Chapter 6.4 from "Study Circles for Divinity"
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6.4  MAN, NATURE AND GOD

WISE SAYINGS FROM DIFFERENT FAITHS

"To God belongs the East and the West; and wherever you turn, there is the Face of God. For God is Omnipresent, all-knowing. Yet they say God has begotten a son. Glory to God! No, to God belongs all in the heavens and the earth; everything is obedient to God.

God is the Originator of the heavens and the earth; and whenever God decrees anything, God says to it, "Be!" and it is."
   Mohammed

"Everything in the Universe glorifies God, for God is almighty, all wise."   Mohammed

"The grass and the trees and the wind and the waves, and the birds and the beasts, all sing and smile and laugh. Join in the chorus and do what whole Nature does."   
 
Zarathustra


"Nature is like a mighty balance holding in its scale an absolutely equal quantity of the opposite states of things. You cannot add a certain amount of one quality to one scale without, at the same time, adding an exactly corresponding amount of its opposite quality to the other. In the same manner, one cannot remove a certain amount of any trait from one scale without, at the same time, removing a corresponding amount of its opposite trait from the other."   
 
Zarathustra


FROM DISCOURSES OF SAI BABA

NATURE IS MANIFESTATION OF DIVINE

The cosmos is the magnificent manifestation of the Divine. When you direct your vision on this vast creation you are filled with awe and wonder. True education consists in understanding the inner meaning of this creation. (120788)

No one can comprehend or describe the glory and mystery of Nature. Nature is a reflection of the sport of the Divine. It is animated by the three gunas (characteristics), which are manifestations of the Trinity. God is nourishing and promoting Nature by using the three gunas in multifarious combinations and forms. The purpose of life is to experience the sacredness of Nature as a projection of the Divine. (281089)

Creation proclaims the will of the Lord. This means that the whole of creation is a manifestation of the Will of the Lord. Every being existing in Creation has necessarily to bear the qualities of the Divine. Man has taken birth in this world to manifest the Will of the Divine. A seed sprouts into a plant and puts forth a flower. The plant and its different constituents like branches and leaves are all the basis for the blossoming of the flower. God is the seed for the whole of creation. God is present in every human being as a seed, which sprouts into a plant, develops leaves and branches in the form of qualities and blossoms into the flower of Being-Awareness-Bliss. (120291)

While the Divine is all pervasive, man is failing to recognise it. He cannot grasp the air that surrounds him. He is unable to see the light that is within him. The Reality which you are seeking everywhere in the outside world is within you. The Supreme Lord is present inside and outside, everywhere in the cosmos. Man today looks only at the outside world like any animal. To look inward is the mark of the true human being. Obsessed with the external and losing the internal vision, man has forfeited his power of discrimination. (281089)

The Cosmos is a projection of the Eternal, Infinite Reality and is not separate from God. The universe is permeated by the Divine. When this truth is recognised, it will be obvious that all that one perceives or experiences is a manifestation of the Divine. (251287)

People ask "Where is God?" The answer is provided by Nature. Who is it that has created the five elements, the five life-breaths, the five sheaths, the five external sense organs and the five internal sense organs, which are all ceaselessly carrying out their functions according to their prescribed roles. The seasons in their regular cycle are teaching a lesson to man. Therefore Nature is the demonstrable proof for the existence of God. Nature is not under any obligation to any man; it operates according to the will of the Divine. (120788)



WHAT NATURE TEACHES

What is the lesson to be learnt from the observance of Nature? It is excellence in the performance of duty. It is because Nature ceaselessly performs its duty that the world is able to derive so many sacred benefits. (280590)

The trees provide cool shade and sweet fruits equally to all, whether they have fostered them or harmed them. They teach man this lesson of equal-mindedness. The mountains, by bearing heat and cold, wind and rain alike, teach man not to care too much for the body. The birds take no thought for the morrow and are content to live on what they can get. They teach man the lesson of contentment and indifference to the future. The departed convey the message of the impermanence of life and its pleasures. Nature thus teaches man in many ways to give up ideas of 'I' and 'mine' and look upon God as the supreme preceptor.

Although Nature has been teaching these lessons from the beginning of time, man has not learnt to give up the ideas of 'my people' and 'others' and to develop the sense of oneness and equality of mankind and realise his Divinity.
Trees are foremost among teachers. By attachment to the body and developing self-conceit, man forgets the lessons of Nature and wallows in selfishness. The mountains, by their indifference to cold or heat, are teaching man that he should bear joy or grief with an equal mind and strive to realise God. Pleasure and pain relate only to the body. The Atma (Soul) is unaffected. This is the lesson to be learnt from the mountains.

Nature, which is constantly teaching these lessons, is the true preceptor. The cosmos is a University. God is the Cause. The cosmos is the result. God pervades the entire Universe. Nothing can exist in the world without the power of the Divine. The Universe is a manifestation of the Divine. (180789)



EVOLUTION OF MATTER

What is the reason for the prevalence of animal qualities in man even after reaching the human level? It should be noted that it is after passing through many lives in other species of beings that one gets a human birth. Because of this fact, animal qualities appear in human beings. One person may be found leading an unsteady life, with his mind wavering all the time. He may make many efforts to achieve steadiness. But his fickleness and unsteadiness continue to grow. When you inquire into the reason for this, the answer is provided by the Veda. The man concerned had been a monkey in a previous birth and has inherited some of the simian qualities of fickleness and hopping from one thing to another from his past life. Similarly, when you find in some persons qualities such as lying, stealing, cowardice, or stupidity, they should be considered as hangovers from their previous animal lives. The means to get rid of such tendencies is to offer all one's actions to the Divine. The tendency to steal is present in mny persons. Stealing is a natural quality of the cat. Mental instability is a characteristic trait of the monkey. Stupidity is a trait of sheep. Obstinacy is a quality of the buffalo. These traits of the different animals are reflected in the actions of humans who have emerged from the respective animal state.

