearing and speaking you will have good progress. Buddha did this successfully and attained Nirvana.

At the time of Buddha's attaining Nirvana, his brother Ananda was apparently in sorrow. Buddha told him "Ananda, we are embodiments of bliss peace and Truth. You forget this inner truth, peace and bliss. You think that the peace you seek is outside. You want to attain peace from the outside world. It is not at all real peace. It is ignorance to consider that you can get peace from the world. God has given us five senses which are within us. The one who is the inner enemy has to be conquered before you seek to meet the external foes. The bad qualities are your inner foes. The only way to put them down is to have good vision which will fill your heart with good feeling". Therefore, students should first take care of their vision. This will help you avoid bad words. You should be careful in your utterances. By talking too much, the kindness and compassion of the heart will decline. If you talk less, your life span will be enhanced. So students should not have hatred towards others nor should they abuse or criticize others. You should realise the Divine present in every one. If you abuse or criticise others, you are insulting the Divine within. You should recognise the conscience in every one which is a reflection of consciousness around and the manifestation of Divinity. What is inside is positive and what is outside is negative. You should combine the positive and negative. But man today is filling his heart with negative tendencies only. Such a one cannot experience divinity at all.

There was one great devotee by name 'MANICKA VAASAGAR', in Tamil Nadu.

He was good to all. If you have a compassionate heart you will be recognised by people as a good person. The heart with compassion is a temple of God. Once, Manicka vaasagar was walking along the road. There was a sudden downpour of rains. He was looking for a shelter. He found one house in the vicinity. No one was there and the small front verandah was empty. He took shelter there. He could stretch his legs and lie down comfortably. Little later another person who was also seeking shelter from rains came there. Manickavaasagar beckoned him and accommodated him saying that where one can lie down two can sit. A little while later ,they saw another person drenched in rains and offered shelter for him. Manickavaaasagar readily accommodated him saying that three could stand in the place where two were sitting. This is an example of the feeling "Help ever-Hurt Never". Sacrificing the comfort of a single person lying down he accommodated two more persons. This is the example of a person with compassionate heart. Helping others with expansion of love is real sadhana. In fact, you can help others in many ways. But it is the loftiest way to share with others what little you have. When all are happy it is one plus one plus one and so on. It goes on expanding. Then it becomes union with consciousness. The conscience within you is reflection of the universal consciousness. By good vision you will have all other good things. Without this, there is no use of studying scriptures. There will be no human values. The Divine Wisdom is within you and not outside.

Students, Today's youngsters are the elders of tomorrow. If you want to be good citizens of future you have to develop this good dhrishti (vision) from now on. You must look at all with divine feelings. Whatever you say, say it with divine love. Thus, good vision, good words and good hearing should be practised. Because of practising these, Buddha was able to attain Nirvana.

What is Nirvana? It is nothing but sayujya (Merger with the Divine). When you get a small vessel full of water from ocean, it is enough to prove the quality of ocean water. That is why the scripture says the same Divine is microcosm and macrocosm (Anooraneeyam, Mahathor Mahaneeyam). When you plant a seed in the soil you have to pour water and put manure and tend it so that it may grow into a big tree. In Gita, Krishna declares "Beejam Maan Sarva Bhoothaanaam". (I am the seed in all beings). A seed becomes a big tree giving hundreds of fruits. In all these fruits the same seeds are there. That is why in Gita it is declared that Lord is the seed. The whole world is a tree and all countries are its branches. Basing on the culture of each country, the branches give fruits. The humanity is the fruit of the tree of the world. Every fruit has got the seed which was planted for this tree. This is evident from the Gita declaration "Mamaivamso Jeevalokhe Jeevaboothas Sanaathana". It is the primordial seed that is in every one of the beings.

There is only one that manifests in many. We consider them as different.

Students, as soon as a child is born, it loves its mother. Later it recognises father. Later, as a boy or girl one goes to school and acquires friends. You will get enemies too. Enemy or friend only depends on your outlook. If you consider one as a friend he is a friend or consider as enemy he is enemy. When you have divine feeling you will see all as embodiments of the Divine.

Embodiments of Love/Students:

Study what you have to. But develop good vision. In the physical world, you should seek the spiritual content. Take the example of fruit. It is good to look at and tasty when it is just ripe. If you keep some more days it becomes rotten. You get a foul smell. Though there is such change in the form and content of the fruit the seed remains intact. Because of your attachment to the worldly, you have worldly feelings. Prema or Love is constant and there is no change. The same person is called father by his sons, his daughter-in-law calls him as father-in-law, grandson calls him grandfather. Each one calls the same person in different names and enjoys the relationship with different feelings. The single person is viewed and called differently by different persons based on their relationship.

