DIVINE VANI

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DIVINE VANI

Om Sayieswaraya Vidhmahe, Satya Devaaya Dhimahe, Tannah Sarva Prachodayat.

Divine Discourses

1.Convocation 2010 – Benedictory Address by Bhagawan 22 Nov, 2010

Students, Embodiments of Love!

All of you want Swami to say at least a few words. You feel, “How nice it would be if Swami speaks for a few minutes”! However, I don’t want to say anything about the present system of education.

This land of Bharat has given birth to many noble women like Savitri who brought her dead husband back to life; Chandramati who extinguished wild fire with the power of truth. Sita who proved her chastity by coming out of blazing fire unscathed and Damayanti who reduced an evil-minded hunter to ashes with the power of her chastity. (Telugu Poem)

At first, Chandramati was fear-stricken by the raging forest fire. She along with her husband and son was surrounded by flames of wild fire. Nobody could say how they were all of a sudden surrounded by the raging flames. This, in fact, was a divine play. Ultimately, when Chandramati utilised her power of truth and chastity the fire was extinguished in a trice.

As Chandramati prayed, there was a heavy downpour. On one side there was a raging fire and on the other side started a heavy rain, and ultimately the fire was completely extinguished. Savitri was also endowed with great power of penance and chastity. She could even stop Yama (Lord of Death) from taking her husband’s life. She argued with Yama and told him, “The life of wife depends upon her husband and that of the husband on his wife. One cannot live without the other. So, if you want to take my husband’s life, take my life also. Or else, spare his life. We are not separate from each other. It is my primary duty to safeguard my husband’s life”. Ultimately, Lord Yama had to revive Savitri’s husband. Is there any country or region in this world where one can find a woman like Savitri who could bring her dead husband back to life? Such divine power is latent in every human being. Man should draw this power from within himself, which he can utilise not only for himself but for others also.

During those times, wife considered her husband as her very life and vice-versa. But, unfortunately, the situation is not the same today. This sacred land of Bharat is surrounded by the seven seas. In this land, many women like Damayanti, Savitri performed intense penance. They are all women of great chastity. But today we do not find such women of great chastity.

A Pativrata (chaste woman) is one who considers her Pati (husband) as her very life and depends entirely on him. A Pativrata is one who does not talk back to her husband. There will not be even a little defect in her. She does not have any selfish desires. All that she does is for the sake of her husband. She would not even look at any male other than her husband. Only such a woman can be called a true Pativrata. But modern ladies do not follow their husbands. They do not listen to what their husbands say. When the wife follows her husband and the husband follows the wife and both lead a life of harmony, then the entire country will attain peace and prosperity. It is due to the differences between the husband and wife and disunity in the family that the country is subjected to one trouble after the other. Both husband and wife should understand each other and adjust with each other.

A Pativrata who strictly obeys the command of her husband can do anything. If she prepares food for her husband with saline water of the ocean, it will be changed into sweet water. When the wife obeys the command of her husband and the husband fulfils the desires of his wife, then the future of the family will be safe and secure. If they act contrary to this, the family will be subjected to great suffering. Both husband and wife may conduct themselves in a decent manner when they are in their house. But as soon as they step out of the house, they indulge in all sorts of evils. If there is no unity and harmony between wife and husband, there is no use of undertaking spiritual practices like Japa, Dhyana (chanting, meditation), etc.

When the wife follows her husband and the husband follows his wife, there is great happiness in the family. Strive to achieve such unity and harmony in your family. Then, your entire life will become happy and peaceful without any worries whatsoever. All your worries are of your own making. They are not given by God. God is not at a distant place. He is immanent in man. You should have unwavering faith in this truth. Then there will be happiness not only in the individual but also in society. Pure heart is the temple of God. Therefore, develop love in your heart. You will attain everything in life.

There will be peace and happiness in the family when both husband and wife share the same views. A Pativrata is one who has no other thought of anybody or anything except that of her husband. A woman who leads her life with such unflinching faith in her husband can achieve everything in her life. When both follow different paths, then there can be no peace and happiness in the family. You should not allow your mind to waver this way and that way. You should totally focus it on God. Contemplation of God is the basis to achieve unity and harmony in the family. When the wife prays to God, the husband will become a good person.

Chaste woman of yore like Sita and Damayanti had single-minded devotion towards their husbands. Sita was held captive in Lanka for ten months. But never even once did she look at the face of a male person. She spent all her time in the contemplation of Rama, sitting under a tree in Ashoka forest. She did not move out at all. As she was such a great chaste woman, she could prove her purity through Agni Pariksha (test of fire).

God is only one, not two. He is the indweller of your heart. If you constantly contemplate on Him, you will also become God. Whomsoever you come across, consider them as the embodiments of divinity. That is the principle of divinity. On the other hand, if you follow the vagaries of your mind and move about arbitrarily here and there, how can you become God? When you go to your college, why should you look here and there and indulge in vain gossip? Focus your mind on the purpose for which you have come. Do your work without developing unnecessary contacts. Look after your family. There is nothing wrong in this. Nobody tells you to give up performing your worldly duties. Live in the world and perform your duties. But always have divine feelings.

Many people go to places of pilgrimage like Badrinath, Amarnath, Kedarnath, Bhadrachalam, Tirupati, etc., in search of God. They think that they can find God at such places. Oh foolish man! God is not somewhere else. In fact, you yourself are God. God is present in all. God is only one and He is present wherever you look for Him. He is in you, with you, above you, below you. God is beyond birth and death and indwells every being in the form of Atma. He is present in all human beings right from a child to an old man. The same God is present in an ant, a mosquito and in all birds, beasts and animals. Therefore, do not go in search of God here and there and trouble yourself.

Wherever you see, God is present there. Whomsoever you see, there is God in him. God has no different form. All forms are His. That is why the Veda declared, Sahasra Seersha Purusha Sahasraksha Sahasra Pad (The Cosmic Being has thousands of heads, eyes and feet). When you sit for meditation, your mind wanders here and there. You should not allow the mind to waver and keep it always steady. When you go to a seashore, you will hear the waves making the sound of Om! When you concentrate on that sound, you will forget everything.

Since you are all young, I wish to emphasise this point. Do not develop opposition or differences among you. Controversies give rise to many troubles. These days some people marry not once, not twice, not thrice, but even four times. This is not a good practice. Be single-minded. Even if somebody makes you angry, do not fight with him. Understand that by fighting with others, you actually harm yourself. Control your thoughts. This is the quality of a truly educated person. This is called educare. Along with education, you should also have educare. When you have educare, you will have everything – health, happiness, peace and prosperity. This is what I want you to understand. Everything will become good to you if you make your heart pure. At least from today onwards, take to the right path. If somebody tries to put you on the wrong path, do not pay any heed to him. Even if such a person comes to you and tries to start a conversation with you, do not even look at his face. Just ignore him and go away from him.

Students should live with unity in all matters. But today unity has disappeared altogether. On the other hand, enmity is on the rise. When one student in the class secures high marks, other students start feeling jealous of him. This should not be there. Because jealousy gives rise to hatred. There will be further divisions if politics enter the educational institutions. Therefore, all students should live with unity and solidarity.

You should achieve unity. There is no unity in the youth today. First and foremost, the youth should come forward to help each other. The end of education is character. If your character is good, then you can achieve anything in life. You may think you have won gold medals, acquired high degrees and achieved name and fame. But if you lack character, these degrees are merely a piece of paper. It is most essential for you to safeguard your character. Only such a person is a truly learned one.

When Ravana was taking Sita away to Lanka, she dropped all her ornaments in a bundle which fell a mountain. Rama and Lakshmana, while going in search of Sita, were shown this bundle by Sugriva. Rama asked Lakshmana to see the ornaments and identify if they belonged to Sita. Then Lakshmana replied, “Brother! I never looked at the face of Sita and therefore I do not know whether these ornaments belong to her or not. I can recognise only the anklets as I have seen them while offering my obeisances to her feet everyday”.

Sita, Rama and Lakshmana lived together in the forest for almost fourteen years. But not even once did Lakshmana look at the face of Sita. What a pure-hearted person Lakshmana was! Whenever he had to talk to Sita, he talked to her with his head bent down. As he was such a noble person, he could enjoy the wealth of proximity of Rama. When Lakshmana fell unconscious in the battlefield, Rama said, “If I search, I may get a wife like Sita but not a brother like Lakshmana. I can bear the separation from Sita, but not from Lakshmana”. Such was the strong bond of love between Rama and Lakshmana.

Students also should develop such unity considering all their brothers and sisters. All are human beings. All are the children of God. Therefore, you should live with unity without giving room to any differences. This is My message for you today.

2. Divine Discourse May 18, 2010

REALISE THAT YOU AND I ARE ONE

Chastity is the Hallmark of a Woman

This land of Bharat has given birth to many noble women like Damayanti who reduced an evil-minded hunter to ashes with the power of her chastity and Sita who proved her chastity by coming out of blazing file unscathed.

Everybody is afraid of Yama, god of death. He goes about in every corner of the world and takes away the life principle of those whose life sojourn on earth comes to an end.

Chastity Endows Women with Immense Power

When he took the life of Savitri’s husband Satyavan, Savitri was full of grief and prayed to him to bring her husband back to life. She said, “Either you give back my husband’s life or take my life also. I cannot live without my husband; we are one”. When Yama wanted to go away after taking the life of her husband, Savitri blocked his way and did not allow him to move. Yama had no choice but to listen to her prayer. He asked her, “Mother! What do you want”? “Give my husband back to me because it is not possible for me to live without him,” said Savitri. Ultimately, Yama had to yield to her prayer and revive Satyavan. Yama not only brought Satyavan back to life, but granted many boons also to both Savitri and Satyavan, happy as he was with the chastity and determination of Savitri. It was because of her power of chastity that Savitri could bring her dead husband back to life.

Chandramati was another great woman of the sacred land of Bharat who set a shining example of chastity in the world. When she along with her husband Harischandra and son was crossing a forest, it was suddenly engulfed in wild fire, which threatened their life. Then Chandramati prayed, “If I am truly a chaste woman and have been adhering to Dharma all my life, let this wild fire be extinguished”. And lo and behold, the fire was extinguished in a trice and the entire forest became calm and serene. So great is the power of penance and chastity of a chaste woman! But she was always humble and expressed gratitude to God, saying, “It is by the grace of God that I have been able to uphold the Dharma of a chaste woman”. She always followed her husband and could never bear separation from him even for a moment. That is the hallmark of a chaste woman. Both husband and wife should live together in harmony whole of their life. (Here Bhagavan narrated the story of King Harischandra and his chaste wife Chandramati, who in spite of undergoing untold sufferings upheld the virtues of truth and righteousness and set a shining example of virtuous life.)

This land of Bharat has given birth to many noble women like Damayanti who reduced an evil-minded hunter to ashes with the power of her chastity and Sita who proved her chastity by coming out of blazing fire unscathed. (Telugu Poem)

Life Finds Fulfillment when Husband and Wife Live in Unity :

When Sita was put to fire test, the fire god himself manifested out of it and told Rama, “Sita is a woman of great chastity”. There were many women of chastity in the sacred land of Bharat like Sita, Chandramati, Damayanti and Savitri. People are afraid of Yama, the god of death, but Yama is afraid of the women of chastity. Just as Savitri could bring her dead husband back to life by the power of her chastity, Sita could also come out of blazing fire unscathed by the power of her chastity. All these examples of chaste women of Bharat set the ideal that for a woman her husband is God. These ideals set by such chaste women made India a teacher of the world and leader of all nations. Except in Bharat, in which country of the world do you find examples of women who brought their dead husbands back to life? Even if you search the entire world, you cannot find such chaste women. Such is the sacredness of this land of Bharat. That is why God loves to incarnate in Bharat. Just as women should observe Patrivrata Dharma (Dharma for a chaste woman), men should also adhere to Sativrata Dharma (Dharma for an ideal husband). A woman must be a Pativrata (chaste woman), so also her husband, a Sativrata (ideal husband). The wife should never go against the command of her husband, similarly, the husband should conduct himself according to the wishes of his wife and should look after her with great love. But, unfortunately, there are only a few men today who observe Sativrata Dharma though a large number of women adhere to Pativrata Dharma. God is pleased with those women who observe Pativrata Dharma. When there is unity between husband and wife, they can achieve anything and find fulfillment in life. Draupadi had five husbands and she considered them as her five life-breaths. Women today should observe chastity like Sita, Savitri, Draupadi and Damayanti. It is the sacred land of Bharat where you find such a large number of Pativrata women and nowhere else. People who leave such a sacred land and go to other countries waste their life.

You say, my body, my handkerchief, so on and so forth. But who is this ‘my’? That is the Self or I. I means Atma. Without realising the Atma, all spiritual practices like Yajnas and Yaga are of no use. You say, this is mine and that is thine. What is the use of doing any spiritual practice unless you give up the feelings of mine and thine? Get rid of the narrow feelings of mine and thine and realise that you and I are one.

3. Ugadi Divine Discourse….Mar 16, 2010

Look within and experience GOD.

This land of Bharat has given birth to many noble women like Savitri who brought her dead husband back to life Chandramati who extinguished wild file with the power of truth; Sita who proved her chastity by coming out of blazing file unscathed and Damayanti who reduced an evil-minded hunter to ashes with the power of her chastity. This land of piety and nobility attained plenty and prosperity and became the teacher of all nations of the world because of such women of chastity.

T U R N Y O U R V I S I O N I N W A R D A N D S E E G O D W I T H I N Y O U

A woman who follows only her husband and experiences happiness in serving him is called Pativrata (chaste woman). It was by the power of her chastity that Savitri could bring her dead husband Satyavan back to life.

Harishchandra’s Strict Adherence to Truth:

Chandramati extended full cooperation in every way to her husband Harishchandra who gave away his entire kingdom to Sage Viswamitra in charity and became a pauper without having even a single paisa with him. When Sage Viswamitra asked Harishchandra to give him Dakshina (money offerings) after getting his kingdom in charity, Harishchandra prayed to him to give him some time to pay the amount of Dakshina. Leaving his kingdom, Harishchandra went to Kashi along with his wife and son Lohitasva to earn money to pay Dakshina to the sage. Finding no other way to pay the amount of Dakshina, he sold his wife and son to a Brahmin. Being a queen, Chandramati had never done any household work, but she was asked to do menial work of washing the dishes and cleaning the house by the Brahmin. Harishchandra himself took up the job of a caretaker of a cremation ground. The owner of the cremation ground assigned him the work of collecting tax from those who came to the cremation ground to cremate dead bodies.

One day, the Brahmin sent Lohitasva along with other children to the forest to collect Darbha (grass used in worship). There he was bitten by a snake and died. The other children brought his dead body to Chandramati. As she had to finish the household work before taking the dead body of her son to the cremation ground, it was night when Chandramati reached the cremation ground with the dead body of her son. When the caretaker of the cremation ground, who was none other than her husband Harishchandra, asked her to pay the tax for cremating the body of her son, she told him that she had no money to pay the tax. Seeing her Mangal Sutra around her neck, Harishchandra said, “How do you say you have no money? I see the Mangal Sutra you are wearing”. On hearing this, she thought to herself, “Only my husband can see my Mangal Sutra and none else”. Then she asked him, “Are you not my husband Harishchandra”? Harishchandra replied in the affirmative; he was grief-stricken on coming to know about the death of their only son. However, he told her that he could allow her to cremate the dead body of their son only when she paid the tax. As she had no money to give, she took out her Mangal Sutra to give it to him. At that very moment, Lord Siva manifested there. He praised Harishchandra for his strict adherence to truth and told him that all this was a divine play to show to the people of the world that there were still some highly exalted persons in the world who followed truth scrupulously. He also brought their dead son Lohitasva back to life. Meanwhile, Viswamitra also came there. He returned the kingdom of Harishchandra to him and told him that he had done all this to test his commitment to truth. Thus, Harishchandra demonstrated the divine quality of truth. Truth is God.

God Permeates every Atom of the Universe:

People search for God and ask, “Where is God? Where is God”? God is everywhere. Sarvatah Panipadam Tat Sarvathokshi Siromukham, Sarvatah Sruthimalloke Sarvamavruthya Tishthati (with hands, feet, eyes, head, mouth and ears pervading everything, He permeates the entire universe). God has no beginning and no end; He has no birth and no death. Human body is temporary and ephemeral like a water bubble. But it is the abode of God who is eternal. God is not outside, He is within you. The same Atma is immanent in all beings including birds, beasts and insects. God has no particular form. Brahma, Vishnu, Maheswara are not different from each other. God manifests in the form His devotees contemplate upon. If a woman considers her husband as God, she can realise God in him. With whatever feelings you think of God, God will appear before you in the same way. Daivam Manusha Rupena (God is in the form of a human being). All are the embodiments of God. So, the answer to the question, “Where is God”? is “God is everywhere”. The Atma that is present in you in the form of consciousness is present in all. You cannot say, consciousness is here and not there; it is everywhere. God is omnipresent. There is no need to search for God who is present everywhere, in all, at all places. Therefore, it is very easy to know God. Try to understand that everything in the universe is permeated by God. The objective of all your education is to experience God who is present everywhere and in every being. To attain this ideal should be the goal of your life. Close your eyes and contemplate on the form of God that you like. On whatever form of God you contemplate upon, God will manifest before you in that very form. Never think that God is somewhere at a distant place or He is present only at one particular place and not at another. He is present everywhere and permeates every atom of the universe.

See God in All:

Today is Ugadi, the first day of Chaitra Masa (first month of Indian calendar). It denotes the commencement of New Year. In fact, Ugadi means beginning of a new era. But Ugadi is not the real beginning of a new era; the real new era commences when man has new and noble thoughts. Therefore, look within and experience God who is present in your heart. That is the real celebration of Ugadi. Realise that God is present everywhere. God is one though people worship Him by many names. There can be many sweets like Gulab Jamun, Mysore Pak, Jilebi but sugar in all of them is the same. There may be differences in the names and forms of people but divinity that is immanent in all is the same.Ekam Sath Viprah Bahudha Vadanti (truth is one, but the wise refer to it by various names). You see the picture of Krishna wearing a crown with a peacock feather or that of Siva with a third eye. But these are mere pictures of God. God has no form. He is beyond all names and forms. Therefore, do not limit God to any name and form. Do not have the false notion that God is present only at this place or that place. Contemplate on God who is present in your heart and earn His grace. Right from this sacred day of Ugadi, you should see God in everyone. Whomsoever you come across, offer your salutations to him, considering him as the embodiment of God. This is true meditation. God is in you; you yourself are God. Then where will you go in search of God? Does anyone go out somewhere in search of himself? When you yourself are God, how can there be one more God? Turn your vision inward and see God within you.

When you say, this is my body, then who is that ‘my’? Clearly, body is separate and you are separate. Realise this truth. That is real devotion. (Bhagavan called one of the boys and asked him) Where do you come from? (When the boy told Bhagavan that he had come from Mumbai, Bhagavan said) Your body has, in fact, come from Mumbai, not you. Realise the truth, “I am I”. When you say, I am so and so, what does it convey? Your name has been given to you by your parents. You were not born with this name. Do not think that your body is permanent. Physical body lasts only for a limited period of time. Ultimately, it has to go. (Swami called another boy and asked him, “What do you want”? The boy said, “Swami, I want You, I want Your love. Be always with us, Swami”. Then Swami said) I am always with you. All of you belong to Me. Whenever you contemplate upon Me in your heart, I will manifest before you. Today is New Year day. Be happy.

– From Bhagawan’s Ugadi Discourse in Sai Kulwant Hall, Prasanthi Nilayam on 16th March 2010.

4.Christmas Divine Discourse – 25 Dec 2009

I am I, I am Atma

The sun appears serene and peaceful,

The days have become shorter, and

The cool wind is blowing.

(Telugu poem)

This festive season brings all prosperity to the people filling the granaries of the farmers with the newly-harvested grains in plenty. Not only the farmers, all people in general feel happy and enjoy this season. People attribute their happiness and prosperity to God. Where is God? God is everywhere. He is omnipresent – in you, above you, below you, and around you. He has no particular name or form. Neither has He birth and death. Only when there is birth will there be death also! Hence, God has no birth, no death! He is present in every living being as Atma Swarupa (Embodiment of Divine Atma). Man today is unable to realise that Atma Tattwa (Atma Principle).

Bharat is a sacred land. It has given birth to many noble souls and chaste women.

This land of Bharat has given birth to many noble women, like

Savitri, who brought her dead husband back to life;

Chandramati, who extinguished wild fire with the power of truth;

Sita, who proved her chastity by coming out of blazing fire unscathed,

Damayanti, who reduced an evil-minded hunter to ashes with the power of her chastity.

This land of piety and nobility attained plenty and prosperity and became the teacher of all the nations of the world

Because of such women of chastity.

(Telugu poem)

Sri Rama released Sita from the captivity of the demon Ravana, who confined her in Lanka for ten months. Rama took her into His fold after putting her to the test of fire. The fire god presented her before Rama, saying, “Oh! Rama! Sita is a great woman of chastity. She is so much devoted to her husband that she did not look at the face of even one male in all these ten months.” Sita came out of the fire unscathed, and the fire god himself attested to her chastity. One can imagine how great and noble she was! Can there be a parallel to such women in any country in the world?

The country of Bharat (India) is situated in the middle of the seven seas. Every man and woman in this country has to conduct themselves as Purushotthama (noble male) and Pativratha (chaste woman) respectively. No wonder several Avataras (incarnations) took birth in this sacred land. Great men and women and noble souls may be born in any country. But Avataras took birth only in the country of Bharat.

Today, people aspire for everything in the world except God. People leave even their motherland in quest of wealth and money. This is not a positive development, especially for the Bharatiyas (Indians), for they are expected to rise above the desire for money. God is one who always gives; He never takes. God desires only love from us, nothing else. The country of Bharat is so noble and sacred, but the people of this country are leaving, seeking greener pastures elsewhere. However, those with a pure and unblemished heart are sticking to their native country.

What God expects from His devotee is only a pure and sacred heart.

People ascribe different names and forms to God. In fact, God is only one. He is beyond all names and forms. He takes on a name and form according to the wishes and aspirations of a particular devotee. When you contemplate on the form of Jesus and wish to see Him in that form, He manifests before you as Jesus.

Sarvatah Panipadam Tat Sarvathokshi Siromukham, Sarvatah Sruthimalloke Sarvamavruthya Tishthati (with hands, feet, eyes, head, mouth and ears pervading everything, He permeates the entire universe). God is present in every human being, nay in every living being. Daivam Manusha Rupena (God is in the form of a human being). That is why human values are considered to be so sacred and important. It is not enough to simply have a human body. In keeping with the human form, one should also cultivate the human values of sathya (truth), dharma (righteousness), santhi(peace), prema (love) and ahimsa (nonviolence).

You should not tell a lie under any circumstances. If you adhere to truth, righteousness will follow. Where truth and righteousness go together, there peace will be. Where there is peace, there will be love too. There can be no place for violence when there is love. Unfortunately, today there is violence everywhere due to the absence of love among people. Whomsoever you come across these days, there is unrest and unrest. People perform japa (chanting of God’s Name) and tapa (penance) to obtain peace, but there is no peace anywhere. Wherever you see, only pieces, pieces, and pieces!

One has to develop love in order to get peace. First and foremost, one has to develop love. “Love is God, God is Love.” “Truth is God, God is Truth.” Truth and Love are the embodiments of Divinity, verily. Though God is one, people ascribe different names like Rama, Krishna, Govinda, and Narayana to God. The different names and forms ascribed to God are the outcome of the imagination of poets and painters. For example, Ravi Varma portrayed God in different forms based upon his imagination. But God cannot be limited to a particular name and form. All names and forms are His, and He transcends them too! God is immanent in all living species including the human beings. The entire creation is the manifestation of Divinity.

God has no desires and aspirations. He is selfless. Everything in the outside world is the reaction, reflection, and resound of your inner being. This is a cloth (showing a handkerchief). Strictly speaking, this is not a cloth; it is a bundle of threads. The threads woven together assumed the form of a cloth. Similarly, the thoughts and desires of a human being make the mind. They, in turn express themselves in the form of speech. The words lead to actions through the sense organs. In the process, man entertains certain bad thoughts and feelings.

Why did God give eyes to a human being? Only to see good. Similarly, the ears are meant to hear good things and the tongue to speak good words. The words you speak must always be sweet and soft and never harsh. Thus, you have to consider every limb and organ in the body given to you by God as sacred and make proper use of it. Such a sacred body has to be dedicated to God and none else. God gives you all that is necessary for your life’s journey. You should therefore install God in the altar of your pure and sacred heart.

God is omnipresent. The sky is God and the earth is God. All human beings are embodiments of Divinity. God is immanent in every human being in the form of breath (Soham). Man has to realise this truth. Only when you realise the true nature of God that can you be considered to have acquired jnana (wisdom).

Jnana is not mere bookish knowledge. Several educated people have acquired vast knowledge from textbooks, but who is a jnani (realised soul) in the real sense? Only the person who has realised, “I am not the body, I am not the mind; I am God verily,” is a real jnani.

When you say, “this is my body,” who are you? To whom are you referring? The expression “my body” connotes that you are separate from the body. When you say, “This is my mind,” the mind is separate from you. Similarly, when you say, “This is my buddhi (intellect),” it means the buddhi is separate from you. In all these expressions, what is that ‘my’? That ‘my’ is ‘I’. This ‘I’ is what was referred to by Jesus Christ as the ego, and it has to be cut. That is the real significance of the cross. You cut the ego.

You are bound by two things: ‘I’ and ‘mine’. That is the human bondage. If you can get released from these two bonds, what remains is ‘you’ only. Now you are with the body. Suppose you have to leave the body tomorrow. At that time, who are you and where are you? You do not know! The body is like a dress; a robe. Once you get rid of attachment to this dress, your true nature will be apparent.

The same truth has been explained in the phrase, “the one you think you are, the one others think you are, and the one you really are”. That is the true nature of a human being. When someone enquires who you are, you will answer, “I am so and so.” You will give your name. In fact, that name is given to you by your parents and not by God at the time of your birth.

Suppose you ask God, “Who are you?” He will reply, Aham Brahmasmi (I am Brahman). Every individual should remind themselves, “I am Brahman, I have no other name.” If someone asks, “What is your name?” you should reply, “My name is Brahman.” If you are constantly aware of your true nature thus, that is Atma Tattwa. You do not have to contemplate on anything else.

Whenever you come across a friend or acquaintance, you greet him with a namaskar. This implies that you are in fact paying obeisance to the Divinity immanent in the individual. Hence, do not entertain the feeling of ‘I’, ‘I’, ‘I’. All these physical bodies are like the roles played in a drama. They change. The world itself is a cosmic drama. You must constantly remind yourself that you are playing your role in the cosmic drama and your real nature is that you are an Embodiment of Divine Self (Atma Swarupa). You have any doubts in this regard? (Swami enquired turning to the audience …). If you are entertaining any doubts, you will be confused.

Unfortunately, today one does not know about one’s own true nature. How then can one know about God? Hence, first and foremost know thyself! Enquire into yourself, “Who am I? Who am I?” you will realise, “I am I, I am Atma”, “I am I, I am Atma”, “I am I, I am Atma.” If you forget this Divine Self, what remains is ‘deep wine’! Hence, you should become divine.

Rama, Krishna, Govinda, etc. are only references to Divinity in the common parlance. An individual is referred to by several names based upon the relationships at the physical level. One person refers to him saying, “He is my son-in-law.” Another says, “He is my son.” A third person says, “He is my brother.” Thus, one gets into bondage as the relationships increase. From where did this bondage emerge? It is all of your own making.

You marry a girl and say, “She is my wife.” But before marriage, who was she? You do not know. After some years when she departs finally, you do not know anything about her. Thus, you do not know who she was before marriage or where she went after her departure. The wife-husband relationship is only in between.

Hence, do not worry about the past. Past is past and future is uncertain. You do not know, you have no knowledge of, either the past or the future; you are aware of only the present. Hence, live in the present. That is the only reality.

(Bhagawan concluded His discourse with the Bhajan, “Hari bhajan bina sukha santhi nahin …”)

5.Divine Message to Doctors during Doctors’ arthi Yatra – 20 Dec 2009

“You should not only treat the patients well but also identify the reason for their illness. You should also investigate as to how, where and why they got the ailment?”

There is no need of any translator. Does everyone know Kannada in your group? Most of the patients who come to our hospital are economically poor. You have to speak to them with love and compassion. Your eyes should radiate love when you speak to them. Do not be harsh with them (by shouting go … go … ). Never get angry with them. Speak sweetly and softly to all patients. A Doctor should develop such noble qualities. But nowadays doctors crave for only money, money and money.

They do not seek love, i.e., Divine Love. If you attain God’s love then all your vices will disappear. Also you should have love for Society (Sangha Prema). When you cultivate Sangha Prema, you get reputation (Khyati). This reputation is not worldly reputation, but Character. With love, you can develop Character. Where there is Character there is Education. The end of Education is Character. You have to speak to patients with love. You have to conduct yourselves truthfully, righteously and morally.

Earning money should not be your only motive. Do not wander hither and thither for the sake of money. You will get more money in one place or the other. What is Money? Money comes and goes, but Morality comes and grows, grows and grows.

You should treat the patients well. There should not be minor bickering amongst you. If there is misunderstanding amongst you, what is the use? There is only one God and one Goal. You may call Allah, Jesus, Rama, Krishna, Eshwar …Though names are different, God is one. If you abuse someone, it is equivalent to abusing God. And if you love someone, it is equivalent to loving God. Love is present equally in all. But there is a difference in the love between mother and child and husband and wife. Sanctify your time with love. If you make proper use of love, then everything good will happen in your life. Love is most important. This love is God’s Love.

You should cultivate Love for God (Daiva Preeti), Morality in Society (Sangha Neeti) and Fear of Sin (Paapa Bheeti) to attain God. When you give medicines (treatment) to patients, render it with love. Pray for the well-being of patients. Some nurses are not treating patients in this manner. The doctors have to train them.

Swami enquired one of the senior doctors – How are the doctors and nurses at Bangalore? Are they working well?

They should work with love. Love is more important than medicines. Love is God Live in Love. Love is very important. There should be Love in your thought, word and deed. There should be Unity of thought, word and deed. It is said you are not one but three. The one you think you are, the one others’ think you are and the one you really are. All the three, i.e., Manas (mind), Buddhi (intellect) and Chitta (mind-stuff) have to work in unison.

You should not only treat the patients well but also identify the reason for their illness. You should also investigate as to how, where and why they got the ailment?

Are you all happy today?

Very Happy (Tumbha Santhosha)

6.XXVIII Convocation of Sri Sathya Sai University – Divine Discourse 22-11-2009

In an unusual gesture, towards the end of His Divine Benedictory Address on the occasion of XXVIII Annual Convocation of Sri Sathya Sai University, Bhagawan had asked His students to sing a song in unison. Reciprocating to the Divine Command, the students sang in chorus the song “Hum ko tum se pyar kitna …”Receiving the love of the students, Bhagawan declared that their song had given Him immense happiness.

Calling students from the university ‘good’ compared to other students Bhagawan exhorted them to earn good names for themselves, parents and for the institution. Read on for Bhagawan’s precious pearls of wisdom as delivered during the XVIII Annual Convcocation of Sri Sathya Sai University on 22nd Nov 2009.

BE GOOD, DO GOOD AND SEE GOOD

Bereft of truth, righteousness, peace, and love, the value of all your education is zero; bereft of truth, righteousness, peace, and love, the benefit of all your acts of charity and kindness is zero; bereft of truth, righteousness peace, and love, the utility of all your positions of power is zero; and bereft of truth, righteousness, peace, and love, the result of all your good deeds is zero. Sathya, dharma, santhi, and prema (truth, righteousness, peace, and love) are verily the pillars of the mansion of Sanathana Dharma. What else is to be conveyed to this assembly of noble souls. (Telugu poem)

In spite of his education and intelligence, a foolish man will not know his true Self and a mean-minded person will not give up his evil qualities. What is the use of acquiring education that cannot lead you to immortality? Acquire the knowledge that will make you immortal.

(Telugu poem)

People pursue education and obtain high degrees in different disciplines. But, in their day-to-day life, their behaviour is totally at variance to the principles they learnt. In spite of their high academic qualifications, they woefully lack knowledge about the essence of education. What they acquire is only worldly, evanescent, and unreal education.

There are millions of students and highly educated people in the world. They obtain all sorts of degrees starting from A to Z. But, of what use are their degrees? What is their contribution to the welfare of the world? Do they help the poor and forlorn at least to a small extent? They earn crores of rupees; but they don’t give even a penny in charity. They are too selfish. They do not at all control their desires. One who controls his desires can work wonders in the world. People are not at all satisfied with their earnings. They accumulate huge amount of wealth and still crave to earn more.

The Vedas declare Na karmana na prajaya dhanena thyagenaike amrutatthwamanasu (immortality is not attained through action, progeny, or wealth; it is attained only by sacrifice). People do not at all strive to attain immortality. Wherever you see and whomever you come across, you find selfishness, selfishness, and selfishness alone. Of what use is the education of such selfish people?

No doubt, education has to be pursued and some activities have to be undertaken in the world for leading a comfortable life. One has to take care of the worldly needs for oneself and one’s family, like food, clothing, and shelter. But to what extent? These are all activities that one undertakes for the sake of oneself and one’s family, not for others.

Modern education is breeding selfishness. It is for acquiring goods and services for one’s own comfort. These are worldly pleasures. The qualities of kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada, and matsarya (desire, anger, greed, delusion, pride, and envy) drive man’s efforts in pursuit of worldly pleasures. No doubt worldly education helps to provide comfort and joy in the objective world, but it does not at all contribute to inner bliss.

Only the five human values of sathya (truth), dharma (righteousness), santhi (peace), prema (love), and ahimsa(nonviolence) confer inner bliss.

A person who cultivates these five human values will always be happy. The five senses of action provide external pleasure; but the five human values confer inner bliss. Education helps to obtain various conveniences for external pleasure, whereas inner bliss can be experienced only by Educare. There is a lot of difference between Education and Educare. Education involves reading of books written by someone and listening to the lectures delivered by someone. Educare, however, has nothing to do with books. It has no form at all! It is Truth that has no form. The Upanishads ordain “Sathyam vada, dharmam chara” (speak truth, practise righteousness). Truth has to be spoken and righteousness has to be practised. But, nowadays, people lecture about these values but do not follow. This is not correct.

Love is one quality that is common to all human beings, nay, animals, birds, beasts, and even insects. Every living being loves its progeny. And, love is divine. Whoever cultivates love, God manifests in them. It is only the divine quality of love that saves us from sorrows, difficulties, and calamities. Unfortunately, people do not cultivate love and instead go after transient things. “Love is God, live in love.” Worldly possessions give momentary pleasure, but love confers eternal bliss. Real love manifests from the depth of one’s own heart. One has to attain such divine love. Wherever you go, whatever activity you may undertake, let your heart be filled with love. Such a person, wherever he is, whether in the town or in the forest or in the sky or in a deep sea will surely be protected. Divine love neither grows nor diminishes. It always remains the same.

Ekameva adviteeyam Brahma (God is one without a second). To attribute various names to God such as Rama, Krishna, Govinda, etc., is only your imagination. That which has neither birth nor death is one and only one. It has no beginning and no end. That is Brahma. Hence, whenever someone enquires, “Who are you? What is your name?”, reply with “Aham Brahmasmi” (I am Brahman). There is nothing real and eternal except Brahman. Hence, do not waste his time in pursuit of transient things. What is the use of acquiring such objects? No doubt worldly education is necessary. However, always remind yourself that it is all temporary.

Brahman is ONE without a second. Zero gains value only when it is placed after the digit one. Likewise, the zero ofsamsara (worldly life) will have value only if it is associated with the ONE that is Brahman. We are going after the impermanent and transitory things forgetting the ONE.

We think that the qualities of anger, envy, jealousy, pride, etc., are God-given, but it is not true. God does not make any distinction between people by granting positive attributes to some and negative qualities to others. All these differences are man-made. God has nothing to do with them. When our wish is fulfilled, we praise God. On the other hand, if something goes wrong, we attribute our failure to God and blame Him. God is only a witness to everything that goes on in the world, good or bad. He neither gives nor receives anything. All our sorrows and difficulties are of our own making.

The thoughts that flow from our mind are expressed through speech. Hence, mind is the source for our speech. This mind has its origin in our breath (inhaling and exhaling). Therefore, the inhaling and exhaling (soham) is Brahmanverily, and the mind represents Vishnu.

It is said, Manomoolam idam jagat (the world is a projection of the mind). Our vak (speech) represents Shiva. Hence, we need not go in search of the Trinity (Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara) somewhere in a distant place. God is in us, with us, above, below, and around us. In fact, you are God. Your mind alone is responsible for your joy or sorrow. We think these are thrust on us by someone from outside. No, all these experiences flow from you only. You are responsible for everything. If you realize that these experiences emanate from your own mind and think that you are God, you will become God. On the other hand, if you identify yourself with the world and think “I am so and so,” you will remain separate from God.

Do not cultivate excessive desires. “Less luggage, more comfort makes travel a pleasure.” Hence, reduce the luggage of your desires. It is natural for people to have some desires, but one has to enquire which one of those desires is good for one and which causes harm. Unfortunately, this sense of discrimination is lost in present times. All these desires, which are the result of kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada, and matsarya (desire, anger, greed, delusion, pride and envy), have their origin in the mind.

When you marry a girl, you develop love for her in the beginning. After sometime, if for any reason she goes against your wishes, you develop hatred for her. Your anger and hatred will ultimately land you in difficulties. If you can reduce your desires and expectations, you will be able to lead a happy married life.

Students too behave in the same way. As one goes on acquiring degrees, one loses one’s peace because of limitless desires. Whatever may be one’s expectations in pursuing higher education, one has to put into practice what one has learnt in the college or University. Merely acquiring a number of degrees without putting into practice what one has learnt through education is a waste. It does not help him in any way. Education without practising the principles of education leads to loss and worry. Hence, practice (abhyasa) is of utmost importance.

For example, you are enacting a drama. Is it not true that you do a number of rehearsals before finally performing on the stage? It is the practice that makes you perfect. Hence, practice is needed in all your endeavours – reading, writing, medicine, surgery, etc. The Gita says:

Sreyohi Jnanamabhyasat,

Jnanaddhyanam vishishyate,

Dhyanat karmaphala thyaga,

Thyagat santhiranantaram.

Better indeed is knowledge than practice. Better than knowledge is meditation on God. But better than meditation is renunciation of the desire for the fruits of actions. For peace follows immediately. Where is peace? Peace is very much in us only. It is futile to search for peace somewhere in the outer world. If you want to attain peace, search for it in oneself.

You have acquired all this knowledge from text books and your teachers. This is bookish knowledge. If you put it into practice, it becomes practical knowledge, which will remain with you permanently.

Rain water is pure. When you place a vessel while it is raining, you can collect pure water. It is like distilled water. By drinking that water, you will not be troubled by any ailment. When the same water is mixed up with other substances, it gets polluted. In the same manner, the mind which is always pure is polluted by desires.

Hence, do not pollute your mind by cultivating desires. Keep the mind always pure. Whenever a desire arises in your mind, brush it aside to keep your mind free from pollution. Apart from reading your text books and acquiring knowledge, keep your mind always pure and free from pollution. This is what you have to learn today.

You may or may not worship God, but you must respect your mother and father, who are responsible for your birth. Respect your mother. Keep her always happy. No one can estimate or describe a mother’s love. No one can pollute it. If only you are able to win the love of your mother, it amounts to acquiring all degrees. Our scriptures enjoin on us to respect mother, father, teacher, and God in that order. First and foremost is the mother, who gave you birth. The father brings you up and puts you on the road to development. The mother is the foundation for the mansion of your life; father represents the wall and the guru (teacher) is the roof. And, finally, God is your life itself. Hence, those who yearn for God must love their mother first. If only you keep her happy, all other things of happiness will be added unto you.

Nowadays, people keep their aged parents in the old age homes. This is not correct. The Upanishads exhort one:Mathrudevo bhava! Pithrudevo bhava! Acharyadevo bhava! One who forsakes his mother is not a human being at all! It is your mother who brought you up to this stage. Hence, love your mother and serve her when she falls sick. You must develop the feeling that whatever your mother says is for your good only. Do not get angry when she chides you. Even her anger is for your good only.

Once Kuchela, a poor Brahmin, went to meet his childhood friend Krishna. He was afraid that the guards standing at the gate of Krishna’s palace might not let him in. But God is so compassionate that He will not forsake any individual. Lord Krishna Himself came to him and enquired, “Dear friend Kuchela, what do you want?” Kuchela replied, “Swami, I do not want anything. I will be happy if I have Your love and grace. Oh Lord! That is enough”. When Kuchela returned to his place after taking leave of Krishna, he could not recognise his house. In place of his hut stood a palatial building. His wife and children were moving about in gorgeous clothes, wearing glittering ornaments. This is the gift of love from God. Hence, if only we are able to win God’s love, everything else will be added unto us. Therefore develop firm faith in God.

You will not come up in life unless you get rid of your bad qualities. Even if you have accumulated wealth and attained positions of power, they will not last long. It is not wealth but noble qualities that are important for a human being. Hence, develop human qualities.

You call yourself a human being. Unless there are values in you, how can you be called a human being? Only when you develop noble qualities are you entitled to be called a human. God will protect a person with human values by constantly guarding and guiding him. Hence, develop human values; do not crave for money.

We often come across people changing jobs with a hope of getting high salaries. Do not develop this craze for money. Money comes and goes, morality comes and grows. Develop morality and love for God. When you develop love for God, the demonic qualities in you will be removed. When people get rid of demonic qualities, society itself will change into a better society. You will earn a good name. People will praise you, “so and so is a good man. We must have people like him”.

If you wish to earn such a good name, you must be fully involved in prayer to God. The prayer must constantly ring in your heart. Love for God, fear of sin, and morality in society, these are the qualities that you have to develop. Then only you will be entitled to be called a good person. Be good, do good, and see good. Never entertain bad thoughts. It is quite common to get bad thoughts in your age, but do not give them a place in your heart. Just brush them aside.

You may be a boy now, but you will grow into an old man after some years. Child, boy, man, grandfather – these are all the different stages in one’s life. They all belong to the same person. Only the names and the body change, but the individual is one. Similarly, God is one in whichever name and form He is worshipped. The names and forms ascribed to God may differ but God is one, as per the saying “Ekam Sath viprah bahudha vadanthi”. Develop total faith in this maxim.

Wherever you are and whatever activity you are engaged in, constantly contemplate on God. Then only will your life be fruitful. May you all develop good qualities, good behaviour, good thoughts, and good feelings. Be happy. Our boys are always good boys.

Today, wherever you see, you find people spending time watching cinemas and TV shows and hearing cinema music from tape recorders. In addition, almost everyone, regardless of sex and status in society, is using cell phones. People waste a lot of time talking to someone using cell phones. They even talk to strangers. Because of the proliferation of the entertainment media and the indiscriminate use of cell phones, human beings have lost their value. Very often, due to the misuse of cell phones, people, especially the younger generation, land themselves in serious trouble. Most often, cell phones are put to misuse than proper use.

I would advise you, particularly the boys and girls, not to give your cell number to anyone. You will face great danger by doing so. Try to avoid using cell phones. Even if you buy one, do not give your number to others indiscriminately. There are some people who continuously talk over cell phone for hours together. This is totally wrong. By doing so, you will be committing sin. Once you give your cell number to others, they will call you back. You will feel happy in the beginning. Later, they will be talking to you frequently. Unnecessary contacts will develop by doing so. Finally, they mislead you and spoil your life. In the beginning, they introduce themselves to you saying, ‘I am your friend’. The friendship gradually leads to establishing relationship. You will be deceived and you will land in deep trouble in the end. Hence, do not give scope for such unnecessary contacts. Always spend your time in the contemplation of the divine name or reading good books.

Today is convocation day. Some of you might be entering the outside world, having acquired degrees. Let your contact with the outside world be good. It is possible that there may be significant changes in the lives of most of the students from today. I wish you all to earn good name for yourselves, your parents, and the institution in which you studied. Samuel Sandweiss also told you the same thing in his convocation address. He talks about his divine experiences. The advice of these elders must be imprinted in your hearts. They always speak good words.

I am very happy. It is not possible for Me to talk to you all, individually. Hence, I gave a discourse that is applicable to all. Our students are all good when compared to those in the other institutions. Let that good name be upheld. I am very happy.

(Bhagawan wanted all the students to sing a song. The students sang in chorus the song “Hum ko tum se pyar kitna …”)

Your song has given Me immense happiness.

7.Dasara Divine Discourse 27th Sept 2009

RESPECT MOTHER – FIRST AND FOREMOST

Aeons ago, there was darkness everywhere. There were no human beings or any other creatures. It was pitch darkness all over. Then there was torrential rain for years together and, as a result of this deluge, oceans were formed and mountains arose. Gradually the stars appeared in the sky. The sun too shone and shed its rays on the earth. The oceans and the sky became blue. The colour blue is indicative of the vastness of oceans and the sky. God is also vast; hence He is portrayed as blue in appearance. Gradually forests and hills, insects and creatures, birds and beasts grew on the earth. Millions of creatures of different species as also humans started inhabiting the earth.

Once several years ago, I visited Anantapur. I was very young then. I stayed in the bungalow of the District collector. He came to Me and requested, “Swami! There are a number of deer here. Please take two of them along with You and keep them in Your Ashram.” The Prasanthi Nilayam building was not built yet. I brought those two deer and kept them in Bangalore first. Gradually, they multiplied into hundreds. There was not enough space for their movement there. Hence, they were shifted later to Prasanthi Nilayam and kept in a separate deer park. Thus, God’s creation multiplies day by day.

It is raining outside. I find some ladies getting drenched in the rain. You allow those ladies inside. The gents too! I am sorry that so many devotees on the ladies and gents side are standing in the rain to have the darshan of Swami and hear His discourse. No one can fathom the mystery of God’s actions.

When I was studying in the Middle school in Kamalapuram, a small town near Kadapa, a district headquarters in the present state of Andhra Pradesh, I was very young and short. A village fair used to be held on a grand scale every year in a place called Pushpagiri, which was located between Kamalapuram and Kadapa. One day the drill teacher in our school told us, “There will be a grand cattle fair in Pushpagiri next week. Several people from all over the district and neighbouring villages will come to participate in that fair. We have to send volunteers from our school to regulate the crowds and also do some service to them.”

The drill teacher was also our scoutmaster. He insisted that all the boys of our school participate in the scout camp and help the people visiting the fair. He particularly told Me, “Raju! You must be the leader of this scout camp.”

I protested saying, “Sir! They are all older in age than Me. How can I control those boys? I cannot.” Then all the boys and teachers unanimously supported the idea of My being the leader of the camp.

The next day our drill teacher called all the boys and instructed that all of us shall wear a khaki shirt and knickers, along with a leather belt and a whistle. He also insisted that each one of us should wear boots and carry a stick and a torchlight. How could I procure all these items? I did not have even a paisa in My pocket.

Two of My classmates by name Ramesh and Suresh and Myself used to sit on a three-seater bench in our classroom, the two boys on either side of Me. Ramesh was the son of a wealthy Sirasthadar (a revenue official). He was of the same height as I was. He went to his father and asked him, “Father! I like the khaki dress very much. Please get two pairs of khaki shirt and knicker stitched for me.” He did not however reveal the fact that he proposed to give the second pair to someone else.

The next day he brought one pair in a cloth bag and put it under My desk along with a small chit. He wrote, “Raju! You are my brother. If You don’t mind, please take this dress. Do not return it to me. If You do so, I will feel very bad and commit suicide.”

My policy is that I do not accept anything from anyone. I strongly felt that friendship between two people will not last long on the basis of give-and-take-relationship. I therefore returned the clothes with a note, “If you and I are to continue as good friends, take these clothes back.” Ramesh was literally in tears at My insistence. He took the clothes back, very reluctantly.

All the boys volunteering for the scout service were to start for Pushpagiri, the next day. It was a journey of eleven miles by walk, since no buses plied that route those days. The boys contributed five rupees each for meeting the expenses during the period, but I had no money, not even a paisa. I therefore thought of a plan. I used to keep My books always neat and tidy. In those days, very few boys were in a position to purchase new books when they were promoted to a higher class. Hence, they used to purchase secondhand textbooks at a reduced cost. A poor boy approached Me to buy My textbooks. There used to be a heavy syllabus even for lower classes in subjects like History, Geography, Civics, etc. The cost of My books totaled to eighteen rupees and My books looked like brand new ones. The boy was not in a position to pay that amount. Hence, I told him “Don’t feel sorry. Just pay Me five rupees and take the books.” The boy felt very happy and immediately paid the amount.

In those days, currency notes were rare, and he paid the entire amount in small coins packed in a piece of cloth. It was tied in an old cloth, which gave way unable to bear the weight of the coins. The coins were strewn all over the room, making a big sound. On hearing the sound, the lady of the house came there and asked, “Where did You get all this money? Did You steal from my trunk?” She began admonishing Me.

I explained to her, “No, mother! I sold My books to this boy. He gave Me the coins.” The poor boy witnessing this incident told her, “Mother! I gave those coins to Raju towards the cost of His books, which I purchased from Him.” The lady did not believe his words and punished him too. She took away all the coins and I was left with not even a paisa.

The boys participating in the scout camp were all rich and well-dressed. They came to My house to take Me along with them. In the circumstances in which I was placed at that time, I was not in a position to go along with them. If I tell them I am suffering from fever, they will bring a thermometer and read My temperature. If I tell them I am suffering from some ailment, they will take Me to a doctor and get Me examined by him. Hence, I told them, “I am suffering from stomachache. I cannot come with you today.”

The boys felt sorry and reluctantly left for the scout camp without Me. Thereafter, I started alone the same night in the moonlight. I walked and walked and reached Pushpagiri at daybreak. I was very much tired, having walked for eleven miles at a stretch. I was hungry and thirsty. I wanted to wash My hands and mouth and looked around for water. There was no water anywhere near. There was a masonry tank nearby in which water was stored for bathing cows and buffaloes. The water was very dirty. Feeling helpless, I washed My face with that dirty water itself and drank some to quench My thirst.

Then I noticed that someone had left behind a packet of beedies (country cigarettes) and a one annacoin on the tank there. The beedies were, of course, of no use to Me. Hence, I threw them away. I took the one anna coin and exchanged it for four smaller coins (bottu). As I was returning, I noticed a person sitting on the roadside playing cards spread over a cloth, inviting passersby to bet on the cards, shouting, “Club, Spade, Diamond, etc.” He invited Me, saying, “Raju! You are a lucky boy. Come, come! Bet some amount on any card of Your choice and I will give You double that amount, if You win.” No doubt it was a sort of gambling, but I was helpless at that time. I started putting one coin each on a different card at each time. Every time I was winning the bet and getting double the amount I put. I played the game till I could make sixteen annas. Then I decided that that was enough and left the game and returned with the money I already earned.

Since I was feeling hungry, I purchased three dosas with one bottu. In those days, dosas were available at the rate of one for a dammidi (1/3 of a bottu). Thus, I managed with two bottus a day eatingdosas. Though I was attending the service activities normally just like any of the other boys, in My heart of hearts I was aware of the fact that betting (gambling) was a bad practice and I should not have resorted to it. I knew of the story of Dharmaraja losing his everything including his wife, brothers, and kingdom in the Mahabharata.

At the end of the scout camp, I was left with one bottu. I purchased some sweets, fruits, flowers,kumkum, and some bangles for My sister-in-law. Seshama Raju, the elder brother of this body went for a course of teacher-training and just returned. As soon as I stepped into the house, I noticed that he was drawing lines in a notebook with the help of a wooden ruler. He was very angry that his wife had to fetch water during My absence for 3 days and therefore she was very much tired. When I offered her the sweets and fruits brought by Me from Pushpagiri, she threw them on the floor. She refused to accept even kumkum, which is a sign of auspiciousness.

Seshama Raju was furious after this incident. He took the ruler into his hands and beat Me on the forearm with the ruler, which broke into three pieces. My hand was swollen. I did not reveal this incident to anybody. I tied a bandage Myself with a wet cloth to the swollen hand. The next day, Seshama Raju’s son died. He sent a telegram to father to come immediately. In those days, there was no post office or telegraph office in Puttaparthi. The telegrams were sent to Bukkapatnam and from there a messenger would take it to Puttaparthi. Pedda Venkama Raju, the father of this body, used to go to Bukkapatnam regularly to purchase necessary items in the village fair. He saw that telegram there and immediately rushed to Kamalapuram. He spoke to the members of the family first and then asked why My hand was swollen and bandaged.

I tried to explain away the incident as insignificant and told him that I hit a door in the house accidentally and nothing serious had happened. The lady in the neighbouring house intervened then and informed Pedda Venkama Raju, “Sir! It is not an isolated incident. Your elder son beats the boy everyday. We are very much pained to witness His suffering.”

Seshama Raju used to be very angry with Me since his wife used to make complaints against Me daily saying I did not attend to this work, that work, etc. My daily chores in their house included making hot water for bath, preparing coffee early in the morning for Seshama Raju and his wife, doing odd jobs in the house and most important, fetching drinking water two times both in the morning and evening from a canal, which was at some distance from the house. In order that I finish all these jobs and attend to school as per schedule, I had to get up very early in the morning, that is, at about 3 o’clock.

In spite of all this hectic schedule, I was very happy that the people in the village were of good nature and used to love Me very much. They used to make affectionate enquiries about My welfare daily. They were very fond of My singing. When I went to Pushpagiri to participate in the scout camp, all this busy schedule came to a standstill. Though the neighbours were very considerate toward Me for My hard work and good nature, people in the Seshama Raju family could not put up with My absence and disruption in the daily routine. They used to shout at Me if on any day I was a little late in bringing water from the canal. Of course, I used to ignore that shouting and carry on My work as usual, patiently.

The Griham Abbayi (father) informed Me that night that he had to go out for answering his nature call. There was no light. There was darkness all around. I held a small kerosene lamp in one hand and a jug of water in the other and accompanied him to an isolated place. I put those things on the ground and tried to return, but he held My hand and with great agony told Me, “Sathya! Did I ever beat You on any day in all these years? You are undergoing so much of suffering at the hands of these people here. You come away from this house. Come! Let us leave for our village early in the morning.”

I tried to pacify him saying, “It is not proper for Me to leave the house now, especially when they are immersed in grief at the death of their son. Please go first. I will come later.” Thereupon, Griham Abbayileft for Puttaparthi, very reluctantly.

On reaching home, he informed Griham Ammayi (mother) about the situation prevailing here. She could not contain her agony and shed tears at My plight. She told Griham Abbayi, “Sathya is a very good boy. I never beat Him on any day. I now understand that Seshama Raju is beating Him regularly, listening to others’ words. I cannot bear this any more. We can bring up Sathya somehow, even by selling salt if need be. He need not depend on others for His upbringing. Please go and bring back Sathya to our house.” Griham Abbayi tried to explain his inability, but she was insistent. He therefore gave a telegram, “Mother serious, come down to Puttaparthi.” Then, I had no option but to return to Puttaparthi.

There used to be a merchant by name Kotte Subbanna in Kamalapuram those days, who used to sell the famous children’s tonic, “Bala Bhaskara”. He gave us some amount for our journey to Puttaparthi, since neither I nor Griham Abbayi had any money with us. We reached Anantapuram with great difficulty. There used to be a lawyer’s family in Anantapur, who were all good people. The entire family was devoted to Swami. They invited us to partake lunch in their house.

We had our lunch in their house and finally returned to Puttaparthi. As soon as we entered our house,Griham Ammayi held My hand and asked, “There is swelling still. Does it hurt?” Thereafter, she applied several home-made medicines including a paste of rice bran on the affected part and also gave hot water fomentation. Poor lady! She tried her best to make Me cheerful. Every one around Me cried on seeing My swollen hand. I told them, “Nothing to worry; everything is healed up.”

Since then I decided to stay in Puttaparthi, permanently. Seshama Raju came on a visit during holidays. Griham Abbayi and Griham Ammayi both chided him profusely saying, “You took this boy along with you to get Him educated; but you put Him to great torture. What kind of an education is this? Go away! We don’t give You food even!”

Thereafter, Seshama Raju was transferred to Uravakonda. He took Me again with him in order to admit Me in the High school there. There were good teachers there, especially Sri Tammiraju and another by name H.S. Ramana who used to teach us English language. He was so fond of Me that he used to take Me to his house. Not only these two, all our teachers used to be very affectionate toward Me since I was a good singer with a melodious voice. One day they put Me on the stage during a function and asked Me to sing a song. I sang the following song:

Take any vegetable of your choice, only one anna a measure,

Take brinjals; they are very tasty,

The well was deep and it was difficult to draw water,

So too, the life in Uravakonda was difficult to forget. (Telugu song)

All the teachers praised the song and congratulated Me for singing that song. Later, they asked Me to sing the daily prayer song in the school assembly. I sang thus:

Moment to moment, thy clarion call resounds –

Hearing thy magnanimous words,

The Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, Muslims, and Christians

Come to thy throne from east and west,

Making a garland of love

Hail to thee who unites all humanity!

Hail to thee who controls the destiny of Bharat!

Hail to thee! Hail to thee!

That was our prayer song which I used to sing daily in the school assembly. The teachers of our school used to stand on either side of Me during the assembly and shed tears of joy at My melodious singing. I used to have a very good voice.

One day, I announced to the people around Me that it was time for Me to leave the school as well as the house and embark on My mission to alleviate the suffering of humanity. I revealed My true nature earlier thus:

Know that I am Sai, verily

Cast off your worldly relationships

Give up your efforts to restrain Me

The worldly attachment can no longer bind Me

None, however great can hold Me.

(Telugu poem)

Everyone cried aloud, unable to bear separation from Me. The headmaster of our school, Lakshmipathi, declared a holiday for the day. Everyone, including the teachers, students, and public, felt very sad at My decision to leave them.

The next day, one Muslim boy was asked to go up the stage to sing the prayer song. He too was a good singer with a melodious voice. But the moment he went up the stage, he became highly emotional and wept uncontrollably, unable to bear separation from Me. He sat down expressing his inability to sing the prayer. The daily singing of the prayer was discontinued from then on. Instead, the headmaster of the school used to say a few words and conclude.

I gave up studies since then. At the time I discontinued studies, I was only in the third form (eighth class), but people around Me used to wonder at My scholarship thinking that I might have obtained a degree or so. I used to write poetry and kept Myself aloof from people. I used to maintain silence. Even when I was in the house, I maintained the same profile. I just used to have food and come out and sit on the Chitravathi sands. There is a hill by the side of the river where I used to go up and sit silently.

everal people including children from the neighbouring villages and also from Uravakonda used to visit this “Sai Baba”. Subbamma used to cook and serve food for them. She used to feel very happy at her service, thinking that she was serving Swami’s classmates. Since then, the number of people visiting Swami has increased by leaps and bounds.

Once the Maharaja of Mysore, Jayachamaraja Wodayar came by his car. The motorable road was only up to Penukonda. He therefore travelled in a bullock cart from Penukonda to Karnatanagepalli and from there to Puttaparthi by walk. He pleaded with Me, “Swami! Why are You putting Yourself to trouble, residing in Puttaparthi? You please come to Mysore. I will arrange to build a big mansion for You.” I told him, “A tree must grow in the same place where it was born. If it is plucked out and transplanted elsewhere, it will not grow. This tree must also grow in the same place where it was born.” The Maharaja was a great devotee. He used to visit the Chamundeswari temple daily in the morning and evening and sing a song specially composed in praise of Goddess Chamundeswari.

The Maharaja of Mysore visited Puttaparthi again on another occasion. By that time, a motorable road was laid from Penukonda to Bukkapatnam. He telephoned to the Governor of Andhra Pradesh saying, “Why don’t you lay a good road to reach Puttaparthi? How much money is being wasted on all and sundry schemes! Please arrange to lay a good road to Puttaparthi immediately.”

