As learnt at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan

N. Kasturi (1897-1987)


Part I - Part II - Part III - Part IV
| purports 1 | purports 2 | purports 3 | purports 4 |



Concerning: Brihadaranyak Upanishad: 

Taken from: Swami clarifies our common doubts - Compiled from various meetings with S'rî Sathya Sai Baba

Q: The view that women should not take up Brahma vidya (spiritual knowledge), nor chant the Omkara. Is this correct? Also, in ancient times, were spiritual sadhanas (endeavors) forbidden to women?

Swami: Brahma vidya and chitta shuddhi (spiritual  knowledge and purity of  consciousness) do not depend on whether a person is a  man or a woman. All have an equal right to benefit from Brahma vidya provided only they are able to take it up with discipline and dedication. At no time have there been any taboos against women. Lord Vishnu (the Preserver) taught Bhu Devi (the Goddess Earth) the glory of the Bhagavad-Gita. Parameswara (Shiva) taught Parvati the Brahma tatva (divine essence) through the Guru Gita. Iswara (Shiva) initiated Parvati into Yoga Shastras and mantra Shastras (science of yoga and science of mantra). The Brihadaranyak Upanishad mentions Yajnavalkya teaching Maitreyi the Brahma vidya. So, women in ancient times were not denied the pursuit of spirituality.

The Brihadaranyak Upanishad mentions Gargi and Maitreyi basking in the splendour of Sannyasa (renunciation) and Brahmacharya (celibacy, chastity). Madaalasa Chudaala and others were able to receive Brahma Jnana (divine wisdom) while in the Grihastha (householder, i.e. married) stage of life. Even today, there are many that belong to this vast category. It is sheer absurdity to deny women the right to earn Brahma Jnana. But, in worldly matters, it is necessary for them to maintain certain limitations in the interests of dharma (righteousness) and Loka Kalyana (the good of the people/world). For the sake of safeguarding morality and for the social health of the world, women have to accept some restrictions. This is not to say that there is any fundamental inferiority in them. Even pundits acquire their Jnana through the reverential homage they pay to the feminine deity Saraswati. The divine patrons of learning, prosperity and wisdom are all feminine: Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati. This should show the reverence paid to women (see also Brhadaranyaka-Upanisad (Brhadaranyakopanisad) GRETIL version. Input by members of the Sanskrit project (formerly:

Taken from Dharma Vahini:

Now, there is one problem; are women entitled to seek Brahma vidya? This question has been answered already. If women do not deserve this knowledge, how did Vishnumurthi teach Bhudevi the mystery of the Gita? How did Parameswara teach Parvathi the Gurugita? "Dharovaacha" "Parvathyuvaacha", such statements reveal that Dhara and Parvathi took part in the discussions and put questions to clarify the points. The Yogasastra and Manthrasastra were both taught to Parvathi by Iswara. This must therefore be correct, authorised by the Sastras, is it not? In the Brihadaranyak Upanishad, it is mentioned that Yajnavalkya taught Maitreyi, the Brahma vidya. The Vedas consist of two parts, the Karmakanda for the Ajnani, the Ignorant, and the Jnanakanda for the Vijnani. Even when the Sastras alone are taken into consideration, they have also two sections; the words of the scholars and words of the wise, coming out of their experience of Atma Jnana. Of these, the words of those who have given up all idea of doership, as a result of their realisation of the identity of Brahmam and Atma, the words of those who know and feel that the same Atma is inherent in the multiplicity of life, who have lost all distinction between Mine and Thine, who seek the welfare of all animate and inanimate creation, the words of such knowers of Atman alone are genuine and valuable.

In the Brihadaranyak, there is mention of such effulgent women-sages as Gargi and Maitreyi and in the Mahabharatha, the names of Sulabha and Yogini are found. Women should be inspired by their moral rectitude and their steadfastness and then walk in that path; then, only does the question of reaching that height arise. Choodala, Madalasa and other such women attained Brahmajnana, being in the Grihasthashram itself. Women can by Sadhana attain that unwavering unequalled auspicious Brahmam; this is made clear in the Yogavasishta and also in the Puranas. Doubts will haunt only those who have not studied the Sastras properly. Novitiates, householders, recluses, all among women, have by their pure hearts and holy conduct attained the goal. All women should strive to acquire these two.

