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You are Freed!
Discourse of Sathya Sai Baba, Prashanthi Nilayam, 21 Feb
Do not be misled by what you see; what you do not see with your eyes is much more significant. Why waste your life without achieving its purpose - namely, knowing and experiencing the truth? Come, come with Me, you can make your life worthwhile; you can succeed.
Man has in him all the bliss, as well as all the equipment needed to unravel it; but, he is caught in dire ignorance of his own inner resources. He can have supreme peace but, he does not strive to earn it; his attempts are weakened by doubt and indecision, and so, they are doomed to failure. Of course, there is the flow of water underneath the ground. But, how can we benefit by it unless efforts are made to dig down into that source? A good deal of 'desire-for-sense-satisfaction' has to be removed before that inner spring of peace and joy can be tapped.
Your lives are essentially of the nature of Shaanthi (peace); your nature is essentially love; your hearts are saturated with truth. Rid yourselves of the impediments that prevent their manifestation; you do not make any attempt towards this, and so, there is no peace or love or truth in the home, the community, the nation and the world. The husband and the wife do not live in concord; the father and his sons are involved in factions; even friends do not see eye to eye! Twins take different paths. For, they live in a competitive warring world of passions and emotions. It is only when God is the goal and guide, that there can be real peace, love and truth. The divine must be revered at all times; what pleases the divine must be understood and followed.
Feel that all your Skill and Strength are God's Gifts
The Raamaayana gives two examples of such consecrated lives, those of Aanjaneya and Lakshmana. Aanjaneya (Hanumaan) dedicated every moment of his life, every wave of thought, every twitch of muscle, to his master, Raama. When Raama sent him in the southerly direction on the mission to search for Seetha, he was neither elated on being thus recognised as an efficient instrument nor depressed at the dangerous nature of his task. He knew that Raama would confer on him the skill and strength needed to fulfil the errand; in fact all his skill and all his strength were 'His gifts'. To feel that he was too weak an instrument was, he concluded, an insult to Raama's omniscience and grace.
Lakshmana too was a mighty hero, for, he drew strength from the divine itself. And, he had no other strength. Once while moving about in the forest as exiles, Raama instructed him to choose a nice spot and erect a Parnashaala (green-bower) thereon, for Seetha and Himself. Lakshmana was so shocked with pain at this that he fell on the ground; he lamented that he had fallen from grace. Raama said that he had 'risen' instead, for, he was asking him to select the site himself.
That was the very reason why Lakshmana felt he had fallen: "Have I a will apart from yours? How could you ever imagine that I could exercise my judgement independently and select a site myself? Tell me, where and how; it will be done. But, I have no judgement of my own; I have surrendered it long ago." That was the reply of Lakshmana.
Bhajan must become an unbroken Stream of Bliss
You too declare that you have surrendered; but, that is just a verbal statement. If you sit in a car, you go along with it; on the cycle, you move with it; on a horse you go wherever the horse takes you. But, in this case, you say and perhaps you believe that you have placed yourselves in My hands and so, you are going along the path I have laid down. But, your mind and your heart are not fully in Me and so, the surrender is only in name.
As a sign of this deed of surrender and in order to sustain it, nothing more is enjoined than constant remembrance of the name. No regimen of exhausting Saadhana (spiritual discipline) is prescribed. Smarana (remembering) is enough. You have recited Bhajans (group singing of devotional songs on Lord's names) extolling the names which summarise the glory, all through the night, after the emergence of the Aathmalinga (symbol of the elemental form of Shiva). But, this is only an appetiser. Bhajan must become an unbroken stream of bliss on your tongues and in your hearts; it must confer on you the uninterrupted awareness of Soham - of the unity of I and He, of This with That. It is called Akhanda Hamsa Japa - unbroken Japa of the Hamsa Manthra, Soham (inner sacred sound formula). I will ensure freedom from anxiety, fear and grief.
Mahaashivaraathri is dedicated to the disintegration of the aberrations of the mind, and so, of the mind itself, by dedicating oneself to Shiva, God. The moon as well as the mind whose deity it is, have each 16 phases. On the Shivaraathri, fifteen of these have disappeared; and, there is just a streak of the moon in the sky. The new moon that follows will have not even that streak visible.
