Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 12 Mar 2023


Divine Satsanga on Swami's Birthday (Part-2)

[An an online Satsang took place on the occasion of the birthday of His Holiness Shri Datta Swami on February 24, 2023. Many devotees from different parts of the world participated in that satsang held through MS Teams. Many devotees sent their questions to Shri Swami and Shri Swami answered them on the live satsang. Here, the questions of devotees and answers given by Shri Datta Swami are documented.]

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9. One Upanishad says senses, etc., combined to form the universe, and another one says that they were created sequentially. Please explain.

[Shri Ganesh V asked: Padanamaskaram Swamiji, I have a series of questions with respect to Narayana Upanishad that I have mentioned below.

manaḥ sarvendri̍yāṇi̱ ca |

khaṃ vāyurjyotirāpaḥ pṛthivī viśva̍sya dhā̱riṇī ||

Translation: From that Narayana emerged-mind, all the senses, sky, fire, water and earth; they combined to form the universe.

In the above verse, it is mentioned that these things combined to form the universe but in Taittiriya Upanishad it is mentioned that space, air, fire, water, earth, plants, food and then living beings are created sequentially. How to solve the above contradiction?]

Swami replied: There is no contradiction because everywhere first the five elements are only created. Khaṃ means space, vāyu means air, jyoti means fire, āpaḥ means water and pṛthivī means earth, which is created at last. Same order is mentioned in the ‘Taittiriya Upanishad’ also. manaḥ sarvendri̍yāṇi̱ ca - from the earth came plants (pṛthivyā oṣadhayaḥ), from plants came food (Oṣadhībhyo'nnam), from food came the soul (Annāt puruṣaḥ). The soul is awareness (work form of inter energy) which is generated in the body after digestion of food. One Upanishad never contradicts another. In the Narayana Upanishad also, only five elements are mentioned. When the five elements are created, the inert creation is over. When life is created, the total creation is over. Inert creation can be told as creation also, but, it should be taken as the primary part of the total creation. The mind and all the senses come under awareness (purusha or soul) only which is generated from food. Next, you mentioned sky, fire, water and earth but you have missed mentioning ‘air’ which comes after sky (of course, the Upanishad mentioned the air as ‘vaayu’). Sky, air, fire, water and earth are combined to form the inert universe. From the earth came plants, from plants came food and when the food is digested, awareness is generated and this awareness is life. Therefore, the same concept is mentioned everywhere and there can’t be any contradiction between the Upanishads.

10. Should we take Lord Narayana in the Upanishads to be Lord Datta and not Lord Vishnu?

[Should we take Lord Narayana in the Upanishad to be Lord Datta and not Lord Vishnu? Because in the Upanishad it is mentioned that Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva and all living entities are born from Lord Narayana.]

Swami replied: I have already told several times that God Brahma, God Vishnu and God Siva came from God Datta who is also called as Hiranyagarbha, Narayana and Ishwara. From the view of the aspect of creation, the same Hiranyagarbha is becoming God Brahma. From the view of ruling or maintenance, Narayana is becoming God Vishnu. From the view of destruction of the universe, Ishwara is becoming God Siva. So, all these are just names of God Datta while doing different actions. The original unimaginable God i.e. Parabrahman created the first energetic form called Datta and merged with Datta permanently. Parabrahman is unmediated unimaginable God and God Datta is mediated unimaginable God. So, there is no difference between God Datta and Parabrahman. Unimaginable God mediated as God Datta so that the souls in creation (especially upper energetic worlds) can see, worship and meditate on God. Unimaginable God can’t be worshipped or meditated because He can never be imagined. When He became imaginable, He is called as Datta. Datta means given to the world for the sake of worship and meditation. Do not think that unimaginable God is modified into God Datta. He simply took an  energetic medium (saguna upadhi). The unimaginable God wore a medium so that He can be seen by the souls. Unimaginable God is like a naked person who will never come out of the bathroom without clothes. A naked person is generally invisible to the public, he wears some clothes on the body before becoming visible. This is the best example to understand the concept which is why the Unimaginable God is also called as Digambara (naked God). We can never see Digambara Datta i.e., the unmediated unimaginable God. When He cannot be imagined, where is the question of seeing. That Unimaginable God enters the first energetic medium and merges with it to become God Datta. Datta means given to the world of souls for the sake of meditation or worship out of devotion. The human souls can at least only imagine God Datta and they can never imagine the unmediated unimaginable God. For the sake of human beings, God Datta enters human media to get worshipped by human devotees. When God Datta merges with the human media, the unimaginable God present in God Datta is also simultaneously merged with the human media and hence, these human incarnations are also the incarnations of unimaginable God or Parabrahman. The Unimaginable God became God Datta and God Datta became Brahma, Vishnu and Siva from whom came 3 crores of Gods who became 33 crores of Gods finally. If you worship God Datta, you have worshipped the unimaginable God and all the 33 crores of Gods (Trayastriṃśat koṭi devāḥ…).

