One does not have to search for Brahman in some distant chosen place. One should find Brahman in one's daily life in all things, from the smallest thing that one comes across to the biggest thing that one sees. If we make a reasoned enquiry of some depth, there is a chance of finding Brahman in our own heart and within ourselves. If we can get into a state of meditation, we can enjoy the bliss of recognizing Brahman everywhere. Brahman is within you and can be known by controlling your own mind. If the mind is made steady and unwavering, we can enjoy permanent bliss and see the aspect of [divinity which is] Brahman.
There is deep significance in saying that all the world is filled with Brahman. The entire world is permeated by Brahman. Without Brahman, there is no world. The whole universe is only an illusory manifestation of Brahman.
Brahman can be realized only in a quiet, clear, and pure place. Is there such a place in this world and how can we find and reach it? Such a place does not exist outside you. It is present in your own internal self. While such an omnipotent, all-knowing and sacred Brahman is present within one's own self, it is not understandablethat one goes about searching for it in all places outside oneself.
Today we have turned ourselves into persons who, while having rich food in their own homes, go after stale food that one can get by asking for it from ones neighbor. The aspect of Brahman is not outside yourself. You should not waste your time and life looking for it externally. Time is Brahman. Rendering such time unsacred is wasting your life and rendering Brahman unsacred. What we should do today is to make an attempt to develop an inner vision to realize the divine strength of Brahman which is omnipresent.
When you go to the cinema, you sit looking at the screen. One would not like to sit looking at a blank screen for too long a time. After some time, when pictures appear on the screen, you feel relieved. But if the same pictures remain there, you feel impatient. You expect the pictures to change. Even as you feel that a set of pictures are real, they disappear and others come. The pictures are not real. Their disappearing and others appearing in their place is a reality. These pictures, which are coming and going, depend on the screen for their appearance. The screen neither comes nor goes. In this analogy, the screen is comparable to Brahman and is a reality. The illusory world is like the pictures that depend for their manifestation on the screen, in this case, Brahman. We are like pictures which come again and again on the screen of Brahman.
This world is like a newspaper. Once we read a newspaper from the beginning to the end, we do not want to read it again. It becomes a waste paper and we throw it away in the basket. In the same manner, once we see this newspaper of the world, we do not wish to see it again and again. All our experiences in this world are like a newspaper. This has been described in two concepts: no birth; rebirth.
There is a small illustration for this. We have the case of rice paddy. If we sow paddy in the earth and water it, we note that it sprouts. There is some rice inside the paddy, covered by husk. This is the reason why it sprouts. If we remove the husk and plant the rice alone, it does not sprout. Because of the presence of husk, we call it paddy. If there is no husk, we call it rice. In this analogy, rice has no rebirth and paddy has rebirth. Our life, when it is covered with the husk of desire, has rebirth. Once we remove this husk of desire, there is no birth.
How can it be possible to live without desires? It is not possible to eliminate all desires. If, however, we turn all our desires toward God and whatever we do, if we do it remembering that we do it for the pleasure of God, those desires will not bind us for rebirth. Whatever work we wish to undertake, we should do so without the desire to claim the fruit thereof.
One may ask, what does it matter if we desire to enjoy the fruits of work? It is possible to have peace in our life only if such desires are limited and kept under control. In Vedantic parlance, giving up desires is called detachment (vairagya). Detachment does not consist in giving up ones home, ones family, and going away to the forest. There is also another meaning for the word. It does not matter if you live in the world, but do not let the world live in you. You may undertake work to the extent necessary for living in the world, but do not let the consequences and results fill your mind and bother you.
You should also consider the well-being of others. Your life should be such that you do not give trouble to others and to yourself. Be good to others. Giving trouble to one aspect of Brahman and worshipping another aspect of Brahman is not the right path. Follow a good path. Do not harm others. Do not harm yourself. Recognize the aspect of Brahman in every living thing and in all the work you do. Promote this aspect in you and lead a life filled with such ideals and principles. You will be happy and have no worries.
~Sathya Sai Baba
Summer Showers in Brindavan, 1974, Part I
(Excerpts from discourse)
Some people sit silently, closing their eyes. They say they are in meditation. That is not meditation. They may sit silently, but their minds may be wandering and thinking about all and sundry. Only a mind that is unwavering and fixed firmly on the higher reality can be called meditation.
~Sathya Sai Baba