See also Upanishad Vahini.

The Brihadaranyak Upanishad says that there are mainly thirty-three gods who are important in the celestial world in terms of the performance of Vedic rituals and the yajñas. Other celestial gods are affiliates to them. They are: eight Vasus, eleven Rudras, twelve Adityas (forms of sun god), Indra and Prajâpati (hindu encycl.).

The eight Vasus according the Brihadaranyak Upanishad 3.9: 2. are: Agni (god of fire), Prithivi (goddess of the earth), Vâyu (god of the wind), Antariksh (god of the space), Aditya (sun god), Dyo (god of the luminous sky), Chandrama (moon god) and Nakshatra (god of the nakshatras, asterism. Nakshatras are 27, called Magha, Rohini etc.)


Bhâgavata-dharma: devotional service in nine divisions: s'ravanam (listening), kîrtanam (singing), Vishnu-smaranam (remembering), pâda-sevanam (visiting, helping), arcanam (worship of the idol), vandanam (prayer, japa), dâsyam (deliver service), sakhyam (friendship), âtmâ - nivedanam (surrender); (see 7.5: 23-24).
- Also in six: 'Therefore unto You, o Best of the Worshipable, do I offer my obeisances with prayers and perform I worship, do I work for You, do I remember You, attend to Your refuge and do I always listen to the talks about You; how can without such devotional service unto You in all these six forms a person attain the bhakti that is there for the best of transcendence.' (S.B.: 7.9.50).

Bhakti: devotion, devotional service to Lord Krishna, love of God, in nine phases of emancipation (bhâgavata  dharma, sâdhana-bhakti and kevala-bhakti). See 7.9: 9 about its unique property (see 11.27).
- 'Bhakti may be considered in three stages, called gunî-bhûta, pradhânî-bhûta and kevala, and according to these stages there are three divisions, which are called jnâna, jnânamayî and rati, or premâ: that is, simple knowledge, love mixed with knowledge, and pure love. By simple knowledge, one can perceive transcendental bliss without variety. This perception is called mâna-bhûti. When one comes to the stage of jnânamayî, one realizes the transcendental opulences of the Personality of Godhead. But when one reaches pure love, one realizes the transcendental form of the Lord as Lord Krishna or Lord Râma.'

Svetasvara Upanishad: [source:] The Svetasvatara Upanishad belongs to the Taittiriya school of the Yajur Veda. Its name is derived from the sage who taught it. (1). It is theistic in character and identifies the Supreme Brahman with Rudra who is conceived as the material and the efficient cause of the world, not only the author of the world but its protector and guide. The elements associated with theism, Personal God and devotion to Him, which are to be met with undoubtedly in the other Upanishads, become prominent in the Svetasvatara Upanishad. The emphasis is not on Brahman the Absolute, whose complete perfection does not admit of any change or evolution but on the personal Isvara, omniscient and omnipotent who is the manifested Brahma. Terms which were used by the later Samkhya philosophy occur in the Upanishad, but the dualism of the Samkhya, purusa and prakrti, is overcome. Nature or pradhana, is not an independent entity but belongs to the self of the Divine, devatma-sakti God is the mayin, the maker of the world which is maya or made by him. (2). The Upanishad teaches the unity of the souls and world in the one Supreme Reality. The Upanishad is an attempt to reconcile the different philosophical and religious views, which prevailed at the time of its composition.
1. sveta, pure, asva, indriyas, senses. Samkarananda : literally, he who has a white mult. Cp. Jarad-gavah, he who has an old cow.
2. Mayi srjate sarvam etat.
Read this Upanishad.

Sandilya Upanishad, included in the Atharva-Veda.

