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VI
Seeing Only the Divinity Everywhere

 

   

Recognize the defects and weakness of things. One day or another, all the things existing in the world have to undergo modifications and change. The same five elements that are to be found in your body and the bodies of all other beings are all that you will ever be able to discover in the world. Whatever you may search for in this world you will soon discover that you are really just seeking the five elements; they are all you will ever find in any of the things of the world. But since they are already within you, what is the point of seeking them in the things outside? It is natural for you to seek and aspire for something which you do not have. But it is unnatural to seek and aspire for something which you already have. There is only one entity which transcends the five elements, and that is divinity. This is what you should aspire for. Jnana or wisdom, is seeing that One everywhere. That all-pervasive unity is the Atma. Seek out this unity and keep it constantly in view. When all your actions are based on Atma they become sacred and pure. When all your activities are performed for the sake of Atma or for the pleasure of God, then you become sanctified and filled with wisdom. A number of Rishis, right from ancient days, have made heroic efforts to attain this state of Stithaprjna, of being ever established in the highest spiritual wisdom.

   Once upon a time, the King of Greece, Alexander, reached the banks of the Sindhu river. He intended to conquer and plunder India, and for this purpose he had come with a big army. In those days there were no royal roads; the few roads that existed were more like footpaths. The king crossed the banks of the Sindhu river and entered the forest with his army. The scouts preceding the army found a Yogi lying under a tree, legs spread, deep in sleep. This Yogi had reached the stage of Stithaprajna; he was a wise man. One soldier went up and awakened the Yogi and told him to move out of the path, but the Yogi was indifferent to the efforts made by the soldier. He did not move. The Greek soldier started threatening the Yogi, telling him that the great emperor of Greece, Alexander, was coming with his army, and that this emperor had decided to invade India and plunder the entire nation. While the soldier was shouting at this Yogi, Alexander arrived on the scene. The Greek soldier was enraged to see that even after the emperor had come, this Yogi remained completely indifferent. The Yogi was not paying the proper respect and courtesy due to the emperor. At this, the soldier threatened to cut off the Yogi's head.

   The moment that the Yogi heard that the enraged Greek soldier wanted to cut off his head, he started laughing loudly, and stood up. On the Yogi's face there was no trace of fear; he was thoroughly serene. The emperor saw the great effulgence on his face and he spoke to him. "After hearing my soldier threatening to cut off your head, why are you laughing so loud? If you were an ordinary person you would immediately surrender, prostrate before him and ask for pardon. But you are only laughing. What is the meaning of this?" The Yogi replied, 'I am the embodiment of Sat-Chit-Ananda, I am eternal truth, awareness, bliss. I am ever free. Your weapons can never harm me. Fire cannot burn me. Water cannot wet me. Wind cannot blow me away. I was never born and I will never die. I am the immortal Atma; that is my reality. Here this soldier is threatening to kill me by cutting off my head. This is what provoked me to laughter." The moment the emperor heard these words, he was very surprised. He thought, "It is quite natural for people to get frightened when they are about to face death, or when someone threatens to kill them; but rarely will anyone laugh and be so happy when they are about to die. In India, there are people who have attained such a state of excellence in spiritual life that they are not even afraid of death. How can I plunder such a nation? No, I won't do that." Having resolved on this, he turned his army around and went no further into India. From times immemorial, great beings such as this Yogi have existed in India, and by the way in which they led their lives, have taught various other nations the highest truths about spirituality.

   A number of powerful kings have created great mansions and palaces, enjoyed luxurious comforts, eaten a variety of luxurious foods, traveled in luxurious cars, and indulged themselves in countless vanities, all the while thinking that they were enjoying all the great pleasures available on the earth. However, if one were to think a little more deeply as to whether a king was enjoying the luxuries or whether his luxuries were enjoying him, then one would have to conclude that it is these luxuries which were enjoying him. It was he who was being enjoyed by the sense objects. They were literally eating him up. Soon he becomes weak, he becomes diseased and gets old. If he had really enjoyed the sense objects, he would have attained unbounded health and strength; but as he was being enjoyed by the sense objects, he loses all his health, and his life span gets reduced. Not recognizing this truth he temporarily experienced some happiness. He kept his vision on these transient sense objects without realizing the consequences which were to come his way because of his desire to enjoy them.

   A particular person went to an astrologer who could read palms. The person showed the astrologer his hand. The astrologer mentioned that he had a certain line which meant that he would be very wealthy. The moment the person heard this he was overjoyed. After observing his hand some more, the astrologer told him that he would get a lot of honors. The person felt even more joyful. Then after examining the hand still further, the astrologer said, "You are going to occupy a very high position." The man felt so happy, it was as if he had just been told that he would become prime minister, that very day. After a while, the astrologer told him that he was going to get many children. Joy was now heaped on joy. Then after telling all these things, the astrologer said, "But your life span is going to be very short!" The moment the person heard this, all his joy left him; he got very dejected and shrank down in despair. The inner significance of this is, whatever may be your property and wealth, whatever position you may occupy, whatever honors you may get and however many children you may have, if you do not have sufficient span of life, then what will be the use of all these things? If you are not going to be permanent, then how can these things be of permanent value to you?

   True and permanent things cannot be obtained, and can never be found in this world. All that you see in the external world is only a reflection of what is inside you. That one truth within you that is all-pervasive and ever unchanging is Sathyam, Sivam, Sundaram, that which is eternally true, eternally auspicious, eternally beautiful. Make every effort to obtain that permanent truth. Try to live in this auspiciousness; be one with the divinity which is the very embodiment of all beauty. After explaining the qualities of a wise man to Arjuna, Krishna directed him to enter the battlefield. Krishna told him, "Keep all your attention on Me. Concentrate on Me alone. Obey My commands and do your duty. For the purpose of discharging your duty this body has been given to you. It is on account of your actions in the past that you have gotten this birth; now, by making all your actions sacred and proper you will sanctify your life."

     
       
   

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