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Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Parents are your God

Bhagawan has always stressed on the importance of respecting our parents and showing our gratitude to them. He puns on the word "parent" and calls it as "pay rent". That is we need to pay our rent in the form of gratitude to our parents to whom we owe our very existence. In this posting, Bhagawan elaborates on this obligation of every son and daughter. 

There are six Discourse excerpts presented in this posting. These are taken from Divine Discourses given by Bhagawan in the years 1995, 1996 and 2004. 

Each audio clip has a name that adopts the following code: Serial number, Title appropriate to the key content, Duration of the Clip, Year-Month-Date of the Audio Clip. Below the title is the translation in English of the select excerpt of the Discourse, followed by the audio player. The post ends with a short quiz that would help you evaluate your assimilation of Bhagawan's message.    

1. Love your Parents-Show your Gratitude to them-3.25-1995 Aug 23

The most sacred teaching of the Vedas in Bhaarath are three – Matru Devo Bhava, Pitru Devo Bhava, Acharya Devo Bhava. Students, this is one aspect you must always bear in mind in future. Who is God? Mother and Father are God. As soon as you are born, you see your mother. It is the father who nurtures you. Therefore, forgetting these physical God’s who are directly in front of you, trying to seek for God elsewhere is of no use. They are the ones who are with us in our difficulties, loss and sorrows, who understand us, and nurture us. Therefore, your blood, food, head and wealth are parents’ gift. Therefore, first you should express your gratitude to your parents. You must respect them. This is the ideal set by Sri Ramachandra. He followed the command of his father, he gave up the kingdom over which he had full right. Today, even undeserving people desire for a kingdom to rule. Rama stood for truth and obeyed the command of his father and followed his word. He was never worried that leaving the kingdom he would have to go to the forest and face difficulties. Therefore, first respect your parents and follow their command. Follow in their footsteps and lead an ideal life. Then only can you be a true devotee. On one side bringing tears in the eyes of your parents and on the other side worshipping the Lord, what is the use? No no, you must love the beings and chant the name of God. There is no greater devotion than Love. Love, love and love. Love your parents first. If you do not love your parents, you can never have true love. Parents were there even before you were born. Without loving your parents who existed even before you did, if you love your wife who has come in the middle, can you achieve anything? Wife and children are the ones who come in the middle, like passing clouds. Parents are of primary importance. They were there even before you were born. Therefore, first love your parents. Respect your parents. Please them. When you make them happy, your life will be happy throughout.

2A. Gratitude to Parents-1.27-1996 July 10

The one who has no inclination to study becomes lazy. He has lot of time, not that he does not have time. He wastes so much time, money and energy and causes so much anxiety to his parents. They get so worried, “what will happen to my child?” You should bring a good name to your parents. Your blood, food, head and money are gifts of parents. Therefore, first you must express gratitude to your parents. You should never be the cause for any anxiety to your parents. Be such ideal students. It is such ideal students whom I often refer to as ‘bangaroo’, ‘bangaroo’. All of you should become gold. What type of gold? Not roll gold but pure gold.

2B. Parents-Respect Them and Never Cheat Them-0.38-1996 July 08

Therefore, our hearts should be full of noble feelings that enable us to make our parents happy and express our gratitude to them. If you cheat your parents and let them down, and go on the wrong path, you are the worst fellow. There is no use of any education. Instead of studying like that it is better if you beg going from house to house.

3. Take care of parents-serve them-do not claim property-1.43-2004 January 12

The moment we get our degrees, we want to run away to foreign countries like America, Japan, Germany etc. In case our parents visit us there, we ask them to go and dine in the restaurant. The modern education does not cultivate the virtue of even serving food to your own parents. Today children are offering such a gory treatment to their parents. No, no, this is not sacred. This is worst of the sins. You should take care of your parents. You should take them close to you. You must take great care of them as they advance in age. Children start claiming their share of the property once parents come of age. Children are ready to share the property but are not ready to nurture a proper mind. We need a proper mind. That will take us to the Supreme state. Try to attain that Supreme state. The more our education, the more should be the virtues in us.

4. Never forget parents-If you do not respect them-You will get no respect-1.56-2004 January 12

If we do not respect our parents, the dogs too will not respect us. The Bhaaratiyas are ruining their life like this today. Whichever country you may go, whatever position you may be in, you must never forget your parents. The Vedas say – Matru Devo Bhava, Pitru Devo Bhava, Acharya Devo Bhava, Athithi Devo Bhava. They nurtured such noble virtues. Bhaarath has fostered such noble virtues in all of us. When we travel to other countries, it makes us forget our parents too. What is the use of such education? Whoever it may be, first respect your parents and follow their command. Such children will reach great and noble heights in their life. Embodiments of love, students, whatever may be the difficulties, you must take care of your parents. Facing any type of challenges, even working a as coolie, they take care of you and bring you up. If you do not respect such parents today, how do you expect the world to respect you?

