Chapter 5.2 from "Study Circles for Divinity"
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5.2 FEAR

WISE SAYINGS FROM DIFFERENT FAITHS

"The monk who sees the fear that heedlessness brings, makes heedfulness his theme  -  and, burning all bonds both great and small, he rises, like the flames, to the bliss supreme."    Buddha

"And fear not them that kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."    Jesus Christ

"Completely serene and fearless, steadfast in the vow of a Brahmachari ( a disciple), and ever thinking of Me, he should sit in yoga, regarding Me as the Supreme Soul."    Sri Krishna

"Everyone is terrorised by punishment, the fear of death torments one and all;  -  think, therefore of yourself as another, and destroy none, nor cause to destroy anyone at all."    Buddha

FROM DISCOURSES OF SAI BABA

REASON FOR FEAR

Why is man afflicted today with fear and anxiety? Are we to search for the reasons outside us or do they lie within us?  The reason lies in the false emphasis we have laid on things of the material world, ignoring things of the spirit. (280475)

When you forget your Self, when you forget the Atma, you will suffer from fear. When you remember only the world and not God, you will suffer from fear. When you are filled with desires and attachments, you will suffer from fear. When you are deluded by objects, you will suffer from fear. (Dis on BG 207)

When you have here, the very Embodiment of Love, as your dearest treasure, why welcome into your heart the waves of hatred, faction, fear and doubt? Why turn them into volcanoes of cruelty and wickedness, when they can smile as green valleys of fragrant flowers? When you have fear in you, the reaction of fear greets you. When you have hatred in you, it resounds from all whom you come across. All around you echo the sentiments that you carry in your own heart - you become what you yourself feel. (230271)

You believe you are the husk, but really you are the kernel. That is the main mistake. All spiritual practice must be directed to the removal of the husk and the revelation of the kernel. So long as you say, "I am", there is bound to be fear, but, once you say and feel, "I am Brahman, Aham Brahmasmi", you get unconquerable strength. (140164)

You do not remember that you are really and genuinely Peace and Bliss, that you are fundamentally (and therefore, normally too) Truth, Eternal and Pure. The anxiety and fear which haunt you now are caused by this loss of memory. The intention of the Lord is that you should have peace and bliss, every moment of your life; but, you forget the springs that well up within you, that have their source in the Divinity enshrined in your heart, and pine for what you feel you have not. (061263)

Your faith in the omnipresent is the key to developing fearlessness. Only when you lose faith will you develop fear; only when you forget your true Self will fear arise. You have forgotten your own true nature; you have forgotten the Atma. You are considering yourself to be this little five-foot body, but the truth is that you are infinite in form and that your power is unlimited. When you make an effort to remove the delusions and get a vision of the Atma, you become merged in a state of perfect equilibrium; then you can call yourself a real human being. (Dis on BG 200)

The Lord is the unseen foundation on which your life is built. He is the source, sustenance and strength. Without His will, no leaf can turn, no blade of grass can quiver. What firmer foundation can you desire than this? Once you know that the Lord, the Omnipotent Power, is the mainspring of your life, there will be no fear any more. When you suspect the strength of the foundation of a house, you are afraid to enter it; when you suspect the skill of the manufacturer, you are nervous to ride in the car. Bhisma and other devotees as well as Sankara and other wise ones knew that the Lord is the basis, and so they had no fear at all. But that faith has not taken root  in men today and so, this has become an age of fear and anxiety, of no peace. (081264)

DEVELOP FEARLESSNESS

Of all the great virtues, fearlessness occupies the place of primary importance. It is the ideal virtue. Unless you have fearlessness, you will never be able to live comfortably. Be it in the secular field in the battle of life in the world, or be it in your struggles in the realm of the spirit, you must never leave room for fear to creep in; it should find no place in your life. When a person is obsessed with fear he becomes extremely timid. He won't be able to accomplish even the smallest job. Once a man is full of fear he cannot shine in the world. Therefore, the Bhagavad Gita has taught that one should become totally fearless. Fearlessness cannot be considered as just the absence of fear. They are not the same. Both fear and absence of fear are associated with body-consciousness. Absence of fear can sometimes be foolish, such as when the body is threatened with harm. But fearlessness, on the other hand, is beyond body-consciousness. It can be experienced only when one recognises the truth of the one Divinity without a second, resident in full measure in every heart. (Dis on BG 193)

Of all the fears of man, the fear of death is the fiercest as well as the most foolish. For, none can escape death having committed the error of birth. To get rid of the wheel of birth and death, awareness of the undying unborn Self which is one's Reality is the only method available to man. (210573)

How fascinating is the face of the baby, resting on the lap of the mother! It has no fear in its eyes; it has joy on its lips. It is full of peace. It is unaffected by those evil forces - envy, greed, anger and hatred - that rob man of his peace and joy. It has no egoistic desire, no anxiety to impress or to show off. It has no plans for the future, no regrets for the past. Its faith  in the love and strength of the mother is so unshakeable, that even if the sky were to collapse and fall, its calmness would not be disturbed.