Vedas: comprise the four Vedas (the Rik, Yajur, Sâma and Atharva) and the hundred -and-eight Upanishads, containing the philosophical part, and the supplement, the 'fifth Veda' to it: the eighteen Purânas with the S'rîmad Bhâgavatam as the Bhagavata Purâna, the Mahâbhârata (of which the Bhagavad Gîtâ is a part), the Vedânta-sûtra. The avatâra Vyâsadeva propounded five thousand years ago in it the spiritual knowledge, which was originally delivered by Krishna Himself handed down by oral tradition (to the vedic scriptures belong all paramparâ-literatures, like the Ramâyana, the Bhakti-rasâmrita-sindhu, the Caitanya-caritâmrita etc.).
- Originally by Vyâsa in four divided spiritual inheritance of the vedic culture (see S.B. 12.6: 48-49).
- Rik or Rigveda: the prayers; 1028 verses about sacrificing to the gods and the creation of man out of the Purusha;
- Yajur: hymns for oblations; the mantras of the lunar culture,
- Sâma: songs of same prayers and hymns in meters for singing accompanying the sacrifices;
- Atharva-veda: mystical hymns on body/world maintenance and destruction, in order to explain them to civilized society.

Later literature, the purânas (Gîtâ, Bhâgavata, Mahâbhârat) are considered the fifth Veda.

- One also speaks sometimes of the three Vedas, of which the Rig-veda is considered the most original, not mentioning the by some later said to be added Atharva-veda with the mystical hymns. The threefold division in vedic principles in this context refers to upâsanâ: sacrifice, song and prayer; karma: fruitive labor and jñâna: spiritual knowledge.
- Each of the Vedas has two portions both being termed s'ruti, revelation orally communicated by the deity, and heard but not composed or written down by men;

1. Mantra, the words of prayer and adoration often addressed either to fire or to some form of the sun or to some form of the air, sky, wind, and praying for health, wealth, long life, cattle, offspring, victory, and even forgiveness of sins.

2. Brâhmana, consisting of vidhi and artha-vâda: directions for the detail of the ceremonies at which the mantras were to be used and explanations of the legends connected with the mantras.

- The mantras are with the three Vedas in three forms :

1. Rig, which are verses of praise in metre , and intended for loud recitation.
2. Yajur, which are in prose, and intended for recitation in a lower tone at sacrifices.
3. Sâman, which are in metre, and intended for chanting at the Soma or Moon-plant ceremonies.

The Mantras of the fourth or Atharva-veda have no special name. While borrowing largely from the Rig-veda are the Yajur-veda and Sâma-veda in fact not so much collections of prayers and hymns as special prayer- and hymn-books intended as manuals for the Adhvaryu and Udgâtri priests respectively (ritvik). But the atharva mantras borrow little from the Rig-veda being a real collection of original hymns mixed up with incantations; they have no direct relation to sacrifices, but are supposed by mere recitation to produce long life, cure diseases, ruin enemies and such.

- To the brâhmana portion two other departments of Vedic literature grew, sometimes included under the general name Veda:

1) The sûtras; the strings of aphoristic rules
2) TheUpanishads; the mystical treatises on the nature of God and the relation of soul and matter which were appended to the Âranyakas, and became the real Veda of thinking Hindus, leading to the Darshanas or systems of philosophy.

- Veda also means feeling, perception; finding, obtaining, acquisition; property, goods; to weave or bind together a tuft or bunch of strong grass made into a broom or to serve another purpose in vedic sacrifices like mats or fuel for a fire.


Vyâsadeva: (lit.: 'the compiler, the godhead who assembled the verses'), Krishna Dvaipâyana Vyâsadeva, also called Bâdarâyana. He is the Lord, the bhagavân, amongst the philosophers, who in India assembled all the holy texts. He arranged the Vedas, the basic books (s'ruti) with the mantras for the rituals, the wisdom and the hymns and wrote the Mahâbhârata, the greatest epic poem in the world describing the history (itihâsa) of the great fall that the vedic culture once made. The Bhagavad Gîtâ, is a part of it. Vyâsa also wrote the rest of the eighteen great Bibles (the purânas, of which the most complete and important purâna is the S'rîmad Bhâgavatam) of India as well as the Brahma-sûtra, his masterpiece on the Absolute Truth.