Parabrahman can’t be the starting point because He is unmediated and unimaginable. We have to start the spiritual knowledge with God Datta only who is imaginable or visible to the souls. God Datta performs several miracles which are unimaginable events expressing His unimaginable nature of merged unimaginable God. Datta doesn’t indicate any religion and one God Datta exists in all energetic and human incarnations (Ekamevādvitīyaṃ Brahma, Eko devaḥ sarvabhūteṣu gūḍhaḥ). So, start your spiritual knowledge with Datta and end with Datta.

11. Is Indra a God or an angel? Indra is considered to be an angel, but, in the Upanishad, Indra is said to be Lord Narayana.

Swami replied: Your name is Ganesh and Ganesh is the name of Lord Vinayaka also. Indra is the name kept for one angel, who is the Lord of all angels. But, Indra means “Idi - Aiśvarye…”. The root word ‘Idi’ means aishwarya which means the controller of the entire creation (Īśvarasya bhāvaḥ aiśvaryam). But actually, God Datta is the real controller of this creation called as God Narayana. So, Indra by definition means God Narayana, who is God Datta Himself.

Indra, the Lord of Heaven is an angel, who is the Lord of all angels. When you say, “Indrāya svāhā”- Veda, it means you call for Indra, the angel. At another place, the word Indra was used for God Datta (Indra upavrajyovāca - Veda). When Bharadwaja was doing penance, God appeared before him. There, the Veda used the word Indra, which means the controller of the entire creation and not Indra, the angel. Controller of entire universe is Indra and controller of Heaven is also called as Indra. The president of the entire country is the president and the president of the village is also called as president.

12. The Upanishad also says Heaven and Earth are Lord Narayana. Time is Lord Narayana and direction is Lord Narayana. How can these inert places be God?

Swami replied: I have already explained this before. The Veda says “Sarvaṃ khalvidaṃ Brahma…” which means that the entire creation is God. Brahma means God. How the entire creation can be God when God created creation? Did God create God? This is meaningless! When we say that this entire creation is God, there are two meanings possible according to Taadaatmya Prathamaa Vibhakti and Tadadhiina Prathamaa Vibhakti. According to Taadaatmya Prathamaa Vibhakti, X is Y. According to Tadadhiina Prathamaa Vibhakti, Y is under the control of X. For example, we mention boundaries in land documents as East-Ramaiah, West-Subbaih, North-Venkaiah and South-Lingaiah. It means Ramaiah himself is not present in the east of your house but the house of Ramaiah is present. The house of Ramaiah which is under the control of Ramaiah is mentioned as Ramaiah. Instead of writing the house of Ramaiah, we just write Ramaiah is present on the east. Similarly, to understand the statement that this entire creation is God, you have to take Tadadhiina Prathamaa Vibhakti, which means that this entire creation is under the control of God. If the creation is God, that means God created God, which means He didn’t create anything. If I say, I created Myself, it means I did not create anything. Logically, in a context where I created something else, which is different from Me and that is under My control, I can say, “I am that creation”. Therefore, here, you have to take Tadadhiina Prathamaa Vibhakti and not Taadaatmya Prathamaa Vibhakti.

13. How can the Lord be the past and the future?

[dyā̱vā̱pṛ̱thi̱vyau ca̍ nārāya̱ṇaḥ |

kā̱laśca̍ nārāya̱ṇaḥ |

di̱śaśca̍ nārāya̱ṇaḥ |

yadbhū̱taṃ yacca̱ bhavyam̎ ||

The above verse translates to Lord is the past and the future. I can agree that Lord Narayana knows the past and the future. But how can He be the past and the future? Is the above translation wrong? At Your divine feet, Ganesh V]

Swami replied: As I told above, you have to take Tadadhiina Prathama Vibhakti to understand these. “dyā̱vā̱pṛ̱thi̱vyau ca̍ nārāya̱ṇaḥ” literally means this earth and sky are both Narayana, which actually means earth and sky are under the control of Narayana. Narayana is another name of God Datta Himself. “kā̱laśca̍ nārāya̱ṇaḥ” means that time is God. It means that time is under the control of God. “di̱śaśca̍ nārāya̱ṇaḥ” means that all the directions are God, which means all the directions are under the control of God. “yadbhū̱taṃ yacca̱ bhavyam̎” means both past and future are God. It means both are under the control of God.