5. Make your parents happy-Be good-not necessary to be great-1.20-2004 January 12

Children, you have to learn these habits, nurture these traditions, and earn a good name and recognition in the future. Make your parents happy. They should feel happy that their children are listening to them and following their word. If you earn that one repute, it is enough. You cannot earn God’s Grace by just worship and ritual. People should say – see how obedient this person is to his parents. The more you study, your ego increases. It does not enhance your humility and faith. Therefore, make an effort to increase your humility and faith. Then only you will be the future leaders of the country. You do not need to be great. If you are good, that is enough.

A Short Quiz

1. What is the difference between parents as our God and God?

2. What are the four main gifts from our parents to us?

3. How does Bhagawan set priorities in our love towards our parents and our family members?

4. How does Bhagawan reward ideal students who show gratitude to their parents and respect them and make them happy?

5. How does Bhagawan condemn the act of cheating one’s parents and letting them down?

6. What according to Bhagawan should we do rather than claiming a share of our property from our parents?

7. What would be the result if we would not respect our parents?

8. God’s Grace cannot be earned by mere worship and ritual. What is that one thing Bhagawan expects from His students which will earn them His Grace?

9. How does Bhagawan sum up all His expectations in just one phrase?

Significance of the Gayatri Mantra

The Gayaathri Manthra is perhaps the most universal Manthra that is known and chanted by people across the continents. In this posting Bhagawan explains the importance of chanting the Gaayathri Manthra and its inner significance.

There are four Discourse excerpts presented in this posting. These have been selected from the Discourses given by Bhagawan Baba in the year 1995. 

Each audio clip has a name that adopts the following code: Serial number, Title appropriate to the key content, Duration of the clip, Year-Month-Date of the Clip. Below the title is the translation in English of the select excerpt of the Discourse, followed by the audio player. At the end of all the excerpts, are some personal reflections. The post ends with a short quiz that would help you evaluate your assimilation of Bhagawan's Message.  

1. Gayathri Mantra - Materialization-Vibration-Radiation-2.11-1995 Aug 23

Bhu, Bhuvah and Suvah are within us only
The first line in the Gayathri Manthra is Om Bhur-Bhuva-Suvah. This manthra is imagined to refer to three worlds: the earth, the middle world and heaven (or Swarga, the land of the gods). Bhu refers to the body. It is made up of the five elements (Pancha Bhutas). These five elements constitute nature (Prakriti). There is an intimate relationship between the body and nature. The same five elements that are in nature are also in the body. Therefore, Bhu represents the physical body only. What is Bhuvah? Bhuvah is the life force that animates/pulsates the body (Praana Shakthi). Even if the life force exists, without Jnana (Awareness – which is represented by Suvah) the body will be of no use. It is on this account that the Vedas declare: Prajnaanam Brahma (Constant Integrated Awareness is Brahma). It is by the presence of Prajnaana that the life force is able to animate the body.

The body represents inert matter - materialization. The life force pulsating this body is vibration. This vibration derives its power from Prajnaana, which finds expression as radiation. Therefore, the body, the life force and the Awareness (Atma) – i.e. Bhu, Bhuvah and Suvah are within the body only, not anywhere else.

2. Gayathri-Savitri-Saraswathi and Panchamukhi-4.07-1995 Aug 23

Gaayathri is the Mother of all Vedas
Who is Gaayathri? Gaayathri is not a Goddess. Gaayathri is the mother of the Vedas (Gaayathri Chandasaam Maathaa). She is the essence of the four Vedas. Where is Gayathri? Gaayantham Thraayathe Ithi Gaayathri. Gaayathri redeems the chanter of the manthra. Gaayathri is present wherever the manthra is chanted. 

Gaayathri has three names: Gaayathri, Saavitri, Saraswathi. These three are our very own forms. Gaayathri represents the senses, power of sense. It is the master of the senses. Savitri is the master of the life-force (Praana). Many Bharatiyas are familiar with the story of Saavitri who brought back to life her dead husband, Sathyavaan. Saavitri signifies truth. Saraswathi is the presiding deity of speech (Vaak). The three represent purity in thought, word and deed (Thrikarana Suddhi). The feeling in the mind, the words in the speech and the actions in our hands – all the three must be in unity. This is what is called – ‘The Proper Study of Mankind is Man’. Although Gaayathri has three names, all the three are in each of us: as the senses (Gaayathri), the power of speech (Saraswathi) and the life-force (Saavithri). 

