Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 14 Jul 2003



Note: This article is meant for intellectuals only

Even Bad Qualities are Helpful In Spirituality: Every religion in this world wants you to get rid of your bad qualities, before giving you admission into that religion, at least from that point in time. This is practically impossible. The reason is that these bad qualities within you have grown as large as hills over the past millions of your births. This small human life is insufficient even to move them; what to speak of removing them! People can control the bad qualities to some extent by their efforts. These bad qualities keep sparking frequently even in the minds of the most pious sages. If a person says that he is good and that he is devoid of all bad qualities, he only cheating others and in turn he is cheating himself. Due to this practically impossible condition, for admission into religions, people have developed an allergy towards any religion. The eligibility for admission is simply impractical!

Religious preachers have further confused the whole situation by mixing up religion and spirituality. Religion is the subject in which God establishes peace and justice in this world. In this context, you must control your bad qualities so that you will not disturb the peace and justice of the world and not harm any good person. If you disturb the world by your bad qualities, God will punish you. But in this context, it is sufficient if you merely control your bad qualities, since you cannot totally remove them. Religion ends here. In fact some religions strictly end here itself without any spirituality.

Spirituality is the subject in which you have to make efforts to reach God. In this context, you need not even control your bad qualities because God has no personal objection towards your bad qualities. These bad qualities cannot be obstacles in any manner in the context of spirituality. Moreover, when you turn these bad qualities towards God, they become your helpers. Any quality, whether good or bad, is created by God Himself to help you in reaching Him. If you realize the original aim of all these qualities—good or bad—why would you want to control these qualities? They were given to you as your helpers. Not even a fool controls his helpers! So, any quality, when involved in spirituality, is being used for its original aim and it becomes a good quality. All your qualities become good in spirituality and you need not put any effort to remove or even control them. When the qualities are not used for their original purpose, they become bad qualities. Therefore, whatever qualities are turned towards the world, are bad qualities. Thus, in spirituality, there is no need even for any effort to control these bad qualities.

Devotion: The One and Only Important Quality

Then for what should we make an effort in spirituality? Our effort should be concentrated on achieving bhakti, which is love for God. Bhakti is achieved by the knowledge of God and it further grows also by the knowledge of God. For example, you come to know that Bombay city exists. This is the knowledge of the existence of Bombay. This knowledge makes you want to see Bombay. As you come to know more and more details of Bombay, your desire to see the city increases even more. Knowing more details about Bombay is again more knowledge. So, desire is directly proportional to knowledge. First Rukmini heard that Lord Krishna is there on this earth. As she heard more and more about Lord Krishna from Sage Narada, her love for Krishna increased enormously. Narada means ‘he who gives knowledge’. Therefore, jnana (knowledge) generates and intensifies bhakti (devotion). Due to bhakti, the Lord is attained. The Gita says the same “Only by bhakti am I attained (Bhaktya…)”.

In the spiritual path all your effort must be concentrated on acquiring the knowledge of God day by day. Once this knowledge-based bhakti (devotion) is achieved, your qualities—good or bad—are immaterial. Whatever may be the cup, it is the drink in it that is important. The value paid in a restaurant is for the drink alone. If you have had a cup of coffee, you pay for the cost of the coffee alone irrespective of whether the cup is made of glass or metal. Similarly, God gives value only for your bhakti and not for your qualities. I will give a beautiful example here. Shabari was a devotee with good qualities and she offered fruits to Lord Rama, who was an Incarnation of Lord Vishnu (Narayana). A hunter called Kannappa offered flesh to Lord Shiva. Shabari reached the world of Lord Vishnu (Vaikuntha) and Kannappa reached the world of Shiva (Shiva Loka). Both have reached the same Lord because the Veda says, “Shiva is Narayana”. Both of them have been given a similar value by the Lord because in both cases, the intensity of devotion is the same. Both of them had offered their food to the Lord without eating it themselves. This clearly proves that the Lord has no objection to your bad qualities. Hence, one’s entire effort should be only to achieve and intensify one’s bhakti or love (devotion) for God. It is not necessary to bother about your inherent qualities that come from millions of your past births. They are inborn qualities. They are like the curved tail of the dog. No amount of effort can make it straight. By force, we can keep it straight, but that does not mean that it has become straight. Similarly, by some amount of force, you can control your bad qualities for not disturbing the peace of the world. But when you come to God, you must come in your natural state. You might be able to deceive the world by saying that your curved tail is straight but you can never deceive God. Besides, whether the river flows along a straight path or a curved path, the ocean receives its the water equally. Similarly, God receives your love irrespective of your qualities. He received Shabari and Kannappa equally. Both Shabari with good qualities and Kannappa with bad qualities reached the same Lord, as their devotion was of the same intensity.