Garga: One of the greatest sages of the puranic times. Garga was the son of rishi Bharadwaja and Susheela. He was better known as Garga Muni. He was the family priest of the family of Nanda (the foster-father of Krishna). He named Krishna as "Krishna" after receiving the name by meditation. (see S.B. 10:8).

Brahma-sûtras: scripture of Vyâsadeva about the impersonal nature of God. Because the impersonal did not satisfy him urged Nârada him to write the S'rîmad Bhâgavatam. [see Brahma Sûtra and the Brahma Sûtra by VEDA]


Mâyâ: (not-this; what is not): that what is not, the deluding quality of the material is, also called mahâ-mâyâ; separateness from Krishna).
- Because of her does, by identifying itself with the deluding material energy (ahamkâra), the individual soul think itself the lord and supreme enjoyer over the creation; that is to say: with the body (the senses), the mind and the material intelligence, with the consequence of losing the eternal bond (svarûpa) with the Lord, the thus conditioned soul indulges in the pursuit of worldly pleasure and gets because of this more and more entangled in the cycle of birth and death (samsâra).
- Bewilderment; the forgetfulness about one's relation with Krishna.

Loka: planet, star, world, abode. Divided in fourteen: five higher ones, one of the atmosphere, the earth and seven lower ones.
- Tri-bhuvana: the three worlds of heaven, hell and purgatory.
- In three the worlds of the earth, the atmosphere and heaven: Bhûr, Bhuvah Svah.

Aristotle: The teachings of Aristotle and Sai Baba on virtue and ethics - By George Bebedelis.

Thyagaraja: 18th and 19th century mystic singer/composer. Leader in Karnatak tradition of classical Indian music. Born in Thanjavur District of South India. [read more about his life].


Vemana: is a Telugu poet. He has composed numerous poems in Telugu in Aata Veladhi metre which consists of four lines; but the fourth line, with some exceptions, is a mere refrain or chorus in these words Viswadabhirama Vinura Vema. Vemana's style is simple and his poems deal with various social problems and they propose some solutions too. He expresses the feelings of a social reformer and many of his poems criticises and awakens the ardent followers of the old traditions. Many lines of Vemana's poems managed to become colloquial phrases of the Telugu language. All poems end with the signature line Viswadhaabhi Raama, Vinura Vema. There are also many interpretions of what the last line signifies. It is commonly believed that Viswadha was his lover and neglected other responsibilities in his youth and later realised and became a saint and poet. He is also known as Yogi Vemana. Though Vemana Satakam (literally means collection of 100 poems though he actually wrote a couple of thousands) is very famous in Telugu literature relatively very less is known about the actual poet. The poems were collected and published by C.P.Brown. His poems are of many kinds, social, moral, satirical and mystic nature. All of the vemana poems are in Ataveladi (dancing lady) meter. Vemana was a capu (Reddy) and native of Cuddapah district and believed to have lived in Gandikota area of the district but there is no unanimous agreement among scholars about the period of Vemana. C.P.Brown who did extensive work on Vemana in his preface to English translation Verses of Vemana states that the date of birth Vemana states in verse 707 to be Vemana's date of birth. The cyclical date of Hindu calendar coincides with 1652. Brown also adds that from the examination of his works it is satisfactorily proven that vemana wrote in the later part of 17th century. [Verses of Vemana translated from Telugu in English by C.P. Brown, 1829]