14. Namaste Swami. Is it correct to collect money from school students for conducting farewell functions?

[A question by Smt. Lakshmi Lavanya K]

Swami replied: This is a worldly topic and I mainly concentrate on spiritual knowledge, which is subject about God. However, this is concerned to justice or Pravrutti and hence, I will answer. If you are collecting money from students to do some function, which is good to the students, you can collect money but you have to take the permission of your Head. It is not justified to collect money without informing the Head. A devotee named Raamadas collected money from public to construct a temple for God Raama, without informing his ruler, Tanisha. The Ruler may be a Muslim but he has to take permission from him since he is the ruler. Had Raamadas constructed the temple using his own savings, there would have been no case on him. Since justice had slipped, God Raama, the embodiment of justice was also not satisfied and hence, allowed the punishment of Raamadas. Therefore, you should take the permission of the head, the competent authority.

15. In our residential school, the food served to students is the worst in quality. Is it their praarabdha i.e., bad karma phala of all students?

Swami replied: The question is like a sword having edges on both sides. It is correct to say that students are getting bad quality of food because of the punishments for their sins done in the past (Praarabdha). That is one side edge. Another side edge is that the authorities serving bad food will be punished by God. Although the Government is giving sufficient funds, they are giving the worst food since they are swallowing the money. They cannot escape the punishments saying, “It is because of their Praarabdha, we are serving bad food!” Because of their Praarabdha, they are getting worst food. That is also correct. Since you have swallowed the money, you will be punished by God. This is also correct.

If their Praarabdha is not there, you can’t swallow that money. When you try to swallow that money, immediately the phone will come from the Chief Minister telling, “Whatever you have swallowed, give it to me!” Recently, a Minister tried to swallow 300 crores and she immediately got a phone call from the Chief Minister saying, “Send those 300 crores to me”. Therefore, you can’t take advantage of that Praarabdha.

If you follow justice and give good food to them, they will undergo their Praarabdha in some other way and you will also not incur any sin. For example, all of them may get stomach pain or loose motions and they themselves won’t eat anything. They will be able to eat little food and butter milk. That way, Praarabdha is undergone. You should not exploit the Karma Siddhanta saying, “I am cheating them because it is their Praarabdha!” You are not God to judge and punish them.

16. Being a school teacher, how to deal with stubborn students? Is beating students a sin?

Swami replied: Being stubborn is not a bad quality. If he is stubborn in doing a bad thing, you can beat him. If he is stubborn in doing a good thing, you must encourage him. If you misunderstood the good thing as bad thing and beat him, you are wrong and you will be beaten by God. Of course, you have the right to prevent them from doing bad things and you will be appreciated by God if you do so. It is your duty to inculcate discipline. But before beating, you must think thoroughly whether the student is correct or you are correct. Even scolding is a sin since mind is pained.

Every quality has a good side and a bad side. If you turn the quality to good side, it is merit and if you turn it to the bad side, it is a sin. No quality is good or bad by itself. The direction of the quality to which you are turning brings either merit or sin. Suppose you are riding on a horse. If you give direction to the horse to go to the forest, thieves will beat you. If you give direction to the horse to go to a city where you have friends, you are well honoured there. The fruit comes to you only since you are the director of the horse and the horse is not at all involved in the choice of direction.

Ignorant people question as to why God created bad qualities due to which we committed sins and are suffering the punishments. They argue that God is a sadist enjoying our suffering. The truth is that God has created all qualities with their good sides only. God never created any bad quality because no quality is bad completely. For example, we think that beating is a bad quality, but beating a student preventing him from doing a bad thing is merit. If you beat a good person unnecessarily with some vengeance, it is a sin and you will be punished by God. Similarly, a soldier killing people in war to save his country is good side. If you are killing a good person for some vengeance, it is bad side. Therefore, every quality has both good and bad sides.