The Governor instructed the Government accordingly and after a protracted correspondence, a chief engineer by name Tiruvannai Iyengar was finally sent to undertake a survey of the project. It was planned to lay a bypass road direct to the Mandir, without touching the Chitravathi Road. The Maharajaof Mysore offered to bear the entire expenditure for the project. Before starting the work, the Chief Engineer surveyed the area travelling in a bullock cart. He found that the river encircled the village on three sides and only the fourth side was available for laying a road. He stayed for three to four days here and reached Mandir in that route by a bullock cart. He confirmed that route and passed orders finally to lay a black top road in that route, drilling a big hole in a hill blocking the way.

At last, a direct road to reach the Mandir in Puttaparthi was ready, without touching the Chitravathi River. Once the road was made ready, a number of people including Rajas and Maharajas with their families started visiting Puttaparthi. Notable among them were the Rajas of Bobbili and Venkatagiri. They used to bring tents along with them and stay in those tents. Gradually, the number of people visiting Puttaparthi increased by leaps and bounds. The people in the villages around Puttaparthi used to argue with them saying, “Should we not have an opportunity to have Swami’s darshan, sparshan,and sambhashan? Is He meant only for the Rajas, Maharajas?” I used to pacify them saying that all are My devotees and I don’t make any distinction between rich and poor.

Later, the Rajas of Bobbili, Trivandrum and the younger brother of Trivandrum Raja, who was a film director, made a lot of conveniences here like building houses for the visiting devotees. The former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, the late Dr Bezwada Gopala Reddy, built a hospital in Puttaparthi. In spite of his busy schedule as the Chief Minister, he used to make regular visits to Puttaparthi. He continued the same till his last breath. He used to attend every function held in Prasanthi Nilayam. In due course, millions of devotees from all over India and all parts of the world started coming to Prasanthi Nilayam.

In fact, I have not come down to deliver discourses on any particular form of God. Divinity is only one by whatever name and form people refer to Him. The goal is one and love is one. The names and forms may be different. Some may refer to Divinity as “Atma”; others as “Aum”. Yet, both are same. The names Rama, Krishna, Govinda, Narayana, etc. may be different, but God is only one. You may contemplate on any name, but God is only one. The Upanishads exhort, Matru Devo Bhava, Pitru Devo Bhava, Acharya Devo Bhava, Atithi Devo Bhava (revere your mother, father, preceptor, and guest as God). First and foremost, respect your mother. She is very important!

Forbearance is the real beauty in this sacred land of Bharat.

The nectarine feeling in this country is the feeling of love toward one’s mother. (Telugu poem)

Even if the mother and son go to a court in a property dispute, the mother would tell the lawyer, “he is my son,” and the son would say, “she is my mother.” Hence the relationship between a person and their parents is lasting. Even after the physical body ceases to exist the motherly relationship exists. A mother is a mother. Hence, there can be no greater, respectable, and sweet feeling than motherhood.

Many people write letters to Me addressing Me as “Mother Sai.” They refer to Me as their revered mother. I also address all of you as “children.”

8.Onam Divine Discourse – 2nd Sept 2009

DEVELOP QUALITIES OF HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE BESIDES MORALITY IN SOCIETY

Man is born out of, grows in, and finally departs from this world due to karma. Karma is verily the embodiment of Divinity for man. It is only due to karma that happiness and sorrow occur in this world.

(Telugu poem)

Embodiments of Love!

Dear devotees of Kerala! Emperor Bali used to rule the state of Kerala in ancient times. He used to treat his subjects as his own family members and provide several conveniences for their happy and comfortable living. He used to develop sacred feelings among the people and create a proper environment to foster them.

In order that the people tread the right path and to set an example to them, he once started a yajna(ritual, sacrifice) by name ‘Viswajit’. Several people gathered to witness that event. Emperor Bali performed the yajna on a grand scale by donating land and money to several people and gave away gifts to a number of people on the occasion. During the Yajna, his family members were also seated on the Yajna Vedika along with him.

While everyone was watching the grand spectacle, a handsome boy entered the sacrificial hall holding a small umbrella made of palmirah leaves. As He was approaching the altar, Emperor Bali’s daughter Ratnamala saw Him. She was captivated by the beauty and effulgence of that charming young boy. Immediately, she was lost in deep contemplation, thinking, “How fortunate it would be if I had a child like Him!” The boy went straight to the altar. While everyone present in the sacrificial hall was watching happily, Emperor Bali welcomed Him, washed His feet reverentially, offered a garland, and asked Him to sit on an ornate chair. He then asked the young boy, “Who are You? Where did You come from and why?”

The young boy replied, “I have heard that Emperor Bali is doing several acts of charity. I too have a desire to be fulfilled.”The Emperor then asked, “What is it?” The boy replied, “I don’t need much. I will be happy if small piece of land measuring three feet is given to Me in charity.”

Emperor Bali wondered, “What! Such a small request! I thought You would ask for some big things. I am surprised at your small request. Is that enough? You may ask for something more.”

The young boy replied that it would be enough if His request is fulfilled. He covered the entire earth with one step and the sky with the second and was waiting to take the third step. But there was no space left for the third step.

Emperor Bali then told the boy, “Dear one! You covered the entire Earth with one step and the sky with the second. Now there is no space to set the third step. Hence, put Your foot on my head, if You wish.” So saying, he bent his head before the boy, who was none other than Lord Vishnu come in the form of Vamana Avatar. The moment Lord Vamana set His foot on the head of Emperor Bali, Bali was pushed down under its weight to the nether world! That was how Lord Vishnu liberated Bali.

The people of Emperor Bali’s Kingdom were very sad at the developments. They expressed their feelings of forlornness thus: “Oh God! Our Emperor is no more with us. He used to rear us like his own children. He is our protector. How can you live without him?” Their helplessness and agony over the separation from their beloved King were very painful. The happy event of Yajna being celebrated on a grand scale came to an abrupt end. This is an example of the saying, “Pleasure is an interval between two pains.”

As the people were thus grieving, Emperor Bali declared from the nether world, “Oh my dear children! You are all very dear to me. I will always look after your welfare, wherever I am. I will see that you do not undergo any trouble. I will protect you. You need not feel that I am away from you in a different world. Every year on this day, I shall come and see you. Commemorate this day of my coming as a festival. Take a head bath, wear new clothes, and enjoy a feast with a variety of dishes on this day.”

Since then, the people of Kerala celebrate that day as ‘Onam festival’ in remembrance of their most beloved King and protector Bali.

Emperor Bali used to do a lot of good work for the benefit of people and make them happy. This is why the people could not bear separation from their beloved King. Even today, Kerala remains a land of plenty and prosperity. Nature showers its bounty on the people of Kerala. In fact, the rains start in Kerala and then spread to the entire country. There is no dearth of food grains and drinking water in Kerala, which is nature’s gift to the people of Kerala. It is customary to see people in other states worrying about the arrival of the monsoon saying, “Oh! The rains have not yet started in Kerala.” It is a land where the omnipresent God incarnated as Lord Vamana. He may incarnate in one place but is present everywhere.

God is omnipresent, though at times He incarnates in one form at one place. God is only one, not two, though people refer to Him by different names and forms. Ekam sath viprah bahudha vadanti (truth is one, but the wise refer to it by various names). It is only our illusion to ascribe different names to God like Rama, Krishna, Govinda, Allah, Jesus, etc. The sun is only one, and it appears in different parts of the world at different times. It is now 9.00 a.m.; but it is night in the U.S.A. Similarly, the one God dwells in different people in different forms.

Do not be under the impression that God has different forms. He is beyond names and forms. Ekoham bahusyam (God is one but manifests as several beings). Divinity is present everywhere and in every country and in every individual. It is omnipresent. Since your perceptions are different, you ascribe different names and forms to the one God.

The land of Kerala is the gift of God. The people of Kerala follow the commands of the noble Emperor Bali even today. That is why the state has developed in several ways. There is no dearth of food and amenities for a happy living in Kerala. Emperor Bali provided all comforts to the people before he left for his abode. It is a small state, and densely populated. Whatever may be the size of population, people enjoy a lot of comforts, peace, and happiness in Kerala.

Of course, changes in people’s aspirations and lifestyle are taking place in recent times due to the impact of Kali Yuga, but the core of their hearts and feelings remains the same. They still follow theVedic injunctions Sathyam vada, dharmam chara (speak truth and follow righteousness). They respect the elders and serve them with love and affection.

What could be the reason for this? Love for God. It is a land where love for God exists even today. They have fear of sin. Those who have love for God naturally develop fear of sin. Consequently, such people will have a high degree of morality in society, which is very important for its orderly functioning. Thus, the people of Kerala scrupulously observe the three principles of Daiva preethi; papa bheethi, and sangha neethi (love for God, fear of sin, and morality in society). They respect elders and give due recognition to them.

One should have morality and integrity. The same principles have been enshrined in the Vedicinjunction, Sathyam vada, dharmam chara (speak truth and follow righteousness). The people of Kerala follow these two principles scrupulously in their daily lives.

It is not enough to celebrate the Onam festival with a lot of religious fervour and devotion. You have to live up to the expectations of the noble emperor Bali. It is said Matru devo bhava, pitru devo bhava, acharya devo bhava, atithi devo bhava (revere your mother, father, preceptor, and guest as God). (Mother is God, father is God, teacher is God, and guest is God). First comes the mother in that order. She gives birth to you, brings you up, and teaches you good things in your formative years. Then begins the role of father. He is your second guru. Then the teacher (guru) teaches you education to enable you to make a living in the world. And finally God takes command. Thus, your life in this physical world begins with your mother and culminates in God.

Hence, do not under any circumstances forget your mother. Love your mother more than anyone else and show her due respect. You will find that the people of Kerala respect the elders very much, particularly their mothers. They lend a helping hand and take good care of them. They keep them happy always. How fortunate are the people of Kerala to have an Emperor like Bali, whom God Himself accompanied to Vaikuntha (heaven)!

What is Onam? It is a day in which people take a good bath, wear new clothes, and pray to God with a pure heart. The people of Kerala prepare a variety of tasty dishes, particularly with banana. In fact, they prepare twelve varieties of dishes with the banana fruit. It is a unique celebration. They prepare these dishes with a pure and loving heart. Hence, they will be very tasty.

They offer these preparations first to God wholeheartedly and with a lot of devotion and then partake of it along with their family members and relations. They serve these dishes one after the other. Both the cooking and serving of the dishes is done with a pure and loving heart in the true spirit of Onam celebrations. They keep their houses clean and maintain a sacred atmosphere for God to manifest. They consider them not merely as houses, but temples of God. It is only in Kerala that such a sacred atmosphere prevails.

Even if some people have some misgivings about the festival of Onam, they get them cleared and celebrate the festival in its true spirit as a day on which Emperor Bali conferred blessings on his people from Vaikuntha (the abode of Lord Vishnu), which he ultimately reached.

It is a tapas (penance) for the people of Kerala to remember the words of Emperor Bali on this day and lead their lives accordingly in a spirit of love and service. “Love all and serve all”! There can be no greater penance for anyone.

Whomsoever you come across, offer your salutations. Even if you encounter your enemy, offer your salutations to him first. Surely, he will reciprocate your noble gesture. Thus, people have to conduct themselves with mutual love and unity. It is only such people that deserve to be called human beings. They are, in fact, the people with morality.

You have to develop such morality today. Love for God enjoins one to develop morality in society. Hence, you have to develop Daiva preethi, papa bheethi, and sangha neethi (love for God, fear of sin, and morality in society). Do not ever forget these three principles.

Those who have no morality are not human beings at all! Can a nation or race exist without morality? No! You have also to develop the qualities of humility and obedience, besides morality. This was, in fact, the message of emperor Bali to his people. If you can cultivate and develop these qualities, your life will be sanctified.

9.Divine Discourse on Ethics and World of Finance – 28th Aug 2009

UPHOLD ETHICS AND MORALITY

The body is made up of five elements and is bound to perish sooner or later, but the indweller has neither birth nor death. The indweller has no attachment whatsoever and is the eternal witness. Truly speaking, the indweller, who is in the form of the Atma, is verily God Himself.

(Telugu poem)

The Dehi (Indweller) has no bondages. Dehi is also referred to as Atma or Brahman.

Embodiments of Love,

People worship God is several ways and develop faith in Him. However, God has no name or form. He is one and only one. Yet, people call Him by different names like Rama, Krishna, Allah, Jesus, etc. These are all their individual fancies, but God has no particular name. God is one. Ekam Sath viprah bahudha vadanti (truth is one, but the wise refer to it by various names). The one God is referred to and worshipped by various names and forms. These forms ascribed to God are the result of one’s imagination and as portrayed in some paintings. In fact, no one has ever visualised God. In whichever form one contemplates on God, He will manifest in that form. God is one, not two!

Every individual refers to themself as ‘I’, ‘I’, ‘I’. This ‘I’ refers to the individual ego, born out of attachment to the body. When this deha bhava is removed (crossed), one becomes the dehi (Indweller). You become God, verily. Divinity transcends name and form. Since time immemorial, people contemplated, worshipped, served, and longed for such a transcendental Divinity.

People have many desires in this material world. Emperor Dharmaraja had only one desire: playing the game of dice. He was very fond of this game. The Kauravas noticed this weakness of Dharmaraja. They contrived to trap him by making use of this weakness. Their maternal uncle Sakuni instigated and advised them, “You go and invite Dharmaraja for a game of dice.”

Sakuni was an adept in this game, and he could easily defeat his opponents by foul means. Duryodhana and his brothers were on one side and Dharmaraja was on the other. The dice used in this game were manipulated to enable them to score a victory each time the game was played. As a result, Dharmaraja lost the game every time. He lost his empire, his brothers, himself, and even Droupadi. The Kauravas annexed his empire and took control over Dharmaraja’s brothers and wife Droupadi. They dragged her to the royal court.

Droupadi then posed a question to the honourable members and elders in the assembly whether Dharmaraja pawned himself first and then lost her or vice-versa. If Dharmaraja pawned himself first and lost the game, he had no right to pawn Droupadi. Moreover, Droupadi was the wife of not only Dharmaraja but all the five brothers. Did they give their consent to pawn Panchali (the wife of five brothers) by Dharmaraja in this game of dice? No one in that august assembly dared to answer the subtle points raised by Droupadi. They did not open their mouths.

Dronacharya, in his youth one day, went to King Drupada to ask for the gift of a cow. Because the king refused to make the gift, Dronacharya in his anger left Panchala with his belongings and wife and child. As he was walking toward Hastinapura, he encountered the Pandava and Kaurava children playing in a field near a well. Coming near the children, who had surrounded the well, Dronacharya enquired, “My dear children, what is the matter? Why are you all standing around the well in this manner? What has happened?” The children replied in one voice, “Swami, our ball fell into this well.”

Dronacharya then pacified them saying, “Do not worry, I will take the ball out.” So saying, He pulled an arrow and shot at the ball. The arrow stuck to the ball. Then he shot another arrow which stuck to the first arrow. In this manner, he released a number of arrows one after the other and finally with the help of the arrows made into a pole, he pulled out the ball and handed it over to the children. Seeing this wonderful feat of Dronacharya, they fell at his feet. They realised that they had at last found someone who was an expert in archery. They conveyed this news to Bhishma, who appointed Dronacharya as the teacher of both Kauravas and Pandavas.

Among the children, Arjuna particularly learnt the skills of archery fast and became an expert in a short time, winning the affection and admiration of Guru Dronacharya. In fact, he made his Guru proud and famous by his skills. This had made Aswatthama, the son of Dronacharya, jealous. From then onward, he bore a grudge against Pandavas, particularly Arjuna. During the Mahabharata war, he joined theKauravas and fought against the Pandavas. One night, during the war, he stealthily entered the camp of the Pandavas and massacred the Upapandavas (young children of Pandavas) mercilessly under the cover of darkness. As he was about to escape, he was tracked down by Arjuna, who dragged him into the presence of Droupadi. Instead of becoming angry and cursing the evil doer and pronouncing punishment on him, she fell at the feet of Aswatthama, the son of her husband’s most revered Guru and said:

It is at the feet of your father Dronacharya

that my husbands learnt all that they know.

Being the son of Dronacharya, is it proper to kill my innocent children?

How could you have the heart to kill them,

who were unarmed, young, quietly asleep,

were not having any enmity against you

and were not contemplating any harm to you? (Telugu poem)

When Droupadi was thus pleading with Aswatthama, Bhima could not bear to see this. Exploding with anger, he roared:

This Droupadi is a stupid woman,

for she pleads for the freedom of

this wretch. She feels no anger against

this murderer of her sons. This assassin

is not a Brahmin; do not release him, kill him.

If you do not do that, I will myself kill him

with my powerful fist. (Telugu poem)

Aswatthama was trembling with fear and felt helpless. Consumed with rage, Arjuna was about to attack Aswatthama. Droupadi then raised both her hands and pleaded with Arjuna thus:

Oh, Phalguna! It is not righteous to kill

a person who is afraid or has lost

courage, who is asleep or intoxicated,

who seeks refuge or is a female.

You should not kill Aswatthama, for, he is the son of your preceptor.

(Telugu poem)

Droupadi then fell at his feet and reasoned with him: “Arjuna, will my sons be revived by killing Aswatthama? His mother would experience the same kind of sorrow that I am now undergoing. Having studied the Vedas and Sastras, how is it that you are not able to maintain your tranquillity?” Thus, Droupadi pleaded with Arjuna to forgive Aswatthama for his heinous act.

Arjuna retorted, “You are preventing me from keeping up my vow.”

Droupadi replied, “Tonsuring his head and removing the crown jewel from his head is equivalent to killing him.” Arjuna then agreed to her pleadings, and as a token of punishment shaved Aswatthama’s head, took his crown jewel, and set him free. “There is no use brooding over the past. Past is past; forget the past,” is the advice given by Droupadi to Arjuna. On the advice of Droupadi, Arjuna suppressed his emotion.

Just now, an economist who participated in the conference mentioned the theme “Ethics and Finance”. Arjuna followed the ethics and saved the life of Aswatthama, forgetting the loss of the Upapandavas.

To save the life of a fellow human being is far superior to accumulating wealth. Several such incidents of nobility are to be found in the Mahabharata and the Bhagavata. There are many such noble women like Droupadi. She was broad-minded and of noble character. It is only because of such women that the country of Bharat has achieved great progress from age to age and attained the pre-eminent position of today.

Unfortunately, the Bharatiyas (Indians) have forgotten their glorious past. They are now like a mighty elephant who is unaware of its innate strength. In the supremely holy land of Bharat, tolerance is the towering quality of our character. What is the real beauty in a human being? It is not the beauty of the physical body. It is the quality of tolerance that confers real beauty on an individual. Our culture of Bharat has given utmost importance to the quality of tolerance. This has been our tradition since ages.

One has to therefore uphold one’s rich tradition of purity and tolerance. A true Bharatiya is one who protects these two qualities. He is not a human who lacks morality. Money comes and goes, but morality comes and grows. Hence, one has to protect one’s morality. That is the real quality of aBharatiya. Only the one who is endowed with a noble character is eligible to be called a Bharatiya.

Just as an elephant is not aware of its innate strength and meekly submits itself to the commands of the mahout, the Bharatiyas of today forget their innate strength and purity and are imitating the western culture. Though they are endowed with great strength and have mastered the Vedas, the Upanishads, and the scriptures, they are aping the western culture forgetting their own greatness. It does not behoove of the people of such a great nation. You have to realise the greatness of your culture and follow your conscience.

Unfortunately, people today do not follow their conscience. It is not out of ignorance but innocence!

If you continue to imitate the western culture, your own strength will gradually diminish. Therefore, do not imitate others. Observe restraint. For example, the lion attacks an animal only when it is hungry. It does not go about killing every animal that it comes across. Thus, even a wild beast like the lion has the capacity to restrain itself. Hence, it is necessary for every human being to observe restraint and certain limits. Limitless ego, anger , and desire will only lead you astray.

You have to divert your mind from such a situation and follow the noble path so that you do not cause harm to others nor do you suffer in the process. Do not utilise your strength and power indiscriminately. You see the modern children enjoying unrestrained freedom. Freedom no doubt is good and permissible but should be within a limit. Then only does it acquire value. Trying to amass wealth and being over-smart will only lead you to danger.

You must have seen in newspapers how America indulged in colossal wastage of its money and resources in waging wars against Iran, Iraq, and other nations. What could America gain from this? Today the American economy has slowed down and there is recession in the country. It is all due to their improper usage of resources.

Take for example, Lord Easwara. He is mighty and all-powerful. Yet, He uses His all-pervading power only to the extent necessary. He does not use His power indiscriminately. One must emulate His example and make proper use of one’s strength and resources only to the extent necessary.

Do not waste your thoughts, for it makes your mind unsteady and wavering. (Showing His handkerchief) What is this? This is a cloth. No, this is not a cloth but a bundle of threads. Not even threads, it is just cotton. Without cotton, there can be no threads, and without threads there can be no cloth. Likewise, the mind is nothing but a bundle of thoughts. Therefore, put a check on your thoughts. Even the wealth you acquire and the food you eat must be within a certain limit. Food is God, do not waste it.

Help others, never hurt them. “Help Ever, Hurt Never.” These are some of the guidelines for a purposeful living that you must follow. He is a blessed one who conducts himself in such a way that he does not hurt others nor does get hurt in the process. You have to learn these skills, which are not available in the textbooks. Watch your thoughts and see that they do not go astray. Each time a thought arises in your mind, analyse it. “Is it good or bad?” If you feel it is bad, do not allow it to persist. Just let it pass. If it is a good thought, put it into practice so that you and others also will be benefited.

In the conference held yesterday and today, certain guidelines for the efficient functioning of the banks in the country have been deliberated upon. Whatever actions you perform must be in a spirit of self-improvement. Do not be under the impression that you are serving the organisation; rather you are serving yourself by your sincere efforts. Do not at all give room for ego and pride.

By depositing your savings in the bank, it is not the bank but you who will benefit, for it will come back to you only. In the same way, you will benefit by the good you do to others. You are doing it for your own good life.

If you want to earn a good name in society, cultivate three principles: Daiva preeti, papa bheeti, and sangha neeti(love for God, fear of sin, and morality in society). If you foster morality in society, people will gather around you treating you as a good person. First and foremost, develop love for God. The next is fear of sin. It is only when you cultivate this quality that you will become a person of character. When you have a noble character, the entire society will love you. None will hate you. Maintain good character and love all. Love is everywhere and God is everywhere. Hence, love all. The more you love others, the more your reputation will go up in the society.

If you commit a mistake or indulge in an evil deed, others will try to imitate you. Hence, be good, do good, and see good. This is the way to God. Only when you conduct yourself in such a manner will you earn a good name in society.

You cannot learn these things from a textbook. It is not textual information. It relates to the purity of heart. You should develop such sacredness. Unfortunately, there are only secrets but no sacredness anywhere. This is not good. If you smoke a cigarette, your friend too will come to you and say, “Hello, you are a good boy. Give me also one cigarette.”

As is your company, so will be your behaviour. “Tell me your company, I shall tell you what you are.” If your company is bad, you become a bad person. If you are good, others will follow your example and become good.

Today, you find that several companies have closed their operations. What could be the reason for this? If one company is following foul methods, other companies will also follow suit. It is a common thing that bad habits spread quickly and easily. You have therefore to be cautious and strive for good things to happen. Do not be hasty to imitate bad things. “Haste makes waste, waste makes worry, therefore, do not be in a hurry.”

Dear children, you are all very young. Start doing good work right from this age. Set an example to others. Do service to society. It is society that protects you.

Even before you start doing social service, there are four persons whom you should revere and respect: mother, father, preceptor, and God in that order. First and foremost, the mother is very important. Make her happy. If your mother is happy, your entire life will be happy. If you make her unhappy, you will suffer. Hence, keep her happy and contented at all times. The happiness of the mother is your happiness.

She will protect you always. It is the mother who gave birth to you and brought you up. She may reprimand you and even beat you when she is angry with you. But her anger is only momentary. You should not feel for it. The temporary anger will not last long. Realise the fact that anger, ego, jealousy, etc., are all temporary phases. Even lust is momentary. These are all temporary and hence they come and go. They are not permanent. But one principle, Atma Tattwa, is everlasting.

Develop love for one and all. Love, Love, Love! “Love All and Serve All.” Love is your only property that lasts for ever. There is nothing greater than love, and you don’t need anything greater too.

Plunge into service with a feeling, “Service is God; Service is my Life.” Service should not be undertaken with an expectation of remuneration. “Money comes and goes, but morality comes and grows.” Do not be elated when you get money or depressed when you lose money. The difference between money and morality is: money comes and goes whereas morality comes and grows.

Dear children, today is a very happy day. Pray that occasions like this should reoccur wherever you may be.

God is your sole refuge wherever you may be, In a forest, in the sky, in a city or a village, on the top of a mountain or in the middle of a deep sea.

(Telugu poem)

God is always with you, above you, behind you. He will always protect you. Develop this firm faith in your heart. God’s grace is not transitory. He will always be with you. You are all good children, I know. Conduct yourself as good children always.

(Bhagawan concluded His discourse with two bhajans, “Hari bhajan bina sukha santhi nahin …” and”Subrahmanyam, Subrahmanyam …”)

10.Divine Discourse on Vinayaka Chaturthi – 24th Aug 2009

DEVELOP QUALITIES OF HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE BESIDES MORALITY IN SOCIETY

Man is born out of, grows in, and finally departs from this world due to karma. Karma is verily the embodiment of Divinity for man. It is only due to karma that happiness and sorrow occur in this world.

(Telugu poem)

Embodiments of Love!

Dear devotees of Kerala! Emperor Bali used to rule the state of Kerala in ancient times. He used to treat his subjects as his own family members and provide several conveniences for their happy and comfortable living. He used to develop sacred feelings among the people and create a proper environment to foster them.

In order that the people tread the right path and to set an example to them, he once started a yajna(ritual, sacrifice) by name ‘Viswajit’. Several people gathered to witness that event. Emperor Bali performed the yajna on a grand scale by donating land and money to several people and gave away gifts to a number of people on the occasion. During the Yajna, his family members were also seated on the Yajna Vedika along with him.

While everyone was watching the grand spectacle, a handsome boy entered the sacrificial hall holding a small umbrella made of palmirah leaves. As He was approaching the altar, Emperor Bali’s daughter Ratnamala saw Him. She was captivated by the beauty and effulgence of that charming young boy. Immediately, she was lost in deep contemplation, thinking, “How fortunate it would be if I had a child like Him!” The boy went straight to the altar. While everyone present in the sacrificial hall was watching happily, Emperor Bali welcomed Him, washed His feet reverentially, offered a garland, and asked Him to sit on an ornate chair. He then asked the young boy, “Who are You? Where did You come from and why?”

The young boy replied, “I have heard that Emperor Bali is doing several acts of charity. I too have a desire to be fulfilled.”The Emperor then asked, “What is it?” The boy replied, “I don’t need much. I will be happy if small piece of land measuring three feet is given to Me in charity.”

Emperor Bali wondered, “What! Such a small request! I thought You would ask for some big things. I am surprised at your small request. Is that enough? You may ask for something more.”

The young boy replied that it would be enough if His request is fulfilled. He covered the entire earth with one step and the sky with the second and was waiting to take the third step. But there was no space left for the third step.

Emperor Bali then told the boy, “Dear one! You covered the entire Earth with one step and the sky with the second. Now there is no space to set the third step. Hence, put Your foot on my head, if You wish.” So saying, he bent his head before the boy, who was none other than Lord Vishnu come in the form of Vamana Avatar. The moment Lord Vamana set His foot on the head of Emperor Bali, Bali was pushed down under its weight to the nether world! That was how Lord Vishnu liberated Bali.

The people of Emperor Bali’s Kingdom were very sad at the developments. They expressed their feelings of forlornness thus: “Oh God! Our Emperor is no more with us. He used to rear us like his own children. He is our protector. How can you live without him?” Their helplessness and agony over the separation from their beloved King were very painful. The happy event of Yajna being celebrated on a grand scale came to an abrupt end. This is an example of the saying, “Pleasure is an interval between two pains.”

As the people were thus grieving, Emperor Bali declared from the nether world, “Oh my dear children! You are all very dear to me. I will always look after your welfare, wherever I am. I will see that you do not undergo any trouble. I will protect you. You need not feel that I am away from you in a different world. Every year on this day, I shall come and see you. Commemorate this day of my coming as a festival. Take a head bath, wear new clothes, and enjoy a feast with a variety of dishes on this day.”

Since then, the people of Kerala celebrate that day as ‘Onam festival’ in remembrance of their most beloved King and protector Bali.

Emperor Bali used to do a lot of good work for the benefit of people and make them happy. This is why the people could not bear separation from their beloved King. Even today, Kerala remains a land of plenty and prosperity. Nature showers its bounty on the people of Kerala. In fact, the rains start in Kerala and then spread to the entire country. There is no dearth of food grains and drinking water in Kerala, which is nature’s gift to the people of Kerala. It is customary to see people in other states worrying about the arrival of the monsoon saying, “Oh! The rains have not yet started in Kerala.” It is a land where the omnipresent God incarnated as Lord Vamana. He may incarnate in one place but is present everywhere.

God is omnipresent, though at times He incarnates in one form at one place. God is only one, not two, though people refer to Him by different names and forms. Ekam sath viprah bahudha vadanti (truth is one, but the wise refer to it by various names). It is only our illusion to ascribe different names to God like Rama, Krishna, Govinda, Allah, Jesus, etc. The sun is only one, and it appears in different parts of the world at different times. It is now 9.00 a.m.; but it is night in the U.S.A. Similarly, the one God dwells in different people in different forms.

Do not be under the impression that God has different forms. He is beyond names and forms. Ekoham bahusyam (God is one but manifests as several beings). Divinity is present everywhere and in every country and in every individual. It is omnipresent. Since your perceptions are different, you ascribe different names and forms to the one God.

The land of Kerala is the gift of God. The people of Kerala follow the commands of the noble Emperor Bali even today. That is why the state has developed in several ways. There is no dearth of food and amenities for a happy living in Kerala. Emperor Bali provided all comforts to the people before he left for his abode. It is a small state, and densely populated. Whatever may be the size of population, people enjoy a lot of comforts, peace, and happiness in Kerala.

Of course, changes in people’s aspirations and lifestyle are taking place in recent times due to the impact of Kali Yuga, but the core of their hearts and feelings remains the same. They still follow theVedic injunctions Sathyam vada, dharmam chara (speak truth and follow righteousness). They respect the elders and serve them with love and affection.

What could be the reason for this? Love for God. It is a land where love for God exists even today. They have fear of sin. Those who have love for God naturally develop fear of sin. Consequently, such people will have a high degree of morality in society, which is very important for its orderly functioning. Thus, the people of Kerala scrupulously observe the three principles of Daiva preethi; papa bheethi, and sangha neethi (love for God, fear of sin, and morality in society). They respect elders and give due recognition to them.

One should have morality and integrity. The same principles have been enshrined in the Vedicinjunction, Sathyam vada, dharmam chara (speak truth and follow righteousness). The people of Kerala follow these two principles scrupulously in their daily lives.

It is not enough to celebrate the Onam festival with a lot of religious fervour and devotion. You have to live up to the expectations of the noble emperor Bali. It is said Matru devo bhava, pitru devo bhava, acharya devo bhava, atithi devo bhava (revere your mother, father, preceptor, and guest as God). (Mother is God, father is God, teacher is God, and guest is God). First comes the mother in that order. She gives birth to you, brings you up, and teaches you good things in your formative years. Then begins the role of father. He is your second guru. Then the teacher (guru) teaches you education to enable you to make a living in the world. And finally God takes command. Thus, your life in this physical world begins with your mother and culminates in God.

Hence, do not under any circumstances forget your mother. Love your mother more than anyone else and show her due respect. You will find that the people of Kerala respect the elders very much, particularly their mothers. They lend a helping hand and take good care of them. They keep them happy always. How fortunate are the people of Kerala to have an Emperor like Bali, whom God Himself accompanied to Vaikuntha (heaven)!

What is Onam? It is a day in which people take a good bath, wear new clothes, and pray to God with a pure heart. The people of Kerala prepare a variety of tasty dishes, particularly with banana. In fact, they prepare twelve varieties of dishes with the banana fruit. It is a unique celebration. They prepare these dishes with a pure and loving heart. Hence, they will be very tasty.

They offer these preparations first to God wholeheartedly and with a lot of devotion and then partake of it along with their family members and relations. They serve these dishes one after the other. Both the cooking and serving of the dishes is done with a pure and loving heart in the true spirit of Onam celebrations. They keep their houses clean and maintain a sacred atmosphere for God to manifest. They consider them not merely as houses, but temples of God. It is only in Kerala that such a sacred atmosphere prevails.

Even if some people have some misgivings about the festival of Onam, they get them cleared and celebrate the festival in its true spirit as a day on which Emperor Bali conferred blessings on his people from Vaikuntha (the abode of Lord Vishnu), which he ultimately reached.

It is a tapas (penance) for the people of Kerala to remember the words of Emperor Bali on this day and lead their lives accordingly in a spirit of love and service. “Love all and serve all”! There can be no greater penance for anyone.

Whomsoever you come across, offer your salutations. Even if you encounter your enemy, offer your salutations to him first. Surely, he will reciprocate your noble gesture. Thus, people have to conduct themselves with mutual love and unity. It is only such people that deserve to be called human beings. They are, in fact, the people with morality.

You have to develop such morality today. Love for God enjoins one to develop morality in society. Hence, you have to develop Daiva preethi, papa bheethi, and sangha neethi (love for God, fear of sin, and morality in society). Do not ever forget these three principles.

Those who have no morality are not human beings at all! Can a nation or race exist without morality? No! You have also to develop the qualities of humility and obedience, besides morality. This was, in fact, the message of emperor Bali to his people. If you can cultivate and develop these qualities, your life will be sanctified.

11.Divine Discourse – 20th July 2009

REALISE ATMA TATTWA BY CONSTANT PRACTICE

Embodiments of Love!

Everyone enquires, “Swami, where is Atma?” They do not understand what Atma is. The Upanishadshave dealt at length with the principle of Atma. Unfortunately, today people have not been able to interpret the teachings of the Upanishads properly. The teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana, and the Bhagavata have their origin in the Upanishads. Our sages in the ancient times did intensetapas (penance) to understand the nature of Atma and finally declared that Atma was the fundamental basis of everything in the universe. When it assumes a physical body, even while the body undergoes constant change from birth to death, Atma remains as the eternal and changeless principle. The Atmais the source and sustenance for everything. It has no birth and death.

People celebrate different festivals with great enthusiasm. For example, they celebrate the festival ofMahashivarathri. Does it mean Lord Shiva was born on that day? No; the name ‘Shiva’ signifies auspiciousness. The Shiva principle is omnipresent. It is

Sarvatah Panipadam Tat SarvathokshiSiromukham,

SarvatahSruthimalloke SarvamavruthyaTishthati (Sanskrit verse)

With hands, feet, eyes, head, mouth and ears pervading everything,

He permeates the entire universe.

Whatever is seen by the eyes, heard by the ears, even the words that are spoken – everything isBrahman. There is nothing in the universe that is not Brahman. That is why it is described as

Sabda Brahmamayi, Characharamayi, Jyotirmayi, Vangmayi,Nityanandamayi, Paratparamayi, Mayamayi and Sreemayi (Sanskrit verse) Embodiment of sound, mobility and immobility, light, speech, eternal bliss, perfection, delusion and wealth.

No one can say ‘this is Brahman and this is not.’ For example this handkerchief is also Brahman. From where did this handkerchief originate? It is made out of threads. The threads in turn originated from cotton. Since the threads are woven together, it has assumed the form of a cloth. The cloth thus woven out of cotton threads can be made into a dhoti or a sari or a shirt.

Some people say that the mind is the origin for the entire universe. This is not true. Even the mind has a source on which it depends. No doubt the mind is very strong and powerful, but even such a mind has originated from Atma only. The mind directs all activities in the physical world. It is very unsteady and is changing continuously. That is why it is called ‘monkey mind’.

Atma is the source and sustenance for the body, mind, intellect, chitta (consciousness), Viveka(discrimination), vijnana (higher wisdom), and sujnana (the science of consciousness).

All have originated from Atma only. All these assume a particular form at a particular time, like an infant, a child, a boy, a young man and an old person in the life of a human being. These different forms at different stages have no independent existence. It is a transition from one stage to the other. However, the Atmais the source and sustenance for all these entities. It is the fundamental principle.

In order to understand this fundamental principle, people ascribed different names to it. Some called itAum, the primordial sound. Others called it Thathtwamasi (That Thou Art). Yet others called it Brahman. Some others gave it some names like Rama, Krishna, Allah, Easwara, and Jesus. These different names and forms are given for the purpose of identification only. Divinity, however, has no name and form. The names and forms ascribed to God are based upon one’s liking for a particular name or form.

Some people desire to worship God as Venkateswara and realise Him in that form. Who created that form? It is the human mind that picturised God in that form; for example, painters like the famous Ravi Varma. He painted God in different forms – Rama, Krishna, etc. These are all man-made, but not original. You may worship God as Rama, Krishna, or Shiva and realise Him in that form. But, fundamentally, God is one and only one. He is formless, nameless, and attributeless Brahman. This fundamental truth has been explained in the aphorism, Ekameva Adviteeyam Brahma (God is one without a second).

Yet, different people at different times are deluded by names and forms. One can say it is all their imagination. In fact, that imagination itself is the root cause for all the troubles in the world. Though names and forms are different, God is only one.

You think so and so is bad and he looks bad. On the other hand, if you think that he is a good person, he will really appear good. It is your feeling toward him that makes all the difference between good and bad. These are all born out of your thoughts, for which the mind is the source. Hence, you have to take things as they are.

You think you are meditating on a particular form or object. Really speaking, it is not meditation. The form or object on which you are supposed to be meditating may change after sometime. Hence, it is not meditation in the real sense. It is not concentration either. It is just contemplation, for a particular time frame. When the object stabilises after regular practice, you can meditate.

It is not possible for anyone to meditate the moment one sits for meditation. No one ever succeeded in such an attempt. People say they are meditating, but it is artificial. Artificial meditation is really bad. There are three steps in the process: concentration, contemplation, and meditation. It is a gradual process achieved by systematic and regular abhyasa (practice). This abhyasa yoga and theconsequent peace attained by a person has been beautifully explained in the Bhagavad Gita thus:

Sreyohi Jnanamabhyasat,

Jnanaddhyanam Vishishyate,

Dhyanat Karmaphala Thyaga,

Thyagat Santhiranantaram. (Sanskrit verse)

Better indeed is knowledge than practice.

Better than knowledge is meditation on God.

But better than meditation is renunciation of the desire for the fruits of actions. For peace follows peace immediately.

A newborn child does not become an adult immediately but gradually grows into an adult. It is a mistake to think that whatever you wish becomes fruitful. If that is so, there would be no human effort at all! There would be no meaning for human existence.

Hence, first and foremost, concentrate upon the ‘I’ principle. Constantly contemplate on the aphorism, “I am Atma.” You and Atma are one only, not two different entities.

Today, every action of a human being is leading to confusion, which in turn leads to depression. What is the reason for this sequence of events? Your own unsteady nature. In fact, the entire environment in the world is undergoing change. There is change in water, air, clouds, and even food. When everything around you is changing, naturally it will have its effect on you. Your mind is also undergoing change in tune with the changes around. There is only one changeless principle: constant integrated awareness (Prajnanam).

The Upanishads declare Prajnanam Brahma (Brahman is Supreme Consciousness). If you wish to attain that state, you must develop Ekatmabhava (feeling of oneness). Though the bodies are different, only one Atma dwells in all living beings. The human bodies are like the pots and the mind therein is water. The one moon is reflected in all the pots. It is only reaction, reflection, and resound, everywhere.

Dear children! You will not be able to understand the Atma Thathwa (Atma Principle). Atma is not merely a word comprising two letters. It connotes developing Ekatmabhava. All are one, be alike to everyone. How can you develop faith in this maxim? A small example. You are doing a particular work. Your neighbour has undertaken a different job. Though you both undertook different jobs, the environment in which you are performing the jobs is the same. Atma is the consciousness that pervades everywhere. That all-pervading principle is Truth.

The creation emerges from truth and merges into truth,

Is there a place in the cosmos where truth does not exist?

Visualise this pure and unsullied truth. (Telugu poem)

The entire universe is permeated by Truth. It is above, below, and on all sides. That sathya (truth) isAtma. It is eternal and changeless. The epic Bhagavata enjoins on us to speak truth and speak sweetly and softly. Sathyam bruyath, priyam bruyath, na bruyath sathyamapriyam (speak truth, speak pleasantly, and do not speak unpalatable truth). Truth is the source and sustenance for everything in the universe. Where there is sathya, there will be dharma. Where sathya and dharma go together, peace is the result. Where there is peace, there cannot be krodha (anger), taapa (agitation), eershya(envy), asuya (jealousy) and damba (conceit). Such peace devoid of these bad qualities transforms itself into pure love.

Once Hanuman entered the city of Lanka in search of Sita, who was abducted by Ravana and kept in confinement there. He searched for Sita in every street and every building, but could not find her. However, he could find the rakshasa ladies in awkward postures. He decided for himself that Sita was a noble lady and would not stoop down to such a level. Unable to find Sita anywhere, Hanuman lamented, “I have searched for her in every house and even in flower gardens. I am yearning to see her.”

Then he went into the Asokavana and found Sita sitting under a tree. He felt extremely happy to find her and in that joyous mood started pulling down fruit-bearing trees and deforming the beautiful garden. This act of impertinence of Hanuman infuriated the demons, and he was taken to Ravana’s court duly bound by ropes. In the royal court of the demon king Ravana, he picked up an argument with him over the propriety of his heinous act of abducting Sita. He addressed Ravana in a most humiliating manner.

Ravana could not tolerate the impertinent and arrogant behaviour of Hanuman. He became very angry and warned Hanuman, “You monkey! No one, not even kings, dared to address me in such humiliating language. I will see that your mouth is shut right now.”

Hanuman retorted, “You are a demon, whereas I am servant of an Emperor who rules the fourteenlokas (worlds). You cannot do anything to me.”

Ravana could not contain his anger any more and ordered that Hanuman’s tail be wrapped with clothes soaked in oil and set fire to. Immediately, the demons brought some old clothes, wrapped them round his tail, poured oil on them, and set fire to the tail. Hanuman then jumped from one building to the other with the burning tail and set fire to all the buildings in Lanka. Very soon, the flames spread everywhere, and it looked as though the entire city was going up in flames. All the residents in the city came out into the streets in great panic. They were wondering and discussing among themselves, “Who is this monkey? Wherefrom has it come? Who sent it? Our entire city is burning. Where can we go now?”

Even Mandodari’s palace was not spared. The entire city including the buildings and personal belongings of the residents were reduced to ashes. Only one house in Lanka, that of Vibhishana, was safe. Thus, the residents of Lanka had to pay for their sins. The Law of Karma is immutable and inescapable. People have to suffer the consequences of their evil deeds. Whatever one does, whether good or bad, will come back to him.

When man emerges from the womb of his mother,

he does not find any garland around his neck.

There are no jewels made of pearls,

nor are there glittering gold ornaments.

There are no necklaces studded with precious stones

like emeralds and diamonds.

But there is one garland around his neck.

Brahma strings together the consequences of his past deeds

into a heavy garland and puts it around his neck at the time of his birth.

(Telugu poem)

Thus, the results of our past karmas (actions) haunt us. Suppose you have eat pakoda in your house, after some time, you will get a belch of pakoda only. Similarly, you get the results of your past karmasonly. Hence, your actions must always be good.

In order that one always undertakes good karmas (actions), one must cultivate Daiva preeti, papa bheeti,and sangha neeti (love for God, fear of sin, and morality in society). If one can cultivate these three, one will be able to keep oneself away from indulging in bad deeds. Love for God, fear of sin, and morality in society are all interdependent. One follows the other. Namasmarana (repetition of the Name) would help cultivate these noble qualities. That is why I repeatedly exhort you to donamasmarana incessantly. Namasmarana is the means by which one can cross the ocean of samsara(the objective world).

If one has to realise Atma Thathwa, one must seek refuge in Atma only. Once you realise the Atma Thathwa, you will yourself become Atma. You have to constantly contemplate upon the Upanishadicdeclaration, Aham Brahmasmi (I am Brahman). You have to remind yourself, “I am not a human, I am not a rakshasa (demon), I am Atma.”

I wish that students should gradually give up loose talk and unnecessary activities. Your speech should be good; your vision should be good; your thoughts should also be good. Only when your thoughts, words, and deeds are good and in perfect harmony will you become a good person. The sacred texts like Ramayana, Mahabharata,and the Bhagavad Gita teach the same. First and foremost, develop love for God. If only you have love for God, it amounts to having everything.

If you wish to attain Atma Thathwa, you have to constantly contemplate upon Atma. Once you experience Atma Thathwa, you will yourself become Brahman. In order to get that experience, there should be regular practice. One does a lot of practice even for attaining simple things in daily life. Without practice, nothing can be achieved in life; you will commit mistakes.

First and foremost, learn to live like real human beings, constantly reminding yourself, “I am a human being, I am not an animal, I am not a cruel beast.” From humanness, you have to rise to the level of Divinity. Do not degenerate to the level of an animal or beast. In fact, all Avatars come only to raise the level of consciousness of human beings to that of Divinity, only to transform humans into divine beings.

When you follow God’s instructions meticulously and undertake activities that would please Him, you will surely become God, verily. It is not a difficult task. Constant practice will enable you to reach your goal. On the other hand, if you follow bad people, you will also become bad. “Tell me your company, I shall tell you what you are,” is the saying. As is your company, so you shall become.

12.Guru Purnima Divine Discourse – 7th July 2009

BE EXEMPLARS OF SELFLESS SERVICE

(Editors note. On the auspicious Guru Purnima morning, four senior functionaries, namely, Sarvasree A.V. Appa Rao, Financial Controller of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, A.V. Sathyanarayanamurthy, Senior Engineer in the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Prof. Nanjundaiah, Controller of Examinations, Sri Sathya Sai University and Prof. A.V. Lakshminarasimham, Registrar, Sri Sathya Sai University were felicitated by Bhagawan. In the evening Bhagawan again called Smt. & Sri. Appa Rao, Smt. & Sri. (Prof.) Nanjundaiah to the dais, to bless them profusely before commencing His Divine Discourse)

Embodiments of Divine Atma!

In the morning there was no time to talk about these people. Ever since our hospital started functioning, Appa Rao has been working there as an auditor. For fourteen years, he worked hard, day and night. I am pleased with his work. He came here with the sole intention of rendering selfless service, not with any other motive. Those were the initial stages of the Super Speciality Hospital, so there was plenty of work, day and night. He alone had to attend to everything … receiving parcels of medicines, checking them and noting them down. In spite of being a non medical person, he worked untiringly taking care of patients also. He is meticulous in checking all details. He has worked with full satisfaction. All these fourteen years, he never aspired for anything.

He did not accept even a naya paisa. Everybody in the hospital earns these days twenty to thirty thousand rupees. But he has not taken any money. He had to climb up and down the stairs many times everyday, while looking after the stores, patients, nurses and doctors as well. He looked after so many things, all alone. He never complained to Me also.

He has been adjusting himself. He has never been deficient in his work. I Myself used to see him now and then to enquire about the work. We should express our gratitude to such a dedicated worker.

With much compassion towards him, I told him, “Appa Rao, Now the number of patients coming to our hospital has increased by thousands. Mentally, of course, you are quite alert, but physically you are weak. Therefore, take rest at home. You have come to serve Swami. There was no shortcoming whatsoever in your service.”

His wife also supported him and has been taking good care of him at home, looking after his food and other needs meticulously. He has no habit of taking food outside. So, when necessary, she used to send his food to the hospital.

Appa Rao has also been taking care of poor people in many respects. He rendered help in many heart operations to the poor people. He used to send free medicines to the homes of those heart patients even after they were discharged. He worked very hard. My heart melted at his service. How can we leave such a person who worked so hard? Everybody, including students, sought his help. I tell our students often, “Help ever, Hurt never.”

We do not take even a paisa from anyone for rendering medical services. Our hospital always gives and never takes. He rendered seva (selfless service) with the feeling, “This is my hospital, my Swami’s hospital.” He considered the hospital as his own and served it selflessly. Even when I was away physically, I helped him in all that he did.

As this is our first Super Speciality Hospital, he had to work very hard for its development. Subsequently, another Super Speciality Hospital has been established in Bangalore. There is an Orthopaedic division also in our hospital here. Appa Rao has been looking after all this. I liked his work.

Before this, he worked for the government. There also, he rendered good service. As he utilised all his experience for the benefit of our hospital, today we have gathered here to honour him.

His younger brother Murthy is an electrical engineer. He is also working with us. Whenever there is any electrical problem he is called by telephone, and he attends to it immediately. Even at night, he is ever ready to do service.

The youngest brother Lakshminarasimham worked in our university as Registrar. He is also growing older, and needs a little rest. He has not married, so there is no bondage. He has been totally dedicated to our university. He first joined in Seva Dal. He did Ph.D. with the intention of joining our college. These three brothers have been rendering good service. They have been very helpful to us, in spite of many troubles they had to face.

Nanjundaiah has been the controller of examinations. He has been very kind to all students. He has been working day and night in order to declare the results well in time. He never used to take rest even for a while. He would engage himself in correcting papers even while suffering from fever. Everybody was depending upon him. He had to take much trouble in sending results to Anantapur and Bangalore colleges. We were very much concerned at the troubles he had to face. His wife also has been taking good care of him at home, providing timely food and looking after other needs meticulously.

The University has now grown very large. We are receiving more applications as compared to other institutes. Right from big officers to small clerks in India, all have great regard for our institutions. Be it the hospital or the university, there is no habit of taking money for the services rendered in our institutions. We know only to give. In Sai Organisations, there is only giving and no taking.

Recently, we appointed a committee to oversee the working of the Hospital and provide necessary help and guidance. We have procured some new machinery also. We have even imported necessary equipments from abroad. We have in our stock a variety of books. The University has produced many Ph.D.s. This year also, fourteen researchers got Ph.D. degrees.

The students have great faith in these two people. These two have been very helpful to us with regard to hospital services and educational activities. All the responsibility was shouldered by them. They used to send me letters while I was not present here. I used to discuss every detail with them. I used to ask Nanjundaiah about the examination results. The results were always good.

We have now decided not to burden them with these responsibilities any longer. Today, I am thanking and blessing them. These two are foremost among those who have strived hard for our Institutes. Therefore, wherever they are, Swami is always with them, guiding and guarding them. They came here only for the sake of Swami. Therefore, I wish to provide them with houses and keep them here only. Just as they looked after patients and students, I wish that hereafter also they both extend necessary guidance and help to the newcomers in the respective areas. There is much to learn from these two people. What is this Organisation doing for the society? How is it doing? What is their responsibility in this regard? Such details should be accorded to the newcomers, and necessary zeal and motivation should be inculcated.

The university was started first with undergraduate courses only. Now studies up to Ph.D. level are available.

Our university and hospitals are now being regarded as the best in India. I am very happy that you have contributed much for this name and fame. You always belong to Me. You have never thought that you are working for the hospital or the college. You have been working with the feeling, “This is ours, this is our Swami’s.” That is why we got all first prizes for the colleges and high reputation for hospitals. Even this information is known only through newspapers; we never proclaimed it in any manner. Our hospitals and university have become very famous indeed.

The students have learnt many things from such people, and have grown up to great heights. Many of them, who are Ph.D.s, have been appointed here so as to lead these institutions. Now many novel subjects have been introduced along with the conventional faculties like B.Com., B.Sc., M.Com., M.Sc., Ph.D., etc. Many deserving students are unable to get admission in other schools and colleges and with great hope are looking at us for help. I told our authorities to take such students also into our fold. We do not have any selfish motive. It is only in consideration of their parents’ anguish. They have given us the responsibility of looking after the welfare and progress of their children.

Appa Rao and Nanjundaiah must both be given the job of keeping watch with vigilant eyes on the affairs of these institutions. In other institutions, new entrants have to pay money and take receipts. But our hospitals and university have never given a scope for such things. Here everything is free, free, free. People wonder how we are managing these institutions with so many entrants, like this, without taking even a paisa? They just come in their clothing, as we admit them here. We are admitting all, including those who obtained average marks, and we are developing them into ‘First class’ students.

In other hospitals, patients have to spend thousands of rupees toward heart operations. But we do not charge them even a paisa. For us, love and devotion are important and not other things. “Love to love, Heart to heart.” We seek only this. They are all deriving great joy. Many patients are coming from Nepal and Bhutan for free treatment. In this endeavour, the students also must extend necessary help to the doctors and other officials. Our hospital and Institutes have been fostered in this manner for the past twenty years.

This trend has to continue in the future also. Without begging anybody, we have made fixed deposits to the tune of twenty or thirty crores for each institute, and they are running on the interest accrued from these deposits. I have made necessary arrangements in this regard. We are paying at par with the Government salaries. Students of our institutes or patients in our hospitals need not worry about anything. We take care of everything.

You must strive to keep everybody happy. Make parents happy. Help your parents. Some parents are being admitted into old age homes when they are short of money. This is not correct. You must provide necessary support to your aged parents. It is your own responsibility to look after your parents. Even though Swami is taking care of your education and other necessities, the aspect of parent’s care is your own responsibility. Parents should not be sent to old age homes. You must keep them with you and serve them. You must work hard and take good care of them. You need not prepare special items for their sake. It is enough if you can give them whatever you are eating.

As soon as students pass the exam and acquire a degree, they go in search of jobs.

When all women go out on jobs, who will look after chores of their homes?

When they go out for teaching other children, who will teach their own children?

When husband and wife go to offices, who will take care of their children?

(Telugu Poem)

Some people are deprived of homely food because there is no one at home to cook food. So they eat whatever they get. Thus, they are spoiling their own health. There is no happiness for a woman who is employed in an office. They spend their valuable time in some clubs. They do not have any consideration for their children in the house and for their timely food. One should give priority to the fostering of the children.

An officer gives a phone call to his house and tells the cook, “We have arranged a tea party at home today. Make all arrangements for the party.” But there is no tea powder, no sugar, no material for making chapathis or pakodas in the house. This is the kind of situation they have at home. Also, the children’s health gets spoiled because of inconsistent food habits and lack of parental care. They drink contaminated water and spoil their health, because there is no one at home to guide them.

Why should the wife go out and work? When she goes to school to teach other children, who will teach her own children? So it is your own duty to take care of your children. It is equivalent to earning a good salary if you can teach your own children and bring them up well. One feels sorry at the state of a woman who fails to take care of her husband and children. It is enough if you are able to provide proper timely food to your children and take care of their health. If you take up jobs, leaving your children at home, your entire earnings will go toward cooks, baby sitters, and cleaners. The house gets mismanaged. What you spend toward the cook, caretaker, and others will work out to be more than what you earn. You can save so much money if only you attend to your own work. This is the way of life all women must adopt.

The children should also learn to render necessary help at home. As soon as you come home, find out what is available and what is not available? What is needed immediately? When there is shortage of water, the boy should not keep quiet. He should immediately rush out with a container and fetch water from the available source. He should not feel, “I am educated. Why should I carry water?” Family life involves such domestic chores.

Students must learn how to make parents happy. Parents’ duty is to take care of their children. This is the education that is essential for one and all. After having obtained a Ph.D., one need not go far away for the sake of an extra thousand rupees. If you take care of your children and do service to parents, that itself is a great wealth.

Today, parents are being treated like servants. It is enough if you take care of your parents, your children and the family. That is real education. Getting a first class and struggling for a job is not a wise thing. Whatever job you take up, you must help your parents. This is what you must learn.

Students must emulate people like Appa Rao. “Help ever, hurt never.” These are the good qualities that you should learn in the Sri Sathya Sai College. Whenever any poor person comes to you, you must feed them first, even foregoing your meal if necessary. Instead of going to a club and spending money there, it is better to use that money for the sake of the poor. It is necessary that you learn good qualities and habits so that you may improve society.

First of all you must develop love for God, fear of sin, and morality in society. Bad qualities have to be curbed and ethics must be fostered in the society. When morality is lost, what is the use of any amount of social service you do? These are the lessons that you must learn. When you follow the path of elders such as these, you can reap immense joy and goodness in life. It applies to girls also. You must learn from parents the aspects of service and put them into practice. If you make your parents happy, your children will make you happy.

What is meant by morality? It is not just earning money and depositing in the bank. You must refrain from troubling your parents. When you have love for God, you will have fear of sin. After acquiring morality you may proceed to serve the society at large. When you are unable to attain God’s love, how do you expect to win people’s love? You must earn name in the society in a way that people talk of you as a good and helpful person. You must learn from parents how to help.

First thing is to develop love for God, fear of sin and morality in society. How can morality be acquired while one is engaged in acts of sin? When you come across elders, always respect and serve them.

Today I am honouring such good people so that you will try to emulate them. This is what gives Me happiness. First take care of your children at home and extend happiness to your parents. How can you be happy while your parents are not happy? If today you love your parents, tomorrow you will receive love from your children. You can be called educated only when you learn these two things. You may acquire big degrees, but who will love you if you do not love your parents? Society will love you when you take good care of your parents. First set your house in order and then think about the progress of society. It is with this purpose that I am honouring today these experienced elders. You should take a lesson from this and follow in the footsteps of the elders.

13.Divine Discourse – Evening- 6th July 2009

REALISE ATMA TATTWA BY CONSTANT PRACTICE

Embodiments of Love!

Everyone enquires, “Swami, where is Atma?” They do not understand what Atma is. The Upanishadshave dealt at length with the principle of Atma. Unfortunately, today people have not been able to interpret the teachings of the Upanishads properly. The teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana, and the Bhagavata have their origin in the Upanishads. Our sages in the ancient times did intensetapas (penance) to understand the nature of Atma and finally declared that Atma was the fundamental basis of everything in the universe. When it assumes a physical body, even while the body undergoes constant change from birth to death, Atma remains as the eternal and changeless principle. The Atmais the source and sustenance for everything. It has no birth and death.

People celebrate different festivals with great enthusiasm. For example, they celebrate the festival ofMahashivarathri. Does it mean Lord Shiva was born on that day? No; the name ‘Shiva’ signifies auspiciousness. The Shiva principle is omnipresent. It is

Sarvatah Panipadam Tat SarvathokshiSiromukham,

SarvatahSruthimalloke SarvamavruthyaTishthati (Sanskrit verse)

With hands, feet, eyes, head, mouth and ears pervading everything. He permeates the entire universe.

Whatever is seen by the eyes, heard by the ears, even the words that are spoken – everything is Brahman. There is nothing in the universe that is not Brahman. That is why it is described as Sabda Brahmamayi, Characharamayi, Jyotirmayi, Vangmayi, Nityanandamayi, Paratparamayi, Mayamayi and Sreemayi (Sanskrit verse) Embodiment of sound, mobility and immobility, light, speech, eternal bliss, perfection, delusion and wealth.

No one can say ‘this is Brahman and this is not.’ For example this handkerchief is also Brahman. From where did this handkerchief originate? It is made out of threads. The threads in turn originated from cotton. Since the threads are woven together, it has assumed the form of a cloth. The cloth thus woven out of cotton threads can be made into a dhoti or a sari or a shirt.

Some people say that the mind is the origin for the entire universe. This is not true. Even the mind has a source on which it depends. No doubt the mind is very strong and powerful, but even such a mind has originated from Atma only. The mind directs all activities in the physical world. It is very unsteady and is changing continuously. That is why it is called ‘monkey mind’.