Because of the influence of the Kali Age we find the outer world with many types of people. There is no peace anywhere. Peace is within and not outside. So you have to develop the inner vision which is good vision or Samyak Drishti. Ramana Maharshi was intent on developing this Samyak Drishti. He caught hold of a fruit and inscribed the letter "AUM" on its surface. After sometime, as the fruit decayed the letter also was mutilated. Then he thought that because of his inscribing on the fruit which was subject to decay even his vision of immortal "AUM" also changed. The pursuit of physical world can never give you spiritual enlightenment. You should have feelings towards eternity to achieve good vision. This is the Truth. You are pursuing external objects. How can you realise the Eternal Truth within?

For example, suppose you have an unadulterated gold of 24 carats. This is highly valuable. After sometime, you add copper, silver, brass etc. As you mix other metals with it, the form of gold changes. You can't even recognise whether it is gold or silver or copper or brass. Because of mixing other metals, the nature of gold has changed. This is true of our mixing with worldly objects too. At the time of birth, man is pure. Excepting mother, the child has no other vision. But as the child grows other relationships affect the child. Later, friends come and change his attitude and feelings. So we cannot recognise the original true man. It is difficult to recognise whether one is human, demon or divine. Why does man suffer today from pain, sorrow and troubles? It is because of his association with others. When gold is mixed with other metals it loses its purity. So is the case with the human. As a result of these you have to be born again and again. All your miseries are of your own making.

Your vision should be divine and not worldly. Whatever you see you must have the feeling of seeing the divine. Consider your mother and father as divine without considering physical relationship. When you look at everyone you should develop the feeling that you are seeing Divine. That is why Sankara said, "Sarvam Kalu Idham Brahma". All this is only manifestation of Brahman. Just as gold is declining in value when associated with other metals, man is losing his value by bad company. Man forgets his true nature and suffers from ignorance. How easily it is to consider all as Divine and love all. There is lot of happiness in this. If you limit it to the body you have narrow feelings.

Looking at Ananda, Buddha gave him good counsel before attaining his Nirvana. Buddha's mother died soon after he was born. Her sister Gautami brought him up as foster mother. That is why Buddha is called "Gautama". Later Ananda was born to Gauthami. Both Ananda and Buddha grew up with great mutual affection even closer than brothers born of same mother.

When Buddha was about to attain Nirvana, Ananda shed tears. Buddha told him. "Your name is Ananda - You are embodiment of Bliss. Why should you feel sorry and cry? Don't you like my merging with the Paramatma?"

Then Ananda wiped out tears and replied, " I am happy about your Nirvana. I am only feeling sorry as I don't have Nirvana as we have grown up as two bodies but one Heart. I cannot live without you. So please grant me also Nirvana." Buddha replied, "Nirvana or Sayujya is not one that can be conferred by anyone else. Divine communion can't be got from a teacher or any outside agency. It has to be attained only by oneself contemplating on the Divine which is the basis. Don't consider me as your brother. Develop Samyak Drishti." When Ananda heard this he developed this Samyak Drishti and went into a state of Real Bliss. At that stage Buddha attained Nirvana. Ananda did not notice this. He was not affected by this because he changed his vision and became conscious of the Divine.

Nowadays people see God also as worldly. In those days even world was seen as God. Now man wants to know about world. In those days everyone wanted to know about 'Inner Self". What is the use of knowing about the world? The world is full of sadness. The world is full of poison (Vishamayam) not Chinmayam (divine). You should consider all as Divine.

Consider parents as God and serve them. Whomsoever you serve, consider that as serving Divine.

Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was questined by Vivekananda as to whether he had seen God. He said, "Yes. I have seen God as I am seeing you now". He asked "why I am not able to see?". Ramakrishna replied "Oh, Student, today people cry in the world for family, children, wealth and other things. Does any one cry for God? When you give up other things and cry for God "you will see Him without fail." In fact, we struggle hard for worldly things. Are we making at least one thousandth of these efforts for the sake of God? You are making efforts all the time for this ephemeral and paltry things of the world. You spend just few minutes in prayer. That is all. Just spend sometime at the Lotus Feet of the Lord. You spend lot of time for your worldly things. If you pray to God wholeheartedly and with steady feeling you can get His Grace. You must have the steady faith. That is good vision. With this Samyak Drishti, Ananda also merged in the Divine.

You know air is all around. You take balloon and blow some air into it. To make the air inside, merge with air outside, you have to pump air more and more when it will burst and the air inside merge with air outside. As the limited air merge with unlimited air, the conscience inside the individual merge with the Universal Consciousness. In order to achieve this merger, one should cultivate Samyak Drishti (good vision)

Students, you have come from far-off places to see Swami. You have such good feelings. You study any subject. Do any profession. But do everything with the feeling that it is Divine work. Everything is Divine. You see this kerchief. This is not cloth. It is made of threads. You remove the threads; there is no cloth. The basis is cotton. The one you think you are is cloth. The one others think you are, is thread. The one you really are, is cotton. The combination of thread and cotton has become cloth. "Thwameva Matha, Pitha Thwameva." Everything is God. Your father, mother, relative, friend, your education, wealth all are only god. When you have this Divine feeling you also become divine. When once your vision is good, everything is good. No need to study scriptures. Your vision itself makes you good.

