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We have made a tremendous progress in wealth, comforts and technology and aiming to win over the external worlds. In the process we lost communion with the inner worlds. A civilization which focuses completely on the inner worlds will face hardships, but the effort solely on conquering the outer world is a path of total destruction. The problems we are facing are multitude and going out of control. We have tampered with mother nature and its creation so much that the consequences of calamities and shortages staring in our face on one hand. The stiff competition, insecurity, lack of faith and trust is diluting the morality and breaking down the very social fabric which is the basis for our sustenance.

The time of the hour is ripe for a major overhaul even to slow down the path of destruction.
The Man of the hour is Sri Siva Shankar Baba who has the Intelligence, Infrastructure and Investment to turn the tide for the better. He is well-read and understands the problems of the world. He has the solution for every problem on the face of the Earth. Most importantly the solution is available for free!

Siva Shankar Baba makes no judgement of the conduct of the people approaching Him with all sincerity seeking His help. And for them He is always ready to help. He is easily accessible, and makes anyone who come to Him comfortable and relieve them of their problems. The only thing he expects in return is loyalty and gratitude towards God or kind consideration towards fellow human beings.

Samratchana is a spiritual wing started for solving worldly problems and spiritual upliftment and lakhs of people were benefited out of it. In His Ramarajya campus located in Kelambakkam, there will be daily satsangs covering wide area of topics covering from politics, finance, education, human relations, spiritual matters, etc.

His speeches are available online and He is readily accessible when approached with all sincerity.

Speech of the Day

Archive Discourses of Baba

 

Songs

 

'Tamasac ca vikurvanad
bhagavad-virya-coditat
sabda-matram abhut tasman
nabhah srotram tu sabdagam'

- Srimad Bhaagavatam 3.26.32

When egoism in ignorance is agitated by the energy of Supreme Personality of Godhead, the subtle element sound is manifested, and from sound comes the ethereal sky and the sense of hearing. So the beginning of creation is the sound. From the sound emanates the five fundamental elements. Vedas which possess a wealth of information emerged from the primordial sound (mouth of God) in a rhythmic musical composition.

Music has the biggest influence on our emotions. Some music creates very fine feelings in our hearts and relaxes our being, others make us feel more excited or agitated. Music is a great blessing. It has been used as a tool to captivate our mind and transform our nature by seers and wise through their soothing musical compositions conveying simple but powerful truth spells.

Samratchana songs are very enchanting and touches the soul. Most of them are composed in Mannadi days though songs keep on adding up periodically. Here is an effort to list all the compositions so as to pass on this rich heritage to posterity. Listen to the enchanting songs. Overcome the rigours and stress of the monotic life.

Enjoy the harmonizing influence of the melodies on your mind and body.

The videos can be viewed the best with the following Plug-in

 

Sri SivaShankara Thiruppalli Ezhuchi

Thiruppalli Ezhuchi -1 Thiruppalli Ezhuchi -2 Thiruppalli Ezhuchi -3 Thiruppalli Ezhuchi -4
Thiruppalli Ezhuchi -5 Thiruppalli Ezhuchi -6 Thiruppalli Ezhuchi -7 Thiruppalli Ezhuchi -8

 

Samratchana Songs

Aalayamani Galu Gallunira Govinda Brindavana
Nandalala Nandalala Ondrum Illatha Vazhvil Paarayanam Sei
Pathiramathu Thangam Sitham Unakkilayo Vanthuvittathu Vanthuvittathu
Yaar Baba Endru Kettal Em Madamum Kannul -by Mrs.Vijaya Kannan

 

Padhukaa Ramayanam

Sri SivaShankara Padhukaa Ramayanam

 

Gadothgaja Bhajans - 'Atma Layam'

Bhajan 1 Bhajan 2 Bhajan 3 Bhajan 4
Bhajan 5 Bhajan 6 Bhajan 7 Bhajan 8

 

Harathi and Mangalm Songs

Om Jai Siva Shankarare Ammaiyodu Appanodu

 

 

 

Videos

 

The energy of Ayyappa assumed the form of Poorna Brahmam in 2001, when the first Kumbabhishekam was performed. In the span of the next twelve years, the divine energy of Poorna Brahmam scaled still higher proportions. The second kumbhabhishekam was performed with great pomp and piety for three days along with the consecration of the temples of Sri Ganeshpuri KarpagaVinayagar and Sripuram AshtaDasaBhuja Durga in June 2011. The team of Vedic priests from Nagapattinam were invited for this three day event.

The videos below captures the zeal and religious fervour with which the Samratchana team and the devotees performed the Kumbabishekam celebrations.

The videos can be viewed the best with the following Plug-in

PooranaBrahmam Temple Kumbabishekam (10th June 2011) - Part 1

 

PooranaBrahmam Temple Kumbabishekam (11th June 2011) - Part 2

 

PooranaBrahmam Temple Kumbabishekam (11th June 2011) - Part 3

 

PooranaBrahmam Temple Kumbabishekam (12th June 2011) - Part 4

 

PooranaBrahmam Temple Kumbabishekam (12th June 2011) - Part 5

 

Baba's Speech on Kumbabishekam Day (12th June 2011)

 

Sri SivaShankar Baba's Kailash Visit

 

 

Photo montage of Poorana Brahmam Perumal and Temple

 

 

Kumbhabishekam to Lord Ayyapan Temple at Baba's residence in Annanagar in the year 1983

 

 

 

 

Question & Answer

 

Sri Siva Shankar Baba had a very humble beginning from utter poverty to reach pinnacle in his career very early in his age. At one point He was heading multiple organizations like Rotary Clubs, was a biggest stockist in Chennai for Glaxo, Hindustan Lever, etc. He has been a very caring father, friend, advisor to all his friends and well-wishers. He has been a good Samaritan all through his life.

After self-realization when He went all out on the spiritual path, he faced uphill tasks and was dragged into legal battles by people jealous of his success and opposed to His divine activities. He never swerved from his path of righteousness.

His wide range of experiences from poverty to riches, from utter disappointments to effortless successes, from criticism, opposition to appreciation has been instrumental understanding the problems of transforming lives of thousands of people. He is open and easily accessible. He can easily connect with a young infant as well elderly person as well as experts in all walks of life.

The wonderful combination of His worldly expertise and spiritual prowess is valuable to provide solutions of all humankind.

The question and answers session can open up a slew of new possibilities for those who approach Him. Please approach and avail this golden opportunity.

What is the first step towards self-realisation?

Knowing that you are not what you seem to be. 'Thannai arindhu inburave Vennilave, oru thanthiram nee sollavendum Vennilave'. The saint Vallalar, requests the Moon to guide him to his self.

What is the means to realize the self? If you split the word 'thanthiram' in Tamil, it becomes 'than'(self), 'thiram' (ability). Our ability, our efforts to realize our ability, this is thanthiram. How many persons really persevere to know the self? Most of them delude themselves assuming the world to be real and so become conceited with their worldly successes. But none of these is real.

The respect given by a police constable to a police officer, is accorded to that position and not to the concerned person. A retired police officer does not get that respect, does he?

The respect and authority accorded to materialistic stations are false. They hold good only as long as you occupy a position of power. 'Kudai nizhalil irundhu kunjaram oorndhor nadaimelindhenum nanninum nannuvar'.Destiny makes the rich, poor and the poor, rich; the wheel of fate is forever spinning, not sparing anyone. 'Mudi saarntha mannarum mudivil oru pidi saambal aavar.' Death reduces even the emperors to ashes.

'Padhavi poorva punyaanam'. The consequences of good deeds accumulated over several births, determine your present status. You may bask in its glory; but when the account is settled, that is the end of your prosperous time. Even the position of Indra (the deity of thunder) undergoes changes. When you practice austerities and perform the ordained yagams (fire offerings), you acquire the post of Indra. Once the tenure is over, you have to take birth again. And it is possible that you may not get a position again.

And, only the person who occupies the post of Indra changes. Just as a district collector is given a car, bungalow, the posting of Indra brings along with it Indra loka (abode of Indra) and also Indrani (the female aspect of Indra). There is a mythological episode: a person who had acquired the post of Indra was hurrying towards the palace, desiring the company of Indrani, when the Saptha Rishis (the seven Rishis of the celestial world) crossed his way. Unable to contain himself, the 'Indra' uttered, 'Sarpa!'. Sarpa means 'move fast' as well as 'serpent'. One of the Rishis was infuriated at this, and cursed the 'Indra' to turn into a serpent. So that person took on the serpent form, even without enjoying the benefits of the seat due to 'Indra'. Posts are transient. Azhwar sings, 'Indiralokam aalum acchuvai perinum venden, Arangamaanagarulane!' 'Even the position of Indra is transient and so O Lord! I want You only'. This is the sublimity bestowed by devotion.

A king, once passing through a forest, came across a sage and requested the holy person to accompany him to his kingdom. It was not affection for the sage that prompted this action on the part of the king. His motive was to expand his kingdom and acquire more wealth, with the help of the sage. The holy man, divining this intention, resolved to bring the king back to his senses. He bedecked himself in silk garments, sprayed perfumes and ordered for rich food. The king, feeling that he had misconstrued a jolly person for a sage, decided to send him back to the forest. Just as the sage was about to depart again for the forest, the king said, 'I thought you were a saintly person. Why did you indulge in such merriment?' To which the sage replied, 'I wanted to demonstrate to you that I could lead both the life of a recluse as well as a luxurious life and yet be unaffected; whereas you have not yet mellowed.'

There is another anecdote. Mahalakshmi, the deity of wealth, appeared before a hermit and told him, 'You are destined to enjoy luxuries for the next 22 days'. The saint protested, on the grounds that he had no use for luxuries. Mahalakshmi insisted that the account (of his punyam) had to be settled and so the saint had no option left, but to accept what life had to offer. A king passing through the forest with his retinue, escorted the hermit in his palanquin to his palace. The hermit was annoyed that the words of the Goddess had to come true so soon.

Arriving at the king's court, the hermit resolved to somehow falsify the deity's boon. He struck at the king's crown. The assembled crowd panicked, wondering how the king would react. Since destiny decreed the saint to live luxuriously for 22 days, Mahalakshmi inserted a serpent in the king's crown. And so, the gathering praised the hermit for his foresight. Impressed, the king assigned the hermit a palace nearby his private chambers. The hermit was exasperated with the turn of events.

Late into the night, the hermit knocked at the private chambers of the king. When the king stepped outside, the hermit struck him down and dragged the queen out of the chamber. The hermit 's objective was to prove his supremacy over the Goddess; he was not concerned about anything else. Mahalakshmi had to once again intervene to uphold destiny, and so caused the chamber to crash down. Everyone praised the hermit for averting the fatal accident by pulling out the royal couple.

Twenty-one days passed by thus. On the twenty-second day, Mahalakshmi materialized and told the hermit, 'Your destiny changes today. Watch out'. Having so long assumed that the powers of his penance were the reason for his luxurious life, the hermit plucked a mango from the king's garden and offered it to the king as prasadam. Soon after, the king fell sick. The court physician examined the king and declared that someone had given the king a poisoned mango. The king immediately suspected the hermit of treason, and decided to send him away without punishment because the hermit had earlier saved his life twice. And that was the end of the hermit's stint at the palace.

Fate decides what has to be given to whom. If you are destined to be rich, then, even if you are stranded on the pavement, fortune will show your way. Else, how much ever you try, fortune will skip you.

'Arathaaru idhuvena venda sivigai porutthanodu oorndhaan idai'. You may have performed charity in some earlier birth of yours, and so you are wealthy in this birth. A person who travels in a palanquin is enjoying the consequences of his good deeds of the past. This is a message to the persons who are bearing him on their shoulders that they need to refine themselves.

Failing to understand that what one enjoys is the result of one's good deeds, persons assume that they are singled out for happy lives. As long as it is smooth sailing, they glorify God to the skies; when they encounter a trivial problem, they immediately denounce God.

What you sow, you reap. That is why our wise elders declared, 'Padhavi poorva punyanam, likhyathe janma patrika'. The horoscope reveals how much of good you have accumulated from your previous births. When you reflect on all these issues, you will understand that the world is nothing but an illusion. And then you will start on your quest for the Truth.

'Aridhaagiya Meiporulukku Upadesam Aruliyava'. God's Grace helps you comprehend the Infinite Truth. You realize that everything in this world is false. Thiruvalluvar clarifies, 'Aiyyunarvu eidhiya kannum payaninre Meyyunarvu eidhaadhavarkku'. Your worldly knowledge comes to naught if you have not comprehended the true nature of the self. What is this 'meyyunarvu'? Knowing that life is similar to an inflated balloon, comprising the five elements: Air, Space, Fire, Water and Earth. Once you know that you are just a puppet in the hands of the Supreme, you will not allow yourself to be deceived by the illusion called 'world'.

There is another story. A ship tossed about in a tempest, crashed on an island. The sole survivor of the ship woke up to the sound of drums. He was startled by the inhabitants of the island showering him with garlands. They clarified that whoever was washed ashore was declared the king of the island for one year, and at the end of one year period, was left to his fate in the nearby forest, inhabited by lions and tigers. He sought the advice of an elder in the tribal group, and the latter advised him to make use of his one year tenure as king, to build a palace in the forest with all provisions to last a lifetime, so that when he was abandoned, there would be no reason to worry.

This parable implies that we are all washed ashore onto the banks of this world. For another 30 to 40 years, we may enjoy all the luxuries 'life' has to offer. On completing the life term, we will be escorted to the forest ('sudukadu', meaning cremation ground). A wise person will, during his time on earth, gather everything that is required for the life after, i.e. the 'forest' life. Accumulate wealth for after-life.

Appar Swami says, 'Just as you pack tamarind rice, curd rice for your pilgrimages, the penance and grace you accumulate during this life-time will help you in your journey towards God'.

Knowing that this world is luxury, you must be grateful to God for blessing you with a human life ('aridhagiya maanidapiravi'), do as much charity and as much penance as you can, for, that is your passport to the other world. (Dhaanamum thavamum seivaarayin, Vaanavar naadu vazhi thirandhidume). This world does not accommodate the poor, and the spiritual world does not entertain those who lack Divine Grace. (Porul illaarkku ivvulagam illai; Arul illaarkku avvulagam illai).

Earn. Work. Be with your family. Do charity in some way, may be sharing your knowledge, serving others, do anything you can. This will help your sojourn in the other world. Give without hoarding. Knowledge is the greatest legacy you can pass on to your children. (Saanron aakkuthal thanthaikku kadane!). Your children will not know the pleasure of hard work if you bequeath them wealth. Guide them on the path of devotion; teach them good manners. Let them grow up on the strengths of the virtues you impart to them. Meanwhile, do charity and you will have a smooth passage to the other world. But beware. In the name of charity, do not give away your wealth to undeserving persons. Donate to worthy persons. 'Paathiramarindhu pichai idu'. You will get good harvest, only when you sow your seeds on fertile soil. (Thaalaatri thandha porul ellam thakkaarkku velaanmai seidharporuttu).

Charity is not restricted to wealth alone. Charity can be rendered through any means; it can be the sharing of knowledge or medical services, distribution of food. In ancient days, generous persons constructed 'chowltries' (chathirams; rest houses) to shelter and feed weary and hungry pilgrims. It was considered a blessing to be able to distribute food to yatris (pilgrims)

Kalamega pulavar, on one of his pilgrimages, knocked at the doors of Kaathan Chathiram , near Nagapattinam. The caretaker was a lazy and cunning fellow who did not understand the noble purpose of the rest-house. The poet-pilgrim never got food on time; if he asked for supper, what he got was breakfast the next day morning. Frustrated, the poet wrote on the walls with charcoal

'Katthukkadal soozh Naagai
Kaathan than chatthirathil
Asthamikkum podhil arisi varum
Kuthhi ulaiyilida oor adangum
Oragappai annam ilaiyilida Velli ezhum'.

'In the Kaathan Chathiram at Nagapattinam that is cradled by the waves, grains are available for cooking at sunset, the town would have slept by the time it is placed on the oven and the morning star would have risen by the time it is placed on the plate'.

This can also be interpreted thus: 'Food is available even at night-time; the food offered fills your empty stomach, and whatever be the time you visit, you will be served food hot from the oven'. This is the mark of a good rest-house; food is available anytime and available hot, and is served with affection.

Wealth, if not used for good purposes, is equivalent to a toxic tree that poisons air. (Nachappadaathavan selvam naduvooril nachumaram pazhuthatru). When a noble person gains some wealth, he immediately uses it to uplift the needy, like a well that gives water to everyone (Ooruni neer niraindhatre ulagavaam Perarivalan Thirupayanthookkar seidha nanmai, nayanthookkin nanmai kadalinum peridhu). And it must be rendered on time. Water quenches thirst, but what is the use of fetching water after someone collapses from thirst? (Kaalathinaar seidha nanri siridheninum Gnalathin maanaperidhu). Service rendered in time, is much more valuable than the Earth itself.

So, the first step to realizing oneself is: understanding that worldly possessions are false. Next is: knowing that God is the only immutable power and He is our only refuge. And subsequently embark on the voyage towards the Ocean of Bliss called God. Do charity while you are prosperous. Perform poojas and sing the Lord's praises.

You maintain a separate travel kit containing your toiletries:- maybe a toothpaste sachet, sample soap, a small comb and so on -- to use during your travel, don't you? You have made ready everything that is required for your short-distance travels in this world. Have you prepared yourself for the long-distance travel beyond? When you start thinking thus, you will realize that nothing belongs to you, and start scoring victories in your quest, victory in terms of knowledge of Truth. Then you will be able to distinguish Truth from deception. When the Lord of Death comes to take possession of you, none gives you company (Velai namanum varuvaanil thambi thanaiyar thunaiyaamo?'). But the world does not understand this Truth.

On one of his visits to Vishnu loka, Narada found Vishnu (Lord Narayana) in solitude. He asked the Lord, 'I thought you would be very busy; but you seem to be relaxing', to which Narayana laughed in jest, 'Well, no one seems to have time for me in this Kali yuga; people are engrossed in the luxuries of the world'. Narada refused to believe this. So Narayana said that if Narada could find a person willing to come to Deva loka, He would permit such a person without any test.

Narada apprised every person who seemed a devotee of the good news that the Lord had consented to grant free entry. But to his amazement, he did not find any single mortal prepared to accept his invitation. Narada finally located one person who was prepared to accompany him, but only after his son got married. Narada went to him again after the marriage was over, and the old man wanted to play with his grandchildren before departing from Earth. This went on, till the day came for the person's natural death. The man's attachment towards his family caused him to take birth as a dog in the same house. Narada told the person, 'If you had heeded my words, you would have been blessed by Narayana's company. Now you have taken birth as a dog ('Nai', in Tamil). To which the man replied, ' I am guarding my son's house'. The grandchild pelted a stone at the dog but the grandfather tolerated this, saying, 'after all, it was my grandson who hit me'. Narada decided that his wait for the man was fruitless. Meanwhile the man's wife also took birth as a dog in the same house. Narada approached her and asked her if she was ready to come with him to heaven. Before she could say 'yes', a few dogs chased her and she seemed to relish the chase much better than Heaven!!

This is the state of affairs in society today. People pursue perishable commodities. Just like the dog gnaws at a bone, unaware that the taste is caused by its bleeding jaws, so too, people do not realize that what they think as the pleasures of this world, are, in fact, pain.

Pattinathar laments 'Thai thadai enren. Thaaram thadai enren. Thanayan thadai enren. Ini en seigein, en seigeine?' That is why Arunagirinathar says, 'Never again will I lose myself in the pleasures of accumulating property, women and gold'. 'Agam, maadu, madanthai enra mooavasaiyil mayangi thiriveno'

A snake swallowed a frog. Not realizing that it was imprisoned in a serpent's jaws, the frog was trying to trap a fly. Similarly, not knowing that our end is near, we try hard to hoard material possessions, and fritter away our precious lives.

If God seals you with your expiry date, like the medicines have their expiry date marked on them, you will not get caught in illusions, will you? (Laughs). Persons imagine that they are destined to live for 100 years and that early death is only for others. Death can occur at any second. That is why wise men declare, 'I wasted my life in worldly pursuits, and did not make a single garland for the Lord of Thirutthani, the Lord of Wisdom.' ('Umbar paravum Thirutthanigai malaimel Irupparkku thumbakkudalai edukkaamal avala vayitrai valarpatharke allum pagalum alaikinravathallal Sivakkaniyai sera karuthuginren!')

He who knows the world is illusion, seeks the 'Maamaayan' who is beyond illusion. 'Maamaayan' means the one beyond everything. Till you realize this, you will continue hankering after status and wealth. You are prepared to fall at the feet of politicians for your material elevation, but you consider it below your dignity to prostrate in front of the Lord! This is the sad state of the present day society.

Buddha said, 'This world is false. This world is filled with miseries'. ('Lokam Soonyamayam. Lokam Ksheenamayam') And you must remember that he knew the contrast much better; his journey from Siddhartha who revelled in worldly pleasures to Gautama Buddha, the Enlightened One; a single visit out of his palace revealed to him that age, disease and the resulting peevishness are a result of man's ignorance.

The king Yayati married Sage Sukracharya's daughter. And he also involved himself with that lady's maid. Sukracharya, infuriated by his son-in-law's immorality, cursed him to turn old. The king begged for mercy, and the sage told him that the curse could not be revoked, but the king could request the princes to exchange his old age for youth. The king thus obtained fresh leases of life from his sons. After several years of revelling in worldly pleasures, Yayati realized that the only way to get out of his desires was to drop them.

Desires do not vanish on their own accord. You must take the effort to free yourself from desires. It is you who are attached to the world, not the other way around. 'Atradhu patrenil utradhu Veedu'. When you become aware that the world is transient, you will seek the Only Eternal Being, God. When you reach that state, you will learn the three ways of protecting your mind from disturbances as elucidated by Arunagirinatha, 'O Mind! Here are the three ways of safeguarding yourself from the onslaught of desires.

1. Give without hoarding (Karavaadu iduvai).

Do charity in some way, may be sharing your knowledge, serving others, anything you can. The fragrance of a flower remains in the hands of the one who has held it, even after it is discarded. You will find joy in giving, regardless of whether the recipient has felt the happiness or not.

Koti Mahaan, who was in a position to give anything to the seeker, used this simple way to liberate persons from their ignorance: if someone told him, 'You are God; only you can free us from our miseries', the saint would smilingly take whatever money the person had with him, or confiscate the person's watch. Kotiswami had no need for any of these worldly trivialities. This was his way of impressing upon you, your dishonesty. And if persons tried to outwit the saint by leaving their possessions in the gate and then deliver the same dialogue to Koti Mahaan, the saint would flash an innocent smile, and pick up their possessions from wherever they had left them.

I am narrating you this to make you understand how dishonest persons are, with themselves. The world is very illusory.

2. Contemplate, always, on the Lotus Feet of the Lord. (Vadivel iru Thaal ninaivai ninaivai)

Whatever you do, have your thoughts focused on the Lord, in any form you like, be it Perumal or Siva or Muruga. Have the Lord in your thoughts always. Sip coffee assuming that the Lord is sipping it from within you. When you bathe, imagine that you are performing abhishekam to the Lord. Dress well, knowing that you are adorning the Lord. When you eat, consider it as neivedyam to the Lord. Seek God within.

3. Know that the Lord is the doer, you are His chosen instrument. (Viduvai, Viduvai, vinai yaavayume)

When you perform charity, it is possible that at one stage, you become conceited. To avoid this, remind yourself that you are the custodian of God's money; it does not belong to you. God has entrusted you with His wealth, so that you may perform more charity and therefore accumulate virtues on your way. '

When you diligently work on these three factors, what does God do? Arunagirinathar says, 'I must neither remember you, nor forget you. [It is only when you forget that you have to remind yourself of His Presence.] So, Muruga, place your Lotus Feet in the lotus of my heart' ('Karudha marava neri kaana Un Iruthaal Vanajam thara enrisaivaaye!')

'Thiniyana manovilai meedhu adiyaar aravindham arumbuvatho!' Footprints are visible only on soft earth but will they be visible on a cemented surface? Only if your heart is mellowed, will the Lord's Footprints be visible on it. How will God present Himself on hard surface? Azhwar sings, 'O Narasingha! Let my heart mellow with constant thoughts of you' ('Aadi Aadi agankuzhaindhu manam naadi naadi Narasingha ena')

Arunagirinatha states that the reason for his Kandar Anubhuti verses are, 'so that my stone-hard heart may mellow' ('Nenjakkanakallum negizhndhu uruga'). Why should the stone-surface mellow? Only when the surface is soft will the Lord's Footprints be visible.

When you contemplate on all these factors and try to do good in the best way possible, you will know that since there is no way to discard this physical form that has been ordained by the Lord, it is better to start seeking the Lord within. And when you start looking within, you will start imbibing divine qualities. You start becoming divine. Till then you are 'half man, half beast' (Baba smilingly hums the lines 'Manithan paadhi, Mirugam paadhi' from Alavandhan movie). When you start doing good, you are in the process of becoming divine. And when you comprehend that you are God, you will never stoop down in life. 'Thannaiariya thanakkoru thaazhvillai'

Why must you know yourself? So that you understand that you are not this physical form that you assume yourself to be; you are an aspect of the Divine. And then you will accept the bouquets and brickbats handed down to you, with equanimity, because you know that it is the God within you who is receiving them. If someone garlands you, he or she is garlanding the Lord within you. If someone ridicules you, he or she is ridiculing the Lord within you.

Surrender everything that happens to you, to the Lord within. This is the state of self-realization. When you attain this state, there is nothing you have to do. Arunagirinathar sings, 'Grant me that I may understand that You and I are one' ('Nee veru enaadhirukkum naan veru enaadhirukkum bhavatheetham arulvaaye'). Then you will be in constant bliss. And to reach this state, you must overcome the barriers of worldly attachments. When you try to cross this hurdle, God Himself will guide you. Till you attempt to free yourself from these worldly fetters, God will be a silent spectator.

There is only one difference between an Agnaani (ignorant person) and a Meignaani (realized person). An agnaani's soul watches in silent amusement, the person fooling himself with the bodily illusions of this world. When someone realizes that this physical form and the world it is attached to, are false, then this physical form starts enjoying the bliss of the Supreme Soul within. (Sarierathin seshtaigalai Atma rasithukkondiruppadhu Agnaniyin udal. Atmavin samatkaarathai, adhan prabavathai sarieram vedikkai paarthukkondirukkum Gnaniyin udalil.)

Siva Shankar Baba is happy always, in a constant state of ecstasy, because he has become a Gnaani by God's Grace. I can bring forth any Divine Aspect from within me, because the physical form is able to visualize that aspect of Divinity as the soul guides. I am seeing with my physical eyes, everything that goes on at the soul level. I am able to visualize Muruga dancing on His Golden Peacock.

If you want this to happen to you, overcome your attachment to your physical form during your lifetime. Learn to see the Light within. Familiarize yourself with the sound vibrations within you and you will attain that bliss. ('Natravathor ullinrundhu ongum Namachivayaathai kandaal unakku andha anandham kidaikkum'). Then nothing in the world can affect you. No one can disturb your poise. You have comprehended God's presence within you. And He will start performing for you. You can extend this to help anyone who seeks your help. That is how it happens to me. I have realized God within, and so He attends to every task of mine. He knows what is needed for me.

You have come to me, because of your faith in my Divinity. I tell God within me, 'These persons have come to me with faith. Please take care of them'. If prayers are powerful enough to ignite the power from within an idol, how much more powerful a human form can be! Pamban swamigal vows, 'Ennai kaividinum ennai nambinaaraikkaividel' He means to say, 'even if you let me down, do not let down those who have come with the faith that I am You'. This is the thinking pattern and living philosophy of a Gnaani. It is possible for you too to attain this state. You only need to set out on your quest for Truth, then results start happening. That is what Jesus means by saying, 'Ask and you shall receive. Knock and the doors shall open. Seek and you shall attain'. Unfortunately, persons are asking for or seeking worldly trinkets.

It is difficult for you to believe me when I say you are seated on water. But dig the ground and you will find water at some depth underground; continue digging, you will hit oil, and if you dig deeper you may strike gold. If your search is true, you will truly find what you are searching for. If your search is for Truth, you will attain Truth. (Theduvadhu Unmaiyenil Unmayil Adhu kidaikkum).

To strike gold, you will have to dig deep. You know that Pillaiyar (Vinayaka) is one form that can be moulded into any substance, be it clay or turmeric or gold. I have dug deep within me, and I have become a gold Pillaiyar. Let us assume you are not able to put in as much effort as I did. Dig till you hit clay at least. I will then be able to mould a clay Pillaiyar of you. And you will be worshipped on Vinayaka Chathurthi day!

It does not really matter if you are not yet able to become a gold Pillaiyar. If you nurture the drive to become at least a clay Pillaiyar, you will become a Pillaiyar. And you know that Pillaiyar is the principal deity; all prayers are directed to Him first. So it will be worth your while.

This is what spirituality is all about. But you must initiate that thought.

Does God Exist?


The world does not owe its origin to us. We take birth in a world that already is. Death may occur any moment. So creations are perishable objects; this is our logical conclusion. Since everything in the world is subject to destruction, there must be an immutable object. This is logic number one.

Secondly, we have entered a world that already exists. This implies that there is a creator. Some factory worker must have manufactured this microphone speaker. Some potter must have moulded the pots that help you to store water. A painter draws a painting. So, logically, since each creation has a creator and since we are creations (or creatures), there must be a Creator! You can call the Creator 'God', call him 'Nature'; address Him by any name. There is a Supreme Force; Its Presence cannot be negated.

If a theft occurred, you seek the help of a police constable to trace the thief. He sketches the footprints at the scene of the crime, and the police dog trails the scent to the thief. The spectacular sights in this universe speak the glory of God, their Creator; on every magnificent spectacle in nature are marked the footprints of the 'Ullam Kavar Kalvan', the One who captivates us with His Grace. By experiencing His presence in nature, you know that such a "Thief" does exist. This is logic.

The second proof is Experience. God has materialized to every devotee who invested faith in His Presence. The elephant Gajendra, appealed to Lord Narayana when a crocodile held one of the elephant's legs in its jaws, and the Lord granted Gajendra salvation. Do not ask if there is proof for the occurrence. Whatever you know about this world is also information passed on to us down the ages. You have not personally met Thomas Alva Edison or Isaac Newton. You have read about them in your science book, and yet you are prepared to applaud their discoveries and inventions, aren't you? If history and science can be true, then spiritual lore are also true. This means God must have granted Gajendra, Moksha (salvation).

There are numerous mythological/historical records of God revealing His presence. Kambar, a Tamil poet, incorporated a sequence called 'Hiranya Vadhai padalam' in his delineation of the Ramayana. Scholars refused to acknowledge his version of Ramayana if it contained the episode on Lord Narasimha, on grounds that it did not figure in Valmiki's Ramayana. Kambar declared that that part was handed to him by God Himself; so it was His responsibility to change it, if required. The scholars scoffed at him saying they would concur if God personally testified. So Kambar recited the 'Hiranya Vadhai padalam' at a Mandapam at the Srirangam temple, to an audience of learned scholars. As he was reciting the phrase, 'yaarada sirithathu' (who laughed?), the place reverberated with laughter; the audience was spellbound.

Prahlada was constantly chanting 'Om Namo Narayana'. His father, the demon-king Hiranyakasipu, demanded proof of Narayana's presence, to which the child replied, 'He is present in this pillar, in a tiny pin, in the minute fraction of an atom; why! He is present even in the word you just uttered.' The irate king struck at the pillar, and in that instant, God, in the form of Lord Narasimha, roared out of the pillar, and slayed the demon-king.

That is how God responded to a child's absolute trust in His Presence.

In the Sarabeswarar temple at Thirubhuvanam near Kumbakonam, there is a sanctum for Lord Siva. This idol is known by the name Kambakateswar. The reason being, a king was afflicted with Brahmahathi dosha (a severe curse), and nothing seemed to relieve him. The king, desperate for relief, bemoaned his fate in front of the sanctum and Lord Siva emerged from a pillar in the temple and put an end to the king's misery. This is why Siva is known here as Kambakateswar [Kambam (pillar) + Eswar (Siva)].

