Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Santhi (peace) & Udaaseenabhava (unaffectedness)

From Prashanti Vahini 

By Sathya Sai Baba

p.12-17. Become the messengers of the Santhi that has no beginning or end. Hold forth for humanity the Light of Santhi. Live the ideal life, ever contented, ever joyous, ever happy.
                The Sadhakas and Bhakthas of old reached their goal through Santhi only. Santhi gave Ramdas, Tukaram, Kabir, Thyagaraja, Nandanar etc. the fortitude needed to bear all the calumny, torture and travail that was their lot. If Sadhakas base their efforts on these examples, they will be free of anger, despair or doubt. The accounts of their struggles and successes, if contemplated upon, are more useful to the Sadhaka than the contemplation of the powers and accomplishments of the Lord. They will help him to try out in their own experience the methods which these others developed. One can attain Santhi by recalling how they overcame handicaps, bore troubles, and what paths they trod to cross over to the other bank.
                It will be found that Santhi was the main instrument which saved them from the coils of anger, pain, conceit, doubt and despair. Therefore, listen, O Sudhakas! Acquire the instrument, Santhi, by the Grace of the Lord. Direct all efforts to that end.
                Whatever trouble, however great the travail, persist and win, by means of Smarana. Remember Bhishma! Though prostrate on a bed of arrows, he bore the pain patiently, awaiting the dawn of the auspicious moment: he never called out to God in his agony, asking Him to put an end to his suffering. ‘I shall bear everything, whatever the pain, however long the agony. I shall be silent until the moment comes. Take me when it dawns,’ he said. For Bhishma was the chief among the Santha-Bhaktas. He lay firm and unshakeable.
                Santhi is essential for everyone; having it is having all; not having it takes away the joy of everything. Though Santhi is the very nature of Man, anger and greed succeed in suppressing it. When they are removed, Santhi shines, in its own effulgence.
                Man must always have calm thoughts. Then only can his mind have equanimity. It is just a question of the discipline of the mind, difficult in the beginning, but, once mastered, capable of conquering all troubles and worries. An unruffled mind is very necessary for every aspirant who is marching forward; it is one of his beneficial qualities. Such a mind gives real strength and happiness. Strive to gain it, though you may fail even in seven attempts. You are sure to succeed in the eighth, if you refuse to be dispirited. The story of Bruce who drew inspiration from a spider, and won the honours of victory at the eighth attempt is worth remembering. What is it that gave him the victory? Santhi, the unruffled mind. He did not yield to despair, cowardice or helplessness; he was calm throughout, and he secured success. Even if calamity befalls, the Sadhaka should not lose heart. The mind must ever be pure, untarnished and calm, full of courage. No weeping for the past, no faltering in the performance of the task at hand, that is the mark of a Sadhaka. Be prepared to have gladly any obstacle in the path. Only such can realise the goal.
                Elation at profit, joy and cheer; dejection at loss and misery, these are the natural characteristics common to all mortals. What, then, is the excellence of the Sadhaka? He should not forget the principle: be vigilant and suffer the inevitable, gladly. When difficulties and losses overwhelm you, do not lose heart and precipitate some action; but meditate calmly on how they ever came to be. Try to discover some simple means of overcoming them or avoiding them, in an atmosphere of Santhi.
                When the blow is directed to the head, see that the turban alone gets it; this is the mark of keen intelligence. Santhi is essential for this sharpness of intellect. Haste and worry will confuse the intelligence. Santhi develops all the beneficial characteristics of man. Even farsightedness grows through Santhi. Through that, obstacles and dangers can be anticipated and averted. Sadhakas have to pay attention to some subtle points here. He has some special problems, viz. his failings, mistakes, drawbacks, etc. The Ichchasakthi, or the Will to Feel can be so purified and strengthened that these failings will never more be recollected. If thoughts run after the failings and begin to dwell on how they came about, when they came about, etc., you are prone to commit a few more. Once they have been recognised as failings, why worry about their birth and ancestry? Allow your mind to dwell on good things, instead. Of what profit is it to spend time on things that are no longer necessary? Do not think of them anymore. The Sadhaka will find this attitude useful.
