By: Sri Narasimha Swamiji
Inscribed on the forefront of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi is the famous Greek maxim by Socrates, ‘Gnothi Seauton’, meaning ‘know thyself’. Today, some of us are blissfully unaware of the presence of the Supreme Power right within us and that is why at Shiridi, we have the inscription “Shraddha” and “Saburi” as stoic reminders of what Baba wants from us – the two coins of Faith and Patience. It is in this context that these words have assumed an added significance.
In the Chandogya Upanishad, it is repeatedly stated, ‘Tat tvam asi’, You are That’, which suggests that the Supreme Lord, the Higher Power, is right there in the innermost recesses of our Being. Sai Baba has taught us that the seed of God is within all of us. Just as a farmer plants a seed, waters it, takes good care of it and ensures that the little plant blossoms into a big tree, we too can realize our full spiritual potential by leading a pure life and performing regular meditation over a period of time.
Baba himself has given this illustration in Sai Satcharitha that – By observing a mango tree over many seasons wherein thousands of mangoes are produced, we can say with confidence that the potential for these mangoes was present in the single seed from which that tree sprang. Similarly, one should remain aware of the fact that the God seed is present in all of us, waiting for water, intensive care, and proper nourishment to make sure that the seed grows quickly and properly.
The Divine thus is the essence of every person in the universe, what Sai Baba called the ‘Over-soul’. Even though God is one and indivisible, yet he lives in every one of us; it is for this reason he appears to be many. It is a paradox that God, despite manifesting himself as the colorful universe with myriad diversities, remains immaculately pure and untainted. And completely transcends the Universe. Thus, his two aspects — immanent and transcendent — though opposed to each other, should be understood as two sides of the same coin.
In the final stages of meditation, when all the selfishness that separates us from the Supreme is eradicated, we discover this Self in the depths of our Consciousness. In yogic terminology this sublime state is called ‘Nirvikalpa Samadhi’ wherein no duality of consciousness is experienced; in this state, the seeker soars high in the realm of Pure Consciousness where there is nothing but supreme bliss. Here, all distinctions of time and space get obliterated and the seeker passes from time into the Eternal Now. It is at this stage that the seeker is blessed with the final beatific vision, where he sees the ‘face behind all faces’ — the Ultimate Cause behind all phenomenal existence.
Remember Baba’s words:
“Those devotees who have become one with me with heart and soul, they will, naturally, be bound to be happy by listening to the story of my life.” – Shri Sai Baba (Chap 3, Ovi 17-18)
We may conclude with the following words of Hemadpant: “To get to the core of God at his greatest, one must first get into the core of himself at the least; for no one can know God who has not first known himself. Go to the depths of the soul, the secret place of the highest, to the roots, to the heights; for all that God can do is focused there”.
“Whoever sings with feelings of my life, eulogies my powers, virtues, and excellence, I will protect him totally, by surrounding him.” – Shri Sai Baba (Chap 3, Ovi 12-13)