Atma is the source and sustenance for the body, mind, intellect, chitta (consciousness), viveka(discrimination), vijnana (higher wisdom), and sujnana (the science of consciousness). All have originated from Atma only. All these assume a particular form at a particular time, like an infant, a child, a boy, a young man and an old person in the life of a human being. These different forms at different stages have no independent existence. It is a transition from one stage to the other. However, the Atmais the source and sustenance for all these entities. It is the fundamental principle.

In order to understand this fundamental principle, people ascribed different names to it. Some called itAum, the primordial sound. Others called it Thathtwamasi (That Thou Art). Yet others called it Brahman. Some others gave it some names like Rama, Krishna, Allah, Easwara, and Jesus. These different names and forms are given for the purpose of identification only. Divinity, however, has no name and form. The names and forms ascribed to God are based upon one’s liking for a particular name or form.

Some people desire to worship God as Venkateswara and realise Him in that form. Who created that form? It is the human mind that picturised God in that form; for example, painters like the famous Ravi Varma. He painted God in different forms – Rama, Krishna, etc. These are all man-made, but not original. You may worship God as Rama, Krishna, or Shiva and realise Him in that form. But, fundamentally, God is one and only one. He is formless, nameless, and attributeless Brahman. This fundamental truth has been explained in the aphorism, Ekameva Adviteeyam Brahma (God is one without a second).

Yet, different people at different times are deluded by names and forms. One can say it is all their imagination. In fact, that imagination itself is the root cause for all the troubles in the world. Though names and forms are different, God is only one.

You think so and so is bad and he looks bad. On the other hand, if you think that he is a good person, he will really appear good. It is your feeling toward him that makes all the difference between good and bad. These are all born out of your thoughts, for which the mind is the source. Hence, you have to take things as they are.

You think you are meditating on a particular form or object. Really speaking, it is not meditation. The form or object on which you are supposed to be meditating may change after sometime. Hence, it is not meditation in the real sense. It is not concentration either. It is just contemplation, for a particular time frame. When the object stabilises after regular practice, you can meditate.

It is not possible for anyone to meditate the moment one sits for meditation. No one ever succeeded in such an attempt. People say they are meditating, but it is artificial. Artificial meditation is really bad. There are three steps in the process: concentration, contemplation, and meditation. It is a gradual process achieved by systematic and regular abhyasa (practice). This abhyasa yoga and theconsequent peace attained by a person has been beautifully explained in the Bhagavad Gita thus:

Sreyohi Jnanamabhyasat,

Jnanaddhyanam Vishishyate,

Dhyanat Karmaphala Thyaga,

Thyagat Santhiranantaram. (Sanskrit verse)

Better indeed is knowledge than practice.

Better than knowledge is meditation on God.

But better than meditation is renunciation of the desire for the fruits of actions. For peace follows peace immediately.

A newborn child does not become an adult immediately but gradually grows into an adult. It is a mistake to think that whatever you wish becomes fruitful. If that is so, there would be no human effort at all! There would be no meaning for human existence.

Hence, first and foremost, concentrate upon the ‘I’ principle. Constantly contemplate on the aphorism, “I am Atma.” You and Atma are one only, not two different entities.

Today, every action of a human being is leading to confusion, which in turn leads to depression. What is the reason for this sequence of events? Your own unsteady nature. In fact, the entire environment in the world is undergoing change. There is change in water, air, clouds, and even food. When everything around you is changing, naturally it will have its effect on you. Your mind is also undergoing change in tune with the changes around. There is only one changeless principle: constant integrated awareness (Prajnanam).

The Upanishads declare Prajnanam Brahma (Brahman is Supreme Consciousness). If you wish to attain that state, you must develop Ekatmabhava (feeling of oneness). Though the bodies are different, only one Atma dwells in all living beings. The human bodies are like the pots and the mind therein is water. The one moon is reflected in all the pots. It is only reaction, reflection, and resound, everywhere.

Dear children! You will not be able to understand the Atma Thathwa (Atma Principle). Atma is not merely a word comprising two letters. It connotes developing Ekatmabhava. All are one, be alike to everyone. How can you develop faith in this maxim? A small example. You are doing a particular work. Your neighbour has undertaken a different job. Though you both undertook different jobs, the environment in which you are performing the jobs is the same. Atma is the consciousness that pervades everywhere. That all-pervading principle is Truth.

The creation emerges from truth and merges into truth,

Is there a place in the cosmos where truth does not exist?

Visualise this pure and unsullied truth. (Telugu poem)

The entire universe is permeated by Truth. It is above, below, and on all sides. That sathya (truth) isAtma. It is eternal and changeless. The epic Bhagavata enjoins on us to speak truth and speak sweetly and softly. Sathyam bruyath, priyam bruyath, na bruyath sathyamapriyam (speak truth, speak pleasantly, and do not speak unpalatable truth). Truth is the source and sustenance for everything in the universe. Where there is sathya, there will be dharma. Where sathya and dharma go together, peace is the result. Where there is peace, there cannot be krodha (anger), taapa (agitation), eershya(envy), asuya (jealousy) and damba (conceit). Such peace devoid of these bad qualities transforms itself into pure love.

Once Hanuman entered the city of Lanka in search of Sita, who was abducted by Ravana and kept in confinement there. He searched for Sita in every street and every building, but could not find her. However, he could find the rakshasa ladies in awkward postures. He decided for himself that Sita was a noble lady and would not stoop down to such a level. Unable to find Sita anywhere, Hanuman lamented, “I have searched for her in every house and even in flower gardens. I am yearning to see her.”

Then he went into the Asokavana and found Sita sitting under a tree. He felt extremely happy to find her and in that joyous mood started pulling down fruit-bearing trees and deforming the beautiful garden. This act of impertinence of Hanuman infuriated the demons, and he was taken to Ravana’s court duly bound by ropes. In the royal court of the demon king Ravana, he picked up an argument with him over the propriety of his heinous act of abducting Sita. He addressed Ravana in a most humiliating manner.

Ravana could not tolerate the impertinent and arrogant behaviour of Hanuman. He became very angry and warned Hanuman, “You monkey! No one, not even kings, dared to address me in such humiliating language. I will see that your mouth is shut right now.”

Hanuman retorted, “You are a demon, whereas I am servant of an Emperor who rules the fourteenlokas (worlds). You cannot do anything to me.”

Ravana could not contain his anger any more and ordered that Hanuman’s tail be wrapped with clothes soaked in oil and set fire to. Immediately, the demons brought some old clothes, wrapped them round his tail, poured oil on them, and set fire to the tail. Hanuman then jumped from one building to the other with the burning tail and set fire to all the buildings in Lanka. Very soon, the flames spread everywhere, and it looked as though the entire city was going up in flames. All the residents in the city came out into the streets in great panic. They were wondering and discussing among themselves, “Who is this monkey? Wherefrom has it come? Who sent it? Our entire city is burning. Where can we go now?”

Even Mandodari’s palace was not spared. The entire city including the buildings and personal belongings of the residents were reduced to ashes. Only one house in Lanka, that of Vibhishana, was safe. Thus, the residents of Lanka had to pay for their sins. The Law of Karma is immutable and inescapable. People have to suffer the consequences of their evil deeds. Whatever one does, whether good or bad, will come back to him.

When man emerges from the womb of his mother,

he does not find any garland around his neck.

There are no jewels made of pearls,

nor are there glittering gold ornaments.

There are no necklaces studded with precious stones

like emeralds and diamonds.

But there is one garland around his neck.

Brahma strings together the consequences of his past deeds

into a heavy garland and puts it around his neck at the time of his birth.

(Telugu poem)

Thus, the results of our past karmas (actions) haunt us. Suppose you have eat pakoda in your house, after some time, you will get a belch of pakoda only. Similarly, you get the results of your past karmasonly. Hence, your actions must always be good.

In order that one always undertakes good karmas (actions), one must cultivate Daiva preeti, papa bheeti,and sangha neeti (love for God, fear of sin, and morality in society). If one can cultivate these three, one will be able to keep oneself away from indulging in bad deeds. Love for God, fear of sin, and morality in society are all interdependent. One follows the other. Namasmarana (repetition of the Name) would help cultivate these noble qualities. That is why I repeatedly exhort you to donamasmarana incessantly. Namasmarana is the means by which one can cross the ocean of samsara(the objective world).

If one has to realise Atma Thathwa, one must seek refuge in Atma only. Once you realise the Atma Thathwa, you will yourself become Atma. You have to constantly contemplate upon the Upanishadicdeclaration, Aham Brahmasmi (I am Brahman). You have to remind yourself, “I am not a human, I am not a rakshasa (demon), I am Atma.”

I wish that students should gradually give up loose talk and unnecessary activities. Your speech should be good; your vision should be good; your thoughts should also be good. Only when your thoughts, words, and deeds are good and in perfect harmony will you become a good person. The sacred texts like Ramayana, Mahabharata,and the Bhagavad Gita teach the same. First and foremost, develop love for God. If only you have love for God, it amounts to having everything.

If you wish to attain Atma Thathwa, you have to constantly contemplate upon Atma. Once you experience Atma Thathwa, you will yourself become Brahman. In order to get that experience, there should be regular practice. One does a lot of practice even for attaining simple things in daily life. Without practice, nothing can be achieved in life; you will commit mistakes.

First and foremost, learn to live like real human beings, constantly reminding yourself, “I am a human being, I am not an animal, I am not a cruel beast.” From humanness, you have to rise to the level of Divinity. Do not degenerate to the level of an animal or beast. In fact, all Avatars come only to raise the level of consciousness of human beings to that of Divinity, only to transform humans into divine beings.

When you follow God’s instructions meticulously and undertake activities that would please Him, you will surely become God, verily. It is not a difficult task. Constant practice will enable you to reach your goal. On the other hand, if you follow bad people, you will also become bad. “Tell me your company, I shall tell you what you are,” is the saying. As is your company, so you shall become.

14.Divine Discourse at Kodaikanal, 29th April 2009

REALISE THE PRINCIPLE OF UNITY

Creation emerges from truth and merges into truth.

Is there a place in the cosmos where truth does not exist?

Visualise this pure and unsullied truth. (Telugu Poem)

WHEN YOU LOSE FAITH, YOU LOSE GOD

Everyone desires peace and happiness. Nobody wants sorrows and difficulties. In his speech, Popat has said that all are the embodiments of God. God is one. There is no second entity. When you think there is a second entity, then it is untruth. Therefore, there is nothing like a second entity.

All are One

Right from small ants, mosquitoes, and birds to mighty elephants, every being is the manifestation of God. Even the trees, hills, and mountains are manifestations of God. Such being the case, how can there be a second entity? A second entity is just your imagination and illusion. It is of your own making. Just think where your body has come from. You say that it has come from your parents. No, no. You have not come from your parents. You have come from yourself. There is only one entity. Where is the existence of the second?

But people today put their faith in diversity and not in unity. What does unity mean? It is not the combination of many; it is the realisation of oneness. When you have mirrors all around you, you see your many forms. These are all your different forms. But this is not the truth. The one who asks the question and the one who gives the reply, both are one and the same. All are one. Daivam manusha rupena (God is in the form of a human being). The same person appears in many forms. To consider these forms as different from each other is a mistake.

When I am speaking in the microphone, you are listening to My voice. The speaker is only one but the same voice is heard by many ears. Ekoham sarva bhutanam (I am the only Reality in all beings), Ekam sath viprah bahudha vadanti (truth is one, but the wise refer to it by various names). There is only one sun in the sky. But we see its reflection in many rivers, tanks, and vessels. Sun is only one. But wherever there is water, you see its reflection. Pour water in a plate, and you can see the reflection of the sun even in that water. Does it mean that the sun is there in this water? No, no. It is only the reflection of the sun. In the same way, Atma is only one. The mind, the intellect, the subconscious mind, and the ego sense are like different vessels. Therefore, divinity is one.

God can be seen in pure heart

Everything is God. If you think otherwise, it is only your delusion, i.e. maya. When the sun is shining above, you can see its reflections in all tanks. Even where the water is dirty, you can see its reflection. But when the water is totally dirty, then, of course, you cannot see its reflection. In the same way, when your heart is pure and clear, you can see the direct manifestation of God in it. But your heart is impure. When you thoroughly clean your heart, you can very well see God.

God is immanent in everyone. Right from a newborn baby to a grown-up and old person, He is present in everyone. A small baby grows up and ultimately becomes old. The baby, the woman, and the old lady are the same person. Because of their thinking, people see many different forms.

But God does not have different forms. In fact, He has no form. However, He has many names. Even though He has many names, they all correspond to the many reflections of the same divinity. You can see the reflection of the sun in flowing water and also in stagnant water. In the flowing water, the reflection appears to be wavering, but in steady water, the reflection is also steady. Your mind develops attachment to the world because of your delusion. Everything in this world is just a projection of maya.

Hiranyakasipu asked his son Prahlada, “Where is God? You are always chanting Narayana,Narayana. Who is Narayana?

Prahlada replied, “Man himself is Narayana. Wherever you see, you see only Narayana. He is in me, He is in you, He is in all others.”

Hiranyakasipu asked, “Is He there in this pillar?”

“Surely, He is there in it”, replied Prahlada.

Hiranyakasipu took a mace and hit the pillar with it. At once he saw the manifestation of Lord Vishnu. Therefore, wherever you see, God is there. But people like Hiranyakasipu have no faith in God.

Develop the vision to see Unity

Though there is total unity in creation, we look at it from the angle of diversity. We say, “He is my father, he is my mother, she is my elder sister, she is my younger sister.” We develop relationships on the basis of forms. Where have these relationships come from? Nothing can exist without the principle of unity.

Here is an example. A dog entered a room fitted with mirrors and saw many dogs in the mirrors. It was afraid to see so many dogs in the room, considering them as danger to its life. In order to escape from the situation, it jumped upon one of the mirrors, considering its own reflection in it to be another dog. As it did that, it saw that the dog in the mirror also jumped upon it. In the process, the mirror broke. Then, it felt that there was no other dog at the place and escaped from the room. It felt greatly relieved that it could save itself from so many other dogs. But where were so many dogs? It saw its own reflection in so many mirrors.

The same is the case with people today. If one sees all other forms as his own reflection in the mirror of the world, one will realise the principle of unity. So, there are no such separate entities like father, mother, brothers, and sisters. But one develops worldly relationships due to one’s delusion and says, “She is my sister, he is my brother, he is my father, she is my mother.” These are all only physical relationships and not the relationships based on your divine reality. Try to understand that the sameAtma is present in all. But you develop worldly relationships, forgetting the principle of the Atma.

You say, “She is my wife” but prior to the marriage, she is separate and you are separate. Only after the marriage do you say, “My wife, my wife.” How you have developed this relationship of husband and wife? It is due only to your delusion. It is because of delusion that one makes many mistakes and indulges in many undesirable activities.

Wherever you see, there is God and God is one. People say, “He is Rama, He is Krishna, He is Shiva, He is Vishnu.” What does it mean? Does it mean that Vishnu, Shiva, Rama, and Krishna are separate entities? These are the different names of the same God. God appears before you in a particular form based on your own imagination. When you contemplate on the form of Krishna as portrayed by artists like Ravi Varma, God will manifest before you in the form of Krishna. In the same way, God will appear before you in the form of Rama. But God is neither Rama nor Krishna. Both Rama and Krishna are you only. The forms of Rama and Krishna are nothing but your own reflections. When you say, “I want Rama”, God manifests before you in the form of Rama. Similarly, when you say, “I want Krishna”, He appears before you in the form of Krishna. All these forms are nothing but your own reflections.

Reduce the burden of your desires

Both sorrow and happiness are in the world. When you are in difficulty, you say, “Alas! Why has God given me this difficulty? What sin have I committed?” On the other hand, when you earn wealth and are happy, you say, “It is my good fortune.” Neither this is your good fortune nor that is bad. When you have good thoughts, you will have good results. On the other hand, if you have bad thoughts, you will have bad results. Good and bad do not come from outside.

Everything is God. When people see a scorpion, they are afraid that it might bite them. But, in fact, there is God even in that scorpion. There is no being in whom God is not immanent. However, you have to get rid of your delusion.

People have too many desires. These too many desires are the cause of delusion. Therefore, people should reduce their desires. How should one do so?

All desires are the creation of the mind, which behaves in an arbitrary way. Manah eva manushyanam karanam bandhamokshayo (mind is the cause of bondage and liberation of man). You should make efforts to follow the path of liberation. Then, there will be no scope for delusion.

But people are full of desires, and the cause of all desires is the mind. Therefore, first and foremost, control the mind. If you do so, you will not have even a single desire. Therefore, it is said, Less luggage more comfort makes travel a pleasure. God will be pleased with you only when you reduce the luggage of your desires. More desires become great burden for life. With less luggage, you will be more happy.

When one is unmarried, one thinks, “Whatever I have, I can manage with it. I am not bothered even if I have to starve sometimes.” But when one is married and has children, one is burdened with so many worries. Where have the wife and children come from? They have come from the same source as you have come. You think someone is your wife because you develop attachment to her. Can you call every woman your wife? No, no. When you say so, you will be beaten. You cannot talk like this. The relationship of wife and husband is only a ‘body to body’ relationship. This physical relationship is the cause of many troubles.

A person with money is called a rich man. But the same person will be called a beggar when they lose his money. When you are wealthy, you are considered bigger; when you are poor, you are treated like a beggar. Therefore, the same person is bigger as well as beggar.

Develop equal-mindedness, and everything will become good for you. Even if somebody beats you, you should think, “The person who is beating me is none other than God. God has beaten me because there is some defect in me. This body has committed a mistake. Therefore, it has to receive punishment.”

Whatever we do, it will come back to us as reaction, reflection, and resound. All that we experience is the result of our own actions. It is not given by God. God does not give anything to people exceptananda (bliss). Having experienced ananda, do not criticise the One who has provided it to you. Both happiness and sorrow are the reflection of your own actions. When God loves you, it means that God loves Himself.

God has no attributes. God has no such evil qualities like anger, hatred, jealousy, and hypocrisy, nor are these evil qualities given to you by God. These are all of your own making. Therefore, get rid of your delusion. If you develop unnecessary worries, thinking, “I don’t have this, I don’t have that”, you will deceive yourself. Reduce your desires. Then you will have not to carry too much luggage. Only then can you be happy.

Know the Atmic Principle

If you have real love for God, always contemplate on Him. If you have liking for Rama, contemplate on Rama. Similarly, if Krishna is your chosen deity, contemplate on Him. But always remember that Rama and Krishna are not outside; Rama is in your heart, Krishna is in your heart. Whatever form you consider as Rama, contemplate on that form with your eyes closed. You will certainly visualise that form. Ultimately, you will realise, “It is out of my delusion that I considered Rama and Krishna separate from Me. In fact, I am Rama, I am Krishna.”

When you contemplate on Rama, you see that form as a reflection of your thoughts. Similarly, when you think of Krishna, you see Krishna’s form. You think Rama and Krishna are different from you because of your delusion. Who has seen Rama? Who has seen Krishna? Artists like Ravi Varma painted the pictures of Rama and Krishna on the basis of the descriptions given in the sacred texts. These are mere pictures; they do not reveal the truth.

Everyone can call God by any name of their choice, like Rama, Krishna, Govinda, etc., and contemplate on a particular name and form. There is no mistake in that. I don’t ask you to give up this practice. But you should have firm conviction, “I am God. My Atma is God.” The Atma has no form. It has only a name. The Atma shines in everyone like the sun. It can be seen only in a heart that is pure. In the heart that is impure, you cannot see it.

Many Avatars came to propagate this truth. Divine incarnations come not for their own sake but to impart the knowledge of truth to everyone. Follow their teachings and understand the principle of theAtma.

The Vedanta proclaims that the Atma is the only reality. Waves are formed out of water. There can be no waves when there is no water. In the same way, there can be no form without the Atma. You should contemplate on the Atma and chant the mantra “Om Namo Narayanaya, Om Namo Narayanaya, Om Namo Narayanaya”. If you are unable to chant the entire mantra, it is enough to recite “Om”, because everything is immanent in Om. The word Om denotes pranava (primordial sound). The Upanishadsdescribe it as the Atma.

The Taittiriyopanishad deals extensively with the principle of the Atma. The Ramayana, the Bhagavata, and the Mahabharata reveal the same truth through the stories of the Avatars. Everything is within you. Nothing is outside. The entire creation is one. Get rid of your delusion and try to understand the truth behind names and forms.

Name and form are inseparable. You chant, “Sai Ram, Sai Ram, Sai Ram …” The name “Sai Ram” has been given to Me. I am not born with this name. Similarly, the names Rama and Krishna were given to them by their parents. They were not born with these names. Did Rama come and say, “I am Rama?” No, no. He was the son of Dasaratha and was given the name Rama.

What does the word Dasaratha mean? It means the chariot of human body with its ten senses. Have control over your senses. When you have total control over your senses, there is no need for anything else. You even forget yourself. You forget even your physical body.

It is the mind that controls the body and the senses. The body and the senses are temporary. Even the mind is also subject to annihilation. We say, “mind, mind, mind.” Where is the mind? What is the form of the mind? It has no form. Mind itself is an illusion. Enquire on these lines and realise that God is one. This is the only truth. Everything else is delusion. In a cinema, you see many scenes on the screen. You see Sita getting married to Rama, Ravana abducting Sita, Rama waging a war against Ravana, and many friends of Rama taking part in the war. But all these are mere pictures. They are not happening in reality.

There are not many people. All are one. Ekam Sath … When you follow sathya (truth), dharma (right action) will emerge from it. When sathya and dharma come together, santhi (peace) will manifest. Where there is peace, there is bliss. Light is produced when negative and positive charges come together.

Love emerges from peace. One who lacks peace cannot have love. When love manifests in us, we consider everyone as our own. All are our own forms. All are one. Be alike to everyone. Make efforts to realise this truth.

When the wind blows, the dry leaves are blown away, but not the green leaves. They remain with the branches. Your humanness should not be like a dry leaf, which is blown away by the wind. Everything is a divine mystery.

The stories of Lord Rama are amazing,

It purifies the lives of the people in all the three worlds,

It is like the sickle that cuts the creepers of worldly bondage,

It is like a good friend who helps you in times of need,

It is like a shelter for the sages and seers doing penance in the forest.

(Telugu Poem)

Develop steady devotion

Do not allow your mind to become like a dog, which is deluded by its own reflection. The dog is deluded thinking its reflections in many mirrors as many dogs. There are not many dogs. You may consider a dog a dog, but God is in it also. Without vibration, even a dog cannot live. What is that vibration? It is the vibration of life. Due to this life principle, the dog eats and moves around.

Do not observe any differences such as “He is an outsider, he is a rich person, he is a beggar.” All are one. See unity in all. Only then will you have steady and true devotion. Otherwise, you will have bumps and jumps. Your devotion will waver from moment to moment.

Many people consider themselves as devotees. As long as they have faith in God, their devotion remains steady. When their devotion wavers, their mind also wavers. Real faith does not waver under any circumstances. Come what may, your devotion should not waver, even if you are cut to pieces. That is steady, unwavering, and unsullied devotion. Develop such steady and selfless devotion.

The same is the teaching of Jesus also. God is one. You have to cut your individual ego to attain Him. This is what the cross symbolises.

Never give up your faith. Hold on to it firmly. Then you will certainly realise your true identity. Man is born to establish humanness and not to destroy it. Develop human qualities of sathya, dharma, santhi,prema (love) and ahimsa (nonviolence). When sathya combines with dharma, santhi and prema are born there. It is love that unites all. Will you kill your son in a fit of anger? No, no. You will scold him, but you will not harm him. Likewise, when you have love, you will treat everyone as your own. Treat all woman as your mothers and sisters.

Forbearance is the real beauty in this sacred land of Bharat.

Of all the rituals, adherence to truth is the greatest penance.

The nectarine feeling in this country is the feeling of love toward one’s mother.

(Telugu Poem)

Develop such sacred feelings toward all women. When you marry a woman, only then do you call her your wife. Otherwise, all women are like your mothers and sisters. Similarly, all men are like your brothers. God is one. He is the only purusha (male). There is no other male except Him.

Once the gopikas (cowherd maidens) came to Krishna’s house to meet Him. When they tried to enter the house, the watchman prevented them, saying women cannot enter the house. The gopikasquestioned him, “How come you are there?” Then he replied, “I am a male.” The gopikas said, “You cannot call yourself a male merely because you are wearing a male dress. The five elements and the five life principles are the same in you and us. Merely because you are wearing a male dress and we are wearing a female dress, we can be different from each other. The same divinity is present in you and us. In fact, Krishna alone is the Purusha, all others are females.”

To Love God is the Main Goal of Life

Today this equality and unity have become extinct in this world. Due to lack of unity, we are unable to see divinity. Consequently, hatred is on the rise. Today the world is in the grip of differences and fighting due to lack of love. Man today has forgotten even his humanness.

First of all, understand that you are essentially divine. When you say, “I am person and He is God”, you observe duality. When there are two entities, the third will also find place there, and that is the mind. That will bring about your total ruination.

Husband should be treated as husband and wife should be treated as wife. Each one should discharge their duty. In English, duty refers to a particular work. The duty of a human being is not merely doing some work. Duty connotes nishkama karma (selfless work).

A selfish person is worse than a fish. Fish is better than selfish. Therefore, never give room to selfishness. You can realise the Self only when you give up selfishness. When you become a slave to your senses, you will always remain selfish. Therefore, give up selfishness. Help everyone.

As I said on the day of Rama Navami, God is one. There is apparent diversity in the world. In fact, man is God Himself. Develop faith in this truth. Let your faith not waver even a bit. When you lose faith, you lose God. Whatever may happen to you, never become selfish. When you conduct yourself in this manner, you will realise your divinity. Then you will have no delusion that Rama, Krishna, Easwara, and Vishnu are different from each other.

The names like Rama and Krishna are given by us. In fact, all names are given by us. Everybody is born from God. God is one, not two. Right from today, make efforts to do away with all differences. When you love God, worship and follow Him. This is the main goal and true purpose of your life.

15.Sri Rama Navami Divine Discourse, 03rd Apr 2009

DEVELOP LOVE AND CONSIDER ALL AS BROTHERS AND SISTERS

Sweeter than sugar, tastier than curd, sweeter indeed than honey is the Name of Rama. Constant repetition of this sweet name gives one the taste of divine nectar itself. Therefore, one should contemplate on the name of Rama incessantly. (Telugu poem)

Bharat is the motherland of many noble souls who earned great name and fame in all the continents of the world. This is the land of valorous people who vanquished foreign rulers and attained independence. This is the land that excelled in music, literature, and other fine arts. Having been born in this great land of Bharat, oh boys and girls, it is your sacred duty to protect its rich cultural heritage.

(Telugu poem)

The Bharatiyas (Indians) today do not know their greatness, just as the elephant does not know its own strength. It obeys the command of the mahout and sits when he asks it to sit and stands when it is asked to do so. In the same manner, the Bharatiyas are imitating the western culture under the influence of western education.

The Bharatiyas are endowed with great potentialities, and their hearts are full of devotion. There is none among them who does not chant the divine name from their very birth. They name their children after the various names of God, thereby remembering God all the time. There is no village in Bharat where there is no temple of Rama. Villagers of all small hamlets, even, set up a shrine for Rama, Lakshmana, and Sita in a little hutment or some rustic abode for regular worship.

Right from the beginning, the Bharatiyas gave more importance to spirituality than to worldly and material pursuits. The main factor that is responsible for the peace and progress of Bharat is the devotion of the Bharatiyas for God. At present, many countries of the world are in the grip of great problems and difficulties. But Bharat is by far free from such difficulties. The people of Bharat may have some financial problems, but they are happily leading their lives totally surrendering to the will of God.

The Bharatiyas place their trust in the Self as the basis of their life rather than material possessions, property, and wealth. In fact, their entire life is based on this trust, and they have achieved progress in spite of many difficulties and deprivations. Having based their life on the trust in the Self, how can the Bharatiyas give any importance to worldly and materialistic pursuits? Even in their day-to-day conversation, they refer to their Self, saying, “Only my Atmarama knows this.”

Do not limit Rama or Krishna to a particular name or form. These names were given to them after their birth. They were not born with these names. The Bharatiyas have realised the truth that God is the resident of man’s heart. That is why they are able to withstand all difficulties and sufferings and lead their lives happily. Sukhadukhe samekruthwa labhalabhau jayajayau (one should remain equal-minded in happiness and sorrow, gain and loss, victory and defeat), says the Gita. Pleasure and pain are part of human life. Whenever Bharatiyas have to encounter sorrows and difficulties, they consider them as the harbingers of happiness. They have attained exalted positions due to such noble feelings.

Their faith in God is unshakeable even in the face of mishaps such as bomb blasts, floods, and plane crashes. Those who base their life with faith in God will never encounter sorrows, suffering, and difficulties. Their difficulties will come and go like passing clouds.

One who is born in this world is sure to die one day or the other. Nothing is permanent in this world. Only one thing is permanent and that is the Atma or the Self. People aspire for liberation, heaven, and Vaikuntha, but even they are not permanent. The only thing that is permanent is the Atma, and that is the only truth. You may see so many forms in this world, but none of them is permanent except the Atma.

Let us now dwell upon the Ramayana. Dasaratha had three wives: Kausalya, Sumitra, and Kaikeyi. Kausalya first gave birth to a female child, who was named Santha. Dasaratha gave her to one of his friends, who adopted her as his daughter. She was married to Sage Rishyasringa, who conducted the Putrakameshti Yajna of Dasaratha. When oblations were offered in the sacrificial fire with the chanting of related mantrasfor the Yajna, an effulgent being came out of the fire and handed over a vessel containing payasam (sweet pudding) to Dasaratha with the instruction to distribute it equally among his queens.

Accordingly, Dasaratha distributed the payasam to Kausalya, Sumitra, and Kaikeyi. Kausalya and Kaikeyi took their share of the pudding to their respective puja rooms. Each of them was happy, thinking that her son would be the future king of Ayodhya.

But Sumitra had no such claims. She was a paragon of virtues. Her name, ‘Su-mitra’, itself signifies that she was a good friend to one and all. She carried her bowl of pudding to the terrace and placed it on the parapet wall while drying her hair in the sun. Suddenly, an eagle swooped down and carried away the bowl. Sumitra rushed down and informed Kausalya and Kaikeyi about what had happened. Kausalya and Kaikeyi came to her rescue and shared their pudding with her. Kausalya gave half of her share to Sumitra. Kaikeyi also did the same.

In due course, Kausalya gave birth to Rama, Kaikeyi to Bharata, and Sumitra to Lakshmana and Satrughna. Kausalya and Kaikeyi had one son each, whereas Sumitra had two sons. The sons of Kausalya and Kaikeyi were happily playing in their cradles while Sumitra’s sons were crying all the time, and were not taking milk. Sumitra was at a loss to know the reason for their crying. Ultimately, she went to Sage Vasishtha and told him about her predicament.

Sage Vasishtha closed his eyes in meditation. His yogic vision enabled him to know the truth. He said to Sumitra, “As you partook of the sacred pudding given by Kausalya, you gave birth to Lakshmana who is an amsa (part) of Rama. Similarly, Satrughna is born out of the share of pudding given to you by Kaikeyi. So, he is a part of Bharata. Put Lakshmana by the side of Rama and Satrughna by the side of Bharata. Then they will rest peacefully.”

Sumitra did as instructed by Vasishtha. Both Lakshmana and Satrughna stopped crying and started playing blissfully in their cradles. This was the basis of the intimate relationship between Rama and Lakshmana, Bharata and Satrughna. Both sons of Sumitra, namely, Lakshmana and Satrughna, were always in the company of Rama and Bharata. In this manner, Dasaratha’s four sons grew up in an environment of love and happiness. Sumitra was very happy because she thought her son Lakshmana would serve Rama and Satrughna would serve Bharata when they grew up.

Where was Rama born? Many people have many doubts about the place of His birth. He was born in Ayodhya. Was the city of Ayodhya built by some ordinary mortal? No, no. It was built by Viswakarma (divine architect) himself. He built it in such a way that no enemy could enter it.

When Rama won the hand of Sita by stringing the bow of Siva in the court of Janaka, His marriage with Sita was performed in Mithila amidst great rejoicings. The people of Mithila were beside themselves with joy and sang merry songs.

Welcome to all for Rama’s wedding;

together we shall witness the joyous scene.

Many have gathered already,

decked up in all their finery.

With necklaces the ladies are adorned

of jewels pure and gleaming.

Rama shall tie the knot today

to beauteous Sita, oh what a fine match they make.

Father Dasaratha has made ready bounteous feasts.

All learned sages are assembled with Vasishtha presiding.

Oh, what a multitude has assembled

to rejoice, hearts with joy overflowing.

Wedding of the holy pair

Rama and Sita, such a sight is indeed rare.

The sight shall confer great merit.

Rama looks the cool full moon,

and Sita is a matching double.

The compassionate Rama, who loves all,

will confer his grace on us all.

Come quickly to see the holy wedding of Rama and Sita. (Telugu song)

It seemed as if the entire population of Ayodhya had come to Mithila to witness the marriage of Sita and Rama. Dasaratha, all his ministers, and all family members prominently participated in the marriage. After the marriage function, all left for Ayodhya.

On the way, they heard a deafening sound. When they looked around to find where the sound had come from, they were confronted with Parasurama, who looked very fierce. All of them were perturbed and began to think, “What is this great impediment after the glorious celebration of the marriages?” Good and bad always follow each other. After experiencing great joy in Mithila, they were confronted with a difficult situation on their way to Ayodhya. Dasaratha and others became fear-stricken.

Parasurama came forward and asked, “Who broke the Siva bow?”

“It is I who has done it,” said Rama. “If that is so, let us see if you can bend my bow.” Saying so, Parasurama gave his bow in the hands of Rama. Rama strung and armed that bow with an arrow with His left hand. Seeing that, Parasurama offered his salutations to Rama and went his way.

Experiencing the joy of victory, all of them reached Ayodhya and participated with great joy and enthusiasm in the festivities held there. The people of Ayodhya held joyous celebrations.

Like his mother, Sumitra, Lakshmana’s wife Urmila was also a woman of great virtues. When Lakshmana went to inform her that he was accompanying Rama to the forest for fourteen years, she said, “It is your greatest good fortune. Consider Sita and Rama as your mother and father and serve them. In Ayodhya you have Kausalya, Sumitra, and Kaikeyi, but in the forest you have only one mother, and that is Sita. Forget me and serve Sita and Rama with total dedication.”

Lakshmana was happy to hear these words of Urmila and said to himself, “What a virtuous wife I have!”

After the departure of Rama, Lakshmana, and Sita to the forest and the death of Dasaratha, Bharata came back to Ayodhya. When he was offered the crown of Ayodhya, he refused to accept it, saying that it was the right of only the eldest son and hence he would go to the forest and pray to Rama to come back and rule Ayodhya.

When he went to the forest to appeal to Rama, Rama told him, “We have to follow the command of our father. Without that, our life itself is a zero.” Rama promised Bharata that he would surely return to Ayodhya after the period of 14 years of his exile. Bharat requested Rama to give His sandals, which he would place on the throne and worship them. On his return to Ayodhya, Bharata did not enter the palace. He lived in a small hut and led the life of a renunciant, just as Rama was living in the forest.

During the sojourn of Rama, Lakshmana, and Sita at Panchavati, Ravana came in the guise of a mendicant and abducted Sita. Rama was put to great difficulties, but He faced all difficulties smilingly.

Hanuman went in search of Sita to Lanka. He could cross the ocean with the power of the divine name of Rama. In fact, any stupendous task can be achieved by contemplating on the name of Rama. It was with the power of Rama’s name that the monkeys made the bridge over the ocean so that Rama and His army could reach Lanka.

Rama had to fight with Ravana, the king of demons. In the course of battle, Lakshmana was hit by a missile and became unconscious. Rama was very much distressed, and he lamented, “I may get a wife like Sita, but I cannot get a brother like Lakshmana.” Then Hanuman brought Sushena, the medical expert of Lanka, who said, “There is a herb called Sanjivini on a mountain in the Himalayan region. If you bring that herb, Lakshmana can be revived.”

Hanuman was sent to bring the Sanjivini herb to revive Lakshmana. Hanuman did not know how to recognise that particular herb. Therefore, he lifted the whole mountain on which the herb existed and placed it before Rama. With the help of the herb, Lakshmana was revived.

Rama hugged him and said, “Lakshmana, My life is meaningless without you. You have always been with Me and protected Me in many ways. There is nothing more dear to Me than you in this world. In fact, you are verily My life.”

Rama ultimately killed Ravana and rescued Sita from his prison.

Meanwhile the period of fourteen years of exile of Rama was over. As the end of fourteen years drew near and Bharata could not see any signs of Rama’s return to Ayodhya, he got ready to give up his life by immolating himself on a pyre. As Rama had anticipated the situation, he sent Hanuman in advance to inform Bharata that He was on His way back to Ayodhya. Bharata was overjoyed on hearing this good news. All the people of Ayodhya as also Bharata and the entire family were eagerly awaiting the arrival of Rama in Ayodhya.

When Rama, Lakshmana and Sita alighted from the Pushpaka Vimana, Bharata and all the people of Ayodhya offered them a hearty welcome. Soon after the arrival of Rama in Ayodhya, arrangements for His coronation were made. The people of Ayodhya were full of enthusiasm at the prospect of Rama becoming their king.

The students just now sang this song,”Kausalyatmaja Rama Charan, Vaidehi Priya Rama Charan, Hanumatsevita Rama Charan, Bharatarchita Sri Rama Charan, Ahalyoddharaka Rama Charan, Lakshmana Sevita Rama Charan, Prasanthi Niketana Rama Charan” (Always worship the Lotus Feet of Rama, son of Kausalya, which are dear to Sita, worshipped by Bharata, and in the abode of Prasanthi, served by Lakshmana and Hanuman and that redeemed Ahalya) (loud applause).

Lakshmana was overjoyed on hearing the kind words of Rama. Rama had great love for Lakshmana, more than anybody else. Similarly, Lakshmana loved Rama most dearly. He never disobeyed the command of Rama. In fact, all the brothers – Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Satrughna – had great love for each other. They ruled over Ayodhya with great unity. It was not Rama alone who administered the entire kingdom; all his brothers helped Him in conducting the affairs of the kingdom. The Ramayana teaches us many lessons in morality and ethics. In fact, all the characters of this great epic set great ideals for humanity to follow. Sweeter than sugar, tastier than curd, sweeter indeed than honey is the Name of Rama. Is there anything greater than Ramanama? We should understand this truth and contemplate on His name day in and day out.

Great epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata teach us many moral and ethical values. Truth is the highest among these values. Sathyannasti paro dharma (There is no dharma greater than adherence to truth). Dharma is born out of sathya, fromdharma emerges peace, and from peace emerges love. Where there is love, there can be no hatred. One who has love will adhere to nonviolence.

Sathya, dharma, santhi, prema, and ahimsa are the five cardinal human values. One who practises these human values is a human being in the true sense of the term. One who lacks even one of these cannot be called a perfect human being. Therefore, we should develop all these five values.

Unfortunately, when we look at the present scenario, we do not see truth anywhere, and we don’t even hear the word ‘dharma’. Therefore, man today is beset with unrest. People want peace but what they get is pieces only! Due to the lack of peace, love has become non-existent in man.

Therefore, we should develop peace. Then only will love develop in us. When love takes root in us, we will have no enemies. Then all will become our friends. Hence, man should develop love and consider all as his brothers and sisters. This is the main essence of the Ramayana.

It is only to demonstrate this principle of love that I have done this housing project in Orissa. We should love and help each other. The calamity that has befallen them can happen to anyone. When you make them happy, you will also be happy. Therefore, we should all be united.

Let us all move together, let us all grow together,

Let us all stay united and grow in intelligence together,

Let us live together with friendship and harmony. (Telugu song)

Only when we grow in intelligence together can there be unity. We should move and work with unity. No one should hate anybody. If any thought of hatred comes to you for a moment, brush it aside and develop the feeling of unity from the very next moment. It is only love that unites all.

(Bhagavan concluded His Discourse with the Bhajan, “Prema Mudita Manase Kaho Rama Rama Ram …”)

16.Shivarathri Divine Discourse, 23rd Feb 2009

INSTALL GOD AT THE ALTAR OF YOUR HEART AND MEDITATE ON HIM!

Bharat is the motherland of many noble souls who have earned great name and fame across the continents of the world. This is the land of valorous people who have vanquished foreign rulers in the battlefield to attain independence. This is the land that has excelled in music, literature, and other fine arts. Having been born in this great land of Bharat, oh boys and girls, it is your sacred duty to protect its rich cultural heritage!

(Telugu poem)

Embodiments of Love!

From the time that we are born we experience night – everyday, but not all those nights can be termed as Sivarathri. On Sivarathri day people meditate upon, sing hymns of Shiva, and listen to the glory of Lord Siva. Since the whole night is spent in this manner, this night is called Sivarathri. Not just this night, but every time you spend the entire night meditating upon the divine name, that night is also called Sivarathri.

Lord Siva is not a separate Avatar. In fact, Hari and Hara (Lord Vishnu and Lord Siva) are beyond one’s contemplation. They are beyond the physical body. Many people contemplate upon them asAvatars with a physical body and worship them in a particular form. They develop a deep urge to visualise them in a particular form. But who ascribed these forms to Divinity? Surely, they did not incarnate in these forms. Some painters, like Ravi Varma, painted them in a particular form as based upon the descriptions in the Sastras and Puranas and allowed their imagination to add forms to it. That is all!

In fact, Vishnu and Siva are not limited by a physical frame. They are beyond it. They are formless and attributeless. Nirgunam, niranjanam, sanathana niketanam, nitya, suddha, buddha, mukta, nirmala swarupinam (God is attributeless, unsullied, the final abode, eternal, pure, enlightened, free, and the embodiment of sacredness).

Devotees are accustomed to contemplating upon and worshipping these forms from time immemorial. They wish to visualise God in these forms.

God is not limited to a particular form or description. No painter, however great he may be, can ever paint the picture of God. How can a painter paint the form of God, who is formless?

However, God assumes different forms as per the wishes of the devotees. God manifests to His devotees in the form in which they visualise Him in. It is for that moment alone and is not permanent. All forms attributed to God are only temporary. Divinity is beyond name and form.

Once Goddess Lakshmi came to Parvathi and wondered –

“Oh! Gowri! You are very young and Sambasiva is old;

He has matted locks and wears a tiger skin;

He rides a bull and is constantly on the move;

He is adorned with snakes;

How did you court Him?

Don’t you know all this?

He has no house of His own and sleeps in the burial ground.”

(Telugu song)

Parvathi was deeply disturbed by these remarks and approached Lord Siva and asked, “You don’t have a house of your own. You don’t belong to a particular caste or lineage. Further, you are’Ardhanarishwaraa’ (androgynous). How then can you call yourself God?”

Lord Siva replied that God is beyond name, caste, and lineage. He then turned to Lakshmi and asked, “Oh! Mother Lakshmi! Are you aware of your own husband’s antecedents? He is constantly on the move to protect His devotees and has no time for food and sleep. If at all He settles down to eat His food, the call from some devotee like Draupadi comes to Him, ‘Oh! Krishna! I am in great trouble. Please save me!.’ He immediately rushes to her rescue leaving His food. Thus, He is constantly on the move to protect His devotees like Narada or Prahlada. How then did you court such a Lord who has no time even for food and rest?”

Siva then clarified that God has no name and form; He is changeless; He has neither birth nor death; neither beginning nor end; He is eternal and Atmaswarupa (embodiment of Atma). He also emphasised that it is man’s delusion which makes him ascribe a name and form to God. The formless God manifests with a particular form and name as per the wishes of the devotees and to fulfil their aspirations. God is formless and attributeless. It is the devotee who attributes names, forms and attributes to God and feels satisfied. All names and forms are anithya and asathya (evanescent and false). The only eternal and true form of God is Atma. Everything in the world may change; but the Atma will never undergo a change. The entire universe is contained in the Atma. This is also called divine consciousness or Aham or Brahman. People misunderstand this eternal truth, and give it several names and forms.

When the formless God assumes a form, it is natural for human beings to meditate and worship that form. People experience bliss by doing so. It is perfectly fine as long as that form remains. Once that divine form ceases to exist, what will you do? The happiness and bliss derived from the worship of a particular form of God are primarily born out of your illusion. The physical vestures last for a particular period and then cease to exist. Divinity takes different forms later.

For example, you are now attached to this physical body. You worship this body and derive great satisfaction and bliss thereby. But, after sometime, this body may disappear like the earlier Avatar. Then you should not feel sad. When the divine Atma embodied in this physical body reaches its eternal Abode, it is a matter of joy, not sorrow.

In Tretha Yuga, the Avatar of Rama came. He exiled into the forest and destroyed several demons, including Ravana, the great rakshasa (demon) king. Finally, having fulfilled His Avataric mission, He went into the Sarayu river and disappeared. The same is the case with Lord Krishna in the Dwapara Yuga, who left His mortal coil after having been hit by the arrow of a hunter in the forest. Thus, the physical vestures are always temporary and untrue.

The body is made up of five elements and is bound to perish sooner or later, but the indweller has neither birth nor death. The indweller has no attachment whatsoever and is the eternal witness. Truly speaking, the indweller who is in the form of Atma, is verily God Himself. Hence, never consider the physical body as permanent. Bodies appear according to the time and circumstances. Once the prescribed time is over, they just disappear. Even the experiences gained by the physical body vanish. Considering the physical bodies as true, if you wish to have the darshan of Lord Krishna of Dwapara Yuga now, how is it possible? As long as He walked in that body, He appeared in Mathura, Brindavan, Gokul, Dwaraka, etc., and made people happy with His darshan, sparshan and sambhasan (sight, contact, speech).

Take the example of an electric bulb. The wattage of each bulb is different. and remains that way for a limited period of time. Avatars are alike these electric bulbs. God has incarnated in the form of severalAvatars. Be attached to the Divinity in the avatar as the formless, attributeless, Parabrahma, which has manifested and not to the physical form of that particular avatar. God takes the form of a different Avatarin different ages.

When you were born you were a baby, then grew to become a child, moved on to become a youth and then became an elderly person. All these stages in life are only for a limited period, but you the individual are there in all the different stages. Avatars come, fulfil their mission, and disappear. You must therefore meditate upon Divinity, which is true and eternal.

There are three aspects in sadhana (spiritual practice): concentration, contemplation, and meditation. At the moment, you are fixing your gaze on this form; that is concentration. When this form moves away after sometime, you still look at this form with your mental eye; that is contemplation. As a result of this exercise, this form gets imprinted in your heart permanently. That is meditation. As you go on meditating thus, the form remains in your heart permanently.

At present, you are confining your sadhana to concentration and contemplation alone. These two stages are merely transitory. It is true that the first step in your sadhana is concentration. Concentration has to be transformed into contemplation and later into meditation. In the final stage of meditation, you will continue to visualise the form of God even if you close your eyes. The ancient rishis adopted this form of meditation. That is why God manifested before them whenever they wished, talked to them, and fulfilled their desires.

The nirakara, nirguna Parabrahma (formless, attributeless Supreme Self) is changeless and eternal. It represents the ultimate reality. It is known by different names like Rama, Krishna, and Sai. Do not make any distinction between the names, for Parabrahma is beyond names and forms. Install that ultimate reality at the altar of your sacred heart and constantly meditate upon it.

Some people tend to misinterpret the sastras and puranas (scriptures and ancient texts) to suit their convenience and selfish ends. A small story: Once an impostor posing as a mendicant stood before a house and begged for food saying, “Bhavathi bhiksham dehi!” (I am hungry, kindly give me food!).

The housewife heard his plea and came out. She told him, “Sir! Please go to the river and have a bath and come back. In the meantime, I get some food ready for you.”

Then the sanyasi (mendicant) quoted a line from the puranas, ‘Govindethi sadasnanam’ (the constant chanting of the name of Govinda is as good as taking a bath).

The housewife immediately realised that the person standing at the door and begging for food was not a true sanyasi and replied, ‘Dear Son! Govindethi sada bhojanam’ (the constant chanting of the name of Govinda is as good as a meal). You may go!”

It is said that the face is the index of mind. It reflects our inner thoughts and feelings. If the so-called sanyasi in this story really believed in the glory of the divine name, he should have taken a bath before asking for food. He was lazy. He wanted food to satisfy his hunger but was reluctant to have a bath before the meal. Never believe in such impostors.

Some people sit silently, closing their eyes. They say they are in meditation. That is not meditation. They may sit silently, but their minds may be wandering and thinking about all and sundry. Only a mind that is unwavering and fixed firmly on the higher reality can be called meditation. Meditation is the next stage to contemplation. A small example: you may have scored first class marks in the half yearly examination, but you will not be eligible to get a degree. Only after passing the final examination will you be eligible to receive a degree. Contemplation and meditation are comparable to the half yearly and final examinations. Thus, spirituality represents a higher stage in life.

Today, people are engrossed in the pursuit of physical and worldly objects, forgetting moral and spiritual goals. How can they attain spiritual progress? If one wishes to have a spiritual experience, one has to acquire the necessary strength to face the final examination.

To say that this is my body, my house, my property, etc. represents the physical aspect. When you say, ‘this is my body’ it means ‘my’ is separate. That is, you are separate from your body. Similarly, when you say ‘my mind’, ‘my buddhi’ (intellect), ‘my chitta’ (subconscious mind), etc. it means they are all separate from you. Hence, your true nature is ‘I’, which is separate from all that you call ‘my body, my mind, my buddhi’ etc.

You have to sacrifice all your karma (i.e. the fruit of your actions). That means, you have to perform yourkarma (actions) with an attitude of ‘Sarva karma Bhagavad preethyartham’ (all actions to be performed in a spirit of surrender to God). Only then will you become immortal.

If you wish to attain the eternal state, you must realise the Atma Tatwa Atmic Principle). Only theUpanishads delineate the Atma Tatwa extensively, Epics like Bhagavatha and Ramayana do not do so. The same Atma Tatwa which is, the supreme reality, incarnates from age to age to restore dharmawhenever it is on the decline. This is stated in the Bhagavad Gita:

Yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata,

abhyutthanamadharmasya tadatmanam srujamyaham. (Sanskrit verse)

(Oh Arjuna! Whenever there is a decline of righteousness(dharma )and the rise in unrighteousness(adharma), I incarnate from age to age for the establishment of dharma.)

Install God at the altar of your sacred heart and meditate on Him constantly. In spite of the sorrow, difficulties, and calamities that you may encounter, hold on to Him firmly. All this will trouble your body, not you; for, you are separate from your body. The body is like a box in which the mind, intellect, chitta(subconscious mind), indriyas (senses), and anthakarana (inner psycho-somatic fourfold instruments of mind, intellect, memory, and ego) are packed.

We cultivate qualities like anger, jealousy, envy, and pride due to our contact with the outside world. Only when we get rid of these qualities do we enjoy peace. Therefore, we have to start our sadhanawith sathya (truth) and dharma (righteousness).

When truth and righteousness go together, shanthi (peace) will reign. Peace brings love. Where there is peace, there hatred cannot be. When we develop hatred against someone, it means the spring of love has dried up in our heart. When there is love in our heart, we do not get angry, even if someone accuses us. Normally, we do not care about anyone when we are angry. Many people speak ill of Me, accuse Me, and even heckle Me, but I am not disturbed. I am always happy and blissful. That is real love.

Where there is anger, hatred, and jealousy, it means that there is no love. Hence, always follow the motto of “Love All, Serve All!” The foundation for following this principle are sathya and dharma (truth and righteousness). Always speak the truth and follow righteousness.

There are lectures galore about dharma being rendered by people who do not follow it themselves!.Dharma cannot survive in these circumstances. It is said, “Sathyannasti paro dharmah” (there cannot be a greater dharma than speaking the truth). Sathya and dharma are like the two hands, two legs, and two lips of a human body. It is only when the two lips work together that a human being can speak. Similarly, it is only when Sathya and dharma go together that peace can reign. Where there is nodharma, there will not be love. Thus, sathya and dharma are the basis for all other values like santhi(peace), prema (love), and ahimsa (non-violence).

(Bhagawan sang the bhajan, “Prema Mudita manase kaho …” andcontinued His discourse.)

Embodiments of Love!

Always meditate on the divine name -not just contemplation, but meditation. This meditation should be infused with love for God. Without love, your meditation will not achieve the desired result. Your love for God should be continuous through the day and the night. It is possible that when you pray to God to fulfil some desire and things go contrary, you may get angry and develop hatred against Him. But that has nothing to do with spirituality. Your innate nature and love for God should never undergo a change.

Continue to attach yourself to the divine name. That is real meditation. When you are in deep meditation, nothing in the external world should be visible to you even if you open your eyes.

Another aspect about which you need to be careful is your speech. Too much talk is very bad. Do not indulge in excessive talk. Try to mend your nature. Observe silence as far as possible and be quiet. Talk only as much as is needed. Just answer to the point. If you talk more, you will be branded as a chatter-box. Talking too much is not good, even from the health point of view. This is very important, especially in the case of children.

You have to keep your mind steady right from the young age. What is important is not studying textbooks but steadying your mind. Textbooks you can always study -in the classroom, in the hostel, etc.

Are you all happy? (All the students in one voice replied that they are happy.)

(Bhagawan concluded His discourse with the words, “Be always happy, happy, happy!”)

17.Divine Discourse on 21st Feb 2009

DEVELOP SELF-CONFIDENCE TO GAIN SUCCESS IN LIFE

The beauty of this sacred land of Bharat lies in its Forbearance!. Of all the rituals, adherence to truth is the greatest penance. The nectarine feeling in this country is the feeling of love toward one’s mother. Character is valued far morer than the very life itself. People have forgotten the basic principles of this great culture and are imitating Western culture. Alas! Bharathiyas are not aware of the greatness of their cultural heritage just as a mighty elephant is not aware of its own strength.

(Telugu poem)

The elephant, unable to realise its innate strength, meekly submits itself to the commands of the mahout, who works for a paltry sum of money. It gets up and sits down as the mahout bids as it is trained by him.. Similarly Bharathiyas today blindly follow the western culture, quite forgetting their own rich and sacred heritage and culture. The culture of Bharath is very sacred, strong, and ancient. It is eternal and a beacon light that has and continues to guide all the countries of the world. Then how can the Bharathiyas forget their own great culture?

The culture of Bharath is such that it instills the philosophy where the mother and the father are to be respected like God.. It exhorts every child to follow the axiom of ‘Mathrudevo bhava’ and ‘Pithrudevo bhava’ (mother is God; father is God). It does not stop just at this level alone it also urges one to follow the truism of ‘Acharyadevo bhava’ and ‘Athithidevo bhava’ (Teacher is God and the guest is God). If you tend to ignore the words of your own mother, whom else will you revere and respect?

Embodiments of Love!

As we go on talking for hours together, we tend to forget what we really intend to communicate. So many deviations and distortions creep into our speech. Today, the entire world is filled with negative feelings. Whoever you come across, and in whatever you see, negativity is widespread. All are reflections of your inner thoughts and feelings.

But beyond all these, there is one entity, called Atma, which is the Embodiment of the Divine Self. There is only one Atma, which dwells in every individual, or should I say in every living being. TheBhagavad Gita declared “Mamaivamso jeevaloke jeevabhuthah Sanathanah” (the Eternal Atmapresent in all beings is a part of My Being). There is no scope at all for any doubt or duality in this aspect. It is “Ekameva adwitheeyam Brahma” (The Atma or Brahma is one without a second). That is why it is said “A man with a dual mind is half blind.”

Divinity is described in the Vedas as “Sahasra seersha purushaha sahasrakshah sahasra paad” (The Cosmic Being has thousands of heads, eyes and feet.). The significance of this statement is that one Divinity expresses itself through millions of individuals and therefore all are Divine. We tend to forget this great truth and consider each individual as separate from one another. The strife and conflicts between human beings started the moment humanity forgot its fundamental unity. It is time that this trend is reversed and the elemental unity among human beings is re-established.

Along with unity, there should be purity. When unity and purity go together, there is Divinity . The combination of unity, purity and Divinity will result in the realisation of the Atma Tathwa (AtmicPrinciple). The Upanishads, especially the Taithreeyopanishad, dealt at length with this Atma Tathwa. The one who develops faith only in this Atma Tathwa will succeed in all his endeavours.

The Atma Tathwa or Divine Consciousness permeates the entire Universe. Even a blade of grass cannot move without this Divine Consciousness. Everything in this Universe is the reflection of this Divine Consciousness. It is the same Atma Tathwa which dwells in all human beings irrespective of religion, caste, creed, and nationality. This is true even in the case of Avatars. The Avatars of Rama and Krishna, . may be different from each other by their names and forms; but the Atma Tathwa which resides within them is only one. They all lived in their human vestures till the completion of their Avataric mission, and once their task was completed, they disappeared. So, physical bodies are not permanent. In fact, nothing in this ephemeral world is permanent, not even the great Avatars.

Atma is the only entity that is eternal. It is beyond birth and death. It is changeless. There is a beginning and an end for everything else in this universe, except the Atma. Hence, one has to develop firm faith in this Atma Tathwa. Unfortunately, we today tend to forget this true and eternal Atma Tathwa and develop faith in the ephemeral world. We weave a web of imagination around the pleasures that this transient world would offer. Ultimately, we land ourselves in sorrow and difficulties. The Atma Tathwa is the only entity that is true, eternal, and changeless. Everything else undergoes change from time to time. Even the human body passes through different stages like childhood, adolescence, youth and old age, but the individual remains the same through all these changes.

Today, people adapt themselves to continuous changes in time, situations, and environment. People who change themselves thus are not a human beings in the real sense. Who then is a real human being? One who does not undergo a change; one whose faith in the Atma Tathwa (Self) is firm and steady. That is self-confidence. One who develops that self confidence can find a place for himselff permanently in the history of the world.

You all know about Abraham Lincoln, the past President of the United States of America. He was a perfect example of such self-confidence. He came from a very poor family and could not afford to have books or even decent clothes. He was so poor that he had to study under the streetlights. His mother used to support him with the meagre amount of money she earned by mending old and wornout clothes.

One day his classmates, who were rich and wearing fine suits, boots, and hats, heckled him, by saying that he did not deserve to walk along with them in his poor clothes and that he should walk on the footpath. He came home crying and poured out his agony to his mother, explaining how he was insulted and humiliated.

His mother consoled him by saying, “My dear son! Do not get affected by either praise or blame. Understand the situation at home. Your father cannot afford to spend money on your education. Develop self-confidence. That is your property.”

These words made a lasting impression on the tender heart of Lincoln. He inculcated self-confidence and self-respect, with the constant support and encouragement of his mother. He even did some odd jobs and earned some money to support himself. The good name he earned for himself in society won him the respect and love of his fellowmen.

In due course of time, his friends and well-wishers advised him to run for election. They assured him of their support and votes. On their advice, he participated as a candidate in the election and won. He became the President of America. Thus, Abraham Lincoln, the son of a poor artisan with very little money to pursue even his primary education, became the President of America by sheer hard work and the self-confidence which his mother encouraged him to develope all through his life.

People cannot reach great heights without self-confidence. Not even the nine forms of devotion -sravanam (listening), kirtanam (singing), Vishnusmaranam (contemplating on Vishnu), Padasevanam (serving His Lotus Feet), vandanam (salutation), archanam (worship), dasyam (servitude), sneham(friendship), and Atmanivedanam (self-surrender) – can help.

Any amount of sadhana (spiritual practices) without self-confidence will be of little use. Hence, I wish that all of you should develop self-confidence. Face your examinations with self-confidence. Without self-confidence, not even your friends can help.

Do not forget to follow your mother’s advice, for, she is ‘Mathrudevo bhava’ (mother is God). She will always protect you, wherever you are. One who respects the commands of their mother and follows them sincerely will come up in life, as in the case of Abraham Lincoln.