                If the Sadhaka is unsuccessful in following one discipline, he has to seek and know the cause of his defeat. This analysis is necessary. He must then see that, in the second stage, the trait is not repeated. He should try his best to guard himself against it. In such matters one must be quick and active, like the squirrel. Agility and vigilance must be combined with sharpness of intelligence, too. All this can be earned only though Santhi.
                Steady and undeviating earnestness is very important for avoiding conflicts in the mind and for overcoming them. One has to be calm and unruffled. Courage, wise counsel and steadiness, these will make the Will, the Ichchasakthi, strong and sturdy. Lustre in the face, splendour in the eye, a determined look, a noble voice, large0hearted charity of feeling, unwavering goodness, these are the sign-posts of a developing and progressing Will-Force. A mind without agitations, a joyous and unblemished outlook, these are the marks of a person in whom Santhi has taken root.
                The Bhaktha can well pray for and ask from the Lord, the gift of such a Santhi, and also Sadgunas necessary for its growth. Why, the Sadhaka has as his capital for earning any of his goals, only this one thing, Prayer.
                Some people may have doubts related to this. Of what avail is Prayer? Will the Lord gratify all that we ask for, in our Prayers? He can give us only what, according to Him, we need, or what we deserve. Is it not? Will the Lord like to give us all that we ask for in our prayers to Him? Under such circumstances, what is the use of prayer? Of course all these doubts can be resolved.
                If the Bhaktha has dedicated his all, body, mind and existence, to the Lord, He will Himself look after everything, for He will always be with him. Under such conditions, there is no need for prayer. But, have you so dedicated yourself and surrendered everything to the Lord? No. When losses occur, or calamities come, or plans go away, the Bhaktha blames the Lord. Some, on the other hand, pray to Him to save them. Avoiding both these, as well as the reliance on others, if complete faith is placed on the Lord at all times, why should He deny you His Grace? Why should He desist from helping you? Men do not rely fully and unswervingly on the Lord; therefore, though you have to be the agent and the instrument doing everything, keep on paying with devotion and faith. Faith is the product of Santhi, not of haste and hurry. For the acquisition of the Grace of the Lord and the resulting Awareness of the Reality the quality of Santhi is the prime need. Every Sadhaka is aware how Draupadi deserved the Grace of the Lord, through her Dharma and her Santhi. Though her husbands were mighty heroes, and far-famed monarchs, she sought refuge in Lord Krishna, feeling that all others are of no use. But Prahlada did not seek refuge under similar circumstances. He had surrendered all at birth to the Lord; he knew that the Lord was ever by his side and that he was ever by the side of the Lord; so he had no need to call out to Him for protection. Prahlada was unaware of anything except the Lord; he could not distinguish between one function of the Lord and another. So, how could he pray for protection, he who did not know that He punished? For all such God-intoxicated and dedicated souls, prayer is unnecessary.
                But, until that stage is reached, prayer in an attitude of Santhi is essential for Sadhakas. Prayer of this type will promote equanimity, or Samarasa...If Bhajana is sung in a sweet voice, people will be drawn towards the Lord. Gradually, it will develop into the Love for God, and his Grace will follow in due course. One should patiently wait for that Grace.

p.84-85. When someone whose ways you do not appreciate comes near you, there is no need to find fault with him; there is no need either to laugh at him or show him your contempt. It is enough if you continue to do your work, unaffected by his arrival.
                Let those whose behaviour you do not appreciate follow their path, leave them alone. That is the Udaaseenabhava, the attitude of unaffectedness. After the dawn of love to the Absolute, the aspirant gets this bhaava towards all worldly things. To be more exact, one should constantly be turning over in the mind, the Reality of Brahma and the Unreality of Jagath, Brahma Sathyam: Jaganmithya. One must avoid comradeship with the bad and too much of friendship with the good, even! Attachment of this nature will drag one down from the centripetal path, the Nivrittimarga to the Pravrittimarga. Give up attachment with the momentary, the things clothed with the trappings of Name and Form. Once you have achieved this Udaaseenatha, or attitude of unaffectedness, you will have unshakeable Santhi [peace], self-control and purity of mind. You will have the steadiness and stability of Aasana.

Sri Sathya Sai Books, Andra Pradesh, India, 1962

 Spring Series 3 by Miss Menace

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