Lovely Sai Leela, 4/17/2018
Om Sai Ram Lovely Bhaktas of the Lord of the Universe
This morning I re-read a passage from Sadhana the Inward Path by Sathya Sai Baba,
"The Deeds, good and bad, performed by the body do not infect the Jiva.
All that is done with the body is experienced by the Jiva through the body itself.
It is not proper to think that the sins performed by the body and experienced by
the mind can be attributed to the Jiva. Jiva has got eternal contentment.
The sins committed by the body do not affect it. The Sadhanas are not really
for Jeevanmukthi but for attaining and appreciating this distinctiveness of
the body from the Jiva and to get over the illusions relating to the body.
When Tukaram was asked how men can keep this monkey mind from running after sensuous pleasures, he replied to the enquirer, "Let the monkey run; you keep quiet where are you are; do not let the body go along with the monkey-mind. Tell the mind, "I shall not give you the body as your servant." Then, the mind will desist and can be defeated. Just as there is a method to be followed even in pulling down a house, there is a method in pulling down the complex structure of the mind.
The ladder must be as tall as the height to which you want to climb, is it not? Your Sadhana to curb the mind must be carried on step-by-step until Sakshathkaram is gained. The rice in the pot must be well boiled and become soft and sweet. Until that happens, the fire must burn. In the vessel of Deha, with the water, that is to say the Indriyas, boil the mind and make it soft. The fire is the Sadhana. Keep it burning bright; the Jiva will at last become Deva.
He, who is able to fully control his senses, will be in a position to attain liberation or Moksha.
As I read these illuminating verses from my bible, Sadhana the Inward Path. I wondered what exactly is the Jiva, I have always thought of jiva as the individualized Soul, although not completely sure what that means either. And further, in these passages Swami seemed to make a distinction between the Jiva and deeds performed by the body and mind, guessing the ego is part of all this. This made me ruminate on the idea of free will. Some have said that there is no such thing as free will, since all that exists is the One Self. But Swami clearly is describing the body/mind/ego complex as something that performs deeds, good and bad.
I decided to go on the internet and look up the meaning of Jiva according to Sathya Sai Baba. I clicked on an article that randomly came up: https://us.sathyasai.org/devotion/discourse/jeeva-and-dheva
As I imbibed the sacred words trickling down from Heaven, our Lord described the Jeeva as the individual Soul. I continued reading and had to laugh since I came across a story Swami related about a Yogi who had gastritis. Just last night due to sheer greed I ate a chocolate coconut candy before bed. The candy bar was delicious Russel Stover sugar free candies but with a caveat - it had stevia in it. Alas, it also had maltitol in it, which has in the past given me gastritis. I wanted to believe it was just a small amount so I gobbled the delectable morsel down and was awakened 2am in morning with a terrible attack of gastritis in my chest area. Luckily it was on my right side so I didn't panic thinking it was my heart. Anyway, I was up from then until about 4:30am dealing with painful trapped gas.
As I read on, my eyes grew wider and wider. Tucked within those precious passages were the words I had just read in Sadhana the Inward Path:
When the One became many, when the One manifests as Prakrithi composed of the Five Elements, do not imagine that its value is affected thereby. When a rupee is changed into tennaya paise coins, its value is not decreased at all. So, see Nature as Supreme Soul, not as multiplicity of sense-impressions and sense-attractions. Wherever your eye turns, whatever your ears hear, your fingers touch, your tongue tastes, and your nose smells, whatever has form, sound, touch, taste and smell, take that also to be God-filled. Do not allow the mere sound, the mere taste, etc. to captivate your senses. See the divine in each, welcome and accept only that.
When Thukaaraam was asked how man can keep this monkey-mind from running after sensuous pleasures, he replied to the enquirer, "Let the monkey run; you keep quiet where you are; do not let the body go along with the monkey-mind." Tell the mind, "I shall not give you the body as your servant." Then, the mind will desist and it can be defeated. Just as there is a method to be followed even in pulling down a house, there is a method to be followed even in pulling down the complex structure of the mind.
The mind can be pulled down by systematic efforts and you can become master of yourself. You might ask, can such a mighty force come down? Well. When We were nearing Rishikesh on our way back from Badhri, Governor Raamakrishna Rao also asked Me the same question. I asked every one to come beyond a certain point on the road in a matter of minutes. Everyone was surprised that I was ordering them to get down from the cars and buses and scurry forward in hot haste. I told the Governor that the projecting rock on the mountain by the side of the road will slide very soon on the road and block it. He asked Me "Is it possible?" Within a few minutes, after every one had come forward to a safe distance, the rocks fell and the road was blocked for a long time, until debris was cleared. The ladder must be as tall as the height to which you want to climb, is it not? Your spiritual practice to curb the mind must be carried on step by step until Saakshaathkaaram (Realisation) is gained. The rice in the pot must be well boiled and become soft and sweet. Until that happens, the fire must burn. In the vessel of 'body,' with the water, that is to say the 'senses,' boil the mind and make it soft. The fire is the Saadhana. Keep it burning bright; the jeeva will at last become Deva.
Immediately I realized these passages were something I had to study and put into practice. Later, I got ready to go out. As I was traveling in my car down a relatively local road, to my great delight our SAI truck appeared in full view. After finishing my duties again our Lord's SAI truck crossed my path.
All these celestial incidents are not coincidences, they are Swami's way of letting us know that He is eternally with us, guarding, guiding, answering our sincere queries. As Lord Sathya Sai Baba's Mahasamadhi approaches let us celebrate the Divine Presence remembering: "The fire is the Saadhana. Keep it burning bright; the jeeva will at last become Deva."
Lots of Prema