A piece of gold is wrapped in an old cloth. A stone is wrapped in a shining metallic foil. Which has more total value? Similarly, the intense love, even if it is covered by a bad quality has more total value than low intensity love covered by a good quality. When blood flowed from the eye of the Lord, the priest, who was a person with good qualities, tried to apply medicine. But his devotion was less. In that same situation, Kannappa plucked his own eyes and donated them to the Lord. Kannappa was a person with bad qualities but his devotion was the highest. Devotion is the highest good quality. Now let us evaluate and compare the total value of the priest and that of Kannappa. The devotion in Kannappa has a value of +100. The bad qualities in Kannappa have a value of –10 (negative). The total value is +90. The good qualities of the priest are worth +10. The devotion in him was worth +20. The priest’s total value works out to +30. So which of the two is better? Obviously it is Kannappa! The Gita says, “Even the worst can become the best by bhakti” (Api chet…).

Eligibility Criteria for Entry into Datta Religion

So what is the eligibility for getting admission into our religion of Guru Datta? The eligibility is that you should be a living being. Even animals and birds are eligible to reach God irrespective of their qualities. Even a serpent, a spider and an elephant got salvation in Sri Kala Hasti [1]. The serpent is full of bad qualities. God did not insist that the serpent get rid of all its bad qualities. Even if God had insisted, the serpent would be unable to understand and take the necessary effort. When such a serpent is eligible, why not a man? All the people are depressed and dejected with the eligibility conditions stipulated by various religions. For example if an institution stipulates the eligibility condition that one should remove his head and then join the institution, then nobody can be admitted. Similarly, religions stipulate the removal of all the bad qualities of a preson, which is impossible. Only a temporary control is possible, which is necessary for you to live in this world in peace. This control is possible. In our religion also we are stipulating this condition, which is possible. So, in our Datta Religion, the eligibility condition is that, if your bad qualities do not disturb the world, the Lord has no personal objection to them and you need not even control them. Moreover, they will help you in spirituality.

Proper Utilization of Bad Qualities

How can we turn our bad qualities towards God and turn them into our helpers in reaching the God? There are six bad qualities that are inherent in any living being since millions of past births. They are lust (kama), anger (krodha), greed (lobha), blind attraction (moha), ego (mada) and jealousy (matsarya). Anger, greed, ego and jealousy come under the fundamental quality [2] called rajas. Lust and blind attraction come under the fundamental quality called tamas.  I will now give you an example of how to divert your bad qualities towards the Lord, so that they can be used as powerful vehicles to reach Him. The quality of love that is shown in cinema songs can be diverted to the Lord by making a small change in the words. Then, the same powerful tune that created sweet feelings in you is now a powerful vehicle to help you to reach the Lord. Let’s take the movie song “Churaliya hai tumne…sanam (You have stolen my heart O darling!)”.  Here we can simply replace the word ‘sanam’ (darling) with ‘Hare’ (Lord Krishna). All the sweetness of your mind is now directed towards Lord Krishna (Vishnu). See how a person, who is crazy about cinema songs can become a powerful devotee in his own way, without any change in his qualities! You can sing this as your prayer. In singing this prayer, you will not need to put any effort or force. Your worship should thus be natural and spontaneous. Such worship alone can be true. Of course, you must remember that worship with your mind and words are only like side pickles in the main meal. The main meal (main worship or service) is only karma phala tyaga. Without the main food, what is the use of simply serving the pickle?

Bilhana was walking along the path, thinking about his lover and his foot accidentally touched a sage, who was meditating. The sage became angry and started scolding Bilhana. Bilhana asked the sage, “You were meditating on the Lord and I was meditating on my lover. I did not even notice that I touched you. How come you noticed it?” The sage was pleased and replied, “Your meditation is excellent but the direction is wrong. Turn it towards Lord Krishna instead of your lover. You will reach the Lord faster than me”. From that moment onwards, Bilhana became a saint as he turned his meditation towards Lord Krishna.

All the good qualities like knowledge, kindness etc., come under fundamental quality called sattvam. So, satvam means good qualities, rajas and tamas are bad qualities. Rukmini stands for Satvam [3]. Satyabhama stands for rajas. Radha stands for tamas. The intensity of their love for Lord Krishna increased in the same sequence. Therefore, Rukmini, the incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi, is given the position in the heart (of Lord Vishnu)[4]. Satyabhama, the incarnation of Goddess Earth, is kept on the mouth of the Lord in the Varaha Incarnation [5], which is a higher position than Rukmini. Radha is given the highest position i.e., Goloka, above the head of the Lord Himself [6]. The Lord gave these positions not for the qualities of the three but for the intensity of their love. It is the intensity of love, which increases the total value. As such if only the qualities are considered by themselves, sattvam is greater than rajas and rajas is greater than tamas.