An incident at Thiruvannamalai: a noble at the King's court, Sammandhandar misguided the king Vallabha Deva that Arunagirinatha had faked Muruga's darshan. He challenged Arunagirinatha to reveal Muruga to the courtiers. Arunagirinatha, placing his trust in Muruga, accepted the challenge. Despite Arunagirinatha singing the praises of Lord Muruga, the Lord did not present Himself for a long time. The saint realized that Goddess Shakthi was caressing Muruga on her lap, in response to the entreaties of a Shakthi upaasaka (ardent devotee of Shakthi), at the instance of Sammandhaandar. Immediately, Arunagirinatha sang the praises of the peacock, Muruga's divine vehicle. In response, the peacock appeared before Lord Muruga and caressed Him with its feathers, making the Lord to become aware of what was happening and the Lord rushed out to His devotee's aid. Muruga emerged from a pillar. The sanctum is named after Muruga, 'Kambathu Ilayanaar Sannidhi' (another name for Muruga is Kumara, the Youthful One: Ilayanaar.)

Kachiyappa Sivachariar of Kandakottam, Kanchipuram, was ordained by Muruga to compose the Skanda Purana in Tamil. When the words 'thikadachakram aindhudaiyaan' were recited, a scholar from the assembled gathering of scholars protested that Tamil grammar did not allow those words to be split. When Sivachariar humbly conveyed that Muruga Himself was the composer, the scholars ridiculed him demanding proof from Muruga Himself. And the Lord presented Himself in the form of a Tamil scholar and said, 'Study the eighteenth sutra of Veerachozhiam (a Tamil Grammar treatise); there is a supporting rule'.

God has manifested Himself in several such forms; both divine representations as well as human forms. He has also rewarded the faith of persons, by granting them the boons they have sought.

The district court at Cuddapah in Andhra Pradesh has record of the following incident: a person had borrowed Rs.3000 from a money-lender. When he went to repay it, the money-lender said his accountant was on leave and asked the borrower to return it the next day. The borrower insisted that he had full trust in the landlord, and handed over the amount stating that he would take the promissory note later. Some days later, the greedy landlord sent a legal notice to the borrower demanding repayment of the loan. The poor villager was aghast. The case was brought to court. The British Judge, moved by the tears of the accused, asked him if he could produce any witness to provide proof of the repayment of loan. The innocent villager named Lord Venkatachalapathy as his witness. The Judge, taking the villager's words literally, summoned 'Venkatachalapathy' to court. On the next hearing, a dark-complexioned, middle-aged person answered to the name of Venkatachalapathy. He affirmed that the money had been returned and was hidden underneath a dress in a steel bureau. And so it was. Perumal had responded to court summons, all for the sake of a naive villager who trusted Him.

Krishnaiyyer, a person in the services of Arcot Nawab, was a devout person. All others in the office were jealous that Krishnaiyyer was in the Nawab's good books. They pounced upon every petty opportunity to tarnish his name. Once, he started his accounting for the day with a Pillaiyar Suzhi (invocation to Vinayaka). The conspirators brought this to the Nawab's notice. When the Nawab asked for the ledger, there was a line from the Holy Quran, in place of the Pillaiyar Suzhi. Some days later, Krishnaiyyer went on a week's leave, not disclosing to his Islamic superior that he was on a pilgrimage to Tirupati. The scheming officers immediately sneaked this information to the Nawab. Just before the Nawab could question Krishnaiyyer, a Sufi appeared, exclaiming to Krishnaiyyer, 'I saw you at Mecca last week. How have you managed to return so early from your pilgrimage?' These are historical records that evidence the omnipresence of God.

You can witness His presence in your own life. You may have observed that in times of distress, the person who responds to your call for help, will either bear the name of your favorite deity or be connected in some way to your favorite place of worship. For instance, if your favorite deity is Muruga, the person who supports you will have one of the numerous names of Muruga: Karthikeya or Saravanan. So, never assume that God has to present Himself physically.

Rama appeared in the form of a buffalo to enthrall his devotee Bhadrachala Ramadas. Shirdi Sai Baba confirmed that it was he who had taken the form of a black cat and upset the vessel containing curd, to prevent his devotee from drinking sour curd. To satisfy the wish of a poor old woman who wanted to offer him food, he had taken the form of a black dog and partaken of the bread slice she had thrown to him.

Arjuna undertook a penance to get the Pasupathaasthra (a weapon) from Lord Siva. He did not realize that it was Siva who appeared in the form of a hunter to test his faith.

Resolving to marry none other than Siva Himself, Parvathi took birth as Himavan's daughter. However, she failed to identify Siva who manifested Himself in the form of an elderly ascetic. Valli was eagerly waiting to wed Muruga. The Lord did appear, but it was in the form of an old man, and Valli failed to recognize Him.

Adi Sankara was on a pilgrimage to Kasi seeking the blessings of Kasi Viswanatha. He felt thirsty. A cobbler offered him water from his leather bag. Adi Sankara grew furious and said, 'Low-born! Move away', to which the cobbler retorted, 'Whom are you asking to move away: this body or the Atma within this body?' Only then did Adi Sankara understand that it was Kasi Viswanatha Himself (the presiding deity of Varanasi/Kasi) who had come in the form of a cobbler to enlighten him. Lord Siva appeared in the form of a butcher to Somasi Nayanar who trusted Sundaramoorthy Nayanar's words.

The Lord whom you seek, does present Himself to you. But, since you are not mellowed enough to comprehend His ways, you fail to recognize Him. He comes to you in various ways, in some form or some sound vibration you hear. But you fail to see Him; you fail to hear Him.

Why does the Lord not reveal His original form? Take this instance. You may be familiar with the practice of persons offering milk in an effort to appease serpents, and to get absolved of Naga dosha (horoscopic affliction caused by the transit of shadow planets Rahu and Ketu). Assume that a serpent slithers out with a contented hiss to drink the milk they offer. That is the end of it. You will never again see any person near the serpent-hill.

God knows you. He understands your fear. So He does not appear to you in His original form. You will run away in fright if Lord Narasimha reveals His fiery presence to you!

Krishna revealed His cosmic Viraat Viswaroopa form to Arjuna. The entire universe was contained in that Form. Arjuna closed his eyes in fear and requested Krishna to re-assume His human form. The Lord was revealing His original form, but Arjuna could not take it, he was scared stiff of that Rudra Roopa. Arjuna requested Krishna to reveal to him a simpler form.

So it is not binding on God to present Himself in a form of your liking. He may appear in His Rudra Roopa or in the form of Fire.

You get electric shock if struck by a 220-volt current. How will you bear the Current flowing in the Lord’s original Form? You will be blinded with His presence, dumbstruck with awe.

God can appear in His original form. But you are not attuned to receive Him. You have to insulate yourself. For a normal 220-volt electricity, you take all precautions like wearing rubber gloves and sandals or holding on to a wooden desk. Similarly, you must prepare yourself for receiving the Lord’s Presence. Penance, meditation and prayers combine to charge you with enough electricity to bear the flow of the Highest Voltage Energy called God.
When a surgeon enters an operation theatre, he covers his nose, wears gloves and sanitized shoes. This is to prevent the patient from getting infected. When you visit the Kalpakkam atomic energy unit, you are given a protective garment to wear; this is to ensure that you are not affected by the radiation. Science guides you to keep yourself insulated. God is such a Mighty Dynamo. He knows we have not yet mellowed and so He does not appear in His original Form. And just because He cares for us so much, is no reason why you must doubt His very Presence.

Most of you are familiar with the Himalayas on the map only. You have not seen those mountains in person. Does that negate the presence of the Himalayas? Many of you have not visited New York. Does that mean that that place does not exist? You have to take the required efforts, buy plane tickets and travel to that place. Similarly, there is a certain route to traverse to the destination called God. There are some prescribed routines to follow that will help you attain Him.

When I was delivering a discourse at the M.I.T. in USA, a person asked me, ‘Can you reveal God right now?’ I asked him, ‘What course are you pursuing at the University?’ and he replied, ‘Ph.D.’. ‘How many years of study?’ I asked him, to which he said, ’Ten years.’ He had been researching various books and treatises for a minimum of 15 hours a day. I told him, ‘Towards a Ph.D. degree, you have done thesis on a miniscule fraction of some scientific truth. God is The Entire Truth. Do you feel He must be perceivable in a split second? Don’t you feel that you have to perform eons of penance to attain Him?’

You must cultivate mellowness to catch a glimpse of the Lord.

Three persons visited Ramakrishna Paramahamsa requesting him to reveal God to them. One was Vivekananda. Ramakrishna asserted that one could converse with God on a first-person basis. Realizing that Vivekananda was destined to serve God’s mission in a large way, and penance would be a barrier for this service, it was only at the appropriate time that Ramakrishna guided Vivekananda to the Lord’s Presence.

Another person asked Ramakrishna to reveal God. Without directly replying, Ramakrishna thrust the person’s head into water, and the man forced his head out, gasping for breath. Ramakrishna asked him, ‘What were you thinking about, during the past few minutes?’, and the person confessed that his attention was on getting out of water. Ramakrishna said, ‘When you become that desperate for realizing God, come to me, and I will guide you to His Presence.’

A third person came to Ramakrishna with the same request. Paramahamsa told him to learn the Bhagavad Gita and consume grapes, and the person asked, ‘how many kilos of grapes and for how many days?’ Ramakrishna declared that the person would never be able to realize God. When the man pleaded with him, the sage explained, ‘You never asked me how many chapters of Bhagavad Gita you are to learn, you were more interested in eating. How will God present Himself to you?’

There are three categories of persons: those who yearn for God’s presence, like Vivekananda did, and the intensity of their quest helps them comprehend God. The second category of persons is yet to desperately seek God; and it takes some time. The third category of persons is deep in the worldly perishables of eating, sleeping and leading a useless life.

He who seeks God with absolute sincerity is sure to comprehend God. This is why no one ever arrives at the actual answer to this question. ‘Kandavar Vindilai; Vindavar kandilai’. ‘Those who have seen, have not explained. Those who attempt to explain, have not seen’. Why have those who have seen, unable to explain? They have only been able to experience that bliss of Divinity; it is not possible to express It in words.

How will you ever make a person understand what an apple looks like, till he has seen it for himself? Even in the worldly sense, you are able to understand an object’s appearance based on experience only. God is an inexplicable being and we do not have any prior knowledge of Him. That is why we do not understand His Presence. We discern an unknown being only through a known object. And none of those who have known Him was in a position to express his or her experience. Secondly God is not an object. It is neither an object nor a subject. It is an experience of subjectivity. We can become God; if we say we have seen God, we are uttering lies. This is because God is not outside. He is within everyone; He is everything on Earth.

When you concentrate on God with total dedication, you become that Lord Himself. It can be any form of God that you concentrate on. And you can only comprehend this by experience; you can never describe Him. Arunagirinatha says, ‘That Eternal Bliss swallowed me and what remained was only that Bliss and nothing else’, ‘I realized that Muruga and I are one’. ‘Ettaadha Perinbam ennai vizhungi ninradhuve; Thaanaaga thani Ninradhu Tharparame.’

You manufacture a device made of salt and engage a person to fathom the depths of an ocean using that contraption. How long will the salt device remain in one piece? It gets dissolved in the salty waters of the ocean. Nothing remains to explain to you the process.

Similarly, those who set out to fathom the Paramathma Sagara, the Ocean of Bliss called God, were absorbed into the Divine. They were unable to express that experience, because, from then onward, they were not themselves, they were HIM.

There are several such answers for this question. I mentioned whatever came to my mind right now.

Several seers have experienced God. And yes, scientific researches have been conducted to test His presence. For instance, there is a sloka in Soundarya Lahiri 'Thanuhu Poushpham mourli'. A German scholar, on the basis of his research, declared that when the particular sloka was chanted one-lakh times, Ambal would reveal herself. He commissioned a Sanskrit scholar to chant that sloka one lakh times and recorded it. When that tape was played, and the sloka was chanted one lakh times, flames consumed the tape recorder, proving that Ambal had presented herself in the form of Fire.

Similarly, in Kerala, six years ago, on the basis of a foreign collaboration, several Vedic scholars united to perform a Putrakameshti yagam. Hundred barren couples participated in the yagam. Ninety couples of these 100 conceived, and many of them had earlier been diagnosed as medically unfit to bear children.

Thirdly, there is a book called 'The Law of Physics'. A team of scientists placed a single atom inside a glass chamber and split it into smaller fractions, photographing it after every split. At a particular stage, a photograph taken of the atoms that were split resembled the Nataraja Thandavam - the Cosmic Dance of Lord Nataraja. You need to remember that India knew, long ago, that atomic fusion is Nataraja Thandavam, much before foreigners realized it.

We have performed several yagams at Samratchana. And we have had visions of the corresponding deity presenting Itself in the Homam fire. We even have photographs taken during that time.

There are several such experiences and Science has acknowledged its inability to explain these phenomena.

Science has three dimensions: length, breadth and height. Einstein discovered a fourth dimension: velocity. But India has proved that there is a dimension beyond all this, the dimension of Time and Space that can be reached through thought processes.

Take the case of the Jagannath idol at Puri, Orissa. A king set out to the forest in quest of the idol and scattered mustard seeds to find his way back. But by the time he returned, rainwater washed away the seeds. He performed penance to obtain the Lord's darshan; and, after years of penance, woke up to the realization that one whole yuga (eon) had passed by. Meanwhile, the temple authorities, having no other choice, had consecrated another idol instead.

Mohammed Nabi declared that he had been graced by Allah's presence. Allah is a being that is so much beyond; He is an Eternal Light. Nabi has described his experience, but the whole incident had occurred for just four minutes. How was it possible to reach across to someone apparently distant? This is what we refer to as the speed of Air (Vayu vegam), the velocity with which thoughts travel (Mano vegam).

You wake up in the midst of a dream to find that what seemed like incidents happening over ten years in your dream, has actually lasted for perhaps half-an-hour in your dream.

India has established that it is possible to conquer time and space by thought processes.

Indian scientists determined that there are totally 8.4 million species. Westerners scoffed at this idea, quoting Darwin's concept. But, of late, scientists have accepted that the number quoted by India is almost right and there are around 8.4 million species.

How did Indian scientists of yore arrive at this figure? They did not have a laboratory; and did not conduct any dissection or tests. Yet, it was possible for them to derive this, because, there were Mahaans like Buddha, for instance, who knew all their previous births. These Mahaans were able to list the 84-lakh births they had taken. Such spiritually powerful persons graced the Indian soil as Mahaans.

The Science of Spirituality is able to divine everything beforehand -- all the facts that Science has later acquiesced to.

Annamayakosam is the state at which the physical form is nourished by food and water. The next level is Pranamayakosam, the state where, you are alive even when you are asleep; through the air you breathe in and regular heartbeat. The third level comprises thoughts flashing through your mind, regardless of your physical state at any point of time. This is called Manomayakosam. The fourth stage is Vignanamayakosam, the scientific, rational research of everything that happens in life.

And the fifth stage is God. As you cross the first four stages, you are progressing towards Divinity. One who is in the fourth stage of Vignanamayam is on a continuous analysis of what happens around one, and so raises questions for clarification. When one crosses the fourth stage, one is ready to divine Divinity.

But most of society is in the first, second and third stages of development, enmeshed in worldly mire. Bliss is allowing oneself to be consumed by the Divine Presence, entering into total communion with the Divine. 'Yaanaagiya ennai vizhungi Thaanai thani Nirkinra Tharparam' 'The Eternal Bliss swallowed me, and what remained was Bliss and nothing else'. This is the consciousness of the self, giving way to the consciousness of the Supreme.

And do remember that it was in this state of oneness, that the profound facts of Science were established. Madame Curie was involved in her research leading to the theory of radio-activity. She fell asleep, thinking of the concept. When she woke up, she was amazed to find that the research had been concluded on paper and in her own handwriting! What could have happened? Since her mind was at work over this particular concept, it had continued pondering over it even when she was asleep, and in that state of semi-consciousness, she had written it down and returned to sleep. This is a real incident that occurred: As long as she was questioning in the state of Vignanamayakosam, she could not conclude her thesis. When she was working at the sub-conscious level, transcending the physical form named Curie, she stumbled on of the most radical facts of Science.

This is what spirituality is all about. If you can rise beyond your physical form, you will be able to see God. As long as you identify yourself with the physical form, you will not comprehend God. Spirituality deals with 'Thannai marathal; than vayam izhatthal' - forgetting oneself; liberating yourself from the fetters of your physical form.

Take the case of Archimedes. The king wanted him to assess the gold crown and specify if it were genuine gold or fake. With the threat of execution hanging over his neck, poor Archimedes could not concentrate on anything but the king's assignment. Reflecting on this in his bath, Archimedes suddenly hit upon the right answer and rushed out, shouting, 'Eureka! Eureka! (I discovered it! I discovered it!)', oblivious to the fact that he was streaking naked across the streets. If he had been conscious of his physical presence, Archimedes could not have hit upon the concept. He was so much absorbed with the problem on hand that he lost all consciousness of the self, and it was at the subconscious state of mind that the theory of Archimedes evolved.

Not just Science, but Literature too has several such episodes..

Jayadeva was composing the Gita Govindam. Half-way through a verse, he took sometime off for a swim in the river nearby. He returned and discovered to his amazement that the verse had been completed in his absence. His wife emphatically stated that it was he who had completed the verse. Devotees believe that it was Lord Krishna Himself who assumed the form of Jayadeva and completed the verse. But I do not subscribe to this thought. Jayadeva must have been so much involved with that verse; the moment the remaining portion flashed in his mind, he returned to complete it. And he was not conscious of his action, primarily because he was operating at a subconscious level.

The mind wanders in a rarefied realm of thoughts, regardless of any physical activity. You may be strolling on the road and your thoughts focusing on a distant horizon till such time you are forced back to reality by someone interrupting your thoughts.

I have been replying to this question for nearly 45 minutes now. Neither was I aware of any question raised, nor do I plan the message to be delivered. But the words spring forth with such fluency, don't they? This is the state of eternal bliss. Once you attain that state of Pooranathuvam, that untainted Bliss, the answer is with you, in you. You become the Answer. You need not look around for books to enrich your knowledge.

This is why Baba replies to all questions during Sathsang, and he replies to any question posed to him. You become that 'Meiyarivana porul' that Thayumanavar refers to: the Ocean of Wisdom.

The clarifications then become a part and parcel of your being. Just as the fan is operated by a switch, so too the knowledge you have gained thus will flow forth, unhampered by anything. Everything is within you; there is nothing to be gained from reading books. Vivekananda was renowned for this skill. However huge a volume one brought to him, he would glance at a few pages of the book and get ready to answer any question. My personal experience has proved that once evolution has taken place, everything is familiar; there is nothing more to read.

He, who has elevated himself above the physical realms of this world, has no use for books. You will 'know' the answers to everything; you will simply 'know'. You are not confined to knowledge acquired in a particular birth because you have actually been part of this world, taking several births, across several yugas (eons). Thiruvalluvar declares that the knowledge acquired by a person holds him in good stead across all his births (Orumaikkann thaan katra kalvi oruvarkku ezhumaiyum emapudaithu). Vivekananda asserts, 'Education is the manifestation of perfection that is already in man'.

You are already perfect. That perfection has to manifest itself; it needs to be discerned. This is education. This 'vaalarivu' (comprehension of the fact that you are beyond all these worldly issues), will help you realize God. The fact that you are seeking clarification establishes that you are in the fourth stage of development.

When you continue seeking, you will obtain the clarification. You become the clarification.

And HE is the clarification sought. HE and you are one. Persons are seeking the answer (in Tamil: vidai). They will understand one day that the answer is He ( Avan ) who is within.

Vidaiyavan is one of the several names by which Lord Siva is known, so Vidai (Answer) is Avan (HE): Vidaiyavan.

Who created God?

The first answer is definitely not you or me. God is something that has been in Existence much before us. I am 62 years old; the questioner is a 12year old child. Let us assume for argument’s sake that God has been in existence for one million years. So, how can a man of 53 or a child of 12 years old attempt to understand that which has been in Existence several lakhs of years before us? We have limitations of sight; we have limitations of knowledge. Which is why this question has remained unanswerable.

But, you can always establish that some such thing is in existence. When you see a painting; you know that there is a painter behind it. When you see a beautiful pot, you definitely know a potter has crafted it. Each creation has a creator. So, we being creations -- everything including you, me, that tree, that elephant – is created by the Creator called God. And He who has created so much and so artistically must be the best creator on earth.

Human art gets limited by one’s lifetime -- the number of paintings or poems that one can make. Nature evidences that everything is a poem, everything is a painting in the hands of a skillful artist whom we address as God and we admire Him for His sense of aesthetics.

Why are we born /reborn?

Thoughts!

Many persons have sought the answer to this question. The solution they found was ‘Atradhu patrenil utradhu veedu’. When you become aware that the world is transient, you will seek the Only Eternal Being, God. And then you will attain salvation (Moksha). What is Moksha? Atma liberating itself from the fetters of the physical form. Soul is real. The container, (i.e. the physical form) may vary.

You might have come to Samratchana by a bus or a two-wheeler or a four-wheeler. It is you who have come, choosing to travel by a particular vehicle. Similarly the physical form is a vehicle for the soul. You are mistaking the vehicle to be the traveler and so are confused. The traveler has not changed; he chooses a different vehicle every time. When someone mentions ‘lamp’ (vilakku), your mind immediately visualizes a brass object, with oil, wick and flame. But ‘Vilakku’ implies ‘revelation’, dispelling the darkness with its light. So, Vilakku functionally corresponds to the flame of a lamp.

The Atma is in the form of a Jothi within us. But we imagine that the soul is that within and the physical form contains it. Only Jothi is real. And there is no disparity where ‘Jothi’ is concerned. This Light is the same across flies, ants, reptiles, birds, animals and human beings. The Light is One. There is no second. Just as the flame is the same, whether burning in an earthern lamp or a silver lamp or a golden one, the Light or Jothi is the same across all forms; content is the same; only the containers vary.

Once a person realizes this, he will not seek anything outside. A Mahaan conquers his self. Who is Mahavira? It is a name given to someone who has conquered his senses. Anjaneya is addressed as Mahaveer. The founder of Jainism is Mahavira. Why were they called Mahavira? They fought the most demanding of battles i.e. the battle with their sense organs, and emerged victorious. ‘Adakkam Amararun uikkum’ : the test of a strong man is his ability to rise above his self. This ability is not easy to achieve.

What you perceive with your sense organs is classified as external sight. Someone mowed his lawn; in a few days’ time, the grass grows again. Only then does he understand that he cut the grass visible, he did not destroy it from its roots. So too, you can blindfold your eyes, gag your mouth, bind your hands and legs and tie yourself up in a room. Even then your mind will easily travel to any part of the world.

So, external sense organs are limited in scope. The root is deep within us. When you resolve to never see anything wrong, your eyes will just not turn in that direction. How many persons waste time in temples seeing everything around them, instead of concentrating on their prayers. Such a waste of time! Why does this happen? Lack of mind-control. As long as your inner self has not matured, you will continue to have these
disturbances of the mind.

You are thrashing about in the river. If your aim is to reach ashore, then all it requires is a log to keep you afloat. There is nothing magical about that log. It is the strength gained by your mind, your resolution to reach a shore.

You are climbing a mountain. You lose your balance and trip. If you get hold of a grass-vine or twig hanging somewhere, you will hold on to it and try to climb up again. There is nothing special about that twig. It is just your resolution to climb somehow.

Mahaans like Siva Shankar Baba have conquered themselves, they are Mahavirs, who have gained control of their senses. If you decide to observe fasting, then no feast will tempt you. But you must take a decision. Then, nothing can tempt you. By God’s Grace, I have absolute control over my senses. True fasting (Vratam) is having everything you want and yet abstaining from it. If you don’t have access to food and therefore do not eat, it is starving. To have and not wanting to make use of it is Vratam.

God is taking care of me. And I have no wants. I have realized the Light within, and know that that is the Only Truth, so I am not concerned about anything else. Only the desires swaying the physical form keep the Light captive.

He who transcends physical needs and reaches a desireless state, attains Bliss, like Arunagirinathar states, ‘Aasanigalum thugalaainapin Pesa Anubhuthi pirandhadhuve’. When desires are overcome, a state of silence is achieved and one attains Bliss. It is normal for a human being to be swayed by desires. Desires are the root cause of all miseries, and it is these that land a human being in the cycle of births and deaths. The world is engulfed in the flame of desires that influence human beings.

Desires, good or bad, propel one into the vicious cycle of births and deaths. If you are a good person in this birth and nurture a desire to be in the Lord’s service, this will lead you to another birth that will find you chanting the Lord’s name or rendering some service to the Lord — a virtuous circle.

Do not accumulate any desires, including the desire for the very Lord Himself. What must you do to attain this state? ‘Aasai arumin, aasai arumin, Eesanodaiyinum Aasai arumin’. Discard your desires one by one, and finally shed your desire for the Lord too. Even your desire for God will bring about another birth for you.

And till such time you conquer your desire for God, you will not attain salvation. I saw a movie called ‘Bible’. They have handled the script in a novel way. When Jesus is crucified, someone in the crowd asks Judas who exposed Jesus in his greed for 30 silvers, ‘Oh! Why did you expose Jesus? See the agony he is undergoing on the Cross. See how blood gushes out of his wounds!’, to which Judas replies, ‘I thought that this
will lead to a social revolution, that will end the tyrannical rule, and that all of us can escape. I am dumbfounded at the turn of events; people don’t seem to have any concern!’ I liked the unique handling of the subject. Observe the situation. Jesus asks for water and the soldiers turn a deaf ear to him. Jesus, in frustration asks God, ‘Father, why did you forsake me?’ Only after that Jesus leaves his mortal body. Till then, he nurtured a desire for God and so the soul could not depart.

There is another scene in the movie, where Satan tries to tempt Jesus, forewarning him of the incidents that are to happen in his life, saying that everything will go waste after his crucifixion. When Jesus questions how that can go waste, and Satan shows how people kill one another and there will be crusades in the name of Jesus. Satan also shows how the priests swindle money from commoners, in the name of Jesus, and say, ‘They are going to make big business out of your name, Jesus’. And Satan tempts Jesus to tell God, ‘I don’t want the cross. I want the crown’, persuading Jesus to ask for material riches, so that he can feed the poor and keep the people healthy and happy.

Jesus is depicted as being confused for a while. It really seems as if Satan’s intention is good. But, he takes hold of himself and tells Satan, ‘If you and I know that this is the best way to do good for the world, God will know much more because He cares for His creations. What He has decided for me will be obviously for my good only. If He wants me to accept the cross, I will not go against His decision’. The movie handles
the subject very well.

Jesus is portrayed as a very normal human being, with child-like qualities. The first time before he turns water into wine, his mother Mary tells him, ‘The angel Gabriel declared that you are no ordinary child. So please turn this water into wine; you will be pleasing the people with your act.‘ Just as Anjaneya did not know his prowess until Jambavan reveals it to him, so too, Jesus, in this movie, is depicted as a normal person.

Until such time Jesus questions God, ‘Father, why did you forsake me?’, his spirit does not depart from his body.

The life of Jesus impresses upon you that salvation can be attained only when you rise above your desire for God too. Until then salvation eludes you. The soul gets liberated only when all your desires vanish.

How can a ship sail if it is anchored? Lift up the anchor, and then the ship starts sailing. Cast away the anchor called desire that fastens you to this life. And you will set sail for your destination, God.

So, desires lead to re-births and deaths, as also to the miseries associated with life. Once you have conquered your desires, you will get liberated.

Siddhartha set out to find the reasons behind old age, disease and death. He realized that desires are the root-cause of misery; that the world is an illusion. Nammazhwar declared that if we rise above the desires that bind us to this world, we will attain the Eternal Abode. So many Mahaans have clarified this, but instead of letting go of desires, people have let go of the lead given by these Mahaans!

Persons are more interested in questioning; they do not attempt to put the solutions into practice. They have not started pondering over, ‘What is desire? How do I let go of desire?’ The day you start practicing the solutions that the Mahaans have given you, there will be no more questions; there will be no use for questions.

Middle class persons find it difficult to discard even a used toothbrush. They preserve it for cleaning combs. When will you be able to discard desires and rise above re-births and deaths? If you retain such items that should be thrown in the trashcan, when will you get rid of the garbage of thoughts clouding your mind? To start with, get rid of trivial desires, those that are unnecessary. Resolve to shun all evil.

Why do you yield in to temptations of smoking and drinking, knowing that they are injurious to health? On 04th of Feb 1984, I quit smoking. Since then, I have never had the craving to smoke. Even earlier, I refrained from smoking when I was observing the rituals for undertaking Sabarimala yatra. Persons used to ask me, ‘You have so much will power, why do you smoke after you return from the yatra?’ and I used to answer them, ‘I have faith in my will power and I can quit smoking when I want to.’ One day I had a vision of Anjaneya asking me to quit smoking so that He can dwell on my tongue and I immediately quit smoking.

Why do you fritter away your life in drinks and women and land up wasting your money on medicines and treatment? Discard everything that is bad. Most of your desires will automatically vanish. Retain, for now, all that is good. And slowly try to transcend that too. Then you will attain salvation.

You will find it difficult to hold Rs.10000 in the denomination of one rupee. Exchange this for a bundle of Rs.100 notes. You will feel lighter. If you exchange that for a demand draft, you will feel that much safer. The day you don’t require this too, tear it away, like how Ramana Maharishi tore the receipt for pawning his earrings (he had pawned them for meeting the cost of his travel to Thiruvannamalai, the Abode of Lord Arunachala). Travel light, travel easy.

Similarly, drop one by one the numerous desires that blur your way forward. Gradually, you will hold on to just one ‘demand draft’: the desire for God. Finally, when you do not need to have this desire anymore, since you have risen above petty desires, you will attain salvation.

Is this easy? Yes, it is. It takes just one matchstick to set ablaze bales of cotton. Hold on to the Fire called God. All your desires will burn away. It takes just one pebble to drive away several crows. Your desires, like crows, are disturbing you with their babbling noise. Hold on to the stone called God, it may be in any form. Then all your desires will be driven away. So, dispense away with your desires with focused longing for God. At one stage, you will attain a state of no-desires.

Is it possible to live in the world without any want? Take my life as an example. I have conquered all my wants. But observe how God takes care of me. I do not want anything, but I do not lack any comforts. The day you trust that God will take absolute care of you, from that day onwards He will. Man’s ignorance leads him to believe that it is his worldly boss who tends to his worldly needs. Will not God, who has provided food for all birds, animals and even toads in rocks, take care of your needs too? It is human ignorance that nurtures desires assuming that these are for necessities. And, therefore, man tosses about in this ocean of illusion called life. The day you firmly start holding on to God, not caring the least for anything else, He will start providing for you much more than what He is doing at present. The faster you let go of your petty desires, the faster will you attain God. You must cultivate a state of no-thoughts, with your thoughts focused on God alone. Then you will comprehend that you yourself are God. You will realize that there is no necessity for seeing God externally. When you reach this state, you will have freed yourself from the cycle of re-births and deaths.

This is possible, and I am illustrating it with my life. Siva Shankar Baba is already liberated. He has detached his soul from his body by conquering all wants. So I am free from the cycle of births and deaths. This is why I declare so boldly that this is possible for you too.

What does one gain from this? When you attain a desire less state, you are equipped with the power to unshackle the fetters of those who are caught in this unpleasant situation. Only a person who is able to free himself from the bondage of birth and death will be able to free others. If you are bound, how will you free others? Siva Shankar Baba has freed himself, so he can guide you to freedom. That way, you have come to
the right place, to the right person.

I am liberated because I have renounced the world from within. And I can guide you in the process of liberation. I dress reasonably well, I mingle jovially with everyone, but I have no attachments. I am totally liberated. It is very easy for me to convince you that I have renounced this world, if I wear saffron robes. But ‘thannanjarivadhu poyyarka’ , I know myself. There is no need for me to convince you. I do as I like. And this,
by itself, must reveal to you that I am a liberated person.

Liberation is releasing yourself from fears, from desires, from selfishness, from anger, from envy and freeing yourself from all the emotions of this world. There is no exemption. Divinity is totally divine. Even a drop of poison damages milk by making it all poison; similarly even a single negative trait will hamper your progress. There is no compromise on this.

The day you refrain from asking questions, and start practicing the solutions provided, will you be liberated from the vicious cycle of birth and death.

What are your experiences with God? What did you do to realise him?

My experience is that I am God. God cannot be explained; It is an experience. It is neither an object nor a subject. It is an experience of subjectivity. As long as you distinguish yourself from It, It seems like a stone.
You can become It. That is the Ultimate.