Why is it that when the baby grows into adolescence and manhood, this calmness and this joy disappear, giving place to fear, anxiety and hatred? The reason is to be found in the overpowering effect of the senses and their clamour for being catered to. Again, man today tends to see only the 'many'; he casts aside the vision of the One and encounters , as a result, competition and conflict, disappointment and despair. (231178)

DEVELOP PEACE

When the One is realised, there can be no fear. For how can the One fear itself?  There can also be no desire, for when there is no second, how can the desire to possess arise? Neither can there be envy, hatred, greed, pride or any of the evil passions that torment man and allow him no peace. The awareness of the One ensures unshaken tranquillity, Peace. (160277)

There is infinite power inherent in the human heart. But despite such power, man does not have faith in himself. What is the reason for this? The reason is that he feels separate, and he believes that he is different from the Divinity, which, in truth, is always inside him as his very core. This same Divinity pervades the entire universe. When you develop a firm faith in God, you will never have any fear whatsoever; you will recognise that the God you worship is the One who is present everywhere in everyone and in everything, and also in yourself. That belief will remove all vestige of fear from your heart. (Dis on BG 200)

Get over fear by establishing your mind in the One, for, fear can arise only when there is another. When the truth is known that it is a rope, faith in its harmlessness is made firm, and fear that it is a snake disappears. (080371)

Fear is only a delusion created by the mind; lack of fear is also a delusion created by the mind. Mistaking one thing for another leads to fear; recognising the mistake and rectifying it, leads to the removal of fear. Fearlessness is not associated with these two at all. Fearlessness is a permanent state where there is no question of ever experiencing any fear. A person with fearlessness is continuously aware of his own reality; for him to become subject to fear would be impossible. You should not consider this quality of fearlessness as just the absence of fear. In fearlessness one is not aware of any second entity. One gets fear only when there exists a second object; but for one who has fearlessness there is never any second at all. Therefore, fearlessness is associated with unity consciousness; it refers to non-duality, where there can be no two, but always just the one. Only when you are in such a state of non-duality will you be truly fearless. (Dis on BG 207)

Man is truly incapable of fear, he is the embodiment of Love; he is a child of immortality; he is the temple of God. That is the essence of Vedic teaching, as found in the Upanishads. (270365)

Believe that Love is God, Truth is God. Love is Truth, Truth is Love; for it is only when you love that you have no fear. If you have no fear, you will adhere to Truth. the mirror of Love reflects the Atma in you and reveals to you that the Atma is universal, immanent in every being. (250758)

WHY FEAR

When the mind weds worldly activity, the progeny is bondage; when it weds spiritual renunciation, the progeny is freedom. Spiritual renunciation confers fearlessness, even while you accept a little of it. It gives strength and courage, for, it is desire that weakens man and makes him cringe before those in authority and with influence. Detachment endows you with self-respect, and the capacity to stand up to slander and calumny. There are some who weep at the slightest sign of defeat or disappointment. This is despicable behaviour.

Why should you have fear or sorrow, with the Lord installed in the altar of your heart? He is in all beings, at all times. Endeavour to remember this fact whatever you may be doing, whoever you may be contacting, in whatever manner. You will succeed in this, provided you do not give up the recitation of His Name. (241065)

OVERCOME FEAR

Do not feed the roots of attachment to worldly comforts, more than is absolutely necessary. They lead only to anxiety and fear; they can never satisfy the innermost craving of man. Lead them into the path of devotion and dedication; that will be for them the path of contentment and joy.

Emphasise the universal Ocean of God; encourage prayer, meditation, quiet contemplation of the grandeur and glory of God, reflected in Nature; repetition of the name of the Lord; encourage silence and solitude, for the sake of introspection and contact with the springs of joy inherent in man. (041165)

When you have the very Embodiment of Fearlessness installed in your heart, why should the slightest tremor of fear affect you? If others do not join, for fear of derision or ridicule, move out alone, singing the Name. You came into this world alone, with no companion, isn't it? (130170)

It is said that a person charged with fear dies every step of the way, while a fearless person dies only once. "Therefore," Krishna told Arjuna, "give up your fear and become completely fearless!" Only a fearless person can achieve victory in great undertakings. A person who is truly fearless will have detachment from all the objects of the world and be saturated with the love of God. On the other hand, one who is egoistic about his body and his worldly accomplishments will be charged with fear. Attachments to the worldly objects and egoism will never be entertained by a person who is free from fear. (Dis on BG 193)

A hermit once met the cholera Goddess on the road, returning from a village where she had thinned the population. He asked her how many she had taken into her lap. She replied, "Only ten". But, really speaking, the casualties were a hundred. She explained "I killed only ten; the rest died out of fear!" Man is Self embodied; that is, fearlessness embodied. If he knows his real nature, he will give no room for weakness or cowardice. (170264)

Control the mind and regulate the impulses emanating from it by means of a clarified intelligence. These are primary requisites for a happy life. Keep the name of God ever on the tongue and the glory of God ever in the memory; seek the company of the good and the godly. With these prescriptions, if you follow, you can be free from anxiety, fear and falsehood. (170373)

Modern civilisation is based on competition in which the interests of the individual precede the interests of society. Therefore, fear haunts men wherever they turn, fear of poverty, fear of death and destruction of property. The mind urges the senses to seek and secure softness, sweetness, fragrance, melody and beauty, not in God whose heart is soft as butter, whose story is sweet as nectar, whose renown is fragrant as the jasmine, whose praise is melodious to the ear, whose form is the embodiment of perfect beauty, but, in the shoddy contraptions of material things.  So, the mind has to die, so that it may be recast as an instrument for Liberation, through fulfilment. (141165)

Man can have no fear when he negates his objective composition, declaring "I am not the body, the sense, the mind or the intellect". (211179)

Embodiments of the Divine Atma! The world situation today is dreadful and frightening. Wherever you turn, fear confronts you. Whether you remain at home or go out into the street, whether you travel by train or walk on the road, fear haunts you. The world is enveloped in fear. If you want to banish this fear, you have to develop firm faith in God as the sole refuge. Then you are freed from fear. Shedding all fear, carry on your work with courage and determination, without any worry about the future, and plunge into service activities. If you act with this faith, you will be able to serve the nation well. It is not your intellectual ability that will serve to protect the country. If you adhere to Truth and Righteousness, they will protect both you and the country. Live up to the truth of your being. Act righteously. (191190)

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