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Vishaya, the Visha

Discourse of Sathya Sai Baba, Prashanthi Nilayam, 6 September 1963
Published by Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust
Web posted at Jan 13, 2001

Kalluri Veerabhadhra Shaasthry has made Aanandha well up in every one of you by his clear and moving description of the incidents of the Bhaagavatha. His words were apt and sweet; his comments revealed the inner significance of the events; he made all partake personally in the life at Brindhaavan, of the families of the cowherds during the time that Krishna was among them. Some persons feel intoxicated by the emotions or they get near mad, on account of the devotion they have. But such overpowering emotions have to be mastered. One has to transform Bhakthi into Jnaana and become stronger thereby.

Man's life is meaningful only because he can use it to see God. The goal of life is the final merging in the sea, God. You should not fill life with the world; that will make it a vanity fair, an insanity fair. Listen to all such things as will draw you towards the principle of Godhead; then, think it over in the silence; make it part of your consciousness. This process of Manana (reflection) makes you a man; that is the test of man.

Sensory Objects are Man's most deadly Poison

Veerabhadhara Shaasthry described the scene of Kaaliya mardhana (Krishna's dance on the head of the serpent). Well, Kaaliya is a huge big serpent, full of poison, rolling in death and destruction. He is the representative of man, rolling in sensory objects, poison so far as its effect on life is concerned. Vishaya (sensory object) is the most deadly Visha (poison). When Krishna danced on the head of Kaaliya, (incidentally I might add, you should make your hearts as smooth and soft as the hood of the snake), the poison was all vomitted! And the serpent was subdued. When God is revered, the world and all its poisonous fumes recede and you are restored to original health. Make the name and form of the Lord dance upon the hood of your heart. Krishna had no Vishaya-vaasana (attachment to sense objects) and so, He could plunge into the pool and call out to Kaaliya and jump on to his hood and trample on it and squeeze the poison out. If you are deep in the mire, you cannot pull out another who has fallen into it. Be on the bank; do not get caught. You are now struggling in the mire of Samsaara (worldly life), the slithery mud of attachment. So, how can you trample on the snake? You can save yourself only by calling on God, who is free from Vishaya and who is on the bank. Hold His hand and He will pull you on to hard ground.

Krishna never parted in those days from Balaraama; but, that day, He came alone, without him. He was wearing a necklace of green beads; a nose-ring of pearl; and in his right ear, a ring of pearls. He wore no shirt or coat; just yellow silk round his waist and a kerchief wound round the head, or rather, thrown carelessly round one end this way and another end that way! The peacock feather which is described by poets and sages, was not always worn. It was struck up, only off and on. Of course, peacocks abounded in Brindhaavan then and they are found in plenty even today. On his bare chest, there was a mole which could be clearly seen, an inevitable mark of all Avathaars, including the Sais.

Krishna had no objective Desires

Krishna saw the carcasses of animals which had died when they inhaled the poisoned air, near the Kaaliya pool; birds had fallen dead on the ground. Nothing green could survive in the neighbourhood. As soon as Krishna jumped into the pool to save the region from the serpent's havoc, his companions ran home to bring the parents so that they could intercede and stop the foolish pranks of their mischievous son. They were in great panic; only Raadha was calm and collected. She knew that for Him, it was a minute's fun, a moment's Sankalpa (resolve). He had no Vishaya (objective desires) and so Visha (poison) could not affect Him.

Even objective desires will be transmuted into higher spheres of purity when one approaches the Lord. Nothing against Dharma can stand the Presence of the Lord. That fire will consume all impurities; and, people forget that Krishna was just eleven years old, when He finally left Brindhaavan, the scene of the Raasaleeela, towards Madhura and from thence to Dhwaaraka. The Bhaagavatha itself explicitly says that. But, it is ignored, because the minds of the people and the poets who want to see sensuality in the Raasaleela are vitiated by Vishayavaasana (attachment to sense objects).