As far as Siva Shankar Baba is concerned, his experiences have guided him to realize that he is God. Since he knows that his experiences are true, he accepts you also as God.

What was unknown became known. You do not know it today. You will sooner or later know it. Just because you don’t know it, is no reason why you should deny Its Existence. I too was not aware of God within, till I completed 36 years of age. Only when I comprehended God’s Presence within, did I know what I had not known all along.

I realized I am Muruga, I am Venkatachalapathy. When I comprehended this, there was nothing else to be known. I know because I know. You are also God. You need not accept me as God, but I am ready to accept you as God. It is difficult for you to believe me when I say you are seated on water. But dig the ground and you will find water at some depth; continue digging, you will hit oil, and if you dig further, you may strike gold. I state that you are right now seated on water. And I am right, because I know by experience.

Seek and you will attain. Knock and the doors shall open. I have dug till the end, and now I have become a gold Pillaiyar. I have dug deep within me, and I have become a gold Pillaiyar. Let us assume that you are not able to put in as much effort as I did. Dig till you hit at least clay. I will then be able to mould a clay Pillaiyar of you. And you will be worshipped on Vinayaka Chathurthi day! It does not really matter if you are not yet able to become a gold Pillaiyar. If you nurture the drive to become at least a clay Pillaiyar, you will become a Pillaiyar. And you know that Pillaiyar is the principal deity; all prayers are directed to Him first. So it will be worth your while.

So you too are God; but a God that does not know the Divinity within. The reason you are unable to understand this is because you perceive the external world through the sense organs God has given you. You have not yet started looking within yourself. You are seeing the external world. You are not even aware that there is a universe within, waiting for your discovery.
As long as a room is in darkness, you will not be aware of its contents. Light a candle, and you will be able to see all the objects, including yourself. If you throw open a window, your external surroundings, the lawn, the river nearby, the sky, all these become visible. Just because you had not seen them earlier does not mean they did not exist. You have made an attempt only now.
God is always present. It is only when you start perceiving Him that you know He is, always.

I have often repeated: (holds an object in hand and explains) assume this object is God. If the veil was on God, since Jesus had removed the veil, it must have been visible to you. Gautama, the Buddha, lifted the veil. Mohammed Nabi raised the veil. So, why is God not yet visible to you? It is because the veil was on Jesus only and never on God. Jesus removed the veil of illusion, and was able to perceive God. The veil was on Gautama; he removed it and perceived God. The veil was on Mohammed Nabi; he removed it and hence perceived God. The veil was on me; I removed it and am perceiving God. The veil is on you, and I will guide you in the process of understanding.

You must make the necessary efforts. The veil is on you, not on God. God is Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient. He is everywhere, as Light, as Sound, as every single tiny thing in this world. Remove the veil on yourself and you can perceive Him as I am doing. All those who have comprehended God, realized Him within themselves and not externally in statues or pictures or portraits. The world is unable to understand this language.

You purchased some dresses at a textile shop, and the shop owner gave you a New year calendar with a portrait of some divine form. The calendar has the name of the person who painted it and the press that printed it. You are well aware that it is a calendar given to you at the textile shop. Yet, you frame the picture and offer prayers to it, burn camphor and incense and offer neivedyam (food offering) to it. Persons revere a portrait of a divine form as God. But if Siva Shankar Baba addresses himself as Muruga, they start questioning that claim. Am I not at a higher level of creation than paper? When you are able to visualize Muruga in paper, why are you unable to visualize God in me? You are the one who is confused.

You purchased a stone idol at Mahabalipuram. You cleansed it well, performed Abhishekam to it, burnt camphor and incense. You were the one who purchased it off a shop and yet you believe it to be God. But you are unable to accept this speaking, listening, breathing, smelling, walking, living human form as God.

Who is wise, you or I? If you ponder over this, you will realize what is what.

Man has a conceited ego that there is nothing in the world that he is not aware of. He will never believe any Mahaan. All Mahaans who have come hitherto, were aware of the Truth, and they came to earth to guide human beings to the Truth. But since persons refused to acknowledge that this was something beyond their comprehension, the Gnaanis could not succeed.

Herod sarcastically tells Jesus, ‘I heard you revived dead persons. I have arthritis, let us see if you can cure me.’ Jesus was such a great soul who has been able to influence more than half of the world’s population; and a good-for-nothing tyrant who had massacred so many innocent babies, was mocking at Jesus. Judas was one of the chosen ‘apostles’ of Jesus. His greed for money enticed him to expose Jesus. Even before dawn, Peter, another apostle, denied any knowledge of Jesus! No Mahaan has ever been accepted in his lifetime. All ‘disciples’ have been agnaanis to the very end; they did not realize the treasure-chest of knowledge that had come their way. In fact, disciples are more dangerous than the outside society. The general public just passes you by. Disciples are inclined to look for some loophole in their master using which they can induce him into showing some favouritism. That is why I do not entertain anyone personally. I have no personal attendant.

All Mahaans have met with the same fate. That is why Baba has not become a Mahaan! This statement startles you! Well! You did not accept me when I revealed myself as a Mahaan. So now I state that I am not a Mahaan. You cannot question me, and I am just not concerned about whether you accept me or not. What do I gain or lose by convincing you? It suffices that I know my worth. (thannenjarivadhu poyyarka).
You might condemn me even if I am good. You might praise me even if I am bad. Both these are false. Everything in the world is false. There is nothing true in this world. You are the sole judge of your true nature.
You pass judgment about a person, whether to believe him or not. And then you invent justifications to support your belief. You are searching for evidences to validate your verdict.
Even for ordinary matters, you would have two alternatives, write them down on a piece of paper and shuffle them, till you get the alternative of your liking. Why do you deceive yourself thus? Why are you unable to accept yourself for what you are?

For instance, as long as you like Sathya Sai Baba, you will keep praising him to the skies, unmindful of what others say about him. I do not have any personal opinion, I am just critical of the way mortals are. You will laud him for treating everyone equally, for his not showing any discrimination on the basis of religion etc. The moment someone in your family questions you, in a bid to save your face, you will project him as a Hindu saint; the same is true of Christian and Muslim saints; you will start condemning him as upholding that particular religion.

This is true of every human being. No one is exempted from this. You support those whom you like and condemn those who do not appeal to you. Otherwise, how could so many political parties have cropped up in this country? Everyone has his own prejudices and twists the truth to suit his convenience.

There is good and there is bad in everyone. A person who is your friend may be someone else’s foe. You are good for a certain time and bad for a certain other time. There is no one who is totally bad and there is no one who is totally good. The underground hooligan may seem evil to you, but the families of his associates look to him as a godfather, because he is taking care of them. So ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is a matter of attitude. Ask someone who has committed a crime and he will state reasons that seem logically right to him. Everything depends on how you visualize it.

Krishna revealed His Cosmic Form to Duryodhana too. But was the Kaurava prince able to acknowledge Krishna? Instead, he claimed that Krishna was performing a trick. When Krishna revealed His Cosmic Form to Arjuna on the Kurukshetra battlefield, Arjuna was terrified.

Valli was eagerly waiting to wed Muruga. The Lord did appear, but it was in the form of an old man, and Valli failed to recognize Him.

Adi Sankara was on a pilgrimage to Kasi, seeking the blessings of Kasi Viswanatha. He felt thirsty. A cobbler offered him water from his leather container. Adi Sankara grew furious and said, ‘Low-born! Move away!’, to which the cobbler retorted, ‘Whom are you asking to move away: this body or the Atma within this body?’ Only then did Adi Sankara realize that it was Kasi Viswanatha Himself who had assumed the form
of a cobbler to enlighten him.

Persons maintain their own perceptions of how God must be. Otherwise, why could Adi Sankara not perceive the God in the cobbler? Even the Mahaans were initially misled by external appearances.

Bhadrachala Ramadasa was an ardent devotee of Lord Rama. But he failed to comprehend Rama when He presented Himself to him in the form of a buffalo. There have been instances of Shirdi Baba presenting Himself in the form of a black dog or a cat. But his devotees failed to recognize him.

Yogi Ram Surat Kumar, a Mahaan at Thiruvannamalai hills, had a dog that he used to fondly address as ‘Sai Baba’. A foreigner, devotee of Sai Baba, presuming that the saint was ridiculing his Master, told the yogi, ‘If I had money, I would buy a dog and name it Ram Surat Kumar’, to which the saint replied smiling, ‘My father will be highly pleased.’ The person apparently looked down on animals. But the Yogi considered
everything as a divine form, and calling out to his dog everyday was his way of keeping in touch with Sai Baba. How will persons ever understand the ways of Mahaans?

Someone asked a question, ‘Where is God not?’ A person replied, ‘Some persons say God is everywhere. Some others say He is nowhere. He is now here.’ See how the same word gives two different meanings when split differently.

Karaikkal Ammaiyar (a saint) states, ‘They referred to You as being in the Heavens, whereas I know you as the One dwelling in my heart’. (Unnai vaanathaan enrar, yaano en Nenjathaan enben iniye). Appar says, ‘He who dwells in my mind, initiates my thoughts and implements them’ (Manathaanai, Manathil ninra karuthaanai, karuttharindhu mudippan thannai’).

Those who comprehended God have comprehended Him within themselves and never outside. Musk deer is in constant search for the elusive fragrant smell that seems so near. Only when it breathes its last, does it realize that the fragrance emanates from its own body. Similarly, it is only when a person is on his deathbed, does he realize that he has squandered away his life, seeking outside, what had always been within him.


Siva Shankar Baba does not offer any external prayers. God is enshrined in the temple of his heart and he offers Him his prayers every second. God relishes a temple constructed in the heart more than a
temple constructed of bricks.

A Pallava king constructed a temple and fixed a date for the Kumbhabhishekam (consecration). When he requested the Lord to grace the Kumbhabhishekam, the Lord asked him to fix some other time, since He
had to attend the Kumbhabhishekam at the temple constructed for Him by Poosala Nayanar. God had acknowledged the invisible temple that Poosala Nayanar had raised in his heart.

When you construct a temple for God within you, you become charged with the Divine. If God can present Himself in statues, God can present Himself within you too. Do not ever assume that God is confined to any particular location.

There is a temple for Venkatachalapathy in Tirupati. But wherever you pray from, your prayers get fulfilled. If His powers can be felt at Tirupati only, it means He is a mere address. His Force must be felt anywhere you think of Him. Only then is He a Supreme Power.

This question leads to elaborate answers. God is something that can never be explained. You have to experience Him. Any attempt at explanation would trigger more questions only.

A person went to Buddha with several questions. Buddha was prepared to answer them, provided the seeker observed Him silently for a year, without raising a single query. After a year, Buddha summoned the person and asked him to put forth his questions. But the man replied that he had no questions to ask, and was content with sitting silently in the nearby garden. Hearing the sound of derisive laughter nearby, the seeker turned to find another person seated under the branch of a neighbouring tree, quipping, ‘I also came to Buddha with questions’.

Krishna was always with Arjuna. Arjuna could only look upon Krishna as his friend, but never as the Lord Himself. Krishna revealed His cosmic Viraat Viswaroopa form to Arjuna. The entire universe was contained in that Form. Arjuna closed his eyes in awe and requested Krishna to re-assume His human form. The Lord was revealing His original form but Arjuna could not take it, he was frightened to witness that Rudra Roopa.
Arjuna requested Krishna to reveal to him a simpler form, and Krishna revealed Himself standing with the conch and the discus. Arjuna’s confusion increased. He said, ‘A single being is able to take on the Viraat Viswaroopa and a human form. Do you have any other form?’ Krishna replied, ‘I am none of these. I am in the form of Light’, and revealed Himself in the form of Jyothi.

Light seems elongated in a tube light; it seems smaller in a 40 watts lamp; it is just a flicker in a candle. But everywhere it is light only, is it not? Is there anything like a small fire or big fire? Fire is fire.

Persons try to measure God with the yardsticks they have, and hence fail to comprehend the Truth.

This is why Gnana Sambandar says, ‘Do not attempt to gauge Him. This Light pervades everywhere. There is no end to this research’ (Sodhikka venda. Mikku parandhulan Jothiyaan. Kilakka venda. Pugin Alagillai.)

What is the nature of this Supreme Being? Can you describe him?


Nature. Nature is God. To quote Shakespeare, 'All the elements were so mixed up in him that nature itself will raise its hands and say here is a man'.

The 'Mahajothi' Aug 2002 issue ('Mahajothi' is a monthly publication containing Baba's discourses) contains some of Baba's discourses on Lord Krishna, who is known as Maamayan, the One Beyond Illusion.

Krishna is not a physical form playing the flute, sporting a peacock feather and clad in silk dresses. Krishna does not even refer to the Bhagavad Gita. The Gita is a guide to the concept of Krishna. Krishna is a philosophy, not a person.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna declares, 'Among elephants, I am Airavatha. Among the warriors, I am Subhramanya. I am spring (Vasantham) among the seasons. I am the Karpakataru among trees'. How can we consider Krishna as God, if He confines Himself to a particular definition? What does He mean by these?

You attend an exam. It is the same question paper for everyone, the same hall, the same fees charged. Only he who scores 100% receives accolades. That does not imply that others have not taken up the exam. There may be candidates who scored 99% or 98 per cent. But importance is given only to the person who topped the list. This is Krishna Bhava, the concept of Krishna. When you score 100% in any living philosophy, you become Krishna, else you are not.

Krishna signifies Pooranathuvam (completeness) in every walk of life. The reason why Krishna holds such a distinguished place among Avatara Purushas is because it is possible to analyze the others, whereas Krishna is beyond human scrutiny. Gautama, the Buddha seems a good person to you. He wore a saffron dress and led the life of a recluse. He seems an embodiment of Dharma, to you. You would have several thousand reasons to criticize Krishna. He was dancing with Gopikas. He was the cause of several battles. If you analyze Him this way, He seems to be a womanizer like Arunagirinatha was. You consider Him a tyrant like Hitler or Chenghiz Khan.

You, who are able to accept the Buddha, are unable to accept Krishna. That is because you are trying to study Him with your half-a-penny worth mind.

Arunagirinatha says, 'Can Muruga be comprehended by the human mind?' ('Muruganthani Velmuni namGuru enru arivu kondu arivaar ariyum tharama?')

Krishna is nobody. Krishna is nothing. That is why He is Krishna. He is neither a good person like the Buddha nor an evil person like Hitler. He is Nirguna - the one beyond qualities. Therein lies the greatness of Krishna. You cannot classify Him as either good or bad. He is neither good nor bad. This is the aim of Pooranathuvam.

He must be absolutely astute. He must be absolutely wicked. He must be absolutely loving. If you are able achieve absoluteness in everything, you become Krishna. If you are able to perceive only the good and are unaware of the evil, you cannot claim yourself to be Krishna.

Pooranam is a delicacy; it has a sweet filling within, but the exterior will be tasteless. There is sweet within; you must not be deluded by the external filling. Do not be deluded by the external appearance of Krishna. He is Pooranam within.

A Gnaani is an Effulgent Light comprising both positive and negative energies.

If this microphone speaker works, it is because the positive and negative electrical connections are working fine. Even if one of them is not working fine, the speaker will not work.

So, attempt to comprehend Krishna, knowing that He is a Pooranan within. Let His external appearance not baffle you. He is in disguise and that is yet another of His infinite pranks.

Muruga is a Poorna (complete) being. In Pazhani, during the morning time, he is clad in a loin-cloth. During the evenings, after Abhishekam, He is adorned with princely dresses. So, is Muruga a recluse or a king? He is neither, because He is beyond definition. He is what He pleases. That is why He is a Gnaani. He is a recluse in Pazhani, whereas He is a householder in Thiruthani; also, there are legends of his love for Valli. He is Theivanai's spouse at Thirupparankunram; does that strike you as bigamy? The fact is He is neither a recluse nor a householder. He is a Gnaani. He takes on the role of a Guru in Swamimalai, whereas He is fighting with Soorapadman in Thiruchendur. So, is Muruga a gentle person or a rowdy? He is neither; He is nothing.

He, who is able to contain all the qualities and yet, is beyond quality, is the Pooranathuvan. He must know everything; else He cannot become a Gnaani.

Adi Sankara holds a spiritual debate with Mandanamisra, an aspect of Brahma. Mandanamisra loses the argument. The agreement was, whoever loses the debate becomes the winner's disciple; if Mandanamisra loses, he must renounce the world, and if Adi Sankara loses, he must enter family life. Mandanamisra's wife Sarasavani, an aspect of Saraswathi, maintains that only if Adi Sankara is able to clarify her questions too, will they accept Mandanamisra's defeat, and proceeds to ask him, ' What do you know of family life?' He asks her for a month's time, enters the (dead) body of the King of Kasi, understands the nuances of family life, and returns to win the debate. Mandanamisra and Sarasavani get initiated into sanyas and become Adi Sankara's disciples.

Was it the king of Kasi or Adi Sankara who obtained clarity? It was Adi Sankara only. Instead of drinking from a cup, you drink from the saucer, but the person is the same. Adi Sankara could not become a Gnaani till he understood the underlying concept of family life. So, you must invest more trust in a person who has renounced the world after leading a family life, because he knows the best and the worst of everything. He is a true Gnaani.

My system of working is based on a lucid, practical philosophy … only because I had been with the mundane world, and know as much about it as you do, if not more.

The Supreme Force is something that knows both good and bad, and is beyond any particular quality. It is not confined to any particular qualification. It is called Gunaatheethan, the One beyond qualities.

When you scorch a newspaper, part of the letters are visible and the paper is tinted with black. When you burn it fully, you will not be able to distinguish the letters from the paper. Only ashes remain. A Gnaani is someone who has burnt up the world in his mind. He is ash; not black or red, not even green. He is a spectrum of colors, like white, but you can never tell one color from the other. He has attained a state of no-qualities.

How to know God?

He who seeks God with absolute sincerity is sure to comprehend God. This is why no one ever arrives at the actual answer to this question. 'Kandavar Vindilai; Vindavar kandilai'. 'Those who have seen, have not explained. Those who attempt to explain, have not seen'. Why have those who have seen, unable to explain? They have only been able to experience that bliss of Divinity; it is not possible to express It in words.

How will you ever make a person understand what an apple looks like, till he has seen it for himself? Even in the worldly sense, you are able to understand an object's appearance based on experience only. God is an inexplicable being and we do not have any prior knowledge of Him. That is why we do not understand His Presence. We discern an unknown being only through a known object. And none of those who have known Him was in a position to express his or her experience. Secondly God is not an object. It is neither an object nor a subject. It is an experience of subjectivity. We can become God; if we say we have seen God, we are uttering lies. This is because God is not outside. He is within everyone; He is everything on Earth.

When you concentrate on God with total dedication, you become that Lord Himself. It can be any form of God that you concentrate on. And you can only comprehend this by experience; you can never describe Him. Arunagirinatha says, 'That Eternal Bliss swallowed me and what remained was only that Bliss and nothing else', 'I realized that Muruga and I are one'. 'ettaadha Perinbam ennai vizhungi ninradhuve; Thaanaaga thani Ninradhu Tharparame.'

You manufacture a device made of salt and engage a person to fathom the depths of an ocean using that contraption. How long will the salt device remain in one piece? It gets dissolved in the salty waters of the ocean. Nothing remains to explain to you the process.

Similarly, those who set out to fathom the Paramathma Sagara, the Ocean of Bliss called God, were absorbed into the Divine. They were unable to express that experience, because, from then onward, they were not themselves, they were HIM.

How to attain God?

You are God. That is what you have to realize. There is nothing easier in the world as “becoming” God. For becoming a doctor, you need to spend several lakhs; so it is to qualify as an engineer. A teacher needs to do at least a post graduate degree with a B.Ed. or M.Ed. as additional qualification. For every vocation, you need to spend a huge amount and several years of hard work. But it takes just a split second to become God. All you need to do is fill yourself with love. Love and God are synonymous. Those who did not comprehend Love as God, when they did discover that Love is God, became personifications of Love and therefore God.

Must we undertake pilgrimages to attain God?

Nothing matters except your love for God. He is as distant from you as your eyes are from your heart. When the tears of love flowing from your eyes wash His Lotus Feet in your heart, He makes you His.

Take the instance of ThiruppanAzhwar.

ThiruppanAzhwar was distressed that his birth in a backward class was an obstacle to his having darshan of the Lord and that he would not be able to attain the Divine Grace. He was always contemplating on SriRanganatha and crying for Him from the other side of the river Cauvery at SriRangam . His constant prayer was, "GOD, will not You grant me the fortune of seeing You and serving You?"

Can anything happen without God knowing it? When a true Devotee cries for God and calls out for Him from anywhere, God identifies him.

Lord Ranganathar instructed the chief priest of the temple, "Bring ThiruppanAzhwar here. He will shy away. But you have to bring him to My Sanctum by force, carrying him on your shoulders."

And so it was that at God's behest, the chief priest hoisted the Azhwar on his own shoulders and brought him to the Sanctum. The overwhelmed ThiruppanAzhwar sang," The eyes that have seen my beloved Lord Sri Ranganatha should not see anything else!" He sang just 10 songs and then he merged into the Lord in a state of blissful oneness.

He never did anything remarkable. He was squatting on the other side of the river Cauvery, nurturing an inferiority complex about the backward class he belonged to which he thought would prevent his access to God. He was just crying, singing and always longing to see and experience the Love of the Lord. That is all he did. And God rewarded him for his true love and devotion.

Do not assume that only by pilgrimages undertaken to Tirupathi or Mukthinath or Kailash or Srirangam, or similar places will you get God's Divine Grace. Be wherever you are, do your duty and be in constant meditation on the Lord. If your love and devotion to God is true, then God will send someone to fetch you to Him. This is the message of ThiruppanAzhwar's life.

What is renunciation?

Renunciation is neither adding anything nor leaving anything, but performing any task without the least attachment to results, holding on to the Lotus Feet of the Lord knowing that He is the only performer and all of us are His instruments.

You must not renounce performance. A true yogi is a good performer. But the performance must be beyond the fetters of personal, worldly life; some service for the good of the world.

If you can serve a noble cause, without seeking any returns, including merit of performance, then you have learnt renunciation in the true sense of the word.

How do you know that you have power?

How do know that there is power now? There is no cut in power supply. If there is, then the light will not shine; the mike will not work. If you can understand power, by the efficiency of the derived result of it, you should also appreciate that I must be having some power to create this institution; to motivate all of you to sit in sathsangh listening to bhajans and discourses late into the evening; I must be having some power to create a life style in which nothing is lacking, that makes persons contented. Is it not so? Name any facility and we have it. Resources have always been available; there has never been any paucity of funds. My work goes on. I distribute food, I distribute gift items and they are continuously replenished. That is the proof that I have power.

Where there is power, light must shine. I have the power, so there is light everywhere. Where there is power, the atmosphere must be very congenial and divine. You are all evidences for that. He who has the power will be a giver, not a beggar. I have the power; so, I never beg. I only give. My work of God goes on and He grants resources non-stop. That is the proof that I have power.

This partly replies the question.


Are you guided by any Supreme Force?

Yes. It is He who fosters in us the desire to be of service to Him.

In a world where selfishness dictates man’s every move, if I am able to serve God without any expectations, wanting nothing but Him, it is only due to His Infinite Grace.

We require His Grace to even think of Him and pray to Him. And for gaining the role of His whole time servant, nothing but His Mercy makes it possible.

Thevaram states, ‘Ennai thaduthu adimai kondu, en pazhavinai aruthu thannai ninaindhuruga tharuginraai’. Life is split into three stages. At the appropriate time, God frees you from the tangles of worldly illusions and draws you into His Folds. Then He absolves you of your past karmas.

Assume a person is to be appointed to a particular post and he is recommended by a high official. If the prospect has a case pending against him, he will not be promoted.

Similarly, if you want to be promoted into God’s service, you have to break free of the karmas of your past births. This is ‘pazhavinai aruthal’. And then He keeps you absorbed in constant thoughts of Him. Andal sings, ‘Maal enakku urugumaalo’; her mind melts at the sound of the Lord’s name. Arunagiri seeks Muruga’s Grace so that his heart may mellow at the mention of His Name, ‘Nenju negizhndhu negizhndhu urugi, Muruganidathu naan thanjam seidhu Arul ketkinren’.

God determines the right time to mellow every person. If you study the lives of Mahaans, you will understand how God moulds everyone.

Manickavachagar served as a minister in the court of Arimarthana Pandian. He was given some money to buy horses for the royal stable. On his way, he got engrossed in a discourse by a Saivite saint and forgot the purpose for which he had set out. Instead, he constructed a temple in that place, and stayed there. The king demanded the money back, failing which Manickavachagar would be punished. Manickavachagar prayed to Lord Siva, and God advised him not to worry, presented him with a parcel and directed him to tell the king that the horses were on their way. Soon enough, the Lord, in the form of a well-built person led some horses to the court and instructed the king to check them before they were led to the stables. Sometime later, the king heard the ‘horses’ (horse in Tamil is ‘pari’) howling (fox is ‘nari’ in Tamil) instead of neighing. Manickavachagar was imprisoned and beaten up.

The river Vaigai started overflowing and flooding Madurai. The king commanded each family to send one person as its representative to join the efforts of controlling the flood by constructing a dam. There was a poor old woman who had no representative but herself. Siva presented Himself to her as a young man, partook of ‘pittu’ (a sweet delicacy) prepared by the woman and offered to go as her representative. At the construction site, while others toiled, Siva, who was in disguise, took rest. The king whipped him and was surprised to find that everyone including himself bore the blows. Only then did the king understand that these were the Thiruvilayadal(s) (pranks) of the Lord. And Siva revealed Himself, ‘Do not think of Manickavachaga as an ordinary mortal. He was Thiruvadhavoorar with me in Kailash. During one of My discourses, his attention was diverted to Indra travelling across Siva loka. And so I sent him down to Earth to satisfy his pending desires and make him realize that they are illusions. When he came across the Saivite saint (which was none other than I), he was reminded of his real self, and so got engrossed in it. He cannot serve you as a minister anymore’.

So Manichavachagar was freed, and he constructed an ashram for himself near Chidambaram and composed the Thiruvachagam. ‘Thiruvachagathirku urugaar oru vachagathirkum urugaar’. ‘One who is not overwhelmed by the beauty of the Thiruvachagam verses, has a stone-heart that will not melt in anything’.

There was a Saivite Mahaan in Sri Lanka during the time period when Buddhism was reigning strong. He used to repeat ‘Ponnambalam, Ponnambalam’ for every word spoken to him. The Buddhist monks reported this to the king. Called for an explanation, the Mahaan explained that anyone who feasted his eyes on Lord Nataraja performing the Cosmic Dance at Ponnambalam, would not seek anything else. The king, along with his daughter who was dumb by birth, and ministers, set out to check on this statement. The Lord instructed Manickavachagar to welcome them. Manickavachagar welcomed them with an invocation song on the Lord, and to the amazement of the gathered crowd, the mute princess was blessed with the power of speech. So the king of Sri Lanka embraced Saivite philosophy.

These are instances of the Lord using Manickavachagar as His instrument.

Siva appeared in the form of an old man and told Manickavachagar, ‘Your songs are impregnated with spiritual depth. These must be preserved for posterity. So dictate them and I will be your scribe’. That is the infinite mercy of the Lord. Vinayaka transcribed while Veda Vyasa recited the Mahabharatha. Similarly, Lord Siva acted as the scribe for Thiruvachagam. Manickavachagar did not realize then, that it was Lord Siva in disguise, transcribing his compositions. On completion of the transcription, Lord Siva signed off with these words, ‘The Lord of Ponnambalam transcribed Manickavachagan’s compositions’. (‘Manickavachagan odha Ponnambalamudaiyaan kaiyezhuthu ittadhu’.) That is how Thiruvachagam came to be.

If you recapitulate these episodes from the life of Manickavachagar, you will arrive at the answer to this question.

Manickavachagar was with Lord Siva. His attention got diverted to worldly desires and he had to take birth to fulfil his wants. He was thrown into prison. This is ‘pazhavinai aruppadhu’ (resolving karmas).

How does the Lord remove your illusion? Just as He presented Himself in the form of a Saivite saint and delivered a discourse that brought back memories of Kailash to Manickavachagar, making him realize who he was. That is the split second in which the Lord brings you back to your senses.

The next step is mellowing your mind to concentrate on Him always. This is the state of Manickavachagar singing the Lord’s Infinite Glories in Thiruvachagam.

Take the case of Appar Swami. He was born into a Saivite middle class family, but was drawn towards the Jain cult. He was afflicted with severe stomachache. His sister Thilakavathy, who did not approve of his embracing Jainism, advised him to chant the Panchakshara mantra and partake of the Lord’s Vibhuthi (holy ash) considering that Jainism was unable to cure him. He was healed and returned to the Saivite faith.

Enraged by this, the king engaged elephants to trample him, had him thrown into the ocean and attempted to kill him in various ways. Appar continued chanting, ‘Lord Siva is my constant companion. There is nothing to fear.’ (‘Natrunaiyaavadhu Namachivaayame! Anjuvadhu yaadhonrum illai. Anjavaruvadhum illai.’) Lord Siva saved him and absolved him of his karmas. Realizing himself by God’s Grace, Appar continued his mission of spreading the Lord’s message and when he grew old and could not travel to Kailash, Lord Siva assumed the form of an old person, bade Appar to take a dip in the lake and thus Appar was granted the darshan of Kailash at the the Lake at Thiruvaiyaar.

As far as Appar Swami was concerned, the Lord gave him severe stomach-ache to take him into His Folds; absolved him of his karmas by the torture he was subjected to by the king; engaged the saint in His service by making him do temple service … cleaning the temple area. Appoothi Adigal, drawn to the service that Appar was rendering the Lord, invited the saint for a feast, the devotee’s son was stung by a serpent when he went to fetch a plantain leaf for the guest and Appar revived him. These are instances from Appar’s life to show how God takes care of you.

Sundaramoorthy Nayanar dwelt in Kailash, as Siva’s personal friend. He was attracted to two of Parvathi’s assistants. And so Siva instructed him to take birth on Earth, complete his karmas (caused by the distraction) and when Sundarar pleaded for mercy, Siva promised that He would take charge of him at the appropriate time.

So Sundarar took birth on Earth; when his marriage to a Brahmin girl was about to take place, Siva decided that the time was ripe to free Sundarar from worldly illusions. He appeared in the form of an old man, declared that Sundarar was his slave and flourished a document to support his statement. The infuriated Sundarar addressed the old man as ‘Pittha’ (Madcap) and tore the document to shreds; but the old man had the original document with him and so the bridegroom had no other option than to follow his master. God had to enact this scene because there was no connection between the bridegroom and the prospective bride. Parvathi’s maids whom Sundarar had been distracted with, had also taken birth on Earth as Sangili Nachiar in Thiruvaroor and Paravai Nachiar near Thiruvotriyur, and were waiting for Sundarar.

I will soon revert to the topic we are discussing.

Now that you know the episodes in Sundaramoorthy Nayanar’s life, if your marriage is obstructed, you will realize that you are not connected to the prospective bride/bridegroom. Then you will never feel bad about anything happening in life.

This world comprises atmas inter-connected by links of earlier births. If someone does not return the money he borrowed from you, do not worry. Understand that you have just returned what was due to him in your previous birth. Every single event in this world has a reason behind it. We are not aware of the cause. And it is God’s Grace that He has concealed the reasons from us.

God performs two more functions, apart from Creation, Protection and Destruction. These are Concealing (maraithal) and Gracing (arulal). Your brain cannot take the load of storing every event that occurred over several years. And it is unnecessary. Why must you remember everything, when most of what happened may not be useful later on? Secondly, if your memory records everything that has happened to you over several births, the moment you see someone who may have murdered you in one of your previous births, you will be seized by an urge to kill him. And the vicious cycle of births and deaths goes on.

God conceals everything that is needless for your journey of life.

There is an anecdote. A scientist discovers a tablet that is supposed to restore youth, and experiments it on his parents. For every tablet they take, they are supposed to grow two years younger. Six years later, the scientist visits his hometown. The house is as it was, but it is occupied by a 12-year old child carrying a toddler. The baffled scientist asks them who they are and the child replies, ‘Don’t you remember me? I am your mother. I took half the tablet every day and became a 12-year-old. Your father, having taken one tablet per day, is now a toddler that I have to carry around.’ (Laughs)

Science comes up with some such discoveries that cause chaos in this world. So it is better that the world functions as per God’s decree.