Unfortunately, people today do not give due respect and recognition to their mothers. There are people in high positions who do not hesitate even to put down their mothers in front of others . There have been instances when they do not hestitate to call their mother a servant when guests or colleague officers visit their houses and ask about the mother. This behaviour is totally against the Vedicinjunctions, which urges everyone to treat the mother as God..

In fact, the mother is living divinity. She is the first guru to a human being. She is the only person who selflessly works and wishes for the welfare of her children.

Those who disregard the advice of their mother will never be successful in life. Even in foreign countries, people like Abraham Lincoln attained high positions by obeying the commands of their mothers and by developing self-confidence.

We consider foreigners as great. But not all foreigners can be considered great. Only those who respect their mothers and follow their advice are great. If you ignore the advice of your mother, you are sure to face difficulties in life. Follow her advice wholeheartedly. Without a second thought, develop the quality of implicit obedience to the wishes of your mother,. Only then only will your life be peaceful.

The women of Bharath have earned great name and fame for the sterling quality of chastity. They are not to be treated lightly. Such noble women are always worth remembering and need to be emulated. Savithri could bring her deceased husband back to life, by the power of her chastity. The great woman Sita entered the fire to prove her chastity and came out unscathed. There were several more such examples in this country of Bharath, of women who have shone as guiding lights to the entire world.

Bharath is a holy and sacred land. You are ineed fortunate to be born in this great land of Bharath! You must therefore sanctify your lives by following the rich and sacred culture of this country. Magnanimity and sacrifice flourished in this holyt land of Bharath The spiritual outlook of Bharath is unparalleled. In fact, it is this spiritual outlook that has sustained this country through time and has taken it to to great heights.

People here are enjoying peace and bliss even today, while the whole world is passing through difficult times. It is for this reason that people from all other countries visit this country and find solace here. We have to sustain this rich legacy of spirituality.

Whenever someone asks a student what he is doing, he replies that he is concentrating on his studies. But the real meaning of concentration is fixing one’s mind on a particular object. Contemplation is the next step. The final step is meditation. Thus, concentration, contemplation, and meditation are the three steps in sadhana. Meditation is not justsitting silent and closing one’s eyes. Maintaining an unwavering and steady mind is meditation.

People think that concentration is a great exercise, but it is just the first step in sadhana, the others being contemplation and meditation. Concentration is like primary school education. Contemplation is high school education and meditation is college level education. Only after reaching the college level is one eligible to acquire a degree. All our ancient rishis reached this stage and meditated upon Divinity.

When one reaches the stage of meditation, there is no scope for any wavering, and one’s faith in Divinity becomes steady. You have to attain that stage. You may study a number of books and pass your examination in the school or college. But, it is only one who reached the meditation stage that passes the test prescribed by God.

Dear students! Do not be proud of your achievement in getting a first class or a rank. It is not the marks that count. See that you do not get remarks, which is the result of your losing self-confidence. Hence, develop self-confidence to become real successes in life.( Or) Develop self confidence and become really successful in life.

(Bhagawan sang the bhajan, “Bhajana bina …” and continued His discourse.)

Embodiments of Love!

Constantly meditate upon a name and form of God that is to your liking. It does not matter which name and form you select for your namasmarana. All names and form belong to the one God. He isAtmaswarupa (Embodiment of divine Atma). God takes up different forms and is worshipped by various names. Only God can fulfil the desires of devotees. It is He who grants you powers and positions. Without Him, you cannot achieve any position. All are zeros only! With God’s grace, one can become a hero!

18.Divine Discourse on Makara Sankranthi, 14, Jan 2009

Money comes and goes; but morality comes and grows

Bharat is the motherland of many noble souls who earned great name and fame in all the continents of the world. This is the land of valorous people who vanquished the foreign rulers in the battlefield and attained independence. This is the land which excelled in music, literature and other fine arts. Having been born in this great land of Bharat, oh boys and girls! It is your sacred duty to protect its rich cultural heritage. (Telugu poem)

Dear students! Be prepared to uphold the honour and glory of this country of Bharat! You are sure to come out victorious in this effort. Today, people are able to achieve great progress in secular and scientific fields. But, they are unable to march forward in the field of spirituality. One has to progress in spirituality, more than in other fields. People used to give great importance to progress in the spiritual arena in the ancient times. In fact, it used to be the goal of their life. However, there is a decline in the spiritual outlook of people in recent times. In these days a lot of effort is made to achieve progress in secular, physical and worldly matters. Whatever achievements made in these areas are only temporary and transitory; they are not permanent. While people are able to make giant strides in secular areas all over the world, there is decline in the importance given to spiritual and moral progress. This tendency is in sharp contrast to the culture of Bharat in ancient times.

This land of Bharat has given birth to many noble women like Savitri who brought her dead husband back to life; Chandramati who extinguished wild fire with the power of truth; Sita who proved her chastity by coming out of blazing fire unscathed and Damayanti who reduced an evil-minded hunter to ashes with the power of her chastity. This land of piety and nobility attained plenty and prosperity and became the teacher of all the nations of the world because of such women of chastity. (Telugu poem)

Savitri, a great woman of chastity brought her deceased husband back to life by the power of her chastity. Such women brought great name and fame to the country of Bharat. Can you find parallels to her anywhere in this world? No doubt, whoever is born must die. But, is there a woman in any country in the world who could bring her dead husband back to life, except in Bharat? The whole world is falling to abysmal depth due to transgression of the righteous path, lack of character and bad behaviour.

Once Arjuna was narrating to King Dharmaraja a few strange incidents he observed while going on a tour of the Kingdom. A farmer reported to Arjuna, “Swami! Yesterday I left the implements in the field itself after ploughing, since it was getting dark. Today when I went to the field to pick up those implements, they are not to be found there.” On another occasion he noticed some ladies putting locks to their houses and going out. On enquiry they informed him, “Swami! We wanted to go out on some work and unless we put lock to our houses, we will not be able to keep our belongings safe.” This was stunning news to Arjuna, since no house in the kingdom used to be locked in those days unlike in present times and people were able to move very freely without any worry. Later, when King Dharmaraja himself went on a stroll, he observed a lady talking to a man in public standing in the middle of the road. Such type of behaviour went against the custom prevailing in the country. Dharmaraja was taken aback at these developments and felt that the age of Kali had begun. He therefore decided that it was time that the Pandavas leave for their heavenly abode. Ladies and gents engaging themselves in conversation in full view of the public was a taboo in those days.

Bharat is a land where noble thoughts and feelings are cultivated right from childhood. In fact, Bharat is the spiritual teacher for the entire world. Even now, you will find Bharatiyas do not go astray in their behaviour, as it is happening in some other countries in the world. They are decent and courteous in their behaviour at least in public. Even an aged son dare not talk to his mother standing in front of her. In the earlier days of Swami’s Avatarhood, the Raja of Venkatagiri used to visit Puttaparthi. He used to bring the heir apparent and his other son along with him. Before their departure, the sons used to take the blessings of their mother, who used to sit behind a screen and stretch her legs for her sons to offer their obeisance to her. Such were their noble feelings and exemplary character.

Today, you will find boys and girls moving together even in public places. If someone makes enquiries, they reply that so and so was their classmate. Such acts in the old days were considered as highly improper. In fact, the term ‘classmate’ itself is a wrong expression. You should not use the word ‘classmate’. You should say ‘a fellow student in the class’. The rules of conduct in the earlier times were very strict. The situation has changed now. Boys and girls visit each other’s houses without any inhibition and even dine together. This is highly improper. Before doing such things, one has to enquire into oneself. “Am I a human being or an animal or a beast?” Animals have animal qualities. But, you are a human being. Hence, you should possess human qualities. You say you are a human being. Therefore you have to enquire into yourself, “Do I possess human qualities?” What are those human qualities? You should never hurt anyone. You should not speak harsh words against any individual. You should have compassion and a charitable disposition. Only such a person can be said to be a human being. Sathya (truth), Dharma (righteousness), Santhi (peace), Prema (love) and Ahimsa (non-violence) are the five qualities a human being should possess. Giving a go-bye to Sathya and Dharma, people pray for peace (Santhi). Is it possible? Can anyone get peace outside? Peace is a state of mind that is very much inside one’s own self. It emanates from one’s heart. People are now searching for peace in the outside world.

There is reaction, resound and reflection for everything in the world. It is only when you develop the quality of hatred in yourself, you will see hatred in others. Even when no one causes any harm to you, you try to hurt others. Whatever you do to others, surely you will experience the result of that action. Whatever you hear, whatever you experience, it is all due to the reaction, reflection and resound of your own actions and feelings. Others are not responsible for it. You forget this simple truth and lament, “so and so is accusing me; so and so is causing pain to me; so and so is hurting me”, etc. No one is responsible for either your good or bad. Neither it is God’s creation; for, God is Nirgunam, Niranjanam, Sanathana Niketanam, Nitya, Shuddha, Buddha, Mukta, Nirmala Swarupinam (God is attributeless, unsullied, final abode, eternal, pure, enlightened, free and embodiment of sacredness). You go on fighting with others and try to hurt them. Then you are not a human being at all! You should always help others, you should not hurt anyone. “Help Ever, Hurt Never”. It is said, Paropakara Punyaya, Papaya Parapeedanam (one attains merit by serving others and commits sin by hurting them). Sarva Jiva Namaskaram Kesavam Pratigachchhati (whomsoever you salute, it reaches God) and Sarva Jiva Tiraskaram Kesavam Pratigachchhati (whomsoever you criticise, it reaches God). You think you are accusing someone or making fun of someone. It is all your illusion. In fact, you are accusing yourself and making fun of yourself in the process. Everything has reaction, reflection and resound. You yourself are responsible for either good or bad. If you wish to enjoy good things in life, you should do good to others in the first instance.

Today’s education is information-oriented. It is bookish knowledge. It is not real education. It is not this type of education that you should pursue. You have to pursue ‘Educare’. Educare manifests in one’s own heart. Education relates to gathering information by reading several books and storing them in your brain. Whatever you remember out of that knowledge, you will reproduce in your examinations and acquire degrees. That you call education. That is not real education. You have to follow your inner voice. That is real education. In the recent sports day, you played many games; you displayed beautiful gymnastic skills; you sang several songs. These are all the activities relating to the body, which is the result of your past karmas (actions). However, you should not repose absolute confidence in the physical body. The body is given to you for discharging your duty as a human being. You should not misuse your body. It is the responsibility of teachers, headmistress, principals, vice chancellors and chancellors to teach the students the value and purpose of human birth.

Your duty is to follow your conscience. Your conscience helps you manifest noble qualities. But, you do not pay heed to the voice of your conscience and go against the human values. Hence, you should never ignore your conscience. Your conscience is your most valuable property. You need not have to do japa, tapa, dhyana or yoga. You will achieve a lot of progress in your Sadhana, if only you listen to your inner voice. Whatever comes from the depth of your heart, will do good for you. Whatever goes against the dictates of your conscience is worldly, whereas inner voice or conscience is spiritual. “Help Ever; Hurt Never”, is the cardinal principle of spirituality. Whoever follows the inner voice will always be safe. You should never go against that inner voice. That is true spirituality. Spirituality does not mean just conforming to worship and meditation. These practices have degenerated into several undesirable activities these days. The underlying principle and the purpose of these Sadhanas are totally forgotten. It is said, Manasyekam Vachasyekam, Karmanyekam Mahatmanam; (Those whose thoughts, words and deeds are in perfect harmony are noble ones). Unless there is perfect accord between your thoughts, words and deeds, you are not a human being at all! You get very angry against someone and slap him. But think for a moment; for, it is a great sin to hurt others. In the process, you are hurting not your enemy, but God verily! All are divine. Hence, you should never hurt anyone. It is natural to help those who help you. But, you should be able to help even those who harm you.

There is nothing great in helping those who have helped you. He is a noble one who helps even those who have harmed him. (Telugu poem)

It is only Sai in this world who helps even those who try to harm Him, ignoring their faults. I never mind the harm done to Me by others. We must always be calm, serene and peaceful under all circumstances. If only you maintain the quality of peace, you can achieve anything in life. Wherever you see in the outside world, it is only pieces and pieces! Do not hurt the feelings of others, come what may. Always treat your parents with love and respect.

In fact, your parents are your first teachers. Respect them. Any amount of your good work by inconveniencing your parents is of no avail. That cannot be considered good work at all. Though it may appear to be yielding some benefits temporarily, the end result of all this work will turn out to be very bad. Hence, you must ensure that you do not cause any inconvenience or suffering to your parents. The more you inconvenience them the more you will suffer. With regard to charity, the more you give in charity to others, the more benefit you will receive later. Therefore, try to help others, always. Do any kind of seva that you are capable of. When you thus go on doing help to others, you will be progressing in the path of Truth. As you travel in the path of Truth, Dharma will automatically follow. Where Sathya(truth) and Dharma (righteousness) go together, Santhi (peace) will reign there. Then Prema (love) will follow. Where there is love, there hatred cannot be. You will not have enemies then. It is only when the spring of love gets dried up in your heart that you will try to cause suffering to others. Hence, develop love for all. Sathya, Dharma, Santhi, Prema and Ahimsa are human qualities. Today, there is rampant violence everywhere in the world. People are afraid to stay alone even in their houses. Several changes are taking place all over the world. Earlier, the United States of America was considered to be a super power and a wealthy country. But, now all that glory is gone. As a result, people who were going to their workplaces in cars earlier are now going by walk. We think money and wealth can do anything. But, money is not important; your mind is important. If only you can control your mind, everything will turn out to be good for you.

Dear students!

Whatever work you undertake, do it with a sense of dedication to God. Sarva Karma Bhagavad Preetyartham (do all actions to please God). Always remind yourself that God is the doer and you are just an instrument in the hands of God. You can achieve anything in life, only when there is the Will of God. You perform your duty and remain as a witness to all that goes in the world. It is said, “Paropakarah Punyaya Papaya Parapeedanam”. Always follow the principles of “be good, do good and see good”. Let your tongue speak only the truth. Let all your deeds be helpful to others. Whoever undertakes service in society with such a motto will always be happy. Pride, jealousy, etc, are all bad qualities. They drive away good qualities. They do harm to you as well as to society. Hence, be good and do good to others. If someone is in a difficult situation, go all out to help him even at the cost of your own work. This is the foremost duty of a human being. “Help Ever, Hurt Never” should be your motto. It is enough if you remember these two commands always. Do not cause harm even to your enemy. Hurt never. Do not cause even the slightest inconvenience to others. This is true education. You make your parents suffer in the house, come to the office and show your egoistic power on your subordinates and draw a huge salary for your so-called work and responsibility. This is a great mistake. As you go up in your career and life, your ego and jealousy must come down. Then only will you earn respect from one and all. You should always remember the society and its welfare. You are a member of the society and therefore you have a social responsibility. You owe your very existence to society. Similarly, society is not separate from you. The individuals make a society. You and society are inseparable and mutually dependent. It is only when fellow members of the society prosper that you too will prosper.

Dear students!

You all have done well in your studies, getting good marks and securing ranks. You brought good name to the Institution in the fields of education, sports and cultural activities. Yesterday, you witnessed a play on Bhakta Potana. He did not feel bad, in spite of criticism and belittling from his brother-in-law Srinatha also a great poet. Since, Potana was a great devotee of Rama and surrendered himself totally to the Lord, Rama Himself composed the great epic Bhagavatam on his behalf. Potana always believed that his poetry, his life and even his very existence were all the gift of Lord Rama. He was a true devotee. When Potana was suffering from acute poverty and finding it very difficult to make both ends meet, his brother-in-law advised him to dedicate his works to the King and make a comfortable living with the money and jewellery gifted by the King. Potana refused to do so saying that he would take refuge only in Lord Rama. Instead, he decided to live by cultivating his small piece of land. One day, while Srinatha was going by the side of the fields in a palanquin he saw his brother-in-law Potana working in his field. He derisively passed a comment on Potana addressing him as ‘haalika!’ meaning, ‘Oh farmer! Are you Ok?’ Potana gave an apt reply saying, ‘how did it matter if I am a farmer? I feel it is better and nobler to make a living by farming than dedicating my poetry to earthly kings and living upon their charity. That gives me great satisfaction!’

The earth is the basis for all the objects and all activities in the world. Whoever reposes his faith in the land will never undergo any difficulties. Hence, I advise the students to develop faith in their motherland and pursue their vocations in this great land of Bharat itself, instead of dreaming to go to other countries like America and earn lakhs and lakhs of rupees. You earn name and fame in your motherland itself. Earning money is not something great. Even a beggar can earn a lot of money. “Money comes and goes; but morality comes and grows”. Cultivate that morality. Whoever has morality, will never undergo any difficulty.

19.Divine Discourse on New Year, 01 Jan 2009

Know thyself! Then you will know everything

The sun appears serene and peaceful

The days have become shorter and the cool wind is blowing

The fields are ripe with golden crops

Marigold flowers are blossoming like garlands of pearls

On the banks of rivers

The farmers are rejoicing and singing

The sweet festival of Sankranti has come in the

Pushya month, filling the granaries in our homes with

freshly harvested grain

(Telugu song)

This is the time of the Sankranti festival. Sankranti is a grand festival. It is the day on which farmers bring home the harvested crops consisting of all varieties of food grains and pulses needed for the household. The farmers, having finished a hectic schedule of harvesting the crops are now free from the farming chores, to enjoy good food and rest in their homes. They spend this leisure time with their family and friends rejoicing the harvest bounty with fun and frolic. They invite the newly married sons-in-law to their homes and gift them with new clothes. There is great joy all around.

There is a folk song in Telugu which captures this festivity in the village very appropriately:

As Sankranti is the festival of festivals, Oh!You newly married bridegroom, visit the home of your in-laws; Come, spend your time in fun and frolic with your brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law. The entire household and the neighbourhood will honour you with love and affection.

In the earlier days, transportation was not as developed as it is today. The sons-in-law had to walk all the way to visit their in-laws or ride on a bullock cart. The entire village would wait for their arrival and shower them with nothing but the best. The food was a veritable feast with the best of dishes out on display for these honoured guests to eat – all prepared with great love and affection.

The Sankranti festival is also an occasion when the bullocks are decorated elaborately and taken to various houses in the village. The bullocks are worshipped and fed sumptuously as an expression of gratitude for all the hard work they have done in the fields. Even the bovine members of the household are feted.

A symbolic marriage is performed between a bull and cow, aptly named Rama and Sita. They are paraded on the streets and made to dance to the delight of every one. The cow named Sita is asked, “Rama is black. Do you like him?” Sita would swing her head in disagreement. Then, she is counseled, “Please do not say no; Rama is great. He is handsome and respectable!” Then Sita would nod her head in agreement.

And this is how an elder brother watching this beautiful show invites his younger brother to witness this symbolic marriage and offer gifts to the “couple”, –

Oh my dear brother, here comes the Gangireddudasu.

Come, let us go and see him. He wears a silver medallion and a waist belt.

He carries a decorated staff and wears special marks on his forehead.

He brings with him the richly caparisoned sacred cow and bull and

performs their marriage.

Let us see the marriage ceremony and offer our gifts.

(Telugu folk song)

So, the Sankranti festival is celebrated in the villages with a great deal of religious fervour and fun. Festivals like Sankranti and Sivaratri are festivals which are meant for contemplation and realization of one’s innate Divinity.

People say “Idi naa dehamu” (this is my body), very casually; but, people well-versed in Sanskrit language would interpret the expression “naa dehamu” (my body) in a different way. They would explain that “na” means “not” based upon the literal meaning and conclude that “naa dehamu” means “I am not the body.” Similarly the Telugu expression “naa manasu” (my mind) can be interpreted as “I am not the mind.” The same is the case with buddhi (intellect).

The sum and substance of all these expressions is, “I am not the body, I am not the mind, I am not thebuddhi (intellect)” etc. In the same logic, one has to maintain a state of perfect equanimity, unaffected by pain and pleasure, while affirming to oneself all the while that, “these sorrows and difficulties as well as happiness and pleasure are not mine. I am beyond these dualities.”

“It is my body” means. “I am different from the body.” When you consider yourself as separate from your body, why should you feel the pain arising from it? The situation, however, is that you are unable to bear the pain caused to the body. Hence, you remain at the level of a human being only. You are unable to emerge from the delusion of bodily attachment. As long as you are attached to the body, these sorrows and difficulties as well as pain will haunt you. These are all of your own making. When you get angry – where does this anger come from? It comes from YOU alone.. So is the case with jealously as it manifests purely in your own mind. Thus, each one of these bad qualities is the result of your own thoughts. Hence, if you are able to control your thoughts properly, you will be able to achieve anything in life.

The mind, intellect, and the chittha (subconscious mind) are the reflections of the Atma. The mind has no stability. It is the repository of thoughts and desires. It is said, “Manayeva manushyanam Karanam bandha mokshyah” – the mind is the root cause of either bondage or liberation. Therefore, one has to keep the mind under proper control by putting some ceiling on desires.

Both the body and the mind undergo change constantly. However, there is one entity inside whicht is changeless, that is the Atma. It has no form but it has a name:- Atma. Self and Atma both mean the same.

Atma is also called Aham. One should not confuse oneself in this context that this Aham is ahamkara(ego), which is identified with the body. God has no name and form, and He is always referred to as the Brahman. If God were to reveal His true nature, He would say “Aham Brahmasmi” (I am Brahman). The same Brahma Tathwa – the principle of the Brahma – permeates all beings as Atma Tathwa – the Atmaprinciple.

We say so and so is my wife, so and so is my son, so and so is my daughter-in-law, etc. These are all illusory and bodily relationships. They are acquired by us and are not God given. Similarly God does not grant you either pleasure or pain. They all are of your own making alone. They arise because of your attachment to your body. As long as you are attached to the physical body, you will experience pain only. Once this physical body is consigned to flames, nothing comes along with you.

Atma, Self, I – these are the different names given to the same Atmic principle. The identification of being one with the body is done by the individual, thereby resulting in ahamkara – ego. This is the reason why Jesus told the world to cross the little I (ego), so that one may become God.

Your own Self (Atma) directs all your activities from within. This Self has no birth and death, just as Brahman has no birth and death. It is eternal, true, and changeless. We have to attach ourselves to such an everlasting principle, not to the constantly changing and ephemeral objects.

When you marry a girl you call her your wife. Earlier to the marriage, who was she? Who were you? There was absolutely no relationship between you. Only by your marriage did you become her husband and she your wife and acquired a matrimonial relationship. The relationship is acquired by you. God has nothing to do with these worldly relationships. Yet, He is the eternal witness to all that goes on in this world.

Dhyana – meditation, japa -constant repetition of God’s name, or yoga are of no help when it comes to realization of the Atma Tathwa.

Neither are the nine forms of devotion like sravanam- listening, kirtanam -singing, Vishnusmaranam – contemplating on Vishnu, Padasevanam-serving His Lotus Feet, vandanam-salutation, archanam-worship, dasyam – servitude, sakhyam – friendship, and Atmanivedanam – self-surrender of any help. They are different forms of sadhana, which we ourselves have taken up. They are not God given.

How many ascetics in this world do severe penance? How many people constantly do japa? Even when they are sleeping, the japamala rotates in their hand. Do all these spiritual exercises confermoksha (liberation) on oneself? Never! One has therefore to constantly contemplate on the Atma Tathwa.

If someone asks who you are, you should be able to reply “I am God!” with all the faith and confidence at you command. The Atmaswarupa in all the human beings is one and the same. It is eternal and changeless.

I have told you several times about the story of Alexander. Though he conquered large parts of the world, he could not take with him even an iota of property that he had accumulated. He had to leave this world with empty hands. In order to demonstrate this truth to the world, he instructed his ministers to take his dead body in a procession through the streets of his capital keeping both his hands in a raised position pointing the sky.

When the ministers were curious to know the reason for this strange request from the Emperor, Alexander replied, “I have conquered several countries and accumulated great wealth. There is a vast army under my control. Yet, no one or none of this is accompanying me at the time of my leaving this mortal body. I am going with empty hands. This truth has to be demonstrated to all the people.”

We may acquire a lot of wealth and deposit it in the banks or lend it to others for interest. Yet, we cannot take even a handful of earth along with us at the time of leaving our body. Nothing of this world comes along with us. We are unnecessarily struggling and planning several schemes constantly thinking about them day and night. In spite of all our struggles, what has to go out of our hands will go. “The body is like a water bubble. The mind is like a mad monkey.” If you follow this mad monkey, you will get into trouble. On the other hand, if you believe in the body, you do not know when this body, which is like a water bubble, will burst. Nothing is permanent. Only the Atma (SELF) is eternal and immortal. That is God.

‘I’, ‘Self’, ‘God’ are all different names by which Divinity is referred to. The Atman that is referred to as ‘I’ is donning different names and forms.

God had incarnated as Rama, Krishna, etc. Rama underwent several difficulties and demonstrated great ideals. Krishna demonstrated several leelas (sports, plays) and attracted several people. Finally, He left His mortal coil. The physical bodies of the Avatars undergo changes, but the Divine Atma in their bodies remains the same. The Atma is omnipresent.

However, in order to attain Atma Jnana (Atmic wisdom), your resolve has to be pure. You have to constantly contemplate upon the Divine Atma.

Your thoughts and actions may change; the methods of your japa, tapa, and yoga may change, but Divinity will not undergo any change. That is why Divinity has been described as nirgunam, niranjanam, sanathana niketanam, nitya, shuddha buddha, mukta, nirmala swarupinam (attributeless, pure, final abode, eternal, unsullied, enlightened, free, and embodiment of sacredness).

People pray, “Oh! God! Grant me your Divine darshan.” Even if He grants you His divine vision, it is only momentary. It comes and goes like a flash. In fact, God is very much immanent in your own heart. He is hearing all your prayers. He is answering your prayers.

Even when your physical body ceases to exist, the Atma remains. That Atma (Self) is eternal. It assumes different forms. We witness several objects in this Universe, like the stars, the sun, the moon, etc. Though they appear to be static, even they undergo changes. Only Divinity, which is the basis of all this, remains changeless and eternal.

One should always maintain purity. In fact, this land of Bharath has earned great name and fame, for purity and character: This land of Bharath has given birth to many noble women, like Savitri, who brought her dead husband back to life, Chandramati, who extinguished wild fire with the power of truth; Sita who proved her chastity by coming out of blazing fire unscathed, and Damayanti, who reduced an evil-minded hunter to ashes with the power of her chastity. This land of piety and nobility attained plenty and prosperity and became the teacher of all the nations of the world because of such women of chastity. (Telugu Poem)

Good character is very essential not only for women but for men too! Only if one has character, you can call them a chaste man or a chaste woman. Today, we find boys and girls getting very close and behaving as though they are husband and wife. How long? Only for a short period. Thereafter, the situation changes. Once they are married, the boy will goes in one direction and the girl in the other. However, there will be no change at all in the Divine nature.

It is customary to exchange diamond rings between a boy and girl when they marry. The diamond ring, which is an impermanent object, is symbolic of Divinity, which is changeless and is available to people at all times.

We should safeguard our character like a diamond. Even overseas diamond rings are exchanged during the wedding as it is customary even there. As a result, there is a meaning in every custom and tradition not only in India but also across the world.

As I have already mentioned earlier, you say that this is “my body” (naa dehamu). Here “naa” refers to self in Telugu language. But, in Sanskrit, “naa” refers to “no”. Hence, it means, “I am not the body.” Thus, there is a lot of meaning in every expression.

God is described as “Sahasra seersha Purushah sahasraksha sahasra paad.” (The Cosmic Being has thousands of heads, eyes and feet). You have only one head, whereas God has thousands of heads. What does it mean? All the ‘heads’ in the entire creation are His!

Similarly, it is not correct to say that Swami has seen a thousand full moons (Sahasra Chandra darshan). I have seen not just one thousand full moons but crores and crores of full moons. As theVeda declares, “Chandrama manaso jathah,” (moon is the presiding deity of our mind.) Each one of you has a mind. I have been seeing all your minds. I have been seeing the minds of crores of people all over the world. Thus, it amounts to seeing not merely one thousand moons but crores and crores of moons.

A few minutes ago, the boys sang, “Neeku maaku unnadi oke bandhamu, Ade Prema Bandhamu”. It is the bond of love that unites us with you. You should ensure that this bond of love lasts forever.

Outwardly, we may display several qualities, but the inner thoughts or values are only five: sathya(truth), dharma (righteouness), santhi (peace), prema (love), and ahimsa (nonviolence). These are innate qualities, not superimposed from outside. Nor can they be purchased from any shop. They are ingrained in the core of our personalities. Our duty is to make apparent these qualities and mirror them in our daily lives. That is “Educare”. On the other hand, education refers to acquiring knowledge relating to the physical and secular world.

Truth is eternal. It has to manifest from within. Same is the case with dharma. It is said, “Dharmamoolam idam jagath.” In fact, it is, “Sathyamoolam idam jagath.” Truth is righteousness. All other values are contained in and originate from Truth.

Love is another quality that is innate in human beings. It should be made apparent and shared with one and all. Where there is love, there cannot be hatred. Love transforms itself into nonviolence. A person suffused with love cannot indulge in any kind of violence. Where there is no love, people cause harm to one another.

From truth emerges righteousness. When these two qualities go together, it results in peace. Peace unfolds as calm and serene behaviour. A person in that state says, “I am peaceful.” Several people, when asked about the purpose of their sadhana, reply, “for attaining peace of mind”; but, where is peace? There are only pieces in the outside world.

A mother loves her child. She will not forsake her child under any circumstance, even when provoked. Love drives it away. If nonviolence is to reign supreme in the world, the quality of love must be cultivated by all.

It is not enough if you love yourself. You should love your neighbours too. You must develop the feeling that everyone belongs to you and the same Atma resides as the indweller in all people.

For example, there is only one moon in the sky. The same moon is reflected in a thousand pots. You will see the moon reflected in each of the thousand pots separately. Can you therefore say there are thousand moons? No! Similarly, there are no suns separately in different countries like India, USA, and Japan. Only one sun illumines the entire world.

However, the time at which the sun rises in different parts of the world differs. Now it is 6 o’clock in the evening for us, whereas it is 6 o’clock in the morning in America. In Japan, it is 12 noon. On the basis of this difference in time, you cannot say that there is more than one sun in the sky. Only one sun illumes the entire world.

Similarly, only one God resides as the indweller in different people. Each one worships Him in their own way, ascribing a particular name and form to Divinity.

Several people are trying to ascertain from Me the birth place of Lord Rama. During the past several years, a number of people approached Me and pleaded with Me, “Swami! Please tell us where exactly was Rama born?” I told them, “Rama was born in the womb of mother Kausalya.”

In fact, do you search for yourself in the outside world? No! Your true nature is to be found in YOU alone. You are YOU! Similarly, it is futile to search for God, asking, “Where can I find God?” God is omnipresent.

Sarvatah Panipadam Tat Sarvathokshi Siromukham, Sarvatah Sruthimalloke Sarvamavruthya Tishthati.

With hands, feet, eyes, head, mouth and ears pervading everything, He permeates the entire universe.

Hence, there is no use asking, “Where is God?” First try to know about yourself. Then you will know everything. Unfortunately people today are anxious to know about everything in the outside world, without first knowing about themselves. This exercise will not serve any purpose. “Know thyself! Then you will know everything.” Remind yourself, “I am the Embodiment of Divine Atma; the Atma is immanent in me.”

People often say “this is my …; this is my …”; but who is that “my”? To whom does it refer? The feeling of “my” is maya (illusion). However, people do not make any effort to understand this.

Since you are an individual, you say, “my….”; but God is not confined to a particular name and form. He is the principle of “I”, which is all pervading. Several names and forms are ascribed to Him, but He is One and only One! “Ekam sath viprah bahudha vadanthi” (truth is one the wise say it in different ways). The different expressions like “I”, “I am God”, “I am Brahma”, “I am Vishnu”, etc. refer to only one God. Unfortunately today people are “dividing” the “Divine”. You should treat Divinity as only one.

Do not differentiate between people, saying this man is my brother; this person is my son-in-law, etc. All are brothers and sisters. When you consider all people as your brothers and sisters, where is the feeling of difference between individuals? It is this feeling of oneness among human beings that is taught by spirituality.

People say that they can realise God by doing japa, dhyana and such other sadhanas (spiritual exercises); but when and where? How? They are not be able to see even the person standing right in front of them when they close their eyes. How then can they see God in meditation?

All these sadhanas are meant to control the mind. The mind is very unsteady. It is always affected by bumps and jumps. Then how can you control such an unsteady mind? It is not possible. The mind can be controlled in only one way: by constant contemplation on God.

We often see people changing the names and forms of God for contemplation, frequently. One day they contemplate on Rama, the next day on Krishna, and yet another day on Venkateswara etc. Mind control is not possible by such contemplation. If you consider Rama as the God of your liking, then stick on to that name and form till your last breath. Then, surely you will have the sakshathkara (vision) of Rama.

Painters like Ravi Varma portrayed Rama in a particular form, but Rama and Krishna are not confined to such forms only. In fact, God has no particular form. He assumes a particular form at a particular time, for the sake of devotees. Thereafter, even that form vanishes.

Several pictures and paintings of God in a particular form are sold in the market. They are done by painters like Ravi Varma. Did Ravi Varma actually see Rama or Krishna? No. He only heard stories about Rama and Krishna and painted their forms based upon his imagination. These pictures and paintings only remind you about Divinity. Neither did Ravi Varma nor any other person actually see God.

You are God, verily! Do not think that God is somewhere in a distant place. You yourself are God. Develop that confidence. However, when you consider yourself as God, you must develop divine qualities. Then only are you entitled to consider yourself as God.

Since no one had ever explained the nature of Divinity in this manner, people have fallen into dogmatic theories. God is immanent in every human being, nay, all living beings. There is no place where God is not present. Wherever you see, God is present there. In fact, you need not come over here to see God. He is very much present in the place where you reside. Without realising this truth, people are spending a lot of money and going on pilgrimages. That is not what you are expected to do.

Develop the quality of love in you and share it with all. Then all the people in the world can become one. All are one, be alike to everyone. No living being can ever live without love. Living is possible only with love. Hence, develop a loving nature. When you go home, close your eyes and contemplate upon God. You’re sure to find Him in your own heart. When you open your eyes to the outside world, you see all and sundry.

Why do you think you are endowed with eyes? It is only to see God. If you go to a doctor complaining about some problem in your body, they will take an X-ray of your heart, liver, kidney, etc., and decide about the particular malady from which you are suffering. Spirituality is like an X-ray as it will reveal your true nature.

Install the form of God in your Heart and contemplate on Him incessantly. Never change that form for any reason. You are sure to realise God. You need not search for Him elsewhere. If you wish to see Swami, install the form of Swami in the altar of your heart. You can surely visualise Swami there. If you develop a feeling of oneness with Him, everything will turn out to be good for you. This is what you have to realise today.

Festivals come and go. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday – days roll on like that. Saturday lapses into Sunday; but God will never change. He is eternal. Realise this truth.

20. Divine Discourse on Christmas, 25th Dec 2008

CONTEMPLATE ON GOD, THE REAL HERO, FOR VICTORY

Bharat is the motherland of many noble souls who earned great name and fame in all the continents of the world. This is the land of valorous people who vanquished the foreign rulers in the battlefield and attained independence. This is the land that excelled in music, literature, and other fine arts. Having been born in this great land of Bharat, oh boys and girls, it is your sacred duty to protect its rich cultural heritage(Telugu poem)

Embodiments of Love!

What can one say about Jesus Christ that has not been said already! Today is Christmas, the holy day on which Jesus Christ was born some two thousand years ago. You all know about it.

All that we see, hear, and do are like dream scenes, which will disappear soon. They are, of course, true as long as you sleep. The moment you wake up or slide into deep sleep, they just disappear. Similarly, all that you see, hear, and do in the objective world are also like dream scenes. They are unreal and subject to constant change. The Atma Tathwa (Atmic Principle) is the only entity that is permanent in all the three periods of time, namely, past, present, and future as also the waking, dream, and deep sleep states. This Atma Tathwa is love. In fact, love is born out of Atma only. If only you cultivate love, the entire world will come under your control.

Do not hurt anyone. “Hurt never, love ever.” You have to constantly remember love, which is the eternal truth. You are not one person, you are three: (1) the one you think you are, (2) the one others think you are, and (3) the one you really are. That is your real nature. You say “this is my body, this is my mind, this is my intellect, this is my chitta (mind., memory)”, etc. But who is this “my”? Unfortunately, no one today puts this question to themself. When you say “my body,” you are separate from your body. You say “this is my house”. But who are you? You have to find the answer to this question.

How long is this house, which you say is yours, going to last? It is sure to dilapidate sooner than later. All these worldly objects are subject to change and destruction.

There is only one entity that is changeless, that is Brahma Tathwa (Brahma Principle). This is love. If only you get hold of it, everything else will come under your control.Wherever you look today, there are only desires, desires, and more desires. You have to put a ceiling on these desires. Only then will your mind become steady. You say “I want this, I want that,” etc. Thus, you develop many wants. But they are all like passing clouds. Why should you multiply your wants for these passing clouds? Ultimately, nothing accompanies you at the time of your leaving this mortal body.

Great kings and emperors ruled over this world. They conquered several countries and accumulated boundless wealth. Even Alexander the Great, who conquered several parts of the world. could not take with him even a miniscule part of the wealth he had accumulated. He had to leave this world with empty hands. In order to demonstrate this truth, he instructed his ministers to take his dead body in a procession through the streets of his capital, keeping both his hands in a raised position pointing toward the sky. When the ministers were curious to know the reason for this strange request, he replied “I have conquered several countries and accumulated so much wealth. There is a vast army under my control. Yet, none is accompanying me at the time of my leaving this body. I am going with empty hands. This has to be demonstrated to all people.”

Embodiments of Love!

People should, of course, have some comforts for this physical body and fulfil some desires that are necessary for their daily life. But, unfortunately, these desires are reaching to a point of insatiability. You may live for a few years or a full hundred years in this physical world. One day or other, the body has to be cast off. Hence, do not cultivate unlimited desires.

Some people have intense desire to have the vision of God. Where is God? You are all embodiments of Divinity. God is not separate. Men are more valuable than all the wealth in the world. In human form is God.

We see three kinds of beings in the world: tame animals, wild beasts, and human beings. One has to analyse for oneself whether one belongs to the category of animals or beasts or human beings. If you think you are a human being, then you should cultivate human values, lead a human life, and develop human thoughts.

First and foremost, truth is a human value. Truth does not undergo any change in all the three periods of time -past, present, and future. Truth is always Truth. You have to develop faith in that Truth. All others undergo change. You say ‘I am peaceful today.’ What about tomorrow? No peace! All pieces, pieces! Hence, this state of peace also undergoes change!

“Love is God; live in love.” In fact, your entire life is nourished and nurtured by love. When truth and love go together, nonviolence is the result. Where there is love, people will not quarrel among themselves, they don’t get angry against someone. When you develop love, you consider all people as your brothers. Suppose you meet someone and say “hello, brother,” even your enemy will respond by saying, ‘hello brother.’

Yad bhavam tad bhavati (as the feeling, so is the result). Hence, you have to develop noble feelings. Good and bad arise only from your thoughts. If something bad happens, it is not something that others have done to you. Nor has God a role to play in this. You are bad to yourself! Your thoughts have done harm to you!

Suppose you are happy -even that is not caused by God. That too is on account of your own thoughts. Hence, you have to purify your own thoughts, first and foremost. When you develop pure thoughts, your life will be happy and peaceful. Where there is purity, there Divinity is. Unfortunately, today, Divinity is being divided and differentiated in the name of religion. Where unity, purity, and divinity go together, life will be happy.

God is not responsible for either your good thoughts or your bad thoughts. Only you are responsible for both. If you have bad thoughts, that is your own making. All are one’s own making. The same is the case with good thoughts.

Look! How beautiful are these lights in this hall! Who made them? Only human beings. Hence, there can be no Divinity without humanness. Humanness must be sanctified. Human beings must cultivate human values. Only then can they attain Divinity.

The senses create a lot of unsteadiness in us. They lead us to bad ways in many ways. However, when our mind is pure, they lead us on the noble path. Hence, keep your mind fresh and pure always. It should not be allowed to waver, which leads us to ups and downs.

It is said, Manomoolam idam jagath (the entire world is permeated by the mind). Do not think that God is separate from you. You are confused because you think you are separate from God. Not only are you confused, but your ‘”use” is also blown, meaning you are engulfed in darkness. Your faith in God must always be steady and unwavering.

Today, the world is facing a lot of unrest. People are indulging in criminal activities. What then is your role in the present situation? You need not do anything else. Just do namasmarana (contemplating and chanting the name of God) incessantly. Contemplate upon your inner Self. You need not use any kind of bombs and weapons. Remain calm and unperturbed at all times. Maintain the attitude that whatever happens is only for your own good. On the other hand, if you constantly brood that so and so did this and so and so did that, you will only develop hatred against others. Instead, constantly contemplate on God with a calm and steady mind. Never lose your courage and fortitude. If you maintain courage and fortitude, the worldly worries cannot trouble you in the least and cause fear and anxiety in you.

The physical body is susceptible to birth and death. It is its nature.

The Atma is eternal, without birth or death. It has no beginning, middle, or end. It is omnipresent and the eternal witness. (Telugu poem)

Today, we indulge in negative thoughts relating to the body. Never entertain negative thoughts. The physical body is like a water bubble. The mind is like a mad monkey. The body is bound to perish sooner or later. Hence, do not trust the physical body. Do not believe your mind.

Of course, you should take proper care of your body as long as you live; for the body enables you to lead your life. Later, it drops down of its own accord. No one lives in this world permanently. There is only one entity in this world that is permanent: the Atma.

People say, “my self, my self” and “I, I”. This single letter “I” is the real Atma (Self). A person with two minds is said to be confused and ignorant. “A man with dual mind is half blind.” Hence, develop single-minded faith and devotion. Once you develop faith in anything, it should last till your death.

Unfortunately, people change their faith every now and then. If they are in difficulties, they respond in one way. If they are passing through better times, their behaviour will be altogether different. This should not happen. Love, love, love – that is the only changeless quality. One should cultivate such changeless love.

Whatever happens, it is as per God’s will. You think you are the doer, out of your ego. You are not the doer. Where are you? You are not there, really. It is your inner Self, your inner voice that really responds to situations. Hence, “you” means your Atma (Self).

Faith in the inner Self is the basis for everything in this world. Jesus was crucified on the cross. Mother Mary could not bear that scene and wept inconsolably. Jesus then remarked, “Why do you cry? This is natural. Whatever has to happen will happen. Hence, do not shed tears.”

Jesus helped the fishermen in many ways. He gave them bread. Once, the fishermen could not catch even one fish. Jesus then called Peter and said, “Peter, bring the fishing net and follow me.” He directed the fishermen to cast the net at a particular place. There was such a huge catch that even all the fishermen could not pull the net to the shore. Thus, God can do anything at His Divine will.

Everything is God’s gift only. One has to realise this fact and develop faith accordingly. If you are enjoying good times, it is God’s gift. On the other hand, if you are passing through difficult times, it is also God’s gift. You should develop such steady faith. If you are suffering from malarial fever, you will be given bitter pills. That is also for your good.

Good and bad coexist, none can separate them. You cannot find good or bad to the exclusion of the other. (Telugu poem)

Bad is not there separately, in a distant corner. Good and bad exist together. It is only a difference of time. Hence, accept everything as God’s gift. If we encounter bad, we express disgust and say, “I don’t want this!” Do not do that. There is good even in bad. There is good in bad and bad in good. Good and bad are like the obverse and reverse of the same coin. Only the time at which they occur differs.

Suppose you ate nice, tasty food consisting of sweets, bread, etc., tonight. Tomorrow morning it turns into excreta. The good food has turned into bad matter. Thus, good and bad occur at different times, not at the same time.

What we have to do in the present-day world is constant prayer to God. If only you develop faith in your own self, everything will accrue unto you. If you do not have that faith, all your wealth and property is a mere waste. We hanker after worldly possessions with ego and arrogance, but they lead us to nowhere. They are sure to land us in peril one day or other. Hence, always conduct yourself with humility and faith in God thinking, “everything is God’s gift; God is the doer of everything.”

Where is God? This is the question sceptics often raise. God is in you, with you, above you, below you, and around you. He is your Hridayavasi (indweller of your heart). Your Atma is none other than God, verily. Hence, you need not search for God elsewhere.

You repeat the names of Rama and Krishna, thus identifying Divinity with a particular name and form. That which is beyond the body, that which is beyond the name is real Divinity. Divinity has nothing to do with the physical body. The physical body may subsist only for a limited period. It constantly undergoes change.

At the time of birth, you call it a “child”. As it grows, you call it a “boy”. After some time, you call it a “man”. Thereafter, when it becomes old, you call it a “grandfather”. The child, boy, man, and grandfather are all one only.

Though God has come in human form and is acting as a human being now, never forget to realise Him as God. Since we are in human frames, let us know God in human form. Devoid of your physical body, you can never realise God. Hence, you have to experience God only in human form.

People develop ego on the basis of their physical and intellectual capabilities, wealth, and property. It is also common to see ego showing its head in positions of power. All these will vanish in no time. Even your body will perish.

Unfortunately, these days, people consider the ephemeral worldly possessions as permanent while ignoring the really permanent things. Hence, realise the true nature of Atma Tathwa.

People flock to this place in thousands and lakhs to have the darshan of this physical body. The more important thing to realise is that the physical body points to the eternal Divinity. Divinity is beyond the body. Hence, do not treat the physical body as permanent. However, keep up the health of the physical body as long as you live. Do not neglect it, thinking that it is bound to perish one day or the other. You have to look after the welfare of the body till your last breath. It is not your concern what happens to it later.

Embodiments of Love!

You need not go in search of the Atma. It is omnipresent – behind you, with you, around you, and above you. People do not repose their faith in such an omnipresent Atmic consciousness; they hanker after ephemeral things. Hence, first and foremost, you have to enquire which is permanent and which is not. Ask yourself, “Who am I?” The answer comes “I am a human being.”

If you consider yourself a human being, you must have human qualities. An animal like an ox or a he-buffalo ploughs the land, eats grass, and does some hard work in the fields. Similarly, the nature of a beast is to pounce upon all creatures and cause them harm, including killing. We are not animals or beasts. We are human beings.

Hence, we have to cultivate human qualities. What are they? Truth, peace, love and nonviolence. To develop the quality of nonviolence, you have to cultivate love first. Where there is love, there nonviolence will be. Similarly, love, peace, and truth are all interdependent. When love and truth go together, peace is the result. Truth is an innate divine quality.

This is not bookish knowledge; this is the manifestation of the inner Self. There is no human in this world in whom truth is not present. However, one conceals that truth and makes it appear as untruth. Sadly we are more interested in falsehood than truth, today.

You might have witnessed a number of dramas and playlets on the theme of love. Rama, Krishna, Sita, and Radha are all mythological characters. Rama and Sita, Krishna and Radha are shining examples of Prema Tathwa (Love Principle). Hence, they are referred to as Sitaramulu and Radhakrishnulu.

The demon king Ravana confined Sita in Lanka for ten months. He used to coax her frequently to become his queen. However, she flatly refused to submit herself to his overtures, saying “you are in no way comparable to Rama, the embodiment of Truth and Righteousness.” She never even looked at his face. She pulled out a blade of grass and threw it on the ground saying, “You are like this blade of grass. Your might and power cannot be compared to that of Rama.” Such was her intense faith in Rama.

One has to develop such strong faith in Divinity. There are a number of terrorists operating in various parts of the world. But none of them can cause any damage to you if you develop faith and love in God. God is everywhere. You should repose firm faith in that omnipresent God. Any number of bombs cannot cause the least damage to your body. God is in you, with you, around you, above you, and below you.

Unfortunately, people repose more confidence in temporary and palliative measures, which are like ‘peppermints’, than developing firm faith in the omnipotent and omnipresent Divinity. Do not take Divinity lightly. Divinity is the only Chief for the entire universe. Develop faith in that Chief. Call Him by any name – Rama, Krishna, Jesus, or Allah; God is only one. Ekam sath viprah bahudha vadanti (truth is one, but the wise refer to it by various names).

Put the single digit 1 and any number of zeroes thereafter, and the value of that number increases by leaps and bounds. But remove the 1 and the value of the number comes to zero even if you put one hundred zeroes one after the other. God is the only Hero, while all others are zeroes. Hence, keep God in the front always. If you contemplate on God, the real Hero, you can achieve victory in all fields.

The so-called bombs and other powers cannot do any damage to you. The human power is not comparable to any other power. After all, who made the bomb? Only the human being. Then, who is great? Is it the one who made the bomb or the object itself? Undoubtedly, the human being is great. A human being should realise their innate strength and greatness.

Vedanta (philosophy) exhorts the human being to realise their true nature by a process of enquiry into themself. If you enquire into yourself by putting the question, “Who am I?”, back comes the reply, Aham Brahmasmi (I am Brahman). You have to constantly remind yourself, “I am not a human being, I am God verily.”

As far as the physical body is concerned, you are a human being. When God is with you, in you, around you, why should you have to fear man-made bombs? Develop self-confidence. Develop faith in the Atma Tathwa. The Self in you is the Supreme Self. When that Supreme Self is present in your body, why should you have to fear anyone? Even if the body becomes weak, the power of that Supreme Self drives you to march forward. It will help you.

Hence, may all people contemplate on God incessantly!

Do not get confused with names. You can contemplate on any name. Many varieties of sweets are prepared with sugar, which is the basic ingredient. You may eat any sweet of your choice. But, all sweets taste sweet only.

Everything is God. Do not entertain any doubts in this regard. Doubts create confusion in you. If a human being is to live the life of a real human being, all doubts have to be removed. The sooner the better, for, as long as doubts persist, they work like slow poison. Develop faith in yourself. That is called self-faith. If only you possess self-faith, none can cause any harm to you. Even bombs cannot do any damage. Many people develop a fear complex these days that that area is attacked with bombs, this area is attacked with bombs, etc. We need not entertain any such fear.

Embodiments of Love!

You have all gathered here with great devotion, love, and faith. Keep up that feeling of love. Constantly remind yourself, “I am God! I am God!” with a feeling of love for God. If anyone asks your name, do not reply, “I am so and so.” Instead, reply, “I am God.” Not only I, you are also God! Everybody is God. Develop such confidence.

(Bhagawan sang two bhajans, “Prema mudita manase kaho …” and Hari bhajan bina …” and then continued His Discourse)

You all say, “I want peace, I want peace, I want happiness.” Where is this peace and happiness? They are available in Hari bhajana only (singing the glory of God). You will get peace and happiness only by singing the glory of the Divine Name. They cannot be obtained from any shop. “Hari bhajana bina sukha santhi nahin …” Peace and happiness have to well up from the inner spring of your own heart. If you wish to have peace, happiness and bliss, contemplate on the Divine Name in your heart. Be happy.

21. Birthday Benedictory Discourse

LEAD A HAPPY LIFE WITH A FEELING OF CAMARADERIE AND FRATERNITY

All the names and forms are but the manifestations of the Supreme Being who is Existence Knowledge Bliss Absolute and non dual. He is the embodiment of Sathyam, Sivam, Sundaram (Truth, Goodness, Beauty). (Sanskrit verse)

Embodiments of Love!

The country of Bharat is most sacred. In this sacred land of Bharat, tolerance is the noble quality that we should cultivate. Just as an elephant is unable to realise its innate strength, so are the Bharatiyas today. The elephant meekly submits itself to the commands of a mahout who is ignorant and illiterate. In spite of its great strength, it cannot demonstrate its strength. Similarly, the Bharatiyas today are unable to demonstrate their strength in spite of possessing rich culture, righteousness and justice on their side. The Vedas declare, Na karmana na prajaya dhanena thyagenaike amrutatthwamanasuh (immortality is not attained through action, progeny or wealth, it is attained only by sacrifice). The greatest drawback in this country is lack of unity among people. We have everything in this country. We have noble qualities. We are righteous. But, there is no unity among people. With the result, all other positive factors become ineffectual. Hence, we have to cultivate unity among people. We all belong to one species, that is of human beings. Being humans, we are, unfortunately, exhibiting inhuman and animal qualities. Hence, first and foremost we have to recognise our innate human nature today. We have to treat others’ suffering as our own. We have to treat others’ difficulties as our own. We have to be amicable with one and all. We must develop faith in the maximEkatmaswarupas (embodiments of one Divine self). We must develop a sense of discrimination between good and bad and take good only, leaving the bad in all human beings. The same principle has to be followed in society also. We have to do good even to those who harm us:

There is nothing great in helping those who have helped you. He is a noble one who helps even those who have harmed him.

(Telugu poem)

We must always entertain good thoughts about people. “See good, do good and be good – that is the way to God”. “Yad bhavam tad bhavathi” (as is the feeling, so is the result). If our thoughts are good, we will always engage ourselves in Satkarmas (good deeds). If you eat a mango, can you get the belch of a cucumber? No. Similarly, if you entertain good thoughts always, you will see good only everywhere. When you indulge in bad thoughts, you will see bad only everywhere.

There is a Sathya Sai college in Muddenahalli near Bangalore. Several boys coming from poor families in the villages around are studying in this college. A number of philanthropists extended help to the college in different ways. Some built classrooms, others a Bhajan hall, etc. However, this institution is not affiliated to any University. Once the boys finish their education here, they have to go to places like Bangalore to pursue a degree course. When I thought of their plight, I got a good idea. Here in Puttaparthi, our college and University are housed in spacious and beautiful buildings. Supposing we establish a campus in Muddenahalli, the boys there will also be happy. Is it not? Hence, I have decided to establish a college campus of Sri Sathya Sai University in Muddenahalli too. Mine is Divine Will that is irrevocable and immutable. Now that I have decided, I will initiate the process from tomorrow. Since the boys studying in Muddenahalli college come from rural background and are very poor, they are unable to go for higher education in cities and towns. They therefore discontinue their studies and take to farming activity. Of course, that is also necessary. Secular education helps to make a comfortable living. Hence, education is of top priority. Once they finish their education, they can get into any occupation including agriculture. I have therefore decided to provide University education to the boys in Muddenahalli. I am of the view that side by side with the academic subjects, there must be provision for teaching epics and sacred texts like the Ramayana, the Bhagavata and the Bhagavad Gita. The boys must be given good training and allowed to spread the message of these epics in the villages around. All secular education is useless without a spiritual base.

There are millions of educated people in the world. But, what is their contribution to society? Nothing. They don’t even care for society. They are crazy about the luxurious life in towns and cities. They indulge in bad practices like gambling and club life. The children too are taking to bad ways, observing their parents. Hence, it is My view that the children should be taught to tread the right path. The elders will follow them later on observing them. Keeping this in My mind, I have decided to establish a University campus in Muddenahalli. Perhaps it will cost about two to three crores of rupees. I do not mind this expenditure. It is My resolve that this is needed.

The boys in Prasanthi Nilayam are excellent. They are pure gold. It is possible that one or two may stray from the right path, but, very soon they adjust themselves to the academic environment and follow the mainstream. Yesterday, the boys staged a play. It conveys a great message. The theme of the play was two brothers quarrelling for their share of property in a small village. They are counselled saying, “Dear brothers, if you quarrel with each other like this, how can our village prosper? You must be united and must lead an amicable life”, and, finally, they are corrected. The boys should therefore be encouraged to take up such village development programmes. Students, no doubt, are good today. But, the elders spoil them by their bad behaviour. It is the elders who divert them to bad ways. However, the students quickly realise their mistakes and retrace their steps. I know of boys who advise their parents addicted to alcohol to desist from such bad ways saying, “Dear father, you should not indulge in these bad habits. By doing so, you will only be encouraging us also to take to drinking. This is not good.” If elders take to drinking, smoking and gambling, the children follow suit. They get spoiled. Hence, if the children must lead a virtuous life, the elders must lead an ideal life first. I have therefore decided to establish a University campus in Muddenahalli to teach boys to lead an ideal life with clean habits. The boys there cannot afford to go to a city for University education. Nor can their parents afford the expenditure. Hence, I have decided to establish a University campus with all the equipment and facilities like classrooms for all the courses and a good hostel. It will be ready for opening within a year. It is My Divine will.

A number of people like Anil Kumar, Ajit Popat, etc., have spoken a lot extolling Me. I am not happy about such praises. I have no desire that people should extol Me. I am neither elated nor depressed by such acts. I am beyond praise or ridicule, respect or disrespect, anger or happiness. I have only one attribute throughout – My love. I love even those who hate Me. I love even those who indulge in bad propaganda against Me. I do not consider anyone as enemy. All are Mine. I am looking after you all, like a mother. Mine is not one mother’s love. It is the love of a thousand mothers. Sai’s love is a thousand mothers’ love. It is only due to that love, I ignore all your faults and move forward. Whenever someone commits a mistake, I call him and correct him in a raised voice. But, I don’t show anger against him. I have no anger against anybody. In fact, I have no anger at all. People who are unable to understand My true nature think otherwise. Whatever people may think and say, I have only one attribute, that is love. Mine is a right royal road, not shortcuts. People do not understand Me properly. Once they recognise My true nature, they themselves will repent. That repentance is expiation for their misunderstanding. However, there is no change in my attitude towards them. What I wish is “Samastalokah Sukhino Bhavantu” (May all the beings of all the worlds be happy!). All should be hale and healthy and lead happy and prosperous lives with mutual love and understanding. You must acquire wealth, but you should not misuse wealth. Then only I will be happy. I will extend any help to such people. I have not stretched My hand before anyone till date for any kind of help. If there is anyone in this vast concourse of devotees in this hall whom I had approached for money, he or she may rise and point out to Me. There is none, surely. Whatever I need in My Avataric Mission comes from within only. “Money comes and goes, morality comes and grows”. It is My endeavour that morality should be developed. All villages must be developed. For this purpose, education in rural areas is an important tool. Simultaneously, faith in God must also be developed. People with self-confidence can achieve anything. Bhakta Ramadas wanted to build a magnificent temple for Rama in Bhadrachalam. He, therefore utilised all the tax money collected from people for the purpose. As a result, he was imprisoned by Emperor Tanisha on charges of misuse of state money and was put to great torture. Unable to bear the physical torture, he prayed to his dear Lord Rama and even used harsh words thus:

That crest jewel which adorns You cost me ten thousand gold coins. Unmindful of my travails, You are flaunting the jewellery as if it is Your ancestral property!

(Telugu song)

The very next moment he realised his folly and repented and begged Rama for pardon. Similarly, several people may think and talk in several ways about Swami. But, very soon they will realise and repent for their indiscreet acts. “Loko bhinna ruchihi”(Different people have different opinions). People indulge in loose talk out of their delusion. But, I have no illusions. Whatever people may say, I talk to them and greet them with love. I don’t punish them for their indiscreet talk or behaviour. They themselves must realise their fault and repent for it. If they denigrate Me now, they will themselves face trouble later. Hence, people must think twice before indulging in any loose talk. Unfortunately, none has been able to realise My true nature. They pretend to have understood My mind, but none could comprehend it in the least. They look to the outward manifestations only. They talk of My programmes and activities in the outside world only. They are unable to realise My divine love at all, which flows from the depths of My heart. However, I am confident that people will realise it one day. I always wish and work for the welfare of the entire world. All should live in peace. Even if we don’t have any other property, we can lead a happy life if only the property of love is with us. And, that love should be supported by self-confidence. God is the only source and sustenance for the entire universe. Everything else is an illusion. Sorrows and difficulties, loss and gain, diseases and sickness – treat them all as the Divine will. Then everything will turn out to be good for you. You say, “This is my body”. But, who are you? You say “my body”, but you are not “I am the body”. Similarly, you say “my mind”, but you are not “I am the mind”. Thus, “you” are different from your body, mind, etc. When someone enquires your name, do not say “I am Rama” or “I am Krishna”, say “I am I”. Whatever name you say, it is only the name given to you by your parents. It is not your real name. In fact, nothing belongs to you in this world. “I” is your only property. That is the reason why we say “I”, “I”, “I” for everything.