S'ankarâcârya (Sankara): vedântic philosopher and translator of the Gîtâ (lived 788 -820 A.D., but to tradition 200 B.C.). He revived brahmanism preaching the oneness of the soul with Brahman; his learning and sanctity were in such repute that he, also performing miracles, was held an incarnation of lord S'iva in his defending the impersonal aspect of Krishna's teaching. His philosophy is often ranked as s'ankarism under the impersonalists and together with the voidism of the buddhists fought by the vaishnavas as a mâyâvâda threat to their personalist approach and defense of the classical order of the Indian society. S'ankara also himself contributed with his defense of vedic culture against the buddhists.
- His four principal disciples were Padma-pâda, Hastâmalaka, Sures'vara or Mandana, and Trothaka; another of his disciples, Ânanda-giri, wrote a history of his controversial exploits, called S'ankara-vijaya.
- Tradition makes him the founder of one of the principal Saiva sects, the Das'ana-nâmi-Dandins or 'Ten-named Mendicants'.
- He is the reputed author of a large number of original works, such as the Âtma-bodha, Ânanda-lahari, Jñâna-bodhinî, Mani-ratna-mâlâ; and commentaries on the Upanishads, the Brahma-mimâmsâ or Vedânta-sûtra, the Bhagavad-gîtâ, and the Mâhâbharata.


Werner Heisenberg

Rabindranath Tagore

Fritjof Capra


Râma Rahasya Upanishad: In the Atharvaveda there are two Upanishads, one called the Rama Tapini Upanishad, which glorifies the name of Sri Rama, and another called the Rama Rahasya Upanishad, where several Rama Mantras are revealed for the first time.
The greatness of Sri Rama's life is that it is an intensely human story, where the Lord had assumed the human form, and shown us the correct path of rectitude which we should adopt in the day to day conduct of our lives. Apart from its sacred appeal, Sri Rama as a human being has an unique appeal, in which his character as an ordinary mortal with an uncompromising adherence to the correct code of conduct at the cost of anything that may happen to him, serves as a beacon light of guidance for us. The  reactions of Sri Rama to any set of circumstances, whether they be prosperous or adverse, are themselves a guide of conduct for ourselves in our human interrelations. The character of Sri Rama progresses stage by stage as the story of Sri Rama unveils itself. The brotherly affection of Lakshmana to Rama, the fidelity of Sita to Rama, and the adherence to his father's word of honor by Rama, even at the cost of his own kingdom, and his adherence to the great Dharma of a true warrior in warfare, where he would not kill his enemy Ravana when he was disarmed, but asked him to go and come the next day fully prepared and armed, his adherence to the demands of social customs so that even Sita herself had to demonstrate her fidelity by such a terrific ordeal like the fire ordeal etc., all show a humanness of approach to the problem of life, and steadfast adherence to the rules of ethics, that they move us even to this day by their essentially human appeal. In addition to all these, Sri Ramachandra, with Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman has been the theme of innumerable poets and has been the object of veneration and devotion of thousands of devotees. The numerous Rama Bhaktas like Kabir, Ramadas,
Thyagaraja, Ramagopanna and Purandharadasa, etc. were so much over - whelmed by the intensity of their devotion to the Lord, that they lost themselves in rapture and have given expression to their mystic joy in uncomparable verse and music.


Nagaswaram flute - Belongs to the woodwind family known as a "Mangala Vadya" (lit. "mangala" means auspicious, vadya - instrument) since it is played in temples, processions, festivals and auspicious occasions like marriages, etc. It is a double reed instrument with a conical bore which gradually enlarges toward the lower end. It is usually made of a type of ebony. The top portion has a metal staple (called "Mel Anaichu") into which is inserted a small metallic cylinder (called "Kendai") which carries the mouthpiece made of reed. Besides spare reeds, a small ivory or horn needle is attached to the Nagaswaram.

This needle is used to clear the mouthpiece of saliva particles and allows the free passage of air. A metallic bell (called "Keezh anaichu") decorates the bottom. The Nagaswaram has seven finger-holes. There are five additional holes drilled at the bottom which are used as controllers. The Nagaswaram has a range of two and a half octaves like the flute. The system of fingering is similar to that of the flute. But unlike the flute, where semi and quarter tones are produced by the partial opening and closing of the finger holes, in the Nagaswaram they are produced by adjusting the pressure and strength of the air-flow into the pipe. Hence it is a very exacting instrument. Also, due to its intense volume and strength it is basically an outdoor instrument and much more suited for open spaces than for closed indoor concert situations.