Continuing with Sundaramoorthy Nayanar’s story: The old man disappeared at the Thiruvennainalloor temple and a voice directed Sundaramoorthy Nayanar to sing the Lord’s praises in Tamil. When he protested that he could not sing, the voice instructed him to commence with the word ‘Pittha’ that he had used to rebuke the Lord. And Sundaramoorthy Nayanar sang the praises of the Lord. He got married to Sangili Nachiar and Paravai Nachiar. He broke his vow of not travelling outside the second wife’s house and his eyesight failed him.

He admonished the Lord with three eyes (Siva:Trinetradhaari) for taking away his eyesight. When he approached the Thirumullaivayil temple, he was really furious and asked the Lord, ‘Do you exist?’ (neer ulleera?). God replied in jest, ‘I am here. You can go on your way’. (Yaam Ulom. Neevir poveer). Groping his way to Kanchipuram, Sundarar sang, ‘Kambar emmanaikkanda kangal’ and regained sight of one eye. At Vriddhachalam temple, sight was restored to his other eye.

Mark my words! The Vriddachalam temple will grow more powerful in times to come. If you are visiting Thirunallaaru, visit Vriddachalam first and then proceed to Thirunallaaru. You will get immediate results.

Sundaramoorthy Nayanar was happy at his eyesight being restored and sought material wealth from the Lord of Vriddhachalam. The Lord handed him a gold brick. The saint afraid of being burgled on the way, requested the Lord to send it across by water to Thiruvaroor and the Lord complied with his friend’s request. When the saint felt unhappy that his wife was not letting him in, the Lord Himself served as a messenger to arrange a truce between them. That is the bliss of having the Lord for your friend.

Meanwhile, another devotee of Siva, Kalikaama Nayanar, was angered by Sundaramoorthy Nayanar’s treatment of the Lord. Siva wanted to unite these devotees. So He made Kalikaama Nayanar suffer from stomach-ache, appeared in his dream with the message that the pain would subside if he obtained Vibhuthi from Sundarar and instructed him to give prasadam to Kalikaama Nayanar. As Sundarar approached, Kalikaama Nayanar rebuked him for his actions and said he would rather die than accepting anything from him. At that point of time, Lord Siva presented Himself and revealed everything as His Thiruvilaiyaadal (infinite pranks). Later, Lord Siva sent a white elephant and brought back Sundaramoorthy Nayanar to Kailash.

Observe Sundaramoorthy Nayanar’s life. When his marriage was to take place, the time was ripe to free him from worldly illusions. His karmas were resolved when he got married to the girls he had desired, and his eyesight failed; he regained faith in the Lord when his eyesight was restored. When his work on Earth was over, God granted him salvation, sent him a white elephant for his journey back to Kailash.

This holds good for all of you. You were with Siva or Narayana. Some unfulfilled desire has caused you to take birth on Earth. At some opportune moment, God takes charge of you, helps you resolve your karmas and grants you the bliss of contemplating on Him always. When your time on Earth is over, He draws you back to Him.

Everything that happens in your life happens for your good. You do not seem to understand this. You encounter some monetary setbacks, or love failure or health problems because you are in the second stage, the stage of having your karmas resolved. There is nothing bad about life. Life is an experience that helps you get your account settled. Unless you undergo this experience, you will be caught in the vicious cycle of births and deaths.

You warm yourself by lighting a fire. As you approach the fire, you feel the heat. If you throw a log of wood into the fire, the log too turns into fire.

God is in the form of Fire. This Fire feels warm as long as you are at a distance from it. But how long can you stay away from God? So when you approach Him, you start encountering the heat of miseries … that is the phase when your account is getting settled. You must be able to chant His Name like Appar did, even if you are thrown into a limestone furnace. You must be able to hold firmly on to Him, as Prahlada did, even if your life is under threat. If you hold on to God, whatever be the adverse circumstances you meet on your way, you will be glorified as ‘Appar’.

Then, just as how a log of wood becomes fire, a devotee (bhaktha) becomes the Lord (Bhagavan) Himself.

When you initially offer prayers to the Lord, you are warming yourself in fire. It feels good. When you start burning incense or camphor and start thinking more about the Lord, He will start settling your balance. Only then will you be able to attain Him. You become angry wondering why the Lord has to test you who are so much devoted to Him, while there are so many persons who indulge in illicit and immoral actions but are being spared. God loads your life with more miseries. Your frustration increases and in a split second, the Light shines at the end of the dark tunnel of despair. Then you will know that these are part of the Lord’s infinite variety of pranks.

Then there is no sorrow left in life. Just as how Sundarar returned to Kailash borne by an elephant or how Vinayaka drew Avvaiyar to Himself with His trunk, you will also be drawn to the Lord.

And then, you will be in constant love with the Eternal Love.

Why must we believe you only?

I am not saying, 'Believe me only'. Go around and search among those whom you believe. Check who give you their unconditional love, who doesn't take money from you, etc. Whomsoever passes the test, hold on to him. Score them on ten points such as love, patience, wisdom, service, purity of thoughts and deeds, equal treatment of one and all, knowledge, capability and so on. Based on your assessment, stick to one path and don't get confused further. Follow the same path come what may, and follow the principles. Once you understand and choose a path, you should stick to it. After all you chose the path after examining the alternatives. Therefore there should be no room for confusion.

Can’t we communicate with God directly? Do we need festivities, poojas, rejoicing, or a huge crowd ? Do we need a Guru? If there is God, then why can’t we have direct communication with Him?

I agree with this question cent percent. There is no seeker, there is no sought. You are God; there is nothing in this world that is alien to God. There is none other than God, there is nothing else but God. This is our only principle.

But, assume you suddenly wish to visit Badrinath. You do not know where Badrinath is, the facilities there, how long it will take you to reach that place, or how much the trip would cost. You need to find out this information, as also the rituals conducted at temples there. So what would you do? You will enquire from pilgrims who have earlier visited Badrinath: 'Is it a difficult trek? Will it be cold? Can we rent horses or should we trek?'

If the question this brother has asked translates to, 'Can't I go directly to Badrinath?' the answer is -– yes, you can go. You need not seek guidance. But when you are guided, the path is made easy. Your mind is set -– you know how much it would cost, how many days it will take. So to avoid the risk element –- that is, in the effort to do yourselves, you may have some gain and you may lose something. You may incur unnecessary expenses -– maybe spend Rs.5000 on a pooja that normally costs Rs.30. Some such embarrassing incidents result when you go inexperienced, without the Guru as escort.

If there is someone called God, in the journey towards Him, if you chance upon a Guru as a fellow traveller, it will be helpful. Why should you think that he is higher than you? You can look on him as someone with more experiences.

Coming to the second part of the question –- can't we directly communicate with the Lord? As long as you have the confidence that you can directly communicate, you do not require anyone's help.

If you know that you can be in direct communion with the Lord, you have the requisite ability and qualification, you do not need any guide. That's why Vivekananda said that the New Faith declares a person who lacks confidence as an atheist.

I agree that you are God. If you have faith in yourself, that too is faith in God. I agree that there is no separate entity called God. But till the time you reach that total, realized confidence in yourself, you need a guide.

Some time back, a family from Kotturpuram who worship Seshadri Swamigal invited me to their house for Sathsangh. In my discourse there, I explained that all these poojas are required for understanding the functioning of the Lord's Kingdom. If you send a petition to the Prime Minister of India, it will reach his assistant first. That assistant may read the letter and dump it in the trash bin. If he is honest, he will send it across to the concerned department. You may get a reply from him that 'your petition has been forwarded to the concerned department of your state for consideration'. It is possible that those department officials throw it into the dustbin after reading it. Or it may be filed for further consideration or rejection.

When you want some work done with the Prime Minister, you will first get in touch with the politicians close to him for recommending your case. They will plead your case with the Prime Minister or the concerned department to consider your case. That department will not check out the worth of your petition. You will be granted the favour based on the status of the politician who has proposed or recommended your case. If you really want your file to be considered, such a channel is required, even in your known circle. If you ask why such things happen, why these government officials cannot do their duty properly -– there is no answer. This is how things happen. God's kingdom functions in a similar way.

God does not take into account any of these worldly matters. He is in a state of eternal bliss –- unmindful of His existence. Siva Shankar Baba is in such bliss, charging you with his exuberance, dancing, laughing, joking, talking and showing you so much love. All these material matters and inanities are unnecessary to the Soul. I am happy when people come to me with spiritual doubts rather than ask for astrological advice. My soul finds joy only in spirituality.

Ramakrishna Paramahamsa used to plead with Kali, 'Can't you give me four good seekers, at least today?' Even a Mahatma wants a real seeker. So, forget about him being a senior; in terms of being more realized, being prepared to sacrifice even his life in service for you -- if you get such a Guru, what do you lose? Nothing!

What do you lose by coming to Siva Shankar Baba? I don't ask for any fees, donation or money. Whatever flowers or fruits or sweets you bring to me, I return to you. In fact, I help you along your way. So what do you lose by coming to me? Here is one man who doesn't need anything from you, who is willing to give you total love, without any motive -- I do not ask you for anything. I give you Selfless Love.

You will not get This Love from your father, or mother or wife or children. I challenge you. There is an earthly attitude in their affection -– a worldly dimension. But my love surpasses everything. You yourself are witness that I do not differentiate in any way -- I am impartial.
I treat everyone equally.

Even towards persons who are new to Samratchana, I express love based on their souls' qualification. I am loving and compassionate towards all, without any difference. When your love reaches such levels, when your love grows to such dimensions, you can also enjoy the bliss I do now.

God is in a perpetual state of bliss, transcending all, dancing in ecstasy. Whatever Siva Shankar Baba is, Siva is several crore times that. I am just the shadow of Siva. If I were so exuberant, how much so, Siva would be?

Why would He bother about whether your well provides water or you need to sink a borewell? He has got individual departments -– the sub deities. God created these deities, like He created birds, animals, and human beings. They are highly evolved Athmas -– they are more intelligent than human beings.

Birds are able to build nests -– we are unable to. Elephants are able to carry heavy weights -– we are not. Spiders are able to spin webs -– we cannot. This specific talent is called creativity -- Kriya Shakthi. But we are able to tame a huge elephant. This is called Gnana Shakthi. A celestial (devatha) is one who has more of this talent. Since these deities are wiser, God set them the task of ruling over the other creations human beings, birds, animals and such other living beings.

It is we who provide for the monthly income of our government officials, -– through the taxes we pay to the Government. The money paid as tax by those who are governed is given as income to those who govern. So also, God set the task of ruling the world to the celestials and specified the poojas and Havirbhagams of Homams as their food.

Varuna rules Water Department, Saraswathy rules Education Department, Mahalakshmi – Finance Department and so on. But they do not make the highest form of God. All these are positions. Indra is a position. Nothing else. That’s why Azhwar sang, ‘Even if I get the pleasure of ruling over Indraloka, I do not want it, O SriRanganatha!’.

There have been so many Indras. You would have read in the Puranas, that when a ruler performed major Yagnas, Indra, fearing that he would lose his position, created obstacles for the completion of the Yagna, by stealing the sacrificial horse, spoiling those kings’ meditation and the Yagna. All this, because Indra is a position. If Indra loses that, he loses his power… like in present day politics, ministers go to extremes to safeguard their posts.

Our prayers reach the celestials. These celestials are nobler than government officials of the world. They have certain values, good conduct and ethics. When your prayers reach them, they check out your balance sheet -– check out your past actions and consequences and decide whether to consider your case, accept it or reject it. So what you need to do is, hold on to someone like Paramacharya, Koti Swamigal, Ram Surat Kumar Swamigal, Shirdi Sai Baba, Raghavendra Swamigal, Seshadri Swamigal or someone close to these deities. How did these Mahaans secure this proximity? He, who is prepared to undergo the Fire of Sacrifice for the world’s good, obtains a place in God’s kingdom, positions, and boons. Mahaan is a position. If you want to attain that position, you must become unselfish. As long as you keep hoarding for yourself, you cannot reach that position.

What is the purpose of human life?

Adi Sankara was asked, ‘What is the purpose of this human life?’ (Kimsaare Samsaaram). To which he replied, ‘The purpose of life is the experiences we gain, the successes and the failures, the joys and sorrows’ (Samsaare kimsaaram)

I was asked why the world was facing so many trials and tribulations. The problem is persons seem more interested in asking this question, but no one seems to adopt in practice, the solution provided. You do not want to transcend your desires, despite the Mahaans declaring desires as the root cause of all your miseries. Instead, you continue clinging to desires, and persist in questioning!

If you set out for a particular place and do not know the way to reach it, you must ask for directions and travel along that route. What is the use of staying put at a place and asking for directions to your destination? When will you ever reach it?

You would have observed this when you are on pilgrimage to Tirupati. You would have planned on the Suprabhatha darshan (early morning darshan) at 3:30 a.m. When you try to wake up your children, they would say, ‘Let everyone get ready; wake me up last’.

This is the present situation in spirituality too. Until such time persons decide that they have had enough, desires bind them to the world.

That is what Andal sings in Thiruppaavai. She knocks at every door, waking up the residents to accompany her for the darshan of Lord Krishna (‘Innum uranguthiyo? Manikkadhavam thaazh thiravai’). And each inmate replies, ‘Has everyone else arrived?’ Andal replies, ‘Yes, they have. Come and see for yourself’, but yet the world has not woken. The symbolism is that she knocks at the door of every heart, but persons are
not yet ready for awakening. This is the problem.

Several Mahaans have revealed the purpose of this human life in several ways; right from the Rishis of yore to Gautama Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed Nabi, Raghavendra Swami and Shirdi Sai Baba, to name a few. Have you ever tried to act upon their advice? You are contented with burning camphor and lighting incense, offering prayers in front of their portraits. You have not realized that it is in your interests to follow their
advice.

All Mahaans have made just two statements:

1. Love is God, and
2. Desire is the root-cause of all miseries.

There is nothing else for any Mahaan to state.

But what persons do in reality, is have a Mahaan’s portrait and pray to it, and that too, only as long as their immediate kith and kin support them. The moment someone talks ill of the Mahaan, that is the end of the “faith”.

Siva Shankar Baba does not allow himself to be hoodwinked by such false faith. He will repeatedly offer guidance on the right path; He knows that most persons turn deaf ears to this advice; yet he continues because he does not expect anything. This is his prime achievement.


I never discuss what I personally do not believe in. I do not even consider myself as God or god-man. If persons are not willing to get transformed,why must I disturb the Lord who trusts in me. That is why I stopped revealing myself as God or even a god-man. Even if I term myself a ‘social reformer’, persons are unable to accept it. So I say I am doing social service. And from then, persons began to laud me to the skies, ‘Baba is such a noble person. He has schools and hospitals constructed’. This is the language persons seem to understand. I am what I am. I do not gain or
lose anything whether you accept me or not. Why must I convince you?

God has blessed me with all comforts. I have toured various places overseas. I have offered all the prayers there are. I know God. There is nothing further for me to achieve. My mind has traversed to the Beyond.
If someone wishes to learn medicine, it is he who has to study well, acquire a seat in a good medical college. You are the one who has taken a decision, so you have to make the necessary efforts. He who wants to attain Divinity, takes the requisite efforts. He meditates, learns yoga, undertakes pilgrimages and observes fasting. There is not much of a difference between becoming a doctor and becoming God. A doctor knows
to treat his patients and God knows to take care of the world. As far as God is concerned, there is no difference.

What is upaasana maargham (meditating upon a particular deity)? Slokas (eulogizing deities) describe the deity, for instance, Shakthi is portrayed as wearing a gold crown, adorned with a green nose-ring, holding a sugarcane bow in one hand, a parrot on the other, seated on either a tiger or lion You focus on this form, and continuously chant mantras glorifying the form, that one day the form manifests itself. You gave a form to your prayers and they manifested themselves in that form. And you will accept God only if He takes that form you are familiar with.

In one sense, my life is very similar to that of Siddhartha’s. I also left behind my family, the luxurious life I was leading, my wealth, all these, in quest of God, and returned to my family members only because God wanted me to get them settled in life before I could start serving Him. And God, at the appropriate moment, severed my familial bonds.

There are two ways to attain the Lord. The first one is seeking Him, after being frustrated by continued sorrows in life. I do not belong to this category. Ask anyone who has been with me in my yesteryears; they will be able to describe the princely life I had led.

I gave up all my worldly riches, because of my yearning for God. Siddhartha too was of the same mould, and it is his transformation into the Buddha that made him declare that there is nothing but misery in this world and that persons will become aware of this by experience only; they never learn lessons from others’ experiences.

A mother cautions her child not to touch fire, because fire will scorch its fingers. The baby will not heed her words. Only when its fingers get burnt, does it realize that its mother is right, and will never again dare to go near fire.

Unless someone experiences for himself, he will not give merit to others’ experiences. This is the normal state of a human being. This is why the world has not progressed, despite the help offered by several Mahaans. Persons smoke and drink, knowing fully well that these habits are injurious to health. Only when their health gets spoilt, do they understand the blunders they have committed in life. Persons are not prepared to
transform themselves.

No one was prepared to adhere to the value system propounded by the Buddha, though he guided people on the basis of his experiences. If you observe, you will know that India, the land where the Buddha attained enlightenment, is not a Buddhist country, whereas in Sri Lanka and Thailand, Buddhism is the principal religion. This is because persons do not value something that is in hand. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. I know the divinity of myself from experience and so does God. You are unable to believe it, because I speak so informally with you, moving as one among you. You have been used to ‘Godmen’ wearing saffron robes and keeping you at a distance. The world, because of its ego, has never accepted a candid, pure soul.

If a doctor is sincere and does not keep you waiting on an appointment, you will doubt whether he is genuine. If a movie is good but does not draw large crowds, you will not even think of buying tickets. It is a bane on persons that they go by public opinion; they do not take responsibility for their decisions. They will never accept what is easily available.

Siva Shankar Baba toils 20 hours a day for the good of society, without expecting any returns. But you hesitate to repose your trust in him. You are drawn towards pseudo-saints who create a hype of being busy. And you will allow yourself to be fleeced in this process.

Jesus was crucified by the same persons for whom he dedicated his life. No Mahaan has ever been accepted in his lifetime. I have been wise to learn from the experiences of other Mahaans. This is why I do not expect any returns. I do not seek any disciple; if you want to be elevated, come to me. I have all the resources on earth to help you realize your divinity.

This question triggered all these thoughts. The reply to this question is, life holds an experience for each and everyone. It is this experience that makes him a Gnaani(realized soul).

Arunagirinatha could become a Gnaani, only when his licentious ways left him diseased and when, in utter frustration, he attempted suicide. Was he not aware earlier that he would land in health problems if he indulged himself? But only experience could transform him.

Wisdom can never be taught; it can only be imbibed through experiences.

Life is its own purpose. The experiences you undergo may seem good or may seem bad. But remember that everything is for your own good only. Only if your health fails you, will you give up drinking and smoking. If you are not prepared to give up these petty attachments, how can you strive for that which is important: attaining Divinity?

I have created an environment that has all that is good, everything necessary for your development. I have constructed apartments for those who trusted me, Hindu, Buddhist and Jain temples, Church, Mosque and Gurudwara – all places of worship, for seekers to offer prayers, good food, wonderful atmosphere, a gym they can utilize to maintain their physique, a hospital for medical care, an in-house video theatre, internet facility; name it and you have it. I have provided all these facilities at an affordable budget, using which they can elevate themselves. They are occupied during the daytime with their studies/work/service, and this earns for them a good night’s rest. There is no place for anything negative.

I lead a transparent life. And I steer my volunteers too towards a noble life. Only an idle mind is the devil’s workshop; and Samratchanites are never idle. Secondly, hard work is very good for health. If you are a lazy person, you will never be able to sleep well. If you become tired by working hard, you will sleep tight. The best way is to keep you busy.

And I provide you with a variety of avenues to keep yourself busy. The atmosphere of the commune at Kelambakkam motivates one to get up early to the chanting of prayers rendered at the temple; so, they worship the Lord, being present in the temple, do whatever service they can. This temple has a good vibration that draws devotees to it every day. I am able to hold the attention of the audience for the entire duration of the
satsangh, which lasts for four to five hours every day.

I am a Jeevan Muktha (a liberated soul) and so am able to captivate persons and mould them along the right direction. There are so many persons who have advised me to wear wooden slippers, so that my power does not flow to the ground; my view is it is good if the earth can benefit from my powers.

Neither Kailash nor Vaikuntham holds any interest for me. These are all projections of the mind. Happiness is already available within oneself. I have often quoted this anecdote: a pastor observed an atheist attending Sunday sermons, and that too seated in the first row. One day, he asked the atheist, ‘Why do you attend the church prayers, considering you do not believe in God?’, to which the person replied, ‘I do not believe in God. But I can see from your eyes that you totally believe in what you say; and eyes can never deceive. This is why I frequent the church, to see the truth flowing from your eyes.’ He enquired, ‘I do not offer any prayers to the Lord. But I am a good person. Will I go to Heaven or not?’ The pastor asked for a week’s time to reply. That night he prayed to the Lord for advice. He had a dream of journeying to heaven by train. The pastor was horrified to observe that none of those, whom the world knows as saints, was present in Heaven. And the whole place was very dirty. He was shown around Hell too, and noticed that the saints were there, along with their disciples, happy and busy, making Hell a place fit for living. The escort explained, ‘Heaven and hell are not outside. They are the makings of your mind. A saint is able to make a heaven of his surroundings. A negative person spoils the surroundings with the negative waves of his thoughts.’

This answers the question. Good and bad originate from you. Everything depends on what you want to make of your life. What you perceive as good is also illusion. Life is a state of no-thoughts (Nirvana). If you have conquered your thoughts, you will be released from the jaws of illusion. The purpose of life is to attain a state of no-thoughts.

Why should we experience all the trials and tribulations of this world?
The reply lies in the question itself. Experience. Life itself is an experience.

Adi Sankara was asked, ‘What is the purpose of this human life?’ (Kimsaare Samsaaram). To which he replied, ‘The purpose of life is the experiences we gain, the achievements and the downfalls, the joys and sorrows’ (Samsaare kimsaaram)

Our thoughts determine the course of our lives. Our desires, like the seeds sown by a farmer, grow deep-rooted in our hearts and influence the births we take on Earth. As long as you nurture desires, you will continue taking more births.

Provoked by the frustration that life deals you in a particular birth, you realize that life is illusion and death reduces even emperors to ashes. And then you grow sublime like Arunagirinatha says, ‘Desires were doused and the Eternal Bliss occupied that vacant place’. (‘Aasa nigalum thugalaagiyapin pesaa Anubhuthi pirandhadhuve!’)

When we attain this state, freeing ourselves from the weeds of desires, we rise beyond the vicious cycle of births and deaths. This is real Nirvana, the state of no-thoughts. And if we are able to reach beyond this state of no-thoughts, to become a Cosmic Force, that is Maha Nirvana.

Arunagirinatha pleads with Muruga, ‘Will you not reveal to me the secret of rising above the consciousness of the self? (‘Ellam ara Enai marandha nalam Sollai Muruga Surabhoopathiye!’)

Just as Azhwar sings, ‘The Eternal Bliss swallowed me, and what remained was Bliss and nothing else’. (‘Yaanaagiya ennai vizhungi Thaanai thani Ninradhu Tharparam’) This is the consciousness of the self, giving way to the consciousness of the Supreme. Even the celestials worship a person who is able to quell his bodily ego and rise beyond thoughts. The world does not affect such a person in any way. A brick of cement and a gold tablet, both mean nothing to him. Even salvation does not appeal to him. When he rises beyond wants, he attains what is required, and that is salvation. (‘Atradhu patrenil utradhu Veedu’ ).
What is the best way to pray? How can one achieve union with God?

Prayer must not be seasonal. It must be a seasoned one. Seasonal prayer is thinking of God when the need arises, or on auspicious days. Seasoned prayer is contemplating always on the Lotus Feet of the Lord. You must live in consonance with the Lord every second of your life. That is prayer.

There are persons who propitiate God on auspicious days. Their prayers are prompted by an external factor, ‘auspiciousness’. And again, some of these persons may not actually be in prayer; it becomes customary for them to offer flowers to Saraswathi on the day of Saraswathi pooja or Vinayaka on the occasion of Vinayaka Chaturthi.

No one even stops to reflect on the significance of Ayudha pooja. Persons are more interested in the holidays and the sweet packets distributed at their offices. Ayudha pooja is: understanding that Work is worship (‘Seyyum thozhile Deivam’) and resolving to make good use of the resources one is endowed with, to lead a purposeful life. This leads to dignity of labour. But how many persons attempt to appreciate the import of rituals? Some persons offer prayers every Friday or Sunday, at a time convenient to them. There are yet others who burn camphor or incense every day and mutter some prayers.

But you have to live with God. That is the best prayer you can offer Him.

There is only one way to achieve union with God. That is realizing that God is never apart from you. He is watching over you every minute and so you must lead a life that is worthy of His Presence within you. Why do you assume that God exists in the prayer hall only? Name one place where God is not? You can communicate with Him anywhere... if you only set your heart to it.

I have quoted the following anecdote several times. A telegraph office announced an interview. On the day of the interview, several bright candidates, well dressed in coat and suit, waited in the office reception room for the interview call. A few minutes later, one of them stepped inside the manager’s cabin and returned ten minutes later with an appointment letter in hand. The others asked him, ‘Do you know the interviewer? Were you recommended by someone?’ to which the newly appointed recruit replied, ‘We are attending an interview at the telegraph office! They were announcing the interview, using the Morse code and since none you attempted to get up, I went in to attend the interview’. The others had been waiting for a personal call, whereas this person was shrewd enough to hear the code-call. Be aware that God is beckoning you; it is in your interests to hear His call. God is scrutinizing you every minute. Those who understand this are engulfed by His Presence.

Present-day management techniques have changed. When an interview call letter is issued for a management position, especially if the interview is to be held in a different state, the office also issues you a flight/train ticket to and from the place of interview, and provides accommodation if your interview extends beyond a day. A person is engaged to watch the candidate’s manners while he boards the flight/train, his interaction with fellow passengers, how courteous he is with attendants, and his behaviour at the hotel. They assess his personality traits even before he has arrived at the place where the interview is to be held.

God, who is the best manager around, is watching you every second. He who understands this bags the ‘best devotee’ award. This award is available to you for the taking, and there is no limit on the number of awards.

What must you do, then? The answer is: when you wake up, thank God for giving you a peaceful night and for granting you one more day to live in His Name. That is the beginning of prayer.

Know that God is not outside. He is very much within you. Seek Him within, rather than outside. The heart is the abode of Lord Muruga. The Sun (Surya) occupies the forehead. The Wind God (Vayu) is present as the breath. The fire present in the body is Agni. The water in our body is Varuna. Indra rules the fingers. Vishnu dwells in the feet. The Moon (Chandra) rules the mind. Every part of our physical form houses some deity.

When you sip your morning beverage, assume that the Lord is sipping it from within you. When you bathe, imagine that you are performing abhishekam to the Lord. Dress well, knowing that you are adorning the Lord. When you eat, consider it as neivedyam to the Lord. This is the method of realizing that God is everything you do, everything you hear and everything you speak. This is one pattern.

Consider everyone you meet as God. If someone asks for alms, presume that the Lord has come to test whether you are charitable or not. So fetch him something to eat (do not give him money lest he uses it for buying cigarettes or drinks). When a client comes to meet you at your workplace, assume that God has appeared in the client’s form to test your integrity. So do not commit any fraud. In a similar fashion, learn to look upon everyone as an aspect of God. Then you will start becoming divine.

Persons undertake the Sabarimala yatra. Some are committed to following the rituals prescribed; they do not eat meat, smoke or drink during those 48 days of fasting. Some persons delude themselves assuming they can make amends for falling prey to temptation, by dropping some money in a Hundi (charity box). My suggestion is: if you are unable to imbibe divine qualities all 365 days a year, why don’t you attempt being right for at least 48 days? There is tremendous bliss in that; you will feel it only when you attempt it. You may not have cleansed yourself properly until the previous day. The moment you wear the mala (thulasi garland) to Sabarimala, you will ensure that you bathe twice a day and eat only once a day. When you offer prayers and undertake fasting, your physical form acquires a glow.

Every human being is torn between a keen desire to get elevated, and the circumstances that prevent him from achieving his goal. When a person’s yearning for God triumphs over worldly lures, he is in the process of becoming divine. When temptations prevail, he stoops down to the level of a beast. Man is in a constant state of imbalance because of this internal conflict. Once you resolve that what you seek is God and nothing else, nothing can stop you from attaining Him.

Prayer is remembering that God is watching over you every second, and so trying to lead a noble life. Anyone who masquerades as a devotee, boasting about the prayers he does once in a while, can never qualify to be a devotee.

It is absolutely irrelevant whether you accept or love God. God must love and accept you; that is what really matters.

You may be familiar with the story of Abu Ben Adam that you learnt at school. One night, an angel appears in his dream and she seems to be recording some information. When questioned, the angel clarifies that she is making an inventory of those who love God. Abu is disappointed to note that his name is not there in the list. The following night, he has a similar dream and this time the angel tells him that she is tabulating information about those whom God loves, and Abu Ben Adam’s name tops the list.

So, our names need not figure in the list of those who love God. Our noble lives must place us in the list of those whom God loves. Then we have cleared the final test of life.

When God beckons you on the day of Judgment, you must be able to stand with your head held high, with the knowledge that you have led a good life that God will be proud of. If you have been attending to your duties properly, you would never dread a call from your superior. If you have not been working hard, you will be in constant fear of punishment.

If you want God to love you, you have to make tremendous efforts. You must be able to face the turmoil's that life places on your path, with poise and equanimity.

1. Be a seasoned devotee, not a seasonal devotee.

2. Be devoted, and ensure you lead a life that sets you in the good books of God.

Adi Sankara offers this prayer to the Lord, ‘I wanted to perform abhishekam to You. But Your tresses house the Ganga, the purest of rivers. So my performing abhishekam sounds ridiculous. I wanted to adorn You with flowers and offer You neivedyam with the choicest fruits. But then I realized that all these are Your creations, it seems foolish to offer You what is already Yours. If I seek something from You, it may seem as if You are not already aware of it. God knows what is required of us and gives us what is needed at the right moment (Vendarthakkadhu Arivonai, Vendar muzhuthum tharuvonai). I now realize that there is no prayer I can offer You. Please grant me the realization that You are within me, and help me comprehend Your immeasurable Grace.’

How many of us offer a similar prayer to God? Many persons suppose God to be a commission agent, and offer Him a deal, ‘I will give you this, if you do that for me.’ What a preposterous thought, that you propose to offer God a share of something that actually belongs to Him. It is time you snapped out of this absurd behaviour.

A merchant traveling on the high seas suddenly found that a storm had set in. He prayed to the Lord that he would sell his bungalow and donate to Him the proceeds if He rescued him from the storm. Immediately, the seas calmed down and the merchant returned to the shore. Now, the merchant was disturbed that he had promised God in haste. So he advertised in the papers that he was offering his bungalow for sale at a cost of Re.1. And he told the prospective buyers that he would sell the bungalow, only to the person who was prepared to buy his cat at Rs.1,00,00,000. One of the prospective buyers decided that anyway the property was worth so much and bought the bungalow for Re. 1 and the cat for Rs.1,00,00,000. And as per his “promise” to God, the merchant donated one rupee to the temple.

Persons term this ‘devotion’! They make a deal with God when they are in distress. For instance, persons would have allocated some amount for the Hundi at Tirupati. When the time nears, they decide that it is all right to use some of that amount for their travel to Tirupati, since anyway they are using it towards going to Tirupati. If a person asks you for alms in good faith, you would refuse to give him anything and further reprimand him for the asking; whereas if ruffians ask you to donate towards some ritual in the local temple, you give them immediately, because you are scared of them. This is the state of affairs in society today.

You would have pledged a saree to Ambal entreating her to grant a good husband for your daughter. And by Her grace, your daughter’s marriage would be settled. You would visit the best textile shop in town, get a grand silk saree that costs several thousand rupees for your daughter, and get a Rs.100 worth ordinary saree for Ambal. Why you do you cheat yourself thus? Did Ambal ever tell you She would get your daughter married, only if you buy Her a saree? If you are a devout person, you will offer Ambal a saree that is at least one rupee more than the cost of what you purchased for your daughter.