You are God verily, if only you get rid of “I” the ego and “Mine”, the attachment. Then, you are really yourself (your real SELF)! When you say “my house, my people” etc., attachment grows. This body attachment breeds ego. Hence, once you rise above “I” and ‘mine’ and lead a contented life, you will derive great happiness. May you all lead a happy, loving and long life! May you all be united!

Let us all move together, let us all grow together,

Let us all stay united and grow in intelligence together,

Let us live together with friendship and harmony. (Telugu poem)

We cannot do any work with one finger. When all the five fingers of the hand join together, we can do any work. Similarly, if people are divided, no work can be executed. A small story: Once the five fingers of a hand argued among themselves as to which finger was great. The middle finger argued with ego, “I am taller than all of you. There are two ‘body guards’ on either side of me. Hence, I am great.” The index finger said, “You can do any work if only I show you to do that work. Otherwise, you cannot. Hence, I only am great.” The small finger intervened and said, “Though I am small in size, I stand in the front as the commander-in-chief to punish any individual or teach him a lesson. Therefore, I am great.” Thereupon, the ring finger laughed and said, “People wear diamond and gem-studded rings on the ring finger only. Hence, I am the monarch of all.” Finally, after hearing all these arguments, the thumb laughed aloud and wound up the discussion with that suggestion, “None of you can undertake any work without me. Therefore, let us all get together to work.”

Let all the astikas, nastikas, astika – nastikas and nastika – astikas come together. That is what we need today. What Bharat needs today is unity. We have everything – love, truth, righteousness and justice, but not unity. It is only due to lack of unity that we are leading a life of diversity and divergent ideas. All should be united and should lead a happy life with a feeling of camaraderie and fraternity. Unfortunately, today there is a feeling of difference even between a father and a son in the house. The wife and husband, the brothers and sisters, all quarrel among themselves. How can there be peace and happiness in the family? There may be differences of opinion, but they should not last for long. They just come and go like the passing clouds. Why then should people fight among themselves? You should not mind these differences.

I have not approached anyone for anything though I am undertaking huge social service projects. I had undertaken a project for supplying drinking water to a crore of people living in Chennai. Every house has been provided with drinking water. Not only that, water has been arranged for irrigation purposes also. The people living in the upland areas of East and West Godavari districts in Andhra Pradesh were suffering for want of safe drinking water. I therefore arranged for execution of a drinking water supply project for the benefit of all those people. Along with the supply of drinking water, arrangements were also made to provide water purifying systems en route. Thus, I always wish to do some good to every individual. Now, I propose to establish a University campus in Muddenahalli for the benefit of students studying in Sri Sathya Sai College there. I had watched with My own eyes the difficulties the students were undergoing there due to lack of facilities for higher education and I was moved. I therefore assured them that I would provide the necessary facilities. Is there anyone here from Muddenahalli? (Swami invited Sri Narayana Rao to the stage and introduced him to the audience). “This man is the Principal of the Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School, Muddenahalli. He is highly educated and is running the school well. Whenever I visit Muddenahalli he would pray, “Swami when will You shower Your grace on us?” (with the kind permission of Swami, Sri Narayana Rao spoke for a few minutes offering his grateful thanks to Swami.) Thereafter, Swami concluded His divine discourse saying, “The joy that I gave you today, share it with all! Be happy!.

Bhagawan concluded His discourse with the song, “Rama Rama Rama Sita …”

22.Convocation Benedictory Address

LOVE IS GOD LIVE IN LOVE

This land of Bharat is the motherland for great people, who acquired name and fame in different continents. The land of Bharat is the battlefield wherefrom the warriors of foreign countries were driven out and freedom from foreign rule was acquired. This land of Bharat has acquired great name and fame for erudite scholarship. This land of Bharat is a divine land which has produced great intellectuals in the fields of music, art, literature and various sciences. Having been born in such a great land, Oh Boys and Girls, the responsibility to protect and uphold the righteousness of this country is yours. (Telugu poem)

The fame and fortune of Bharat is truly great while several countries of the world have faced calamities of various kinds Bharat has remained stable. It is a country richly endowed with a variety of wealth.

Forbearance is the real beauty in this sacred land of Bharat. Of all the rituals, adherence to truth is the greatest penance. The nectarous feeling in this country is the feeling of love towards one’s mother. Character is valued far higher than the very life itself. People have forgotten the basic principles of this great culture and are imitating Western culture. Alas! The Bharatiyas are not aware of the greatness of their cultural heritage just as a mighty elephant is not aware of its own strength.

(Telugu poem)

Throughout history Bharat has been pre-eminent in material and intellectual plenty. It was ruled by great kings and righteous rulers. Several women famed for their chastity were born in this country. Savitri could bring back her dead husband Sathyavantha to life by the power of her chastity. Can you find parallels to such noble and chaste women elsewhere in the world?

This land of Bharat has given birth to many noble women like Savitri who brought her dead husband back to life; Chandramati who extinguished wild fire with the power of truth, Sita who proved her chastity by coming out of the blazing fire unscathed and Damayanti who reduced an evil-minded hunter to ashes with the power of her chastity. This land of piety and nobility attained plenty and prosperity and became the teacher of all the nations of the world because of such women of chastity.

(Telugu poem)

Sadly, however today, many persons born in this great land of Bharat are succumbing to and are tempted by trivial things. Their perception is bad, he listens to bad things, and even his behaviour is bad. What a great fall! The Bharatiyas today are like the elephant which is unaware of its own strength. With a swish of its tail an elephant can knock a man off his feet and throw him yards away. Such a powerful elephant will humbly obey the commands of the mahout. It just acts according to the wishes of the mahout. Similarly, the Bharatiyas today are surrendering to the dictates of outsiders and becoming their slaves. The way of life of Bharatiyas is conditioned by truth and righteousness, in accordance with the Vedic injunction, “Sathyam vada (speak truth) and Dharmam chara(follow righteousness).” In fact, truth and righteousness are the very treasure of Bharatiyas. Unfortunately, today the Bharatiyas have forgotton these great values and therefore become slaves in their own country. Their lifestyle itself has undergone a change where truth and righteousness have no place. Truly speaking, there is none in this world who can conquer Bharat. The Bharatiyas are born with the great human values, namely, Sathya (truth), Dharma (righteousness), Santhi (peace) and Prema (love).

Every individual has to enquire into his or her true nature, “who am I?” The reply that comes from within is “I am a human being”. Along with this reply, one has to assure himself “I am not an animal”. That is your true nature. When you consider yourself to be a human being, you must display human qualities. What are they? First and foremost, Sathyam (truth). From truth comes righteousness (dharma). It is said “Sathyaannasthi paro dharmah” (There is no greater dharma than adhering to truth). Sathya andDharma together bring Santhi (peace) and Prema (love). Where there is love, there cannot be hatred and jealously. Unfortunately, today people have lost the great quality of love. Even a dog loves its puppy. Even the birds love their offspring. But, a human being does not love a fellow human being. Lack of unity among the people is the root cause for the present state of affairs in Bharat. There is no unity in the family, in the society and in the country. Where there is unity, there will be purity, where there is purity, there divinity shall be. What is required today is unity, purity and divinity. The scientists today are inventing several things. A double-decker aeroplane is being flown in the sky. However, along with the great advances made in science and technology, loss of the quality of human life is also on a large scale. This was not the case in earlier times. Several people used to live together under one roof, with peace and happiness. There was no fear complex at all! But, today, the fear complex is all pervading. Wherefrom did this fear come? It is due to lack of self-confidence. Man has no faith in his inner Self. It is said “Naayamatma balaheenena labhyah” (the Atmicconsciousness is not for the weak minded). Man has developed faith in everything in this world, but not in his own Self. Where there is self-confidence, there will be self-satisfaction; where there is self-satisfaction, there will be self-sacrifice; where there is self-sacrifice, there will be self-realisation. It is common knowledge that where the foundation is strong, the walls will be safe; where the walls are safe, the roof will be secure. It is only in such a house can one live safely. Today, the foundation itself is not strong. How then can the walls remain safe? Self-confidence is the foundation for a human being, self-satisfaction represents the walls, self-sacrifice is the roof and self-realisation is life. Hence, there should be perfect between among these four.

Due to an indiscriminate use of technology the air, water, food and everything is polluted and poisoned all over the world. Fortunately, the country of Bharat is spared from this widespread pollution. We should not run after science and technology. Science without humanness is fraught with great danger to the very existence of humanity. There is no greater power than human power. Some people question “Where is God?” The answer is very simple. Man himself is God, you are God, verily. The Vedas declare,”Chandrama manaso jaathah; chaksho surya ajaayatha” (the moon was born out of the mind and the sun out of the eyes of the Supreme Being). The real strength comes from our own inner self. This strength is unparalleled

In spite of his education and intelligence, a foolish man will not know his true Self and a mean-minded person will not give up his evil qualities. (Telugu poem)

Modern education leads only to argumentation, not to total wisdom. What is the use of acquiring education which cannot lead you to immortality? Acquire the knowledge that will make you immortal. (Telugu poem)

Today’s education does not provide real knowledge that maturing to wisdom. They just help one to earn a livelihood. They promote acquisition and misuse of wealth. With the money people acquire through various means, people send young boys to foreign countries for higher education. They spend lakhs of rupees for that purpose. By the time they return to their homeland, the children are spoiled totally. Here is a small incident that had happened sometime ago. The Indian parents took their son to a temple before his departure to a foreign country for his studies and advised him, “Dear son, this deity is the mother to one and all. She is the Mother of the Universe. You should never forget the Mother. Constantly contemplate on Her, wherever you are”. They, in fact, extracted a promise from him to that effect. The boy then left for U.S.A. Once he set his foot in America, he totally forgot about the Mother, fully immersed in that new environment. After a lapse of three years, he returned to his native country, Bharat, fully accustomed to the American way of life. The parents took that boy to the same temple straight from the Airport, for a darshan of the Divine Mother. As soon as he entered the temple, the boy, instead of offering his namaskar to the deity, greeted Her in English, “How are you Madam?” The parents scolded the boy for his impertinence and not paying his obeisance to the Divine Mother. They regretted very much that their son, brought up in a traditional family, did not even care to offer his pranams to the Divine Mother and all the lakhs of rupees spent on his foreign education had gone waste. They finally decided to advise all those parents who wished to send their children abroad for higher education, against it. It is indisputably true that higher studies abroad are resulting in people acquiring bad thoughts, habits and behaviour. One need not be crazy about foreign education. The wealth of education and culture available in this country is not to be found in other countries. We must be proud of our birth in this great land of Bharat. It is a great privilege to be referred to as Bharatiyas. We must, therefore, develop self-confidence. We must develop interest in leading a moral, virtuous and spiritual life. Unfortunately, today there is no morality in people. How then can you lead a happy and peaceful life? The great spiritual wealth available in this country of Bharat is not to be found in any other country. People from several countries are inviting Me to visit their places, offering Me even special aircraft. But, I am consistently turning down their requests. I am always happy here in India. I don’t need these aeroplanes and such other comforts. I want only devotion.

I did not come across anyone who hate Me, till now I have no enemies at all. All people love Me, since I love one and all. However, people do not understand My love properly. Because of My universal love, even people from far-off lands come to Me. Why then should I go abroad? Some people misunderstand and misinterpret My love. Some even develop aversion towards Me on the ground that I did not oblige them by granting their requests on some occasions. In fact, will they progress in the spiritual path if I grant all their requests? No, not at all. On the other hand, they get spoiled. That is the reason why I wish to keep the boys and girls in proper limits right from their childhood. You can observe that no one in our educational institutions ever hates Me in the least. All students gather round Me lovingly calling “Swami! Swami!”. When I come out after paying a visit to their campuses, they take leave of Me with tears in their eyes. Do you find the same situation prevalent in educational institutions elsewhere? Do the colleges and universities outside function as temples of learning? Even the parents visiting their wards in those educational institutions are not treated with due respect. Parents are sacred. The Bharatiya culture exhorts people “Mathrudevobhava! Pithrudevobhava!” father is God; mother is God. Every human being is an embodiment of God. In fact, the entire creation is God. Unable to realise this great Truth, we say “this person is my enemy, he ill-treated me” and develop hatred against that person. As you think, so it will be, (yad bhavam thad bhavathi) love begets love and hatred begets hatred. It is common to help those who help you. But, it is only Sai who is gracious enough to help those that try to cause harm to Him, ignoring their own faults. You must love even those who harm you. That is real humanness. You must develop such a human quality. Whomever you come across treat him as an embodiment of Divinity. It is said, “Daivam manusha rupena” (God is in human form). You may observe the picture of any form of God, there God is portrayed in the human form. Rama, Krishna or any other deity – all are in human forms only. You may relate to God in different forms and names; but all are embodiments of Divine Self. The Atma Tathwa is the same in all human beings, irrespective of names and forms. It is said “Ekatma sarva bhuthantharatma” (One Atma resides as the Indweller in all living beings). One has to cultivate such noble feelings right from the childhood. You may think it is a difficult task. No; there is nothing easier than this feeling of equality. Supposing a person whom you consider as an enemy is approaching you; you offer your pranams to him and enquire, “Hello, How are you brother?” Immediately the other man will respond saying “How are you brother?” He will not get angry. Why? Since you called him brother, he will also treat you in the same way. It is in your language that either love and faith or enmity and distrust in the other person is displayed. You must rise to a level where you will be able to visualise the same Atma Tathwa in all. Then you will truly become “Divyatma Swarupa” (embodiment of the Divine Self). You must consider “I am a Divyatma Swarupa. All these different forms of human beings are only my reflections. I am able to see myself in these bodies, which are like mirrors”. It is only when you are able to reach that stage that you will enjoy real peace. You will not experience peace by merely doing japa (constant repetition of the Lord’s name), thapa (penance), yoga or sacrificial rites like yajna and yaga. People crave for peace and undertake several spiritual practices for the purpose. But, they don’t find peace anywhere. Wherever you see, there are only pieces in the outside world. But, once they direct their vision inward they will be able to find peace there. The peace within is manifesting outside. Such a person with inner vision can only be called a human being in the real sense. Animals, however, have no such inner vision and discriminatory intellect. They therefore display cruelty. You are not an animal. You are a human being. Hence, lead a life befitting that of a human being. You say that you are a human being, but, you live the life of a cruel animal. How then can you be called a human being? Live like a real human being. Get rid of animal qualities like kama (desire), krodha (anger), lobha (greed), moha (delusion), mada (pride) and matsarya (hatred and envy). You should not hate anybody. I have no anger against anyone till date. That is why all people love Me. I have only one quality that is love towards all. Hence, even if I go to a forest, people will follow Me to that place. It is only My love that draws all people to Me. Yet, some people develop antipathy towards Me. It is not My fault, but their own imagination. People wonder how Swami is so divinely peaceful and is able to interact with so many people day in and day out. In fact, peace is natural to Me. I always smile and put up a serene countenance. I can never put up a castor oil face. I am always happy and smiling. I exhort you also to be so. When you all are happy, I am happy. You happiness is My happiness. What could be the reason for millions of people loving Me? What brought you here in such large numbers? Did I send any invitation to you all? It is only your love that brought you here. Can the invitations draw crowds? Even when there is no invitation, people rush towards Me if they come to know that I am passing through a particular place. What could be the reason for this? Only love. Love is God; live in love. That is what you have to learn and cultivate. Love is the foremost quality that you should cultivate. Take a pledge accordingly on this sacred day.

Very soon, the entire world will be united. In fact, after 28 years the world itself will become “Bharat”. Everyone will call himself a Bharatiya (one imbued with godliness – Bhagavat rathas). No one will refer to himself or herself as belonging to this state or that state, this region or that region. You may go to any country, but you refer to yourself as belonging to the country of Bharat. For example, there may be Karnataka State or Tamil Nadu State, etc., but, they are all parts of a larger country called Bharat. Without the country, the States cannot exist. You are all Bharatiyas first and last. Hence, you say that you came from Bharat. The different states might have been created certain linguistic or geographical considerations. But, they are all parts of one country that is Bharat. We all belong to only one party – the party of love. Love, love and only love. Keeping love as your guiding force, you go to any country, people will respect you, consider you as their own brothers and sisters and extend all necessary help to you. Love is selflessness. A human being should never have selfishness. However, people of their own accord develop evil qualities like selfishness, hatred, anger, etc. These are traits cultivated by human beings themselves; they are not God-given. God has bestowed only one noble quality on all human beings, that is love. Love is eternal. Physical strength, courage or valour can never be a match to the power of love. When Sita was kept in confinement in Lanka under the guard of rakshasas, it was her love for Rama that gave her courage and confidence to boldly face all difficult situations. She constantly contemplated on the divine name of Rama during the period. Finally, Rama’s love saved her. During that ten month period, none could touch her. If only you cultivate such divine love, it will confer everything on you. You all should become the embodiments of love. Pray “Samastalokah Sukhino bhavantu” constantly, that is the only prayer you all have to do. Then, all people in all countries will be happy and peaceful. I am loving you all. I have no enemies. No one hates Me. Sometimes I do speak harshly in a raised voice. But, that is only outwardly. I do not bear ill-will towards anyone. Hence, if you follow the ideal set by Swami and love all, your life will be sanctified. Your parents, brothers, sisters, relatives and friends will feel happy.

23. Divine Discourse on Vijaya Dasami, 09 Oct 2008

ALL ARE ONE – BE ALIKE TO EVERYONE

Karma is responsible for the birth, existence, and death of people. It holds sway over all stages of their lives as the very deity of human existence. It is responsible for joy and sorrow. (Telugu Poem)

People experience pleasure and pain, sorrow and difficulties in this world. But when they experience pleasure, they say it is due to their prapti (deservedness). On the other hand, when they undergo difficulties, they attribute it to their destiny. Really speaking, both pleasure and pain are the result of one’s own actions (karma). Yad bhavam tad bhavathi (as are the feelings, so is the result). As are thekarmas (actions), so will be the result. As is the food, so will be the belch. Similarly, the entire world is based on karma. Hence, the karmas performed by people shall be sacred.

It is now Dasara festival time. What is Dasara? The celebration of Dasara is meant to purify the actions performed by the dasendriyas (5 senses of action plus 5 senses of perception). Every human being in this world has to perform some kind of karma.

The presiding deity or the driving force behind these actions is Devi, who is the personification of energy. She is the bestower of all kinds of energy for humans to perform various kinds of karma. As a result, Lakshmi bestows various kinds of wealth like money, food grains, gold, different kinds of objects, and vehicles for movement on humans so that they lead a happy life in this world. The third aspect of the female divine principle is Saraswathi, the goddess of education and intellect.

Thus, the Trinity of Durga (goddess of energy), Lakshmi (goddess of all kinds of wealth), and Saraswathi (goddess of education and intellect) are worshipped during this festival of Dasara. This is the underlying meaning of worshipping this Trinity of Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswathi during this Navarathri (9 day) festival. It is essential that man worship all these three facets of the Divine Principle.

Tridalam Trigunakaram

Trinetram Cha Triyayudham;

Trijanma Papa Samharam

Eka Bilvam Sivarpanam.

(One Bilva leaf with three petals is offered to three-eyed Lord Siva, who is the embodiment of the threegunas (attributes), who holds the trident in his hand, and who destroys the sins accumulated over three births.)

Everyone performs Devi puja (worshipping goddess Devi) during the Navarathri festival, which confers energy on the individual. The worship of Lakshmi brings all kinds of wealth and that of Saraswathi, education and good intellect. Hence, the worship of all three aspects of goddess is very important during the Navarathri festival.

In all this worship, dharma (righteousness) is of utmost importance. One should enquire into oneself what result would accrue on account of a particular action and then get into action. This reasoning faculty is in the domain of the intellect (buddhi), which is all-pervading in the human body. Just as the electric current passes through the wire, intellect enters and influences all senses of a human being. Hence, every human being should make proper use of their intellect and undertake only righteous actions at all times.

No doubt, one is bound by the result of one’s own actions – good or bad. And, no result is possible without performing an action. The Pandavas experienced the result of their karmas. So did Sita in theRamayana. Hence, we should undertake good and sacred karmas beneficial to society, thereby sanctifying our lives.

The left side of the chest of Lord Mahavishnu is the abode of Goddess Lakshmi. Seated in that sacred abode, she showers her grace on one and all. Lord Vishnu is also known as Narayana. Lord Narayana in this context does not refer to Lakshminarayana, but to Sathyanarayana. This Sathyanarayana moves among people, cuts jokes, talks to them, and makes them happy.

Lakshminarayana reclined on Adisesha, the serpent. This Sathyanarayana was also rocked under the bed by a serpent when he was a just-born baby. Sathyanarayana looks like any other ordinary human being, but He possesses extraordinary and superhuman powers. They are indescribable. He looks very innocent. Yet, Sathya (Truth) is the most important quality He looks for in the people. Wherever He goes, He teaches only Truth (Sathya); for, from Truth emerges righteousness (dharma). Sathyannasti paro dharma (There is no dharma greater than adherence to Truth). In fact, Sathyanarayana is the Embodiment of Truth and Righteousness (Sathya and Dharma)! It is for propagating these two human values that Lord Sathyanarayana incarnated in human form as Sathyanarayana Raju.

Sathyanarayana is a unique Avatar, though He appears to be an ordinary human being. People often commit the mistake of thinking Him to be an ordinary human, since He very closely interacts with them at the human level. Whatever He speaks, it is Truth, Truth and nothing but the Truth!

Truth is often times construed as giving expression to one’s own thoughts. It is not as simple as that; it is much more – putting them into action. Truth is perfect accord between one’s thoughts, words, and deeds.

People do not observe My words properly. They take My words lightly, thinking it to be just a joke or fun. Whatever I speak, even if it is a joke or for fun, it is Truth, Truth, and Truth only! Unfortunately, people do not recognise this truth; even those who move very closely with Swami. They, therefore take it lightly. They just listen and forget about it.

But, surely the result of their apathy would be apparent sooner than later. Only those who are unable to visualise the future will be taking my words lightly. Though Swami is moving in front of them, giving them darshan, talking to them now and then and performing several gigantic tasks right in front of their eyes, people are unable to recognise His true nature and get convinced in His words. How strange it is!

It is 83 years since this body was born. I have not forgotten a single incident in this earthly sojourn. But people say Swami forgets things. No; there is no truth at all in this statement. Forgetfulness is not in My dictionary.

The principle of Sathya Sai is the principle of Soham Mantra, which never comes under the veil of forgetfulness in the waking, dream, and deep sleep states. (Telugu Song)

It is human nature to misunderstand Truth, which is beyond the three periods of time (past, present and future) and three states of human life (jagrith, swapna, and sushupti). I am now revealing that truth. I have never tried to reveal this so far. Since the time has come to reveal it, I am doing so.

People have to realise this: Truth does not make any kind of distinction. It has neither friends nor foes. It has no hatred or dislike against anyone. All are the children of Sathyam (Truth)!

Hence, all are equal to Me. I do not make any distinction between people. You may think that I am showing more attention on some people or favouring some. You may also think that I am ignoring some people. No! This is not true! You all know and you must have also seen Me. I do not at all get angry against anybody, even though some talk ill of Me. I will always be smiling. Even the apparent anger that I display sometimes is just to correct an individual.

The students vouchsafe for this attitude of Mine. They wonder how Swami is able to put up such a smiling countenance in the midst of great criticism and how Swami could put up such great patience! For Me, all are one! Even though individuals appear to be different in form and qualities, there is only one divine force working through them. That is Atma Sakthi (The Power of Atma). There is only oneAtmanarayana immanent in all human beings, nay, all living beings. Every human being must try to realise this Atma Thathwa (Atmic Principle).

Many bulbs illuminate this hall. However, the electric current flowing in all the bulbs is only one. The bulbs may appear to be different, but the current is the same. Similarly, even though the names and forms of the living beings in God’s creation appear to be different, the Atmic consciousness permeating them is only one. All these lights go off and darkness envelops if the main is switched off. Thus, God illumines the entire universe as the Atma Thathwa immanent in all the living beings and objects.

Even though God may appear to be involved in so many actions in this world, it is only for the pleasure of His devotees. He has no desires of His own! He has only one desire: Samasta lokah sukhino bhavantu (May all the people of all the worlds be happy!).

Human beings, however, will be experiencing the results of their own actions. It is not possible for all to be happy always in this ephemeral world. One may experience happiness, while another may be suffering at the same time. This is the nature of the world. Even though the sorrows and difficulties, pleasure and pain bring different experiences to different people, the Atma Thathwa present in all the human beings is only one.

Electric bulbs may be of different colours and sizes, but the electric current passing through them is the same. Only the wattage of the bulbs is different. Depending upon the wattage, some bulbs may be bright while others are dim. The brightness or dimness is due only to the wattage of the bulbs and has nothing to do with the current. Similarly, the sorrows and difficulties, pleasure and pain experienced by different individuals are only of their own making, and God has nothing to do with it.

Lord Sathyanarayana is also called Vishnu. He is Lord Vishnu, verily! Lord Vishnu has incarnated as Sathyanarayana in this world. Hence, Sathyanarayana is verily Lord Vishnu. This was explained in theVishnu Purana. You must understand His Thathwa (true nature) well.

I have not given any discourse during the last ten days. Why? People attributed different reasons for this, according to their imagination. But one thing is true. I am sitting before the microphone today to reveal the truth. My love is supreme and pure. I love those who love Me. I love even those who develop hatred toward Me. I also extend My love to those who are demonic and who try to put Me to great inconvenience. There is no one in this world whom I do not love.

Unfortunately, people do not realise this truth. People think, “Swami is not talking to us; perhaps Swami is angry with us.” Let Me assure you that I have no anger at all! I have only one thing: ‘hunger’, ‘hunger’ for devotees! It is only due to this hunger that I am drawing devotees in large numbers to Me.

Be assured that God is the Embodiment of Love. He has no hatred toward anybody. It is to teach this principle of love that the Navarathri celebrations have been started. Different people worship God and sing His glory in different ways. I have no interest in them. I have no differences at all! I wish that all should live as Embodiments of Love and like brothers and sisters. “People are more valuable than all the wealth of the world.”

All are God’s children. God is their only father. Hence, we must love all. Others may not love us, but we must love all and serve all! People keep distance from us as long as they do not understand the power of love. Once they understand and experience love, they become one with us. I will be waiting for such a transformation in the hearts of people.

Thousands of people have heard My discourses over a period of time. Thousands and lakhs of people witnessed My divine powers on various occasions. In spite of all that, people are unable to understand the true nature of My Divinity.

People talk of so many things according to their perceptions and understanding. It is not their fault. Very few people can realise Truth and conduct themselves accordingly. Only those who realise the path of Truth will be able to follow it. When people develop anger or hatred against Truth, they keep themselves away from it. Regardless of their love or hatred, we should always love them.

People keep distance among one another due to differences of opinion. In fact, you are not different from others. Today they may appear to be different, but tomorrow they may come close to you. All are brothers and sisters! Hence, all should live like brothers and sisters with love and unity. “All are one; be alike to everyone.” This is My special Message on this holy occasion of Navarathri.

You will be able to realise Truth sooner or later. When a tree bears fruit, not all the fruits in a bunch will be ripened at the same time. Similarly, when a plant bears flowers, not all the flowers blossom at the same time. Some are in the process of blossoming, some are fully blossomed, yet others will be in the bud stage only.

Only the fully blossomed flower spreads its fragrance. Similarly, people will also be in different stages of evolution – some are like the bud; some are at a blossoming stage; and some others are like the fully blossomed flower, spreading their fragrance. We have to wait patiently till the fragrance stage comes. This is My important message.

Today is the Poornahuthi day of the Veda Purusha Sapthaha Jnana Yajnam. What is meant by Poornahuthi? It means total sacrifice. My life has always been one of sacrifice!

Poornamada Poornamidam,

Poornat Poornamudachyate,

Poornamadaya, Poornamevavashishyate. Poornasya

(That is full, this is full. When the full is taken out of the full, what remains again is the full.)

(Sanskrit Sloka)

Those who understand the Truth will be able to know. Students are still in the budding stage. It will take some time for them to understand the true spirit of Swami’s words. Hence, you keep patience till then.

One more thing I wish to mention in this context. I see several boys keeping cell phones in their pockets. They think that they are keeping cell phones for their convenience and easy communication. They do not realise the ill effects of these instruments. Cell phones are often misused for undesirable purposes, like establishing contacts between boys and girls. They develop bad thoughts and bad connections between them. In order that bad thoughts do not enter our mind, avoid such connections altogether.

It is said, Manah eva manushyanam karanam bandhamokshayo (mind is the cause of bondage and liberation of man).

It is common practice to give your telephone numbers to all and sundry. What happens thereafter? Bad contacts develop. All unnecessary calls are made to verify whether we respond to them or not. Thus, boys and girls develop unnecessary contacts and establish undesirable relationships between them. Hence, I would strongly advise you not to make use of cell phones. It may be convenient in the beginning, but gradually it will lead to bad ways.

I will be approaching 83 years of age shortly. I have not made use of a telephone till now. Several people want to make calls to Me expressing their sorrow and seeking solace. Come what may; I do not use the phone.

Hence, I have a right to guide you and warn you. You must be very careful. You are still in the budding stage. You must conduct yourself carefully, keeping your age in mind. If you do not take proper care of yourself, even the world will look down upon you. You will be branded as a careless youngster. Respect and disrespect in the world will depend upon the way you conduct yourself.

You may be thinking that your conduct is alright, but it is for others to judge. Always conduct yourself in such a way that you do not give scope for any misunderstanding by others.

The elders may exercise discretion and try to understand you in proper spirit, but children of your age cannot do so. Once misunderstanding sets in, you will miss the finer things in life and become doomed. Hence, I wish that you all be very careful in your contacts and relations with others.

If possible, dump your cell phones in a well. You will be happy and peaceful. Better you don’t acquire them at all! Even if you acquire one, establish contact and connection with only those with whom it is desirable. Do not develop unnecessary and undesirable contacts with others. By developing such contacts, you gather news from all and sundry and pass it on to others. Ultimately, you will end up as Narada, poking your nose in all sorts of things. You will not only spoil your mind with unwanted things but spoil the minds of others too!

Why all this unpleasantness? Is it not because of your unwanted and undesirable telephonic contacts? Hence, be careful and earn a good name for yourself, your parents, and the institution in which you are studying.

Bhagavan concluded His discourse with the bhajan, “Hari Bhajan Bina Sukha Santhi Nahi…”

24. Divine Discourse on Onam, 12 Sep 2008

Develop Self-Confidence to Acheive God-Realisation

This land of Bharath gave birth to great people

who earned name and fame in different continents;

This land of Bharath is the battlefield from where

the foreign rulers were driven out and freedom won;

This land of Bharath had earned great reputation

for erudite scholarship;

This land of Bharath is a divine land, which produced

great intellectuals in the fields of art, music, literature, and sciences;

Having been born in such a great land, oh Boys and girls!

The responsibility to uphold the glory of this country is yours. (Telugu Poem)

Bharath is no ordinary country. It is so pleasing to God that He incarnated several times in this great land. The people of this country developed great love and devotion to God (Bhagavadrathi). This land gave birth to great warriors, scholars, and intellectuals. But such a great country is in a sad plight. However, we need not be disheartened. No doubt in the world science has progressed by leaps and bounds in the modern age, but it has failed to realise Divinity.

Devoid of self-confidence, any amountof education, scientific knowledge, and experiments are absolutely of no use. They are not only useless but a waste of time too. This is not the way to God-realisation. God-realisation is possible only through the control of senses and mind and by developing faith in God.

Self-confidence is the key to God-realisation. Hence, dear students! Develop self-confidence. Then you can achieve anything in life. People now are crazy about science, but it is only illusory. Science teaches about transitory, impermanent, and unreal things only. It fails to teach true Atma Tathwa (Atmic Principle). Scientists are still engaged in unraveling the mysteries of the universe without concentrating on the realisation of theAtma Tathwa. These experiments are an exercise in futility. Science may explore a few mysteries in the physical world and contribute to a better living in the secular world. It may make some inventions that would help amass great wealth, but it would miserably fail in developing noble qualities.

What is the use of acquiring wealth, ignoring morality? Money comes and goes, but morality comes and grows. Morality is possible only through spirituality.

There was a galaxy of scientists who made great inventions, but they failed to control their body and mind. Why should people pursue such scientific knowledge that would spoil their brains? Instead, one should develop one’s brain, cultivate a positive outlook, and engage oneself in service to the country and society. The education you pursue must contribute to the welfare of the society. Then only can you earn name and fame and develop morality and integrity.

Develop morality. It is only then that you can realise Truth. Strive to uphold truth. Truth is the father and mother to the world. When truth and righteousness join together, peace is born. From peace, comes love. Where there is love, there is no scope for hatred. There will be no place at all for evil qualities like anger and jealousy.

It is only because people lost the noble quality of love that even brothers and sisters hate one another these days. Hence, first and foremost, develop love. There is nothing in this world that you cannot achieve by love. Love is God, live in love. Love is your life. Even an ant cannot live without love. It makes friendship with other ants while moving about. The insects too love one another.

Only human being has lost this noble quality of love today. No doubt, a person has love inherently but is showing it on wealth and on certain individuals only. There is no use in developing such individualised love. One has to develop love for society as a whole. It is only when there is society that an individual can exist. One can live as a member of society. By living in society, one can contribute to its welfare. No other method would work.

Emperor Bali was a great renunciant. He earned great name and fame for his noble quality of charity. He used to readily give away whatever was asked by others. The people of Kerala are most fortunate to have had Bali as their emperor.

Once, Bali was performing a yajna. Several scholars attended that yajna. The Vamanavatar too came to see that yajna. While He was approaching the yajna vedika, people started wondering, “This boy is too young! What has He got to do with theyajna? This is an occasion in which great Vedic scholars are expected to participate. How dare this young lad venture into this yajna!”

But the daughter of Emperor Bali did not take Him so lightly. She was attracted and charmed by His captivating beauty and scholarly look. Emperor Bali received the great Vamana and enquired, “Swami! What brought you here? What can I do for you?”

Vamana replied that he did not need anything like money or grains and that he would be content to have just three footstep length of land.

Bali was surprised at Vamana’s request, since even to bury a dead body six feet length of land is required. He therefore requested Vamana to ask for something more.

But Vamana replied, “If you give Me three step lengths of land, that would be enough.”

Emperor Bali immediately promised to give Him three feet land as requested. In fact, Vamana’ request has to be understood from the spiritual angle. It may appear to be a trivial request from the worldly point of view. Vamana then occupied the entire Earth with one foot. Similarly, He occupied the entire sky with the second foot. Now, there is no space available to set the third footstep. He asked Emperor Bali where He could set His third step, so that He may leave the place immediately.

Emperor Bali was nonplussed at the developments and offered his head saying, “Swami! I have now only my head. Kindly set your foot on my head.” So saying, he removed the crown and offered his head.

Lord Vamana then set His foot on Emperor Bali’s head and pushed him down to the nether world. Vamana did so only with a view to crush the ego of Emperor Bali. In fact, Emperor Bali was a man of righteousness and great charitable disposition. He was proud of these qualities and developed ego. Vamana therefore decided to crush his ego.

Emperor Bali’s subjects were greatly distressed that they had lost a great emperor. However, Emperor Bali promised to visit their land once in a year. This festival of Onam is held every year to commemorate that great day.

On this day, the people of Kerala take a good head bath, cook a variety of tasty dishes, and feast on them. Notable among the dishes is the banana pudding. Before partaking of this pudding, they light a sacred lamp in their shrines and offer it to God with prayers. The people of Kerala firmly believe that Emperor Bali would visit them on Onam day and give his Darshan. Therefore, they offer their prayers with a pure and sacred heart. This tradition is being continued in Kerala till this day. In fact, they eagerly wait for this great festival.

When the king loves his subjects so intensely, so too his subjects. It is said, Yatha Raja Thatha Praja (as is the king, so are the subjects). The people of Kerala loved Emperor Bali, and he too loved them intensely. The festival of Onam reflects the bond of intimate love between Emperor Bali and his subjects.

What does the name Bali signify? It signifies the great quality of total sacrifice. When Vamana asked for three feet land, Bali kept his promise and offered himself in the end, in total surrender to the Lord. That is why he has become immortal.

It is said, Na Karmana Na Prajaya Dhanena Thyagenaike Amrutatthwamanasu(immortality is not attained through action, progeny, or wealth; it is attained only by sacrifice).

What do the three feet indicate? Surrender at the Lotus Feet of the Lord physically, mentally, and spiritually. Emperor Bali, in total surrender to the Lord, offered his head to Vamana so that He may set His foot on it. Once Vamana set His foot over Bali’s head, he was sanctified and liberated. In order that people may remember this great sacrifice and surrender, Emperor Bali would visit their land once in a year on this day. The people too have not forgotten their emperor till this day.

Kerala is a land of plenty. There is no dearth of food grains. There is no dearth of water. In fact, the monsoon rains begin in Kerala. Kerala is a sacred land. It is a land of righteousness and sacrifice. The noble quality of charity had its origin in Kerala. People outside are also full of praise for Kerala. Prayers to God began in Kerala. Kerala gave birth to several great scholars. It is only because the land is so sacred that Lord Vamana incarnated in that place.

Vamana was three feet tall, and He asked for three feet land from Emperor Bali. He covered the entire Earth and sky with His two feet. Such was the magnificence of His power.

God is described as Anoraneeyan Mahato Maheeyan (Brahman is subtler than the subtlest and vaster than the vastest). The Vamanavatar had come only for granting liberation to Emperor Bali. Among the Avatars of Vishnu, the Vamanavatar is the first in human form.

While the Vamanavatar dressed in the traditional attire of a dhoti was entering the Yajnasala (ritual place), the gaze of all the people there was fixed on Him. Everyone was captivated by the beauty and grace of the resplendent young boy.

He took Emperor Bali along with Him to His Divine Abode. This is the great merit earned by Emperor Bali. The Onam festival is the day on which the Vamanavatar granted liberation to Emperor Bali.

The people of Kerala celebrate Onam on a grand scale, with single-minded devotion. All of them unite to celebrate this festival irrespective of caste, creed, and religion. It is their good fortune to come over here in large numbers and celebrate Onam festival in the divine presence of Swami.

The devotees of Kerala whenever they come here pray, “Swami! Please visit Kerala.”

I tell them, “I will come; I will come.” I never said no to them. Not only to them, I say yes to all those who invite Me. Surely, I will visit them one day and show them the glory and power of Divinity.

There are great scholars in Kerala. Kerala is no ordinary State. It is a land where God had incarnated as Vamanavatar.

The people of Kerala are most fortunate, for their hearts are filled with love and devotion to God. There is none among them who do not contemplate on God. They may not express their devotion outwardly, but in their heart of hearts they are greatly devoted.

People from outside refer to Kerala as a communist state. No, no; it is not communist … but ‘come you next’. There are very young children participating in the bal vikasprogrammes. How beautiful are their faces radiating bliss and devotion! Their love toward Swami is overflowing. They are full of love! Their hearts are pure and will become mature in due course.

Today, the bal vikas children of Kerala are going to stage a playlet on Savitri. Who is Savitri? People generally remember her as the wife of Sathyavantha. She was a chaste woman who took a firm resolve to bring her dead husband back to life. She relentlessly pursued her resolve with Lord Yama. Lord Yama offered to grant any request put forward by her, but she refused. Her firm reply was, “I do not want anything. Give me my husband back with life.”

Unable to withstand her pressure, Lord Yama acceded to her request and brought her husband back to life. For six days, Sathyavantha’s dead body was lying. At last, he came back to life as a result of the boon granted by Lord Yama to Savitri. Thus, Savitri proved herself to be a great woman of chastity who brought her dead husband back to life with her noble qualities.

Thus, women possess great power of persuasion. Their power can work wonders, even bring the dead back to life. Can you find parallels to Savitri in any other country? It is only in Bharath that such wonders take place, since it is a land of chaste women.

This land of Bharat has given birth to many noble women like Savitri, who brought her dead husband back to life; Chandramati, who extinguished wild fire with the power of truth; Sita, who proved her chastity by coming out of blazing fire unscathed; and Damayanti, who reduced an evil-minded hunter to ashes with the power of her chastity.(Telugu Poem)

In the Ramayana also, when Sri Rama put Sita to the test of fire after vanquishing Ravana, the God of Fire returned Sita to Rama testifying to her character thus: “Sita is a noble woman of chastity. You should not trouble her like this.” Thus, the land of Bharath is the birthplace of several women of chastity.

People of other countries referred to this country by several names. Even now, when Indians go abroad, they introduce themselves saying, “I am from Delhi; I am from Kolkata; I am from Bengaluru”, etc., instead of replying “I am from Bharath.” These are actually cities and regions which form part of India. Hence, it would be appropriate to say that you are from India. Wherever you go, you must be proud to refer to yourself asBharatheeyas.

The name ‘Bharatha’ has great significance. ‘Bha’ refers to Divinity and ‘ratha’ refers to one who loves God. Thus, Bharatheeyas are people who love God. The country of Bharath has acquired its name on account of such people inhabiting it.

The present generation do not realise the significance of Bharath. They very casually mention that they belong to Puttaparthi in the Anantapur District of Andhra Pradesh State in India. Where is Puttaparthi? Where is Anantapur? All these are parts in the country of Bharath only. The Bharatheeyas are most fortunate people. It is the people of Kerala who imbibed the true spirit of Bharath. They are blessed. Today, they are putting up the play of Savitri. We have to learn a lot from this play.

You have seen how the devotees of Kerala staged beautiful dramas during the last two days. Yesterday, they enacted the ‘Sita Rama Kalyana’ (the celestial wedding of Sri Rama and Sita) in all its glory and splendour. The day before they put up a beautiful show of Krishna Leelas. The music, action and dialogues are wonderful. Their dresses are also good. The lady devotees of Sri Sathya Sai Organisation in Kerala did great service in putting up this show. It is only because of their hard work and enthusiasm that these playlets appeared so natural and captivating.

Whatever they do, the men and women of Sri Sathya Sai Organisation of Kerala conduct on a grand scale. I wish and bless that the devotees of Kerala must keep up this spirit in all their service activities in future also. I am happy that you all realised the importance and significance of the festival of Onam. Now you go ahead with your programme of staging the playlet of Savitri.

25. Divine Discourse on Vice Chancellor changeover ceremony, 6th Aug 2008

Educare Leads to Unity of Thought, Word and Deed

This land of Bharath is the motherland for great people who acquired name and fame in different continents;

This land of Bharath is the battle field where

The warriors of foreign countries were driven out and freedom from foreign rule obtained;

The sweetest feeling of this land of Bharath is the feeling of motherhood.

Consigning to flames the moral fabric of our country

That ordains self-respect as more valuable than one’s own life,

The dagger of unrestrained freedom has been given

To the people today imitating the western countries;

Just as an elephant that is unable to realize its own strength,

So are the Bharathiyas today. (Telugu Poem)

The elephant, not knowing its own inherent strength, meekly submits itself to the mahout and obeys his commands. Similarly, man, unable to realize his own divine nature, submits himself to the world and its attractions and in the process encounters several difficulties. He is unable to bear even a little inconvenience. When someone is transferred to a new place, he feels diffident to take up the new assignment. If his child falls sick, he is filled with anxiety. He is living in the grip of fear. He is unable to realize his own strength.

The reason for this fear complex is modern education. It does not develop self-confidence and self-reliance. Modern education teaches you how to make a living in the outside world. With the help of modern education, you may earn money and make a comfortable living by providing all sorts of conveniences to the ephemeral physical body. But you cannot have peace of mind. You may enjoy worldly pleasures with money, but spiritual bliss cannot be attained with wealth.

Hence, never forget spirituality under any circumstances. Only spiritual life can confer peace and happiness. It is said “Bhajana bina sukha santhi nahi…..” Peace and happiness can be attained only by singing the glory of the Divine Name and not by wealth or worldly possessions. Worldly education aims at providing physical comforts only.

In spite of his education and intelligence, a foolish man will not know his true Self and a mean-minded person will not give up his evil qualities. (Telugu Poem)

Modern education leads only to argumentation, not to total wisdom. What is the use of acquiring education that cannot lead you to immortality? Acquire that knowledge which will make you immortal. (Telugu Poem)

What is the use of pursuing such type of education? A human being needs to cultivate five human values, namely sathya (truth), dharma (righteousness), santhi (peace), prema (love), and ahimsa(nonviolence). Kama (lust), krodha (anger), lobha (greed), moha (delusion), etc. are qualities of animals. Unfortunately today man is developing animal qualities. He does not make an effort to cultivate human qualities. That is why he has no peace of mind or happiness in spite of accumulating a lot of wealth.

It is in this context that much emphasis is laid on ‘educare’ instead of education. What is ‘educare’? Educare is manifesting one’s own innate divine nature. One can experience bliss by doing so.

There are several colleges and universities in different parts of the world today. There are innumerable number of professors and PhDs, too. But could their high academic degrees confer peace and happiness on them? Why did not the world experience peace and happiness in spite of producing so many educated people? The reason is that all their education is meant to make a comfortable living.Education is for life, not for a mere living.

One has to pursue educare along with education. Education is related to the outside world, whereas educare concerns itself with one’s inner being. It relates to the Atma (Soul). Where is Atma? It is everywhere. It is omnipresent. The Vedas declare Aham Brahmasmi (I am Brahman). This dictum establishes the universal existence of God. A human being is the Embodiment of Divine Self, verily. One is not merely a human being. Since one identifies oneself with the physical body, one considers oneself a mere mortal..

There are five human values. The first one is sathya (sathya). What is its form? It has no form. It is beyond description. Similarly, santhi (peace) cannot be perceived by the naked eye. So also the other human values like dharma (righteousness), prema (love), and ahimsa (nonviolence) have no form.

Prema is one quality that is present in all human beings, but it is invisible. It can be recognized only when it is showered on another human being. Where there is love, there cannot be hatred. Where there is no hatred, there cannot be violence. That is ahimsa.

Strangely, the term human value has acquired new meaning these days. It is mistaken to be accumulating wealth and maintaining a bank balance. People think this is the purpose of education. This is not true.

The real human values are sathya, dharma, santhi, prema, and ahimsa. Anything contrary to these values is animalistic in nature. Hence, whenever you are confronted with such animal thoughts, remind yourself, “I am not an animal, I am not an animal; I am a human being, I am a human being.” You are a human being, not an animal. However, you can be considered a human being only when you manifest human qualities; not otherwise. You may be highly educated and well-read; if you do not have human qualities, you cannot be called a human being. Only the person who manifests the five human values can be called a real human being.

You may be an Emperor with lot of wealth and manpower to support you, but you may not be happy. Real peace and happiness come from inner feeling of peace and tranquility. Worldly positions and power cannot confer peace and happiness.

You all know the story of Alexander. He went round the world on a conquest mission. He crossed the river Sindhu and came to India. Meanwhile he had a heart attack. There were a good number of doctors around him, who examined him and declared that he might not live long and die very soon. Alexander called his ministers and generals and told them, “After I leave this body, wrap my dead body with a white cloth keeping my both hands in a raised position so that all people can see my empty hands. Then, take my body in procession through all the streets of our village. Whoever sees my body thus will ask why my hands are kept in such raised position. Tell them that the Emperor Alexander conquered all the countries and accumulated a lot of wealth. However, at the time of his death, none, even the mighty army or the doctors present, could save him. He left the world empty-handed, leaving behind his empire and great wealth.”

Similarly, one may be a billionaire or a millionaire; yet one has to leave this world with empty hands. You may store your wealth in bank lockers; but you cannot take even a handful of earth along with you at the time of leaving this world. Not even a dust particle.

All the education that we pursue today is secular. No doubt this is also necessary. But the real education is that which helps you to manifest your innate divinity. You may read a number of texts, you can teach them to others, too. They cannot make your life exemplary.

Hence, what sort of education should a man pursue? ‘Educare’. What is educare? Educare is manifesting one’s innate human qualities in the outside world. No text books need be read for this purpose.

However, since you came into this world with a physical body, you have to acquire education and earn money to sustain that body. Secular education is for sustaining the physical body. The chanting of the Gayathri Mantra starts with AUM. Then the mantra proper reads “Bhur Bhava Suvah Thath Savithur Varenyam Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayath”. The chanting of AUM itself will confer all the benefits that accrue by chanting of the mantra.

There is a great necessity today to explain the significance and inner meanings of such mantras to students. That is why we have recruited teachers who can explain these spiritual aspects along with secular education to the students in our educational institutions.

The first Vice Chancellor of our University, V. K. Gokak, was one such great teacher who could impart secular education with spiritual background. I knew him even before we started our colleges. He learnt several aspects from Me. He always used to chant the divine name of Swami. He and his wife had single-minded devotion. Whenever I visited their house, first of all, they would take Me to their pujaroom. Gokak’s heart was very pure.

Such a noble person became the first Vice Chancellor of our university. The students today are enjoying the fruits of all the hard work done by him. He used to obey My command in letter and spirit. He used to approach Me to clarify even a small doubt. Today, his eldest son, Anil Gokak, is laying down the office of the Vice Chancellor of our university after completing his tenure of three years. Anil is a worthy son of a worthy father. Having completed his tenure, he is leaving the university, but I know that his mind is always with Swami.

Anil Gokak and his wife both are ardent devotees of Swami. Do not think that they are going away from us, nor are we sending them away. Sri Sathya Sai University is imprinted in their hearts. Their thoughts are always focused on Swami. Their hearts are always tuned to Swami. Swami is always with them. Do not think that we are giving them a send-off today. No, no. We do not give send-off to any one; we always welcome, welcome, welcome. I also told them that wherever they are, they should come here and have Swami’s darshan.

The Gokak family has always remained a homogeneous unit. Wherever they are, Swami is firmly installed in their heart. Anil Gokak is Mine and I am his. I told him, “I and you are one.” Not only Anil, all of you are part of Me, though outwardly you appear to be different from Me. Easwara sarva bhutanam(God is immanent in every living being). Easavasyamidam jagat (The entire universe is permeated by God). Even ants and insects are different forms of God. There is nothing in the universe which is not divine. That is the truth.

Creation emerges from truth and merges into truth,

Is there a place in the cosmos where truth does not exist?

Visualise this pure and unsullied truth. (Telugu Poem)

Everything is God. It is God that protects or punishes. Do not be under the impression that someone is punishing you. It is God’s Will that works through him. Whoever hurts you or causes suffering to you, always think that that person belongs to you. Never entertain an ill feeling against that person.

All are one, be alike to every one. The bodies may be different and the thoughts may be different. But, the Atma Thathwa (Atmic principle) in all is only one. No one can separate the Atma as belonging to this person or that person. Wherever you go, whether it is America or Japan or Germany or Pakistan or India, only one Sun illuminates the entire world. It is day time for us now, whereas it is night in America. Does it mean that there is no Sun in America? No. The Sun is here, there, and everywhere, illumining the entire world. Since the Earth rotates round the Sun, it is night in America at this point of time.

Similarly God is everywhere. He is omnipresent. We need not search for Him in some corner. He is immanent in us. We should develop a feeling that God is always with us, in us, above us, and below us. One should develop such firm faith. Then one can see Him at any place of one’s choice.

You may contemplate upon Rama or Krishna. While doing so, keep the form of your chosen deity before your mind’s eye and contemplate on Him. Surely you will visualise that form. You should therefore not entertain the feeling that God has forsaken you. If God were to forsake you, how can you exist in the world? God and you are one. Lord Eswara is also referred to as Arthanareeswara, signifying the unity between the male and female aspects of Divinity.

In fact, all our troubles are due to our attachment to prakriti (material world). Do not entertain the feeling that you are separate from God; that you are only a devotee etc. Do not think that He is God and you are only a dasa (servant of God). You are not merely a devotee. You are God verily. Constantly remind yourself, “I am God, I am God, I am God.”

All the names that are given to individuals are for the purpose of identification. They are not eternal. In fact, all names and forms are meant to be shed at one time or the other. But the Atma is eternal and changeless.

If ‘I’ and ‘Mine’ are removed, what remains is God only. You say this is my body, my mind, my intellect, etc. You are not the body, you are not the mind, you are not the intellect. You are separate from all these things. You are God, verily.

Fill water in a thousand vessels and keep them in the Sun. The Sun reflects in all these thousand vessels, but there is only one Sun. Just as the one Sun reflects in thousand vessels, so also the one God illumines the entire universe. God is one and the goal is one. You have to develop the feeling that everything good or bad, profit or loss, is God.

Of course, secular education and ideas are necessary to a certain extent.

Today Viswanath Pandit is taking charge as the new Vice Chancellor. He has also toured several countries of the world as an academician. He is ‘Viswanatha’. He is a very good person. In the past also, several Vice Chancellors worked in this university and left after completing their tenure. They may not be present here in their physical bodies. But their Atmas are always with Me. In fact, I am theirAtma. Hence, no one should feel that someone has left and some other person has come in his place.

Perform your duty. This duty strengthens your relationship with God. Duty is God. Anil Gokak performed his duties very well. Even a small matter, he used to bring to the notice of Swami for clarification. I need such people. Right from the first Vice Chancellor, the senior Gokak to the junior Gokak, all Vice Chancellors are My people only. Even the future Vice Chancellors belong to Me only. I am utilizing the services of all these persons for the development of students.

The students are also good. College students in the outside world these days are problematic, but our students cannot be compared to those boys. Our students are unique. They do not join unsuitable company in the outside world. They maintain their good behaviour at all times. Everywhere they are distinct and distinguishable, but that does not mean that they are separate or misfits in any society. Wherever they are, they act in harmony with their local community and always conduct themselves with dignity, obeying Swami’s command.

Spirituality is like the head of a physical body. Only when the head functions well can all other limbs in the body function smoothly. All our students should therefore treat spirituality as their head.

Each lecturer teaches a particular subject in the classroom. Students should imprint their teachings in their hearts. They should not differentiate between the lecturers saying so and so is a great lecturer and others are not. If you conduct yourself as good boys with sterling character and leadership qualities, you can even rule this country in the years to come. Hence, develop a sense of equal-mindedness, treat all lecturers as good, and take their lessons to your heart. This is what I wish to emphasise today as My advice to all the students of our Institute.

Let there be unity between your thoughts, words, and deeds. That is ‘Trikarana suddhi’ (three instruments of purity). What you think, you should speak; what you speak, you must put into practice. That is real humanness. Unity does not mean gathering of all people at one place. What is needed is perfect harmony between thoughts, words and deeds. That is real Educare. The Educare is very much immanent in you.

You need not refer to any text books to find Educare. Our heart itself is a text book. Follow its teachings. Then you will become good students and good people. The good people are God’s own people. Don’t consider yourself as just students. You are not merely students. Only your body is a student. In your heart, you are verily divine.

Anil Gokak is leaving today. He will come back. Wherever he and his family reside, they belong to Me. I belong to them too. This is our relationship. I wish that all of you should conduct yourself as good students and welcome the incoming Vice Chancellor Viswanath Pandit with love and respect. Be happy.

26. Valedictory Divine Discourse on Education Conference, 22 Jul 2008

Love is Truth! Truth is Love!! Live in Love!!!

All names and forms are but the manifestations of the Supreme Being, who is Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute and non-dual. He is the embodiment of Sathyam, Sivam, Sundaram (Truth, Goodness, Beauty).

(Sanskrit Verse)

Embodiments of Love!

During the last two days, you attended the conference and listened to the speakers sitting here in this Hall, undergoing all inconveniences. It is really your good fortune that you could come here from far off countries and participate in this conference. You have come here spending a lot of money and undergoing great strain. This in itself is a testimony to the purity of your heart. There are millions of people in this world. There are lakhs of schools and colleges. But only a few of you are blessed with the opportunity of coming here. You can imagine how fortunate you are!

Having come here and participated in this conference, what are supposed to learn? First of all, you must understand the nature of your own heart and manifest human values, namely, truth, righteousness, peace, love and nonviolence. Only then can you be called educated in the true sense of the term. There are many lawyers in this world, who study voluminous books. In spite of their learning, we find many ‘liars’ among them. There are many doctors. But what is the use? They are getting bogged down with professional rivalry. We cannot find unity anywhere. First and foremost, we have to develop unity.

All of us are the children of God. We are all brothers and sisters. We should preserve this truth in our heart. At times, there may be some differences among brothers and sisters. Therefore, we must learn to adjust with each other. Not only that, we must understand each other in the first instance. Adjustment becomes easy when we have proper understanding. There cannot be any adjustment without proper understanding. Firstly, you must understand that whatever Swami teaches is only out of His love for you.

There is great progress in the field of science today. All the inventions of the scientists are within the purview of senses. In fact, many scientists are acting in a senseless manner and committing mistakes. Scientists themselves are not sure of what they are saying and doing. They say they are helping society, but in fact they are doing just the opposite. Help never, hurt ever – this seems to be their motto. As a result, today, people lead their lives with fear and anxiety. When you board a plane, you are not sure whether you will reach the destination safely. People are in the grip of fear. They are afraid of even rats!

Never be afraid of anything. Don’t fear. Fear is the root cause of anxiety and delusion. People today are afraid to eat even fruits and vegetables because they are grown with the help of chemicals that are harmful to health. The food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe are all polluted. How can we lead a healthy life in such a polluted environment? We should therefore make our lives pollution free. We have to do it ourselves. Merely for the sake of satisfying our taste buds, we should not eat junk food and spoil our health. When you take proper care of your health, the children born to you will also be healthy.

Always speak the truth. Apart from speaking truth, remain calm and composed in the face of criticism. Only then can there be peace. Our ancient rishis (sages) used to observe silence as part of their spiritual sadhana (spiritual disciplines). Observance of silence helps you to progress on the spiritual path. When you practise silence, you can easily experience peace of mind. Love manifests from peace. When you are filled with love, you will have no enemies. Therefore, lead your life with love. Only through love can we establish peace in the world.

Today people talk of peace, but we find only pieces everywhere. Even the country is being divided into pieces! What I mean to say is that people are keeping the interests of their regions above the national interest. We should stand united as a country. When someone asks you, ‘Where do you come from?” you should proudly say that you belong to India. Do not say you belong to Puttaparthi, Anantapur district, etc. Only those with a narrow mind will give such an answer. “I come from India,” this should be your answer.

Similarly, one should not say that one comes from California, which is only a small part of America. One should say that one comes from America. Always be broadminded in your thinking. It is your good fortune to be endowed with such a broad mind. When you develop broadmindedness, your children also will be broadminded.

Parents should enroll their children in bal vikas classes and impart sacred teachings to them. As the parents, so are the children. Therefore, parents should tread the right path and set an ideal so that their children can emulate them. The fault lies in the parents if the children do not behave properly. Hence, parents should take utmost care in bringing up their children. After a certain age, children do not obey their parents, because parents themselves do not follow the right path. Parents should lead an exemplary life if they want their children to be good and come up in life.

There should be no difference of opinion between the father and the mother. They should be united in whatever they tell their children. In some families, mother says one thing and father says something else. Such lack of unity and understanding between the parents is not a good sign. Both of them must stand on one word and teach their children the right path.

First of all, they should teach their children to adhere to truth. It is enough if we follow the path of truth, because truth is the basis of everything.

Sathyannasti paro dharma (There is no dharma greater than adherence to truth). Peace originates from righteousness, and love manifests from peace. Where there is love, there is nonviolence and everyone can lead a peaceful life. If the nation has to attain peace and prosperity, we should follow the path of truth. What is truth?

“Manasyekam vachasyekam karmanyekam mahatmanaam” (He is a noble soul whose thoughts, words and deeds are in harmony). If your thought, word, and deed are at variance, it amounts to falsehood. Before we teach our children to adhere to truth, we should practise truth in our daily life. Only then can the children emulate us and become ideal.