Ramâyana: ('the path of Râma') the epic written by Vâlmîki on the avatâra S'rî Râma who in His youth was banned to the forest with Sîtâ, His wife, takes it up against Râvana, a demoniac ruler and thus obtained His kingdom (see links).

Nagara-sankîrtan: Gather together in the hours before dawn, and walk slowly along the streets, singing Bhajans glorifying God. Carry the Name to every doorstep. Wake up the sleeping. Purify the air polluted by day-long angry shouts of hate and greed, faction and fear. What greater service can you render than this - beginning the day with the Name of God and helping others to remember Him? (see also SSS-III-World at Prayer & Purify the world by Sankîrtana - divine discourse by Swami on 3-3-1992)


Jayadeva: S'rî Jayadeva Gosvâmî: was the court pandit of Sri Lakshman Sena, the King of Bengal. Jayadeva's father was Bhojadeva, and his mother's name was Bamadevi. They lived in the Birbhum district of what is now West Bengal in a village called Kenubilva Gram. He was born at the beginning of the twelfth centrury AD.

Jayadeva Goswami's wife was named Sri Padmavati. When he was the court pandit of Lakshman Sena, he lived on the banks of the Ganges. Approximately three hundred years before the appearance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Jayadeva Goswami lived in Bengal. He was the author of Sri Gita Govinda, which is mentioned by Krishnadas Kaviraja Goswami in the Caitanya Caritamrita as follows (CC ML 2/11): "Day and night, in the company of Svarupa Damodara and Ramananda Raya, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu used to hear with great ecstasy the songs of Vidyapati and Chandidas, as well as a drama composed by Ramananda Raya. He also used to relish hearing the Krishna-Karnamrita and the Gita-Govinda. In his introduction, Jayadeva says that the Gita Govinda is a scripture describing the intimate pastimes of Sri Radha and Govinda. It may be worshiped and served by those who are extremely qualified in devotional piety. For those who are constantly remembering the rasik pastimes of Sri Hari within his mind, Sri Jayadeva has composed this divine poetic song glorifying the Lord's internal pastimes. He requests the topmost spiritually advanced souls to hear it with gravity and attention."

There are many many traditional stories regarding the life of Sri Jayadeva. The following story is generally accepted as authoritative. One day, Sri Jayadeva Goswami was composing a particulary sensitive section of the Gita-Govinda, describing Krishna's relationship with the gopis headed by Radharani. He meditated deeply on what he had written and became concerned that he had perhaps gone too far in describing the exalted character of the gopis. What he had written seemed to represent Krishna's position as being, in a sense, subordinate to that of the gopis. And yet Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. How could he be subordinate to the gopis? He had been inspired to pen a line stating that Krishna bows down to touch the lotus feet of Sri Radha. But his hand shrank from the page. He hesitated thinking, "How can I commit such an idea to writing? How can I have the audacity to put such a thing it in black and white?"

At that time he decided to go bathe in the Ganges, in hopes that perhaps some inspiration would come to him. Jayadeva Goswami went off to take his afternoon bath, leaving his wife Padmavati behind to cook the offering for the Deities.

While he was away, Krishna arrived at his house in the dress of Jayadeva. Krishna went over to Jayadeva's writing desk, and there found the sheaves of palm upon which the Gita-Govinda was written. Krishna picked up Jayadeva's pen and wrote the verse with the line "dehi padapallava-mudaram," wherein it says "Krishna bows down his head to the lotus feet of Sri Radha." With this Krishna, disguised as Jayadeva, sat down and took the prasadam prepared by Padmavati. After finishing his prasadam, Krishna stepped outside and vanished.

Just at that time, Jayadeva returned from bathing at the Ganges. When he asked about prasadam, his wife was perplexed. When she told Jayadeva what had just happened, Jayadeva was astonished. He went over to his book and saw there in wet ink the verse he had thought of writing before he had gone to bathe in the Ganges: dehi padapallavam udaram: Krishna bows down his head to the lotus feet of Sri Radha.