The boy, Dhruva, went to the forest to do Thapas and get from the Lord a boon, so that his father might treat him as lovingly as he did his half-brother. But, as he progressed in Saadhana, that wish was forgotten and more lofty ones came to occupy its place. The Lord, once He enters the mind will rid it of all evil. Raam (God) and Kaam (desire) cannot coexist; Lord and lust cannot be together. How then could the Gopees have any body-consciousness, when they adored Krishna?

The Lord never does anything without Purpose

Krishna had already announced His glory to the cowherd maidens by such divine miracles as the uplifting of the mountain Govardhanagiri. He had proved Himself superior to Indhra, Brahma and Varuna. He had manifested the universe in His mouth and showed that He had come on a divine mission to destroy the wicked and save the good. There is no Loukikam (worldliness) in their behaviour; it is all Aloukikam (other worldly).

The Lord never speaks a word without relevance or significance; never does He anything without appropriateness or purpose. Garuda is the symbol of Karma with the two wings of Shraddha (faith) and Bhakthi (devotion), the bird on which the Lord will take His seat, the Hridhaya Vihanga (the heart as the bird). Raadha is Prakrithi (nature), known as Dharaa (universe), which helps you to think about the Aadhaara (support), in a regular Dhaara (continous flow).

The incident of the rope is another instance. Krishna felt that it was time to reveal His truth and so, just as He showed all creation in His mouth when His mother asked Him to show her His tongue, when she suspected He had eaten sand, He made even the longest rope too short to bind Him. It became the talk of the place and every one felt he had all the 14 worlds in Him!

Know the secret Passage to the Heart of the Lord

Avathaars choose the time and the mode of announcement of their advent and their glory. Even in this Avathaara, such miracles had to be done when I decided that the time was opportune for taking the people into My secret.

Let your mind ever dwell on Krishna of such stature. Sanctify every word and deed by filling it with Prema of Krishna or whatever name and form you give to the Lord you love. The gold of which an anklet was made, can become the gold for the crown on the head of a temple image; only it has to be melted it in the crucible and beaten into shape. The waters of the river might be dirty; but, the Bhaktha who sips it with a Manthra or a Sthothra (sacred sound or prayer) on his lips, transmutes it into a sacred Theertha (sanctified water). The body becomes healthy by exercise and work; the mind becomes healthy by Upaasana (devout contemplation) and Naamasmarana (remembrance of the divine), by regular, well-planned discipline, joyfully accepted and joyfully carried out.

Ahimsa (non-injury) is the rice; Arpitha (dedication) is the gram; Praayaschittham (expiation) the raisins; Paschaaththaapam (repentance) is the jaggery. Mix all these well with the ghee, Sadhgunam (virtue). That is the offering you should make to your Ishthadevatha (chosen deity), not the paltry stuff you make out of articles got for a paisa in the shops! The Gopees knew this secret passage to the heart of the Lord and they realised Him quick and fast.

The Lord has no Hatred in Him

You have heard that Krishna is Murali-Maadhava, and what exactly is the Murali? You must be the Murali (the flute). Let the breath of Krishna pass through you, making delightful music that melts the hearts. Surrender yourself to Him; become hollow, Vaasana-less, egoless, desireless; then, He will Himself come and pick you up caressingly and apply you - the flute - to His lips and blow His sweet breath through you. Allow Him to play whatever song He likes.

The Lord is all Prema. He has no Dhwesha (hatred) in Him. Once at Shirdhi, a certain Dr. Pillai came with much suffering, and he prayed that he might be given ten births with the chance of dividing the pain into ten parts, so that he could suffer a little each time and pay off his Kaarmic debt, without being hard put to it having to pay it all off in one! He was informed through Kaaka Saheb that he should fall at the feet of Baba and as he did so, Baba got the pain transferred to himself. For ten minutes, Baba suffered, at the rate of one minute for each Janma (birth), and thus he rid Dr. Pillai of his obligation. Baba was quite normal, as soon as the 10 minutes were over.

Prema must be many-stranded in order to be strong and tough. A single strand is too weak. Have it many-stranded, one towards the mother, another towards the father, other strands towards husband, wife, friend, son, daughter, etc. Of course Prema is all-embracing, it cannot be confined to one item and denied to another. It is a current that flows over all. Meditation on the Lord and His Prema will help you to tap it from the depths of your heart.