We should lead a ‘heartful life’ but not an artificial life. Today, right from the system of education, everything has become artificial. People read a number of sacred texts, chant mantras, and undertake meditation. But all this is done in an artificial manner. Whatever may be the spiritual practice we undertake, do it whole-heartedly.

In the name of meditation, people close their eyes and sit cross- legged, but they have no control over their mind. Their mind goes everywhere as per its whims and fancies. Therefore, we should control our mind in the first instance. Manah eva manushyanam karanam bandhamokshayo (mind is the cause of bondage and liberation of man). As the thought, so is the action. Hence, we should entertain only good thoughts, which lead to good actions and ultimately yield good results.

Do not follow the vagaries of the mind. Do not be under the control of the mind. The mind should be under your control. Mind is like a mad monkey. It goes everywhere without any restraint. But it becomes quiet and subdued when it is turned toward God.

When the Sun rises, our shadow is very long. If we start walking toward the Sun, our shadow will fall behind us. On the other hand, if we walk in the opposite direction with our back toward the Sun, we have to follow our shadow, which falls ahead of us. When the Sun is right on our head, the shadow will fall under our feet. Maya (delusion) is like our shadow. In order to conquer maya, you have to turn your mind toward God. When your mind is directly focused on God, maya will be totally subdued like the shadow under your feet.

There are three hands in the clock indicating seconds, minutes, and hours. The second hand is the longest and moves quicker than the other two. When the second hand completes sixty digits, the minute hand moves forward by one digit. Similarly, when the minute hand crosses sixty digits, the hour hand crosses one digit. However, the hour hand is most important. Thinking of God once in a while and spending the rest of the time in worldly pursuits is like the second hand, which has little significance. But constant contemplation of God at all times is like the hour hand, which is most important.

Do not act as per the vagaries of your mind. As I have mentioned earlier, mind can cause liberation or bondage. Therefore, you have to exercise control over your mind and turn it in the right direction, i.e. toward truth and love. Then it becomes steady and attains the power of concentration. Love is truth and truth is love. Live in love.

This is not physical and worldly love. We should preserve spiritual love in our heart. Only then can we develop steadiness of mind. Worldly love will only make our mind fickle and unsteady. Therefore, keep your mind always focused on God. Only then can you experience peace. People think it is very difficult, but let Me tell you that there is no sadhana (spiritual discipline) easier than this.

When we develop love for God, the mind can be controlled very easily. On the other hand, if the mind is not turned toward God, it can never be controlled. Whatever you do, consider it as God’s work.

Everything happens as per the Will of God. Do not be under the delusion that your will alone can make things move. If that be the case, why are you not able to exercise any control over certain events that take place in your life? Understand that everything moves as per the Divine Will. If something good happens to you, consider it as the Will of God. If something bad happens, accept that also as the Will of God.

There is certainly some purpose behind whatever He does, which you cannot comprehend. Whatever He does is for your own good. Hence, leave everything to His Will. Sukhadukhe samekruthwa labhalabhau jayajayau (one should remain equal-minded in happiness and sorrow, gain and loss, victory and defeat). Whatever may happen, consider it as an act of divine love and welcome it wholeheartedly.

When you get immersed in divine love, you will be successful in all your endeavours. But today people are getting immersed in worldly love only. One who develops worldly love is a liar! Only divine love can be termed as true love. Divine love will never betray you. Let people think what they like, let them criticise you in any manner, but always remain firmly established in divine love. Under any circumstances, do not deviate from the path of divine love. When you preserve divine love in your heart, your future as well as the future of your children will be safe and secure.

When someone asks you, “Who are you?” you are unable to give a correct reply. You identify yourself with the physical body. But in fact, the physical body is like a leather bag which contains various entities such as the mind, intellect, chitta, etc. Once the life principle ebbs away from the body, it becomes an ’empty bag’, which is of no use to us. Hence, we put it in fire and reduce it to ashes. Before the body becomes an ’empty bag’ and is burnt to ashes, you should offer to God all that is contained in it and redeem your life.

First of all, give up bad qualities such as kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada, matsarya (lust, anger, greed, infatuation, pride, jealousy). They can cause you only misery but not happiness. You can see for yourself how blissful you become when you get rid of these evil qualities.

In order to experience such eternal bliss, offer to God all that is in you. You have a number of desires. But is it possible to get all your desires fulfilled? No. Never cause harm to others in the process of fulfilment of your desires. If you desire something, pray to God and ask Him directly. Establish direct contact with Him. If you follow ‘indirect’ methods, you will be put to untold misery.

But today people are trying to harm others in order to satisfy their own greed. Such people are bound to reap the consequences of their evil deeds. Long ago during the independence movement, I composed a song visualizing a scene where an infant was crying and his mother was consoling him with an assurance that everything will be alright and there is nothing to worry about the fate of the country. I sang it on the stage, placing a rubber doll in a cradle and rocking it gently.

Do not cry, my child, do not cry.

If you cry, you will not be called a valiant son of Bharat.

Go to sleep, my child, go to sleep.

Did you get scared because the terrible Hitler has invaded the invincible Russia?

Go to sleep, my child, go to sleep.

Do not cry, my child, do not cry.

For the Red Army is marching under Stalin.

They will put an end to Hitler.

Then what else is the reason for your crying?

Is it because the countrymen lack unity?

All the countrymen will unite and fight to win freedom;

Go to sleep, my child, go to sleep.

(Telugu Song)

Today you have gathered here in such large numbers. Have we sent any invitation letter to any of you? No, no. It is only love that has brought you here (applause). It is only love that can unite everybody, but not hatred. When your love and My love come together, any task can be achieved. Hence, develop love. With the power of love, you can win over anybody, even a mighty rakshasa (demon) can be subdued. When Ravana abducted Sita, Hanuman went to Lanka in search of her. He found her in Asoka grove, sitting under a tree and chanting Rama’s name. She had firm faith that only Rama could protect her from the clutches of the rakshasas.

In spite of all his learning, valour and wealth, Ravana was as insignificant as a blade of grass when compared to Rama, because he lacked character. Rama was one of noble character. If one is endowed with noble character, one can achieve any mighty task. That is why I often tell our students that the end of education is character. What is the use of all your education if you lack character?

Some lawyers keep reading a number of books day and night. But, when they go to the court, they speak only untruth. Greatness does not lie in reading books. The truth that the books teach should be preserved in our heart. We must develop good character. Then we will certainly achieve success in all that we do.

Once you go back home, remember all that Swami has taught you and develop good character among your children. Develop a spirit of sacrifice and sanctify your life with noble deeds.

What is the use of merely amassing wealth? Alexander, the great emperor, conquered different parts of the world and came to India with a desire to conquer this country too. On his return journey, he suffered a grave illness. Sensing that his end had approached, he called all his ministers and generals and told them that he was not going to live any more. He instructed them to take his body to his country after his death. He further told them to expose his hands out of the bier with his palms turned upward and carry the funeral procession in all the streets of the city. This was to tell the people of the world that in spite of his great conquests in the world and a great name and fame, Alexander left the world empty-handed.

This is true to all of us. Whatever we may accumulate, we have to go empty-handed only. In the ultimate analysis, all worldly possessions are useless. Our bank balance will not follow us when we leave this world. Therefore, utilise your wealth for the benefit of the poor and the needy, with a spirit of sacrifice. When you spend your life in such a sacred manner, you will certainly be redeemed.

27. Second Divine Discourse on Education Conference, 21 Jul 2008

Lead an Ideal Life and Set An Example to Others

One may become a wise man by acquiring all types of knowledge;

He may not, however realise his own self, the dull-witted one!

Despite acquiring all knowledge

A mean-minded person cannot give up bad qualities. (Telugu poem)

The more a person is educated

The more he indulges in argumentation

Never can he acquire true wisdom

Why pursue all types of education

And get doomed?

One must pursue education that leads to immortality. (Telugu poem)

Devoid of practice, any amount of education will serve no purpose. One may acquire high academic degrees and titles. But, he cannot be called an educated person. Education is different from practical knowledge. Hence one has to put into practice what he has learnt from an educational institution. Today, it is only the highly educated who come under the category of ‘Ajnanis’ (those who lack wisdom). Children today imitate them and walk in their footsteps.

(Swami then answered some questions put by the delegates)

Q 1: How should students relate themselves to God?

A : God is not separate from you. He is in you, with you, around you, behind you and before you. One has to develop love towards God and have an inseparable bond of love with God. The relationship with God is not physical. One has to develop the feeling that God and himself / herself are one and the same and that God is in him / her.

Q 2: What are the external signs of spiritual transformation that takes place in a devotee?

A : First and foremost one has to enquire into himself whether one has developed unflinching faith in God or having a casual and worldly relationship with God. Having decided over the matter, one has to develop firm faith and ensure that he is living with a sense of total equanimity in both pleasure and pain. In fact, there are no special signs of spiritual transformation which takes place in an individual. It is possible that sometimes some signs may appear outwardly and in dreams or one may be relating himself to the voice of God. In any case, it is the individual that has to observe for himself whether his devotion is increasing or decreasing. Everything is dependant upon one’s faith in God.

Q 3: What are the qualities that are expected of a teacher in the Sai system of Education?

A : The teachers should not let the students go free. The teachers should exercise proper control over the students with kind and good words, keeping in view the aims and aspirations of the students. Simply because they are your students, you should not let them go scot-free. Even if you were to allow them some freedom, you should apply brakes now and then and you should also punish them, if necessary. Such punishment is intended to be a warning to the students to behave themselves properly.

Q 4: What is the role of a teacher in Sai Educational system? How should he enforce discipline?

A : Let the teacher remain as a teacher and the student as a student. Both have their roles and responsibilities. Especially the teacher has got a responsibility to ensure proper atmosphere in the classroom, while keeping the students happy.

Q 5: What are the efforts to be made by a teacher to become a role model in human values?

A : This is a very important question. It is only when a teacher behaves properly with the students that they emulate his qualities. What you forbid the students, you should not undertake to do. Not only this, even in the matter of food both the teacher and student should partake the same food. You forbid meat eating for the students and you yourself partake meat and fish. Such a practice is very bad for developing a harmonious relationship between the teacher and the student. What you teach to the students, you follow first. The teacher should not behave irresponsibly, thinking that the students have no right to question him. He should conduct himself with humility and alertness, while dealing with students. He should nourish and nurture the students with love. Another question relates to his dealings with students in a co-education school. The teacher should take extra care in his relations with the girl students. They should be treated as his sisters with love and respect. It is only then their character will be moulded. A teacher is expected to set an example to others by his behaviour.

Q 6: In what way the parents should be involved in children’s education?

A : Parents are expected not to discuss their family problems in front of the children. They should sort out those problems between themselves and keep the children happy and education-oriented. Instead of being pointed out by the children, parents should set an example to their children in conduct and behaviour.

Students should not cause any inconvenience to their parents. They should develop a sense of gratitude towards their parents for bringing them up by undergoing several difficulties and sacrificing their own comforts. Even after they are married, they should not neglect their parents, thinking “I and my family are doing well. What do I care if my parents are suffering?” It is only the uneducated fools who behave like that. Educated people should not develop such attitude. You must serve your parents and keep them happy. You should fulfil their needs. It is the duty of children to keep their parents happy.

These days, students make friendship with bad characters. “Tell me your company and I shall tell you what you are.” By joining bad company, you will also get spoiled. Today, there is a lot of agitation between parents and children. The desires and aspirations of parents and children are opposed to one another. If you look after your own tastes, what about those of your parents? You can therefore fulfil your aspirations, keeping in view the expectations of your parents. It is sheer selfishness to work for your own satisfaction, making your parents unhappy. It is unbecoming of a son.

Parents should also exercise proper control over such children. The parents should explain to their children, “Today, you are married and set up a family. But, we are with you right from the beginning. Make us happy. It is your duty.” Bidding good-bye to the parents and setting up a separate family is selfishness. It is only because of this selfishness is increasing in recent times and the relationship between parents and children is strained.

Another aspect I wish to emphasise is you should not interfere in matters not concerning you. Due to the impact of modern times, children tend to become separate from their parents. Tempers run high and tensions build up in such situations. Hence, you have to control your anger to a certain extent. You have to pause and enquire into yourself, “Do I have to show my temper on my parents? Is it correct?” You should not let your elderly parents shed tears on account of your rude behaviour. On the other hand, if you make them happy, you will also be happy.

The Bal Vikas classes are very important for the children. Dhyana (meditation) should be taught to Bal Vikas children and to those undergoing training in Education in Human Values. First and foremost, the parents should develop an awareness about human values. They should follow the human values in letter and spirit. How do you expect the children to follow human values, when you yourself are not following them?

Set an example by your practice of human values. Parents today are busy and have no time to spare for their family and children. If both the parents go to their offices, what will happen to the children? Who will look after them? Some years back, I wrote a poem about the pathetic condition of the children and family in such situations:

If women go out for jobs, who will take care of the home?

When husband and wife go out to office, who will do the household work?

If women go out to teach others’ children in schools, who will teach their own children?

If women also go to work just like men, who will cook food in the kitchen?

Earning money may solve some financial problems, but how will it resolve domestic problems?

Women can work and earn money but they cannot lead a happy life if they neglect their home.

(Telugu poem)

They depend upon cooks and ayahs to run their homes. This will bring down the reputation of the family. Hence, you have to take up employment only after ensuring smooth running of the household. You can certainly take up a job, provided the children are taken care of in a proper manner. Even the males do not understand this situation. Some people spend their time in reading newspapers and watching TV after returning from their offices. Some others go to the club and play cards. They do not bother about their family and children.

How can they ensure proper atmosphere in the house and children’s education? If the children are not studying well, it is not their mistake. The parents are to be blamed for such a situation. You remain in the house and look after the children properly. That is the real income for the family. On the other hand, if you go out to earn a few thousands neglecting your children, you become selfish parents. If your children are spoiled, you have to repent later. Hence, it is the foremost duty of the parents to bring up the children in a proper atmosphere.

The human values are to be followed by every individual voluntarily. No one can enforce them from above. If people in their respective occupations like the police, doctors, nurses, etc., were to do their jobs with honesty and integrity, problems would not have arisen in society. Unfortunately, this is not the situation today. The children are suffering for the faults of their parents. Hence, we have to ensure that the children are happy and grow up in a healthy environment. You should not allow them to sleep till 8.00 a.m. You must wake them up at 5 o’clock itself. Unfortunately today even the parents do not get up at 5 o’clock. They sleep till 8 o’clock in the morning and their children up to 9 o’clock. The parents should set an example to their children. Those who have no children and with no responsibilities can sleep for any length of time.

Sri Sathya Sai Organisations while establishing schools can raise a corpus fund for the maintenance of schools. They can also take the help of parents for running the school. Especially, the three principles of Discipline, Duty and Devotion must be given top-priority in Sathya Sai Schools. Children have to be taught the human values right from an early age. Students should be taught to establish proper relationship with God. Parents should not provide all sorts of fashionable dresses to the children. Provide them simple and neat dress that will suit their needs. It is the primary duty of the parents to exercise proper control over their children. Parents should also be given proper orientation about Sai system of education. It is possible that some parents may not be aware of it.

Some children out of fear of their parents speak lies. Hence, parents have to visit their school once in a week to enquire about their wards’ behaviour and progress in studies. Sometimes children manipulate their marks and inform them to their parents, who implicitly believe their wards. They do not care to go to the school and check with the teachers. Parents have to go to the school every now and then and check with the teachers, without the knowledge of their children.

In a way, the parents in villages are better in this aspect. They at least monitor the progress and behaviour of their children in the school and take timely corrective measures. But, people living in towns and cities especially high officials do not bother about their children. Students should not loiter here and there. Some students roam about in bazaars and waste their time. Such students are stupid! It does not behove the stature of a student to roam about in the streets aimlessly.

Parents should also prevent children from misuse of money. They have to educate children as to what is right and what is wrong. Their behaviour should be corrected by the parents. Father, mother and children should thus lead a harmonious life in the house. Parents should also watch what books the children are reading. Youngsters are prone to read all sorts of books. They keep some useless novels in the midst of textbooks and read them. Parents think that the boy is reading a textbook. But, that is not a textbook; it is his ‘taste’. Parents should immediately remove such books from the children. When you thus observe and keep a close watch on the activities of the children, they behave well and come up in life.

The Bal Vikas children should be educated about the ceiling on desires which forbids waste of money, food, energy and time. It is only when you enforce this rule, children come under your control. Today, even the elders do not follow this ceiling on desires. During festivals and family occasions, a lot of money is spent in organising dinners where food is wasted. Food is God; do not waste food. Give food to those who are in need of it. Unfortunately today, the poor and hungry are not fed. A lot of food is thrown in the dustbin as waste.

As regards to talk, one should not talk too much, whereby precious energy is wasted. Similarly, do not waste time. “Time waste is life waste”. We are wasting money. What purpose is served by wasting money?” “Misuse of money is evil.” Certainly you can spend money when necessary. But, should you waste money for unnecessary things simply because you have enough money in your pocket? Several people spend their entire salary for luxuries. They think that they are leading a pompous life. When you are thus spending money recklessly, even the milkman and servants in the house who observe your lifestyle put forward demands for increasing their wages. Therefore, you should not set a bad example for others. Each rupee you spend, you should enquire into yourself whether it is for a good purpose or not.

These are the answers for the questions and points you have raised. Conduct yourself carefully and lead a purposeful life in society. Even if you commit a small mistake, society will view it seriously. Do not commit even a small mistake. The society is carefully watching the lives of members of Sri Sathya Sai Organisation. Hence, lead an ideal life and set an example to others.

28. First Divine Discourse on Education Conference, 20 Jul 2008

Develop Educare and be United

Embodiments of Love!

I have nothing more to add to what has been told to you by Michael Goldstein and All India President of Sri Sathya Seva Organisations, Srinivasan. Education is not a subject on which anybody and everybody should talk. Today, education has become more outward and worldly. Today, there are millions and millions of people who have pursued such worldly education in India. In what way the society is benefited by such people? Everyone is concerned with his own selfish interest. There is none who cares for public interest and welfare. No one is bothered about how society is and in what condition it is, or what difficulties people are undergoing. When they speak in public they give long rhetoric about helping the poor, but when it comes to action, they are nowhere near. You all know in what state the world is today. Wherever you turn, you see sorrow and suffering. Peace and happiness are not to be found anywhere.

Every country claims progress and achievement in different areas. These claims are hollow in nature as peace and happiness cannot be found anywhere. If we enquire into the truth, every country is steeped in difficulties and is in some crisis or the other. No government makes a sincere effort to understand the difficulties faced by poor people. It is very difficult to determine who is poor and who is rich. All are ‘poor’ in one sense. Then who are the rich people? Those who put into practice what they say. It is said,”Manasyekam vachasyekam karmanyekam mahathmanam”. It means that those whose thoughts, words and deeds are in perfect accord are “Mahathamas” (great souls). Such people are very rare. In fact, countries like Russia and America, which are considered to be super powers, are causing great harm to the poorer countries. They do not even regret for their mistakes. They are unable to realise how the people of the under-developed and developing countries are suffering. For example, the people in Iraq underwent untold suffering. But, none cared to bother their suffering. No doubt, that in every country, there are rich and poor people. Strangely, it is the rich people who are taken care of and provided with help. No one comes to the rescue of the poor people or provide succour to them. Hence, first and foremost, the poor and the downtrodden should be protected.

Every devotee must cultivate love and compassion. It is said, “Thyagenaike amruthathwamanasuh” (it is only by sacrifice that one can attain immortality). It is only a person with the quality of sacrifice can experience bliss. Those with the ego-centric feeling of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ can never be happy in life. Where there is the feeling of ‘I’ there comes ego. Those who cultivate the feeling of ‘mine’ and ‘my people’ develop attachment. One should never develop the feeling that only my country should prosper. One should develop a broader outlook and pray, “Lokah samasthah sukhino bhavanthu” (May the whole world be happy!).

Those who develop the narrow-minded feeling of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ undergo a lot of suffering. This is due to the secular education that they have acquired. Worldly education does not go beyond one’s own selfish interest. We should love all and serve all. Today the rich have lost the qualities of ‘papa bheeti’ and ‘daiva preeti’ (fear of sin and love for God). If only you cultivate these two qualities, you can achieve anything in life.

We must bring down our selfish interest to a certain extent. One has to gradually give up selfishness. We have to make full use of our education and energies for the benefit of the society. If there are no poor people, you cannot even be sure of your food; for it is they who toil in the fields and factories to produce the grains and goods for the consumption of people in the society. While the rich enjoy the comforts of life, the poor sweat to keep their body and soul together. Every individual in a society has his own rights, the right to live, etc. Hence, we must take care of the poor people also and provide them with certain basic necessities. For utilising their services, we must also serve them in return. Today those who are highly educated and those who are holding positions of power are steeped in utter selfishness. It is only they who exhibit mean mentality.

Today, everyone wishes to fulfil his selfish interests at the cost of others. No one acts with a pure heart and good intention to help others. A human being is expected to have the qualities of Sathya (truth), Dharma (righteousness), Santhi (peace), Prema (love) and Ahimsa (non-violence). Devoid of these qualities, he is not a human being at all. How can a person with demonic qualities be called a human being? Hence, first and foremost one has to cultivate human qualities. No one has a right to enjoy when his fellow-human being is suffering. All are God’s children only. To whomsoever you cause suffering, it will affect you. Hence, you have to conduct your life with devotion to God and love for all human beings.

All should remain united. Where there is unity, there shall be purity. Where there is purity, there is divinity. You all have to lead your lives keeping in view these three aspects of unity, purity and divinity. You should not remain unconcerned with others’ difficulties and suffering. Treat their suffering as your own. The one God dwells in the hearts of all people. “Easwarah sarvabhuthanam”. God is immanent even in ants and mosquitoes. There should be compassion in your heart. But, this has become a rare quality these days. Instead, we find ‘come-fashion’ everywhere. How can then equality prevail in society? Show at least an iota of humanity. He who has such a human quality will become a person with compassionate heart in the real sense.

Lust, anger, hatred, jealousy, pride, etc., are animal qualities. The real wealth of a human being is noble qualities like love, compassion, righteousness, sacrifice and truth. It is only when a person has these human qualities that he can be considered a human being. Unfortunately, today people are human only in form, but qualities are those of animals. What is important is not the form, but qualities.

You cannot be sure when difficulties will confront you. Every action (karma) has its reaction, resound and reflection. If you hurt others, surely it will have its reaction. It is only when you recognise this truth and conduct yourself accordingly that you can be called a true human being. You talk to any student of our institutions, even primary school children will explain to you the human qualities very clearly. The human values have therefore to be cultivated right from childhood. The boys and girls should grow in human values. Even elders can learn from such students.

Now, about Truth. From where did Truth come? It has not sprouted from the earth nor has it descended from the sky. Its origin is not North, South, East or West. Truth is firmly installed in one’s own heart. If you develop your inner vision, you can surely recognise truth there. Where there is truth, there righteousness is. When truth and righteousness go together, love emerges from the heart. From love comes peace. When peace and love go hand in hand, non-violence reigns. We have to understand the inter-relationship between the five human values, namely, Truth, Righteousness, Peace, Love and Non-violence. All these human values are embedded in our own inner being.

A human being is God, verily. That is the reason why God is portrayed in human form. If God were to reveal His true identity, He would declare, “I am Brahman”. He would not say “I am so and so”. All the names of individuals are only those given to the human body by their parents. They are not God-given. God has given only one gift, that isAtma. That is, “Mamatma sarvabhuthantharatma” (the one Divine Self permeates all beings). You observe the ants. They move in a line up and down. While doing so, they greet each other happily. If a cow has given birth to a calf, it does not join the flock leaving the young calf alone. The cow recognises the cry of the calf, even from a distance. The calf cries “Amba! Amba! And the mother cow responds. Such is the relationship among animals and even in birds.

In the Ramayana story, a hunter saw two birds happily spending their time in each other’s company, perched on a tree. The hunter shot an arrow and killed the male bird. Unable to bear the separation from her beloved, the female bird also died soon thereafter. Sage Valmiki who witnessed this pathetic scene uttered a sloka, even without knowing it. It came spontaneously from his mouth. That soka (grief) became the inspiration for the great epic Ramayana. Thus, the birds and animals also love each other. How then can a human being lose such a noble quality of love? Today there are many things that a human being can learn from birds, animals and even beasts. But, the human being is least bothered to learn these lessons. I have been teaching many good things since decades; but you don’t listen. Even if you listen, you don’t put them into practice.

If somebody abuses you, you feel sad. Don’t you know that he also feels in the same way when you abuse him? Praise or criticism, treat them all as part of the divine leela. When you develop such a sense of equanimity, you will come up in life. Today, even rich people are crazy for money. But, they do not show the same enthusiasm for God. People have lost self-confidence, totally. “Where is Atma? What is Atma?” People ask hundred and one questions. They do not at all understand that the Atma they were questioning about is very much immanent in them.

People say, “this is my handkerchief”. It means ‘I’ is separate and ‘handkerchief’ is separate. Similarly when you say ‘my body’, you are different from your body. What is this ‘my’? You say ‘this is mine’. But, who are you? You do not know the truth about yourself. When you know yourself, it amounts to knowing everything. If you do not know yourself, you cannot know others. Hence, sit calmly and peacefully in some corner and try to enquire into the nature of your own self. That is real dhyana (meditation). Meditation does not imply contemplating on God. Know about yourself, in the first instance. God is in you, with you, around you, above you and below you. YOU ARE GOD. Whenever someone enquires “Who are you?”, say “I am God”. Don’t say, “I am so and so.” How happy you will feel when you consider yourself as God! Even those who listen to your reply will feel happy.

Education does not mean simply imparting knowledge. We learn many things from the text books. But, we may not be able to understand their real meaning. First and foremost, enquire into yourself “Who am I? Who am I? Who am I? Then you will get the real answer. Are you the mind? Or intellect? Or chittha? Or ego? Or body? You are none of these. No doubt the body, mind, intellect, etc., are all gifts of God. You have, of course, to respect them and value them. It is not enough if you read various texts and feel happy and contented that you have gained vast knowledge. Yesterday, one boy came to me and informed, “Swami, I have completed parayana of Sri Shirdi Sai Satcharithra.” When I enquired whether he had read the book fully, he replied that he had completely read the book without leaving a single letter. Then I enquired, “how many teachings of Baba contained in that book are you practising?” He replied, “None, Swami,” Then, what for is this reading? For turning pages? Not at all. There should be a transformation in your heart. Then only your parayana (reading of sacred texts) will be sanctified.

Devotees undertake several kinds of sadhana. But, they are not sadhana in the real sense. If you wish to see ‘reality’, you have to develop an inner vision. If you open your eyes and see the outside world, you will see a number of heads. On the other hand, close your eyes and look into yourself. Then you will see none but yourself. Hence, develop an inner vision. You enquire into yourself “Who am I?” Immediately reply comes from within “I am I”. That is the correct answer. People say “I am so and so; I am an American,” etc. These are not the real answers to the question “Who am I?” These are all outward names for identification in the external world. They are not important. What is important is self-enquiry. Then you will realise the Truth.

Goldstein and Srinivasan who spoke earlier eulogised education. What they said related to worldly education. I do not agree. It should relate to you. Then only the concept of ‘I am I” can be realised. Tomorrow, I will provide answers to some of your questions that bother you in your daily life. I am sure very soon you will realise Divinity. I do not wish to speak about modern education. That everybody will do. Reading books and gaining worldly knowledge is not great. This is only bookish knowledge. You must gain knowledge of your own self (inner being). That is real knowledge. That is changeless and eternal. Truth is only one, not two. Truth is God. Righteousness is God. Peace is God. Love is God. Know this. “Love is God; live in love”. If you cultivate such selfless and divine love, you can achieve everything in life.

“God is one; goal is one”. If you develop firm faith in this maxim, you can understand everything. Your experiences and enjoyment in this material world are not important. They are not true. Behind these momentary experiences, there are some eternal values to be cultivated; some human qualities to be developed. These values and qualities have to manifest from within, not in the outside world. That is Educare. Educare means bringing out the latent qualities and values from the core of our inner being. The books you read in the outside world relate to education. But, this is ‘Educare’. What is needed today is ‘Educare’. If people develop ‘Educare’, all will be united.

Take it from Me – in about 25 to 30 years’ time the entire world will become one. There will be only one caste, one religion, and one God. What is needed is such unity. Today, there are several differences between individuals on the basis of caste, creed, religion, language, nation, etc. Such differences should disappear and unity should prevail. The Veda has emphasised this unity in the declaration “Ekam Sath Viprah Bahudha Vadanthi” (Truth is one, the wise say it in different ways). That is the real world we are visualising.

Today, I have spoken at length taking a lot of time. Tomorrow I will clarify all your doubts leisurely.

29. Guru Purnima Divine Discourse, 18 Jul 2008

DEVELOP FAITH AND SELF-CONFIDENCE TO GAIN SELF-REALISATION

By what power of love the earth rotates without an axle,

By what power of love the stars remain in the sky without falling on the ground,

By what power of love the oceans confine to their limits without submerging the earth,

By what power of love the wind god blows cool breeze in all the worlds,

That mighty power of love is verily the Atmic power.

That power of love is most wonderful, infinite, unique and all pervasive.

The entire creation is saturated with love. (Telugu Poem)

Call it Prema (love) or Sathyam (truth) or Aham (I) – all are God’s different names only! The Vedas declare “Aham Brahmasmi!” (I am Brahman). If God were to reveal His name, He would say “Aham Brahmasmi” (I am Brahman). That is His true name.

The entire creation is from Truth,

Into Truth the entire creation merges.

Is there a place in the Universe

Where truth is not present?

The whole Universe is a manifestation of pure consciousness.

Know this reality. (Telugu poem)

God is the source and sustenance of all activities in this world. The entire Universe moves according to His Divine will and command. Shivraj Patil made an in-depth study of the Bhagavad Gita for some months and grasped the essence of the Gita. Finally, he wrote a commentary on Bhagavad Gita in English. Several people write several books, but the Gita commentary written by Shivraj Patil is a unique work. Whenever he had an occasion to meet Swami, he used to show his work to Him, to check whether the interpretations given in the book were correct or not. In fact, the essence of Bhagavad Gita is contained in this small book. The Gita made a deep imprint on his mind and he beautifully recorded those impressions in his book.

Today is Guru Purnima. What does it signify? People think that it is a day on which they offer some money to a guru, a mendicant or a yogi or a great person and obtain a manthra from him.

It is not correct.

Gurur-Brahma Gurur-Vishnu Gurur Devo Maheswara,

Guru Sakshat Param Brahma Thasmai Sri Gurave Namaha.

(Guru is Brahma, Guru is Vishnu, Guru is Maheswara. Guru is verily the supreme Brahman. So, salutations to the Guru.)

Who is a guru? The sloka mentioned above states that a Guru is verily Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the sustainer) and Maheswara (the destroyer). These are the different facets of God and hence Guru means God, verily. Purnima is the day on which the spotlessly clean and unblemished moon sheds his cool and steady light on the world. Whatever is said or taught with a pure heart is God’s own word. People celebrate Guru Purnima as a Guru puja day, the day on which they worship their guru and offer some money or presents in return for some manthra or other sacred words taught to them by him. In fact, one’s own heart is one’s Guru. Whatever comes from the depth of one’s own heart is the real teaching of Guru (Guru Vakya).

You all know the story of Ekalavya. He approached Dronacharya and prayed to teach archery. “Dronacharya turned down his request saying that the sacred skills of archery must be taught to a valiant hero and not to a wandering tribal youth engaged in hunting animals. Ekalavya, however, considered Dronacharya as his Guru and installed him in his heart. Even though Dronacharya did not give any instructions to him, he went and made a clay image of his Guru and started worshipping it daily. He learnt all the skills of archery, constantly contemplating on Dronacharya as his Guru. He became an expert archer in no time.

One day, the Kaurava and Pandava boys were playing, near a well. Dronacharya happened to pass that way along with his wife and son, Aswatthama. Observing that the young boys were going round and round the well making a big noise, Dronacharya went near them and enquired, “My dear boys, what are you searching for?” The boys said that they were actually playing with a ball and it had fallen into the well. Then, Dronacharya took out an arrow from his quiver and shot it into the well. It went straight and stuck to the ball. Next, he released some more arrows one after the other and with the help of the chain of arrows pulled the ball out. The boys were wonderstruck at the skill of Dronacharya and reported the matter to their parents. Then Dronacharya was called to the royal court by Bhishmacharya and was made the Guru of Pandava and Kaurava boys to teach them archery.

One day, the Pandavas along with their Guru Dronacharya were going on a hunting expedition in a forest. They had taken some hunting dogs also along with them. Meanwhile one of the dogs started barking. Immediately, an arrow released by someone from somewhere came like a bullet and stuck to the mouth of the dog. When they started searching for the person who shot that arrow, they came across Ekalavya who confessed to shooting that arrow. Arjuna then realised that Ekalvaya employed the technique of ‘Sabdabhedi’ (shooting an arrow at a target, sensing the direction from which the sound was coming).

Arjuna became jealous at the extraordinary skill in archery of Ekalvaya, particularly his ability to use the technique of ‘Sabdabhedi’. Ekalavya prostrated before Dronacharya, whom he had considered as his guru. Arjuna, seething with anger and jealousy looked at Dronacharya and said, “You had promised me that you would not teach this technique of ‘Sabdabhedi’ to anyone except me. I implicity believed your words”.

Dronacharya replied, ‘I am not the guru of Ekalvya nor did I teach this technique to him. You can ascertain the fact if you wish, from him.” Then Ekalavya was questioned. He replied, “It is true that Dronacharya refused to teach me archery. But, constantly contemplating on him, as my Guru, I learnt archery including the Sabdabhedi technique”. Ekalavya’s reply fanned the flames of jealousy in Arjuna. He wished that there should be none in the world who could excel him in the skills of archery. He wanted to subdue Ekalavya somehow and make him powerless. He therefore prompted Guru Dronacharya to ask for Guru Dakshina (an offering to Guru made by a disciple as a token of his gratitude for teaching skills) from Ekalavya.

Bowing to the wishes of Arjuna, Dronacharya enquired of Ekalavya, “What Guru Dakshina you would offer to me?” Arjuna then made a subtle suggestion to Dronacharya saying, “Ekalavya informed just now that he had learnt the skills from you, treating you as his guru. Hence, it must be you again who should frustrate his efforts to excel in archery.” Dronacharya then asked for an unusual ‘Guru Dakshina’ from his ‘disciple’ Ekalavya, that is, the right thumb of Ekalavya should be offered to him. Immediately, Ekalavya cut off his right thumb and offered it to Dronacharya as his Guru Dakshina.

As he has offered his right thumb to his Guru, he could no longer wield a bow in his hand. Thus, Ekalavya’s skill of archery was contained and Arjuna’s ego satisfied.

(Telugu poem)

Arjuna felt very happy, for he knew now that there was none who could excel him in archery, particularly in the technique of “Sabdabhedi”. Right from that moment, Ekalavya never touched his bow and arrow. He did not at all feel sad for losing his skills in archery. On the other hand, he felt extremely happy that he could fulfil the wishes of his Guru. Thus, a great archer was permanently incapacitated due to the jealousy of another great archer. Arjuna moved about freely with puffed-up ego that he was invincible.

It is possible that sometimes the subtle meanings of some slokas of great texts likeBhagavad Gita may be revealed to one by one’s own inner voice coming from his heart. In fact, that is the real teaching. Shivraj Patil, by his deep devotion could tap that inner source and translate Gita into other languages. That is the reason why his Bhagavad Gita translation has turned out to be a great work. The atmatatthwa can be realised if only one could shed the feeling of ‘I’ and ‘Mine’.

Today, many people make efforts to realise atmatatthwa. But, their efforts do not succeed since they are unable to get rid of the feeling of ‘I’ and ‘Mine’. In fact, they are the obstacles to self-realisation. First and foremost, one has to remove the feeling of ‘I’ (ego). Then realisation will dawn on you. The religious symbol of Christianity also denotes this cutting off of ego (†). The ego-centric assertion of ‘I’ is the root cause for all sorrows, unrest and difficulties. One has to realise this truth. The feeling of ‘mine’ has also to be shed.

When a teacher develops a feeling “these are all my disciples”, ego will raise its head there also. Hence, the feeling of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ has to be removed. Then only atmatatthwa can be realised.

Shivraj Patil has been coming to Swami since the last thirty years. He first had thedarshan of Swami in the house of S.B.Chavan. Thereafter, they both used to visit Swami, together. Thereby, he developed intense devotion to Swami. In the meanwhile, Shivraj Patil became a Minister in the Government of Maharashtra. Thereafter, he moved to Delhi and became a Minister in the Central Government. He also held the position of Speaker of the Lok Sabha in Delhi. Thus, he came up in life with the grace of Swami and his own hard work and sincerity. He never aspired for any positions in life. Even when Swami enquired from him what he wanted, he used to evade a reply. He earned a very good name as a Minister in Government. They used to repose lot of confidence in him.

One has to develop faith and self-confidence. Self-confidence leads to self-satisfaction and self-sacrifice and ultimately to self-realisation. The Bhagavad Gita is a very sacred text. It is verily the breath of God. One has to develop faith first. Even a demon worships God. But, their actions are demonic. One can have peace only when one develops faith in God and dedicates all his actions to God. You may study any number of books and sacred texts. You may even lecture on them. But, that is of no use. Whatever you put into practice, only that will become part of you.

There are three steps to self-realisation, namely, self-confidence, self-satisfaction and self-sacrifice. When these three go together, there will be purnathwa (fullness). That is Purnima (full-moon day) when the moon will be spotless, shedding cool light on the world. It is only when there is perfect accord between thought, word and deed, it becomes truth. Simply giving expression to one’s thoughts and lecturing on principles without putting them into practice will amount to an empty rhetoric. It will amount to falsehood. Such a person will not become a full individual. Shivraj Patil is not such a person. He experienced truth and gave expression to his thoughts in the form of a book. That is why his book earned reputation, giving him great satisfaction.

I expect all students to relate to their teachers what they have learnt from them. Mere book reading is of no use. There must be close interaction between the teachers and the students. Such an interaction would be like the positive and negative coming together. Students have to develop intimate relationship with their parents. They must love their parents and obey their command. Then only they will succeed in life.

The last sloka in Bhagavad Gita reads

Yathra Yogeshwara Krishno Yathra Partho Dhanurdharah

Tathra Srirvijayo Bhutir Dhruva Neetirmathir Mama.

(Sanskrit sloka)

(Where there is Krishna, the Lord of Yoga, and where there is Arjuna, armed with mighty bow come together, there lie wealth, victory, glory and everlasting morality.) The essence of the Bhagavad Gita is contained in this one sloka.

Today, Shivraj Patil has brought out this beautiful and nectarous message for the benefit of one and all through his Bhagavad Gita translation. It is our good fortune to come across such noble works. People write several books on several subjects; but, books like this are rare. We see students going to the library and reading books stacked there. Some of them develop interest for spiritual books, while some others read novels. Some boys keep novels in between their text books or spiritual books and read them with absorbing interest. This is nothing but cheating others as well as themselves. It is not good. That is the reason why we thoughtfully avoided stacking such books in our library. I am sure our boys are not interested in such trash. Their hearts are pure and sacred. Our boys are generally good and well-behaved. But, due to the age, there will be some distractions now and then. They are like passing clouds. Students should develop enough mental strength to keep themselves away from such distractions.

I wish that our students should also write some good books on academic topics and spiritual subjects (Swami then called an ex-student by name Gowri Shankar, who is presently working as a faculty member in the Dept. of Physics in Sri Sathya Sai University and introduced him to the audience). This boy has been invited to Hungary to present a paper in an international conference being held there by the Institute of Nuclear Science. All his expenses for travel and stay in Hungary will be borne by the Institute. This boy is well behaved and highly educated. I wish that all our students get such opportunities of being invited by other Institutions / Universities in India and abroad. I will be very happy to see you participating in such activities. I am sure your parents will also be happy. Whatever you have read and learnt must be shared with all. Today you have witnessed the release of a book written by Shivraj Patil containing his impressions and commentary on Bhagavad Gita. No doubt, his book will be of interest to one and all. Two of our students from the Anantapur campus secured very good marks in English and Physics respectively. They have been invited to America, all expenses paid. Such academic excellence brings credit to our Institute. I am happy.

30. Divine Discourse on Sri Ramachandraswamy Pattabhisheka Mahotsavam , 28 Jun 2008

Undertake Rama Chintana

Embodiments of Love!

The Ramayana Saptaha (the seven day chanting of the divine name Rama) has been held with great joy and devotion for the last seven days. You all participated in this great event. The Purohits (Priests) who conducted the Saptaha, with great devotion and sincerity, and the speakers from different parts who participated in it made the event a grand success. Setty garu who arranged this function made several conveniences for the Priests and devotees and made every one happy.

Constant contemplation on Ramayana and singing of the glory of the Divine name ‘Rama’ confers bliss, peace and prosperity on one and all. There are two ways of contemplating on the divine name and singing its glory – the individual sadhana and the collective sadhana. Of the two, the collective sadhana is better. It was Guru Nanak who had initiated the practice of group singing of the glory of the divine name. In fact the individual chanting of the divine name is not enough. If thousands of people join together and sing the glory of the divine name in one voice, the prayers of atleast one or two individuals will certainly move Divinity. Hence, it is better to follow the collective method. Wherever you are, sing the glory of the divine name of Rama in a group. Contemplation on Ramanama confers peace and happiness. It is a Universalsadhana.

The name ‘Rama’ is not limited to a particular form. It dwells in every individual as ‘Atma Rama’. The atma which dwells in every individual is given the name ‘Rama’. Hence, right from a child to a grown up individual, everyone has to undertake thesadhana of constant contemplation of Ramanama. We often see even blind people contemplating on Ramanama, saying ‘Rama Rama’. It is only the divine name that can confer peace and happiness. Nothing else, even wealth and property, can bring happiness and peace. Constant contemplation on the divine name can remove all worries.

“To be born is a worry

To live on this earth is a worry

The world is a source of worry

Death too is a worry,

All actions and difficulties cause worry,

Devotion to Srirama is the panacea for all worries”

(Telugu poem)

Hence, undertake Ramachinthana (contemplation on the divine name of Rama), whenever you find yourself surrounded by worries. The Ramanama has been in the hearts of people since aeons.

In Tretha Yuga, King Dasaratha of Ayodhya longed for sons to continue the Ikshwaku dynasty. He performed a yajna by name ‘Puthra Kameshtiyaga’ praying that he be blessed with a son. King Dasaratha had three wives – Kausalya, Sumithra and Kaikeyi. He had one daughter named Santha through Kausalya earlier, whom he gave in adoption to his friend. She married Sage Rishyasringa. The Puthra Kameshti yaga was conducted under the guidance of that couple. At the conclusion of the yaga, Agni Deva, the fire god emerged from the sacred homakunda with a vessel containing Payasam (sacred pudding). He gave it to Dasaratha to be distributed equally among his three wives. Kausalya and Kaikeyi received their share of the sacred pudding happily and took it to their puja (worship) rooms. Both were very happy that their son to be born would be the heir apparent to the throne of Ayodhya. Their claims appeared to be genuine since Kausalya was the eldest queen and Kaikeyi’s father at the time of her marriage to King Dasaratha had extracted a promise that the son to be born to her would be made the King of Ayodhya. Dasaratha cannot go back on his word, as per the tradition of Ikshwaku family.

However, Sumithra had no such desire. She carried her bowl of pudding to the terrace and placed it on the parapet wall, while drying her hair in the Sun. She was in a pensive mood thinking that of no use it was to partake the pudding as her son to be born would have no claim to the throne like Kausalya and Kaikeyi. While she was thus contemplating on the future, an eagle swooped down and carried away the bowl containing the sacred pudding. She was shocked and disturbed fearing the reprimand she would have to face from her husband for being careless. She at once rushed downstairs and informed Kausalya and Kaikeyi about what had happened. They hugged Sumithra and consoled her, saying, “Sister why are you so much disturbed? We three are one and we will share our portion of the pudding with you”. So saying they brought their bowls and poured some quantity of pudding from each of their bowls into another bowl and offered it to Sumithra. Unlike present times, there used to be perfect rapport between women in those days. Thus, all the three queens got their bowls containing the sacred pudding ready and took them to Sage Vasishta and obtained his blessings. Thereafter, they offered their pranams to King Dasaratha and happily partook the sacred pudding. All the three queens became pregnant.

In due course, Kausalya the eldest queen delivered a beautiful baby-boy who was named Rama. The Universal Atma embodied itself in the womb of Kausalya. He was named ‘Rama’, meaning he who makes one and all happy. Kaikeyi too gave birth to a son, who was named Bharatha. Sumithra, however gave birth to two sons named Lakshmana and Satrughna. Lakshmana was born out of the share of pudding given by Kausalya and Satrughna from that given by Kaikeyi. Hence, Lakshmana always followed Rama while Satrughna followed Bharatha.

Sumithra’s two sons, Lakshmana and Satrughna, were crying all the time, day and night without even taking food. Sumithra could not bear the suffering of the infants. She went to sage Vasishta and explained to him of her predicament. Sage Vasishta closed his eyes and meditated for sometime. His yogic vision enabled him to realise the truth. He explained to Sumithra: “Since you partook of the sacred pudding given by Kausalya, you gave birth to Lakshmana who is an amsa (part) of Rama. Similarly, Satrughna is born out of the share of pudding given to you by Kaikeyi. So, he is a part of Bharatha. Put Lakshmana by the side of Rama and Satrughna by the side of Bharatha. Then, they will rest peacefully.” As soon as Sumithra acted accordingly, the babies became peaceful. As years passed, the four brothers grew up happily together.

Back to the story of the eagle lifting up the bowl containing the sacred payasam kept by Sumithra on the parapet wall while drying her hair in the Sun. The eagle carried away the bowl and dropped it on the ground at a place where Anjanadevi was medita-ting in a mountainous region. She picked up the bowl and happily partook of the sacred pudding contained therein. As a result, she gave birth to the great hero of Ramayana,namely, Hanuman.

While Rama and Lakshmana were moving in the Rishyamuka mountain range during their search for Sita, Hanuman approached them on the orders of Sugriva, theVanara king. After enquiring the purpose of their search, Hanuman took them to Sugriva and introduced them to him. He persuaded Rama to seek Sugriva’s friendship and help in their search for Sita. The vow of everlasting friendship was solemnised in the presence of a ritual fire.

Sugriva then brought one bundle of jewels wrapped in a cloth which was thrown by Sita from the Pushpaka Vimana of Ravana that carried her to Lanka. Sugriva placed the bundle before Rama in order that the jewels might be identified as belonging to Sita. Rama called Lakshmana to his side and directed him to identify the jewels. Lakshmana on seeing the jewels expressed his inability saying “Oh Rama, I seek your pardon; I do not know of any jewels that were worn by mother Sita. However, I can identify her anklets, since I was prostrating to her feet daily to pay my obeisance to her”.

During the stay of Rama and Sita in a hermitage built by Lakshmana in the Panchavati region, one day, at the behest of Ravana, Maricha the demon assumed the form of a golden deer and began moving about in the vicinity of the Asram. Sita was fascinated by the charming golden deer and persuaded Rama to catch it and bring it to the Asram so that she could play with it. Rama decided to oblige her request as per the divine plan. However, he instructed Lakshmana to stay behind and guard the Asramand Sita from the wily demons, during his absence. As Rama went in pursuit of the golden deer, it went deep into the forest. Finally, Rama lifted his bow and released a fatal arrow on the deer. Maricha in the guise of the golden deer at last fell dead in his real form. However, before he breathed his last, he cried in agony, in a feigned voice of Rama, “Ha! Sita! Ha! Lakshmana!” The cry fell on the ears of Sita and Lakshmana. Sita, on hearing the cry implored Lakshmana to go in search of Rama immediately. Lakshmana counselled Sita that no danger could ever befall Rama and that this was all the plan of the wily demons. Sita was not convinced. She even used harsh words that hurt Lakshmana, while compelling him to go to the rescue of Rama. Of course, this too was as per the divine plan that would unfold itself in the future. Left with no other option, Lakshmana agreed to go in search of Rama. However, before he left the Asram, he drew a line around the hermi- tage and asked Sita not to step out of that line under any circumstances till Rama and himself returned to the Asram.

As soon as Lakshmana left the hermitage in search of Rama, Ravana approached theAsram in the guise of a Rishi. He stood before the Asram and asked for food saying “Bhavathi bhiksham dehi” (Oh Mother, give me food!). Sita heard this and decided to provide him food. She brought the food from inside the Asram and tried to give the same to Ravana standing behind the line drawn by Lakshmana. But, Ravana insisted that Sita should come closer, cross the line drawn by Lakshmana and offer the food to him. He pretended as though he could not bear the pangs of hunger anymore. Finally Sita obliged and came out of the line drawn by Lakshmana to give alms to Ravana. Just at that moment, Ravana assumed his real form, and abducted her in his chariot.

Ravana took Sita to Lanka and kept her in confinement under a tree in theAsokavana. Sita then lamented for her indiscreet act of becoming crazy about a golden deer and the consequences that followed. She lamented “Oh! Why did that sinful animal (golden deer) come to the vicinity of our hermitage? Why did I develop a fascination for that golden deer? Why did I request Rama to catch that deer and bring it to me?” Of what use is all this repentance at this stage? She found herself in captivity in Lanka.

Ravana kept three ladies to guard Sita during her incarceration in the Asokavana. One was Sarama, the wife of Vibheeshana, younger brother of Ravana. The other two ladies were Ajata and Trijata, who were none other than daughters of Sarama. They were very considerate towards Sita, keeping up her sagging morale all the while by their comforting words. Sita wondered whether such good people also existed in Lanka. In fact, it was due to their consoling words and protection that Sita could bear her ordeal courageously. Though Sita was imprisoned in Lanka, Ravana did not dare to touch her. He knew that he would be reduced to ashes if he touched her without her consent. He was all the while pleading with her to accept him. When Ravana stooped to the level of denigrating Rama and threatened her, she without even looking at his face, plucked out a blade of grass and threw it before him saying, “you are a mean fellow. You are not worth even this blade of grass. How dare you denigrate Rama in front of me, you vile and vicious wretch!”.

Sita had another name Vaidehi, meaning one who has no body attachment. King Janaka was her foster father. He lovingly brought her up and gave her in marriage to Rama. There are several inner and subtle meanings in the story of Ramayana. In fact, Sita was not the sister of Rama, as has been portrayed in some texts. If she were to be the sister of Rama, how could King Janaka offer her as bride to Rama? Unfortunately, people do not realise these inner meanings.

Hanuman was a great hero in the story of Ramayana. He led an army of Vanaras in his holy mission of searching for the whereabouts of Sita, who was kept in captivity in Lanka by Ravana. He was a very intelligent and faithful servant of Rama. He was a person of noble qualities and great physical strength. In his noble qualities and might, he was unparalleled. In fact, a whole chapter namely Sundara Kanda was devoted to describe his qualities of head and heart, in the Ramayana. While he was embarking on his holy mission of finding out Sita in city of Lanka, he was given certain identification clues about Sita. He was told that Sita was a woman of noble qualities and divine beauty and that she would not mix with the Rakshasa ladies. He searched for Sita in every nook and corner of Lanka, including the inner chambers of the palace where Ravana’s queens and the ladies attending on them stayed. During his search he came across ladies scantily dressed and fallen on their beds, intoxicated by drink and dance. But, he was totally unmoved by these obscene forms, keeping always in his mind the characteristics and excellence of Sita that Rama had described to him earlier. His supreme stability of mind in such an environment befitted his true Brahmachari(celibate) status. One cannot find parallels to Lord Rama and His noble servant Hanuman, in this world. They are both unique.

The boys just now sang a beautiful bhajan “Rama Lakshmana Janaki, Jai bolo Hanuman ki”. During their singing of this bhajan, Hanuman’s name has been mentioned after a little pause, indicating the importance of Hanuman. It is only when people like Hanuman are worshipped and their qualities emulated, one can cultivate good thoughts, good habits, good qualities and good behaviour. It is said, “the end of education is character”. It is only in Rama and Hanuman, such noble character is to be found. Hence, you constantly contemplate on Rama and Hanuman and their noble qualities. The different names like Rama, Krishna, Hanuman, Shiva, Vishnu, etc. represent the one Divinity that is all pervading. God is one, the names and forms differ.

“Gold is one; ornaments differ.

Religions are many, Divinity is one,

The cows are many in colours; but milk is the same.”

(Telugu poem)

Similarly, God is one though He is referred to by different names and forms. Different people when asked to give their names, reply ‘I am Ramaiah’, ‘I am Lakshmaiah’, ‘I am Govindappa’, etc. But, the real answer should be ‘Aham Brahmasami’ (I am Brahma). There can be no other names. All are embodiments of the Divine Self. The atma has no gunas (qualities). It is formless and attributeless.

Nityanandam, Parama Sukhadam, Kevalam Jnanamurtim, Dwandwateetam, Gagana Sadrisham, Tattwamasyadi Lakshyam, Ekam, Nityam, Vimalam, Achalam, Sarvadhee Sakshibhutam, Bhavateetam, Trigunarahitam ………..

(The Atma is the embodiment of eternal bliss, wisdom absolute, beyond the pair of opposites, expansive and pervasive like the sky, the goal indicated by the Maha-vakya Tattwamasi, one without a second, eternal, pure, unchanging, witness of all functions of the intellect, beyond all mental conditions and the three attributes of Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas).

(Sanskrit sloka)

Strictly speaking, God has no name or form in spite of the fact it is said ‘Daivam Manusharupena’ (God is in human form). He has no birth and no qualities. He is formless and attributeless. When someone enquiries ‘who are you?’, you should reply ‘I am God’. The names like Ramaiah, Lakshmaiah, etc., are only those given by your parents after your birth. In fact, you have no specific name. All are embodiments of the Divine Self. Whether you act the role of Ramaiah or Krishnaiah, you are essentially the same Divine Self. Only the roles differ. God is immanent in every human being, nay, every living being is the Atmaswarupa. “Ekatma Sarvabhuthantharatma”. The one God is immanent in all human beings and all living beings. The names and forms may appear to be different. You must develop firm faith in the oneness of Divinity. Whomever you come across, offer your pranams to that person. You should pay your obeisance even to a beggar. He may be a ‘beggar’ as a physical entity, but he is ‘bigger’ as the embodiment of the Divine Self. Do not develop hatred towards any individual. Do not consider anyone as your enemy. In fact, they are all reflections of your own Divine self. Everyone repeats ‘I’, ‘I’.

Everyone claims ‘this is my body, my mind, my intellect and my chittha’. Then ‘who am I?’ That ‘I’ is Divinity, in essence. The same ‘I’ is referred to by several names. The symbol of Christianity, the cross (†) signifies cutting off of the individual ego (ahamkara). We say ‘I came here’; ‘I am going’; ‘I am coming’, etc. what is this ‘I’? It represents the one Divine Self. You have to develop that ‘Ekatmabhava’ (the feeling of one Divine Atma permeating the entire Universe). That is real devotion. You should not differentiate between ‘I’ and ‘you’. Those who desire to attain self realisation must shed this difference. They must get rid of the feeling of ‘I’ and ‘mine’. We are all one. “All are one, be alike to every one”. This is the essence of all philosophy. Be happy.

31. Easwaramma Day Divine Discourse, 06 May 2008

RESPECT, HONOUR AND MAKE YOUR MOTHER HAPPY

Students – Boys and Girls!

Venkataraman has spoken to you regarding today’s function in a befitting manner. He is a very learned man who worked in the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai. He has worked in some scientific areas earlier pursued by Sir C.V. Raman. He is the winner of many awards.

Now, what can I say about the mother of this body? Man has actually three bodies – physical, mental and spiritual. Therefore, you are not one person but three – 1. The one you think you are, i.e., body 2. The one others think you are, i.e., mind 3. The one you really are, i.e., Atma (spirit). Your true form is the Atma, not the body or the mind.

In the circumstances that prevail today, there are very few who honour their mother. Your mother carried you in her womb for nine months and gave you birth after undergoing many difficulties and hardships. Forgetting such a mother is like forgetting God. This amounts to forgetting yourself. Mother is your first teacher. It is the mother who feeds and nourishes you. It is on the lap of your mother that you grow up and experience all types of happiness. None should forget the love that he receives from his mother. First and foremost, our mother deserves our highest respect.

After the death of his mother, many people told Sankaracharya to take the body out. But Sankaracharya told them, “Neither my mother is going to leave me, nor I am going to leave my mother. My mother and I are one forever. Bodies are different but the principle of the Atma is the same in both of us. You may go away from me but none has any right to separate my mother from me. Her body will be cremated in the compound of the house.” Accordingly, Sankaracharya cremated the body of his mother in the compound of his house. None can estimate the feelings of the mother. Even today people of Palakkad either cremate or bury the body of their mother in the compound because they feel that such a great person like Sankaracharya has done it and they should also follow the same. In the beginning many people had criticised Sankaracharya, saying, being such a learned scholar, he had committed such a type of impropriety. Knowledge of scriptures is not that important, it is cultural refinement that has great value. Culture is that which brings about refinement.

Physically your mother may not be with you, but your love for her should remain the same. The mother of this body sent a letter to me when I was in Kodaikanal. After that I came to Brindavan (Bangalore). The Summer Course was going on at Brindavan. Once she prayed that My name should be on her lips at the time of her death. When she passed away in May 1972, Summer Course was in progress at Brindavan. She was hale and hearty. All of a sudden she called out, “Swami, Swami, Swami …” I replied, “I am coming, I am coming …” When I came down the stairs, she breathed her last.

So long as there is life in the body, we should take care of it. When the life goes away the body has no value. Truly speaking, who is the mother? It is the life principle that is the mother, not the body. Body is like a water bubble, mind is like a mad monkey. What for we should keep the body? Immediately, I asked for the car to be brought and sent her body in the car to Puttaparthi. I remained in Brindavan. For the summer course, students not just from one college but they had come from various colleges from all over India. They all thought that Swami would not come to the class that day. Then what? Exactly at 9 o’ clock, I entered the classroom smilingly. Students were surprised to see Me there. They were all thinking, “What is this? Swami’s mother has passed away and He has come to the classroom.” Mother does not go anywhere. The body that was being addressed as ‘mother’ has left. But the mother is with Me only. Hence, there was no need to be sad. So long as I am there, mother is always with Me. Therefore, I told the students to be happy and not to feel sorry that the mother of this body left her mortal coil. At that time V.K. Gokak was the Vice Chancellor. He was also surprised thinking, “What, Swami is talking like this!” I have not taken birth from physical body. After all what is this body! It exists when five elements are there in it. Body is like a bag containing five elements. When the five elements leave the body, it becomes an empty bag. Hence, one should not have undue attachment with the body. All mothers and children should develop these feelings of detachment. So long as the mother is alive, we should respect her, honour her and make her happy in every possible way. There is no need to be sad when she leaves the body. Even here in Puttaparthi, people said, “What is this? Swami has sent the body of Easwaramma, but He Himself has not come?” What for I should go with the body? Body is only a vesture. It is like a leather bag. When the five elements leave the body, the five senses also go with it. Then why should we grieve over the lifeless body? I arranged for whatever was supposed to be done at the worldly level. I remained in Brindavan and conducted the summer classes happily. In this world, all the physical relationships are of our own making. Otherwise, who is related to whom? This relationship of mother and son is only at the physical level. The mother came, performed the actions that she was destined to perform and then left. I have to perform My duty. Therefore, I engaged Myself in the performance of the task for which I have come when we see from the worldly point of view, the body is physical and ephemeral.

The body is made up of five elements and is bound to perish sooner or later, but the indweller has neither birth nor death. The indweller has no attachment whatsoever and is the eternal witness.