Let your lust be concentrated on the beauty of the Lord. Let your blind attraction be only towards the Lord. Radha filled these two qualities with love for the Lord. Show your anger on the Lord for his delay in appearing. Become greedy in spending all your time and energy for God [and miserly] in not spending any time and energy for the world. A greedy [and miserly] person does not spend even for essential needs. Similarly, the highest devotee does not spend his time and energy even for his essential duties. Be proud that you are the devotee of the Lord. Become jealous, seeing other great devotees of the Lord and intensify your efforts. Satyabhama filled all these four qualities with love for the Lord.

Proving One’s Love for the Lord

What do you mean by love for the Lord? It is the real attraction towards the Lord, which is generated and developed by knowledge. It is a mental feeling. It is expressed in words. It is proved by action. Some people try to prove it by their mind and words alone. They are unable to prove it in action and they are only covering up their inability. They say that meditation, which is an act of the mind, and chanting or singing, which is an act connected with words, are the proofs of their devotion. But real love is proved only by action called karma yoga. Karma yoga consists of two parts viz., karma samnyasa and karma phala tyaga.

Karma samnyasa means sacrificing your work for the sake of the Lord [doing some physical service for the Lord]. Massaging the feet of your Guru is an example. However, the devotee could be playing tricks in this path of karma samnyasa. For instance, he might be massaging the Guru’s feet to give some exercise to his own fingers. He might also be doing some work for the Lord for the sake of earning his food in return. But if the devotee is not playing any such tricks, then karma samnyasa is definitely better than meditation and singing because it is related to action.

The second part of karma yoga which is called karma phala tyaga is the real and best proof of one’s devotion. It is the offering of Guru Dakshina. This part applies only to the people who have earned unnecessary extra money and store it due to their selfishness. All the money in this world is the wealth of God alone. The Lord permits you to use it to the extent that is required by you. But you are taking extra and that is not expected of you. You are offered a cup of milk in a house where you went as a visitor. You can drink the milk that is offered. That is permitted. But you are not permitted to take away the cup. The milk is yours and for that the house-owner has no objection. But if you take away the cup too and claim it to be yours, then you are a thief. The first mantra of the first Upanishad (Ishavasya Upanishad) says the same. The Lord is preaching to you to return to Him the extra wealth that you took from Him—the wealth which was not granted by Him.

The Lord is not asking you to return the milk given to you for drinking. He never asks you to sacrifice the minimum wealth necessary to support you; either partly or fully. For example, a person has ten rupees which is the minimum wealth needed to support him. Another person has one hundred rupees. The first person gave one rupee to the Lord. The second person gave ninety rupees to the Lord. The first person is greater than the second person because the first person has sacrificed even from his minimum wealth. The second person should contribute at least ninety plus one rupee in order to become equal to the first person. In the case of the first person, his shakti (power or capability) is less but his bhakti (devotion) is more. In the case of the second person, his shakti (power) is more but his bhakti (devotion) is less.

But there are devotees, who sacrifice even their minimum wealth. Shabari collected some fruits that were her minimum daily food requirements. But she offered the entire food to the Lord. The Lord does not expect the devotee to do such a sacrifice. Such a sacrifice is done [voluntarily] from the side of the devotee. The devotees sacrifice their minimum wealth, either partly or fully, based on the intensity of their devotion. Kannappa sacrificed even his eyes, which is the bare minimum necessity of his body. Even the body is the fruit of prarabdha karma [7]. The most essential part of the body is the eyes.

Prahlada was prepared to sacrifice even his life for the sake of the Lord. For some people, their character and prestige are much more valuable than even their life. The Gopikas sacrificed even these for the sake of the Lord. The Veda says “Nothing and none should be equal to the Lord”, (Natat Samah…). Prahlada sacrificed his father. Shankaracharya sacrificed his mother. Buddha sacrificed His wife, His only son and the entire wealth of His kingdom. The shastras [8] say that one’s wife, issues and wealth are the three strongest bonds (ishanas[9]). For Buddha, God was greater than these three. Meera sacrificed her husband. The Gopikas gave their butter to Lord Krishna. Butter was the ultimate fruit of all the daily work of these milkmaids. They used to sell it in Mathura and get money. They would not even give it to their own children. This is the real karma phala tyaga. The simple and total concept in this is that you will give your karma phala to those whom you love the most. All people give their karma phala (money) to their own children. So the Lord is not equal to their children and their highest and real love is only for their children. Thus, karma phala tyaga is the only real fire-test to prove real love. There is no second thought about this. Just as for any test in the school, a paper and pen are required, so also for the karma phala tyaga-test, money and the human form of the Lord are required. If you offer the butter to a statue of the Lord and eat it, that is not real karma phala tyaga. Even though money is not great, the love proved by the sacrifice of money is the greatest. The Veda says “Only by karma phala tyaga does one attain the Lord (Dhanena tyagenaike…)”.