This is how business-like persons are. The excuse they give is, ‘Anyway, the temple priest will make use of the saree for his daughter, so why must I donate anything grand?’ Let me ask you, what is wrong if the priest takes possession of the saree for his daughter? Why do you trace what happens after you have submitted something at the sanctum? Is not every girl an aspect of Ambal? The problem is with you, you do not want to give, and so you are fabricating excuses.

Your ‘devotion’ is very hollow. The cost of living has gone up and even vegetables cost a minimum of Rs.15 a kilo and you hesitate to place even Rs.2 on the pooja plate that the priest holds out to you. How many mantras does the priest chant for your good? On your behalf, he prays to the Lord to bless you with material prosperity, vehicle for transport, good tidings from the Government and grant you salvation (‘Kanaka, vasthu, vaahanam, rajangathvare, mokshapraapthirasthu’). But you are not prepared to do anything for the poor priest.

A man proposed a deal to God: that he would offer half the money he received that day. He found Rs.100 on the streets. He immediately pocketed it saying, ‘God, thank You for taking Your share of the money and giving me my share of Rs.100’. Another person said, ‘I will flip the money I have on hand. If it stays put in the air, it is Yours. If it falls down, it is mine.’

The purport of ‘prayers’ seems to be the benefits we gain from our association with God. It is an extremely pathetic state that society is in, at present.

You buy an abhishekam ticket for Rs.100. You conveniently forget that it is God who has bequeathed that money to you. If an outsider happens to enter the sanctum at that time, you will try to shove him out saying, ‘I bought a special ticket for performing abhishekam’. What prevents you from letting him also enjoy God’s darshan? God condemns such persons. Know that God is universal, accessible to everyone. He belongs to every being, not to one specific person.

I have trounced out these foolish notions of the world, by constructing a temple at Kelambakkam, whose gates are wide open to all. Anyone can enter it at any time and can converse with God for as long as he chooses to. There is no separate sankalpa for anyone. We distribute the materials for pooja. Everyone is equal in front of God. Remember that God is impartial.

There is a parable in the Bible: Jesus is seated in a chapel. A poor lady places a one-rupee coin in the Hundi (charity box). A wealthy person donates ten thousand rupees. Jesus asks his disciples, ‘Who offered more to God?’ to which a disciple replies, ‘Obviously the wealthy person’. Jesus says, ‘No. It is the poor woman, because she has offered God all that she had’.

That is how devotion works. You must have the will to give God whatever you have. Have you ever thanked God for granting you a healthy life, house, spouse, children, ornaments and vehicles? Have you ever mounted a plaque on your gate declaring that your life was low profile till God granted you such wonderful possessions? On the contrary, you are keen on having your name flashed as donor, on a half-a-penny worth tubelight that you give to the temple. Your dealings with God are very business-like. Rather, devotion must be an expression of gratitude towards God for all that He has conferred on you.

If you happen to come across a Sivalinga whose eyes are bleeding, will you decide to pull out your eyes and offer them to the Lord, like Kannappa Nayanar did? ('Kannappan oppadhor anbinaal kann appavallom allom; magavarindhu oottavallom allom’.) Lord Siva tested the hunter Thinnan’s faith by causing one eye of the Sivalinga to bleed. Thinnan reacted by pulling out one of his eyes and binding it to the linga in place of the bleeding eye. When the other eye on the linga started bleeding profusely, Thinnan placed his foot on the bleeding eye for locating the position before he could pull his other eye to offer to the Lord. And the Lord was obviously pleased with the hunter’s devotion, and stopped him saying, ‘Kann appa’. That is how Thinnan secured a place as Kannappa Nayanar alongside Lord Siva in all Saivite temples.

If a similar incident occurs during this Kali Yuga, will any human being be ready to offer his eyes to the Lord? Instead, persons will spread rumors about Siva being influenced by a spell! (Laughs). If a spell can be cast on God Himself, how can He be God? This is how irrational persons can be.

You delude yourself with all these half-baked astrologers and sorcerers. You dance to their tunes, buy in haste all the “precious” stones they prescribe, and waste time, money and efforts on these trinkets. And you tend to grow so dependent on them, that you are afraid of the consequences if you don’t give them the money they demand.

I do not subscribe to any such negative philosophy. Do you presume that God is indifferent to stand by and watch his children perish under a spell cast on them by a good-for-nothing sorcerer? You seem to be keen on squandering money this way, not realizing that a single prayer works miracles. Trust in God; do not allow yourself to be deceived by all these falsities. The day you start trusting that everything is ordained by God and nothing happens without His permission, you can call yourself a devotee.

Avoid wasting the resources God has empowered you with. Make productive use of your resources. There are so many temples falling into ruins, the idols are clad in rags, there is no oil to light up lamps. You can infuse new life into these temples; adorn the idol with a good dress, burn incense, light up the lamp; and you will be able to see the Light glowing in your life too. You can do annadhaanam, feed poor persons.

Years ago, I composed a poem on ‘Pongal’: Engal kaipattu vaaipattadhundo Pongal; Engal kann mattum oyaamal pongum, pongum’. We have neither felt nor tasted the delicacy called Pongal; but our eyes smart due to overflowing tears. (ponguthal: overflow with tears).

Instead of allowing tricksters to take advantage of you, why don’t you decide to do something good for society?

The day you put into practice what we were discussing today, you become devotees. Devotion is holding on to God even if life offers you an adverse deal. Joys and sorrows combine to give you an exciting life. If your life is only joy, you will soon grow weary of it. Only when you are in the heat of summer, will you come to appreciate the shade of a tree. If you are served only sweets, you will start hating the very sight of sweets after sometime.

Change is the law of life. The farthest end of North is the South, and vice versa. When you experience joy continuously, you reach misery. When you are embroiled in miseries for long, you attain joy. Joy and sorrow complement each other.

Siddhartha led a princely life. When he encountered old age, illness and death on a single-day trip outside the palace, he renounced the palace, seeking the inner meaning of life. Thus emerged the Buddha, the Enlightened One. This is an instance of extreme joy leading to sorrow and resulting in enlightenment.

Arunagirinatha, who led the life of a libertine, decided to end his life, as there was no cure for the disease he contracted. Lord Muruga liberated him. This is an instance of extreme sorrow leading to the joy of enlightenment.

Regardless of whether sorrow led to joy or joy led to sorrow, the moment you reach your destination, you have become a Gnaani. And that is the aim of life. Being rich or poor, is a role you play in this drama of life. Being healthy or sick is another role you have been assigned.

Nothing is constant. Change is the only thing permanent in life. Your appearance changes as you grow, doesn’t it? So, never bother about anything.

The heat of summer causes flowers to droop. Continuous rain causes the flowers to decay. Only if the sun and rain blend will the flower be flower. Balancing of life is very relevant. This is the blessing of life.

The problem with persons is, they would have been praying to a painting of the Lord in the form of Pazhani Muruga. The moment some sorrow befalls them, some dim-witted person would advise them to discard that painting. These so-called devotees would not even stop to reminisce on all those years they were happy; they would immediately donate the painting to some temple. Where did their ‘devotion’ disappear?

The highest form of devotion is illustrated in ‘Abhiraami Andhaadhi’: ‘I am not concerned about what life has to give me, be it joy or sorrow. I have surrendered myself to You, O Lord. Whatever I have is all Yours. Even if my boat capsizes, it is Your decision to rescue me or let me drown’ (‘Nanre variginum, theedhe vilaiginum, naan arivadhu onrumillai. Ini nadukkadalil veezhginum enai karai yetrudhal Nin Thiruvulame!’)

Manickavachagar endorses, ‘When You captivated me, my Lord, my possessions also became Yours. You can decide everything for me. I am Yours; You are my Owner’. (‘Anre enadhu aaviyum udamaiyum ellaamum Kunreyanayaai Ennai aatkondapodhe kondilaiyo? Ini nanre seivai! Pizhaiye seivai! Naane adharku Naayakame!’)

A child may cuddle a doll or bang it on the wall, depending on its frame of mind. If the child is in a happy mood, it will dress up the doll, feed it and take good care of it. If the child is irritated for some reason, it will pound the doll. The doll has not asked for any particular treatment. If it is tattered, the child will not have anything to play with, the next day.

We are dolls in the hands of God. If anything happens to us, it is His loss. It is in His interest that He takes proper care of us. Why must we be concerned? If you understand this, you will not be concerned about anything. Whatever happens to us is His responsibility. He is our Lord. He is our owner.

You feel insecure only because you are not aware of this. Your insecurity is caused by the expectations you have of this world. Never expect anything. ‘Good and bad are your making’ (theedhum nanrum pirar thara vaara). No one can stop you from being happy, if you set your mind on it. And no one can dissuade you from feeling miserable, if you want to lament your ‘fate’. Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Start realizing from this minute that there is nothing called joy, nothing called sorrow; these are fabrications of your mind.

If you are happy, you enjoy the cool breeze wafting through the trees, the stars twinkling down at you. If you are burdened with some misery, you feel annoyed if someone speaks of nature’s bountiful blessings.

The sky, the moon, the stars, the tender breeze – none of these has changed. It is your mind that derives happiness and sorrow from the circumstances. The surroundings reflect the present state of your mind. There is nothing more to it.

It is up to you to transform your mind. Look upon everything that God gives you as a blessing.

Thoughts direct your life. Think on these lines. Devotion is no-expectation. It is not holding on to God when you are terrified or just because you assume that as the only way to get what you want.

Appar was thrown into a limestone furnace. Yet, he was chanting the Lord’s name, ‘Lord Siva is my constant companion. There is nothing to fear’ (‘Anjuvadhu yaadhonrum illai. Anjavaruvadhum illai. Natrunaiyaavadhu Namachivaayame!’)

The demon-king Hiranyakasipu threatened to kill his son Prahlada, because the child was forever chanting Lord Narayana’s name. But the child was firm in his devotion to the Lord. If you can hold on to the Lord like Prahlada did, then you will be acclaimed an ardent devotee.

If you cling firmly to the Lord’s Lotus Feet even if attempts are made to kill you, by elephants engaged to trample you, or by throwing you into a limestone furnace, then you will also be acclaimed as Appar. Till then you are lower. (Baba plays on the pronunciation of the word Appar: ‘upper’)

What is the right way to perform penance?

You are performing penance every day of your life, without being aware of it. The All-Compassionate Lord knows your needs.
You are not in a position to renounce everything and go to the forest seeking Him. So He has given you a house for shelter, dress to wear, food to eat, and a family to live with. And amidst all these, He has also given opportunities in the form of petty woes to help you experience and get over your karmas – this is penance. Understand and trust this. This is the only Truth. If you can comprehend this, you will understand the essence of life.

When miseries affect us, why do we get the feeling that there is no God, hence no use of prayers or visiting temples?

A devotee can never hate God. Even his anger springs out of his liberty with God. It is the feeling of ‘O God! How much I pray! I trust you so much. Why are you giving me pain?’ The devotee can exercise this privilege. If someone else raises this question, God will ignore it. But when a devotee questions, God relishes it.

God is unaffected by anything. Your joy or misery does not happen without His knowledge. He creates these pains and pleasures for your own good.

A devotee may have tests, but never a failure. Devotees are tested and rewarded with a better future based on what they learn from the test.

At a distance, fire keeps you warm. As you approach it, its heat is felt more and more intensely. When you throw a log into the fire, how much the log suffers? So also, as long as you keep burning camphor or incense from a distance, it seems fine by you. When you start approaching God, you face tests. The closer you go, the tougher the tests. When you are in the process of actually becoming God, your state is akin to the log of wood thrown into fire.

Appar Swami was always reciting ‘Lord Shiva is my refuge’, even when he was thrown into a limestone furnace and again left to be trampled upon by elephants. He is reckoned on par with the Lord, because of his devotion.

Despite being harassed by his own father, poisoned and thrown downhill, Prahalada repeated the Lord’s name, ‘Aum Namo Narayana’. He is given the prime place of importance in the list of Vishnu’s devotees –- Prahalada, Narada, Parasara, Pundarika.

Remember that those who held on to God, despite whatever misery they were subjected to, were ultimately worshipped. You must also hold on to God, come what may.

When the time comes for God to take total control of us, He gives us major distress, makes us writhe in agony and only then showers His grace on us. Why so?

That’s true. There are only two ways to reach God.

1. Reaching super-saturation in happiness, therefore, growing tired of this happiness and surrendering to God

2. Undergoing absolute misery, conquering the resulting distress, being able to ignore the pain and attaining a state of being unaffected by anything. Surrendering to God at this point of time.

There are only these two extreme levels, by which one can attain God.
The Earth is oval-shaped. As you travel North, you will land up South. When you travel South, you will end up North.
So also, misery ends in joy and vice versa. Joy or sorrow -– both lead you to God. How is this possible?

Was there any pleasure that Siddhartha did not experience? He had a loving wife, healthy child, and princely pleasures. He came across a deformed person, an old man and a dead body. His mind went in a whirl of questions, ‘Why disease? Why old age? Why death?’ These questions fine-tuned his mind and propelled him towards God.

Pattinathar was a ship merchant who had access to a life of pleasures. Lord Shiva came as his son and at the opportune moment, declared -- ‘none of these will accompany you on your last journey’ -- and vanished. Pattinathar realized that his worldly success had prevented him from enjoying the bliss of having God for his son. He became a staunch devotee of God and was revered as Pattinathadigal.

Bhadragiri was a renowned king. There was no pleasure he had not experienced. When people, out of ignorance, punished the great Pattinathar and the saint emerged unhurt, Bhadragiri renounced his kingdom and became an ardent disciple of Pattinathar.

All these are examples of extreme joy leading one to the path of spirituality.

Arunagirinathar was unable to continue his life of prolonged disease, and tried to commit suicide by jumping off Thiruvannamalai Hills. Muruga conquered his heart. Extreme suffering led him to God.

So joy and sorrow are illusory. In reality, there is no joy, no sorrow. Wisdom is the state of being neither in joy, nor in sorrow. You must attain this state.

Your heart reflects joy and sorrow. It is your karma that results in your joy or sorrow. One either leads a life of total virtue, undergoes the joys resulting from that karma, gets sick of it and comes to spirituality. More like being fed with sweets non-stop and developing revulsion for that taste. Try that for ten days and the eleventh day, your taste buds will start yearning for something bitter. So too, a person who has not tasted sweets longs for that taste. Sweet or sour, too much is repulsive. So also joy and sorrow.

What is our destination? How should we reach our destination?

Destiny will propel you towards a station and that is your destination. There is nothing that you can do regarding this. Only an ignorant person assumes that he is the doer. Bharathi puts it this way, ‘We did not will our birth. We do not know what is in store for us.’

The next issue crops up: is there something called destiny? A European lady asked the late Paramacharya of Kanchi Math, ‘How do I believe that (a) there is a destiny and (b) in the karma theory of Hindu religion?’ Hinduism propounds the theory of karma. The soul takes different forms across various births, propelled by the unfulfilled desires of its previous births. When all experiences are done, the soul goes beyond the fetters of bondage and reaches a state of no-births. Whenever someone sought Paramacharya’s guidance, the saint would either ask that seeker a question in return that will contain the reply for the seeker’s question, or would give a live demonstration for making the seeker understand. He called one of his disciples, asked him to escort the lady to a maternity hospital where she could record the details of all the children there. When she returned, the Mahaan asked her, ‘You met several babies, of different hues of complexion, some are healthy, some sick, some are wealthy, some poor; what do you think is the reason for their varied background? How do you account for a particular condition of a particular child?’ Some flashback must be there; this was his reply. So, karma holds good.

Where destiny leads us to, is our destination. This question is itself marching towards destination; because questions asked with the desperate need for knowledge propel us towards Truth. The clarification I give is based on my experiences under similar circumstances. Seekers have always been there, and when they attained the sought, they become Gnaanis. Those who are raising the questions are vignaanis (researchers); those who do not concern themselves with such issues are agnaanis (ignorant persons).

So, from being an agnaani, you evolve to the state of a vignaani and then a Mei Gnani. Then you will understand that your physical form is an illusion, the world is one whole illusion. You will be able to appreciate the whole world as one unit, bearing no distinction anywhere. It is your thoughts that create disparity.

A person attends a medical college and graduates into a doctor. A lawyer is a product of the law school. A person in constant research becomes a scientist. And so it is with saints. Those who want to embrace sainthood, undergo penance, do meditation, visit Mahaans and become saints. Siva Shankar Baba has realized that sainthood is not an exclusive post. It is attainable by everyone, if only persons put in the requisite efforts. There is nothing called virtue, there is nothing called vice. God is the tree thriving on the seed you sowed. You desired to become a saint, so you become one. That is all there is to it.

There is a 12-year-old boy who has become a Gnaani and is in deep penance in Sabarimala; he goes by the name ‘Ayyappa’. Several pilgrims visit him every year, observing rigorous fasting and rituals, climbing rocky hills to reach the sanctum. This by itself is proof that everyone has a spark of devotion within him. How much you kindle that fire within you, will determine the heights you attain. And since that Ayyappa is accessible to all and does not differentiate in his blessing to anyone, where does the question of any disparity among human beings arise? If you comprehend this, you become a Gnaani. Then, conceit has no place in you. The bubble of bodily ego bursts. Once this illusion vanishes, the whole universe reveals itself to you as Light, the Light that is within you. Only that Light is real. Everything else is a figment of imagination. That Light reveals you to yourself. It is present within you as well as within me. Let us call it Sivam. As long as that Jyothi (Light) abides in you, you are Sivam. Else you are Savam (corpse). This is what life is all about. If you can comprehend the Sivam that you are, before you become a Savam, then, before your death, you are a Gnaani.

The only way to know all these is to get refined by the experiences you undergo in this world. Then you will understand the reality that the world is false. You will not believe it if a realized person says that your relatives are illusory, your wealth is illusory, your belongings are part of the deception you call ‘life’. When you realize of your own accord, through your own experiences, then you will renounce the world in your mind.

He whom you trust as a friend, is not within reach in times of need. Only then you will understand that your trust was misplaced. As long as you shower ornaments on your spouse, she will be pleasing. The moment you encounter some monetary problems, she will start nagging you. Then you will know that you have been only a money-vending machine for your family. You will realize how cheap the world is.

All relationships are based on selfishness, a means of securing some benefit. But you will mock at me if I say this … till such time you experience it for yourself.

You will not touch a flame even if I force you to do it, because you burnt your fingers when you were a child, despite your mother’s warning. You experienced it and so you know the consequence. You are being advised to love everyone; that only God is true. But you are not prepared to learn these lessons. You have to experience it for yourself, and then it will remain evergreen in you.

Extreme joy will lead you to super-saturation and then naturally, you will become a Gnaani, as was the case with Siddhartha. Extreme sorrow will lead you to frustration and then you will become a Gnaani as in the case of Arunagirinatha.

Understand that what you assume to be sorrow is in your own interests. What you imagine to be joy is equally good for you. So whatever happens, happens for your good only. Through either of these, you will attain your destination, which is Truth. You must be like a log of wood drifting along with the current to wherever the river of Samsara flows, and we all know that this river is bound for the ocean, the Ocean of Bliss.

When Pisiraandhaiyaar (a saint) was asked, ‘How is it possible for you to be in a constant state of bliss?’ he replied, ‘I flow along with life, wherever it takes me. I am not affected by anything. I am content with whatever life has to offer me.’

The reason why you grumble is because you did not get what you anticipated. Learn to accept whatever life offers you. If you are forced to eat nothing but sweet delicacies, you will soon tire of it. Change is the law of life. You cannot relish joy much if you have not already experienced misery. You will not appreciate rain unless you have felt the scorching heat of summer. And if the rain persists, you will soon start hoping that the sun will shine.

A judicious blend makes a whole world of difference to your experiences. When you have understood this truth, you have become a Gnaani. Armed with this umbrella of wisdom, you will realize that nothing affects you thereon. Fear no more the heat of the sun, nor the furious winter’s rages, (to quote Shakespeare). The umbrella of devotion protects you from the raging rains of pleasure, from the scorching sun of pain.

Spirituality is the subject that bestows this equanimity of mind. It is not something that feeds your monetary desires, or sets your health problems right or attends to psychological problems. You are confusing spirituality with materialism, psychology and medical science. Spirituality aims at conferring on you, an umbrella that will see you through the summers and winters of your life. This is the language of spirituality. This is the language Siva Shankar Baba speaks. A true Gnaani does not get disturbed by anything that happens in life.

It is you who are holding on to this world, not the other way round. Gnaanam (wisdom) is being able to concentrate on the task ahead without being disturbed by any bondage, like King Harichandra’s steadfastness to truth. He was able to see the corpse as a corpse and not as his son. This is the definition of a Gnaani.

If you are steadfast in your commitment to attain wisdom, then you will attain it. What you need to understand immediately and retain forever is that spirituality guides you to who you are, by imbibing this wisdom in you, by granting you equanimity of mind.

Human beings are more comfortable with shortcut methods; so they seek the help of tantrics or astrologers. I am not blaming you; I know that this is what has been made out to you over the years as spirituality. What I want to clarify to you is that spirituality has nothing to do with this. It focuses on the Absolute Truth, the knowledge of what God is, and how to attain God who is within you.

There is nothing called rich or poor or healthy or sick. Life is a big drama and all of us have a variety of roles to play.

If God is able to do good for you, will He not care for those beggars you meet in plenty at pilgrim centers? But He decides the right time. Each one to his experience, and no experience is to be glorified or negated. Some persons like sweets, and some others relish hot food. Each one to his taste. Just accept everything as an experience.

It is the projection of the mind that flashes objects on the screen. Once you switch off the projector, you do not see anything on the screen. The same is true of life too. Switch off your mind and become blank, you will reach a state of no-thoughts.

No person has been totally happy or absolutely sad. Learn to laugh at life without getting too much involved in it. It is this vehicle of human life that is transporting you to salvation. How can you distance yourself from it? Everyone of us is destined to attain salvation, in various forms, in various ways and at various points in time, spanning across several eons. You are not what you presume yourself to be.

The answer (in Tamil: vidai) for all your questions is He (Avan) who is within. [ Lord Siva is known as Vidaiyavan, Vidai meaning ‘bull’, which is His vehicle. ] So Vidai (Answer) is Avan (HE) : Vidaiyavan.

Life is a fertile field for reaping the harvest of mixed experiences, and these experiences will guide you to the Truth. You need not plan anything.

You are not the performer; you are only the witness. You have nothing to perform; you have nothing to plan. Everything will happen of its own accord.

Arunagirinatha did not dream of enlightenment. Siva Shankaran, the son of a teacher, born in North Arcot district, never thought he would become the enlightened Siva Shankar Baba.

It is our ignorance that leads us to believe that we are the doers; and this is the reason for the strife and discord in this world. When you free yourself from your focus on the results, you gain the freedom of a bird and fly through life in absolute bliss. Have you noticed that none of the animals or birds seeks counseling for any “problems” it faces? Only human beings are caught in the warp of illusion and struggle to find a way out of it, trapping themselves deeper in the tricky situation that life poses.

There is a Supreme Force that has conceived such a beautiful world, caring for each one of His creations. What makes you assume that He will not take care of you and attend to your needs? It is only when your plans fail, that you deceive yourself with the idea that nothing happens as per your will and that life is a misery.

I am not concerned about anything that happens to me. I float along with the current. So whatever I think happens.

I am talking from experience. Even in a wild forest, whatever I think, happens. On one of my pilgrimages to Mahendragiri forest, when I was resting near a Sivalinga installed by Sage Agasthiyar, I thought how good it would be to have a lighted lamp nearby the linga. Sometime in the night, I felt a light flashing on my face and woke up to find two persons telling me, ‘It seems you had asked for a lamp. We are sorry for being late, we had to walk seven miles across to reach you’. They requested me to light that lamp. And I woke up the following morning to see that there were no persons, but the lamp was very much there, glowing serenely.

How does this happen? My thoughts reach across to a Siddhar who must be at the Podigai hills, and the Siddhar responds by inspiring his disciples to trek seven miles to bring me the lamp. I have several such experiences. So I do not doubt the Presence of God. If you are on the right track, God implements your every thought. That is why I maintain my cool.

I was inclined to visit Sabarimala before the pilgrimage to Kailash. And suddenly a Samratchana devotee who is a government officer requested me to accompany him to Sabarimala. And we went by flight and returned the same day. What I wished was to go to Sabarimala, and see the comforts God arranged for me. I accept everything as God’s decree. I do not look on anyone as a mortal being. I value everyone as God Himself. Whatever anyone tells me, I take to be God’s words.

I have toiled in my quest for God. I have observed severe fasting. During my quest, when I was on fasting on a Purattasi Saturday (auspicious to Srinivasa Perumal) I went to a restaurant to buy coffee. A seven-year-old boy sat opposite me and asked me to buy him a dosa. And he said something incoherently about his name being Srinivasan and residing in Kamakshi Amman street, working in Annamalai and Co.. And he added ‘Everything is the same, only the painting has been done differently’. The way I looked at it was Perumal Himself gave me company that day.

One of my experiences in Kailash is of a four-year-old boy giving me pebbles asking me to construct a citadel in the name of his father. From where did that boy appear and why must he talk in Tamil? I take him to be Muruga, who is instructing me to construct a spiritual empire in the name of his father Siva. Do not assume Muruga to appear always with a Vel (lance) attired in rich silks. He is Light and will assume any form to interact with you.

During a pilgrimage undertaken in 1984, I was taking a dip at the Ganga. A five-year-old girl in a green dress, asked me in Hindi, ‘Uncle, why did it take so long for you to come here for a dip?’ For me, it is the river Ganga herself who is asking me why it took so long for me to visit her.

Every day has an experience waiting for me. I do not seek experiences; they come to me. I am not interested in anything. If God appears in His Cosmic Form, I will not ask Him for anything. This is the pinnacle of spirituality: a state of no-wants. That is why I formed this quotation: A person who has wants, worships; A person who has no wants, is worshipped. So go beyond wants and you will also become worthy of worship some day. This is spirituality. So go beyond desires, and you will gain wisdom.

What must I seek from God if He appears in person?

Ask for Him. Seek more of Him forever and ever.

The natural tendency is to ask any boon connected to worldly prosperity - - the quicksand wilting pleasures of wealth, family, health etc.

A mythological anecdote : Nachiketa was pestering his father during a yagam, 'You are giving away many gifts to all the participants, whom are you planning to give me to?' In a fit of irritation, the king said, 'I am giving you away to Yama'; and since he was performing a yagam then, Nachiketa landed in Yama Loka (the land of Yama, the Lord of Dharma and Death) like a guided missile. Yama, being pre-occupied at that time, could meet his guest after a lapse of three days only and tendered his apologies for making his guest wait for him. He also granted Nachiketa any three boons the boy wished. To which Nachiketa responded, 'Whatever boon you grant me will not ensure an eternal life for me. You may give me riches, when I die, they are no longer mine. So it is with family and anything of the world. Grant me something that cannot be taken away from me'. When Yama replied that was not possible, Nachiketa refused to accept any boon.

I am also like that! I have had visions of so many celestials. They have asked me several times, 'What boons do you want'? I have always refused any boon. When a worldly looking person like me is not asking for a boon, it is because I have understood the futility of boons. The best thing is to understand that you have the key within you to all that you want, and that is because you yourself are a miniature form of the Ultimate Divinity.

Whatever constitutes God or Godliness is within you too. You have all the ingredients that make God. So, instead of standing before God like a beggar and asking for a perishable boon, kindle the spark of divinity within you so that you can grant boons to anyone.

That is what I have accomplished. Anyone who comes to me needs to go no further for food or clothes or shelter. The whole concept of living undergoes a dramatic change and people find peace here. This has been made possible because I nurtured the latent divinity within me. All powers are within us - - just that we need to put them to use.

Try to decipher the secret code within you - - the code of becoming contented and growing beyond wants. When you achieve that state, anything you wish for, happens. He who has wants worships; He who has no wants is worshipped and can himself become a Karpaga Vriksham (wish fulfilling tree). Then you need not worship; you need not waste your time seeking anything called God. You will become that which is God.

It is not the question of becoming God, it is discarding what is the "unbecoming" of God! You are already God; you do not understand your potential to perform the role of God! When you wish to carve a divine figurine, what will you do? You pick up a good stone. Keeping a mental outline of the idol, you chip off the unwanted portions of the stone with a big chisel. Then with a medium sized chisel, you start carving the basic proportions. Then you take a small chisel and carve the intricate portions - - the eyes, nose etc. So, what you term as a carving of God is a rejection of the unwanted portion from the stone. Ultimately you engrave some form of God from the same stone which was lying unheeded somewhere.

You too are like a stone. Discard all the unwanted elements from you and the Divinity will reveal itself from within you. Sculpting is not chiselling, it is discarding all those irrelevant elements, that obstruct the making of the final piece. So too let go of all the negative qualities that hinder your discovering your divinity. Just like you sweep away trash with a broom, make use of the broom called devotion and sweep away the trash in your mind. Then that whole place will be clean and God will instate Himself.

Will family life be an obstacle to spiritual elevation?
Definitely not! A person who is perfect in carrying out his family duties need not go in search of God; God is by his side at all times. In an office, every employee is given a set of duties to perform, and his good performance is rewarded with promotion. Similarly, consider the family as a branch office of God; each one of us is given certain responsibilities towards our parents, children, spouse, relatives and friends. Only if we perform our duties perfectly will our boss (i.e., God), be pleased with us. Instead of going from temple to temple in search of God and leading a wavering life, consider your mother as Goddess Shakti, your father as Lord Shiva, child as Muruga and all your friends, relatives and anyone you come across in life, maybe a beggar on the road or a customer in your office, as some divine form. In due course of time, your love expands from the boundaries of your family and reaches out to your neighbors, friends, and gradually to everything in this world.

Besides this, master the art of performing even the smallest task with perfection. If you prepare coffee, prepare the best coffee on earth, if you sweep, do it in such a way that nobody else will be able to sweep so perfectly as you have done. This concentration and commitment to perfection gradually improve your mind power, and the highest ideals can be achieved with absolute ease. Your life itself becomes a penance -- you can live like a recluse with the world yet without it, and you need not run to any forest in search of God.
How do we develop an interest towards life?

Life is a wonderful phenomenon. Enjoy life. Instead of looking at the negative side of life caused by frustrations and non-anticipated results, take charge and meet challenges head on. There is nothing called failure; it is only the non-anticipation of a given situation. Visit orphanages - - then you will understand how blessed you are. Compare yourself with the needy and then you will learn to love life.

What is the significance of the elephant face of Vinayaka?

A casual look at Vinayaka’s form may lead one to think, ‘How foolish to worship someone with an elephant face!’ But Vinayaka is the representation of completeness. He is a very handsome Lord. The elephant form you are familiar with, manifested itself to subdue the asuras, who were wreaking havoc on the world. The Vinayaka of the present is in a form similar to Muruga. You may not believe me when I say this; you may want some proof.

In days of yore, the inhabitants of Lemuria were giant sized like the asuras. When there was a necessity to conquer the asuras, the divine forms that manifested had to take on giant sized forms.

For instance, to subdue Gajamukhasura (elephant faced demon), a divine form resembling an elephant was required. That is why the earlier manifestations of Divinity were all in some animal form.

The human race did not evolve by civilization, it evolved by transitioning gradually from some form of a reptile to beast to the sophistication of a human being. That is why you have the fish(Matsya), turtle (Kurma), wild boar (Varaha), then half man half lion (Narasimha), then a dwarf form (Vamana), then a wild man (Parasurama), then evolved into a human form, an epitome of peacefulness, attempting to establish justice in the world. Rama was not conscious that He was a Divine incarnation - - it was the Rishis who made Him aware of that during the course of His life. Even Anjaneya regained awareness of His prowess at the instance of Jambavan. Till the days of Ramayana, the characters were not aware of their inherent powers; evolution was not complete. That is why you had bears and monkeys co-existing with human beings. That was the transition stage.

It is only in the days of Krishna that evolution reached completion. All characters in that yuga were in human form. When the state of completeness was achieved, it led to the evolution called Krishna - - perhaps we can label it that way. Just like a product manufactured in a factory undergoes various processes which are fine-tuned over the years and therefore a contemporary product will be more evolved than a product of yesteryears.

