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Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, 7/3/86

 (excerpted and edited by Al Drucker)



ithin your body there resides a divine creator and painter. He is a master artist who paints with a brush that contains no paint. He creates masterpieces on a canvas that does not exist. It is wonderful.  It is inexplicable. When you look at his mysterious handiwork you can only feel a sense of awe. Things that seem to exist do not really exist. What does exist appears not to exist. No matter how much you speculate on this you cannot understand it. But, you can go right to the very heart of his creation, discover the one Reality there, and enjoy It.

      Embodiments of Divine Love!

The entire world is based on the concept of I. So long as this I-principle exists in you, you will be involved with the outside world. And as long as the world exists in your experience, you will not be able to free yourself from sorrow and misery. During deep sleep you do not have the thought of I and mine. Once the I-thought disappears there is no longer any world for you, and when there is no world there will be no sorrow. Therefore, eradicate the cause of sorrow. Relinquish the feeling of I and mine. Then you will be in Ananda, You will be in unending bliss.


What does being in Ananda mean? Is it related to the possession of health or wealth or power? Aren't there many people in the world who have lots of wealth? And aren't there many also who are blessed with health? And aren’t there many others who wield power? But are any of these enjoying real happiness? No. What is the reason for this? The reason is that so long as anyone still has the thought of I and all the desires and attachments that go with it, he will be unable to manifest true joy.


When thirsty animals see a mirage they run to it to quench their thirst; but they cannot find water there, and so they get exhausted and perish. In the same way, man seeks happiness in the objects of the senses and runs after them. But he cannot find the inexhaustible springs of Ananda there, and so he gets exhausted and dies in a most futile and pitiful way.


The moment you free yourself from the thought of I you become God Itself. It has been said 'Brahma Sathyam Jagath Mithyam', that God is real and the world is unreal. But more correctly, the world is both real and unreal. It is an illusion which is unreal, superimposed on God who is real. If you want to understand the nature of the world you must first make an effort to find out who you are and whether you are real or not. The moment you find out your own truth, you will be able to understand the world.


One of the great sayings of the Vedanta which you are enjoined to repeat and meditate on is, 'Aham Brahmasmi', which means ‘I am Brahman’, ‘I am God’. In this saying you use the word I  before the word God. Where did this word I come from? What is its meaning? Is it the same I that you use many times every day to refer to your individual self? No, that personal I is not what is meant in the statement, 'I am God'. Beyond the personal I, which is the I-thought, there is another I which stands behind it. That is the true I. That I is your own true nature. That is the true I meant in the statement, ‘I am God’.


This true I is not just there when you repeat Vedic sayings. It is there behind every I you use. Suppose you say, 'I am a man'. Here also, standing behind the subjective I there is the true I which is your natural state, your unchanging truth. The word 'man' is the feeling of limitation you impose on that truth. The true I is always full in itself; it is complete and unlimited. But, the word 'man' is partial, incomplete and limited. When the word 'man' with its limitations and boundaries joins the true I which has no limitations or boundaries, then the limited I-thought arises.


The I-thought can be compared to a river bounded by name and form. Once it merges into the limitless ocean it loses its name and form and all its limitations. Before that it had a separate identity as a river. But once it merges it becomes the ocean. In that way, when you remove the I-thought, you as a limited man merge with the unlimited ocean of Divinity and become one with It. Then you as a separate entity called 'man' disappear.


What is the origin of the I-thought? The I-thought takes its origin from the Atma, the true I, the one eternal Self. From the one Self arises the thought of I. And out of this I-thought all the rest of the mind takes form. In truth, the I-thought and the mind belong to the Self; they are both just aspects of the Self. The relationship can best be visualized as the Self being the grandfather, the I-thought, the personal self, being the father, and the mind being the grandson.

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