(Telugu Poem)

We should keep Dehi (indweller) in our view and not the physical body (Deha). Everyone forgets the body when he goes to sleep. When you can forget it in your sleep, why can’t you forget it forever? However, so far as your parents are there, you should make them happy. Do not ignore their well-being. We should look after our parents and treat them with love and respect. However, we should not have undue attachment to the body. The relationship between husband and wife is there only after the marriage. Wife comes in the middle of your life but mother is there with you right from the birth. It is sheer foolishness to forget your mother who is with you since your birth and get entirely immersed in the love of your wife who comes in the middle of your life. Other relations like sons, daughters, grandsons, sons-in-law, etc., are also formed in the middle of one’s life. In fact, all worldly relations are temporary; they come and go like passing clouds. You have connections with these relations so long as you exist. Where is the connection when you yourself are not there? Hence, do not form any relationships on the basis of the body. However, perform all duties which you are required to perform at the physical and worldly level with earnestness. Your conduct should be good and your actions should also be good. Never forget your mother; treasure her form in your heart. We come from the heart of our mother and mother should always be in our heart. Therefore, neither your mother ever leaves you nor you should leave her. Mother and children are united with each other for ever.

Twameva Mathacha Pitha Twameva, Twameva Bandhuscha Sakha Twameva, Twameva Vidya Dravinam Twameva (you alone are the father and mother, friend and relation, wisdom and wealth).

(Sanskrit Verse)

Wherever you may be, keep your heart suffused with the feelings of love for your mother. Once Narasimha Murthy came to Me and said, “My mother has passed away.” I asked him, “Who has passed away – your mother or her body?” Then I told him, “Your mother is here. I am your mother (loud applause). It is the body that dies. Body is like a water bubble. Bodies come and go. Therefore, you should have no worry about the death of the body of your mother. I am here with you. Ask Me whatever you wanted from your mother; I will give (loud applause). Hence, you should not feel sad at all.” From then onwards, Narasimha Murthy is with Me. I give him whatever he wants. Mother, father and other relations are temporary – coming and going, coming and going. But God is not coming and going. He is always present. Therefore, it is only God who is present at all times (loud applause). The entire world is ephemeral and transitory. How many people have taken birth in this world? Are they all here now? Death can occur in any manner; it has no sign or symptom. Death is death. Even if some symptoms of death are visible, we should not worry at all.

Never ever show disrespect to your mother. Never make her shed tear by your conduct. Keep her always happy. Her happiness will bring you all good things in life. But we should not worry at the death of our parents. Recently also I told in My Discourse in Bangalore that both My mother and father appeared before Me. They smiled on seeing Me; I also smiled on seeing them. We should be happy when our parents smile. Small children smile at everyone. We also start smiling when they smile. The parents are also like small children. Mother always loves her children. Therefore, whatever high position we may attain in our life, we should never disrespect or look down upon our parents. Always consider them as God. Mother is God, father is God. That is why it is said, Matru Devo Bhava, Pitru Devo Bhava, Acharya Devo Bhava, Atithi Devo Bhava (revere your mother, father, preceptor and guest as God). Mother gives you your body. Father provides the means of nourishment and growth of the body. Acharya gives you education and God gives you everything. Therefore, you should never forget these four and treasure them in your heart. Mother and father have their place in the heart of man. He should not forget them even if he is in great difficulty or upset over something. One who forgets his/her parents cannot be a human being. How can you exist without your parents? They are the seeds of your life; the very sourse of your life on earth. Therefore, parents should have prime importance in our life. Even if you are old or in great difficulty, you should make efforts to make your parents happy as far as it is possible for you. You should feed them even if you have to resort to begging. Bear all hardships to look after them. Fulfil all their desires. This will result in the fulfilment of your own desires. Everything in this world is reaction, reflection and resound. None can escape from these. If you cause difficulties for your parents today, your children will cause difficulties for you tomorrow. You will get back the result of your actions without much delay. You may love anyone you like, but do not forget your parents. When your parents have not forgotten you, you should not forget your parents.

Matha Nasthi, Pitha Nasthi, Nasthi Bandhu Sahodaraha, Artham Nasthi, Griham Nasthi, Thasmath Jagrata Jagrataha. (The relationships like mother, father, brothers, sisters and friends are not real. House and wealth are also illusory. Beware of this truth.) (Sanskrit Verse)

You should remember your parents at all times. You should never forget them. It is for this reason that I have come here straight from Brindavan. Earlier, people thought that Easwaramma Day may be celebrated in Kodaikanal. But I decided that I should be here at Puttaparthi on 6th May and a grand function should be held here and poor people should be made happy by distributing clothes and serving them sumptuous food. Wherever I am, I perform this function in the same grand manner. You should never ignore poor people. We should always remember them and help them.

But some people out of their distress and anger abuse and ridicule them. This is a great mistake. If you ridicule them now, it will come back to you in future. You may be thinking you are ridiculing them but truly speaking you are ridiculing yourself. Never ridicule or insult them. Always love them. If you insult them before others, you will also be insulted by others. You cannot escape from the reaction, reflection and resound.

Difficulties come and go. Even the mighty Rama had to cry like an ordinary man on account of his separation from His wife Sita. Even the valorous Pandavas had to live in forest eating leaves and tubers. How much power and valour they had! Yet they had to live in forest and bear all difficulties. What for? They were defeated in gambling. Similar will be the fate of all those who take to this bad path. Gambling is not good at all. Similarly, drinking of liquor is also not good. Addiction to drinking leads to loss of control over oneself. Under the influence of liquor, a drunkard may speak anything. Later on, he will repent after coming back to his normal senses. Lust and anger are the two demonic qualities. Never allow them to come near you. In a fit of anger, we may say anything without considering its consequences. But after a few minutes, when we come to our normal mood, we will say sorry, “Alas! Why did I abuse like this?” Therefore, first and foremost kill the anger. Rama killed many demons and demonesses in the forest because of their evil qualities of lust and anger. Whoever one may be, whether a male or a female, if he/ she has the evil qualities of lust and anger, they should be punished. Anger and lust are very bad for man. Love God. Adore Him and worship Him. He is your father, mother and everything. Have relationship only with God. God will never leave you. He is omnipresent. All the worldly people whom you love are like passing clouds. They come and go. But God comes and grows. Therefore, love God and have faith in Him. One who has love for God only is a true human being. (Here Swami called a boy from Iran, who is a student of Sri Sathya Sai Primary School and asked him to chant Vedic Mantras.) See how beautifully this boy from Iran has chanted the Vedic Mantras! He is a Mohammedan boy. In their country, people are not even allowed to utter the name of Rama in public. When you ask him his name, he will tell “My name is Sathya.” (Here Swami asked this boy – “What is your name?” What is your parents name? Chant the Vedic Mantras nicely and learn all Vedic Mantras. Do you know Rig Veda? The boy then recited Rudram and Sri Suktam with perfect intonation and pronunciation to the applause of the entire gathering.) Everything is there in the Vedas. The essence of all the religions like Hindu, Islam and Christianity is there in the Vedas. Even Christians also sing the glory of God in the same manner. Even the Mohammedans extol the five elements and worship the goddess of wealth. Hence, God is one for all religions. God is one. There is difference only in names. Mohammedans offer prayers to God five times in a day. Hindus also pray to God in the morning and evening. We should never say that the Veda is only for Hindus. Veda is for all. That which is one and universal is the Veda. Veda can alleviate all types of suffering of man. Hence, it is good for everyone to learn the Veda. Many people from America also come here and learn the Vedas. Many people in Russia and Germany also recite the Vedic Mantras both in the morning and evening. Since, Hindus do not recite the Vedic Mantras, they are forgetting them. Therefore, nobody should forget the Vedas. Veda and Vedanta are like your parents. We should always remember them and never forget them. Therefore, students! Whatever you may study, you should never forget God. Only then can you attain peace. People say, “I want peace.” There can be no peace without Bhajan. (Here Bhagavan sang the Bhajan, “Hari Bhajan Bina …” and continued His Discourse.)

Many people perform Yajnas and Yagas for the sake of peace. Where can you get peace from? It is within you only. It does not come from outside. What come from outside are only pieces, pieces, pieces! Peace comes from our heart only. You should do Bhajans to attain peace. Only Bhajan can give you peace.

32. Divine Discourse in Brindavan, 01 May 2008

MAN WITHOUT MORALITY

IS VERILY A DEMON

Bharat is the motherland of many noble souls who earned great reputation in all the continents of the world. This is the land of many valorous people who could vanquish the enemies in the battlefield. This is the land of many learned people who taught the Vedas and other sacred scriptures to the people of other countries. But, unfortunately, the Bharatiyas today have forgotten the principles of spirituality and are taking to wrong path.

(Telugu Poem)

matru Devo Bhava, Pitru Devo Bhava, Acharya Devo Bhava, Atithi Devo Bhava (revere your mother, father, preceptor and guest as God) is one of the main teachings of the Vedas. Sathyam Vada, Dharmam Chara (speak truth, practise righteousness) is also the principal teaching of the Vedas. But these teachings of the Vedas are not seen or heard anywhere today.

Base your Life on Truth and Love Wherever we see in the world these days, greed and desires are on the rise. Even the people of other countries are also feeling the need of controlling the senses. Man today is accumulating sin due to the misuse of his senses. It is alright to have desires but they should be within certain limits. Man today has limitless desires. Moreover, everything is full of pollution these days. The water we drink, the food we eat and the air we breathe are all polluted. In fact, all the five elements have become polluted. Man’s very life depends upon these five elements. How can man’s life remain unaffected when all the five elements are polluted? He appears to speak sweetly but his mind is full of bitterness. This is very bad.

What is the purpose of human birth? Who is a human being? Human being is the embodiment of divinity. But if he takes to wrong path, how can he be called a human being? That is why it is hard to find a true human being today anywhere. Even those with high education and big degrees, occupying high positions of authority cannot be called human beings if they lack truth and love. They, in fact, waste their money and time in acquiring this so-called high education which is without any essence. Acquiring high education, reading sacred books and undertaking spiritual practices like Japa, Dhyana, Yoga, Yajna – all these are a mere waste without developing truth and love, which man has completely forgotten today. Whosoever speaks anything, there is an element of untruth in it. As regards love, outwardly people appear to be smiling but inside there is only poison in them. How can one attain peace without truth and love?

Dharma comes from Sathya. Therefore, it is said, Sathyannasti Paro Dharma (There is no Dharma greater than adherence to truth). Where there are truth and righteousness, peace will come there automatically. Love can develop only in peace. Where there is love, violence cannot exist there. Then only can man perform all his actions at physical, mental and spiritual levels peacefully. Therefore, if you want to have peace, you should primarily develop love. If you want to have love, you should adhere to truth. But today man resorts to untruth even in small matters. On top of it, he is full of anger. Anger completely eclipses truth in man. Man has taken birth not to raise a family or fill his belly but to redeem his life. If he acts contrary to this, he loses his humanness. A human being becomes divine when he frees himself from desires. Mother aspires to see the happiness of her children whom she has brought up bearing all hardships and difficulties. But, unfortunately, today people do not love their father and mother. In fact, they do not love anybody.

Embodiments of Love!

Wherever we see in this world, we do not find even a trace of peace anywhere. We do not find peace even in flower sellers, vegetable vendors and firewood sellers. Where is peace? Peace is only within us. It is there in our speech and in our heart. It cannot be found outside. Whatever spiritual practices like Japa, Yoga and Yajna we may undertake, they cannot provide us peace. First and foremost, we should make our heart steady and peaceful. We find only conflicts wherever we see in this world. Even intimate friends who have love for each other quarrel on trivial issues. In fact, one cannot find a true friend in this world. Evil qualities of our heart are responsible for these conflicts. Therefore, make your heart pure, not the physical heart but the spiritual heart. There should not be even a trace of impurity in it.

Only God Can Give you True Happiness People today are accumulating a lot of money. But, what for? What will they take with them when they go? They have to go only empty-handed. They have to leave even their body here when they go. Five elements merge with five elements. Then the empty body is cremated. Therefore, one should not be proud of one’s body or wealth. Money comes and goes, morality comes and grows. We should develop morality. In spite of his high education, man today has lost his morality. One bereft of morality is not a human being at all. In fact, he is a demon in human form. Where there is no morality, there can be no humanness. Respect your elders, show gratitude to your parents. But people today lack such feelings of gratitude and respect, thinking, “Why should we respect our elders? Why should we love them?” Wherever they go, they crave for money and more money! What is our true wealth? Love is our true wealth. When we acquire this wealth of love, we can have everything. We can catch even clouds in our hands.

Everything is there in the hands of man and all gods are present in him. In fact, he is nothing but divine from foot to head. All worldly things are like passing clouds, which come and go. To feel proud of these passing clouds is a great mistake. At the time of speaking, we speak anything. But when it comes to putting into practice, our actions do not match with our words. This is a great sin.

Oh people! There is nobody in this world who can give you happiness except God. God alone protects you in every way. You should always contemplate on Him. You will be free from all sorrows when you constantly contemplate on God. Some people make fun of you and ask, “You are always saying, God, God, God … but, what has He given to you?” It is God who gives you everything. It is God only who rewards you, punishes you and protects you. Everything is God. Ekam Sath Viprah Bahudha Vadanti (truth is one, but the wise refer to it by various names). We give this or that name to God only for our satisfaction. In fact, all names are His. We should install Him in our heart permanently. Whatever difficulties come to you, accept them as the Will of God. Nobody knows what for God gives difficulties. Think that difficulties are for your happiness. Na Sukhat Labhate Sukham (one cannot derive happiness out of happiness). Pleasure is an interval between two pains. Man’s mind is responsible for all his difficulties. When man’s mind is troubled, he finds troubles everywhere. Even he gets disgusted with his life. He starts feeling that his life itself is a waste. Man’s mind and his desires are the cause of all this.

Do not hurt or harm anybody. Love everyone. Serve everyone. You will derive immense benefit from it. If you help anybody, this help itself will help you. This type of help is not to be seen in this world today. Wherever you go, there is self, self, self and mine, mine, mine! Man has become so self-centred that he forgets everyone except himself and his near and dear ones. Viswam Vishnu Swarupam (the entire universe is the embodiment of Lord Vishnu). Man is not a mere mortal; he is divine. Therefore, consider everyone as divine. Do not harm or hurt anyone physically or mentally. Some people derive some sort of satisfaction by hurting others. But they have to suffer the consequences of their actions in future. They are unable to realise what difficulties they will have to face. Whatever you eat, you get the belch of that only. If you eat cucumber, you cannot have the belch of mango. So, whatever you do, you are bound to experience the consequences of it. Therefore, see good, do good, say good, be good and experience good results. Whatever God says, it is all for your good only. Krishna said, “Arjuna! You are worried because of your delusion. This war has come for your victory only. This victory is for what? This victory is to show divinity of man.”

Love Everyone and Receive God’s Love

Embodiments of Love!

All your difficulties are like a mirror. They reveal your true form. You harbour all types of desires and consequently undergo many sufferings. Therefore, give no room to desires. Your unlimited desires are the cause of all your difficulties. There can be no effect without cause. No sapling can grow without a seed. Therefore, seed has to be there which grows into a huge tree. Whomsoever you come across, consider him as your own. Identify yourself with him. Develop this feeling more and more. Who are you? You say, “I am such and such.” What is your name? You say, “My name is Nagappa.” In this manner, everybody has a different name. Even if the entire world asks God, “Who are You?”, He will say, “I am I”, “Aham Brahmasmi” (I am Brahman). In fact, the entire world is permeated by Brahman. You cannot find anyone in this world in whom Brahman is not present. So, whomsoever you criticise or praise, it reaches God. When you criticise God, you cannot escape its consequences. Hence, never criticise. Whatever anybody says about you, let him say. Think that he is not criticising you but himself. Whatever he may speak, it will go into thin air. What is the use of reacting to that speech which goes into thin air? Only love reaches the heart. What sort of thoughts should you have? Your thoughts should be permeated with truth. You can experience love only when your thoughts are truthful. Hence, lead your life with love and end your life with love. Whatever you do to others, in fact, you do to yourself.

Be it good or bad, help or harm, everything is the result of your own Sankalpas (thoughts). Therefore, love everyone. If you cannot love others, just keep quiet. But do not abuse them. In fact, nobody has any right to criticise others. It is the same love that is present in everyone. Can love criticise love? No, no. Love never criticises. It always gives the experience of love to everyone. Even birds and animals have love. Should man not love his fellow human beings? When he is endowed with so many good qualities, man should love his fellowmen. Only then can he become the recipient of God’s love. Therefore, love everyone and attain the love of God. Combine your love with truth. Never resort to untruth. You can have love only through truth. Where there are truth and love, there is peace. Where there is peace, there is non-violence. Therefore, man should primarily develop truth and love. Then he will not resort to violence. Whatever spiritual practices like penance, Yajna, Yoga you may undertake, suffuse all of them with love.

God is your true relation. He comes to you in the form of your son, your daughter, your friend and all other relations. God is your true relation in all your difficulties. That is why He is called Apadbandhava (a relation in times of difficulty). But how should we deal with this relation? We should not deal with this relation at physical level.

Here is a small example. Immediately after marriage, the husband and wife develop intimate relationship. They say to each other, “You are me and I am you.” But after a week, there is a change in the relationship; then wife is wife and husband is husband. Soon after the marriage, when the husband and wife go out together and the husband sees a thorn on the way, he gets very much concerned that it may hurt his wife. On seeing it, he shouts, ‘thorn, thorn, thorn’ and pulls his wife away to save her. There is so much love and concern! They go to bazaar after a week. There the husband sees another thorn and says to his wife, “There is a thorn; can’t you see with your eyes?” After some more days, when he sees another thorn, he shouts in anger, “Are you blind?” There is a change in this love just in a few days. If we repose our faith in this love and lead our lives in this type of love, then how long can we live? This love changes in just a few days. Physical love is no love at all. The two bodies are like two water bubbles. Both are filled with air. This will burst and that will also burst. When the bubble bursts, air will merge with air. Therefore, this type of love is not what we should aspire for. Heart to heart love is important. It is this heart to heart love that reaches God.

Community Bhajans Benefit all Participants Here so many people have come to participate in Bhajans. Do all of them have Sraddha and Bhakti (steadfast faith and devotion)? Can all of them get Mukti (liberation)? No, not at all. Out of all these people, the prayers of merely ten people may reach God. Community Bhajans are organised with the hope that out of the large number of people participating in them, the love of a few of them may reach God. Bhajans are also meant to develop love for God in the community at large.

Guru Nanak started the practice of community singing. When somebody asked him, “So many people are singing together. Will God listen to all of them?”, he replied, “It is possible that the love of at least one or two persons will reach God. That is enough to protect all of them.” Therefore, we should conduct Samashti Bhajans (community singing). Samashti (community) is formed by Vyashti (individuals). When many individuals come together and form a community, then their Pushti (strength) increases. Parameshti (God) has not created Srishti (creation) just for fun. He has done this to manifest the unity of all creation.

Unity is the underlying principle of creation. It is meant to promote the principle of love in all. But, unfortunately, political parties today are dividing people on party lines. Four persons belonging to the same family are taking to four different ways and partition the house into four sections. This is very bad. Even if there are four hundred persons in a family, there should be unity among them. Everyone should help his neighbour. All should help each other. Then only can there be harmony in creation. Otherwise, the creation loses its purpose.

You should take part in Bhajans wholeheartedly and sing the glory of God. Even if you are not able to do any other spiritual practice, chant the name of God. That is enough. (Here Swami sang the Bhajan, “Hari Bhajan Bina Sukha Santhi Nahin …” and continued His Discourse.) You cannot attain peace and happiness without Bhajan. Peace can be attained only through Bhajan and not by any other means. “Hari Nam Bina Ananda Nahin” (You cannot attain bliss without chanting the name of Hari (God). “Japa Dhyana Bina Samyoga Nahin” (You cannot have union with God without performing Japa and Dhyana). What does Yoga mean? It is not merely to sit still with closed eyes. What does meditation mean? It is not remembering God with closed eyes. You should install God in your heart. Do not think that you are different from God. You should become one with God. Ardhanareeswara (Androgynous) form of God symbolises this truth. This form represents both man and woman. One is Jiva (individual soul) and the other is Daiva (Brahman). True liberation signifies the unity of Jiva and Daiva. Where there is Jiva, there is Daiva. Therefore, there is no need to run after God. God is present in all Jivas (individuals). Do not consider yourself merely a Jiva; think that you are Daiva. You consider yourself a Jiva because of your body attachment. You should not do that.

The same Atma is present in all. When you take the Atmic principle into consideration, all are one. So many individuals are present in this Hall. The Atma in all of them is one and the same. There is one sun in the sky. It gives light to the entire world. Similarly, God is like the sun who illumines the life of everyone. We engulf ourselves in darkness when we criticise others. Therefore, love all and serve all. If someone abuses us, let him do so. Abuses will merge in thin air. Therefore, always think that nobody can criticise you. Have faith that God will always protect you. Develop unflinching faith in God. There are many people who deny the existence of God. If there is no God, where have you come from? What is the place of your origin? If you don’t have faith in God, all your life becomes a waste.

Always Remember God Therefore, embodiments of love, develop truth and love. When you have both truth and love, then you will have peace. When you have peace, you can lead your entire life happily. You will not have hatred for anyone. You have hatred only when you lack love and truth. You should unite love and truth in your life. When you have love, you will love everybody; you will make everybody happy. Therefore, treasure love and truth in your heart and never forget them; not even in your dream. Dreams are only the reaction, reflection and resound of the waking state. Whatever you do in daytime, it comes into your dreams at night. Dreams are like passing clouds. Do not run after them. Hold on to God who is true, eternal and changeless. When you hold on to God, you can accomplish anything. Then you will have no fear and no worries.

Let people talk whatever they like. Do not bother about it. Think that they are criticising your body and not you. Do not give undue importance to your body. You are not the body. When you say, “this is my body,” then you should question yourself, “who am I?” This ‘I’ is not the individual ‘I’. It is the fundamental ‘I’. It is not merely related to a particular individual. It is related to all. The symbol of Christianity (+) signifies the cutting of the individual ‘I’. Only when you cut the individual I can you attain divinity. Hence, give up the narrow feeling of I and mine. You say, “Naa Koduku,” “Naa Bidda,” (my son, my daughter). Here ‘Naa’ means no; it signifies nothing. Only God is with us always. Everything is God. You should always remember Him. Do not waste even a single moment. Waste of even one moment is a very big wastage. If you think of God even for a moment, you will experience so much bliss. When you are in the grip of sorrow, close your eyes and remember God. This will give you peace. Do not feel sad or miserable for anything. Face all situations with courage and fortitude. Courage and fortitude are your true strength. In this way, being devotees of the Lord, you should contemplate on Him every moment of your life. (Bhagawan sang the Bhajan, “Rama Rama Rama Sita …” and continued His Discourse.)

Students sing the Bhajan, “Kausalyatmaja Rama Charan, Vaidehi Priya Rama Charan, Bharatarchita Sri Rama Charan, Ahalyodharaka Rama Charan, Hanumatsevita Rama Charan” (Always worship the Lotus Feet of Rama, son of Kausalya, which are dear to Sita, are worshipped by Bharata and served by Hanuman, and which redeemed Ahalya). All the five persons mentioned in this song are very dear to Rama. In this way, every Avatar selects some fortunate persons for His special grace. The persons so selected are those who have effected total surrender. Rama was the very Atma of Mother Kausalya. Rama said, “Kausalya gave Me birth. Without Kausalya how could I incarnate? So, My mother is My God.”

The second line of the song is “Vaidehi Priya Rama Charan”. Vaidehi means one who has transcended body attachment. The next line is “Hanumatsevita Rama Charan”.Hanuman always thought of Rama only and constantly recited “Rama, Rama, Rama”. The sound of “Rama, Rama, Rama” emanated from every pore of his body. Once Rama asked him what he was contemplating upon. Then Hanuman said, “Swami! Every hair of my body recites Your name!” Saying so, he plucked a hair from his body and brought it close to the ear of Rama. Rama Himself heard, ‘Rama, Rama, Rama’ emanating from it. Therefore, while contemplating on the name of God, our entire being should be permeated by divine consciousness. Our every thought, every word and every action should be suffused with the name of God. Then only can we truly become divine.

Daivam Manusha Rupena (God is in the form of a human being). God incarnates in human form. One who recites the name Rama or any other name of God constantly is a true human being. Even an atheist would say, “Ayyo Rama!” when he is in pain. One says, “Abba Rama!” when one is hurt or wounded. Therefore, everybody has to utter the name of God at some time or the other. We should always remain immersed in the name of God. Recite any name of God – Rama, Krishna, Allah, Jesus. God is called by many names, but He is one. There are many sweets like Mysorepak, Gulab Jamoon, Burfi, Palakova, Jilebi. But it is sugar only which imparts sweetness to all of them. Similarly, in all the names, the divine principle is the same.

I am one but I am present in everyone in all forms. There is unity in My creation but you see diversity because of your defective vision. You should see unity in the creation. You should not go by your vision. Your eyes see both good and bad. When there is a defect in one’s eyes, one sees two things instead of one. Defect lies in your vision. Truly speaking, God is one. Chant any name but chant it with love. When you chant the divine name with love, you will experience love everywhere.

33. Tamil New Year Divine Discourse, 13 Apr 2008

HAVE SELF-CONFIDENCE AND ACHIEVE EVERYTHING

The land, whose sons are known for name and fame across the continents,

The land whose heroes fought invaders and conquerors to achieve freedom,

That famed land whose sons of wisdom and scholarship are the praise of the globe

That land of saints, poets, singers and divine songsters,

Oh sons of Bharat, go forth and uphold your heritage and be worthy of your glorious past.

(Telugu Poem)

It is not possible to describe the greatness of glory of the land of Bharat. There are many men of affluence and great leaders even today. But what is the use when they are not prepared to get rid of their greed and devote their life for the welfare of the needy. Born in this sacred land, the Bharatiyas should try to sanctify their life by serving the poor and needy.

Embodiments of Love!

The doctor and the judge who spoke earlier, talked about Swami and His mission. But their talk was limited to more worldly matters than to spirituality. One may acquire all types of education but without spiritual knowledge, all this is just a waste. People today have everything, except self confidence. In the word ‘self-confidence’, ‘self’ refers to I. What is the meaning of ‘I’? That which cannot be seen by the physical eyes, or heard by physical ears or comprehended at the physical level is ‘I’. It is divine, auspicious and all-pervasive in the form of consciousness (Chaitanya Shakti). All the beings in the universe are the creation of God. There is nothing in this world which is not divine. People observe differences between one another. This is a great mistake. All are one.Ekam Sath Viprah Bahudha Vadanti (truth is one, but the wise refer to it by various names). There is no second entity in this world. Sarvatah Panipadam Tat Sarvathokshi Siromukham, Sarvatah Sruthimalloke Sarvamavruthya Tishthati (with hands, feet, eyes, heads, mouth and ears pervading everything, He permeates the entire universe).

There is none in this world in whom God is not present. Everything is permeated by divinity. Nobody has a right to say that this is divine and that is not. God is present even in difficulties, sorrow and misery. Though we have the capacity to understand this divine power, we are unfortunately not able to use that. When we observe the natural scenario around us, we see vast land areas and a number of rivers such as Yamuna, Ganga, Pinakini, Cauveri, Tungabhadra, Godavari, Saraswati, etc. In spite of having such a vast land with numerous rivers, there is scarcity of food for man. What is the reason? The reason is that he is not making proper use of his innate power and potentiality. Instead, he is misusing his powers and wasting his intelligence. If he makes efforts in the right direction, he can achieve everything.

You should have faith that everything that you see in this world is an aspect of divinity. There is nothing else other than this. Only One exists in this world and there is no second. We are unable to understand this truth and we suffer from many misconceptions. We are prepared to believe what others write in their books, but no one is prepared to have faith in their own self. People have all types of confidence except self-confidence. What is the use of having everything except self-confidence? If only we have self-confidence, we can achieve everything; there is nothing in this world which we cannot accomplish. We should make efforts to recognise this principle of Atma which is divine, auspicious and ever new. But man today does not make efforts to know himself. When we ask anyone, who he is, he will tell his name given to him by his parents. If you put the same question to God, He will say Aham Brahmasmi (I am Brahman). As we are unable to recognise the truth, we take to wrong path and get confused. We do not make efforts to know what we are supposed to know. On the other hand, we try to know that which is not possible for us to know by our senses. Is it possible to know divinity which is all-pervasive? It is impossible. Hence, whatever happens, recognise it as the Will of God. All the differences are born out of our own feelings of mine and thine. In fact, there is no difference between you and me. You and I are one (loud applause). Do not think that God exists separately in a particular place. Think that you are God. You are not the body. Body is like a water bubble. Mind is like a mad monkey. Intellect is wavering. Hence, you are neither the body nor the mind and not the intellect. You are you. You should make proper efforts to know this truth.

Tomorrow is Rama Navami. This is the day on which Sri Rama was born. There is a story about it. In Treta Yuga, King Dasaratha ruled over Ayodhya. He married Kausalya who was the daughter of the king of Kosala. After some time, she gave birth to a daughter. She was named Santha. But Dasaratha was not satisfied with the birth of a female child and wanted a male child. Therefore, he gave her to a friend who adopted her. Thereafter, he did not have any other issue. Therefore, he wanted to have another wife. As per the prevalent customs in those times, he had to seek the permission of the first wife before marrying another woman. Therefore, Dasaratha went to Kausalya and said to her, “I am thinking of marrying again.” She replied, “Certainly you may do as per your wish.” After securing the permission of Kausalya, he married Sumitra in the hope of getting a son. But she also did not bear him a child. Therefore, King Dasaratha became very worried. At that time he received the information that the king of Kekaya had a beautiful daughter by name Kaikeyi. He approached the king of Kekaya and proposed that he wanted to marry his daughter, telling him he already had two wives. He always spoke the truth. Sathyannasti Paro Dharma (There is no Dharma greater than adherence to truth). He never said anything that was untrue. He explained to the king of Kekaya everything in detail. Then the king of Kekaya said, “You already have two wives and they have not borne you any children. Now you want a third wife. I can give my daughter in marriage to you on the condition that the son born to her will be the heir to your kingdom. Dasaratha agreed to their condition. Manthara, who was the main associate of Kaikeyi, was hearing all their conversation.

Accordingly the marriage was performed with great rejoicings. However she also did not bear any child even after a passage of long time. Therefore, Dasaratha decided to perform the Putrakameshti Yajna, as desired by his well-wishers. Sage Rishyasringa, along with his wife Santha came to Ayodhya to perform the Putrakameshti Yajna.

On the eleventh day of the performance of the Yajna, an effulgent being appeared from the fire in the sacrificial altar with a vessel containing a Payasam (sweet pudding). Dasaratha gave the Payasam to sage Vasishtha and requested him to distribute it equally among the three queens. Accordingly, Vasishtha distributed the Payasam to Kausalya, Sumitra, and Kaikeyi. Kausalya and Kaikeyi took their share of the pudding to their respective Puja rooms. Each of them was happy thinking that her son would be the future king of Ayodhya. Kaikeyi thought Dasaratha would crown her son as per the promise made by him at the time of marriage. Kausalya thought, she being the first wife, her son had every right to become the king. But Sumitra had no such claims. She was a paragon of virtues. Her name ‘Su-mitra’ itself signifies that she was a good friend to one and all. She carried her bowl of pudding to the terrace and placed it on the parapet wall while drying her hair in the sun. Suddenly, an eagle swooped down and carried away the bowl and left it on the Matanga Mountain. Anjana Devi found the bowl and partook of the sacred pudding. Consequently she became pregnant and gave birth to Hanuman.

Sumitra ran down and informed Kausalya and Kaikeyi about what had happened. Kausalya and Kaikeyi came to her rescue and shared their pudding with her. Kaikeyi gave half of her share to Sumitra. Kausalya did the same. In due course, Kausalya gave birth to Rama, Kaikeyi to Bharata, and Sumitra to Lakshmana and Satrughna. Kausalya and Kaikeyi had one son each, whereas Sumitra had two sons. When we enquire into the reason, we can understand the mystery behind it. The sons of Kausalya and Kaikeyi were happily playing in their cradles whereas Sumitra’s sons were crying all the time, and were not taking milk. Sumitra was at a loss to know the reason for their crying and tried in vain various types of Yantras, Mantras and Tantras to make them comfortable. Ultimately, she went to Sage Vasishtha and told him about her predicament. Sage Vasishtha closed his eyes. His yogic vision enabled him to know the truth. He said to Sumitra, “As you partook of the sacred pudding given by Kausalya, you gave birth to Lakshmana who is an Amsa (part) of Rama. Similarly, Satrughna is born out of the share of pudding given to you by Kaikeyi. So, he is a part of Bharata. Put Lakshmana by the side of Rama and Satrughna by the side of Bharata. Then they will rest peacefully.” Sumitra did as instructed by Vasishtha. Both Lakshmana and Satrughna stopped crying and started playing blissfully in their cradles. This was the basis of the intimate relationship between Rama and Lakshmana, Bharata and Satrughna.

Since both the sons of Sumitra namely, Lakshmana and Satrughna, were always in the company of Rama and Bharata, she had nothing much to do. Time and again she would go to Kausalya and Kaikeyi to see how her sons were playing with their elder brothers. After seeing them, she would shower her love and affection on them. In this manner all the four sons of Dasaratha grew up in an environment of love and happiness. Sumitra was very happy because she thought her son Lakshmana would serve Rama and Satrughna would serve Bharata when they grew up.

Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Satrughna grew up as young men of great valour and learning under the loving care of their parents and Guru Vasishtha. When Rama and Lakshmana went to protect the Yajna of sage Viswamitra, he took them to the court of King Janaka to participate in the Swayamvar of his daughter Sita. Then Rama broke the Siva bow and won the hand of Sita. The marriage of Rama and Sita became the occasion of great rejoicing in Mithila. The people of Mithila sang joyous songs, welcoming one and all to witness the marriage of Sita and Rama.

Welcome to all for Rama’s wedding;

together we shall witness the joyous scene.

Many have gathered already,

decked up in all their finery.

With necklaces the ladies are adorned

of jewels pure and gleaming.

Rama shall tie the knot today to beauteous Sita.

Oh, what a fine match they make!

(Telugu Song)

The women of the kingdom came to participate in the wedding and joyfully sang blithesome songs:

Come let us go and see the marriage of Rama and Sita,

The sight shall confer great merit.

Blessed are those who see this scene.

Oh, come one and all, watch with joy the sacred marriage. (Telugu Song)

After marriage, as they were returning to Ayodhya, they heard a deafening sound. As they wondered where the sound had come from, Sage Parasurama appeared and roared, “Who is the one who broke the bow of Siva?” “It is I who has done it,” said Rama. “If that is so, let us see if You can break my bow,” saying so he gave his bow in the hands of Rama. Rama broke even that bow with His left hand. Seeing that, Parasurama offered his salutations to Rama and submitted his two Kalas (splendours) to Rama, who was endowed with twelve Kalas. Rama shone with his own twelve Kalas, two Kalas from his brothers and another two given by Parasurama. That is how Rama shone brilliantly with all the sixteen Kalas of the Virat Purusha. With the surrender of Parasurama, Rama’s power became full and complete.

In due course of time Dasaratha realised that he was growing old and it was time that he should crown one of his sons as heir to his kingdom. Since Rama was the eldest of the four sons, and he had all the qualities of becoming a worthy king to the kingdom, he thought of crowning him as the heir to the kingdom. This news was received by the subjects of the kingdom with great joy and happiness because all of them thought that Rama was most suited to assume the reigns of the kingdom.

When Manthara heard this news, she went to Kaikeyi and reminded her of the two boons granted to her by Dasaratha. She suggested to her that she should demand from Dasaratha that Bharata should be crowned as the heir to the kingdom and Rama should be sent to the forest for fourteen years. Though Kaikeyi loved Rama more than Bharata, she was influenced by the evil advice of Manthara. She removed all her ornaments and lay down in great anger in her chamber. Dasaratha went to her chamber and enquired as to what the reason for her anger was. When Kaikeyi demanded the two boons granted to her by Dasaratha earlier, he was very much distressed. But as Kaikeyi persisted with her demands, he relented and agreed to make her son Bharata the crown prince of Ayodhya. But when she put forth the second demand, asking him to send Rama to the forest for 14 years, Dasaratha was crestfallen. However Rama immediately agreed to make Bharata the heir to the kingdom and go to forest for fourteen year to uphold the promise given by his father to Kaikeyi. But when Lakshmana heard this he became very angry. In a fit of rage, he even thought of putting Kaikeyi and Manthara to death. Rama pacified him saying that it was their foremost duty to follow the command of their father and should not do anything that would bring disrepute to their father.

Kaikeyi wanted Rama to go to the forest immediately. Lakshmana and Sita also decided to follow Rama. Lakshmana went to his mother Sumitra and sought her permission and blessings to serve Rama in the forest. Sumitra was very happy to hear that Lakshmana was following Rama to serve him. Lakshmana then went to his wife Urmila. As he entered her room, she was making a painting. She was a good painter. Lakshmana enquired as to what she was painting. She replied that she was making a painting of Rama’s coronation.

On hearing this Lakshmana told her that Rama was not going to be crowned and was going to the forest for 14 years. He also informed her that he had decided to go with Rama to the forest for 14 years. Urmila did not have an objection to it and said, “Protect Rama and Sita just as eyelids protect the eyes. They are everything for you. Consider them as your father and mother. Never be slack in serving them. Never think of me even for a moment in the forest for these fourteen years. Only Sita and Rama should be uppermost in your mind.” Saying this, she offered her salutations to him.

Sita, Rama and Lakshmana got into the chariot and proceeded to the forest. Dasaratha ran after the chariot saying, “Oh Rama! Stay for a while. Let me see your beautiful form at least for some time. Any way I cannot stop you from going.” The shock of separation for Rama was too severe for Dasaratha to bear. He did not eat any thing and he refused to drink even a drop of water. All the time he was saying, “Rama, Rama …” In this way remembering Rama every moment, he left his mortal coil. All this happened because there was a reason behind this and it was like this.

Once Dasaratha went to the forest for hunting. As he reached near the bank of a stream, he heard a noise and thought that some wild animal was drinking water.

On hearing this sound, he shot an arrow at the source of the sound. That arrow hit Sravana Kumar which proved fatal. Sravana Kumar had come to the stream to take water and quench the thirst of his old mother and father who were blind and helpless. He was the only support of his parents and carried them with him in a Kavadi (a bamboo stick with two baskets at each end) to all places of pilgrimage. When Dasaratha realised what he had done, he was grief-stricken that he had caused the death of the only son of his old parents.

Before his death, Sravana Kumar told him to carry the water to his old parents. When Dasaratha informed his old parents about the tragic death of their son, they were drowned in inconsolable grief and cursed him that he would also die a tragic death due to the separation from his son. That is what happened to Dasaratha. Ultimately, the curse given by noble souls cannot be reversed.

After the marriage of Sita and Rama, Viswamitra left for the forest.

It is not enough if we worship Rama only on His birthday. When Rama returned to Ayodhya all the people of Ayodhya joyously welcomed Him singing His glory and chanting His name. In Bharat, we do not find any village which does not have a temple of Rama or a person who does not know the name of Rama. Wherever we see, the name of Rama is heard everywhere. Though thousands of years have passed, Rama’s name is as fresh and new today as it was in the past. Rama is ever new. The name of Rama gives joy to everyone. Even when you ask an old woman, she would reply, “I may not be able to say any other word but I constantly chant the name of Rama.” Not even one person would be found in a village who does not know the name of Rama. There is no village where you do not find temples of Rama. Even if the people are not able to make a temple, they will erect a small shelter covered with a couple of sheets and install the idol of Rama in it. Even after the passage of thousands of year, the name of Rama is known everywhere and is held in high esteem by the people. Nowadays even in Russia people are chanting the name of Rama. In fact, the name of Rama has spread to every nook and corner of the world. The name of Rama is the crest jewel of all names. Everybody can easily chant this. Therefore, whatever task you are engaged in, you should constantly chant the name of Rama while performing the task. When you step out from your home, when you are on your way to college, you should keep chanting the name of Rama all the while. The name of Rama should become your life-breath.

34. Maha Shivarathri Second Divine Discourse, 07th Mar 2008

Cultivate Good Thoughts and Noble

Feelings in your Heart

Karma is responsible for birth, existence, and death. It holds sway over all stages of life as the very deity of human existence. It is responsible for joy and sorrow.

(Telugu Poem)

Karma (action) is the very life breath of a human. Every human being has to undertakekarma keeping in mind the possible result of the karmas. This is the most important duty of a human being. As the karma, so will be the result.

One has to keep good health, not merely physical health but mental health too. His thoughts and resolutions should also be healthy. Good thoughts result in good karmas. When one undertakes karmas with evil thoughts, the result will also be bad.

Who made the bats to hang from the branches of a tree with their heads downward? Has anyone tied them upside down out of hatred? No, it is their fate. Likewise, nobody can escape from the consequences of karma. A human being does bad karmas, entertains bad thoughts, and ultimately encounters bad results. On the other hand, one who entertains good thoughts and undertakes good karmas enjoys good results. It is not possible to get good results by doing bad deeds.

A small example: when you write correct answers for the questions in an examination, you will get good marks, and vice versa. Undertaking bad deeds denotes animalistic tendency. One has to analyze at every stage whether one is behaving like a human being or an animal. When you indulge in bad deeds, even your neighbours will restrain you, saying, “Being born as a human, why do you behave like an animal?” Thus, one is ridiculed and punished even by a fellow human being. When you resort to evil deeds, you need not have to wait for long till God decides to punish you. The result of your evil deeds accrues to you from yourself.

“By doing a bad deed, a good result cannot be achieved;

By doing a good deed, bad results will not accrue;

Having planted a lime sapling, can you obtain a mango fruit?

By planting a mango sapling, can you get a lime fruit?”

(Telugu poem)

Human beings have to realise that they is born to undertake good deeds only. The word ‘manava’ (human being) has profound meaning. It consists of three letters: ‘ma’ (means ignorance), ‘na’ (means without), ‘va’ (means to conduct). Thus, one who conducts oneself without ignorance is a ‘manava’ (human being). Having been born as a human being, one has to conduct oneself accordingly.

When the crows caw, we chase them away by throwing a stone at them. On the other hand, when a parrot speaks small words sweetly, we hear them with joy. We are never tired of hearing a cuckoo bird singing. What does all this signify? By our sweet words and good behaviour, we make ourselves endearing to all.

Human beings have to help their fellow human beings. “Help ever; hurt never.” Even though we are aware of this maxim, we do harm to others knowingly. That is the greatest mistake. Humans have been endowed with a reasoning faculty. The mind can be employed in both good and bad ways. That is why it is said, Manah eva manushyanam karanam bandhamokshayo (mind is the cause for bondage and liberation of man). The mind is a gift of God to a human being. It is not the real nature of a human being to abuse, make fun of, or hurt others. Even animals are helping human beings in ever so many ways. Thus, what greatness lies in a human being helping a fellow human being? Having been born as human beings, we must conduct ourselves accordingly and love all as our brothers and sisters.

We must undertake such activities to please to God. Then only will our human birth be sanctified. God resides in all. Daivam manusha rupena(God incarnates in the form of a human being). When God incarnates in human form, we should obey His divine command. It is said Jantunam nara janma durlabham (out of all living beings, human birth is the rarest). We should not waste such a precious human birth. We will be losing our humanness by speaking untruth, causing injustice to others and undertaking bad deeds. A human being has to behave as a human being by following the principle, “see good, do good, and be good.”

Some people appear to be good cast evil looks on others. That is not good.

Manasyekamvachasyekam, karmanyekam mahatmanam,

Manasyanyath vachasyanyath,karmanyanyath duratmanam.

(Those whose thoughts, words and deeds are in perfect harmony are noble ones; those who lack harmony of these are wicked.)

There must be harmony between one’s thoughts, words, and deeds. When there is unity between these three, there will be purity. Where there is purity, there is Divinity. Whatever others do to you, consider it as good for you. See that you do not lose your humanness under any circumstances. In fact, humanness is your most valuable property.

“Love all and serve all”. Then only you can lead a healthy and happy life. Do not eat junk food or food that is prohibited. You have to partake good, sathwic food that is offered first to God. You don’t offer all sorts of food to God, do you? Sathwic food that is prepared in a clean vessel with pure feelings is offered to God. The food so offered to God has to be partaken as prasadam (sanctified food). Good food brings good health, and from good health arises good thoughts. Unfortunately, today there is dichotomy between our thoughts, words, and deeds. We say something and do something else.

Once, a person pretending to be an ascetic came to a house and begged for food. The housewife told him, “Please go to the river, finish your bath, and come back. In the meantime, I will prepare food for you”. The ‘ascetic’ was by nature a lazy fellow. He told her ,”Mother! For wandering mendicants like us, ‘Govindethi sada snanam’ (chanting of the divine name of Govinda is equivalent to having a bath).” The housewife was clever enough to teach him a lesson. She told him “Dear son! Govindethi sada bhojanam (The divine name of Govinda is verily food for you). You can go.”

Evil feelings may sometimes arise in our heart. They have to be corrected by participating in sathsanga (good company). It is said, “Tell me your company, I shall tell you what you are.” If you are in good company, you will be a good person. On the other hand, if you move about in bad company, you will also become bad. Hence, always move in good company. If you partake of meat, indulge in smoking and drinking, and say that you are a good person, no one will agree with that statement. If you wish to be a good person, undertake good and noble activities.

As are your karmas, so shall be the results. Human birth is very sacred. It is the result of sathkarmas (good actions) performed over several past lives.

A few thousand devotees are gathered in this hall. For what purpose? To sanctify their time in the divine presence of God, to hear the divine message, and contemplate on the same. The entire hall is permeated by divine vibrations. That is why saints and sages proclaim the importance of sathsanga.

“Satsangatwe nissangatwam,

Nissangatwe nirmohatwam,

Nirmohatwe nischalatattwam,

Nischalatattwe jivanmukti (Sanskrit Verse)

Good company leads to detachment;

Detachment makes one free from delusion;

Freedom from delusion leads to steadiness of mind;

Steadiness of mind confers liberation.

We should move about in good company and cultivate good thoughts and feelings. Jealousy, anger, ego, and such other ill feelings must be shed. Gratitude is another good quality to be cultivated. A person with gratitude, wherever they are, will prosper. Some people return evil for good. They are verily demons. We must show gratitude to all those who help us, irrespective of whether the help is small or great.

We must serve all. We must greet with love even those who hate us. Then they will also respond with a loving greeting. If you address others with respect, saying, “Sir!”, they will also treat you with respect. On the other hand, if you insult them, you will get the same in return. Our entire life is filled with reaction, resound, and reflection. See good, do good, and be good. Then your birth as a human being will be sanctified. Your own good nature will protect you. That is your real support.

Lawyers, while arguing their cases in the courts, always rely upon witnesses. But we don’t require someone else to testify to our good conduct. Our own mind is the witness to our good nature. If you want to earn money, do it -but by fair means and good conduct. First and foremost, your actions should be in accordance with your conscience. Self satisfaction should be the most important goal in whatever activity you undertake. Only when you achieve self satisfaction will you be able to go to the next step of self-sacrifice.

Dear students! You must cultivate good and noble feelings right from this early age. That is true education. There is no use studying voluminous texts. I find several students always reading and reading books We are not sure what kind of books they are reading. Read good books that will help develop your character. Do not read books that go against the basic tenets of humanness.

You are all now students. Pursuit of education is your goal. What kind of education? Education that would confer Atma Jnana (knowledge of the Self). Some boys read big books, and their parents feel happy thinking that their children are reading theRamayana or the Mahabharatha. But nobody knows for sure what exactly they are reading. Some may be reading trash novels, keeping them in between the pages of those voluminous books. Do not resort to such dubious actions, for if you do such things, your entire life will be spoiled. Society will not respect you.

First and foremost, students must control their anger, cultivate patience, and lead a peaceful life. Only by developing a calm and serene mind can you understand your lessons well. This is the age when your hearts are pure. It may not be possible for you to make everyone happy. But conduct yourself in such a manner that your actions please to God.

Every one in this world wishes to be happy. But where does the real happiness lie?”Hari bhajana bina sukha santhi nahi………” True peace and happiness lie in singingbhajans. That is why Guru Nanak had initiated the sadhana (spiritual exercises) of community bhajan singing. If a group of people come together and sing the glory of God, at least one person’s heart will be tuned to Divinity.

We find people dozing during Sivarathri akhanda bhajan. Some others mechanically participate in the bhajan, while their mind is roaming elsewhere. In spite of these undesirable things, community singing is still a better sadhana. At least one in this group will have their mind fixed in God while singing the bhajan. Community singing is pleasing to God.

Sivarathri means an auspicious night. Every day, there is a rathri (night). But all nights cannot equal Sivarathri. Real Sivarathri is only that where the divine name is contemplated upon and sung with devotion. That is the only auspicious night. Hence, cultivate noble feelings in your heart at least on this auspicious night.

35. Maha Shivarathri First Divine Discourse, 06th Mar 2008

A True and Real Life is One that

is Suffused with Love

Right from the time from getting up till going to bed, people struggle to acquire wealth. They spend all their mental and physical energy on amassing wealth. They undergo many difficulties in the process. Their mind is confused, and Divinity is forgotten. It is an endless struggle. What kind of peace, pleasure, and comfort can one enjoy in this struggle for wealth? (Telugu poem)

Embodiments of Love!

Today, the entire world revolves around money. Right from a student to a vegetable vendor, everyone runs after money. Not withstanding their education and social strata, people consider pursuit of money as their be-all and end-all in life. Strangely, even a small proportion of struggle that people willingly undergo in acquiring wealth is not to be found in the pursuit of Divinity.

God is the protector and saviour of all in this world. One may be a millionaire or a billionaire, yet one cannot live without God. There are very few individuals who recognize God as the source and sustenance for all beings. Also, there are very few who contemplate on God. That is why the sadhana (spiritual practice) of community singing (bhajan) has been initiated. There may be a few among the group whose mind is distracted during the bhajan and who do not chant the divine name with proper bhava(feeling), raga (tune), and thala (rhythm). Still, by and large, people concentrate and contemplate on the divine name during the bhajan session.

Waves are many but water is the same. Similarly, Divinity permeates all human beings irrespective of their thoughts and feelings. Beings may be many, yet the same Divinity permeates all living beings. “Ekatma sarvabhuthantharathma” (one Atma dwells in all beings). Ekam sath viprah bahudha vadanti (truth is one, but the wise refer to it by various names).

Those who struggle to uphold Truth are the real devotees. The essence of all Vedaslies in establishing this truth. Unfortunately, today, people who recognise such an eternal truth are not to be found anywhere. One should not forsake Truth. When sathya(truth) and dharma (righteousness) come together, there will be santhi (peace) andprema (love). In fact, sathya is the basis for all other human values, namely, dharma,santhi, prema, and ahimsa (nonviolence).

Embodiments of Love!

Prema (love) does not descend from somewhere. It emerges from the hearts of people. A human being cannot live without love. Love assumes different forms in keeping with the relationship between two individuals – husband and wife, mother and child, between two friends, etc. But, basically, prema remains as the same undercurrent in all human beings. If a question is raised as to where God is, it can be said that God permeates all beings in the form of love. A true and real life is one that is suffused with love. Life devoid of love is not worth living. Love is the source of all virtues and all virtues merge in love.

Brahman is only one and is all-pervasive. Whenever someone enquires about your name, you have to reply “Aham Brahmasi (I am Brahman). I have no other name.” All worldly names are given to you for the purpose of identification. It is said, “Brahma Sathyam, jaganmithya” (Brahman alone is Truth, and the entire world is illusory). To realise the nature of Brahman, one must become Brahman. All names like Rama, Krishna, Govinda, Narayana, etc., merge in Brahman. If only you contemplate on Brahman, you will be able to realise the omnipresence of Brahman. You may call anyone by any name, for Brahman is present in all of them. Every human being has to contemplate on Brahman.

The nature of Divinity is described thus: Nityanandam, Parama Sukhadam, Kevalam Jnanamurtim, Dwandwateetam, Gagana Sadrisham, Tattwamasyadi Lakshyam, Ekam, Nityam, Vimalam, Achalam, Sarvadhee Sakshibhutam (God is the embodiment of eternal bliss, He is wisdom absolute, beyond the pair of opposites, expansive and pervasive like the sky, the goal indicated by the aphorismTattwamasi (I am That), One without a second, eternal, pure, unchanging, witness of all functions of the intellect).

While coming into this hall, I saw Eswaramma and Pedda Venkama Raju (Swami’s parents). Even at this moment, they are very much here. Pedda Venkama Raju wore a yellow coloured dhoti, while Eswaramma wore a yellow coloured sari. The reason for this colour is that they now reside in Vaikunta, the Abode of Lord Vishnu. Everyone inVaikunta wears a yellow colour dress. Not only Myself, even Satyajit, who sleeps in My room, has seen Easwaramma wearing a yellow coloured sari. Women who wear yellow saris are forever sumangalis (ever auspicious).

The principle of Brahman is represented by the colour yellow. That is why Lord Vishnu is described as Pithambara dhari, or the Lord who wears a yellow robe. Today, I wanted to bring out a yellow lingam from My body. But all the students, staff, and devotees prayed “Swami, You need not bring out a lingam from Your body. We cannot bear to witness the physical suffering You undergo while You bring out the lingam. Please accept our prayer and make us happy.”

Whatever I will, it will happen. Whereas human nature constantly undergoes change, My divine nature is changeless and eternal. No one can decipher such divine nature.

The cosmic dance performed by Lord Siva in Kailas is described thus:

“Lord Siva is lost in ecstasy

Parameswara, SambaSiva is lost in ecstasy,

Dancing and dancing the thandava dance

With the divine sage Narada accompanying on thampura and

The Lord’s matted locks shining brilliantly.

Wielding the Trident, Siva is dancing

Thadhim, Thadhim, Thadhim Thadhimthaka ||Lord Siva||

With Goddess Saraswathi playing veena and Indra the flute,

Lord Vishnu on Mridanga,

Dhimi Dhimi Dhimi Dhimithaka ||Lord Siva||

With Ganges in the matted locks, the third eye in the forehead

And crystal beads round the neck shining brilliantly

Lord Siva is lost in ecstasy

Dancing and dancing the cosmic dance.” ||Lord Siva||

Once, when Siva and Parvati were moving about in the sky, they saw a person cutting the branch of a tree on which he was sitting. As he was on the verge of falling, Parvati prayed to Siva to save him, “Oh Lord, Please save him when he falls on the ground.”

But Siva said to Parvati, “It is you who saw him first. It is you again who realised that he would die when he falls down. So it is your responsibility to save him.”

Parvati replied, “Dear Lord, when someone falls on the ground, he will utter eitheramma(mother) or appa (father). If this man utters amma, then I will save him, but if he utters appa, you should save him.” Easwara agreed to this proposal.

As the branch broke, both Siva and Parvati came forward to save him. But while falling, this man did not utter either amma or appa; he said, ayyo! (alas!). Though both Siva and Parvati were waiting to save him, he did not call them.

The moral of the story is that we should always remember our parents. One who does not remember the parents even in times of difficulty is really a fool. Lord Easwara and Mother Parvati are the universal parents. If one constantly remembers them, one will not encounter any difficulty or suffering. Unfortunately, today, people do not remember their parents. That is why they are denied protection.

Rama’s Divinity blossomed under Kausalya’s loving care;

Because of the tender feelings and austerity of Sita,

Lava and Kusha achieved name and fame;

Fostered with the love of his mother, Putlibai, Gandhi became a Mahatma;

The loving care of Jijabai made Sivaji a great warrior. (Telugu poem)

First and foremost, one has to remember one’s mother always. Easwaramma represents the divine motherhood. She is the mother of Easwara. Similarly, Venkama means the Lord of the seven hills. Thus, Pedda Venkamaraju and Easwaramma together represent the Divine parents. Today, both of them reside in Vaikunta.

There are three Sai Avatars. The first was Shirdi Sai, the second is Sathya Sai, and the third to come is Prema Sai. Prema Sai will be the most important Avatar, because He will unite the entire humanity. You all know that it is Prema (principle of love) that unites all!

Unfortunately, today you do not find ekathwa (unity) anywhere. Wherever you see, there is only bhinnathwa (differences and diversity). Where there is love, there will be unity. Then all people will be united, regardless of caste, culture, and country.

Suppose someone asks where you come from; you will reply that you come from such and such state. But the truth is that all people belong to one country and one world. You should feel proud to proclaim that you belong to the country of Bharath. Bharath is the home of all people in the world. In fact, Prasanthi Nilayam has become the home of all people in the world.

In the Ramayana story, King Dasaratha performed the Puthrakameshti Yajna with a desire to have sons. The God of fire, rising from the homakunda (sacrificial pit), handed over to King Dasaratha a vessel filled with sacred pudding, and Dasaratha distributed it equally amongst his three wives. Kausalya and Kaikeyi took their share of pudding to their respective puja rooms. Each of them was happy, thinking that her son would be the future king of Ayodhya.

But Sumitra had no such expectations. She carried her bowl of pudding to the terrace and placed it on the parapet wall, while drying her hair in the sun. Suddenly, an eagle swooped down and carried away the bowl of sacred pudding. She immediately ran down and informed Kausalya and Kaikeyi about what had happened.

Kausalya and Kaikeyi came to Sumitra’s rescue and shared their portion of pudding with her. Kaikeyi gave half of her share to Sumithra, and Kausalya did the same. In due course, Kausalya gave birth to Rama, Kaikeyi to Bharatha and Sumitra to Lakshmana and Satrughna.

Sumitra was a paragon of virtues. Her name itself signifies that she was a good friend to one and all! One day, Sumitra was thinking to herself, “Rama deserves to be crowned King of Ayodhya, since He is the eldest among the sons. Or else, Bharatha should be crowned King as per the promise made by King Dasaratha to Kaikeyi. My two sons, Lakshmana and Sathrughna, should serve their elder brothers – Lakshmana to serve Rama and Sathrugna to serve Bharatha.” Thus, all three wives of King Dasaratha, namely, Kausalya, Sumitra, and Kaikeyi, and also their sons lived in unity and love.

In keeping with the noble traditions and ideals set out in Ramayana, we should always maintain unity and brotherhood. If only we are able to cultivate these two, we can be good friends to one and all. In the Ramayana and Mahabharatha, unity and spirituality were projected as the ideal qualities to be emulated by all.

A few years ago when I visited East Africa, I told them that I came from India. The then President of Uganda, Idi Amin, further queried as to which state I came from. I reiterated that I came from India. I emphatically told him that entire India represents only one country. If all people cultivate such noble principles, the country as well as the people living in it will prosper.

Very soon, the entire country of Bharath will be united and all differences will subside. It is of utmost importance that all the people be united and live like brothers and sisters. This principle of unity shall be propagated in every nook and corner of the country. The languages people speak, the individual vocation, and the education they pursue may be different. But all should practise the principle of one country, one caste, and one culture. It is only because these aspects are treated as different now that differences arise among people. The important message of this festival is that the country of Bharath shall be united. It should be the endeavour of people to treat it so.

Embodiments of Love!

Wherever you go, proudly proclaim that you belong to the country of Bharath, you speak the language of Bharath ,and you follow the culture of Bharath. Believe in the principle of unity. Develop faith in the principle of unity, and live accordingly. The country, caste, and culture – all the three must merge into one. Then only will the country progress. Bharath, the name of our country, signifies the message of Bha(meaning God) and rathi (meaning love). Therefore, Bharath is the country where people develop love for God. This Truth has always to be borne in mind.

(Bhagawan sang the bhajan “Hari Bhajana Bina Sukha Santhi Nahi”)

Whoever wishes to have santhi (peace), must participate in bhajan. Bhajan is the onlysadhana (spiritual exercise) that confers peace on an individual.