But those who have a rational approach do not approach this as history or puranic episodes. Medical Science has conducted researches to study the foetus and its growth, and has recorded its evolution at various stages and has proved that the position of the child in the womb initially resembles a fish, then a turtle etc. So the evolution of a child is equivalent to the Dasavatara we are familiar with, and this has been rationally proved with photos and illustrations.

Whatever Divine form we are familiar with, that is the divine form we worship.

 

 

Parable

 

The very purpose of life is to overcome our limitations and attain love and bliss in totality which are the basic traits of divinity. The creation is a relentless process of giving another opportunity to overcome our limitations to get to the next level of divinity. Acceptance of our limitations and surrender to the master plan of our reformation strategy is the only way to get there.

The solution is simple but no easy as common sense is a rare sense. Acceptance and surrender doesn't come easily under the influence of the great Illusion (Maya). It needs the convincing power of the Creator (Mayavan) to help the mankind tread the path of righteousness without pointing out their limitations.

Sri Siva Shankar Baba's focus on cure rather than on the cause of problems is very much evident in His approach. As a role model He walks the talk of His philosophy. His parables and quotes from our old scriptures and literature is so compelling that it transforms our nature to bring out the inherent goodness in us without hurting the ego.

Please read through the parables to reinforce the impact of His teachings on our behaviour essentially saying 'Babavai Paarkka Vaareer, Babavaai Aaga Vareer' - Observe Baba And Get Absorbed !

God Is A Presence

God Sleeps in the Minerals; Rests in the Vegetables; Walks in the animals and thinks in human beings! Think of God as a presence rather than a person.

A presence that allows a seed to sprout, that moves the stars across the sky, and simultaneously moves a thought across your mind.

A presence that grows the grass and grows your finger nails at the same time. This presence is everywhere; therefore it must also be in you!

If it’s everywhere it must be in all you perceive to be missing from your life. You are already connected to all that you’d like to attract into your life by the presence of this universal, all powerful spirit called God; No need for you to worry; No need for you to fear.

Because you are a piece of God, you are a divine creation- you are not the body you behold; you are a being of light who showed up on earth as a human being!

You are the beloved- You are a miracle- A part of the Eternal perfection.

Love All

There are three ways people express their love.

1. One To None: This person does not love anyone except himself.

2. One To One: A result-oriented love that expresses love to persons for deriving some favours.

3. One To All: Loving everyone for love's sake.

When you look into the mirror, you see yourself reflected in it. If you place n number of mirrors side by side, you will see your reflection in all those mirrors. And the mirrors reflect all your actions. When we start looking on the world as a mirror and perceive our presence in every one of the beings in this world, we realize a manifold reflection of ourselves which is in essence, Viraat Viswaroopa.

This is the state Kaschyiappa Sivachariar sings of Muruga in Skanda Purana 'Everywhere Thy Divine Face Everywhere Thy Lotus Hands'.

Samratchana Seven Swaras

1. Everyone is God, Everything is God.

2. Whoever comes here is Paramaathma's form - Give Everyone the respect you would give God.

3. If your bodily ego or attachment has to be subdued, you have to climb from the bottom to the top. You must discard all your sense of 'low' and 'high'.

4. We manage all our tasks ourselves.

5. Samratchana is a happy family rooted in love.

6. No one is treated with contempt, or hatred or anger.

7. Differences of rich and poor, caste, creed, gender, religion do not exist.

This is the super most achievement of Samratchana - being able to cross all barriers in such a debased contemporary society. So many thousands of people form a part of this affectionate family. No questions asked. You are accepted as you are. I look upon all the children of Samratchana as my children. If a person cultivates in one acre of land, he may harvest hundred kgs. of grain. If he cultivates in hundred acres, he would harvest ten thousand kgs. Siva Shankar Baba cultivated love in a small family. He now cultivates love in a huge family -- Vasudeva Kutumbakam. The returns are thousand crores multiples of love from all these children. But I never expect anything in return.

It is such an easy philosophy that you too can follow. You are not prepared to experiment. How will you get love from so many people unless you give them love? How can you reap what you have not sown? Love everyone without rhyme or reason. Do not seek benefits. Love ceases to be, when expectations of returns arise. Love is selflessness. Self is lovelessness. Once you understand these, you will start appreciating life.

Five Techniques

To progress in life as a human being, it is enough if you adopt these five simple techniques.

Attend to your duties. Do not unduly interfere in the affairs of others. Do not talk much. But, do not withdraw into yourself; you must show people that you care for them.

Do not entertain gossipmongers. If someone tries to prattle some nonsense, either politely silence his attempts or just move away. And when someone tells you something, try to find if there is any truth in what he says. Never indulge in unproductive gossip.

Even if you are unable to do good, never do anything that will hurt others.

Before you turn in for the night, review your day. Have you done anything for the wellbeing of at least one individual? How many persons have you made happy that day? Have you hurt anyone with or without your knowledge? A daily self-introspection helps you progress.

Thank God for the day that has passed by. Thank Him every morning for affording you yet another day for your evolution.

Each day that God grants you, is another step forward in the path to your progress, to add cheer to lives around you. You have some dues to settle and God gives you one more day. Look for opportunities to do something good and thank Him for that opportunity. Whatever way you address the Ultimate, you have a duty to thank Him for whatever He has done.

Adopt these techniques and you will see brighter days.

Blessed Assurance

God exists. It is when you experience Him that you will know His Existence. Experiences will happen. When? The lamp lights up when the switch is on. Only when you turn on the switch called faith, will you gather experiences. Decide this moment — Baba has assured you that God exists, so call upon some divine form of your liking and request Him to bless you. You will see wonders happen.

Instead of turning to God, you resort to foolish measures like paying a hefty sum to an astrologer for propitiating a lesser deity. How can any talisman measure up to God’s supremacy? Ponder over this and you will understand the truth in my statement. That Supreme Power never lets you down. And you need not spend a single penny to invoke Him. Faith never forsakes you. So why do you forsake it for half-a-penny worth trinket? God is by your side always, waiting to serve your needs. But how can you expect a response from Him without initiating a call?

There is nothing beyond God, and He can pulverize your problems. As the pet servant of God, this is the message I would like to give to you to imbibe in your lives.

God Knows!

Adi Sankara offers this prayer to the Lord, ‘I wanted to perform abhishekam to you. But your tresses house the Ganga, the purest of rivers. So my performing abhishekam sounds ridiculous. I wanted to adorn You with flowers and offer You neivedyam with the choicest fruits. But then I realized that all these are Your creations, it seems foolish to offer You what is already yours. If I seek something from You, it may seem as if You are not already aware of it. God knows what is required of us and gives us what is needed at the right moment (Vendarthakkathu arivonai, Vendar muzhuthum tharuvonai). I now realize that there is no prayer I can offer You. Please grant me the realization that You are within me, and help me comprehend Your immeasurable Grace.’

How many of us offer a similar prayer to God? Many persons suppose God to be a commission agent, and offer Him a deal, ‘I will give you this, if you do that for me.’ What a preposterous thought, that you propose to offer God a share of something that actually belongs to Him. It is time you snapped out of this absurd behavior.

Whatever you have!

There is a parable in the Bible: Jesus is seated in a chapel. A poor lady places a one-rupee coin in the Hundi (Charity box). A wealthy person donates ten thousand rupees. Jesus asks his disciples, ‘Who offered more to God?’ to which a disciple replies, ‘Obviously the wealthy person’. Jesus says, ‘No. It is the poor woman, because she has offered God all that she had’.

That is how devotion works. You must have the will to give God whatever you have. Have you ever thanked God for granting you a healthy life, house, spouse, children, ornaments and vehicles? Have you ever mounted a plaque on your gate declaring that your life was low profile till God granted you such wonderful possessions? On the contrary, you are keen on having your name flashed as donor, on a half-a-penny worth tube light that you give to the temple. Your dealings with God are very business-like. Rather, devotion must be an expression of gratitude towards God for all that He has conferred on you.

The Test of Life

It is absolutely irrelevant whether you accept or love God. God must love and accept you; that is what really matters.

You may be familiar with the story of Abu Ben Adam that you learnt at school. One night, an angel appears in his dream and she seems to be recording some information. When questioned, the angel clarifies that she is making an inventory of those who love God. Abu is disappointed to note that his name is not there in the list. The following night, he has a similar dream and this time the angel tells that him that she is tabulating information about those whom God loves, and Abu Ben Adam’s name tops the list.

So, our names need not figure in the list of those who love God. Our noble lives must place us in the list of those whom God loves. Then we have cleared the final test of life.

For God to Love You

When God beckons you on the Day of Judgment, you must be able to stand with your head held high, with the knowledge that you have led a good life that God will be proud of. If you have been attending to your duties properly, you would never dread a call from your superior. If you have not been working hard, you will be in constant fear of punishment.

Consider everyone as God and love everyone the way you would love God; know that your family is but a branch office of the Lord; this is the secret to do God proud.

If you want God to love you, you have to make tremendous efforts. You must be able to face the turmoil’s that life places on your path, with poise and equanimity.

Knowing by Experience

Adi Sankara holds a spiritual debate with Mandanamisra (an aspect of Brahma). Mandanamisra loses the argument. The agreement was, whoever loses the debate becomes the winner’s disciple; if Mandanamisra loses, he must renounce the world, and if Adi Sankara loses, he must enter family life. Mandanamisra’s wife Sarasavani (an aspect of Saraswathi), maintains that only if Adi Sankara is able to clarify her questions too, will they accept Mandanamisra’s defeat, and proceeds to ask him, ‘what do you know of family life?’ He asks her for a month’s time, enters the (dead) body of the King of Kasi, understands the nuances of family life, and returns to win the debate. Mandanamisra and Sarasavani get initiated into sanyas and become Adi Sankara’s disciples.

Was it the king of Kasi or Adi Sankara who obtained clarity? It was Adi Sankara only. Instead of drinking from a cup, you drink from the saucer, but the person is the same. Adi Sankara could not become a Gnaani till he understood the underlying the concept of family life. So, you must invest more trust in a person who has renounced the world after leading a family life, because he knows the best and the worst of everything. He is a true Gnaani.

My system of working is based on a lucid, practical philosophy.. only because I had been with the mundane world, and know as much about it as you do, if not more.

The Supreme Force is something that knows both good and bad, and is beyond any particular quality. It is not confined to any particular qualification. It is called Gunaatheethan, the One beyond qualities.

When you scorch a newspaper, parts of the letters are visible and the paper is tinted with black. When you burn it fully, you will not be able to distinguish the letters from the paper. Only ashes remain. A Gnaani is someone who has burnt up the world in his mind. He is ash; not black or red, not even green. He is a spectrum of colours, like white, but you can never tell one colour from the other. He has attained a state of no-qualities.

The Answer

He, who has elevated himself above the physical realms of this world, has no use for books. You will ‘know’ the answers to everything; you will simply ‘know’. You are not confined to knowledge acquired in a particular birth because you have actually been part of this world, taking several births, across several yugas (eons). Thiruvalluvar declares that the knowledge acquired by a person holds him in good stead across all his births (Orumaikkann thaan katra kalvi oruvarkku ezhumaiyum emapudaithu). Vivekananda asserts, ‘Education is the manifestation of perfection that is already in man’.

You are already perfect. That perfection has to manifest itself; it needs to be discerned. This is education. This ‘vaalarivu’ (comprehension of the fact that you are beyond all these worldly issues), will help you realize God. The fact that you are seeking clarification establishes that you are in the fourth stage of development. When you continue seeking, you will obtain the clarification. You become the clarification. And He is the clarification sought. He and You are one. Persons are seeking the answer (in Tamil: vidai). They will understand one day that the answer is He (Avan) who is within.

Vidaiyavan is one of the several names by which Lord Siva is knows, so Vidai (Answer) is Avan (HE): Vidaiyavan.

Don’t Care

The highest form of devotion is illustrated in ‘Abhiraami Andhaadhi’: ‘I am not concerned about what life has to give me, be it joy or sorrow. I have surrendered myself to You, O Lord. Whatever I have is all Yours. Even if my boat capsizes, it is Your decision to rescue me or let me drown’ (‘Nanre variginum, theedhe vilaiginum, naan arivadhu onrumillai. Ini nadukkadalil veezhginum enai karai yetrudhal Nin Thiruvulame!’)

Manickavachagar endorses, ‘When You captivated me, my Lord, my possessions also became Yours. You can decide everything for me. I am Yours; You are my Owner’. (‘Anre enadhu aaviyum udamaiyum ellaamum Kunreyanayaai Ennai aatkondapodhe kondilaiyo? Ini nanre seivai! Pizhaiye seivai! Naane adharku Naayakame!’)

A child may cuddle a doll or bang it on the wall, depending on its frame of mind. If the child is in a happy mood, it will dress up the doll, feed it and take good care of it. If the child is irritated for some reason, it will pound the doll. The doll has not asked for any particular treatment. If it is tattered, the child will not have anything to play with, the next day.

We are dolls in the hands of God. If anything happens to us, it is HIS loss. It is in HIS interest that HE takes proper care of us. Why must we be concerned? If you understand this, you will not be concerned about anything. Whatever happens to us is the Lord’s responsibility. HE is our owner.

 

 

Quotation

 

As the wealth of Vedic wisdom was lost due to the compromise on the upholding of dharma (righteousness), Vedic practices became procedural rather than being intuitive. It is prudent to reassess the application of Vedic knowledge in the current scenario.

As the morality and righteousness took the downward spiral, Sri Siva Shankar Baba emerged into the scene for its revival. The world has deviated from the righteous path due to focus on short term goals. Baba believes more in spirituality than the religious practices and rigours which might not be beneficial for mankind at large.

In His own unmimicable style, He coined power-packed quotations which convey the essence of life. Anyone who is associated with Him undergoes a total metamorphosis in his/her outlook towards life and is set on the fast track of spirituality.

These powerful quotes serve as reminders of basic tenets that we ought to follow in our daily lives.

Here is a collection of the most inspirational and insightful quotes of Baba.

"God Loves, God only loves, God loves only"

"Renunciation is neither adding anything nor leaving anything, leading God destined life, pinning our thoughts always to God"

"If Not here Where?
If Not now When?
If Not from Me from Whom?"

"1/0 = Infinity, 2/0 = Infinity, Lakh/0 = Infinity
12/2 = 6, 12/3 = 4
6*2 = 12, 4*3 = 12, So
Infinity*0 = 1, Infinity*0 = 2, Infinity*0 = Lakh
Infinity = Neither Beginning Nor Ending = GOD
Zero = Nothing = Maya
GOD * Maya = 1 = I
GOD * Maya = 2 = I + YOU
GOD * Maya = Lakh = All of us"

"Arise, Awake, Work, Worship"

"Why do you want to fall? I want to raise you"

"Know God Know Peace;
No God No Peace"

"Self realization is absolute stillness of mind. Realization is not something to be achieved. It is our illusion, that we are bound and we have not realized. This notion should be removed. We are always free. Realization is not something to be achieved latter, it is here and now"

"Renunciation is not in the outward show, but that which should come from the mind"

"You cannot reach God at your will. God will choose the right time to captivate you. He will subdue the results of your actions and grant you the bliss of being moved by His thoughts and longing for Him. For there is nothing more ecstatic than yearning for God"

"Everyone is God and Everything is God. Nothing can be anything else because, only God exists. God is synonymous with existence"

"Spirituality is all about knowing that like you search for God, God is also searching for a true devotee"

"If we sow love, we reap love. If we sow hatred, we reap hatred"

"You must learn to love even those who display hatred towards you or shower anger on you. When you throw a stone into the river, the waves drift but come back to the original place. Similarly, throw stones of love into the ocean of people's hearts. It will come back to you as waves do"

"I am here to retain pearls and gems and transform weeds into pearls and gems"

"Fill Me in You; Dissolve You in Me
Seeing God is dissolving in Him. And blending with Him is comprehension of the fact that there is no difference the person who sees and the object that is seen. This is the ultimate realization. This is seeing God"

"I am an outstanding person. Whoever stood with me in this test will stay with me forever. Whoever is standing out will always stay out. I have come to rule. I can choose my team"

"To be with the world; To be without it. This is Renunciation"

"Ask and you shall receive. Knock and the door shall open. Seek and you shall find"

"A wise person will be anything. He will lead his life in his own way without getting caught in worldly standards. It will look as if he is part of everything. But he is also part of nothing. He will be within the world and yet without it. He will be like the water on the lotus leaf. Observe how the water rolls of the lotus leaf without wetting it. So also the world will not be able to affect the wise man"

"My Life is my signature, in the paper of the world"

"The more you try to analyze me, the more elusive I will become, I am beyond all human understanding, I am the Shakti to whom you need to surrender. You still have time. After that I will not permit you any more time. Even though you seem bent upon getting caught in worldly illusion, I am protecting and saving you. Only you should understand my language; you should make use of my spiritual power. You should put in efforts to elevate yourself"

"One person travels in a palanquin and he is borne by 4 others. The person who is seated has worshipped God extensively. The person who are bearing him have worshipped a bit less. Instead of being jealous that he is having a comfortable ride. In order to rise above him, resolve to do more good than he does. This is the lesson that life has to teach"

"Those who have not realized the self, will be in constant fear of the five senses. Everyone should reach the stage of realizing the self"

"You call me for any help, I am available. You call me if you need any help, You can realize me. I have the blue consciousness"

"Super scribe your horoscope to 'Shankaram Siva Shankaram' I have the power to change your destiny"

"If you are Good, God will come to you, because Good and God are one and the same"

"God understands only one language, the language of love. Love is experienced by very few people, rare people, because Love demands many things before we can experience it. If our mind is full of anti-love attitudes, it is impossible for love to exist. It cannot exist with jealousy, possessiveness, ego, hatred, anger. If we come to know what real love is and live life as love, we will come to know the eternal life and fragrance of a Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed Nabi and the whole poetry that follows such a loving heart, the whole grace, the whole benediction. Not only is such a person blissful, he becomes a blessing to the whole universe"

"If you want to Live Totally; Leave Totally"

"The highest stage in spirituality is when differences between the Seeker and the sought vanish and you are able to realize that there is only ONE"

"Silence is not about speaking. It is the art of keeping your mind free from any thought, it is about achieving blankness of mind. Learn to keep your mind blank; you will be able to feel the pleasure of greater concentration and better ideas flowing in"

"If a person is a drunkard, for his own welfare, his father refuses to give him money. Similarly, if you waste away the wealth of your goodness in ignoble ways, God will hold back further wealth"

"I am practicing love and I am giving you the confident that you can also practice love instead of preaching love or writing definitions of love. I am making you love yourself first"

"Joy is different, Ecstasy is different. Joy is ice cream. When you have that, it will be nice, but sooner it will make you feel thirsty. Ecstasy is not a one minute happiness. It's an eternal bliss, which will not be affected by sorrow or joy"

"To become God is the easiest thing in the world. You can become God the next minute. All you have to do is: From the next minute
1.Be kind to everyone
2.Do not show any hatred
3.Do not nurture anger
4.Do not be partial
5.Do not be selfish
6.Show patience
7.Then you are God"

"When the mind is noble, there is no need for mantras.
When the mind is noble, there is no need to control the flow of breath.
When the mind is noble, the path becomes noble and easy to tread.'
Therefore THOUGHTS ARE WHAT LIFT YOU OR DOWNGRADE YOU. Sharpen your thoughts and straighten your mind"

"No one in this world can make you cheerful;
No one in this world can make you sorrowful"

"Prepare a list of all that you have secured in the world. If you are able to form that list, you will know that God is taking care of every minute, that you really don't have any problem. But the list you are making is not what you have, but what you do not have. It is contentment that is important. You are taught at school that this is what Buddha said, Mahavira said, and all Mahaans said. You have read but failed to retain it!!"

"For those who trust, evidence is not necessary.
For those who do not trust, evidence is not useful.
You can wake up a sleeping person,
You cannot wake up those who pretend to sleep"

"Lord Muruga's first instruction to Arunagirinatha was 'Remain Silent'. The first direction I give anyone who comes for the first time to Samratchana is 'Learn to remain silent, talk, only when absolutely necessary'. This is the first lesson in Spirituality"

"Problem solving is elementary school stuff in spirituality. There are many people outside who can do that. They will listen to all your problems. But they do not offer any permanent solutions. Here, you need not do anything. Just see me, Think of me and Pray sincerely. I assure you that your problems will get solved. If you have any doubts, test me. You will know for yourself"

"Don't be unduly disturbed. Don't doubt. All you need to do is think of me. Trust me. You do not lose anything at all. You know I do not ask you for any donation. I WILL NEVER ASK YOU ANYTHING ANYTIME. Then why do you hesitate. Trust in me. I have come to give, not to receive. You shall have what you rightly deserve"

"Unless you create a restful mind from a restless mind, you cannot do any prayer"

"If you have all the time, I have all the patience,
If you don't have the patience, I'll decide the time"

"It is for you to share my success. If you don't, I am not at fault"

"Fate is a river taking its own course
Faith is the boat that ferries you across"

"When Prahalada said 'God is present everywhere', Hiranyakasipu mocked at him and hit a pillar. Lord Narasimha emerged from it. When God can exist in a pillar, why cannot, He reside in a human body that breathes, speaks, moves, thinks.....?"

"Every single practice has its own sanctity. One needs to observe, analyze and understand it. For instance, temple priests light up camphor and show it to the Lord, and the camphor burns out completely. It signifies human ignorance being burnt out completely by understanding the Lord. The fire signifies the light of knowledge and the camphor signifies one's ego burning"

"Whatever subject you do Ph.D. in, you will take only one specialization. For instance, Physics is a vast subject. Ph.D. is exploring and finding one specific truth. You have to tell what topic you have chosen. To find a fraction of the truth, it took 16 hours or 18 hours a day for 13 years, then do you think, that the whole truth called God can be caught within a minute? You have to toil so much to find a particular truth...God is the truth, the whole truth, how can you expect God to come in a fraction of a minute?"

"If you touch the two ends of a live wire, without slippers, gloves etc., you will feel a shock and collapse. Such being the case with a mere 220V current, God who is the Infinite, cannot be seen without proper insulation. That insulation is your complete, undiluted faith in God. Clean your mind of its filth, do your duties and love everybody. You come to me properly insulated, and I will show you God"

"If you want to have coffee, you must enter the kitchen, wash the vessel, get the milk, water and decoction ready, light the gas, boil water. Then you must pour the water into he vessel containing the decoction powder, wait for the decoction water is ready, mix it with the milk. For the simple act of preparing coffee, you need to take so much effort. Then how can you realize God within a split second? It is not possible"

 

Short Stories


God is a beneficial dictator. He is Love Incarnate. God loves only. Only God loves. But He is a perfectionist and expects not less than 100 % perfection in our actions which in a way are an expression of the integrity of our thoughts, words and deeds.

To that extent, He sends Mahaans into this world relentlessly as His representatives to mould our character and to help us evolve further in our spiritual lives. A Mahaan is His Master's Voice. What they say may evolve into a religion but their preachings are apt to the needs and maturity level of the community at that point in time. But in essence they are all one and the same.

The followers due to their short-sightedness may try to proclaim themselves to be of superior race in many aspects forgetting the very essence that they are part of the One without a second. In order to break this divisive nature, Sri Siva Shankar Baba often highlights the greatness of other Mahaans and narrates their experiences, tales and anecdotes that they use to explain the higher truths.

Listed below are some of the short stories narrated to clarify the higher truths of divinity.

The Power of Thought

A recluse and a prostitute were neighbors. The recluse advised the prostitute, ‘Do not indulge in merry making; it will land you in hell’. The prostitute replied politely, "Holy sir, please pardon me, this is my only means to buy food". The recluse got into counting how many persons visited the prostitute. He was angry with her for not heeding his advice.

And one fine day, both of them passed away. God bade His messengers to lead the prostitute to heaven and throw the recluse in hell.

The enraged recluse asked God, "I have offered daily poojas to You, chanting Your Holy Name; and yet You are in favor of that prostitute whose negative actions were known to everyone". To which God replied, "Despite the fact that she used her physical form as a means of business to make her living, her thoughts were forever concentrated on Me. She used to cry to Me always, seeking relief from the evil ways of the world. Whereas despite My giving you all the facilities for you to worship me, you were focusing your thoughts on taking an inventory of how many people visited the prostitute. Is that becoming of you?"

Then the recluse asked God, "Is there no result for my prayers then?" God replied, "Look down at what is happening to the physical body you departed from". The recluse saw his body being bathed in choicest fragrances of sandal and lavender and being led in veneration to the cremation ground, while the prostitute’s corpse was left to wolves and savage dogs. God said, "You did good with your body, therefore your body is honored. She resorted to a different path, so her corpse is at the mercy of dogs and wolves. But in terms of the soul, she led an honorable life, whereas you erred in your thoughts. Therefore she is in heaven and you are in hell".

It is not the act that is relevant in God’s Kingdom; it is the thought that is more relevant. Your thoughts dictate the future turn of events in your life. If you have truly immersed your thoughts in the Divine, nothing can lead your thoughts astray and that is what will count with God. Everything else you assume to be true in this world is a question of relative judgment that you have formed for your convenience.

Be true to your conscience that is God, do not think evil and always think good for and of yourself and others, and that will lead you to God’s good books naturally.

Narasimha - Lion Face, Human Form

Padmapada, eager to get darshan of Lord Narasimha, performed austere penance, standing on one foot, with fire burning high around the place he stood. A shepherd boy passing by, witnessed Padmapada's severe austerities, and asked him, 'Swami, for what purpose are you putting in such painstaking efforts?' Padmapada replied, 'I want to get the vision of the Lord Narasimha that has been unavailable to anyone after the Lord appeared for the sake of Prahalada.' Well! The shepherd had no idea of what Padmapada was saying, and he innocently asked, 'How does this Narasimha look?' to which the sage replied, 'Lion Face, Human body'. The boy assured him, 'I am going deep into the forest and I will definitely search for the person you want to see'. Without any expectation, and out of compassion that someone was subjecting himself to austere penance, the shepherd boy diligently sought the Being with 'Lion Face, Human body'. Overcome by love for this innocence, Narasimha appeared resting under a tree, in the vicinity of that shepherd, who, happy that he had got what he sought, tied Narasimha up with leaves and dragged Him to where Padmapada was in penance. The amazed Padmapada exclaimed 'Ah Narasimha! You have come', to which the Lord replied, 'I did not present myself to fulfill your foolish ambition, fuelled by your arrogance for accomplishing something that others could not do after Prahalada. Even if you had performed penance for several million years, I would not have manifested Myself. This shepherd boy was looking out for me so selflessly, out of compassion for you, and his innocent love drew Me to him'.

This may be a true story or an analogy to explain that God responds to innocent love only.

Yes, Narasimha is an Instant Mix (Cosmic Force with a Human Form and Lion Face), that is readily available within you, just waiting for you to call out to Him'.

Sage or hedonist?

A King, once passing through a forest, came across a sage and requested the holy person to accompany him to his kingdom. The motive behind the invitation was to expand his kingdom and acquire more wealth, with the help of the sage. The holy man, divining this intention, resolved to bring the king back to his senses.

At the palace, he dressed in costly silk garments, sprayed perfumes and ordered for rich food. The king, feeling that he had misconstrued a jolly person to be a sage, decided to send him back to the forest. Just as the sage was about to depart for the forest, the king could not contain his feelings and exclaimed bitterly, ‘I thought you were a saintly person. Why did you indulge in such merriment?’

To which the sage replied, ‘I wanted to demonstrate to you that I could lead the life of a recluse as well as a life of luxury and yet remain unaffected; whereas you have not yet mellowed.’

The Cotton and The Sin

Once there was a man, who indulged himself in malicious gossip about a Sadhu. He approached the Sadhu one day and told him, “Swami I misspoke a lot of things about you. I have spread wild rumors against you through malicious gossip. Now I have come to realize that you are a very good person. Please forgive me for all the sins that I have committed and provide me with a remedy which can absolve me of all sins I have committed”.

The Sadhu said “Take a pillow from your house to a junction where several streets meet and rip the pillow of all the cotton inside it. After doing so come back and see me’. The man did as the Sadhu said and he went back to inform him about the same.

The Sadhu said, “If you are really interested in a remedy which could absolve you of all your sins, then I suggest you go back to same place, pick all the cotton you had ripped off from the pillow, stuff it back into the pillow case and bring back the pillow to me’. The man was confused and he asked the Sadhu “how can I collect the cotton which I ripped off from the pillow yesterday and stuff it into the pillow case as they have all got dispersed?”

The Sadhu said, ‘Yes. You cannot reclaim the cotton that got dispersed when the pillow was ripped. In the same way there is no remedy that will absolve you of your sins. The only solution for the problem is to abstain yourself henceforth from committing any sins’.

Study the lives of Mahaans

God determines the right time to mellow every person. If you study the lives of Mahaans, you will understand how God moulds everyone.

Manickavachagar

Manickavachagar served as a minister in the court of Arimarthana Pandian. He was given some money to buy horses for the royal stable. On his way, he got engrossed in a discourse by a Saivite saint and forgot the purpose for which he had set out. Instead, he constructed a temple in that place and stayed there. The king demanded the money back, failing which Manickavachagar would be punished. Manickavachagar prayed to Lord Siva, and God advised him not to worry, presented him with a parcel and directed him to tell the king that the horses were on their way. Soon enough, the Lord, in the form of a well-built person led some horses to the court and instructed the king to check them before they were led to the stables. Sometime later, the king heard the ‘horses’ (horse in Tamil is ‘pari’) howling like a fox (fox is ‘nari’ in Tamil) instead of neighing. Manickavachagar was imprisoned and beat up.

The river Vaigai started overflowing and flooding Madurai. The king commanded each family to send one person as its representative to join the efforts of controlling the flood by constructing a dam. There was a poor old woman who had no representative but herself. Siva presented Himself to her as a young man, partook of ‘pittu’ (a sweet delicacy) prepared by the woman and offered to be her representative. At the construction site, while others toiled, Siva, who was in disguise, took rest. The king whipped him and was surprised to find that everyone (including himself) bore the blows. Only then did the king understand that these were the Thiruvilayadal(s) (pranks) of the Lord. And Siva revealed Himself, ‘Do not think of Manickavachagar as an ordinary mortal. He was Thiruvadavoorar with me in Kailash. During one of My discourses, his attention was diverted to Indra travelling across Sivaloka. And so I sent him down to Earth to satisfy his pending desires and make him realize that these are illusions. When he came across the Saivite saint (which was none other than I), he was reminded of his real self, and got engrossed in it. He cannot serve you as a minister anymore’.

So Manichavachagar was freed, and he constructed an ashram for himself near Chidambaram and composed the Thiruvachagam. ‘Thiruvachagathirku urugaar oru vachagathirkum urugaar’. ‘One who is not overwhelmed by the beauty of the Thiruvachagam verses, has a stone-heart that will not melt in anything’.

There was a Saivite Mahaan in Sri Lanka during the period when Buddhism was reigning strong. He used to repeat ‘Ponnambalam, Ponnambalam’ for every word spoken to him. The Buddhist monks reported this to the king. Called for an explanation, the Mahaan explained that anyone who feasted his eyes on Lord Nataraja swaying as the Cosmic Dance at Ponnambalam, would not seek anything else. The king, along with ministers, and the princess who was dumb by birth, set out to check on this statement. The Lord instructed Manickavachagar to welcome them. Manickavachagar welcomed them with an invocation song on the Lord, and to the amazement of the gathered crowd, the mute princess was blessed with the power of speech. So the king of Sri Lanka embraced Saivite philosophy.

These are instances of Lord Siva making use of Manickavachagar as His instrument. Siva appeared in the form of an old man and told Manickavachagar, ‘Your songs are impregnated with spiritual depth. These must be preserved for posterity. So dictate them and I will be your scribe’. That is the infinite mercy of the Lord. Vinayaka transcribed while Veda Vyasa authored the Mahabharatha. Similarly, Lord Siva acted as the scribe for Manickavachagar who did not realize then, that it was Lord Siva in disguise, transcribing his compositions. On completion of the work, Lord Siva signed off with these words, ‘Manickavachagan odha Ponnambalamudaiyaan kaiyezhuthu ittadhu’ -- ‘The Lord of Ponnambalam transcribed Manickavachagar’s compositions’. That is how Thiruvachagam came to be.

Manickavachagar was with Lord Siva. His attention got diverted to worldly desires and he had to take birth to fulfil his wants. He was thrown into prison. This is ‘pazhavinai aruppadhu’ (resolving karmas). How does the Lord remove your illusion? Just as He presented Himself in the form of a Saivite saint and delivered a discourse that brought back memories of Kailash to Manickavachagar, making him realize who he was. That is the split second in which the Lord brings you back to your senses.

