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Date:13 Sep 1999 Occasion:Ganesh Chathurthi Place:Prashanti Nilayam

Ganesha - Lord of Buddhi and Jnana

He who has understood the truth that the God (Siva) and the individual (Jeeva) are one and the same is the true Brahmajnani (one who has known the Brahman). Siva and Jeeva are not different from each other; the same divine Atmic principle is present in both. One who has realized this truth is the one of wisdom. The objective of human life is to understand this truth. One cannot be called a human being by his physical form alone. Human life is the noblest. Human being has another name, Paartha, which means Prithvi Puthra (son of Mother Earth). All the powers that are present in Mother Earth are present in man also. None can visualize the powers that are latent in Mother Earth. One can understand the presence of these powers in earth only when one conducts a deep inquiry and investigation. Man, as he is born of Mother Earth, also has an equal potential. The powers that are present in man are infinite, unfathomable and hidden.

It is said in the Mahabharata that the Pandavas spent 12 years in exile (Aranyavaasa) and one-year incognito (Ajnaathavaasa). Ajnaathavaasa means living amidst people without revealing the identity. Likewise, though there are infinite powers in man, they do not reveal themselves. These are known as Ateeta shaktis.(Transcendental powers).These are psychic in nature and have been termed so by the scientists. Magnetic power, electric power, power radiance and radiation power are among the manifold powers latent in man. But for these powers, man cannot eat, drink, move, laugh or do anything for that matter. Man, though blessed with such powers, is forgetting the latent divinity and is leading the life of an animal. The reason for this is the perversion of Buddhi (intelligence). Our ancient epics like the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Bhagavata give many instances to illustrate this. Krishna went to Hasthinapura as an emissary to bring about a compromise between Kauravas and Pandavas. Duryodhana, due to the perversion of his Buddhi, did not pay heed to Krishna's counsel. Though he knew what is Dharma, he did not put it into practice. What happened to him ultimately? He ruined himself. Similar was the case with Ravana. Though he was one of penance and great wisdom, he did not pay heed to the good counsel of his wife Mandodari, Narada and other saints and sages. Ultimately, he too ruined his life. The same can be said of Hiranyakasipu also. He was a great scientist. The modern scientists could only reach the Moon, but Hiranyakasipu could even go beyond the Sun and the Stars. Such a great scientist did not adhere to Dharma and ultimately met his doom. Vali, on being questioned by the sages as to why he banished his own brother, Sugriva from the kingdom, he gave a concocted version of the truth, magnifying Sugriva's mistake, concealing his own. Again, the reason is the perversion of his Buddhi. In Mahabharata, Amba put the entire blame of her predicament on Bhishma, ignoring her own folly, and developed hatred towards him. Similarly, Viswamitra developed enmity towards Vasishta for no fault of his. Great scientists like Galilio, Schrodinger and others, who were on par with Newton and Einstein in terms of knowledge, also could not comprehend reality due to the perversion of Buddhi (intellect). Today the modern man considers Truth as untruth, Dharma as adharma and vice-versa. Bharat since ancient times has given utmost priority to Sathya (truth), Dharma (righteousness) and Nyaaya (justice). In spite of knowing what is truth and righteousness, the modern man is not adhering to them due to the perversion of his Buddhi. Not merely that, he is forgetting the truth and distorting the meaning of Dharma itself. What is considered Truth by one is being considered as untruth by another and vice-versa. Does the fault lie with Sathya and Dharma? No. Mistake lies in the manner in which Buddhi is utilized. The Gayathri considers the intellect as superior to the senses.

Ganapathi is the embodiment of Buddhi and Jnana (wisdom). Truth emerges out of wisdom and ultimately leads to Ananda (bliss). This is the teaching of Ganapathi. "Trikaala Baadhyam Sathyam" (Truth transcends three periods of time). The injunction of the Vedas is Sathyam Vada, Dharmam Chara (speak the Truth and follow Dharma). But nobody pays heed to this dictum. Today people misinterpret Truth as expressing in words, what is seen, heard and experienced, as it is. Similarly Dharma is misinterpreted as acts of charity.

All these pertain to Praakruta Sathyam and Praakruta Dharma (worldly truth and worldly Dharma). This is related to outward path (Pravrutthi). The inward path (Nivrutthi) is related to the fundamental Truth and Righteouness (Moolaadhaara Sathya and Dharma), but today no one seems to be taking cognizance of this, leave alone practicing them. Vedokhilo Dharma Moolam. The Veda is the basis for Sathya and Dharma. God is the embodiment of Sathya and Dharma. So whatever God says is Sathya and whatever He does is Dharma. It is the primary duty of man to obey the command of the Lord. Disobeying the Divine command amounts to transgressing the fundamental principles of Sathya and Dharma. Truth is God. Today the world is in disarray, as the principles of Sathya and Dharma are not scrupulously followed. Today man feels proud of his intelligence. Greatness does not lie in merely possessing intelligence. It has to be converted into skill. Only then will there be balance in human life. Man can acquire wisdom only when he converts his intelligence into skill. But due to the effect of Kali, man, instead of converting intelligence into skill, drops the 's' and kills it. As a result, his Buddhi is perverted and there is imbalance in human life.