How to Detect God in Human Form?

Then, how to detect the Lord in human form? The Veda says “God is knowledge” and “God is bliss” (Satyam Jnanam…, Anando…). These are the characteristic properties of the Lord. As you detect fire by its heat and water by its cooling, you can detect the Lord in the human form by His infinite knowledge, which gives bliss. A human scholar can preach knowledge too. But in a short while, his preaching will give you a headache. This is the difference between a Guru and a Sadguru. Miracles only associated characteristics (not inherent characteristic) of God like a person’s jewels [10]. Even demons like Ravana and Hiranyakashipu performed miracles. But sages did not accept them as God. They got those jewels from the Lord by force i.e., by penance. They are the stubborn children of the Lord. But they could not get the inherent form of the Lord.

The human form of the Lord uses your money to propagate divine knowledge and devotion and uplift all. Donating food can be done by all. But God alone can donate knowledge. Food ends with this life and suffering for food [hunger] is limited to this human life alone. But if divine knowledge is donated, it continues with the soul during all future births. If divine knowledge is not gained in this life and if devotion is not developed, the human being will forever fall into the cycle of births and deaths of animals and birds. Divine knowledge transforms a bad person into a good person, whereas food strengthens a bad person to a strong bad person. Even in the donation of food, people are not using their knowledge. For instance, they donate food to all pilgrims in [the holy city of] Varanasi on the [auspicious day of] Shiva Ratri. This entire donation becomes useless because none of the pilgrims needs the food[11] . Here also, the deservingness [of the recipient of the donation] is neglected. Instead of feeding a hundred pilgrims on the Shiva Ratri day at Varanasi, you should feed one poor deserving devotee for a hundred days, whatever may be the place. Then that particular place will become Varanasi and every day becomes Shiva Ratri.

When Rama approached his Guru Vasishtha for the spiritual path, Vasishtha said to Rama “First go and earn some money and then come to me”. The Guru always asks for guru dakshina to teach this karma phala tyaga. A Guru is the human being, and such a Guru uses that money for himself and for his family. A Sadguru is the Lord in human form and He uses that money for propagating knowledge and devotion in the world to uplift all people. People sacrifice their money to feed beggars. But remember that if the beggar does a sin with the energy provided by your food, you have to share that sin. Therefore, you must spend a lot of time to identify the deserving person. People are hasty in giving donations at a temple. They distribute ten coins to ten beggars in five minutes and come back thinking that they have earned punyam [good karma]. You are very particular of the place and time (desha and kala) of your donation. You think that if you donate at Varanasi on the day of Shiva Ratri, you can get punyam. You don’t care to search for the deserving person (patra). Instead, store all those coins that you want to donate and go on searching for a deserving person. Then whatever may be the place and whatever may be the time, when you find a deserving person, give all those coins to him. That place becomes Varanasi and that time becomes Shiva Ratri.

The Veda says that donations should be done with knowledge and patience (Samvida…, Shraddhaya…). Use knowledge to identify the deserving person and have patience to wait till you find that deserving person. Who is the most deserving person? The Lord himself is absolutely the most deserving person. God’s first address is the Human Incarnation and the second address is His devotees. Between these two, the first address is better. The reason is that in the case of the Human Incarnation, the Lord alone lives in the inert human body. In the second address, the Lord and the devotee live in the inert body. The amount donated to the Human Incarnation of God will be used by the Lord alone, maximizing its utilization. Blind and hasty donation without knowledge and patience, might sometimes even bring sin. The Lord in human form is the proper channel for your donation because there will be no error when He utilizes the funds. Devotees may waste due to improper knowledge.

Interpreting ‘Service to Man is Service to God’

People often say ‘Service to man is Service to God’. This is a very dangerous statement if it is not properly understood. Service does not mean simply giving food, clothes, medicines etc., to poor and needy people, who are suffering. That poor person is suffering due to the punishment given by God as a result of his bad deeds. You have not seen his past deeds but you are showing sympathy on him at present. Your help is only temporary. Make him a devotee instead, by imparting knowledge. Then the Lord will help him and that help is permanent. So the word ‘service’ should not be limited to donating food etc. In this case, after receiving your help, he might commit sins, which you will have to share. Instead convert him into a devotee by donating knowledge so that he becomes a devotee in order to get personal help from the Lord and also helps others. Since this is the work of the God[12], such service of yours becomes God’s service. Donate knowledge and devotion, even to wealthy people. Poor does not mean the lack of money alone. It also means a lack of knowledge and devotion.