The next step is mellowing your mind to concentrate on Him always. This is the state of Manickavachagar singing the Lord’s Infinite Glories in Thiruvachagam.

Appar Swami

Take the case of Appar Swami. He was born into a Saivite middle class family, but was drawn towards the Jain cult. He was afflicted with severe stomachache. His sister Thilakavathy, who did not approve of his embracing Jainism, advised him to chant the Panchakshara mantra and partake of the Lord’s Vibhuthi (holy ash) as Jainism could not help him to get rid of the disease. He was healed and returned to the Saivite fold.

Enraged by this, the king engaged elephants to trample him, had him thrown into the ocean and attempted to kill him in various ways. Appar continued chanting, ‘Lord Siva is my constant companion. There is nothing to fear.’ (‘Natrunaiyaavadhu Namachivaayame! Anjuvadhu yaadhonrum illai. Anjavaruvadhum illai.’) Lord Siva saved him and absolved him of his karmas. Enveloped in God’s Grace, Appar continued his mission of spreading the Lord’s message. When he grew old and could not travel to Kailash, Lord Siva assumed the form of an old person, directed Appar to take a dip in the lake and thus Appar was granted the darshan of Kailash at the Lake at Tiruvaiyaar.

As far as Appar Swami was concerned, the Lord gave him severe stomach-ache to take him into His Folds; absolved him of his karmas by the torture he was subjected to by the king; engaged the saint in His service by making him do temple service -- cleaning the temple area. Appoothi Adigal, drawn to the service that Appar was rendering the Lord, invited the saint for a feast; the devotee’s son was stung by a serpent when he went to fetch a plantain leaf for the guest and Appar revived him. These are instances from Appar’s life to show how God takes care of everyone.

Sundaramoorthy Nayanar

Sundaramoorthy Nayanar dwelt in Kailash, as Siva’s personal friend. He was attracted to two of Parvathi’s assistants. And so Siva instructed him to take birth on Earth, complete his karmas (caused by the distraction) and when Sundarar pleaded for mercy, Siva promised that He would take charge of him at the appropriate time.

So Sundarar took birth on Earth; when his marriage was fixed,

At Thiruvennainalloor temple a voice directed Sundaramoorthy to sing the Lord’s praises in Tamil. When he protested that he had no such ability, the voice instructed him to commence with the same word ‘Pittha’ he used earlier to chastise the Lord. And Sundaramoorthy Nayanar sang the praises of the Lord. He got married to Sangili Nachiar and Paravai Nachiar. He breached his vow of not leaving his second wife’s house and lost his eyesight in consequence.

He admonished the Lord with three eyes (Siva: Mukkannan) for taking away his eyesight. When he approached the Tirumullaivoyil temple, he asked the Lord in a fit of rage, ‘Do you exist?’ (neer ulleera?). God replied in jest, ‘I am here. You can go on your way’. (Yaam Ulom. Neevir poveer). Groping his way to Kanchipuram, Sundarar sang the praises of the Lord and regained sight of one eye. At Vriddhachalam temple, sight was restored to his other eye. Happy at his eyesight being restored, he sought material wealth from the Lord of Vriddhachalam. The Lord handed him a gold brick. The saint afraid of being burgled on the way, requested the Lord to send it across by water to Tiruvaroor and the Lord complied with his friend’s request. When the saint felt unhappy that his wife was not letting him in, the Lord Himself served as a messenger to arrange a truce between them. That is the bliss of having the Lord for your friend.

Meanwhile, another devotee of Siva, Kalikaama Nayanar, was angered by Sundaramoorthy Nayanar’s treatment of the Lord. Siva wanted to unite these devotees. So He made Kalikaama Nayanar suffer from stomach-ache, appeared in his dream with the message that the pain would subside if he obtained Vibhuthi from Sundarar and instructed the latter to give prasadam to Kalikaama Nayanar. As Sundarar approached, Kalikaama Nayanar rebuked him for his actions and said he would rather die than accepting anything from him. At that moment, Siva presented Himself and revealed that everything was His Thiruvilaiyaadal (infinite pranks). Later, Lord Siva sent a white elephant and brought back Sundaramoorthy Nayanar to Kailash.

Observe Sundaramoorthy Nayanar’s life. When his marriage was to take place, the time was ripe to free him from worldly illusions. His karmas were resolved when he got married to the girls he had desired, then his eyesight failed; he regained faith in the Lord when his eyesight was restored. When his work on Earth was over, God granted him salvation, sent him a white elephant for his journey back to Kailash.

Worldly Pleasures are Pain

On one of his visits to Vishnu loka, Narada found Lord Narayana with His Divine Consort, Mahalakshmi in solitude. He asked the Lord, ‘I thought you would be very busy; but you seem to be relaxing’, to which Narayana laughed in jest, ‘Well, no one seems to have time for me in this Kali yuga; people are engrossed in the luxuries of the world’. Narada refused to believe this. So Narayana said that if Narada found a person willing to come to Vishnu loka, He would permit that person in without any test.

Narada apprised every person who seemed a devotee, of the good news that the Lord had consented to grant free entry. But to his amazement, he did not find any single mortal willing to accept his invitation. Narada finally located one person who was prepared to accompany him, but only after the latter’s son got married.

Narada went to him again after the marriage was over, and the old man wanted to play with his grandchildren before departing from Earth. This went on, till the day came for the person’s natural death. The man’s attachment towards his family caused him to take birth as a dog in the same house. Narada told the person, ‘If you had heeded my words, you would have been blessed by Narayana’s company. Now you have taken birth as a dog.’ The man replied, ‘I am guarding my son’s house’. The grandchild pelted a stone at the dog but the old man tolerated this, saying, ‘after all, it is my grandson who hit me’. Narada decided that his wait for the man was fruitless. Meanwhile the man’s wife also took birth as a dog in the same house. Narada approached her and asked her if she was ready to come with him to heaven. Before she could say ‘yes’, a few dogs chased her and she seemed to relish the chase much better than Heaven!!

This is the state of affairs in society today. People pursue perishable commodities. Just like the dog gnaws at a bone, unaware that the taste is caused by its bleeding jaws, so too, people do not realize that what they think as the pleasures of this world, are, in fact, pain.

Human Mind


A merchant traveling on the high seas suddenly found that a storm had set in. He prayed to the Lord that he would sell his bungalow and donate to Him the proceeds if He rescued him from the storm. Immediately, the seas calmed down and the merchant returned to the shore. Now, the merchant was disturbed that he had promised God in haste. So he advertised in the papers that he was offering his bungalow for sale at a cost of Re.1. And he told the prospective buyers that he would sell the bungalow, only to the person who was prepared to buy his cat at Rs.1,00,00,000. One of the prospective buyers decided that anyway the property was worth so much and bought the bungalow for Re. 1 and the cat for Rs.1,00,00,000. And as per his “promise” to God, the merchant donated one rupee to the temple.

Awake! Awake !

A telegraph office announced an interview. On the day of the interview, several bright candidates, well dressed in coat and suit, waited in the office reception room for the interview call. A few minutes later, one of them stepped inside the manager’s cabin and returned ten minutes later with an appointment letter in hand. The others asked him, ‘Do you know the interviewer? Were you recommended by someone?’ to which the newly appointed recruit replied, ‘We are attending an interview at the telegraph office! They were announcing the interview, using the Morse code and since none you attempted to get up, I went in to attend the interview’. The others had been waiting for a personal call, whereas this person was shrewd enough to hear the code-call. Be aware that God is beckoning you; it is in your interests to hear His call. God is scrutinizing you every minute. Those who understand this are engulfed by His Presence.

Relativity Theory

Life is a relativity theory. A man lived a peaceful, contented life with his wife and children. His parents-in-law came to stay with him. After a few days time, this person was annoyed with the number of persons in the small dwelling. He sought the advice of a sage, complaining that he had lost his peace because his household had grown larger. The sage advised the man to bring in 6 hens into his dwelling for a month and then seek further advice. When the man visited the sage a month later, the wise man asked him, ‘So how are things now?’ to which the man complained that life had gone worse, because of the stink from the hens. The sage advised the man to buy a pair of oxen and two goats, and have them as pets in his dwelling, and return to him after a month for further advice. The man had no other option but to comply. He returned to the sage after a month and cried, ‘O Holy one! Life has become awful. The place is too crowded and stinks of garbage always.’ The sage advised him to shift the pets elsewhere and return to update him after a month. The man returned to thank the sage for restoring peace into his life. To which the sage smiled and said, ‘Son! If you recollect, you have as many occupants as you had when you came to me. It is your perspective that has changed, because of your experiences.’

That is life. It is when you wearily find your way through a hot summer day, that you understand the bliss that shade is.

You count the blessings of life, only when you are thrust deep into problems. Till you encounter sorrow, you never understand the joys that God has blessed you with.

Ask For God

A man had four wives. He had been out of station for a while. One day he called up and asked each one of his wives what they wanted. One wife wanted a Banaras silk saree, another wife wanted a gold necklace and the third wife wanted Kasi Halwa. The fourth wife declined to have anything and said that all she wanted was the safe return of her husband. On his return, he distributed all the gifts they had asked for, and left the house with the wife who had asked for him.

The other wives were shocked and questioned his decision, to which he replied, ‘whatever you people asked for, I gave it to you.’

So also, if you ask God for a house, He will give it to you. If you ask for a car, He will give that too. Those who seek God, who want God and only God, they obtain God. This is the truth. When did you ask? The day you ASK FOR GOD, you will get Him.

Final Term !

Once a murderer was caught and sentenced to imprisonment for ten years. Assuming himself to be clever, he escaped from prison and ran away to a nearby forest. Then on, he lived the life of a fugitive, fearing arrest every second.

He was caught again and put behind bars. Had he only stayed back in prison the first time, he might have managed to be released sooner on account of good conduct. But his foolish escape landed him up with a longer sentence.

So it is with life. We have been assigned the bondage of worldly life to absolve ourselves of our karmas due to our actions across births. If we run away from this, we will be only extending our punishment to more births. God provides us with whatever is necessary for life - - food, clothing and shelter. When our term is over, He Himself will send His representative to free us from the bondage of this prison. So think good, be good and do good till the Good God takes over us as His.

Three Categories

Three persons visited Ramakrishna Paramahamsa requesting him to reveal God to them. One was Vivekananda. Ramakrishna asserted that one could converse with God on a first-person basis. Realizing that Vivekananda was destined to serve God’s mission in a large way, and penance would be a barrier for this service, it was only at the appropriate time that Ramakrishna guided Vivekananda to the Lord’s Presence.

Another person asked Ramakrishna to reveal God. Without directly replying, Ramakrishna thrust the person’s head into water, and the man forced his head out, gasping for breath. Ramakrishna asked him, ‘What were you thinking about, during the past few minutes?’, and the person confessed that his attention was on getting out of water. Ramakrishna said, ‘When you become that desperate for realizing God, come to me, and I will guide you to His Presence.’

A third person came to Ramakrishna with the same request. Paramahamsa told him to learn the Bhagavad-Gita and consume grapes, and the person asked, ‘how many kilos of grapes and for how many days?’ Ramakrishna declared that the person would never be able to realize God. When the man pleaded with him, the sage explained, ‘You never asked me how many chapters of Bhagavad-Gita you are to learn, you were more interested in eating. How will God present Himself to you?’

There are three categories of persons: those who yearn for God’s presence, like Vivekananda did, and the intensity of their quest helps them comprehend God. The second category of persons is yet to desperately seek God; and it takes some time. The third category of persons is deep in the worldly perishables of eating, sleeping and leading a useless life.

How would you classify yourself?

Even a Grain Counts

An old lady was thrashing grains when a saint came seeking alms. In a fix of irritation, the lady hit him with the pestle used for pounding grains. The saint calmly took a grain that was on the rod, and partook of it after offering it to Lord Siva.

Some months later, when the lady passed away and was led to Yama’s court for judgment, Yama asked Chitragupta (the book keeper of human lives) for an account of the woman’s good and bad deeds. Chitragupta asserted that the woman had not done a single good deed by herself, except for that incident when the grain was offered to Siva by the saint she had hit. That offering to Siva made her eligible for a fleeting darshan of the Lord. So she was led to the Abode of Siva to have a glimpse after which she was destined to suffer in hell. Being ineligible for entry into The Holy Abode, the emissaries of Yama left her at the Gate with instructions to return immediately after the fleeting glimpse of the Lord.

The woman was so much overwhelmed by the ambience of Kailash, the cosmic dance of Siva, the chanting of Vedas, the notes of music penetrating into the being, that she clung to the Lotus Feet of Siva. Recalling her story, the Lord resolved, ‘He who has taken refuge in me, has no unfulfilled karma'.

So, she does not deserve any punishment’.

Such is the efficacy of a single grain offered to the Lord even without one’s knowledge.

Total Acceptance

Sage Durvasa was returning from a Yagam he had attended at Kailash where Lord Siva had presented him with agarland. Durvasa came across Lord Indra mounted on his white elephant, Airavatha, and deciding that it will be a benediction for all the Devas, he gifted the garland to Indra. In a fit of arrogance, Indra tossed the garland on the elephant that in turn threw it on to the ground and trampled it. The enraged Durvasa cursed that Indra and his Devas be deprived of their divine energy. The Devas beseeched Lord Vishnu to help restore their energy. Vishnu advised them that the only way out was to partake of the nectar obtained by churning the Milky Ocean, taking the help of the powerful asuras since the devas had lost their prowess.

So the Devas joined forces with the Asuras and churned the Milky Ocean, obtained nectar that was distributed to the Devas by the Mohini (feminine) aspect of Vishnu. From this episode, we learn that for something good to happen, the conflicting forces of positive and negative have to unify. If you wish for a good result, you must be able to get along with negative minded people also. This is Lord Vishnu’s technique - - all forces unite to churn the Milky Ocean and obtain nectar.

As far as Siva Shankar Baba is concerned, he never discriminates between good and bad. He believes that there is good within everyone. He never rejects anyone. That is why there is no disparity of religion or caste or creed or gender or materialistic station in Samratchana. There is neither good nor bad, neither virtue nor vice. How can any good happen if you discard everyone on some reason or the other? Be all-embracing and good will result.

Rewarded Devotion

Krishnaiyyer, a person in the services of Arcot Nawab, was a devout person. All others in the office were jealous that Krishnaiyyer was in the Nawab’s good books. They grabbed every petty opportunity to tarnish his name. He usually started his accounting for the day with a Pillaiyar Suzhi (invocation to Vinayaka). The conspirators brought this to the Nawab’s notice. When the Nawab asked for the ledger, what was visible to him, was a line from the Holy Quran, in place of the Pillaiyar Suzhi. Some days later, Krishnaiyyer went on a week’s leave, not disclosing to his Islamic superior that he was on a pilgrimage to Tirupati. The scheming officers immediately sneaked this information to the Nawab. Just before the Nawab could question Krishnaiyyer, a Sufi appeared, exclaiming to Krishnaiyyer, ‘I saw you at Mecca last week. How did you manage to return so early from your pilgrimage?’ A historical anecdote that evidences the Omnipresence of God.

All in God's Work

Take the case of Thondaradipodi Azhwar. As Vipranarayanan. He was in serene penance in the forest. A devadasi passing by, observing his concentration, enticed him into loving her. He married her, led a family life and went to the extent of robbing the temple vessels for her sake and then God took charge of him and granted him wisdom. God could have appeared before him during his penance and granted Moksha, couldn’t he? Why did God stage the drama of bringing a woman into his life, making him stoop down low and then reveal his spiritual heights to the world?

This is a lesson that you too should not feel bad over anything that happens in your life. All of you are sages, yearning for the grace of the Lord. But the Lord tests you; do you know why? You still have some experiences to undergo. Vipranarayanan had some previous birth balance to settle with that devadasi. Till that account was closed, God could not do anything for him.

So also, people – good or bad – appear in your life to settle their dues and yours too. Once these are settled, God will take you to Him. So why fear? Exhaust your karmas. Don’t run; don’t hide.

Raining Gold

A poor man came to Vedanta Desika seeking money to perform his daughter’s wedding. Vedanta Desika prayed to Mahalakshmi – the Goddess of Wealth. Mahalakshmi refused to help the man, warning Vedanta Desika that the man was not destined to be wealthy. But Vedanta Desika pleaded with her on the grounds that he had called for her help, and she could not let down a devotee. So she showered golden coins. The poor man held his towel to catch the coins, but the force of the coins falling down created a hole in the towel and only a few remained. Only what is destined for you, will happen. A Guru can only help you along the way.

God owns everything. So if you hold on to God, the entire world becomes yours. You can achieve whatever you want to. This is the message my life illustrates.

Whatever I say, is bound to happen. God has His own time frame; He has His own master plans. You never need to doubt my words.

There is nothing worth attaining, except God. He must be your aim. If you attain Him, then everything else becomes yours. You need not toil for anything; you need not chase anything. Your problem is – you hunt for worldly possessions and lose track of the most important thing. Never seek the perishable commodities. Concentrate on the Most Divine and the Everlasting and the Imperishable thing called God. Your target and destination should be that.

Siva Shankar Baba is able to implement all his thoughts and ideas. Do I have any money on me? Then how is this possible? Through Grace. If you attain God, whatever you think, happens. You do not hold on to God, but want to hold on to the comforts of this materialistic world. That’s why your thoughts do not bear fruit.

The Tiger Behind Worldly Joys

A traveler once came to a large plain during his journey; Having trekked for long in the sun, he was fatigued thoroughly.

Profusely, perspiring, in the shadow of a tree he sat down to take some rest, not knowing the tree (Kalpataru) was a celestial one.

'How pleasant it would be' he thought, 'If I could lie down and have a nap on a mattress, soft!'

The very next instant, appeared a nice bed. Amazed, he stretched himself on it, contented.

'How enjoyable it would be for a girl to massage my legs gently'. A girl appeared out of nowhere and massaged his legs diligently.

He mused ,'And if I could get some food too this moment' Tasty dishes appeared and he ate to his heart's content.

As he reminisced of the day, he was seized with fear What would happen if a tiger may suddenly appear !

Thus ended the traveler's life; such is the fate of man if on worldly things he would meditate.

For worldly possessions, when a man prays His dreams may com true, but he won't be happy always.

Behind the worldly entices, lurks the danger of many tigers, "Disease", "Death" ,"Penury" and the like -- tigers diverse.

While craving for material things, men must remember for ever that desires are a thousand times more terrible than a tiger.

Think God Always

Narada had become stuffed with the pride that there was no greater devotee than him. He went to Narayana and declared that there was none whose devotion was as ardent as his. With a mischievous laugh, the Lord gave Narada an oil lamp and asked him to go around the world once, without spilling even one drop of oil.

Narada followed the Lord's instructions and went around the world. He was very careful not to spill even one drop of oil. He reported to the Lord that he had complied with His instructions. God asked him, 'How many times did you think of me?' Narada replied, 'When did I think of you? My entire attention was on the oil'.

Narayana led Narada to a poor worker's house to watch his day's activities. When the worker wokeup in the morning, he said, 'O God! Narayana!'. Then he ate his porridge, went to the forest and worked hard. He also motivated his co-workers to put in their best. When he returned from work, just before he slept, he said, 'O God! Narayana!'.

Vishnu asked Narada, 'Tell me who is more devout. Even though that worker has carried the strenuous work, he thought of me twice. But you, a sannyasi, who has no work, have not been able to think of me when you took the lamp around the world. Obviously that poor worker is a better devotee'.

IN GOD'S DICTIONARY, YOU, WHO ARE THINKING OF GOD DESPITE YOUR MISERIES, ARE NOBLER THAN ENLIGHTENED SOULS. That's what you have to understand. Don't fret that 'This person is a saint. That temple priest is able to chant many mantras. Only I have not performed any worship.'

It is not necessary for you to think of God all twenty four hours a day, amidst your worldly duties. Fulfill your responsibilities, contemplating always on the Lotus Feet of the Lord, submitting all your actions to Him.

God Responds To Court Summons

Several years back, in Cuddapah, a needy person borrowed three thousand rupees from a moneylender. When he went to repay it....
Moneylender: The promissory note is in the locker. Can you please come back later and repay the money?
Borrower: No Sir, I trust you. Please accept this money. I will come back later for the promissory note.
(Moneylender becomes greedy. Sends a legal notice to borrower claiming that the money had yet not been repaid and the interest had increased.)
Borrower (cries to Moneylender): 'Sir! How much I trusted you! You are so rich. Is it fair on your part to cheat me thus? Though you refused, I repaid your money without getting back the promissory note only because of my faith in you.'
Moneylender: 'I am not bothered about all that. You have to return the money.'
(Moneylender files a case in court against the borrower).

(Court Hearing - I)

Judge: 'Who witnessed your repaying the money?'
Borrower: 'Who do I have as witness? Only that Venkatachalapathy!'
(If it were an Indian Judge, he would have ridiculed the plaintiff, since most of our people are skeptics. Thankfully, it is a British judge. For them, an oath taken in court is Truth.)
Judge: 'Will that Venkatachalapathy come to testify if you call him?'
Borrower: 'He will come, if called'.
Judge(to the jury) : Send summons addressed to 'Venkatachalapathy, Thirupathi'.

(Court Hearing - II)

Clerk: Venkatachalapathi! Venkatachalapathi! Venkatachalapathi!
(The crowd starts murmuring - Have they paid someone for testifying?' - as a middle aged dark person, wearing Namam climbs onto the witness platform. Even if it is God Himself come in person, people will not trust. Their whole attitude is such)
Judge(to the witness) : 'Do you say that this person has repaid the borrowed money?'
Witness: Yes! I Know!
Judge : How do you know?
Witness: There is a green cupboard in the moneylender's house. In the second rack in that bureau, the moneylender has kept the repaid thirty hundred rupees in a blue cloth'.
(A court official is sent to the moneylender's house. And the repaid money is found hidden in the bureau. The borrower is released.)

Moral: What you see as a stone idol, is an all-pervading Life Force. He takes absolute care of those who believe Him as the Ultimate Jyothi. That's why The Lord is worshipped as 'He who can never be realized through book knowledge'(in Tamil - 'Vaasithu Kannaadadhu'). So how do we comprehend Him? 'Svaasithu Kaanalaam' - through breathing His name - 'vasi' written the other way around is 'siva'. This Siva is there in our very breath. How can you ever take Him for granted? He is there in the 'Svassaa' - the breath of everyone in this Universe. How can you ever cheat Him? This is what life is all about.

Pulling God Towards You

While passing by a lake, a saint saw a stork had dirtied the area and directed an angry glance at it. The stork was immediately burnt to ashes. He went to a house and from outside, asked for water. Immediately a lady's voice requested him to wait for sometime and assuring him she would fetch water. He became angry and was about to curse her, when her voice was heard from inside the house 'Did you think I was stork?' The saint was shocked at how she knew what had happened. He asked her, 'You were able to tell what happened by the lakeside. How did you get that power?' To which she replied, 'I perform Pathia pooja for my husband everyday. Even now, I just completed the pooja'.

Everyday morning, seven dark women used to walk by and return clean and beautiful. A Rishi who was watching this asked them who they were. They said, 'We are seven rivers. When people come and wash their sins in our waters, we grow dark...There is a person who, when we go and circumambulate him, the sins wash away and we regain our true nature'.

God went to that person's house. He was requested to stand on 2 bricks till the person finished his pada pooja to his parents. It is this God form who stood on the bricks who is termed Panduranga. An example of God waiting for a devotee who did not neglect his worldly responsibilities. This is Panduranga's glory.
So being a householder or being a recluse is not important. What is more important is the path you have chosen to lead your life. You should adopt the value system according to the path you have chosen. You might say that you also want to reach God by following certain value systems. But what to do if your personal value system clashes with other's value systems? Then you should do your role properly. Even if people around you are stinging scorpions, you be a saving saint. For, EVERYONE IS GOD.

Devotion In Its Highest State

Ajamilan did not know God. He did not offer even one single prayer to God during his lifetime. He has a son called Narayanan. When Ajamilan was dying, in order to hand over a key to his son, he called out 'Narayana'. Immediately Lord Narayana's emissaries sent the Yamadhoothas away since Ajamilan had uttered God's name. This is an episode in the Puranas. Knowingly or unknowingly he had uttered God's name on the verge of death, so he was granted Moksha and escaped the clutches of Yama.

When Ducchadana attempted to insult Draupadi, she tried to save herself. When she could not, she raised both her hands above her head in total surrender and cried out 'Hridaya Nivasa Kirshna'. Immediately, Krishna helped her out of nowhere. A help from a form not physically present. In times of distressing danger, knowing fully well that there is no help, calling out to God for succor.

Thirdly, always meditating on God. Breathing out God's name, calling out to Him in every single action-boarding a bus, writing out a cheque-every single second, remembering God. The elephant Gajendran possessed this noble quality. When the crocodile caught hold of Gajendran's legs, God's name that was present in the elephant's tongue literally slipped out. Since it was always concentrating on God, it screamed out His name 'Adimoolame!' Immediately God came and released the elephant from the clutches of the crocodile applying His Sudarshana chakra. We should strive to attain this state. Not calling out His name in times of humiliating agony, or being immersed in worldly activities so as to not know the glory of His name but being forever absorbed in the pure sweetness of the Lord's name.

Only the third state is true. Even Draupadi's state is not true. SAVORING GOD'S NAME EVERY SINGLE MOMENT IS THE HIGHEST STATE OF DEVOTION. That is why Azhwars said 'Let us recite Narayana's name now itself, so that even if we forget to call Him in our last moments, He will come to our aid. Since I am in good form now, I am reciting your glory now. I do not know whether I will call out to you when I am in utter distress. So please remember my reciting your numerous names and save me when I am tormented'.

Easy Remedy

A villager used to indulge in malicious gossip about a saint. One day he visited the saint and told him, "Swami, I have spread wild rumours against you for lack of anything else to do. Now I have realized that you are a very good person. Please forgive me for all the sins that I have committed and show me a way to absolve me of all the negative karmic effects I have accumulated through speaking ill of you".

The saint replied "Take a pillow from your house to a junction where several streets meet. Rip the pillow and scatter all the cotton on the streets. And then come back and see me’. The man did as the saint had instructed and went back to the saint to report completion of the assigned task.

The saint said, " Now, if you are really interested in freeing yourself of the consequences of your misdeeds, then I suggest you return to that junction, pick up all the cotton you had strewn, stuff it back into the pillow case and bring back the pillow to me’. The man was confused and asked the saint " How is it possible to collect the cotton as they would have been swept away by the breeze?"

The saint said, ‘You are right. You cannot reclaim the cotton that got dispersed because the breeze would have scattered it in all directions. Similarly there is no remedy that will absolve you of your sins. The only solution for the problem is to abstain from such gossip henceforth’.

 

 

 

Media

 

Newspaper / Internet Articles

Star Teller, June 1997

Siva Shankar Baba is lovingly called 'God Uncle' by thousands of followers in India and Abroad. He is a messenger of God breathing Love and preaching Love.

He is an Akshaya Paathra of Love and Divinity. He is an Apostle, striving to enable mankind to fill the 'divine' void within themselves. He does not don the robes of a Sanyasi nor does he maintain any semblance of a saintly life. He talks and dresses like a common man. His down to earth, worldly appearance forces even the most determined "Doubting Thomas" to strike an immediate rapport with him an pour his heart out to him. He practices informal spirituality. His weapons are merely simplicity, love and laughter.

With this deadly trio, he spreads his practical, relevant spiritual message "Renunciation is neither adding anything or leaving anything, it is just leading the life which God has destined on you, accepting the joy and sorrow as it comes with equanimity of mind and keeping your thoughts always pinned onto God."

He offers spiritual counseling to troubled human souls. He heals and cures various ailments with his prayers. He solves numerous problems of suffering devotees with his prayers. He is Sivashankar Baba loved and revered by millions in India and abroad as 'God Uncle'. Sivashankar Baba does not accept any reward in cash or kind of his numerous 'spiritual gifts'. All he asks for is Faith - undying faith in him and in the Almighty. 'Faith can move mountains', it is said. Faith in Sivashankar Baba can even move the Almighty.

Sivashankar Baba renders invaluable service to tortured human souls and to the society as a whole, through his institution 'Samratchana' - the centre for Self Realization. And truly, any visitor to Samratchana comes back with a better understanding of 'Self', at his own pace - no particular philosophy is stuffed onto him. He has organized free eye camps, free medical check ups, scholarships for poor students etc - to name a few of his multivarious altruistic activities.

On the whole, it is generally believed that he is empowered by God to give boon to any seeker who comes to him with problems. He is to unite the tormented world and bring peace to the suffering humanity. Numerous are the instances of extraordinary experiences of the devotees with Baba which were narrated to the Express - Star Teller by the beneficiaries themselves - healing of incurable diseases, protecting the devotees from the accidents, childless couples being blessed with progeny etc.

Blessed are we that such a soul exists in out midst.

The article given an analysis of Baba's horoscope, palmistry, signature and numerology, which is reproduced here as such;

Analysis - by G.Vijay
' For Pisces ascendant Sun is benefic ( Subha ) and Jupiter, Moon and Mars are major benefics (Ati Subha). Mercury is malefic ( Papa ) and Saturn and Venus are major malefics ( Atipapa ). Mercury is in retrogression and combust. Mercury's malefic influences are nullified by inferior conjunction. So no harm will be done. Saturn is aspected by Jupiter. In general, it can be said that all the planets are positioned in such a way to help the native in every possible way. Birth on an amavasya day, Sun and Moon remaining 10" apart approximately, shows the highly spiritual nature of the native.

The native must have done great punya (dharma) in the previous birth. Saturn in the 6th, from the ascendant and 8th from the rasi, aspected by Saturn has bestowed good health and longevity to the native, Saturn is aspected by exalted Mars also. Thus Saturn is controlled by a strong Jupiter and exalted Mars, 12th house is aspected by Saturn blessing the native with Gnana. Rahu and Ketu are in movable sign. The second house indicating speech is very strong being aspected by Jupiter (Lord of lagna and 10th) and Mars (Lord of 2nd and 9th). Thus his life's mission is preaching good ideals and love to humanity. Jupiter and Venus 7th aspect falling on the 4th house (indicating mother, relatives, happiness, home etc.) shows the worldly ties of the native. After the end of Jupiter dasa, the native will be completely detached from the worldly ties and lead a saintly life. Lord of lagna is in the. 10th (karmasthana) with 3rd & 8th lord. The combination of a major benefic and a major malefic ensures a moderate spiritual life in Jupiter dasa. According to Parasara's Vimsottari Udu dasa system, the native will be starting Saturn dasa very soon which will take him to great heights of spirituality

From the first drekkana, (Cancer movable sign) it can be perceived that the native's past life was also highly spiritual. Like Bheeshma of Mahabharata, the native will attain samadhi according to his will (Swachintha marana) after his life's mission is fulfilled. '

Horoscope Analysis (K.P.System) by A.Balasekhar

'The native will spread his message all over the world in Saturn dasa and he will get success in his mission of spirituality. The first factor to be looked into the chart of a spiritual personality is the disposition of houses 5,9,11 and 12.

The 5th house stands for spiritual inclination. It also denotes initiation of mantra and chanting of mantra etc.

The 9th is the house of faith, wisdom and divine worship. It also denotes meritorious deeds, sacrifice, charity, good conduct, respect to elders or God, pure and higher thoughts.

The 11th house is the house of "Siddhi" signifying fulfillment of desire. From 11th house all questions concerning devotion to God, gain of knowledge, etc. are to be predicted.

The 12th house rules man's final emancipation from the chain of births and deaths and his merger with the cosmic soul. Also one's inclination towards religion and devotion to God are based on the sign occupied by Jupiter. Jupiter is described as a teacher who gives us the true knowledge.

Now let us analyze the chart of Siddha Yogi Siva Shankar Baba in the light of above discussions

As per K.P. System if the sub-lord of lagna cusp is in anyway connected to house 5, 9, 10, 12 and also Saturn, he will denounce the worldly life. In the above chart, the first cusp subl ord is Rahu. Rahu represents Mars, lord of 9th bhava. But Mars represents 2nd cusp also, the house of family. So in the initial stage the native had family. Mars had clear connection with houses 9 and 11. So later, the native denounced the worldly ties.