Fickleness, hatred, stealing or foolish stubbornness are not natural traits for man. The presence of these traits in man must be attributed to the legacy from previous births. The sacrifice which everyone has to make is the giving up of all bad qualities in him. (061089)

By being merely endowed with the human form, men do not become really human. The evolution from the animal to the human has taken millennia. The world is peopled today by billions of human beings. But how many of them display genuine human qualities? Man is still going through the birth-pangs of real human-ness. Only when human qualities are manifest can man claim to be truly human. In that human-ness there is Divinity. (110787)



NATURE IS FLEETING NOT REAL

We are seeing people being born and people dying. In spite of all that is seen, or heard or experienced, man is unable to get rid of the delusions relating to the body. Hence he is caught up in the coils of bodily attachments. He does not learn the lesson of the impermanence and fleeting nature of physical existence. (180789)

What you consider as real is unreal. What you think is unreal is the only Reality. God alone is the one eternal Reality. Do not forget this wholesome truth. What you regard as real in the waking state does not exist in the dream state. What you experience in the dream state has no reality in the waking state. If there can be such differences in two states of consciousness in a single day, it ill befits man to hug the ever-changing impermanent phenomenal existence, ignoring the eternal Reality. (061089)

You have to turn your mind from the mundane to the Divine, from Nature to Nature's God. By getting immersed in evanescent and impermanent worldly concerns, people are polluting their lives. Admittedly the phenomenal world presented by Nature is true. The Spirit is also Truth. Man's journey is not from untruth to Truth, but from a lesser truth to a higher Truth. Truth is only One. That Truth is God. (250689)



EXPLOITATION OF NATURE IS MISCONCEIVED

Man is born in this world but does not realise the purpose of his birth. Forgetting this purpose, he regards himself as the master of Nature and in his insane conceit forgets his own Divinity. He is unable to recognise that it is Nature that provides or takes away, that blesses or punishes, that Nature's sway is extensive. Nature presides over every aspect of life. In his deep involvement with mundane concerns man tends to forget his Divinity and what he owes to Nature. All things in creation are equal in the eyes of God. God is immanent in all of them. Hence God and Nature should not be regarded as distinct entities. They are inseparably inter-related like the object and its image. Man, however, looking at Nature externally, considers it as purely physical and intended to provide the amenities he seeks. (030988)

There is a legendary tale in which one greedy man killed the goose that laid the golden eggs thinking he can extract all the eggs from it in one lump. Such acts of folly are committed freely by scientists today by exploiting Nature's gifts beyond all limits, creating disastrous imbalances resulting in natural calamities such as earthquakes, spelling danger to humanity. We cannot blame science for this. Those who apply the scientific discoveries without discrimination are to be blamed for this. They fail to consider with deep deliberation the effects of excessive depletion of the natural resources.

Man has to consider himself as a limb of the society and help in the welfare of society, just as the organs of one's body are used for one's well-being. Again society is a limb of Nature and Nature is a limb of the Supreme Lord. Thus, there is a close relationship between man and God. Nature is more progressive than man, and to protect Nature, man has to exploit it within limits. When man tampers with Nature recklessly, it reacts adversely and trouble arises. In order to protect Nature, man has to practise 'ceiling on desires'. He should not trigger the negative aspect of Nature. (210193)

Thus man is deriving innumerable benefits from Nature, and enjoying the amenities provided by Nature in various ways. But what is the gratitude he is showing to Nature? What gratitude is he offering to the Divine? He is forgetting the Divine who is the provider of everything. That is the reason for his becoming a prey to various difficulties and calamities. While he is receiving countless benefits from Providence, he is offering nothing in return to Nature or God. This shows how unnatural and heartless is the behaviour of man. When we are enjoined to return good for evil, how unbecoming is it to fail even to return good for good? Man is not learning the great lessons Nature is teaching him. The foremost lesson is doing service with no expectation of return. (120788)

MAN, NATURE AND GOD IS ONE

Brahma (God) is the creator of the universe. The One who creates, sustains and dissolves the universe is the Parabrahma (the Omni-Will). The Vedas have described the Divine as the One enveloping the Cosmos and existing beyond it. (180789)

Man today is basing his life on reliance on Nature, forgetting God. This is a grievous mistake. You must place your faith in God, who is the prime supporter of Nature, and enjoy what Nature provides. Faith in God is the primary requisite for man. (250689)There are two concepts - 'seeing' and 'the seen'. It is because of the power of sight that we are able to see the visible objects. It is because the objects are there we are able to see them. There is thus an inextricable relationship between seeing and what is seen. Today, it is because we separate seeing from the things seen that sorrow arises. Seeing and that which is seen should become one.

The Vedas have declared: "I am one, I shall become many". It is the One that has become the many. This is the unity that underlies the diversity. (060588)

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