Actually the original sense of this statement is different. When the Lord comes in human form, He appears as a man. You have to detect Him by His inherent quality, which is blissful knowledge. When you serve such a man, your service becomes service to God, because that man is actually God. When God is born as a man called Krishna, some people think that Krishna is a man and some others think that Krishna is God. So, there is a controversy. God pervaded that Man as electric current pervades the metallic wire. So both God and man co-exist. Shankaracharya described this particular case alone [in His Advaita philosophy] and concluded that athough two entities are present, both are one and the same. Although the wire and the electric current are both present, the wire is the current, because the wire gives an electric shock wherever it is touched. Similarly, when God pervades a Human Body, that Human Body is God. So touching Krishna is touching God. But people extrapolated this concept to every man and said, “Every man is God”. The disciples of Shankaracharya also thought in the same manner. When Shankara swallowed hot molten lead and asked His disciples to swallow the same, the disciples realized that Shankara had proved that He alone was God and not His disciples. If every man is already God, then what is the use of all this sadhana [spiritual effort]? Who is to get salvation? If you are already God, do you mean to say that God gets salvation? If there is no salvation, then why is all this sadhana required? Why did Prahlada not accept his father as God? Narasimha[13] killed Hiranyakashipu. If both of them are God, then God killed God, which means that God committed suicide!

The Lord is Above Qualities

The ultimate God, Datta appears as pious scholar with all good qualities. Sometimes, He appears as a person drinking wine and at times He appears with a prostitute. The reason for such different and opposite qualities is that He is indicating to us that any person with good or bad qualities can reach him. The three faces of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva indicate the three qualities sattva, rajas and tamas[14]. This means that God is associated with all the qualities, and He is called as Saguna Brahma. The word ‘saguna’ means ‘with all the qualities’. Since rajas and tamas represent bad qualities, two-thirds are only bad qualities. It means that people with bad qualities are more in number. The fans of Vishnu think that Vishnu is good because He is associated with sattvam. They think that rajas is worse and tamas is the worst. So, they say that Vishnu is the best and highest. They think that Brahma is lower and Shiva is the worst. These three forms are only the three dresses of the same Lord Datta. The God [in them] is one and the same and He is untouched by these three qualities. The Veda says the same. It says that Vishnu is Brahma and also Shiva. These three qualities are the three colored clothes of the same Lord. The colour of the cloth is not the colour of the person. A person is not touched by the colour of the cloth and the colour of the person is not affected. Sattvam is white, rajas is red and tamas is black[15]. So the colour of Vishnu should be white and colour of Shiva must be black. But the colors are interchanged. Vishnu is black and Shiva is white[16]. This means Vishnu and Shiva have exchanged their qualities. Shiva is sitting in meditation displaying a good quality. Vishnu[17] is dancing with the Gopikas and it is a bad quality. Now tell Me who is greater? So, Datta is the single God present in all these three divine forms. He is not touched by any quality. Therefore, He is called as Nirguna Brahma. The same colorless person is looking red, white and black due to those colors of his clothes. This form of Datta indicates that bhakti (devotion) is untouched by good or bad qualities. Pure water is present in three differently-coloured glass cups. The water is not coloured but it appears to have a colour [due to the glasses]. Similarly, the bhakti i.e., love for God, appears to have the colour of the quality. But it is always pure and colourless.

So the person whether good or bad can reach God through any path. When bhakti is present in the person and is also present in the path, it is the driving force that is beyond good and bad qualities. Shiva with tamas as a ‘bad’ God invites bad people [to reach Him] through a bad path. Vishnu with sattvam as a ‘good’ God invites all good people [to reach Him] through a good path. But remember one thing: Vishnu and Shiva are one and the same. A good person and a bad person reach the same God because their bhakti is one and the same. The three faces [of Lord Datta] denote creation, administration and destruction of this universe, which are carried out by one and the same God. The Veda says that these are the three activities done by one and the same God called Parabrahman. So Datta is Parabrahman as per the Vedas.

We have three Gurus Shankara, Ramanuja and Madhva. They are the Incarnations of Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma respectively. It means that Datta came down as these three Gurus. So [the form of] Datta indicates that He is the single Parabrahman present in the three divine forms called Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. [The form of] Datta further indicates that He is the Sadguru present in all the three Gurus. The voice of Datta is the single common theory present in the commentaries of the three Gurus. Datta indicates that any living being is eligible to reach Him and get the salvation irrespective of his/its good and bad qualities. Datta also indicates that whether the path is good or bad, only the bhakti is given value by Him. The bhakti should be real and pure without aspiring for anything in return from Datta. A beggar comes to you and praises you a lot. Yet you ask him to move away. But a guest is given all the comforts with special love. What is the difference between these two? The intention of the beggar is to get food from you but the intention of the guest is to see and talk with you. Since the intention differs, your treatment also differs. So come to Datta as a guest and not as a beggar. If your intention is only to love Datta without aspiring anything in return, Datta will give everything to you, as you are His guest.

