MESSAGE OF SHRI C. B. SATPATHY
The religious and
spiritual works of Hinduism have produced an unimaginable
body of books, treatise, scriptures and other similar
texts. Carried away from the distant past are the most
profound religious scriptures like the Vedas, Brahamanas,
Puranas, Samhitas, Upanishads, Shrimad Bhagwata Mahapurana
(which contains the 'Gita' etc.) and many more too numerous
to be listed here. A study of these works, written primarily
in Sanskrit or in other vernaculars, leads one to experience
a sense of expansion in one's knowledge, imagination and
From an academic
point of view, these valuable texts teach spiritual philosophies,
spiritual theories and spiritual sciences. These in their
quintessence propound certain vital aspects of the spiritual
realms. Understanding philosophy and theory is the first
step for a spiritual practitioner. However, it needs to
be clearly understood that a mere study of spiritual and
philosophical discourses is not enough. Any knowledge,
which is not put into practice, shall not be of much use
as the path of spiritual progress calls for direct experience
and knowledge. So it is necessary for the spiritual practitioners
to graduate to practicing the applied aspect of spiritual
science. Raja Yoga, Karma Yoga, Gyana Yoga, Laya Yoga,
Bhakti Yoga, Hatha Yoga and tantras etc. are the applied
How does one achieve
spirituality? As mentioned before, merely by reading spiritual
or religious texts one cannot spiritualise oneself. In
its generic sense, the word 'spirit' means an indestructible
divine energy form whose continued and unlimited play,
sets into motion a series of changes in all forms of existence
including human beings, starting before his birth and
going beyond his death. Different people understand the
word 'spirit' differently. Some term it as 'jiva' (living
entity), some term it as 'prana' (life force in the living
being), some call it as 'chetna' (divine consciousness)
or 'atma' (a part of the ultimate reality called God or
Brahama). These four words, jiva, prana, atma and chetna
are intrinsically related. However, 'atma' is primordial
causative factor, of chetna, jiva or prana. In a way it
can be said that, a continued consciousness beyond time
and space is the very nature of the 'atman'.
'Atma' and 'paramatma' are the essence of the divine creation,
'ultimate realities' beyond time and space. The cosmos
is nothing but the external manifestation of the 'paramatma'.
Therefore, each created object contains a subtle and small
part of the 'paramatma' termed as the 'atma'. Since 'atma'
is a part of 'paramatma' it contains all the attributes
of the 'paramatma'. It is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent
in an unfathomable time continnum.
So then what is God
realization? The word 'atma sakshatakara' (God realization)
means, realisation of one's own 'atma' or consciousness.
Even though these particles of 'paramatma' called 'atma'
may be functioning in a 'Jiva' it is never separate from
its root, that is 'paramatama'. Therefore, the realization
of God is not the understanding of the material manifestation
of 'atma', which includes all the living and non-living,
visible and non visible things and forces of the Universe.
Even if one can travel to all the Universes in space and
gain knowledge about it he cannot have said to have realized
its various forms seen on the earth emanates from 'atma'
or soul or 'paramatma'. All forms of energy in the Universe
emanate from consciousness, and all forms of materials
emanate from those energies. Thus, consciousness is superior
to energy forms and materials of the Universe. Whereas
consciousness can explain and control all energy forms
and materials, however, the reverse cannot be true. Therefore,
all religious worships of all deities in any form may
not necessarily spiritualise a man. Any experiment in
the spiritual science, means expansion of his own limited
consciousness to the State of Universal Consciousness.
That science by which consciousness can thus be evolved
is called 'vigyana maya jagata' or spiritual science.
To achieve this he has to introspect (dhyana) on his own
conduct and thought processes continuously. Idol worship,
mantras and rituals are prescribed procedures at the beginning
to purify oneself. Once the mind is purified through the
control of senses the consciousness slowly starts expanding.
There is no short-cut to this.
If one studies Sri
Sai Satcharitra, one would find that the actions of Sri
Shirdi Sai Baba reflected this Universal Consciousness.
To evolve spiritually, we should therefore try to follow
his precepts and conduct in letter and spirit.
Om Sri Sai
Shri C.B. Satpathy, New Delhi