Easwaramma: We are in Maya! We are in Maya!

Easwaramma and Sri Sathya Sai BabaIn this post, we take a look at an event where the divine self-disclosure occurred in Uravakonda. We look at this story from the point of view of his Mother (Easwaramma) and his brother (Seshama Raju). This story concerns the events in Uravakonda immediately after the young Sathyanarayana Raju threw his books down, sat in the home and did not eat nor drink for three days.

Seshama Raju tells that he ran home from School and was astounded at seeing his brother. He saw a striking brilliance in his brother’s face. Raju said, “That boy is myself. I am that boy”. Seshama Raju asked, “How long will you remain a boy?” Until Maya arrives, he replied. Seshama Raju told that he could not make out what he said. Through signs, I understood that this meant, “until mother has come”. Raju did not speak again until his parents arrived.

For the three days it took for our parents to arrive, He took no meals or anything, no food at all, nor did he utter a word. Meanwhile, our parents arrived …

Three days after Raju threw his books down, Pedda Venkama Raju borrowed 200 rupees and rushed to Uravakonda to the aid of his son. When the parents arrived, they entered to find Raju among a crowd of people. There was a heap of garlands at his side.

The parents arrived. Raju took some water, and washed their feet.

A distressed Easwaramma wanted to make things normal for her son. She prepared a meal and presented it to Raju. Raju took the rice, tamarind soup, pickles and chutney and rolled it into three balls; he sprinkled tirtha, holy water, on it and handed the rolled ball of food back to his mother. He then put his hand out to receive food from his mother for the last time.

Easwaramma, within, understood that Swami was taking sanyas and this meal was the separation ritual, the cutting of ties. Quickly, she handed three balls of food to Raju. Raju sat and ate; thereafter, Seshama Raju saw a brilliant line of light leave Raju’s body, run up the wall, and exit the house.

Sometime during the days following this, Seshama Raju and Easwaramma approached Baba. Easwaramma pleaded with Baba:

Easwaramma told Raju, “We are in Maya, We are in Maya, but you are free from Maya”. We will not interfere, we will not argue. You can be whatever you are, but not in the Himalayas, not in the caves and the hills, far away from us. Give me your word that you will remain at Puttaparthi. Let your devotees come there. We will welcome them gladly, and treat them kindly.”

Here, Mother Easwaramma speaks for everyone. Easwaramma says “We are in Maya, We are in Maya, but you are free from Maya”.

So the task of finding your spiritual heart is a task that has to be done in this world of illusion, this world of name and form, this world of action and reaction. Yet, as devotees of the Lord, the task is separation from maya.

On Annunciation Day in 2002, Swami sang:

On October 20, 1940, which happened to be a Sunday,
Swami lost the collar pin and with that the veil
of Maya disappeared. The worldly attachment left
Him in the form of the collar pin. He left home saying
that Maya could not bind Him any longer. This
happened after a visit to Hampi.
(Telugu Poem)

Everything is Maya (delusion) and to grasp it, you must deal with Maya. Otherwise you cannot realise the maya sakthi (deluding power). God is as immanent in the Universe as life is immanent in the egg. The chicken is in every part of the egg; so too, God is in every part of the world. I prefer the description inner resident of all to the description, sarvabhuthantharathma (inmost soul of all beings). All are in this Hall, each one has no Hall in him, have you? In the same way, all are in Him; which is better than saying, He is in all. It is maya which binds and and limits man; all sadhana is to conquer maya. A bit of iron will sink in water but if beaten and made hollow, it will float. So beat the mind and make it hollow. then it will float on the sea of samsara. (7 Feb 59)

The Lord alone is aware of the Plan, for His is the Plan! You see only a part of the play on the stage and so it is all very confused. When the entire story is unfolded, then you will appreciate His Plan, not until then; for that you have to get behind the screen of maya and contact the Director himself. While you are an actor on the stage reciting your role, you cannot grasp the inner meaning of the entire play which has the ‘world’ as the stage and ‘ages’ as the duration.

If by acting your role well you develop prema (love) towards fellow-actors, that is more important than getting bhakthi (devotion) for God. If you acquire santhi (peace), that is a more valuable success than acquiring jnana (spiritual wisdom). For bhakthi is the seed of prema and jnana is the seed of peace. At least, devotees should behave as if they are all of one family. Take hold of the chance so luckily available for mutual co-operation in worship and spiritual discipline. (28 Sep 1960)

Maya envelopes the good with the blemish of the bad; it makes the evil glitter with the shine of the good. Discriminate to the best of your capacity, and develop your capacity to discriminate. Struggle to win, that is the best that you can do; few can say, ‘I have won’. Your conscience knows the real source of joy; it will prod you towards the right path; your business is to take it as ‘guide’ and not disobey it every time it contradicts your whim or fancy.

God is unblemished and pure. In fact, He corrects the mistakes that are there in the devotees and takes them into His fold. He will not distance Himself from anyone. Lord Krishna is a leela-manusha vigraha (donning a human vesture as part of His divine sport). Both Radha and Prabha firmly decided that they would not move away from the company of Lord Krishna. In fact, Krishna gave a glimpse of His divinity to Radha on one occasion and explained to her, “Radha! Human beings are entangled in maya (illusion). They are deluded to think that God in human form is also a human being like them. You can not develop love towards a person without developing attachment to him. This is true in the case of God in human form also. Hence, first you will have to develop attachment to a particular form of God, in order to love God. In order that people should develop attachment to the form of their choice, God assumes several forms. However, God is unblemished and remains an embodiment of purity”. (11 October 2005)

Mind is the veil of maya (illusion) that stands as an obstacle in your path to spirituality. You should not become a slave of the mind; you should conquer the mind. Only then can you attain Divinity. But you are carried away by the vagaries of the mind which is nothing but maya. You should ignore the dictates of the mind. We consider the mind to be the most important aspect of humankind. However, it can lead you to dangers and difficulties if you are carried away by its whims and fancies. Hence, do not submit yourself to the mind.