So any human/living being in this world is eligible to have admission into our Datta Religion irrespective of his good or bad qualities. Whatever qualities may be present in him or his path, he need not feel embarrassed when the quality is bad and he need not feel proud if the quality is good, provided he does not disturb the peace of the world. After entering into our Datta Religion, you will be imparted knowledge (jnana) by Lord Datta directly. This generates and also develops devotion. This devotion, which is the real, selfless and proved love for Lord Datta, will make you attain Datta.

The unique speciality here is that Datta donates Himself to you and merges in you while you are alive. Datta means He who donates Himself to you. In other religions, you [are said to] merge with God after death. But here God merges with you when you are alive. The Datta Religion is the actual material present in all the religions in the universe. It is the water present in all the rivers and the same also exists separately as the ocean. All the rivers have to merge in the ocean. All the religions merge in this universal religion. Datta is the universal God and the universal Guru. Datta is the universal love present in all the living beings and in all the spiritual paths. Datta is called the Digambara, which means the Actor Himself, who has removed all the dresses of His roles and is present in His original and natural dress. Datta is also called as Avadhoota, which means that if you taste Datta, all your bonds in this world, with all the people and all the things will be thrown away.

Karma Phala Tyaga to Guru is Most Important

Shirdi Sai Baba used to ask everybody for Guru Dakshina. It was only a teaching about karma phala tyaga. Patil was the highest devotee, who used to give his entire year’s crop to Baba, even though it was his minimum earning to meet his basic needs. Baba used to give him some part back. This means that he even left it to the Lord to decide the quantity of his minimum requirements! Baba once said to a rich person, who had come in the quest of Parabrahman “You could not even give five rupees from your pocket to your Guru. How can you know the Parabrahman?” That rich man could not recognize the Lord who was present before him in human form. He was prepared to give one crore[18] of rupees to his children, but not five rupees to the Lord. It means that the value of the Lord in his eyes was almost nothing. In his heart, there was no trace of love for Parabrahman. This was proved clearly by his karma phala (money). The family bonds of Indians are very strong and they store money even for their grand grandchildren. They can donate only their mind (meditation), intelligence (logical discussion) and words (chanting and singing etc.,) [to God]. The love stored in their hearts, which is like water stored in tanks, flows directly into their bonds,[19] which are like tubes connected to the tank. Not even a drop is left over in their hearts for the Lord. Only karma phala tyaga proves your love for the Lord. At least luxuries can be cut and that can be contributed as Guru Dakshina.

Sai Baba used to distribute the collected Guru Dakshina among the devotees, who were in need as He alone could know, who is deserving. Human devotees often make mistakes [in identifying the deserving receiver of the donation] and end up wasting the money or items donated. The real Guru is only the Parabrahman and so Guru Dakshina means the fruit of your work (karma phala) that is offered to the Parabrahman in human form. The human form of God is the only complete form of God as it alone can give you the fortunes of darshanam (you can see Him), sparshanam (you can touch God), sambhashanam (you can talk to God) and sahavasa (you can live with Him). The Lord says in the Gita “I come in human form”. All the four Vedas (Maha Vakyas) say that the Parabrahman comes in Human Form and you have to recognize Him by His special blissful knowledge and not by miracles. No devotee is greater than Hanuman and Radha. Hanuman became the future Brahma[20]. Radha became the queen of the 15th uppermost world, Goloka[21]. Both Hanuman and Radha worshipped the human forms available in their time alone viz. Rama and Krishna. Are you greater than Hanuman and Radha? God is impartial and so He comes in human form for every generation to give full satisfaction to devotees. Other forms like statues etc., are useful only for the purpose of seeing [the form of God].[22] These are only intellectual tricks to avoid real karma phala tyaga, because you can offer food to a statue with your hand and yet eat the whole food yourself, without having to sacrifice anything at all!

Guru means the human form of Lord Datta. Purnima means full moon. In the Shri Suktam, which is part of the Veda, it is said “Chandram Hiranmayeem” meaning the moon is Goddess Lakshmi. Goddess Lakshmi is represents money (wealth), which is karma phala (the fruit of one’s work). The full moon also represents the strong mind [mind full of strong faith] by which you have to sacrifice money to the Guru, who will utilize it correctly. Money is another form of your work (the efforts to earn money); it is the essence of your work. Returning the stolen extra money back to the Lord can cancel the sin of stealing God’s wealth. Otherwise, as said by Lord Jesus in the Bible “A camel may pass through the eye of a needle but a rich man can never reach God”.

