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9 Paths To God

From Rita Bruce’s Sathya Sai Parenting

In the Vedic mode of worship, the four Vedas have been named Sathyavathi, Angavathi, Anyavathi, and Nidanavathi (a name ending in 'vathi' indicates that it is feminine).

The name of Sathyavathi signifies that God pervades the whole universe. God is not different from nature. Divinity is the embodiment of the Supreme, the Primal Cause, Nature, and Creation. Just as butter is present in every drop of milk, God is present in every atom of creation.

Angavathi means that the five elements are present throughout nature - earth, water, fire, air, and ether. Of these five elements, each one is more subtle than the other. The Vedas proclaim that these five elements are the forms of God. For that reason, this Veda is known as Angavathi.

The third name is Anyavathi, which signifies that certain symbols stand for certain manifestations of God. For instance, Shiva is described as One, Who holds the trident and is the 'three-eyed one'. Vishnu holds the conch, the discus, the mace, and the lotus in His hands. Rama is One, Who holds the bow. Anyavathi worship suggests that each form of God has certain specific symbols.

Then comes Nidanavathi. Nidanavathi lays down nine different paths one can take to reach God.

The Nine Paths To God

1. Listening to the glories of God and His handiwork (Shravanam).

2. Singing about the Lord and chanting His name (Kirtanam).

3. Contemplating on the Lord and revelling in His beauty, majesty, and compassion (Smaranam).

4. Worshipping the Lord by concentrating on honouring His feet or footprints (Padasevanam).

5. A regular pattern of systematic worship (Archanam).

6. Reverence toward the Lord, seeing Him in all life and creation (Vandanam).

7. Becoming a devoted servant of the Lord by serving all without a feeling of inferiority or superiority (Dasyam).

8. Friendship with the Lord, a stage when the seeker feels so close to the Lord that one has the feeling that one is a confidant, companion, and sharer of God's power, glory, triumphs, and achievements (Sakhyam).

9. Total surrender to the Divine Will of the Lord (Atma Nivedanam).

There is no diviner or purer feeling than maternal love. The mother and the motherland are greater than heaven itself.

- Bhagawan Sri Satya Sai Baba