17. Does reciprocating affection to students make me fall down in the spiritual path? Thank You, Swami.

Swami replied: Falling down in spiritual path depends on whether you are reciprocating affection from your heart or from your tip of tongue. If you are reciprocating affection from your heart, it is not spiritually correct since spiritual knowledge says that you must be always detached from worldly affairs. Heart is meant for God only and tongue is meant for the world. You can speak affectionately from the tip of your tongue because you also don’t know whether the other person has expressed love from the heart or from the tip of the tongue. If you reciprocate from your tongue, the other fellow also doesn’t know whether you are reciprocating from heart or tongue. He feels happy thinking that it is from the heart and the purpose is served. For this, you need not reciprocate from the heart. Why should you unnecessarily reciprocate from your heart and waste your heart in a wrong direction, which is worldly affair. Use your heart for the right direction, which is towards God.

18. Why do we have an increase in human population now?

[Ms. Swathi asked: Paadanamaskaram Swami 🙏🙏🙏- When the world is created, all the souls were created at the same time. Why do we have an increase in human population now? At the time of creation, why some souls were created as humans and some as other living beings?]

Swami replied: Whenever you put a question, you must always think whether this question will help your spiritual progress. When you are concentrating on Shankara, you should concentrate on His Bhaashya, the commentary written by Him, which speaks about God. That will help you spiritually. Questions like whether Shankara was born at the border of Kerala and Tamilnadu or whether Shankara was born in Kerala? On which day, He was born? Whether His birth star was Shravana or Rohini? Or was it Vaishakha maasa or Jyeshtha maasa? How do these things help you? He has written something about God, read it and concentrate on that.

Knowing about the creation of human beings and animals in the beginning of the creation or evolution of human beings from animals, doesn’t help our spiritual effort in any way. Anyway, they are created. Whether X is before Y or Y before X, how is it going to help you? People, doing research on the birthday of Shankara or the birthplace of Shankara, are doing it because they are not interested in the commentary written by Shankara. Shankara says that this world is unreal and God alone is real (Brahma satyaṃ jagat mithyā). Therefore, we should concentrate on God only. Since concentrating on God is inconvenient for you and you are unable to follow His commentary, you are doing research on the birthdate of Shankara, birth month of Shankara and birthplace of Shankara. Since you are unable to follow the actual path, you are concentrating on unnecessary things following a saying in Telugu (Miṅgaleka maṅgaḷavāram) – unable to swallow, one shows the pretext as that day is Tuesday.

Anyway, the Purusha Suktam explains the process of creation by God. First, birds and animals were created and then from animals came human beings. This is also correlating with the sequence of creation (Annāt puruṣaḥ…), which says that inert things are first created, then awareness came later. Anyways, this answer will not help us in developing our devotion to God.

19. Since other religions don't have contemporary human incarnations, how can they do karma yoga and get salvation?

Swami replied: I have told in a recent video released in our Telugu YouTube channel (SDSS– Shri Datta Swami Satsang) that there are two addresses for God. One is Human Incarnation and another is devotee. God is more pleased if you serve a devotee than Himself. For example, you went to a function along with your small son. If they give a sweet to you, you are pleased but if they give a sweet to your son, you are more pleased. Similarly, if you worship a devotee, God is more pleased than worshipping Him. If you identify the Human Incarnation, it is direct worship (Saakshaat Upaasana). If you are unable to identify because your religion doesn’t allow the concept, you can worship a devotee and God will be more pleased with you. God lives in devotees as said in the Naarada Bhakti Sutram (Tanmayā hi te…). But, worship some item which has awareness (life) and don’t remain in the worship of statues until the end of your life by wasting food materials.

For the beginners, statues are necessary (Pratimāhyalpabuddhīnām…). To improve your theoretical devotion, you can worship a statue. But, the practical worship can’t be enjoyed by the statue. I saw one devotee worshiping the statue of God Hanuman in Veerabhadra Swami temple, in a village called Epuuru, near Vinukonda. She brought paayasam (sweet) and rubbed it on the mouth of the statue. Even if it can’t be enjoyed by Hanuman, ants will come and eat it. Finally, awareness is only enjoying, is it not? So, don’t waste food like that. Suppose ants do not come, the food gets rotten and spoiled. You have wasted the food. In statue-worship, you give bath so that it becomes clean and you put flowers on the statue so that it will give good appearance and attract our mind. Statue-worship is not wrong if you are limited to certain upachaaras only out of all the shodasha upachaaras (Āvāhanam, āsanam, dhyānam, pādyam, arghyam, madhuparkam, etc.). The Naivedyam, which is food to be offered to God, should be given to the Human Incarnation. If the Human Incarnation is not available or your religion doesn't permit Human Incarnations, treat a devotee as the Human Incarnation and offer it to him/her. God is more pleased because you have worshipped His devotee. In that video, I explained that worshipping a devotee is better than worshipping the Human Incarnation because the Human Incarnation doesn’t require your service. He is accepting the service only to please you, satisfy you and give you happiness that you have served God. But, in the case of devotees, they may be really hungry or in financial problems because they are ordinary souls only. You worship them by giving some food, clothes, etc. They get practical benefit and God is also pleased. So, worshipping devotees is the best worship.