Embodiments of Love!

One who has control over the mind is a true manishi (human). One who lacks control over the mind is no human at all. How can you call yourself a human being if you are fickle-minded and depressed over trivial problems? You should make efforts to overcome problems posed by the mind without being unduly worried about them. In this world, there is nothing greater than God’s love. Hence, we should transcend the mind that stands as an obstacle in the Godward path.

Embodiments of Love!

You are born out of love and sustained by love. You should sanctify your life by leading a life suffused with love. Treat love as the very basis of your life. You are not fit to be called a human being if you submit yourself to trivial problems. Even tiny ants are able to overcome obstacles that stand in their way. Problems are not limited to human beings alone; even birds, beasts and insects have problems. (28 Aug 2004)

Here there are three letters: Ma-Na-Va. Ma means maya (illusion), Na means without, Va means varthinchuta (to conduct oneself). He is a true human being who conducts himself without being under illusion.

Don’t get deluded just because I am talking, laughing, walking and eating like you. Don’t get deluded by the body feeling. All My actions are selfless, selfless, selfless. There is no trace of selfishness in Me. Have firm faith in this truth. If you have total faith, wherever you are, all your desires will be fulfilled without your asking. Only those who don’t have total faith suffer. Develop self-confidence. That is the first sadhana you have to undertake. 15 February 1999

In Bhutakasha (the realm of form), beings are many, but the underlying Atmic principle is the same. Right from his childhood to old age, man uses the letter ‘I’ while introducing himself. Man passes through different stages of life, but the ‘I’ in him remains the same. That changeless ‘I’ is verily the Atma. Oblivious to the presence of such Divine Principle within, man is after the worldly and ephemeral pleasures. This corresponds to worldly activity, attachment. But the Atma is related to nivritti, withdrawal, detachment and renunciation. As man is engrossed in worldly attachment, he is not able to realise his true nature. All that you see in the external world is nothing but the manifestation of God. All of you who have assembled here are the embodiments of God. Even this hall is a manifestation of God. In fact, you are yourself God. Though you see God everywhere, still you search for Him. Here is a small example.

The hostel boys see Sai Geeta every day, so they are not excited about it. If they happen to see even the tail of an elephant in a forest, they feel thrilled. Likewise, though you see God in the form of people around you, you are not excited. But if you see a person with three heads, you will become ecstatic thinking that you had the vision of Divine Cosmic Form. You should understand that Divinity pervades the entire nature. Lord Krishna declared in the Gita, mamaivamsho jeevaloke jeevabhuta sanathana. (The eternal Atma in all beings is a part of My Being.) You and I are not separate. We are one and the same. Once you understand this truth, you will not go in search of God here and there. All that you find in the external world is nothing but viswa virat swarupa (Cosmic Divine Form). All forms are His. Form is associated with worldly attachments . It is the root cause of delusion. What is maya? That which leads to mistaken identity is maya. When you mistake a rope for a snake in the darkness, you are scared. But when you flash torchlight on it, you realise that it is a rope and not a snake. It is the mistaken identity that has given rise to fear in you. Once you know the reality, you become fearless. Due to the influence of worldly objects, you have forgotten your true nature. Once you recognise your true nature and strictly adhere to it, there will be no scope for delusion or fear. Where is the question of fear when you are everything and there is nobody other than you? (22 Oct 2001)

If you lack purity of heart, you will not be able to understand the principle of Atma, irrespective of your educational qualifications. You may be a highly learned person but you are not able to see your own body when you are in deep sleep. On the contrary, even an illiterate person can see himself and the surroundings if he opens his eyes. Just as ash covers the live embers, man’s vision is clouded by delusion. Consequently, he is unable to realise his true nature. Man should understand the intimate relationship between himself and Divinity. You can acquire immense power and strength once you develop purity of heart, gain spiritual knowledge and understand Divinity. Sadhana – spiritual practice- does not mean undertaking good activities like prayers and meditation. True spritual practice lies in removing the veil of illusion that covers the antahkarana (inner instrument). It is said, pashyannapi cha napashyati moodho. (He is a fool who sees yet does not recognise the Reality.) O man, is it not foolishness on your part to think that you have not seen God though you see Him in the form of the world. Fire is seen if you blow the ash from live embers. You can see the pellucid waters only after removing the moss. A person’s vision is clouded when he has cataract in his eyes. But when the cataract is operated upon, he gets back his normal vision.

Similarly, as long as a person is under the influence of the mind, he identifies himself with the body and experiences pleasure and pain. Once he transcends the mind, i.e., maya, the dualities of the world do not exist for him. He visualises Divinity everywhere. Today man tries to know Divinity with his mind. In order to visualise Divinity, you should understand the principle of Atma or ‘I’. The Atma is formless. So long as you are attached to your form, you will not understand what Atma means. Everyone introduces himself using the letter ‘I’, which is nothing but the Atma. Though not see, the Atma is present in one and all. This Atma is all-pervasive. (21 February 2001)


Easwaramma and Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Easwaramma and Sri Sathya Sai Baba