Symbol of Time-Space Manifestation of Divinity
The mind too must be mastered every day until, on the fifteenth day, fifteen phases have disintegrated and only a streak remains to be removed by a final flourish of effort. That is the Saadhana that you did through the night, Bhajan, vigil, fast. When the mind goes, there is more Moha (deluding desire and attachment) and the Kshaya (decline) of Moha is Moksha (liberation).
Smarana is the surest means of mastering the wiles of the mind. You are indeed blessed, since from among the billions of people on this earth, you alone were able to come into this congregation, this presence, on this occasion. People gather in many a sacred place for Shivaraathri, but, you were able to be here on this thrice-holy day and witness the emergence of the Dhasa Angula Swaruupa - the Upanishaths declare that God is Athyaathisthath Dhasha Angulam, the ten-inch-symbol of the Kaala (time), Desha (space) - manifestation of divinity, as described by sage Kapila, the incarnation of Naaraayana Himself. When Kapila who too was the personification of time and space was born, he called upon the Gods to gather in the presence and take Dharshan (audience); his mother who called upon the Gods is therefore named, Dhevaahuthi (she who called the Gods). And, when the Gods came, Kapila asked them, "Don't you know who I am?" Even now all human babies ask the same question as soon as they are born - Koham? (Who am I?).
Having had the unique good fortune of witnessing the emergence of the time-space-embodiment in the Linga-form, I assure you that you are released from the bondage of birth and death. Recollect (and live in the recollection of) that moment of emergence and meditate on the significance of the Linga form. This is the chance that is seldom gained through the performance of Yajnas or Yaagas or other elaborate rituals; or as a result of years of arduous Saadhana. When you are asked what happened at Prashaanthi Nilayam, tell them that your life's mission has been fulfilled, that you were able to witness the Lingodhbhava, see the Linga which emerged during the auspicious hour.
Mystery revealed by Shiva's three-pronged Spear
The Linga, as you can see, is Dhasha Angulam, ten inches in circumference. It has within it, shining with native light the Thrishuul (three-pronged spear) of Shiva, symbolising the three phases of time - past, present and future - and the three dimensions of space - earth, sky and the nether regions, as mentioned by Me already. Time is measured in units of ten (60 Vighatikas, 60 Ghatikas and 360 days for the year), and in this Linga too, as you can see even from where you are sitting, the colour of the Thrishuul inside the Linga changes into a new one, every ten minutes. The handle of the Thrishuul demonstrated the one, of which the three are manifestations. This is the grand mystery that has been revealed to you. You have witnessed the divine creation; you have seen the divine symbol; you have shared the bliss. Out of the world's population of many Crores, you alone secured this fortune. The Shruthis declare the Purusha as splendour, as Jyothi. You have seen the splendour when the Linga emerged; you have seen the triple Jyothi in the Linga itself. No greater fortune can befall a man.
Live hereafter as befits the recipient of this rare grace. Thyaagaraaja the saint-singer sang of the Raama Naama, as being composed of two vital sounds 'Raa' and 'Ma', 'Raa' being the life-sound of the Manthra devoted to Vishnu (Om Namo NaaRAAyana) and 'Ma' being the life-sound of the Manthra devoted to Shiva (Om NaMAs-shivaaya). The two sounds became Raama, the one which became Vishnu and Shiva, just as the Linga is one from which all forms manifest, the elementary form which symbolises the first emergence of the will of the divine. I repeat that you who have experienced the sublimity and splendour of this divine event have acquired thereby merit enormous enough to save you from the cycle of birth and death.
Dwell on this mighty moment, this holy hour that you were privileged to spend here; contemplate the majesty of the event that you witnessed; sanctify your days by thoughts that are sacred, words that are suffused with love and deeds that are in accordance with the grace you have won this day. Alert yourselves, whenever you are prone to deviate from this responsibility. Be ever vigilant that you do not stray or weaken or vacillate.