Drishti is Srishti. Your word is Veda. "Sabda Brahma Mayi, Charaa chara Mayi, Jyothir Mayi, Vaang Mayi, Nithyananda Mayi, Paraathpara Mayi, Maaya Mayi Sree Mayi". All these come only from one Entity. It is sound, movement, light, word, bliss and everything. You have heard harmonium being played. While playing this, some air is giving different sounds. Sa, ri, ga, ma, pa, da, ni, through operation of different reeds. One sound is the basis. You can not change it. It is good vision. As you go by roads, it is like going by different names and forms. Buddha found that no scriptures or preceptors could reveal the Truth to him. When Guru Himself has no Ananda (Bliss) how can he give you Ananda? Consider God as Guru, father, mother etc. Because of this body you have mother and father.

Vyasa had the same experience. His son started to go to forest seeking emancipation. Vyasa was calling him "Kumara (son). Son Sukha said, " I am not your son. You are not my father. You and I are Brahmam. Because of body relationship you have this illusion." Then Vyasa got back his wisdom and said, "Yes. You are right, my son. The bodily relationship is ephemeral. Atma is eternal.". Anantho Hai Vedaha". The wisdom is infinite.

You, children of different countries have exhibited today, the culture of respective countries very well. There is no use of all this cultures. The only culture is the culture of Love. Develop this love. Do not hate anyone. Vivekananda once questioned Ramakrishna, his preceptor, as to what will happen to his parents if he takes up Sanyasa.

You are going to witness this in the drama to be enacted by students of the institute on 22nd November. Ramakrishna laid his hands on Vivekananda's head. He forgot himself. He was experiencing the vision of the Goddess. He was in blissful state. After sometime, he came back to his normal state and questioned Ramakrishna as to what he did to make him forget himself. Ramakrishna said, "I did not do anything. Your own imagination came as a reflection, resound and reaction and immersed you in bliss. As you were thinking of God with your pure heart, this was the experience conferred by the Divine and not by me" . Then he asked his preceptor, "Who am I ". Ramakrishna was very happy to answer this question with a smile, "Narendra, Narendra, you are you. Narendra is a name given by your parents. This body of yours was the gift of your parents. Your reality is you." Therefore, what we have to learn now is about oneself and not about others. Why should you bother about others?

Know yourself. That is important. You go on filling your head with matters from all over the world by reading the newspaper. You are collecting information about others, but not about yourself. "Who am I?" Then your vision will go inwards. You think you are very intelligent and knowledgeable. How did you acquire this knowledge? How do you develop it? In the past V.V.Gokak and myself used to discuss about these things. I used to tell him, "You have skill knowledge".

But people are killing knowledge now. Man has lost his balance. Even while walking on the road or going by cycle you need balance. Now balance is lost in life and you are in confusion. You must maintain balance and skill knowledge. That is Samyak Drishti.

Even scientists proclaim they are going on making new discoveries. Nothing is new. They are already existing. All these things are only external, transient and negative. You must make efforts to combine positive with negative. This is Samskara or Refinement. If you mill paddy and make into rice its value enhances. Similarly you must refine your life discarding bad habits as husk and increase your value. You must earn good name. If students of Institute lose their name, it reflects on the Institute. It is evil company that may spoil your name.

So, seek good company. Cultivate good words, good thoughts, good vision and do good deeds. Sanctify the actions done through all the five senses which are given by God. Offer all actions to God.

The Argentina devotee told about how Swami changed the watch for him. It is all due to his complete faith. Swami wanted to encourage the spirit of faith in him. If the faith is absent, the result will be bad.

Sankara said that the six qualities that mark the divinity in a person are :- Uthsaaham (enthusiasm), Saahasam (boldness), Dhairyam (courage), Buddhi (intelligence), Sakthi (power or energy), Paraakramam (valour). When these six qualities are there, one is reflecting Divinity. But the six foes for man that prevent him from becoming divine are, the Arishadvaga, six bad qualities namely lust, greed, anger, pride, jealousy and hatred.

You should become ideals reflecting the divine qualities and get rid of the bad qualities. Then you will be happy, you will make the society and nation happy. Good name is God's name. Goodness is Godliness. If you have no good qualities none will come to you. The goodness should blossom from the heart. Suppose there is a water tank provided in a village; Taps are also provided every where and a Minister is invited to inaugurate the supply of water. But when the tap opened there is no water flowing. The reason is though they provided tank and taps at great cost, there was no connection between the tank and the taps. Your heart is tank full of kindness. Your senses are the taps. You must connect your senses to the heart. Then only goodness will flow through every sense. You will see good; hear good; speak good; think good; and do good. The connecting link is "Love". When there is love everything will be accomplished perfectly. Hence cultivate "Love".

Bhagavan concluded His Discourse with the Bhajan "Prema mudhitha Manase kaho Rama Rama Ram

Bombay Srinivasan (Prashanti Nilayam)