20. Padanamaskram Swamiji, what is the inner spiritual meaning of the five faces of God Panchamukha Hanuman?

[A question by Shri Satthireddy S]

Swami replied: Every form of God represents a particular quality. In fact, all the Divine qualities of God became these Incarnations. Hanuman stands for courage and braveness, Goddess Saraswati for knowledge. The five faces of Hanuman such as monkey, Lion, eagle, pig and horse are all of animals only. Hanuman Himself doesn’t have human face. There is a background to it. Face represents beauty. But, the face of a monkey is very famous for the opposite of beauty i.e., ugliness. We mock others saying that he looks like a monkey. In the Valmiki Ramayanam, Rama’s portion was named as Bala Kaanda, Ayodhya Kaanda, Aranya Kaanda, Yuddha Kaanda, etc. But, when Hanuman came, it is mentioned as the Sundara Kaanda, where Sundara means beautiful. In fact, Rama is very beautiful physically (Puṃsāṃ mohana rūpāya… maṅgalam). But, why did Valmiki give the name ‘Sundara’ to Hanuman, whose face is not at all beautiful? You have to understand that real beauty is internal beauty. Hanuman is famous for good qualities. Give always importance to  internal beauty and not to external beauty. Even while searching for a life partner during marriages, you must give more importance to internal beauty. In fact, there is a sloka (Bhāryā rūpavatī śatruḥ…), which says that a beautiful wife becomes your enemy. Since you are not beautiful, she may go with somebody else. If she is not beautiful, then there is more probability that she will remain chaste as desired by any husband, but the husband may go wrong resulting in a family-fight. In Telugu also, there is a saying (Illu irakaṭaṃ āli marakaṭam), which means wife should be like a monkey and house should be small. House should be small so that you can sweep several times and the house is always clean. Wife should not be very beautiful because somebody may desire and pursue her.

Physical beauty is not important because it is only temporary. In old age, physical beauty disappears and face also gets deformed after some accidents in life. Hence, external beauty is temporary since it will not stay permanent even during a single human life. In each birth, physical beauty changes again. Only the qualities i.e., samskaras accompany the soul from birth to birth. Hence, the internal beauty is permanent and inner qualities are better than physical beauty, which travel along with the soul throughout all births.

We have three levels such as good, better and best. Good is physical beauty i.e., we say good looking. Better is internal beauty, which is permanent from birth to birth. The best is devotion to God. You may have all the good qualities but if there is no devotion to God, all these qualities are a waste and are useless. If you take Hanuman, He is having best beauty because He is serving God out of true devotion. When Sita was not found, He wanted to commit suicide. Other good qualities, which are related to the world such as social service, etc., give temporary heaven only and not the eternal abode of God. When you go to God after death and say that you have served human beings, God will also ask you to go and get help from them only. You worship human beings and you want God to help you! That doesn’t happen. Sage Jadabharata saved a baby deer and developed a lot of love on that deer forgetting God. All spiritual penance is lost because he was always serving that deer. In his next birth, he was born as a deer. To be born as a deer, should he forget God and love the deer so much?

Helping all human beings also is not correct. You should help only good human beings. Suppose that fellow is a bad fellow, you will get sin for helping him. Bhishma and Drona were punished because they helped the Kauravas. In the statement ‘Paropakāraḥ puṇyāya, pāpāya para pīḍanam’, ‘para’ means other or good. Helping another human being regardless of good or bad is not the sense here. Helping good people is the sense here. The word para has another meaning (Paraḥ śreṣṭhaḥ), which is good human being. Help only good people, which brings merit. Devotion to God is most important because He created this entire world and saved you so many times. By forgetting God, if you are loving the humanity, it is of no use. Suppose you are a politician; you must love humanity, then only votes will come to you so that you can loot the humanity!

(To be continuued...)