Under any circumstances, one should never disobey God's command. The consequences will be disastrous if one were to disobey the Divine command. None can escape the fruits of his/her actions. One may be a great scholar, worship the family deity or even go to the forest and undertake severe penance, yet one is bound to face the consequences of one's actions. Whether you dip the container in a small lake or a mighty ocean, the amount of water collected depends on the size of the container, you cannot expect more. Likewise, you get what you deserve. One may don ochre robes and turn the rosary innumerable times, yet one is bound to face the consequences of his or her actions. However, if one is the recipient of Divine grace, one can overcome the effects of any Karma (action). (Telugu song)

Sunlight enables man to perform various actions. Yet the Sun remains unaffected. He is just a witness. Likewise, God is the eternal witness. He is unaffected by what happens around. Clouds, which owe their existence to the Sun, cover the Sun itself. But that does not in any way diminish the brilliance of the Sun. Similarly God does not stand to lose anything if man, who owes his existence to God, derides Him. Man will certainly reap the consequences of his actions, God is not affected by them. Just as the clouds originate from the Sun, likewise, Manas, Buddhi and Chitta arise out of the Atma. Mind is responsible for all suffering and rebirth. So mind has to be diverted towards God in order to escape from the cycle of birth and rebirth. One can overcome the evil effects of one's actions by focussing his mind on God. Mountains of sin will vanish like the mist. God's grace can eliminate your sufferings. For every action there is bound to be a reaction. But, with the help of Divine grace, one can escape from the consequences of one's karma. In fact, one can rewrite one's own destiny if one has got grace as in the case of Markhandeya. He was given only 16 years of life span. But he was unaware of this until the night before he turned 16. That night he found his parents full of sorrow. On enquiry he was informed that his end had approached and that was the cause of their sorrow. Hearing this, he went to the temple of Easwara, hugged the Sivalinga and prayed intensely. At the appointed hour, Yama, God of Death cast his noose around the neck of young Markhandeya. As he was hugging the Linga, the noose fell around the Linga also. Infuriated, Easwara appeared and cursed Yama to death. Pleased with the devotion of Markhandeya, He blessed him to remain immortal. This only drives home the point that through sincere prayer, one can earn Divine grace, which helps in manifold ways. God is not separate from you. He is present in your body. Body is the temple of God.

Who is Ganapathi? He is the Adhipathi (master) of all ganas five senses, five elements and five life sheaths. Human body consists of five sheaths - Annamaya (food sheath), Pranamaya (life sheath), Manomaya (mind sheath), Vijnanamaya (wisdom sheath) and Anandamaya (bliss sheath). Man progresses only up to Manomaya. He is unable to go up to the sheaths of wisdom and bliss. One has to take refuge in God in order to reach the state of bliss.

Elephant is known for its intelligence. Ganapathi is depicted as having elephant's head as He is very intelligent. Ganapathi is also known as Vinayaka, meaning one without a Nayaka (master). He is the master of Siddhi and Buddhi. So, one has to pray to Vinayaka in order to acquire Siddhi and Buddhi. You have to make proper use of your intelligence in order to earn the grace of Vinayaka. Shun bad company. Seek good company. Only then will your life be redeemed. Very often I remind the students "by joining bad company, you become slaves. You should be masters, not slaves. You all know what happened to Kaikeyi on listening to the words of Manthara. As her intelligence was clouded, she believed the words of the wicked Manthara. When the intelligence is clouded, truth appears as untruth and vice-versa. Due to the effect of bad company mind gets polluted. So right from the tender age, "Tyaja Durjana Samsargam, "Bhaja Saadhu Samaagamam,

Kuru Punyamahoraatram, Smara Nithyamanithyathaam" (run away from bad company, join good company, undertake righteous actions, enquire into that which is permanent and that which is ephemeral). One should not develop unnecessary contacts. Your interactions with others should be limited to basic, courtesies like, "Hello, how are you? Etc."

Newton wanted to know whether the creation has emerged on its own or is there an unseen force governing it. He conducted extensive research for several years to know this truth. Ultimately, he gave up all the scientific experimentation and turned inwards. Within a span of 9 days, he realized that there is a 'divine hand' that is responsible for the entire creation, its sustenance and its annihilation. Other scientists like Einstein, Schrodinger, etc., came to the same conclusion.