Upon seeing that verse he said to Padmavati, "It is a miracle! See here: what I told you I was reluctant to write has been written here exactly as I thought of it." Tears of ecstasy flowed in rivers from his eyes as he understood the mystery of what had just transpired. "Padmavati!" he said, "You are most fortunate. Krishna Himself has written the line, ?dehi padapallavam udaram?, and accepted prasadam from your own hand."

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has written that although Chandidasa, Vidyapati, Bilvamangala, and Jayadeva lived before Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was externally manifest within this world, Caitanya Mahaprabhu's conception of bhakti had arisen within their hearts and was expressed in their writings.

Besides the Gita Govinda, Jayadeva Gowsami has written another book called "Chandraloka". The famous "Dasa-Avatara-Gita", describing the ten avatars of Vishnu is from Gita-Govinda.

Jayadeva Goswami's disappearance day is on Pausha-Sankranti. At present, at Jayadeva's birthplace in Kendubiva Gram, there is a festival every year on this day which is known as the Jayadeva Mela. [taken from Vaishnava Saints].

Jayadeva Gosvâmî is the composer of the following three beautiful Krishna bhajans: S'rî Nrisimha Pranâma, S'rîta Kamala and the wonderful bhajan S'rî Das'âvatâra Stotra - glorifying the eleven Vishnu avatâras. These three can be listened to and sing along at Krishna Bhajans at S'rîmad Bhâgavatam.


Nârada Muni: a great devotee of the Lord, who freely moves about in the spiritual and material world to disseminate the glories of the Lord (is also considered an avatâra and named bhagavân). His story is explained in S.B. 1.5: 23-31. He was cursed by Daksha for spoiling the youths with his pleading for the renounced order in S.B. 6.5, his previous life he explains in S.B. 7.15:69-77, the canto consisting entirely of his instructions.
- First among the devotees, patron of the devotees. Purely transcendental personality, teacher of Vyâsadeva, pupil of Brahmâ. Known for his vînâ (stringed instrument).
- He incited Vyâsadeva to write the Bhâgavatam.
- He is counted among the ten sons of Brahmâ, the mahârishis.
Nârada Bhakti Sûtras


S'rî Ramakrishna Paramahamsa


St. Augustine

Sir Arthur Eddington

Sir James Jeans


Upanishads: the underlying mystery, the secret doctrine. Philosophical part of the Vedas, a hundred-eight in number meant to comprehend the personal nature of the Absolute Truth. In the S'rîmad Bhâgavatam they are summarized in 10.87.


Interview to group of journalists from Mumbai, published in The Times of India, 12th March, 1999. [Reproduced verbatim]

Sri Sathya Sai Baba is easily one of the most popular spiritual leaders of contemporary India. He has attracted a following which runs into crores cutting across barriers of caste, language, region and nation. He shot into fame because of the miracles performed by Him, specifically His ability to materialise the holy ash and other material things from out of thin air.

The rationalists consistently targeted Him. But, Baba, as He is referred to both of reverence and affection by his devotees, only emerged stronger from these controversies. Today, the 74-year-old Baba is known for working out miracles of a different kind. Miracles in the form of a super speciality hospital where free treatment is given or a massive drinking water scheme in the parched hinterland of Andhra Pradesh or a massive educational complex.

The high and the mighty of the land touch His feet and seek His blessings, so do ordinary people from all walks of life. Baba gives them all the same message of love. He has never given an interview to a journalist in the past 25 years. But, recently, He spoke to S. Balakrishnan and a group of journalists from Mumbai in a small room at His ashram in Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh.

Questioner: How do you relate yourself to Saibaba of Shirdi?

Swami: This body has not seen him.

Questioner: Indians are increasingly turning to godmen and godwomen. Is this a sign of growing insecurity within them? Or is it something else?

Swami: This is basically a search for God. The Divine is there within each person. The search is for this divinity. God realisation cannot be seen as a sign of insecurity. It is a positive aspiration to be one with God. It is a good sign.

Questioner: Even as mankind is relentlessly searching for God, he finds himself engulfed by more and more misery. What is the reason for this state of affairs?