9th cusp sub-lord is Saturn, lord of XIth and XIIth with no planet in its stars and aspects XIIth house. Therefore Saturn gives the 9th cusp qualities ( spiritual advancement ) and XIIth cusp qualities ( performing penance and moksha ) more predominantly and XIth cusp features ( fulfillment of ambition and pleasures ) feebly. XIth cusp sub lord is Mercury, posited in the XIth bhava with no planet in its stars. So the attainment of moksha is promised.

In the chart, Saturn the planet for tapas and philosophy is in the sign Leo, the 5th sign of the natural zodiac which tells about his spiritual life. Saturn is also being lord of 11th (siddhi) and 12th ( moksha ), aspects 12th bhava. Saturn is in the star of Ketu, a spiritual planet and Ketu is also signifying houses 2, 3, 9 and 10. It denotes the native's achievement in spiritual life.

The lagna lord Jupiter a noble planet for spiritual life and philosophy is in the 10th bhava and is in rapt conjunction with Venus, lord of 3 and 8. Jataka Alankaram, a Tamil astrological treatise, clearly mentions that if Jupiter is powerfully positioned in 10th bhava, one will denounce the world. In the above chart Jupiter is in its moolatrikona rasi. So Jupiter offered him all the saintly qualities.

The native got enlightened in Rahu Dasa and Moon Bukthi. We have already discussed Rahu, Moon the lord of 5th posited in the Xth bhava. So the native has entered into this spiritual life in the above period as both the planets were responsible for his advancement and success in the spiritual life.

The current data is Jupiter. Jupiter denotes success and spiritual advancement. The next dasa Saturn starts on 26/10/2002. Saturn, the sub lord of 9th cusp. with no planets in its stars, will give him great success in spiritual life throughout its period of 19 years. But the native should take care of his health, as Saturn in the 6th cusp will display its qualities. This chart can well be compared with the chart of His Holiness Kanchi Kamakoti Peetathipathy Jagadguru Sri Chandra Sekaraendra Saraswathy. In Sankaracharya Swamigal's chart, Ketu and Saturn are conjoined in V. It gave him all the success and fame as both the planets are responsible for spiritual advancement. In this chart also, Saturn aspects Ketu powerfully. The native will spread his message all over the world in Saturn dasa and he will get success in his mission of spirituality.'

Palm Analysis - by K.Murali Rao

'The Fate line starts from a Bud shaped flower line at the centre of the palm. This is to be considered to be of bestowing divine powers. The Life line is well formed up to the age of 75 without any cut. The Fate line starts from the middle of the palm. It goes up to the Mount of Jupiter. This means the subject must be very influential on others. The Head line has dropped into the Mount of Moon, which means the progress of the subject is helped more by innovation. The Heart line is well developed. This shows that the subject will be good and pleasing while moving with others.

There is perpendicular line on the Mount of Jupiter going straight to the bottom of the Jupiter finger. This is a very rare line which leads the subject to a spiritual life and helps him to attain divine powers.'

Signature Analysis - by N.Magudeswaran

' The Signature is applied in horizontal position. Tailmark strokes are found here. This is an indication of optimistic thoughts. The loop-cutting between the letter strokes in the signature denotes the native's intelligence, magnanimity and sympathy towards the suffering humanity. The Star mark in his signature shows that he is an extra-ordinary man. By looking into the Box-cutting and Aeromatic strokes , it can be inferred that he is economically sound which will be utilised for the enhancement of the poor. His future life will be dedicated to the service of the public.


Astro Numerology - by A.Balasekhar

The date of birth of the native is 28-1-1949. Total is 7. Number 7 represents Ketu, a spiritual planet. In his birth chart, Ketu represents Venus, posited in the 10th bhava with Jupiter. So by birth, he is destined to become a spiritual giant. The total of his name is 3 ( Siva Shankar ), representing Jupiter, another spiritual planet posited in the 10th bhava. The key planet for spiritual life Jupiter, aspects Rahu and Saturn. Hence Rahu Dasa, Jupiter Dasa and Saturn Dasa will give him spiritual advancement. The above three planets represent number 4, 3 and 8 respectively. So the important ages in his life are 30, 31, 34, 35, 39, 40,43, 49, 52, 53, 57, 58 and 61. '

 


The Hindu, July 26th, 2006

The Hindu, July 26, 2006
Kelambakkam school students witness mock fire drill
Staff Reporter

CHENNAI: The Fire and rescue services Kancheepuram Chengai District division demonstrated its skill to the students of Sushil Hari International Residential School, Kelambakkam through a mock fire drill. The team demonstrated to the students various classes of fire and modes of extinguishing them.

Mr Vijayasekar Divisional head gave a power point presentation to the students and teachers highlighting the causes of fire.

Siva Sankar Baba founder of the school said that as a part of curriculum, students gained a treasure of knowledge through frequent educational tours, workshops/demonstrations of such nature.

Yoga therapy

The students had witnessed programmes on Yoga therapy, traffic awareness, and a novel music composition by a kitchen orchestra during last month.

The Hindu, July 25th, 2006

The Hindu, July 25, 2006
Reporter's Diary

An interesting question

School students here rarely get a chance to get professional counselling.

In this context, students of Sushil Hari School at Kelambakkam can be called a trifle lucky as they got to interact with psychiatrist Dr. Rudran last week.

They sought answers on how to overcome their fears and anxieties.

One interesting question was: does the media today influence students and disturb their concentration. Dr. Rudran's answer: Media has been influencing people even since his days in school.

The Hindu, April 4th, 2006

The Hindu, April 4, 2006
Career Counseling Fair

Lions Club International District 325A5 along with an NGO Samratchana, conducted a career counseling fair at Sushil Hari School, Kelambakkam. Dr. Sushila Mariappan, Director, University Students Advisory Bureau, Madras University, detailed the various courses offered by the University. Experts from Corporate and Universities discussed various programs and s avenues available in terms of future studies, distance education programs and career prospects. Around 1250 students benefited from the program. Sri Shivashankar Baba, founder of Sushil Hari School, launched the free permanent career counseling cell at school. It will help students of schools in and around Chengalpattu district.

 

Deccan Chronicle, April 8th, 2006

Lions Club International District 325A5 along with Samratchana conducted a mega career counseling fair at Sushil Hari School, Kelambakkam. Dr. Sushila Mariappan, Director, University Students Advisory Bureau, Madras University, in her keynote address detailed the various courses offered by the University. Experts from several Corporate and Universities discussed at length the various avenues available in terms of future studies, distance education programs and career prospects. Around 1250 students benefited from the counseling mela.

List of Exhibitors

AMET Bharathi College for Women
Blue Sky Immigration and Consultants Brilliant Group of Institutes
Catering College, Erode Chennai Silks
D.G. Vaishnav College for Visual Communication Hospitality Academy
IGNOU/TNOU Indian Institute of Beauty Therapy
ING Vysya Bank Institute of Cost and Work Accountants
Kannika Parameshwari College for Women L.V. Prasad Film and TV academy
MM Polymer Mohd. Sathak College of Arts and Sciences
St. Peters Engineering College Princeton Review
Raagas Dental College Resource & Access
Samratchana Computer Academy Sankara Nethralaya
Sri Srivari Constructions SRM Institute of Science and Technology
Sushil Hari International Residential School

The Hindu, March 23rd, 2006

A Career Guidance Seminar was conducted by Sushil Hari International Residential School in association with Rotary Club of Madras Central in the school premises. The seminar was expected to benefit X and XII standard students at making important choices in their career. Ms. Sudha Umashankar, District Chairman, Vocational services inaugurated the seminar and gave a talk on the emerging opportunities available for +2 students. In her interactive address, she asked the student participants on what their career aims were and exhorted them to work hard towards their goal.

Mr.J. Krishnan in his address to the students talked about the various opportunities available in the airline industry. Prof. Mariappan discussed the various avenues available for Biotechnologists. Mrs. Revathi Raghunathan talked about the various aspects involved in pursuing a career as a Chartered accountant. Mr. R. Venkata Narayanan, Director, Vocational Service touched upon the various characteristics essential for anyone to go up the corporate ladder.

Siddhayogi Shivashankar Baba in the concluding address stresses the fact that Engineering and Medical Sciences were not the only avenues available for students. Other equally lucrative fields were available which the students should look at. He also pointed out that a Mega Career Mela will be conducted in Sushil Hari International Residential School on April 2nd, 2006.

About 300 students from Sushil Hari International Residential School, Government Higher Secondary School, Mambakkam, B.K.M. Matriculation Higher Secondary School and Kendriya Vidyalaya, Tambaram attended the Seminar.

Workshop for Rural Children Conducted

Kelambakkam, Chennai - February 16th, 2006

Life Skill Residential Programme, a workshop for SC/ST children of VIII standard from Government Schools of Pudupakkam and Alathur villages under Education for All scheme was conducted at Sushil Hari International Residential School, Kelambakkam under the auspices of CEO, Kanchipuram District for 3 days from 13/2/06 to 15/2/06.

The programme was inaugurated by Siddhayogi Sri Sivashankar Baba. In his address Baba emphasized that the children from rural areas have the potential of excelling in any profession they choose. For this they should persevere with confidence and bring out their latent talents. They should try to emulate the achievements of many great Indian leaders from remote rural areas like Dr.Abdul Kalam.

In addition to the workshop sessions, a Pattimandram and a short course in Yoga were conducted by Sushil Hari International School.

Thiru. M. Alphonse, Asst. District Project Coordinator (ADPC) of Kanchipuram District addressed the students on the final day and exhorted them to work hard and excel in their studies.

Mr. A. Rajagopal, Supervisor Block Resource Centre (BRC), Thirupporur in his valedictory address praised Sushil Hari International School for having made excellent arrangements for conducting the workshop including accommodation and boarding of the participants.

Dinamalar

The August 11th Devotional issue of the 'Thinamalar' news daily, carried a detailed description of the PoornaBrahmam temple under the heading “God is even within you”.

Makkal Kural

The July 24th edition of the 'Makkal Kural' news daily, carried an article describing the Sushilhari School.

Rathinamalai

The June 2005 issue of Rathinamalai Magazine has published Baba’s Question and Answer session.

The Hindu, May 10th, 2005

The Hindu, Feb 6th, 2003

East Coastline Times, Feb 9th, 2003

The Indian Express, Feb 13th, 2003

The Indian Express
January 3rd, 2003

CHENNAI: Siva Shankar Baba's commune `Samratchana' at Kelambakkam heralded the New Year by performing a homam, followed by an exposition on `Music Therapy' by Dr P Bharati.

Former Election Commissioner T N Seshan said, ``I realize that I have missed out on so much by not visiting this place earlier. Maharishis have been for long musing on the ill effects of kaliyuga and trying to find a solution. I have realised the solution is Siva Shankar Baba.''

Seshan added that he found `samathuvam' in the commune and urged the community to reach out to the public in a bigger way. Also at the function was poet Abdul Rehman and bureaucrat Govindan.

Following the lecture by Seshan were recitals of Thirupavai bhajans by the commune, a shadow play by ventriloquist Venky and a cultural extravaganza.

The Hindu, Dec 18th, 2003

Reviving a dying tradition
An Echo from the past

Tamil folk songs, which is vivacious, is best experienced at a live performance something that doesn't happen often in Chennai. Fortunately for the audience that night, Dr. Santhakumari and her troop (singers from 'Samratchana', voluntary organization, and students from the SushilHari International Residential School, Kelambakkam) brought them a lively slice of the past.

The Hindu, Jan 4th, 2004

Carving a Colossal Image
An article by J.V. Prasanna Kumar, in The Hindu dated Jan 2, 2004

Making the Panchaloka Idol of Goddess Mahishasura Mardini with 10 hands was an arduous task and the wax model got damaged twice. It took nearly four years for Brahman, his brothers and his assistants, to complete the idol. The work was completed on Dec 18, 2003. Before the idol was cast, the sculptors had to make a wax model and satisfy themselves that the idol would meet the specifications of Raghunath Maharaj who wanted to have the idol of the Goddess installed. Moreover, a special attention was devoted to ensure that the wax model facilitated the making of the idol as per the rules laid down in the Silpa Sastra, claimed Brahman. The idol was cast after the wax mould was made for the 3rd time. The Idol was cast in the presence of Sivashankar Baba and the Mathaji of Sri Ujjain Mahakali Amman temple in Bhhoothapandy, near Nagercoil.

Indian Express, Nov 13th, 2002

Excerpts from an article published in 'Indian Express' dated November 13, 2002

Title : This Baba offers high quality living at a low cost

Focus-title : A satellite township built by Siva Shankar Baba at Kelambakkam has become the solution for many a frustrated city dweller.

All facilities that one could hope for are provided in the township, built over 30 acres of land, for people who want to discover their inner self. This includes a team of doctors and an operation theatre.

Getting to know your inner self and going back to your roots is not through Spartan facilities but through lavish amenities that rival anything else in the city.

The children’s school is an air-conditioned building with public address systems, a swimming pool and a large amusement park. Apart from education to children, the township offers 30 vocational activities for its members. These include learning several languages like French, German, Japanese and Sanskrit to contemporary and classical dance as well as plumbing, Gardening and desktop publishing.

"It is a common base of knowledge sharing and it is free for everyone", says SivaShankar Baba, adding, "only when people’s material needs are fulfilled, do they look to their spiritual side". All material needs at the township are inexpensive. A complete meal costs Rs.8/-. "I have offered people low cost facilities without compromising on aesthetics", says Baba. With work being divided between the members of the community, many individuals find they have a lot of time for service. And that is the aspect many people say they like in the facility.

The Hindu, Feb 8th, 1999

Excerpts from an article published in 'The Hindu' dated 8th February, 1999

It is an unusual combination - 'tapasya' and worldly knowledge That is samratchana - a spiritual army - which sows the seed of social service in the mind of the youth. Be it healthy camps, legal counseling. computer courses, music and dance, animation, journalism, training in software or hardware, or Reiki - samratchana has a finger in every pie. People from far-off places, particularly those belonging to lower economic strata, benefit from these courses, offered free of cost.

Situated in Nilankarai, Samratchana conducts the classes six days a week. "Our motto is to render sernice which benefits the people and open up job opportunities for the less-fortunate." says Ms.Padmini Raghavan, a Volunteer.

Experts from different fields volunteer their service free of cost, out of commitment. They would like to give back something in return for the spiritual elevation they attain through the daily discourses they attend. The volunteers are followers of god man Shiv Shankara Baba, spirit behind the movement, and aim to put "his teaching into practice".

The courses are open to all - irrespective of caste and creed. free food is served from 11 a.m to 5 p.m. The library,which has a collection of 4,000 books, is a popular facility. Free coaching is provided to student right from the high school to the college level. The centre is able to gather funds through the sale of magazines and audio cassettes. Besides, scholarships are given to children below poverty line , right up to high school.

There are 100 student learning Carnatic and Hindustani classical music, including "Sastria Sangeeth" and bhajans in Sanskrit,Gujarati and Marathi. Instruments such as violin, ghatam, harmonium, tabala and mrudangam are also taught. Student from the music college take the classes in the evening. The highlights are the three- years 'Vidwan Course' in Fine Arts and the Veda classes.

The center offers computer education to all. Called the Samratchana Computer Center, courses in operating systems, languages and packages, multimedia and hardware are taught for a nominal fee of Rs.100 to cover the maintenance and capital costs.

Animation is another core area which equips both children and the middle- aged section to become professionals. Samrathchana has designed a low-cost projector for distribution to schools. The tutor who had served with a newspaper, has more than 2.5 lakh cartoons to his credit. The classes are conducted from 8 am to 8 p.m.

The free tailoring classes have helped several trainees to find jobs in the garment export units. There are opportunities to learn foreign languages too. At present, two languages French and German are taught. Professionals give guest lectures to the journalism students. In the section for free legal advice leading advocates give their tune to Sundays to a varied clientele. A medical center with eight doctors offer quality Medicare. The eye, dental and diabetes camps conducted every month attract many Patients. Veterinary care is provided to domestic animals too.

Another important aspect of the work is the free facility it offers for holding social functions. The premises can be used for any occasion, free of cost: The centre itself conduct marriages, arranging to serve 200 guests with a free meal. The couples are also given clothes and mangalsutra free of cost.

It runs an old-age home where shelter is afforded to the inmates at no cost. At Tiruporur,on the way to Mahabalipuram,it has set up a seven-bed hospital. Fifty villages in the area are including in its outreach programme.

In Vengaleri and Alathur village which have been adopted, the residents have been provided drinking water facilities, education and employment opportunities.

The Hindu, May 3rd, 1999

An article on Vengaleri project published in 'The Hindu' dated 3rd May, 1999

"For the people of Vengaleri in Kancheepuram, life has begun to look up. Volunteer youth and NGO's have launched a drive to provide them with Medicare, skills training and income generating opportunities" ", says S.Natarajan.

The people of Vengaleri village in Kancheepuram have got a new hope in life as the free tailoring, typewriting and tuition classes open up avenues for a livelihood.

The Grama Membattu Sangam - wing of Samratchana has adopted two villages - Vengaleri & Alathur - as a part of a drive for the uplift of the people. Before starting the project the sangam conducted a survey to get to know the day-to-day problems the people faced. "It has provided a basis to understand the villagers better and an opportunity to create trust in us and our service " the volunteers say.

The main thrust of the sangam is total health care. The people queue up every Sunday for free consultation and medicines. Complications are rushed to the nearby hospital and treated at the expense of the sangam. The volunteers visit the houses of the patients and periodically review their health status. " We get quality treatment and medicines irrespective of our financial position" says a beneficiary who has been operated for cataract.

The people under the aegis of the sangam have formed a credit-cum-saving group comprising of 10-20 members. They meet regularly to pool in their savings and create a common fund. Money is lent from the fund at nominal interest. The rate is decided by the group beforehand. This has helped to make the people financially secure.

Hithereto denied of opportunities that could bring them prosperity, the people had led a hand-to-mouth existence. But the picture is slowly changing. The women are benefited by the free tailoring classes. The materials are provided free of cost by the sangam and a volunteer conducts the classes. More than 90 women say they are able to earn up to Rs.500 a month.

The sangam has three English type-writers and a Tamil type-writer. About 45 students attend the classes on shifts. They are to appear later for Government examinations. The materials are provided free of cost for each course.

Ms Lalitha of Alathur, says the tailoring classes have helped her. She is confident she can make a tidy sum even if she takes the orders and completes them at home. She says her parents are not willing to send her out to work hence, completing the orders at home is an ideal alternative.

Ms. R.Kasturi a student from Thandalam, who is physically handicapped, says she finds the new skills she has acquired useful. " I learn typewriting and spoken English". This helps me take tuition classes for students in my village and I earn more than Rs.600 a month. She is at present doing a B.Com course through correspondence.

The sangam encourages the women to earn by helping them market various kitchen products.

"It is only a beginning. I am trying to bring the people together and want the men to give up drinking. I am planning to screen popular films with educative messages flashed in-between. Such a method will attract the crowd which will not only enjoy the film but imbibe the message", says Shri Siva Shankar Baba, who has been also pursuing the project.

The tuition centre started by the sangam in January last year offers free coaching to students from classes 1 to 10. The children who come for the classes are provided refreshments and arrangements have been made to provide them free dinner. The classes are held from 5-30 p.m. to 7-30 p.m.

Health Doctor, Jan 1999

An article published in 'Health Doctor' in the month of January 1999, conversation between Dr.Rajmohan , an eminent Doctor( based at Chennai, India) and Siddha Yogi Sri Siva Shankar Baba.

Doctor : "It is said that you are able to heal the ailments of certain patients for whom we are unable to cure medically. When did you start realizing that you have such a power in healing incurable diseases.?

Baba : On 26.01.1984. That was the day I underwent the experience of death like that of Ramana Maharishi's and was filled with the holy spirit. Sri Raghavendra Swamy of Mantralaya appeared before me in reality, neither in a dream state nor in a "Tantric state" and gave me a vision of my own dead body by separating the body from the soul.

Earlier, When I had been to Ratnagiri (an ancient abode of Lord Skanda), in the first week of Jan' 1984, I was witnessing an "Abhishekam" performed to the deity. While witnessing that, I wept continuously for 2 hours, although there was no necessity for me to cry. Ratnagiri Swamigal (who does not speak), on seeing me cry, wrote to me on a piece of paper that there will be a great change in my life by month end. And, that was proved on 26.01.1984 when I attained Self-Realization.

After that extraordinary experience, I lost interest in all worldly pursuits and started working for HIM, by serving society.

Doctor: We have heard that Shri Sankaracharya and Sri Sathya Sai Baba have performed a lot of miracles. How different are you from them ?

Baba : I never perform miracles like materializing 'Vibhuthi' (sacred ash) or small idols out of thin air. Two things can be called my miracles. They are proving that 'LOVE' and 'INTELLIGENCE' can be so powerful. Using these two miracles I have actually brought together so many young and energetic volunteers, to whom I preach true Human Values and practical spirituality - creating in the process a wonderful 'Next Generation'. Are these not truly miracles ? Lot of people have been cured by my Prayers and Healing Touch. For certain ailments like Cancer, Psoriasis, Jaundice etc, I have cured them using various Prasadams like 'Putru Man' for Cancer, sacred ash of Vaidheeswaran Temple for Psoriasis and Sand of Mt. Kailash for Jaundice etc. You can go ahead and conduct a detailed research on these 'Prasadams' and use it to prepare suitable medicines on your own too. Thus, I am giving a New dimension to Spirituality by combining Science with it. Sri Sathya Sai Baba has himself said that the miracles that he performs are merely visiting cards, indicating that he has such powers. In my opinion, there cannot be a greater miracle than keeping every person on this earth peaceful and contented.

Doctor : Can you explain these with proper evidences ?

Baba: My methods of healing can be regarded in three different ways. One, I am able to sense the arrival of certain patients on a particular day and I am able to heal them. This only proves that I do have some powers. But, I cannot give you any scientific reasons that make this happen. Second, when a person tells me his problem, I pray while touching him, and this also solves his problems. Thirdly, for certain people, their problems have been automatically solved in a few days, just by their telling me the problem.
You can scientifically prove this, by comparing the medical reports of any of the cured patients taken before they came to me and those taken after they came in touch with me. You may classify this as Faith Healing or Touch Healing.

Doctor: Do you have these healing powers all the time or is it restricted to a particular time?

Baba: These powers stay with me all 24 hrs of the day. In fact, I may be chatting normally, and suddenly my face may transform and my breathing pattern changes. Obviously, there is a Super Power that is doing all this in me. Miracles keep happening. Always and for Everyone. But, only for those who have total faith in me.

Doctor : You dress yourself up in various God forms. What do you have to say about GOD ?

Baba : GOD is the embodiment of LOVE. Nobody has understood this fully. Today, prayers are done to God, expecting materialistic gains and this is done like some sort of Barter. This is not true 'Bhakthi'. There are cases where a persons materialistic gain or loss is attributed to the form of God available in his Pooja Room. This is mainly due to lack of clarity in spiritual thinking. These will definitely change in the forthcoming years, and people will realize that God is nothing but the total embodiment of True Love.

Music World, Feb 1999

"Siva Shankar Baba's Free Music College" published in 'Music World' in the month of February 1999

Nowadays, spiritual leaders becoming the centre of controversies have become common. But, the approach to spirituality adopted by Sri Siva Shankar Baba is quite unique, says an article titled, "Siva Shankar Baba's Free Music College" published in 'Music World' in the month of February 1999. The article further says, "Baba's style is to patiently hear the problems of all those who visit him and offer them solace in his own calm and assuring manner, in the background of devotional music, and ensure that they return with peace of mind."

Having heard from a friend about the free music college being run by Baba, I visited Samratchana.

I was taken around Samratchana, and I saw partitioned rooms housing a free medical centre, a free legal cell, free tuition classes for students from Class X to M.B.A., a spiritual library, music and dance classes, cartoon & animation classes and so on.

In fact, the events that were happening there can easily form the cover story of any widely read magazine.

After going round the centre, I had the opportunity to meet Baba. I found that he was dressed simply, and was not wearing any saffron robes etc. that is now-a-days the sign of a spiritual leader.

As soon as I asked him about the music college, he started answering with genuine interest.

'Music has the power to melt even the stone-hearted soul. In fact, our ancestors used Music as the tool in bringing up spirituality in this country. Bhakthi finds form through Music. Here, one can listen to devotional music more than 12hrs a day.

Generally, there is a feeling that learning music is only possible by the rich. Hence although people in the economically weaker sections would love to learn music, they are unable to do so. This music college has been started only with those people in mind.

Carnatic Vocal, Veena, Guitar, Violin, Harmonium, Tabla, Nadaswaram, Morsing, Flute, Dance, Western music, Folk music etc are all being taught here. Everything is free of cost. In fact, for outstation students, we offer free lunch and free accommodation too.

Reputed teachers conduct these classes under the guidance of Shri.R.V.Krishnan, retired Govt.Music College Principal. Some artistes voluntarily bring their own instruments and conduct classes free of charge for the students. Classes are conducted from 10am to 8pm on Saturdays and Sundays and from 4pm to 7pm on weekdays. We have even released some audio cassettes sung by Samratchana volunteers. The specialty of this college is that if offers a 3 year certificate course identical to the Government Music College.

People who come here relieve themselves of all their tensions and worries, by listening to music and return with total peace of mind.'

I sincerely hope that this great deed being performed by Baba may continue to grow and make music reachable to everyone, irrespective of their status in society.

Kalki, August 13th, 2000

chennaionline.com

 

An article about Samratchana on 'www.chennaionline.com'

SAMRATCHANA - The Center for self-realisation
Places of Worship

Tucked away in the outskirts of Madras is a compound with an entrance curiously marked "Samratchana - Center for Self-realisation". On entering, one has the distinct impression of being in an educational institution with plenty of young people busily engaged in some task, moving from class to class. It has a college campus feel until one notices devotional music filling the air. At the very center is a large Hall where the looks of a group of people consisting of all ages, are riveted on a charismatic figure, dressed in simple everyday attire, as he moves around touching and speaking to them. This is Shiva Shankar Baba, the head of Samratchana, at his daily counselling session.

Samratchana is much more than a center where vocational training is imparted; it is really an Ashram manned and run by devotees of the Baba and is, perhaps, an unique experiment trying to bring the people especially the youth to spirituality. "I try to fulfill the basic needs of the people first before imparting spiritual knowledge. How can a hungry body think about God?" This is precisely the reason classes ranging from the traditional typewriting and tailoring to the state-of-the-art Graphics and the latest computer courses are offered absolutely free of cost.

"I strongly believe that in order to attract young people, who are so spiritually impoverished today, one has to look into their material well-being and self-esteem building first before one can get them to even be interested in the spiritual aspect," the jovial and amicable Baba says. This certainly explains the fact that over 70% of his devotees are youthful, who are not only imparted basic skills but also given a sound spiritual grounding. Everything from the Satsangs, Homams, Vedic Chanting, and discourses, by the Baba, conducted at the Center, are designed to cater to this very need.

That the young are at ease with the Baba is echoed by a young devotee, who so disarmingly puts it," There are things, which I can totally discuss with the Baba, which I could not share,

even with my own parents". The Baba makes a conscious effort to dissolve any boundaries that might exist between the devotee and him, right from his approachability to his outfits. When asked why he does not wear the gear of a spiritual head he says when an inner transformation has taken place where is the need for an outer?

The commitment of his devotees, to him, is extremely touching with most of the youngsters as well as other devotees saying that they would like nothing better than spending their leisure time working for the Baba. That the whole center is run entirely by young volunteers is testimony to the commitment. It is the Baba's simple philosophy translated into a practical approach, which makes it so appealing to the young. "Change in India can come about only through the youth. During these times everything has failed the youth, right from society to the politicians. That is why they are so insecure. I speak in their language and try to build their self-confidence" the Baba asserts.

'Work is Worship' seems to be the unwritten motto. From Samratchana to the village of Vengaleri where apart from free medical facilities, schooling and vocational training, a home for the aged, working women's hostel are available to near by villages is ample evidence to the above statement. Resident volunteers ably manage the facilities, since the Baba makes it a point not to take donations. Income is generated through ventures like the Printing Press run by the volunteers. Another noble venture is the commune at Kelambakkam where serious devotees can reside and spend their time in contemplation and which is the venue for Workshops and Retreats. 'Vasudeva kudumbham' - A microcosm example of the world as one family.

It is very rare that organisations such as these cater to both the worldly and spiritual needs of the young. May their tribe increase!

Elka Sinha

chennaionline.com, October 2001

 

An article about Samratchana's 'Human Golu' was published in 'www.chennaionline.com' dated October 2001
Seven Wonders Of The World Come To Life

The ‘Golu Vaibhavam’ at Samratchana is graced not by inanimate dolls but by people. A novel concept for the world, but not for Samratchana; the ‘Human Golu’ has been functional right since 1997. Navarathri at Samratchana taps the latent creativity in everyone, teamwork, sense of belonging to the world as one large family, and getting to know the world through playing various roles.
Themes are decided well in advance, and meticulous preparations get going. Sets are made ready, participants rehearse their part and everything associated with the theme is organized - volunteers themselves make all the arrangements. And Navarathri itself finds people buoyant with excitement and cheer as their Samratchana family members enact the various themes. Navarathri golu at Samratchana is one more heartwarming evidence that people have successfully surmounted the barriers of age, gender, caste, creed, and materialistic station.

For instance, Navarathri 2001 had ‘Andal’ as the theme for the first day - where Sri Andal and Sri Ranganathar come down from their Celestial Home for a visit to Kelambakkam, the community living center of Samratchana and, finding so many people engrossed in service of the Lord and humanity, applaud them as Andal++. It was good to see the ‘Egyptian Gods’ come alive on the second day of the Golu. The third day saw ‘Navarasangal’ - various emotions, and each emotion was explained by participants acting out a scene. The fourth day of Golu was ‘Cinema Shooting’ and the audience was splitting its sides in mirth. The fifth day brought to life ‘The Seven wonders of the world’ - ancient, medieval and modern - this included Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Empire State Building, Pyramids of Egypt, Statue of Liberty, Statue of Zeus. All these were fashioned as miniatures and characters, so long still as statues, suddenly came to life in a ballet song. The sixth day saw ‘Asoka Vanam’ depicting Sita in captivity and Anjaneya pacifying her that the Paramaathma Rama, was also pining away for the Jeevathma Sita. The seventh day depicted the progress of Siddhartha to ‘Buddha’. The eighth day illustrated the ‘Five types of Lands - Kurunji, Mullai, Marudham, Neidhal, Paalai.' More interesting themes are on the way. ‘Kadai Yeizhu Vallalgal’ - depicting seven great kings of yore known for their benevolence to even birds and plants - Paari, Ori, Kaari, Began, Adhiyaman, Nalli, Ai Kandiran. ‘Chess’ where devotees would act out the movement of the chess coins on a chess platform. That’s the speciality of Navarathri Golu at Samratchana, the Centre of Self - Realization pioneered by Siddha Yogi Sri Siva Shankar Baba.

 

 

Publications

 

Samratchana publications was started with a view to bring quality of life for suffering humans and to uplift them in spirituality and at the same time instill confidence to face the onslaughts of day to day life.

The evils of modernization as of this day and age is enormous. The breakdown of bigger families into micro-families resulted in deserting the elders to fend for themselves. The fast paced life put tremendous pressure on the efforts for bread winning, house maintenance and maintaining an image in the society that it hardly left with any time for grooming the children. The present day generation lost touch with our rich culture and heritage. The morality and dignity of humanity is gradually eroding.


As an effort to bring a balance in our lives and salvage the lost heritage, Samratchana brought out three magazines:

Vidiyal - a weekly magazine which focuses on the cultural events conducted in Rama Rajya campus and inspiration of the novely of a community living and making of responsible and confident citizens of tomorrow.

Mahajyothi - a monthly magazine which attempts to reinforce our communion with Sanathana dharma by covering in details all the major events and festivals. It also tries to bring out the significance and purpose of conducting such events with anecdotes quoted from Vedas and puranas satisfying our standing desire for self-knowledge and self-understanding.

Samratchana - a monthly bilingual magazine gives food for our soul. It tries to give clarity of thought and a direction by addressing issues that we face in our day to day lives.

To read the magazines online, please visit Samratchana site.

Apart from the magazines several books were released over the years on Baba based on devotees' experiences, different Naadi predictions and collection of His teachings.

Consult samratchana online stores to know more about these books and collections.