The modern scientists are not aware of the magnetic power and the electric power that are present in the human body. Our body may be compared to a small generator. The Jataraagni (digestive heat) is the source of heat energy in the body. Before partaking of food, you chant the Sloka,

Brahmaarpanam Brahmahavihi
Brahmaagnou Brahmanaahutam
Brahmaivatena Ganthavyam
Brahmakarma Samadhinaha

Immediately, you get the reply from within,

Aham Vaishvaanara Bhoothva
Pachaam Annam Chathurvidham

God who is present in the form of Vaishvaanara in you, digests the four types of food that you partake of. Jataraagni is responsible for the electric power in the body. Human body is a conglomeration of different faculties heat, light, sound, electricity etc. Such divine energies are wasted in pursuit of worldly comforts and luxuries.

Whatever happens in life is good for you. Never be disheartened when you face difficulties in life or afflicted with diseases. Have firm faith in the power of the Atma. One who recognizes the power of Atma will not suffer. The panacea for all suffering is chanting of God's name. Have the firm conviction that you are God. Never be under the mistaken notion that God is the master and you are His slave. You do not have a master, you are the master. Master the mind and be a mastermind. Follow God's command and earn His grace. Nothing else matters in this world. Many are under the illusion that they have achieved something great in life by amassing wealth, but they do not realize that they have to go empty-handed when they leave the world. Do not get carried away by these illusions (Bhraanthi). The principle of unity in diversity is Brahma and viewing multiplicity in unity is Bhrama.

Nations are many, but earth is one;
Stars are many, but sky is one;
Jewels are many, but gold is one;
Cows are many, but milk is one.

This is how you should visualize unity in diversity.

Who is Ganapathi? Make every attempt to understand the significance of the names Ganapathi, Vinayaka and Vigneshwara. You are Ganapathi yourself. This morning, you have all heard Susheela sing a song, "Adugaduguna Gudi Undhi" (there is temple at each and every step). Our body itself is a temple of God. "Deho Devalaya Proktho Jeevo Devo Sanathanaha" (body is the temple and the indweller is God). The Jeevanajyothi (light of life) that is present in the body is Paramjyothi (the Supreme Light) itself. This light is not subject to change and cannot be extinguished. The body is bound to perish one day or the other. The body may die, but not the mind. Such a mind has to be controlled. That is the true Sadhana. You will not have any troubles if you offer your mind to God. Mind is very fickle. It is not steady even for a minute. So, it should be ever engaged in work. Only then it can be brought under control. What is the work you should assign to the mind? Let the mind be a watchman at the gate of your nostril. Let it observe who is going in and who is going out. Then the mind will understand that 'So' is inhaled and 'Hum' is exhaled. 'So' symbolizes that which is good (Divinity) and 'Hum' stands for that which is bad (ego). So the mind will understand that the Divinity has to be taken in and ego has to be given up. This principle of 'Soham' is known as Hamsa Gayatri. Mind is like a mad monkey. Unless it is kept busy, it will go according to its whims and fancies. The only way to control a monkey is to make it go up and down a pole repeatedly. Likewise, mind also has to be kept busy thinking of God.

Embodiments of Love!

You are under the false impression that today is the birthday of Vinayaka, but He has neither birth nor death. He has neither beginning nor end. He is the eternal witness. All the festivals of Bharat are suffused with deep inner meaning. They are highly sacred. Festivals are not just meant for preparing delicious items and consuming them. They are meant to remind us of Divinity. On festival days, you decorate your houses with buntings of green leaves and also you wear new clothes, discarding the old ones. Likewise, you should give up your old rotten habits and cultivate new and sacred ideas. Never disobey the command of God. If you do so, you will ruin yourself like Ravana and Hiranyakasipu. They developed hatred towards God and ultimately died in the hands of God. Never doubt the existence of God. He is everywhere. Ek Prabhu Ke Anek Naam (Names may be many, but God is one). Never forget Him. Contemplate on Him incessantly. That is the main objective of human life. What is that you have to offer to Vinayaka on this day of Vinayaka Chathurthi? Today people spend lot of money in offering various fruits to God. All these offerings are made only as a ritual. Ultimately people themselves consume them! No benefit accrues from making these offerings. Pathram, Pushpam, Phalam and Thoyam - these are the four things that you should offer God. Here Pathram (leaf) means body. This body may wither away at any moment. So never develop attachment towards the body, instead offer it to God. Pushpam (flower} means Hridaya. This flower will never fade away. Mind can be compared to Phalam (fruit) and Thoyam stands for tears of joy. All these four should be offered to God. This is the offering that God expects. I hope that you will put into practice what has been said and sanctify your lives. I bless you all and bring My Discourse to a close.

[Bhagavan concluded His Discourse with the Bhajans, "Hari Bhajana Bina..." and "Pibare Rama Rasam. . ."]