Datta means He who donates Himself to undergo suffering for the sake of his deserving devotees. If you are ordered to pay fine by the judge, your father can pay that fine and can get you relieved from that punishment. Datta takes the human form for this purpose and undergoes real suffering. During the suffering, He should not use His power and avoid the experience of suffering. If He does so, it amounts to cheating the Lord of Justice. To get the real experience of the suffering, the human body that He takes, should follow all the rules of nature. The process of His suffering is continuous; from His birth till He leaves His human body. During this continuous process, His human body is continuously damaged. When He gives divine visions, a high voltage current flows through His body and that further damages His body. You are associated with only a few karma phalas[23]. But He is associated with several karma phalas of His devotees, which they had acquired over several births. You can weep while suffering but He should smile. If He leaves the suffering even for a minute He is not Datta in that minute. But Datta always remains Datta. He is always sitting on a throne of thorns. You are only seeing the throne but you cannot see the thorns. Datta is the practical aspect of God. “God is infinite bliss” is the theoretical aspect of Brahman. The philosophers of Advaita are attracted by the theoretical aspect, but once they come to know this practical aspect, they will like to remain in Dvaita[24] alone as servants of Datta.

Indian scholars have developed several ways to do karma phala tyaga by tricks so that they can keep the fruit (money) with themselves. For the karma phala tyaga-test, both the human form of the Lord and your money (karma phala) are required just as a paper and pen are required for a test in a school. One intellectual trick is to offer the food (karma phala) to a statue and then eat it as the remains (leftovers).  But in reality, God has not eaten even a grain from that food. Another intellectual trick is to say that every man is God and the eating of food by a man can be considered to be the eating by God. So you can eat the food yourself and say that God has eaten the food. Then you say that you have done karma phala tyaga to God. Such intellectual tricks allow you to store all your karma phalas (money) with yourself. Thus, Indian scholars have covered their greediness by the intellectual misinterpretations.

The heart is full of love and the brain is full of intelligence. Indians have connected their brains to God and their hearts to their family. The situation is reversed in the case of foreigners. Love results in karma phala tyaga. Only intelligence results in mere knowledge, praying etc., without doing any practical sacrifice. This brought poverty to India. When the wheat flour has been blown away from the hand by the wind, an Indian scholar says “I sacrifice this flour to God”[25]. You take a foreigner. He earns, enjoys and also donates for a good cause. He will ask his child to earn and live on his own after a certain age. The family bonds of foreigners are very weak compared to those of Indians. Hence, a huge amount of love is stored in them, since it is not diverted to their family bonds. Hence, once they come to know about the Lord fully, they will rush ahead with full intensity of love and devotion. They reach God quickly by their strong karma phala tyaga. The foreigner does not even store his wealth for his children due to the frankness and simplicity in his thoughts. God has blessed almost all foreign countries with a lot of wealth. On the other hand, no matter how much knowledge is showered in India, it does not come into practice. All the rain that falls on loose soil seeps down into the soil. In foreign countries, when the knowledge is showered, it is converted into practice immediately. It is like the rain that falls on a rocky surface, flows over it and becomes a river, which is useful for all the people. Even in the path of science, foreigners are practical people whereas Indians are theorists. This psychology has been continuing in the Indian tradition, for the past several generations. God blessed Indians with a lot of intelligence and blessed foreigners with a lot of wealth. The Gita says that in whatever path you approach God, He will respond to you in that same path.

Today is Guru Purnima indicating the full moon. The moon indicates the mind. The full moon indicates the strongest mind i.e. strongest determination, as indicated by the word Purnima (complete). This strongest mind should be diverted to Guru Datta. You should direct all your love towards Guru Datta. Your love can only be proved by karma phala tyaga (donating money) i.e., by offering Guru Dakshina. The Lord appeared on the Purnima day[26] so every full moon day is Guru Purnima. Guru Dakshina proves the real love for God and not mere pradakshina[27] i.e. going around Guru Datta. Give Guru Dakshina on every Purnima which comes every month.

The Lord repeatedly stresses on karma phala tyaga in the Gita by stating “Do your karma. Do not aspire for the result and for the fruit. Surrender the fruit to Me”. In the first chapter of “Yoga Vasishtham” even Lord Rama was asked to come with money to offer Guru Dakshina. The first mantra of the first Upanishad says, “The whole world is the wealth of the Lord. Take only enough to meet your minimum requirements. If you have taken more, return it back to the Lord. If you claim that the extra wealth that you have earned belongs to you, you have stolen the wealth of the Lord. The stolen money will only bring you all the sufferings”.

Guru Datta                    Shri Datta                     Prabhu Datta.

[1] Sri Kala Hasti is a famous place of pilgrimage in Andhra Pradesh, India. The Puranas mention that three animals, namely Sri (spider), Kala (snake) and Hasti (elephant), worshipped Lord Shiva here and were granted salvation.

[2] There are three fundamental qualities (sattvam, rajas and tamas) in this creation. These qualities are present in every item in creation including us. In the context of the human mind, sattvam means goodness, purity and knowledge. Rajas means anger, greed, ego and jealousy. Tamas means lust and blind attraction.