Gaayathri is said to have five faces and hence is called Panchamukhi. Is there anybody in the world with five faces? No. In the Ramayana, Ravana is said to have ten heads. If really he had ten heads, how would he be able to lie in his bed or move about? This is not the inner meaning of this description. He is said to be ten headed because he was the master of the four Vedas and the six Sastras. Likewise, Gaayathri is described as five faced. The five faces are: Om (the Pranava) is the first face. The Pranava principle is the very foundation of everything and it represents the eight different forms of wealth (Ashta Aiswarya – Shabda Brahmamayi, Charaacharamayi, Jyotirmayi, Vaangmayi, Nityaanandamayi, Paraatparamayi, Mayaamayi and Sreemayi). The second face is: Bhurbhuvas-Suvaha. The third face is: Thath-Savitur-Varenyam. The fourth face is: Bhargo-Devasya-Dheemahi. Dheeyo-Yo-Nah-Prachodayaath is the fifth face. When the Gaayathri mantra is understood in this way, it will be realised that all the five aspects of Gaayathri are within each of us. 

3. Description-Meditation-Prayer-Power of Gayathri-1.45-1995 Aug 23

Do not treat the Gaayathri Manthra casually
The Gaayathri manthra has all the three elements which figure in the adoration of God: description, meditation and prayer. We describe God in so many ways as Sachidaananda Swarupa (one of eternal bliss), Karunaamayi (one of love), Dayaamayi (one of compassion). The essence of all these is one - Om Bhur-Bhuvas-Suvah Thath Savitur Varenyam Bhargo Devasya. These first nine words of the mantra represent the attributes of the divine. Dheemahi pertains to Dhyaana (meditation). Dheeyo Yo Nah Prachodayaath is the prayer to the Lord. The mantra is thus a prayer to God to confer powers and strength to our intellect. 

Sarvaroganivaarini Gaayathri: Gaayathri is the reliever of all diseases. Sarvaduhkha Parihaarini Gaayathri: Gaayathri wards off all misery. Sarvavaancha Phalasiddhi Gaayathri: Gaayathri is the fulfiller of all desires.

Gaayathri is the cause for all that is bestowed on us. If the mantra is chanted even once, various kinds of powers will emerge in one. Hence the Gaayathri mantrha should not be treated casually.

4. Chant Gayathri while bathing-before taking food-1.20-1995 Aug 23

Chant the Gaayathri Manthra whenever you can
It may not be possible for you to chant Gaayathri three times a day – in the morning, in the noon and in the evening. Therefore, chant Gaayathri whenever you can, anytime in the day. As you get up late at 8 am, you have to go to school, you have no time and so you may think how you can chant the manthra. This is sheer laziness. After you get up in the morning, do you not brush your teeth, do you not go to the bathroom, do you not take your bath? You must consider chanting of this manthra also as one of your daily duties. When you take your bath, chant the manthra, it will be equivalent to performing Abhishekam (sacred bath)to Gaayathri. While taking your food, before placing the first morsel of food into your mouth, chant the manthra, it will be equivalent to offering Naivedya (sacred offering) to God.

Personal Reflections 

The concept of an Avataar is truly amazing and can never be comprehended in its totality. One aspect that touches me most is the number of discounts and exemptions that the Lord offers when He descends as an Avataar, for the ascent of humanity. He relaxes all the stringent rules and regulations prescribed in the scriptures, highlights the inner significance of all rites and rituals and cajoles humanity to start walking on the royal pathway to Godhood.

Earlier, the chanting of the Gaayathri Manthra and the Vedas  was believed to be the privilege of only the men, but Swami opened up the same for women too. As per the Vedic prescription, the Gaayathri Manthra is to be recited along with performance of the ritual called Sandhyaavandanam, thrice a day - at dawn, noon and dusk. But as we hear in the final clip, Bhagawan says it does not matter where and when you chant - it is enough if you start chanting with sincerity.

We ought to be very grateful to Bhagawan for demystifying so many traditional practices and beliefs held by the masses. Every teaching of His is so simple, clear, logical and pragmatic. Can we still have any reason for not following His message? I guess we have no choice now, but to follow His footsteps and make our life His message.   

A Short Quiz:

1. In the Gayathri Manthra, what aspects of our human personality do Bhu, Bhuvah and Suvah truly represent?

2. Therefore, what is the relationship between Bhu, Buvah and Suvah?

3. Who is Gaayathri?

4. Where does Gaayathri reside?

5. What are the three names of Gaayathri? What do these three names represent?

6. What do the ten heads of Ravana represent?

7. Gaayathri is said to have five faces and hence is called Panchamukhi. What are the five faces?

8. Pranava or Om is the foundation for everything in life and represents all the eight forms of wealth? Name these eight forms of wealth.

9. The Gaayathri manthra has all the three elements which figure in the adoration of God: description, meditation and prayer. Identify these three components of the manthra.

10. What are the boons that Gaayathri bestows on the one who chants the manthra?

11. What is the crash formula that Bhagawan gives to the current generation of youth who claim that they do not have time to chant the manthra?