Art With Heart…

Living in Prasanthi Nilayam for many years, listening to countless discourses and reading a number of books do not ensure necessary transformation, says Bhagawan praising high of devotees from overseas nations for their little ‘knowledge’ but greater transformation… From Bhagawan’s Divine discourse on 11 July 1995.

The overseas devotees who have come here are affluent people. ‘Why have they come here? They are like patients who go to a hospital for their ailments. All of them suffer from some kind of illness or other, mental or physical. All are victims of some kind of mental illness. They have all come for the medicine of peace, joy, and happiness. Wherefrom is this peace to be got? It cannot be got from outside. It is within oneself. The disease has arisen within because of bad qualities. Every person’s physical, mental and spiritual health is ruined by bad qualities; bad thoughts and bad feelings. Hence, cultivate good thoughts, good feelings and good attitudes. Expel every bad thought as it arises in the mind.

You cannot relish food that is not tasty. Should you not try to impart sweet taste to your life which spans several decades? How to impart that taste? By constant contemplation on God. Life is made tasty by good thoughts and good actions. All those who wish to pursue the spiritual path must begin with getting rid of bad thoughts and bad practices and start transforming their lives.

People ask: how are we to cultivate a broad attitude? The answer is: get rid of the artificial barriers you have raised between yourself and others. These barriers create narrow and limited loyalties and prevent you from enjoying an all-embracing bliss. Enlarge your horizon. Expand your vision. This is the true spiritual exercise for you.

During the past three days, devotees from many countries have presented a blissful programme of the kind which cannot be seen anywhere else in the world. They would not have come on the invitation of any government. Even if they had come you would not have experienced the kind of bliss you have enjoyed here. This is an example of the relationship between an object and its image. It is because of the bliss within the artists, they could generate that bliss in the audience. They have come from their respective countries filled with devotion and in their singing and dance they completely forgot themselves. This kind of performance would not be possible by artists who expect rewards. The devotees did not come merely with art, but they came with their hearts. (Cheers) Their “art” is filled with “heart”.

Some of them were oblivious to their bodies in their performances. They were forgetful of their native countries—whether Russia, or America, or Germany, or Africa. This is real “Samadhi” (the state of spiritual ecstasy). Samadhi is not falling into a trance or some state of unconsciousness. These may be caused by hysteria or antic of the imagination.

“Samadhi” means equal mindedness; forgetting the body consciousness and being immersed in bliss (Ananda). These devotees demonstrated this “Samadhi” and shared their bliss with thousands of others. Not only did they experience this bliss themselves, but they shared it with all. Can there be a greater penance (Tapas) than this? What greater Sadhana do you need? “Uddharet Atmana Atmanam”, says the Upanishads. Raise yourself and share that experience with others.

Those artists have been strictly adhering to the artistic traditions of their respective countries. In the Japanese dance yesterday, the priest (an old man) appeared to be shivering. He has all the strength, but when approaching the shrine and nearing the Emperor he displays extreme humility and reverence. They practise such supreme humility. Economically and technologically Japan is a highly advanced country. But see what humility and discipline they display!

Look at the Russians. Among Russians, there is a tendency to “rush”. But what complete self forgetfulness was displayed by the lady while she sang and danced? (Cheers). What ecstasy in her heart made her experience such joy? She was completely lost in her song and dance.

No one can tell what kind of experience one can have in a certain place at a certain time and in a certain situation. Altogether, what transformation has taken place in all those who came for the Global Festival! They came for the first time. But the transformation that has taken place in’ them cannot be seen in many who have been coming here for years and years. Many of you have listened to countless discourses and have read a lot of books. But, what is the change in you? None at all. You have remained where you are. If we examine further, many seem to have gone back rather than going forward. Hence, devotees should strive to put into practice at least a fraction of what they have seen and heard.

The lives of these overseas devotees appear exemplary. Though they have learnt little, the joy they derive from it is great. This is what is great about them. There are many here who know a great deal, but who practise very little of it.

Of what use is all the reading of scriptures and epics? Very little of it is put into practice. The overseas devotees know only a few things. An American artist declared: “Baba is my great Friend”. This means that he had developed this friendly attitude even before coming here. How did he accomplish it? Friendship towards the Lord is one of the nine forms of devotion. In the process of developing devotion, starting with listening to the glory of the Lord, friendship forms the penultimate stage before utter surrender to the Lord (“Atmanivedanam”). Every devotee must aspire to reach the stage of friendship (sneham). What kind of friendship is it? It is not something new. It is an old friendship. Only such friendship can bring about familiarity and intimacy with the Lord. You maintain formal relations with a friend. But, because God is an ancient friend, the devotee can experience an unrestrained intimacy (Cheers). When you recognise this truth, you can behave with natural ease and freedom towards God. You are free to confess your lapses to such a friend. You have to receive His counsel. You can then get your heart purified. Offering your sullied heart to the Lord is like presenting a soiled currency note to the Reserve Bank for getting a new one. A note which is not acceptable to others will be accepted by the Reserve Bank. Only God can accept it and replace it with a new one. Therefore, offer all your bad qualities to God and receive from Him all good qualities. Don’t pass on your bad qualities to others.

II Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II