[3] Rukmini, Satyabhama and Radha were all the wives of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna was Himself an Incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

[4] Goddess Lakshmi is depicted as residing in Lord Vishnu’s heart.

[5] During one of Lord Vishnu’s previous Incarnations as the Divine Boar (Varaha) He rescued Goddess Earth (Bhu Devi) from a demon called Hiranyaksha by placing her on His tusks (mouth).

[6] After the Lord’s Incarnation as Krishna, He built a new world called Goloka for His greatest devotees, the Gopikas (milkmaids of Vrindavan). The Goloka was built even higher than His own heavenly world (Vaikuntha). Radha, the greatest of the Gopikas, is the queen of the Goloka and the Lord has kept her even above His own head. This is a recognition and reward for Radha’s greatest love for the Lord.

[7] Karma phala tyaga means the sacrifice of the fruit of one’s work. Wealth is generally the fruit of one’s work. So, karma phala tyaga means the sacrifice of one’s earned wealth. However, the human body that we are granted in this birth is also said to be the fruit of our past karma (work) and hence is also karma phala. Thus, the sacrifice of the body can also be considered to be karma phala tyaga.

[8] Scriptures.

[9] The three ishanas are: (1) Dareshana (dara + ishana) i.e. the bond with one’s spouse. (2) Putreshana (putra + ishana) i.e. the bond with one’s child. (3) Vitteshana (vitta + ishana) i.e. the bond with wealth.

[10] The power to perform miracles, being only an associated characteristic of God, can be transferred to others, just as a person’s jewels can be donated to another person. But the inherent characteristic of God, which is the ability give blissful divine knowledge, cannot be acquired by anyone else.

[11] Most of the pilgrims are capable of buying their own food. They do not need your free food.

[12] Transforming a soul from the wrong path to the right path of righteousness and devotion, is God’s work. The soul had been punished for his bad deeds so that he may get transformed.

[13] Lord Vishnu incarnated as Narasimha (lion-faced man) to save His dear child-devotee Prahlada, from Prahlada’s father, the demon-king Hiranyakashipu. Hiranyakashipu, upon getting a boon of invincibility from Lord Brahma, felt all-powerful and eternal and had declared himself as God. He would kill all those who worshipped any God other than Hiranyakashipu.

[14] Datta is any contemporary Human Incarnation. Lord Datta is depicted as a form with three heads corresponding to Lord Brahma, the Creator, Lord Vishnu, the Maintainer and Lord Shiva, the Destroyer of creation. The three are shown in one human form to indicate that the one and only Parabrahman (God), who has taken the three roles of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva in the upper worlds, has incarnated on earth in the human form of the contemporary Human Incarnation. Since, the three fundamental qualities, sattvam, rajas and tamas, are respectively dominant in Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva, the three heads also indicate the three qualities. It means that God incarnates in a human body, which made up of the three qualities and He can display all those qualities.

[15] The three qualities are commonly represented by the said colours.

[16] Lord Vishnu has a dark complexion, while Lord Shiva is fair in complexion.

[17] Lord Krishna, who was the Human Incarnation of Lord Vishnu, danced with the Gopikas.

[18] 1 crore = 10 million.

[19] Family relations like spouse and children are referred to as bonds since they bind us in worldly life and prevent our spiritual progress.

[20] Pleased by the extraordinary and selfless service of Hanuman, Lord Rama (Incarnation of Lord Vishnu), granted Him the position of the creator (Brahma) during the next cycle of creation.

[21] Goloka is the 15th world and the uppermost of all the heavenly worlds. Pleased by the extraordinary and sacrifice-filled devotion of the milkmaids of Vrindavan (the Gopikas), Lord Krishna created a new world called Goloka especially for them. He created it even higher than His own heavenly world, the Vaikuntha. This indicates His supreme love for His topmost devotees, the Gopikas. Radha, the greatest among the Gopikas, was made the queen of Goloka.

[22] Among the four divine fortunes (seeing the beautiful fom of, speaking with, touching and living with God), one can only see the form of a statute. One cannot get satisfaction by speaking with, living with or touching a statue as one can get with the living human form of God.

[23] You have to suffer for only a few of your sins in any one birth.

[24] The goal of the followers of Advaita is becoming God (realizing that you are already God). The goal of the path of Dvaita (path of duality) is to become the ever-faithful servant of God and earn His grace.

[25] When the flour has already been blown away and cannot be used anymore, he mentally ‘offers’ it to God. In other words, he will not sacrifice anything as long as there is a possibility of it being useful to him. Only things that are of no value to him will be sacrificed to God.

[26] Lord Datta was born on earth on the full moon day in the month of Margashirsha as per the Hindu (lunar) calendar. This day is celebrated as Datta Jayanti and it falls sometime during December or January.

[27] Circumambulation (pradakshina) or going around the deity is a common form of worship in India.