Swami: Attachment to the body is the root cause of all suffering and misery. Once this attachment ends, then one can experience divine bliss. There is no doubt about that. Since God does not have any bodily attachment, he does not attach any importance to the suffering of His body.

Questioner: What is the best way to serve God?

Swami: Serve the poor, the weak, the downtrodden and the underprivileged. There is divinity in each of us, hence love and serve fellow human beings selflessly. Give those around you pure love. Religion can be best pursued through the axiom, "Dil mein Ram, Haath mein Kaam."

There is only one religion - the religion of love;
one caste - the caste of humanity;
one language - the language of the heart;
one law - the law of Karma;
and there is only one God - He is omnipresent.

All of us should remember these simple yet profound truths. These truths lead us to God.

Questioner: Is there no escape from human misery?

Swami: It is all Karma. The need is to adopt the path of righteousness. One should surrender oneself to the Almighty.

Questioner: Why do you perform miracles like materialising a ring, a medallion, a necklace, vibhuti and other objects? What are you trying to prove by performing these miracles?

Swami: Chamatkaar or miracle is a cheap word for what I do. A magician performs his tricks to earn a livelihood and worldly fame. But, I materialise these talismans as my visiting cards, as evidence that divinity can transform earth into the sky and vice versa. To doubt this is to betray an inability to grasp the grandeur of the universe. I get lot of satisfaction while gifting these talismans to my devotees.

Questioner: The suffering millions flock to you. They want to pass on their problems and suffering to you. How much of these suffering can you take on?

Swami: I am only performing a Divine mission.

Questioner: How do you spend your day?

Swami: My day begins with granting darshan to my devotees, interviews to people, bhajans, attending to all projects taken up for human welfare. Same cycle is repeated from post noon till evening. Although I know the contents of all letters which I receive, I read all of them for the Trupti or satisfaction of my devotees.

I avoid milk, green fruits, dry fruits, sweets, ghee, butter, tea, coffee, etc. I take a skimpy meal of ragi and green grams. For the past 60 years my weight has remained unchanged at 108 pounds. When the world sleeps, I go to my devotees, give them my vision, comfort them, console them and solve their problems. I willingly take on the sufferings of my devotees on myself.

Questioner: Have you gone abroad any time?

Swami: Yes, only once - to East Africa, that too because of the pure love of a devotee, who is no more now. I did not go at the invitation of the government.

Questioner: Do you have any plans to visit foreign nations and spread your message?

Swami: No. Where there is sugar, the ants come there; the sugar does not go chasing after the ants. My first task is to clean up our own country first, then go to other countries.

Questioner: You wield enormous influence over the top politicians of the country. Why don't you impress on them the need to inculcate values in public life? If this is done, India will be a much better place.

Swami: Politicians have a choice to pursue good or bad governance; they do covet power with a frenzy. But I tell them that:

Politics without principles,
Science education without character,
And commerce without morality,
Are not only useless,
But can prove to be positively dangerous
And harm people at large.

Questioner: Do you read newspapers?

Swami: I never read them. Even though I do not read any newspaper, I am aware about everything that is happening round the globe. What is necessary today is that the newspapers should be more careful and responsible in their reporting. Publishing of sensational and baseless news must be avoided. No negative and baseless reporting, specially of those at the helm of affairs of the country, should be done since it has lot of repercussions abroad. If there are any doubts, then they should be cleared after free and frank discussions with the persons concerned. Truth should not be compromised under any circumstance.

Questioner: You are the chancellor of the Sathya Sai University and you attach tremendous importance to education. Why do you think that education in India has now become a mechanical exercise?

Swami: This is because that education has been divorced from values. Education bereft of values is meaningless. The need is to restore values to education.

Questioner: What are your views on different political parties in India?

Swami: All parties do good work as well as bad; the problem lies with ourselves. We should insist on principles.

Questioner: Who will lead the Sathya Sai movement after you?

Swami: My devotees. God will continue to guide them.

Reproduced verbatim from The Times of India, 12th March, 1999




About Narayana Kasturi