36. Makara Sankranthi 2008 Divine Discourse, 15th January 2008

REVERE YOUR MOTHER AND FATHER AS GOD

Emperor Nala, who reigned over a vast kingdom, could not take with him anything when he passed away.

Did King Mandhata, who adorned the Krita Yuga, carry any wealth with him when he left the earth?

Even Lord Rama, who built the bridge across the ocean, is not to be seen on the earth today.

Many kings have ruled over the earth, but none of them could carry even a fistful of dust with them.

Oh noble one! Do you think you can carry the kingdom and its riches on your head when you leave the world? (Telugu poem)

People have not brought anything into this world at the time of their birth. Property, wealth, bank balance, etc., are all acquired in the middle during the course of one’s life’s journey from birth to death. One cannot take these along with one while departing from this world. Then why should one worry over losing them in between?

You are not born for shedding tears. Hence you should also leave this world happily. Why should you have to worry about the ephemeral things like wealth and property, which are physical, fleeting, and impermanent? Such an attitude is unbecoming of a human being. These are all gifts from God. There are four concepts that you must always keep in mind: the vyakthi (the individual), samashti (society), srishti (creation) and Parameshti (God). The srishti emerged out of Parameshti. From srishti camesamashti, and samashti itself consists of vyakthi. Without vyakthi there can be nosamashti. Hence, ultimately these are all God’s gift. Are we making any efforts to shed tears for the sake of God? No. we are worried about passing clouds, which are ephemeral. This is not the true nature of a human being.

You might have noticed that when thick clouds gather in the sky, the sun or the moon is obscured by them. It should bother you. Just wait for a few minutes. The dark clouds move away and the sun and the moon are back shining brightly. What is required is a little patience.

Forbearance is the real beauty in this sacred land of Bharat.

Of all the rituals, adherence to truth is the greatest penance.

The nectarous feeling in this country is the feeling of love towards one’s mother.

Character is valued far higher than the very life itself.

People have forgotten the basic principles of this great culture and are imitating Western culture.

Alas! The Bharatiyas are not aware of the greatness of their cultural heritage just as a mighty elephant is not aware of its own strength.

(Telugu poem)

The power that a human being possesses is unparalleled. The human being is most powerful. That is why even God incarnates in the form of a human being (applause). It is said Daivam manusha mupena (God is in the form of a human being). A human being is the crown of God’s creation. And, God is supreme. It is a sacrilege to forget such an omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent God. We must constantly contemplate on God. You may be engaged in a variety of tasks, but never forget God, who is changeless and eternal. That should be your true nature. Your true nature should always remain the same.

The root cause for all the troubles we face is that we forget God and hanker after illusory worldly things. Happiness or sorrow is all our own making. God is always blissful. He always gives us happiness, joy, and bliss. We, out of our illusion, misinterpret God’s gifts as difficulties and feel sorry for the same. Your own feelings are responsible for your suffering. Hence, change your feelings and develop a positive attitude, and you will never experience pain and suffering.

Today, you all have come here wearing white shirts and black colour blazers. Our Anil Kumar thought that when our boys are wearing black coloured blazers, why not I? He also wore a black coat and attended this function. This is imitation. In fact, the whole world is full of imitation. Such imitation is not a good sign. It may give you a momentary pleasure only.

Many kings and emperors ruled the world in the past, but all of them left this world empty-handed. They could not take even a blade of grass along with them. No doubt we can enjoy good things as long as we live in this world. Thereafter, we cease to have any relationship with them. All the worldly relationships are of our own making only. We should not maintain such artificial relationships.

As long as you live, be happy and enjoy your life. But your joy should not be like that you derive when you eat an ice cream, which melts away in a short time. Real joy springs forth from your heart. That is bliss. You should experience that bliss continuously.

The body is made up of five elements. It is bound to fall. We, as human beings, feel happy when a child is born and feel sad when someone dear to us dies. Never give scope for sorrow. You may encounter any number of sorrows and difficulties, but face them with courage and faith in God, thinking, “I am a part of Divinity; I will not therefore feel sorry or shed tears.” Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita declared:

“Sreyohi jnanamabhyasath

Jnanaddhyanam visishayathe

Dhyanath karmaphala thyagah

Thyagah santhiranantharam”

Better indeed is knowledge than mechanical practice.

Better still is meditation.

But better than meditation is renunciation of the desire for the fruit of karma (action).

For, there follows immediate peace.

As long as one develops a desire for the fruit of one’s actions, one will not have peace of mind. Take the case of an individual. Before marriage, there is one and only one; after marriage, two. The couple begets a child after one year. In the beginning, he has only two legs; after marriage, they have four; after the child is born they increase to six legs. Thus, as the family grows, the number of legs also grows, and they will end up in sorrow. It is not of God’s making. It is the result of one’s mental weakness.

You participated in the annual sports meet and performed various feats. You derived joy out of it. Pleasure or pain, everything is the result of your own actions. Nothing is permanent in this world. All are fleeting. One need not be elated or depressed for anything. Whatever is born today is bound to die at sometime or the other. No one knows for sure what happens to us the next moment.

You are an embodiment of Divinity. The Divine Principle in you is eternal. That lives today, tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow. Hence, treat the past, present, and future as one even though our experiences in the three phases of time are different. Do not give much credence to these experiences. Past is past; it will not come back. We are not sure of future. Present is the only reality with which we should be concerned. This is not ordinary present, but omnipresent, because the past as well as future are present in it.

Dear students!

All your experiences in this changing world are only momentary and unreal. They are like passing clouds. You need not be too much worried about them. You are marching forward. Continue your life’s journey with steadfast faith in God. Why should you have to look back and brood over the past?

Some people worry for everything, not only about their education but in life too. They are worried about some individuals who are no longer living. Whoever is born has to depart from this world at some time or the other. God is the only one present at all times – past, present, and future, since He is omnipresent. He may assume different forms and names at different times in keeping with the aspirations and imagination of the devotees. Keep aside your imaginations and God can be perceived as one and only one Divine principle at all times.

A few days back, people celebrated the New Year all over the world. From where did this New Year come? It did not suddenly descend from heavens. There can be no ‘new’ without ‘old’. The old transforms itself into new and the new becomes old after sometime. Thus, old and new are like the object and its reflection. Hence, do not attach much importance to these variations in time.

Constantly contemplate on the timeless principle that is Divinity. If at all you are worried about some sorrows and difficulties troubling you, keep them aside. Some boys are worried about their examinations, which is totally unnecessary. Face the examinations boldly and write the answers confidently to the extent of your preparation. God will take care of the rest. It is the courage and confidence that will fetch the desired result. This courage is also termed as ‘pushti’ (strength).

Six evil qualities form part of the human psyche: kama (desire), krodha (anger), lobha(greed), moha (delusion), mada (pride), and matsarya (jealously). The same qualities reflect in the outside world. Hence, keep your inner consciousness clean. Then, you can win over the outside world in all areas.

Embodiments of Love! Dear students!

You are acquiring degrees in several branches of knowledge. But, of what use are they?

Modern education leads only to argumentation, not to total wisdom.

What is the use of acquiring education that cannot lead you to immortality?

Acquire the knowledge that will make you immortal.

(Telugu poem)

What is the use of acquiring so many degrees without realising one’s own nature? The education that we pursue must ultimately bring some benefit to the society. You should pursue such type of education. Share your knowledge with others. Then only will your outlook be broadened. The very purpose of your humanness will be fulfilled. Vyashti(individual) is only one. When another individual joins them, it becomes samashti (society).

Develop the power of senses by developing control over your senses. Only by sense control can a human being be called a vyakthi (individual). Unfortunately, today we do not at all find sense control anywhere. The senses are allowed to run amuck in the outside world.

The senses are created by God for making proper use of them by a human being by exercising proper control over them. It is not for indiscriminate ‘enjoyment’ of God’s creation. The birds, insects, and animals are, however, doing the same. Even ants are raising families and sustaining them. You need not have to follow their example. You are a human being.

Whoever has created you will also provide for your sustenance. You need not worry about your food and other needs. You may earn five thousand dollars a month abroad. No doubt it is big money when converted into Indian rupees. But compare the cost of living in India and abroad. The five thousand dollars you earn in foreign countries is equivalent to five hundred rupees in India. This much amount is sufficient here.

Several people go abroad with great hopes. But what is there abroad? That broadness lies in your heart. You need not go abroad. Develop broad-mindedness. Remain here. Take good care of your parents, wife, and children. Make your children acquainted with Indian culture and spirituality. That is true education.

Does education mean reading and writing? Can you call all those who have learnt to read and write educated people? No, not at all! Knowledge without discrimination and not beneficial to the society – can it be called education? Education that does not develop discrimination is totally void! Real education is that which comes from within, that is educare. What all the teachers teach is only that which is contained in the books. Real education is not available in the books.

Hence, dear students! Don’t waste your time reading books and acquiring merely bookish knowledge. You read throughout the night, without sleeping. Thereby your health is spoiled. Hence, you have to read only those books that are necessary for your purpose, not all the trash you find in the bazaar.

People read several books, cinema magazines, and newspapers that are in no way useful to them. When you open a newspaper, it is full of advertisements and cinema pictures. There is nothing you can learn from them.

Follow your conscience, which guides you. If you follow your conscience, you are worthy of being called a human being. You don’t become a human being simply because you have certain limbs like hands, legs, eyes, ears, nose, etc. Even small insects have them. Can you equate yourself to them? Certainly not! Lead the life of a real human being and set an example to others. You must be an example in true culture.

There is subtle difference between caste and culture. You belong to the caste of humanity; for there is only one caste: the caste of humanity. It is an inborn gift from your parents. On the other hand, culture is something that is adopted in your life. Culture teaches you what is to be done and how. It is based upon certain traditions. None can change your caste which is humanity. Based upon your inborn caste of humanity, you can follow a culture.

Another important point to be noted in this context is that caste and culture devoid of discrimination are not only useless but harmful too.

Your knowledge and sharp intellect are not that important. Discrimination is of utmost importance. You must be able to choose that which is useful and necessary for you. You have to switch on a light when you are in darkness. It is not proper to switch on a light when there is already light in the room.

Dear students!

It is not knowledge or energy that you have to develop but the power of discrimination. Whatever object you come across, first enquire in yourself: “Is it good or bad; is it useful to me or not.” Before you take up a particular work, think carefully whether it is worth or not.

Being a human being, develop the quality of humanness. Do not at all cause pain to your parents, who are responsible for your birth. The Vedas emphasised the need to show utmost reverence to the parents by declaring, Matru Devo bhava, pitru Devo bhava (revere your mother and father as God).

Children today do not care for their parents. A man considers wife, the ‘artificial doll’, as the central point of their life. They follow the dictates of the wife, ignoring their parents, who gave birth to them and nourished and nurtured them all through undergoing several difficulties. You may love your wife; nothing wrong in that. But you should obey your parents too.

Parents deserve your utmost concern. All others come after the parents. First and foremost, love your mother and follow her commands. It is only when you make her happy that your life too will be happy. If she sheds tears for any reason, you will have to suffer for your entire lifetime.

Very few people today have recognised the value of a mother’s love. If the mother were to say something, they try to snub her saying, “Keep quiet; I know everything.” Yet others bluntly tell her, “Shut up. You need not advise me. I am highly educated. I have taken a number of degrees. Do I not know?” You may have taken degrees in the academic field. But did you acquire a degree in general knowledge useful for leading a balanced life? Only parents can teach that knowledge.

One has to serve his father and mother and make them happy, apart from acquiring high degrees. Then only can one lead a happy and peaceful life. These are the things one has to learn and carefully follow in life.

Dear students!

Do not underestimate the importance of singing the glory of the divine Name. Hari Bhajana Bina Sukha Santhi Nahi….. Participate in bhajans, which bring a lot of peace and confer bliss on you. Bhajans are a group activity where a number of people come together (samashti) and sing the glory of God. One important point: in bhajans is everyone should join in singing. There would be a lead singer and all others follow him. If you are not confident of your voice, at least repeat the divine Name in your heart. Unfortunately today, people have no time even for that.

You may forget any item in your daily life. But never forget namasmarana (repetition of God’s Name) and nama sanskirtana (singing God’s Name). The divine Name is eternal. Hence, constantly contemplate on the divine Name.

37. New Year 2008 Divine Discourse, 1st January 2008

ALL ARE ONE; BE ALIKE TO EVERYONE

The sun appears serene and peaceful. The days have become shorter, and the cool wind is blowing. The fields are ripe with golden crops. Marigold flowers are blossoming like garlands of pearls on the banks of rivers. The farmers are rejoicing and singing. The sweet festival of Sankranti comes in the month of Pushya (a month in Indian calendar), filling our homes with the newly harvested grain. (Telugu Poem)

Man needs several objects in this world; yet, none of them is permanent. All are like passing clouds. What you think permanent in this world is, in fact, impermanent. Hence, one has to strive to achieve that which is permanent, real and eternal.

The Bhagavad Gita declares, “Mamaivamso Jivaloke Jivabhuta Sanathana” (the eternal Atma in all beings is a part of My Being). I am in you, with you, around you, above you, below you. There is no place in this Universe where God is not present. Similarly, there is no name or object that does not belong to Him. The Upanishads proclaim the same truth in the declarations, “Easwara Sarva Bhutanam” (God is the Indweller of all beings) and “Isavasyam Idam Sarvam” (the entire universe is permeated by God). Unable to realise this truth, a human being laments, “wherever I see, I find only human beings; I am not able to find God”. “Yad Bhavam Tad Bhavathi” (as the feelings, so are the results).

Suppose you wear a particular dress and stand before a mirror. You will find the same reflection in the mirror. Similarly, your own thoughts and feelings reflect in the outside world. Everything is reaction, reflection, and resound. Your own life style is reflected in the outside world. Whatever you speak comes back to you as a reply. But people think that it is someone else who is speaking these words. This is the truth. However, different people explain this truth in different ways in keeping with the aphorism, “Ekam Sath Viprah Bahudha Vadanti” (truth is one, but the wise refer to it by various names). Every form you see in the outside world is in fact your own reflection.

Several thousand people are gathered in this hall. But there is only one heart in all of them – that is, the spiritual heart. I am not referring to the physical heart. Unfortunately, people are unable to repose their faith in this spiritual heart, in spite of their best education. You are all educated, well educated.

In spite of education and intelligence, a foolish person will not know their true Self and a mean-minded person will not give up their evil qualities. (Telugu Poem)

This is not the type of education you have to pursue. This is the category of worldly education. This type of education we learn from an Institution under the guidance of a teacher. Today, all our education, words, and speech are only artificial. There is something deeper which forms the basis for everything. That is fundamental truth. It does not come under the realm of education. It is ‘educare’.

Education is worldly, whereas “educare” is other-worldly. Educare is not something that can be seen with the naked eye. It lies in the depth of our heart. It has to be brought out by conscious effort.

Where is peace? Is it outside? No; only pieces and pieces are outside. Peace is in your heart. Similarly, love. Love is in your heart. It cannot be seen. Love is God; live in love. This also forms part of educare. So also nonviolence. It is not in the outside world.

The world today is torn apart with conflicts. We don’t find peace anywhere in the world. truth, righteousness, peace, love, and nonviolence constitute the five vital airs of a human being (panchapranas). Love is the undercurrent that flows in all these human values.

Follow truth, keeping love as the basis in your heart. Truth is eternal. Truth is God. It is not subject to changes in time. Let love be reflected on the mirror of truth. Whenever you come across a person not to your liking, you consider him as your enemy keeping in mind your worldly relationship with him. You begin to hate him. This is not correct. He is, in fact, not different from you. You and he are one only. Hence, it amounts to hating yourself.

There is nothing like another person or object in this world. There is only one. First and foremost, we have to realise and follow this truth.

Unfortunately today we are not able to find truth at all in this world. Whether it is in the field of education, politics, or worldly life, we don’t find truth at all! Even in the court, the seat of Justice, people swear upon God and speak untruth. Thus, wherever you go, untruth or falsehood is rampant.

People spend a lot of money for the sake of establishing Truth. It is not necessary. If only people cultivate love for one another, it is enough. Whenever you come across someone you consider as your enemy, say – “My pranams to you”. They will, in turn offer their pranams to you. As are our feelings, so are theirs. Our own thoughts and feelings find a reflection in the other person.

You don’t find peace at all in the world today. Wherever you look, you will find only ‘galata’ (confusion and conflict) – in the market place, bazaar, or a shop. Even if you go to a hotel, you will find someone quarrelling with the waiter, saying, “this idly is not good, vada is not tasty, or that dosa is not fried properly”, etc. You don’t find order anywhere in this world. Everywhere it is confusion and conflict. In fact, the word ‘peace’ is not to be found anywhere in the world.

On the other hand, the atmosphere here in Prasanthi Nilayam is totally different. There is absolute peace in this hall. You don’t find this peace anywhere else in the world. So also, the feeling of love. You don’t find this love anywhere else. That is why lakhs and lakhs of people from all over the world congregate here.

Why do people go to holy places and pray? For what purpose? For acquiring peace, happiness, bliss, and love. These boys studied in Brindavan and Puttaparthi. They travelled all over the country and even abroad. But they could not get peace of mind anywhere even for two minutes.

In fact, peace is in one’s own mind. There is no use searching for peace in the outside world. Similarly, truth and love are also to be found in one’s own bosom only. When you cultivate love, you can achieve anything in the world.

Swami is an Embodiment of Love. Love is His biggest property! My duty is to share that love with you all. If you are able understand Swami’s love in true spirit and make use of it in proper way, you will prosper. Except Swami’s love, nothing can protect you. You will have to understand this prema thathwa(love principle).

All are brothers and sisters! But, differences arise even amongst the brothers and sisters. Hence, cultivate love for one another. Always maintain a cheerful disposition, with a sweet smile on your face. You should never put up a ‘castor-oil face’. Then only will your life become noble and ideal. You must always be happy and cheerful. What do you lack? you have everything, with Swami’s love and grace.

Some people will not be able to put up with difficulties. However, if only they are able to keep a little patience, even that pain and suffering will turn out to be an occasion for rejoicing. “Pleasure is an interval between two pains.” “You are not one person, but three – the one you think you are; the one others think you are and the one you really are.” “The one you really are” is the real truth.

You will be reading several books. But if you are not able to keep your head in proper condition, all that reading will become useless. Hence, the ‘head’ is very important. That is ‘educare’.

You must have seen volumes and volumes of books, written by great people. Each one of the authors must have highlighted a particular aspect of Divinity. But the sum total of all these descriptions represents Divinity, that is one.

Sometimes, your own mind turns against you. It is the result of your own thoughts. Everything is reaction, reflection, and resound. Both good and bad are in you only, not in the outside word. When your vision is bad, you will see bad. On the other hand, when your vision is good you will see God everywhere. If you forsake truth and love and begin to see the world from that standpoint, then you will find differences everywhere.

Embodiments of Love! Dear Students!

You are all working in far-off countries; yet, you remember Swami and try to be in His Divine Presence at least for a few days every year. This is your good fortune (loud applause). There could be only one reason for it: your love for Swami. If there is no bond of love between you and Swami, you would not have come here along with your families, incurring huge expenditure, undergoing a lot of physical strain. You must realise this truth. You might have studied in Brindavan or Prasanthi Nilayam and are now working in different countries. Wherever you are, remember always that Swami is with you and in you. When someone asks you from where you came come,reply that you are from Brindavan or Prasanthi Nilayam. You say so for your own satisfaction. But the truth is that Swami is in you, Brindavan is in you, and Prasanthi Nilayam is in you only. If one wishes to attain self-satisfaction, one has to realise that all are one.

Religions are many but goal is one.

Clothes are many but yarn is one.

Jewels are many but gold is one.

Cows are many but milk is one.

Beings are many but breath is one.

Castes are many but humanity is one. (Telugu Poem)

Human beings may be of different hues, but the bliss they experience in their hearts is only one. We must aspire for that bliss, disregarding individual differences. The differences are only temporary.

Divinity is only one; it assumes different forms in different ages. Lord Vishnu donned different Avathars in Kritha Yuga. The same Lord came as Lord Rama in Tretha and Lord Krishna in Dwapara Yugas (Ages). The same divine principle (GOD) is referred to as Brahma (The Generator), Vishnu (The Organiser) and Maheswara (The Destroyer). The different names are ascribed for the purpose of identification.

When someone enquires your name, you mention some name. In fact, that name was given to you by your parents. You were not born with that name. At the time of your birth, you were just a baby. The names were given subsequently. Unfortunately, today, we are indulging in controversies even in the case of God, on the basis of names and forms. Whomever you come across, they are an embodiment of Divinity, verily. For example, you come across a beggar. That beggar is also God. God is in that form. Hence, offer your salutations to them. There is nothing wrong in doing so. All are one; be alike to everyone. Love all and serve all, be they a beggar or a millionaire.

Several changes may occur in this year, at the physical level. But there will be no change at all in the spiritual realm. It is possible that there may be some conflicts here and there in the secular world. There may be a few permutations and combinations in the political field. Some new parties and alliances may be formed. ‘Parties, parties, and parties’ … what are ‘parties’, anyway? For tea only, not parties.

We must treat all human beings alike. By doing so, all people will be happy. Good and bad; pleasure and pain – everything must be faced with a sense of equanimity. That is the foremost duty of a human being. The human mind is susceptible to several changes, on account of the food one partakes and the company one moves in. The mind is like a mad monkey. It is not an ordinary monkey, but ‘mad monkey’.

Strictly speaking, the mind is a component of mankind. Hence, it should be kind. Unfortunately today, we are converting it into a monkey. A person should always be a person! Let others do whatever they wish to us, unknowingly. But do not consciously think in terms of doing harm to others. This is My advice.

This body is passing through the 83rd year. In all these years, I have never done any harm to anyone or caused any pain to anyone. I have never spoken untruth. I always speak truth and truth only. It causes Me great pain when I see untruthfulness. Let us, therefore speak only truth and nothing but truth. Surely, victory will be ours. Always tread the path of truth.

Love all! It is easy to love someone, but quite difficult to hate. If you love others, there will be unity among you. All will become one. Where there is unity, there will be purity. Where there is purity, there Divinity will be. Hence, if you wish to attain Divinity, you must develop unity. And, for achieving unity, people should shed their narrow-mindedness.

This is a handkerchief. It is made up of several threads. If you remove one thread after the other, finally there will be no handkerchief at all! The cloth is made up of threads, and they in turn are made out of cotton. Similarly, there can be no humanness without human beings. The humanness must be gradually transformed into Divinity.

A divine person will have divine power. In fact, you all possess divine power. There is not a single human being without divine power. But no one is aware of their innate divine power.

People ask Me very often a question, “Swami! How can we achieve unity?” In fact, unity is the very nature of humanity. Forgetting this truth, people go on arguing that he is different from me, I am different from her, etc. Divinity can never be attained by such arguments.

Always think that you and others are only one. You say, “so and so is my father; so and so is my mother; so and so is my sister.” These are not real relationships. Father, mother, sister, etc. are only relationships at the body level. It is only out of marriage that the husband-wife relationship has arisen. Otherwise, who is a husband and who is a wife? These are all man-made relationships.

However, as long as the relationship exists, one should respect that relationship and follow it. The husband and wife should never hurt each other. If either of them commits a mistake, it should be gently brought to the individual’s notice for rectification. Harassing, abusing, and physical violence are bad practices. They should never be resorted to. If all of you live in unity and constantly contemplate on God, you will achieve purity. Then, Swami will surely give you darshan right where you are (applause).

I belong to you all (applause). You all belong to Me. I do not differentiate between individuals. All are mine and I belong to all. There may be differences in certain aspects among people, from the worldly angle. But there should not be any difference at the spiritual level.

Dear boys! You have come here with great love for Swami. May your hearts be filled with love up to the brim.

Always speak truth. You may encounter certain difficulties in speaking truth. It does not matter; adhere to truth. Then, you will surely achieve success. Never be afraid of speaking the truth. Be prepared to fight for truth. Truth alone triumphs (Sathyameva Jayathe). Hence, always speak truth. Untruth will fetch you bad reputation. Adhere to truth under all circumstances.

Cultivate love. Truth is love and love is truth. If you are guided by these two like the two eyes, you will always succeed in life.

There is no use worshipping God, repeating the word bhakti (devotion) as an empty rhetoric.

You may be very intelligent. You might have also acquired vast knowledge. However, if you do not develop a sense of discrimination, all your intelligence and knowledge will be reduced to zero. Hence, discrimination is of utmost importance. Analyse whether your point of view is right or wrong. If you are convinced that your point is right, stick to it till the end.

The world today is in a state of utter confusion and chaos. Wherever you see, there is endless strife. The world today is filled with selfishness and self-interest. As long as these two take predominance, it will only lead to defeat.

You are all students of Sri Sathya Sai College. Therefore, live up to the ideals of the Sathya Sai Educational Institutions. If people praise that so and so is a good boy; he is a student of Sri Sathya Sai College, I will be very happy. You all earn that good name. It gives Me great happiness (applause). There is nothing greater that I can wish for. I am not asking this for My sake. You earn a good name for your own sake. Bangaru (Dear golden ones)! Conduct yourself accordingly.

Wherever you are, do not forget to contemplate on the divine name of God. You may contemplate upon any name like Rama, Krishna, Govinda, Narayana, Madhusudana, Trivikrama, etc. Though the names are different, God is only one. He is Sahasra Seersha Purusha Sahasraksha Sahasra Pad (The Cosmic Being has thousands of heads, eyes and feet). Adhere to truth and love always.

(Bhagawan continued his discourse after singing the bhajan “Hari Bhajana Bina …”)

The joy we derive by singing bhajans cannot be attained by any other means. There is so much joy in singing bhajans and extolling the glory of God. I can also sing bhajans melodiously. But, at the moment I have a very bad throat. Bhajans give great joy. Even if others do not share this joy, you sing bhajansfor your own joy. I am very happy.

(Addressing the old students) when do you propose to leave for your places? Wherever you go, Swami’s grace is with you in abundance. I will distribute prasadam to you all tomorrow. May you all return to your places with joyous memories of this divine congregation.

38. Christmas Discourse, 26 Dec2007

Anything in Life can be Achieved with Faith in God

26th December 2007

Prasanthi Nilayam

A man with anger cannot achieve anything.

He commits mistakes and indulges in sinful deeds.

He is despised by everyone.

Love is God and God is love.

Devoid of love, humans cannot exist.

(Telugu poem)

It is lack of love that is responsible for all the differences, arguments, and conflict in the world, especially in the present times. Several people say that the world is afflicted today with sorrow, losses, and difficulties. I do not subscribe to this view. I tell you, they are all our illusion only. In fact, there is no unrest or sorrow in this world. I just see peace, peace, and peace only, everywhere. When there is peace in our heart, we will be able to witness peace all round. Unrest, sorrow, anger, etc., are the reaction, reflection, and resound of the state of our inner being. Sorrows and difficulties, anger and unrest are of our own making and creation. They are not natural phenomena in the world.

When someone enquires after your name, you give some name. (Swami at this point asked the name of one student sitting in front of Him. The boy replied, “Vikas”). In fact, that is not his real name. Similarly, you enquire from each one and they give different names. However, if God were to mention His name, He will say Aham Brahmasmi (I am Brahman). In fact, all of us should repeat the same name since we are all Embodiments of Divine Self. All our names are given to us by our parents. We are not born with any particular name. Those who cannot realise this truth cannot lead a happy life.

Embodiments of Love!

Actually love is another name of Brahman. In fact, love, Atma, Prema, Aham, orBrahman – all these names carry the same meaning. There is nothing in this world except love. But, unfortunately, we are not able to understand what love is. We consider Love as relating to the world. We consider it to be physical. In fact, it does not at all relate to the physical realm. It is truth, verily. “You are not one person, but three: the one you think you are, the one others think you are, and the one you really are. What others think is all imagination. The Self within you is the only truth.

Who is this Self? That is “I”. This “I” is the same in all. The Christians worship the cross (†). The cross is a symbol exhorting people to get rid of ego. No one is different from you. Hence, you must always bear the truth that all are one (I). Those that are born out of karma and grow and perish ultimately (namely the physical bodies) are unreal. Hence, you are always Brahman, in accordance with the Vedic declaration Aham Brahmasmi (I am Brahma). It is only when you consider yourself to be Brahman that you can realise this Truth. Till then, you will be confined to the different names like Ramanna, Krishnananna, etc., that have been given to you by your parents for the purpose of identification. Surely, you did not come into this world with any name.

When someone enquires of the parents about the name of their newly born child, they may reply that no name has been given to the child yet. It is thus clear that all names given to us are by someone only and not innate. They are for the purpose of identification of the concerned individuals. There are millions and millions of people inhabiting this world, but none seems to have realised the truth that they are God. Unfortunately, today we are leading our lives with names given to us by someone.

What is Brahman? “I”. The Brahman neither is born nor has ‘death’. That is the only Truth; other events come and go. For example, I have willed to create this chain (Swami created a gold chain with His divine hand). This has been created by My Divine Will. It was not there earlier. Thus, all things and beings in this world are born out ofsankalpa (will). Hence divine Sankalpa is the cause for all creation.

In addition, maya (illusion) also plays its role. When maya and Truth come together, creation takes place. Without maya, there can be no creation. The maya is like a shadow to a human being. But this shadow deludes us. At sunrise, our shadow is long. As the sun gradually rises, the shadow falls under our feet at mid-day. Thus, the shadow grows and shrinks. We should not therefore mistake the shadow as our basis.

Embodiments of Love!

Love is the foremost quality of a human being. And faith is the basis for that love. The spelling of the world love is LOVE. Here ‘L’ stands for ‘Lord’. Thus, Love is born out of the Lord (God). The entire creation is a manifestation of God’s love, be it a tiny ant or a mighty elephant. Everything is the creation of God. Not even a blade of grass will move without divine Will, People who do not realise this truth get carried away by their pride of intelligence and discrimination.

But no one, however great they may be, knows what lies ahead for them in future.

(Telugu poem)

How did this blade of grass come into existence? It is nothing but God’s Will! Similarly, every human being is born out of divine Will only. There can be no creation without God. When you look at the earth during summer it looks parched. But, with the onset of rainy season, the earth looks green with various plants. From where did they come? From the rain. The rain came from the clouds. The clouds are caused by the sun. And, the sun itself originated from God. Thus, the entire creation has its origin in God. There can be no air, sun, rain or plants without God.

Knowing this truth, we still tend to forget God. On the other hand, we remember everything else. This is not correct. Never forget God. If you forget God, it amounts to forgetting everything. For God is the source and cause for everything. Unfortunately, today, we are forgetting the fundamentals or root cause for the entire Universe.

If there is no foundation, there can be no walls. If there are no walls, there can be no roof. You cannot live in a house that has no roof. Hence, first and foremost the foundation is very important. Based on the foundation, the pillars are raised and finally the roof is laid. Based on this analogy, self-confidence is the foundation, self-satisfaction is the wall, self-sacrifice is the roof and finally self-realisation is life.

Thus, there should be a foundation for everything. That is fundamental truth. We are forgetting this fundamental truth.

Jesus was the son of Joseph and Mary. When Mary was carrying him in her womb, Joseph and Mary were required to travel to Bethlehem to take part in a census ordered by the Roman Emperor. They had to travel all the way riding on a donkey. It was an arduous journey. When they finally reached Bethlehem, it was night. There was no place for them to rest and they were tired. Joseph searched and searched for a resting place, but he could not find any. Finally, he went to a cattle shed and knocked at the door. He explained to the inn keeper that Mary was about to give birth to a child. The inn keeper reluctantly gave them a place in a corner to spend the night. The same night, Mary gave birth to a baby boy. A makeshift bed was arranged for the newly born child, with some old clothes and dry leaves.

The boy was named Jesus. He was happily growing under the loving care of mother Mary. When he grew up as a boy, Joseph and Mary had to travel to Jerusalem to participate in a festival. Jesus got mixed up in the crowd and could not be traced in spite of an intensive search. The parents were very worried. At last, Jesus returned to his parents.

When asked where he had gone, he replied that he went to hear the discourse of a priest in a nearby temple. The priest had taught him, “You alone are the truth; remember this.”

Constantly contemplating on this teaching, Jesus thereafter wandered and wandered alone for a long time and later came near a river, where some boatmen were sitting. The first among them seen by Jesus was Peter. Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

He replied, “My name is Peter. He is my father” (pointing to an old man sitting nearby). The old man was making fishing nets. Jesus made friendship with Peter.

Peter complained to Jesus, “We went in search of fish for the whole of yesterday but could not find even one.”

Jesus replied, “Go to such and such place. You will find fish in plenty.” Jesus also accompanied the boatmen in this exercise.

As foretold by Jesus, they could catch plenty of fish. The boatmen wondered, “How great Jesus is! He knows everything.”

From then on, they treated Jesus as their preceptor. Though he was young in age and form, he was old enough in wisdom. Hence, all of them were meticulously following his words. The entire community of fishermen there treated Jesus as their Master, with great reverence. Even great Masters appear to be ordinary human beings in the first instance. As they gradually reveal themselves, people will realise their true nature and flock round them in large numbers. The same is the case with Jesus.

The fishermen could become rich with a bounty of fish, with the help and guidance of Jesus. As they became rich, jealousy grew among the others. They vied with each other in seeking his help and guidance. Some people, however, became jealous of Jesus’ popularity and considered him their enemy. They reported to the chief priest that Jesus had no miraculous powers and that he was deceiving people. Jesus was summoned and questioned, “How did you acquire these powers?”

Jesus replied, “All this is divine Will”. Jesus was moving about with his disciples preaching his doctrine of love and moral principles. Jesus was questioned, “Who are you?” He replied, “I am Jesus.”

Vexed with the attitude and teachings of Jesus, a death sentence was passed against him. He was to be crucified. The governor, a kind-hearted person, however, did not want Jesus to be awarded a death sentence. He lamented that Jesus was a great and noble man and he was being crucified for no fault of his. He told Jesus, “You are a great man. These stone-hearted people are trying to kill you without any reason.”

Jesus replied “I am happy that at least you have realised that I am a good person.”

Finally, at the time of his crucifixion, his mother Mary came near and started shedding tears. Jesus consoled her saying, “Why do you cry, mother? The body is like a water bubble. Let them do whatever they wish with this body. You think these people are trying to kill me. I have no death. None can kill me.”

Mary replied, “Are you not the son of this body?”

Jesus replied “Of course! I am related to you at the physical level, as a son. But, ‘I am I’ only. You are all like children to me. You are all Embodiments of Divinity.”

Thus, Jesus attained the highest level of spirituality, having gone through all tests. Jesus was not merely a human form. He is the Embodiment of Divine Self, verily. But, some people could not realise his Divinity, as at present. Even now some people have faith in Divinity whereas others do not. Some extol Divinity, whereas some others criticise Divinity. It all depends upon their faith. If you consider a stone as God, it becomes God automatically.

Jesus underwent several trials and tribulations during his time. He became the Saviour and Messiah of the poor and forlorn. He helped them in many ways. Once, while he was crossing the desert, a poor woman approached him, begging for food. He gave her bread saying, “take this.” When someone asked where bread came from. He replied that it was divine Will.

There is nothing greater than divine Will. Everything is God’s Will. The foremost duty of a human being is to realise the Will of God and submit himself to that divine Will. Those who developed faith in the Will of God were protected, while others were not. Hence, faith is the basis for everything.

People today are blind, having lost their both eyes of faith. Faith is the basis for all creation. Where there is faith and love, everything else will be added unto such a person. Hence, first and foremost, one has to develop faith. Several people have faith, but they lack love. Faith devoid of love has no use. Love and faith must be together like mutually attractive magnetic poles.

Embodiments of Love!

First and foremost, develop faith. There can be no life without faith. Sometimes, faith is also termed ‘Self’. Without Self, you cannot help others. Only when there is faith can you achieve anything in life. Even now, there are several people who have progressed in life with firm faith in Jesus.

Some people develop faith when their desires are fulfilled. If their desires are not fulfilled, they lose faith. This type of attitude is not good. Keep your faith firm, irrespective of whether your desires are fulfilled or not. Preserve your faith carefully. Faith can work wonders. It can make a blind person see; a dumb speak. Do not at all doubt the power of faith.

Some incidents happening in this world may shake your faith in God. But, if you hold on to your faith firmly, you can boldly face any situation.

Even now, some people consider this body (referring to Himself) as an ordinary man. If that were to be so, how could all these superhuman tasks be achieved? No, no; it is a mistake to think so. ‘This’ body may appear to be a mere physical entity to you. It is the fault of your own vision; not Mine. There is something wrong in your perception. It is a mistake of your vision, not Mine. Hence, correct your vision, develop right perception.

If you are alright, I will be alright (loud applause). You are all in Me. This is the fundamental truth. I am getting some things done, making you as My instruments. For I require some instruments to carry on My mission. Hence, I am moulding you as those instruments (loud applause). By imparting education, knowledge, and wisdom, I am developing you all as My instruments. Hence, may you all lead purposeful lives with firm faith in God!

You think that education and academic degrees have helped you to come up in life. This view is not at all correct. How many educated people are not there in this world? Of what use are they to the world? In fact, the world is not benefited by the educated class. More harm is done to the world by such people than good. More than education, the spiritual life will protect a person in every way. Devoid of spiritual outlook, all your education and academic degrees are a mere waste. Their value is zero. Hence, fill your lives with devotion to God and develop the outlook “I am not this body. This is a vesture taken upon by Me. There is God inside who is conducting my life.”

God is “in you, with you, around you, above you, below you” (loud applause). Develop full faith in Divinity. Then you can achieve anything in life.

Dear students!

You are like fully ripened fruits. But the fruits must contain sweet juice. Without that sweet juice, it cannot be a fruit. You must all have the sweet juice of love. If there is no sweet juice, people will just bite the fruit and throw it away. Hence, fill your hearts with the sweet juice of love.

Whatever be the name and form, develop faith in God. God has several names; but God is only one. The ornaments may be many, but gold is one. You shall not lose sight of the gold. Without gold, you cannot make ornaments.

Develop faith as your foremost quality, irrespective of whether it brings you the desired results or not. Add love to that faith. “I am you and you are Me; you and I are one” (loud applause).

Ekoham Bahusyam (the One willed to become many). Whoever realises that oneness, achieves total bliss. Every student shall develop faith in God. I am sure that students have joined this Institution not merely for acquiring education and academic degrees. They have come here for learning Swami’s teachings. If you follow the teachings with firm faith in Swami, you will achieve success in all your endeavours. You should have faith in Swami’s teachings, love them, adore them, and follow them. (Bhagawan sang the bhajan “Hari Bhajan Bina Sukha Santhi Nahi …” and continued His discourse.)

When you do bhajan, you will experience peace and happiness. Hence, constantly do namasmarana (repeating God’s name) in your heart. You may not be able to do japa(soft repetition of the name), dhyana (meditation), or yoga; but do namasmarana. There is no easier path than namasmarana to be in communion with God. Children, adults, and elderly people – all can do namasmarana. Hence, continue to donamasmarana throughout your life.

You may study and acquire degrees; but do bhajan also.

Do not consider Jesus as an ordinary mortal. See God in Him. You often refer to someone and say “He is a man” or “she is a lady”. No, no. This is not the correct way of identification. Gents or ladies – “all are one; be alike to everyone.”

Lord Krishna, in the Bhagawad Gita, declared, Mamaivamso Jeevaloke Jeevabhutha Sanathanah (the eternal Atma in all beings is a part of My Being). You are all parts of Me. You and I are one. You are not different from Me. I am in you, with you, above you, below you, and around you. Develop that spirit of oneness and lead your life. I hope I have made Myself clear. The moment you go to your places, do not think that Swami is there, while I am here. Always develop the feeling “He is with me, in me, around me, above me, and below me.” All are one (loud applause).

39. Divine Discourse on 15th Dec2007

LOVE IS GOD; LIVE IN LOVE

Embodiments of Love!

People think there are many troubles, difficulties and sorrows in this world and thereby they are filled with anxiety and worries. But in fact there is nothing like this; it is bliss everywhere.

Brahmanandam, Parama Sukhadam, Kevalam Jnanamurtim, Dwandwateetam, Gagana Sadrisham, Tattwamasyadi Lakshyam, Ekam, Nityam, Vimalam, Achalam, Sarvadhee Sakshibhutam, Bhavateetam, Trigunarahitam (Man is the embodiment of divine bliss, wisdom absolute, beyond the pair of opposites, expansive and pervasive like the sky, the goal indicated by the Mahavakya Tattwamasi, one without a second, eternal, pure, unchanging, witness of all functions of the intellect, beyond all mental conditions and the three attributes of Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas).

The world is the creation of God. Right from man all living beings including animals, birds and even insects are the creation of God. As they are the creation of God, all of them have their origin in bliss. All these difficulties and troubles are only the imagination of man. Pleasure is an interval between two pains. There cannot be happiness without difficulties. These difficulties are meant to give you happiness, and not to make you miserable with more sorrows. Hence, whatever comes to us, we should consider it as God’s gift and be happy. We should not consider that it has been given to us to make us suffer. Suppose you have pain in the stomach. What will the doctor do? If he performs an operation, it is not for causing pain to you. The pain that the doctor causes is to remove your suffering. Hence, one should bear difficulties and overcome his sorrows.

There are millions of living beings in this world. All of them have originated from God. Therefore, the same God is present in all of them. People give many names to God as Rama, Allah, Jesus, etc., but God is only one. Atma is another name of God; it is the same in everyone. The real name of Atma is love. Love is only one, but it is present everywhere and can alleviate all sufferings. One who is endowed with love is free from all sufferings. All of you have come from such a distant place like America. What for? You have come because you have love for Me (loud applause). You can attain anything if you have love. God has no specific name. He is present in man in the form of Atma. What does Atma mean? It means love only. It is love that unites all. If you imbibe this principle of unity, then all will become one. When you attain this unity, you will have purity. When you have purity, then Atma Tattwa (principle of the Self) will manifest in you. Therefore, you must have unity to attain divinity. I and you are one. God and you are one. God is not anywhere separate from you. You should develop the feeling that you yourself are God. When you say, ‘I’, it represents unity. You cannot estimate the bliss that is derived from unity. All are one. It is the fickle mind that is unsteady and wanders arbitrarily.

Only one thing is steady. That is love, love, love. Love is God. Live in love. This is what we have to learn today. Same love is present in everyone. Mother loves her children due to this feeling of love. All are the children of God. Therefore, God loves all. He has no hatred. He is not the cause for your pain and suffering. God is not separate from you. Wherever you may be, God is present there. God does not forsake you. There is no place where there is no God. Wherever you see, God is present there. (Swami pointed to different things and said) This is God. This is God. You are all the embodiments of God. You have two eyes but you can see a large number of people with them. Similarly, God is one, but He can see all. Where is God? He is in you, with you, above you and below you. There is no need to search for Him. Because our vision is limited to physical level, we see differences. We should not rely on the physical body.Body is like a water bubble; mind is like a mad monkey. In one moment the mind is here and in the next moment it flies away to another place. Manas, Buddhi, Chitta, Ahamkara (mind, intellect, mind-stuff, ego) – all these are temporary like passing clouds. Only one thing is permanent. That is you. Where is God? You should develop the feeling that you are God. This is the correct answer to the question, where is God. You may perform any number of spiritual practices like Bhajans, Japa and Tapa, but love should form the undercurrent of all these practices. In fact, if you have love, there is no need to perform any spiritual practices. There is no use of performing all spiritual practices, if you do not have love. Fill your mind with love. “Prema Mudita Manase Kaho Ram Ram Ram …”(recite the Name of Rama with your heart full of love). Hence, give highest importance to love. Love is important. Love is God. Live in love. This is the spiritual practice that we have to undertake. Worldly relations are temporary. They are impermanent like passing clouds which come and go. They are your mental reaction, reflection and resound.

(Swami showing His handkerchief) What is this? This is a cloth. It is not merely a cloth, it is a combination of threads, it is not thread even, it is cotton, which is the creation of God. Everything has emerged from God like threads. You weave the threads as per your liking. But it is not your liking that is important; what is important is what God likes. There can be changes in the body and the mind. But love is changeless. It is permanent. Everything has birth and death but there is no birth or death for love. The birthless and deathless love is only one. It comes from truth. Truth is one. Truth is God. This God in the form of love is present everywhere, wherever you see. God is present in man in his breath. When you breathe, where does the breath come from? It comes from within. The breath itself is your God. What is its form? It is present in man in the form of Soham, which reveals your divine identity. ‘So’ means ‘that’, ‘Ham’ means ‘I’. Therefore ‘Soham’, means ‘that I am’. ‘That’ refers to God who is present in man in the form of love. Therefore, man should treasure love in his heart safely. Other thoughts come and go like passing clouds. Only love is permanent and eternal. You should perform every task with love. Even if you come across your enemy, you should love and greet him saying, ‘Hello, Hello’. Then he will also respond saying ‘Hello, Hello’ to you. This is the reaction, reflection, resound of your feelings. Whatever good or bad you experience is the result of your own actions. Everything comes from within you. Hence, you should always remain immersed in love. If you have love, you can achieve anything and perform any task. It is love that is responsible for the entire creation and its functioning in this world. There is no greater God than love. Love is God. Whatever you do without love is a futile exercise. Hence treasure love in your heart. Every body will be attracted towards this love. It bestows everything on you. It is love that creates, sustains and destroys. When you look at the world with your physical eyes, you see diversity in creation. But, in fact, everything is love. It does not change. You should be filled with such love. If you follow this principle of love, it will give you the fruit of all the spiritual practices.

People call God by many names such Rama, Krishna, Jesus, Allah etc. But all names refer to the same God. If you call Him Allah, He responds. Similarly, if you call Him Jesus, or Zoroastra, or Rama, He will respond. All these names have been given by man. God is not born with these names. Original name of God is only love. You may refer to any dictionary; love is only one and not two. Man may have many physical relationships. You may consider some one as your husband, some one as your son and some one as your daughter. They are all physical and worldly relations. Who has established these relationships? It is you only. Since these are relationships acquired by you, they are subject to change. But love remains the same. With such love you may chant any name such as Rama, Krishna, Govinda, Narayana, Jesus or Allah. All these names refer to the same divinity. You may grind rice and prepare various dishes such as Dosa, Idli, etc. You may mix rice with sugar and prepare Payasam (sweet pudding). But rice is the same in all these dishes. In the same way, only one God is present in the entire creation, and that is love. You should perform each and every task with love.

We call others as ‘brothers and sisters’. At physical level they are separate. These relationships are of your own making. But never observe diversity. Brothers, sisters and all other relationships are one. You see an old man or a child, both are essentially divine. God is beyond – all ages and all forms. Only love is His true form. The same love is present in all forms that you see. Hence everyone of you should develop love. You may call God as Rama, Krishna or Sai. But it is only a difference in names. God is only one (loud applause). Love everyone wholeheartedly. Then only can you experience bliss. So song as you have love, you will not be devoid of bliss.

People today observe individual differences. There are three aspects of an individual. 1. The one you think you are. 2. The one others think you are, 3. The one you really are. At physical level you may be identified with your name, form and village. But in reality, you are only one. This is what you should realise. Recognise the unity of entire creation. Your worldly relations will also have some value when you recognise this unity. You may add any number of zeros with one, the value will go on increasing. If you remove one, there is no value. In the same manner, you may chant any name realising the oneness of God. Ekam Sath Viprah Bahudha Vadanthi (truth is one, but the wise refer to it by various names). The Vedas authenticate the same truth. With love in your heart, you may go to any country, chant any name, perform any spiritual practice. Do not hate anybody. Help Ever, Hurt Never. This is what the devotees are supposed to do (loud applause). When you call yourself a devotee, you should not observe any differences “You are not mine, he is mine”. This is not good. It amounts to hating God. You should think “God is in me, with me, around me, above me and below me”. Wherever you see, the same God is present there. Develop this feeling of oneness. Then you will attain highest bliss. You have come from different countries and you have different names and forms. But having come here, you are all one (loud applause). From today onwards, may you always remain in bliss for ever and ever. People say, “Today is my birthday.” What is the meaning of birthday? It is the day of the birth of the body. Today it is born, tomorrow it may die. But you are eternal. You have no birth, no death. Be always happy. This is what I desire. Do not allow the differences of mine and thine come near you. All of you have sung the glories of the Lord in one voice. This unity is divinity. Where there is lack of unity, there is diversity. Hence develop unity. Where there is unity, there is purity. It is purity that attracts God. The white dress that you have put on symbolises purity. Differences are seen when you put on dresses of different colours. You should not give room to differences. Not only in dress, you should observe unity and purity in your mind, feelings and thoughts. All are one. On returning to your respective places, lead your lives with unity, love and bliss. Your Bhajan has made Me happy.

(Bhagavan sang the Bhajan “Hari Bhajan Bina Sukh Santhi Nahin …” and continued His Discourse.)

Consider Bhajan as your Bhojan (food) which satiates your spiritual hunger. You should partake the food of Bhajan every moment, day in and day out. Right from the morning till night, you should constantly do Bhajan in your entire waking time. This is Swami’s teaching to you. Perform all your tasks, while contemplating on the name of God within you. God is within you, without you, beyond you, below you and behind you. Very happy.

40. Divine Benedictory Address, 26th Convocation of SSS University, 22 Nov 2007

ONENESS WITH GOD IS TRUE EDUCATION

From the time one gets up from bed till one goes to bed again, why should one waste all one’s time earning money?

Embodiments of Love!

It is not good to waste time and energy in vain pursuits without attending to one’s ordained duties. Time is sacred and valuable. Time waste is life waste. You are all students who have to lead others in future.

Every individual has some desires. But students especially have to control their desires. This is their duty. No doubt, desires crop up in your mind endlessly one after the other. But it is the foremost duty of a student to control them. The word ‘vidya’ (education) has its root in the word ‘vid’, meaning light. It means that education shows us light. Education illumines our path to progress.

Dear students!

You must stand as an ideal to everyone. It is only with this hope that we are bringing you up with great love. You all know that educational institutions in the outside world charge money for everything. But we do not collect any money from our students toward fees. Education in the Sathya Sai Institutions is totally free from K.G. to P.G.

In fact, education, medicine, and water supply projects undertaken by the Sathya Sai Organisation are not revenue earning departments. On the other hand, we ourselves are incurring huge expenditure on students’ education. Also, we are helping a number of destitute children in so many ways by providing them material support, free education, financial help, etc. You must realise this truth. Education is your property.

Education is not merely to help make a living in the world. It is not merely for making a decent living in the material world. Even the uneducated are able to live well in the material world. Then, of what use are your degrees like M.Sc., M.A., M.B.A., etc.? This is not the purpose of education. Education may help one to earn a decent living in the outside world to a certain extent. But that is not the be-all and end-all of life.

There is a higher purpose to education: providing an inner life based upon the five human values, viz. truth, righteousness, peace, love and nonviolence. These human values provide a secure, real, and meaningful life to us. Sathya (truth) is the basis for everything in the Universe.

Is there a place in the cosmos where truth does not exist?

Visualise this pure and unsullied truth. (Telugu poem)

God is the creator of all living beings right from a tiny ant to a mighty elephant. Nothing in this universe will move without His Divine Will. Even tiny ants are born out of God’s will. The same truth has been explained in Saint Thyagaraja’s famous kirtan Cheemalo Brahmalo Siva Kesavaadulalo Prema Meera Velasi Unde Birudhu Vahinchina Rama Nannu Brovara (Oh Rama! In Your pure and unsullied form of love, You dwell in all beings, from an ant to Brahma as well as in Siva and Kesava. Please be my protector too).

No doubt we are aware of it, but once an ant bites us, we immediately kill it. On the other hand, when Lord Brahma appears before us, we offer our pranams to Him with folded hands. Though the names and forms are different, the same Atma permeates all living beings. One who develops faith in this Truth will not hasten to cause any harm to any living being.

Every individual develops desires to satisfy themself. One always chants “self, self, self”. Every individual repeats, “this is my body; this is my mind; this is my head,” etc. Who is “my”? When you say, ‘”This is my body,” perhaps it may be true for today or tomorrow. But where is your body the day after tomorrow? What happens to it then?

You are nourishing this body with great love and care. But this body is not yours. It is a gift of God. In fact, everything in this universe is God’s gift. For instance, this is a handkerchief. From where did it come? Has it fallen from the sky? No! It has come from cotton. From cotton came the thread, and the thread is woven into a cloth. Hence, there can be no thread without cotton and no cloth without thread. Thus, everything in this universe has a basis and a source.

Unfortunately, today, we are forgetting this fundamental principle. That is why we are experiencing several difficulties.

When you hear the word ‘God’ repeatedly, you are tempted to enquire “where is God?” “God is with you, in you, around you, behind you.” In fact, “you are God!” Develop that firm faith. The same God as Atma Thatwa (Atmic Principle) permeates all the millions of human beings in this world; nay, every living being in the world.

We are witnessing millions of living beings with different names and different forms in this Universe. Though the names and forms are different, the Atma Thathwa in them is only one. Ekam Sath Viprah Bahudha Vadanthi (truth is one; the wise say it in different ways).

Gold is one, jewels are many. When the different ornaments are melted, what remains ultimately is gold only! Hence, Oh, Embodiments of Love!. try to realise the source and sustenance for all objects in this universe.

You consider that you are different from your father and mother. Again, you treat your mother as different from your father. No; this is not correct. Both father and mother are one. You are part of them. Hence, the question of difference does not arise. A man with dual mind is half blind. Do not have a dual mind.

All the education you pursue is not for you only. It is for helping your fellow human being as well as fellow living beings like birds, animals, and insects. Then only does the education you have acquired become meaningful.

Whenever you encounter a person whom you consider as your enemy, say “hello”. Love everyone. Never hate anybody. You might have noticed that no one hates Swami and all people love Him.

You may ask Me whether there are people who really do not deserve Swami’s love. I wish to emphasise that all people deserve Swami’s love. I love everyone. I do not hate anybody. I do not cause trouble to anyone. I do not offend anyone. Since the feeling of Ekatma bhava (one Atma permeating all living beings) is so strong in Me, many people love Me. The whole world loves Me, and I love all. My word, My song, and My divine leelas (plays, sports) are all dedicated to your welfare. You must therefore try to understand My real nature.

Develop faith in the Atma Thathwa. From faith comes love. When faith and love go together thus, your desires will be fulfilled. Both faith and love are most important for a human being. All others are like passing clouds, which just come and go in between. Do not attach much importance to them. In fact, faith is the reflection of love, and love is the very form of God. Hence, Love is God, Live in Love. Truth is truth for all times – past, present, and future. It will never change. That is why it is said “Truth is God”.

Do not think that God is present somewhere in a distant place. God is not separate from us. The entire universe is an embodiment of Divinity. Therefore, constantly contemplate on that Divinity, who is none other than Unity.

Dear Students!

You read several books. However, all those books have been written with the help of only 26 letters. There are a number of lawyers. They carry books, which are very bulky in size. But all those books contain only letters, ultimately. Health, wealth, happiness and bliss – the source and sustenance for all these things is only God. Good or bad, everything is God. You cannot find bad anywhere separately. Wherever you see, it is only good. But you are not able to realise that good. You are confused. The bad, if any, is only a manifestation due to the difference of time. Today, we partake a variety of tasty dishes. But, the next day they are transformed into excreta. Today’s phala (fruit) is transformed into mala (excreta) tomorrow.

Divinity is present in all things – both good and bad. There is no place or object in this world where God is not present. No one can say with any authority that God is “nowhere or only here”.

Several names and forms are ascribed to Divinity, and a lot of confusion is created thereby. The reason for this confusion is based on how one relates oneself to God at the individual level. Therefore, try to set aside this individual relationship at least to a certain extent. It is only for this purpose that we are pursuing many types of education. The moment the individual relationship merges into a feeling of oneness with God, what remains is only Divinity everywhere.

Religions are many but goal is one.

Clothes are many but yarn is one.

Beings are many but breath is one.

(Telugu poem)

Several jeevas (individuals) sitting here. They have different bodies, but there is only one God immanent in all the bodies. Hence, whomever you see consider, them as God. Whomever you love, consider them as Embodiments of Divinity.

You are all encountering several difficulties due to deha bhranthi (identification of the self with the body) and differences in feelings. You alone are the root cause for these difficulties. Both good and bad are the products of your mind. You may learn many subjects and acquire several degrees, but consider the Atma Thathwa (Atmic Principle) as one and only one.

The same Truth has been explained in the aphorisms Ekameva Adwitheeyam Brahma (God is one without a second) and Ekam Sath Viprah Bahudha Vadanthi (truth is one; the wise say it in different ways). You must preserve this truth in your heart safely and securely.

You consider someone as your enemy. No, no; this is not true. It is only a change in your attitude and love toward them that made them your enemy. There is no change in them at all. Everything in this world is reaction, reflection and resound. However, reality is only one. If you develop such an attitude, you can experience any amount of happiness.

You think “Swami is always cheerful and smiling. How is it possible?” Yes; I am always smiling! The reason being I treat all people as one. The happiness of all of you is My food. Hence, you should also develop that attitude.

The other day, the children put up a playlet. I felt very happy on witnessing it. The children put up the show unitedly.

We use the words ‘I’ and ‘we’. From where did the word ‘we’ come? It has come from ‘I’. Without ‘I’, there can be no ‘we’. Thus, ‘I’ is the one and only one entity. It is like a vertical wooden pillar.

When another piece of wood is nailed across in the middle horizontally, it becomes a cross. It means that when ‘I’ (ego) is broken, it becomes a cross. We must always endeavour to keep ‘I’ as only one. You consider all people as your brothers and sisters. These brothers and sisters are not separate entities. All are one. If you thus make an enquiry, everything in this universe represents only the principle of oneness. If you establish this truth firmly in your heart, the same feeling will reflect everywhere.

Suppose you love a girl. Who is that girl, anyway? Yourself only. It means you loved yourself! The girl is not separate from you. When you treat her as separate, you refer to her as “wife”. On the other hand, when you treat her as one with you, you become one. Realise this unity.

What could be the reason for such great diversity in the living beings in the world? They are a manifestation of the divine principle Ekoham Bahusyam (the one Divinity manifested as many).

Embodiments of Love! Dear students!

You must all become ideal men and women. Only when you lead an ideal life will the whole society become ideal. Do not entertain any differences of those people and these people. “All are one; be alike to everyone”. Remember this always. Only then can you become ideal students. Otherwise, you remain merely as educated people.

Who is an educated person in the real sense? One who has realised that all are one. Education implies only learning. On the other hand, vidya is one that symbolises oneness. Vidya spreads the light of oneness with God. If you lose this enlightenment, you have to live in darkness.

Embodiments of Love!

Let your love be diverted toward God, and it will confer bliss upon you. If you direct it toward worldly objects and persons, it is likely to change every now and then. Whoever you come across, develop the feeling that they are all your brothers and sisters.

Once, a gentleman was addressing a meeting. He started his speech with the address “Dear brothers and sisters”. But he made an exception in the case of only one lady. Someone enquired why? He replied that the lady was his wife. Strictly speaking, no exception need be made, since he addressed all people as brothers and sisters. But once he married her, she became his wife. If there is no marital relationship between them, all are one. I exhort you once again to lead your lives with a feeling of oneness and a sense of sharing.

Arjuna, among the Pandava brothers, won Droupadi in the Swayamvara. When the Pandavas returned home along with Droupadi and told their mother that they brought home a fruit, instantaneously mother Kunthi advised them to share it equally among the five of them, without being aware that they were referring to Droupadi. Accordingly, she became the chaste wife of the five Pandavas.

Even Lord Krishna testified to her chastity thus: Draupadi dutifully obeyed the command of her husbands. She would never say to any one of them that she had no time to serve him. She was satisfied with whatever she got in life. She was the supreme example of chastity and none could match her in this respect.

(Telugu poem)

The Pandavas shared and cared for each other and led a life of discipline and control. I am quite well. No one need worry about My health. Not only My body, everything is alright. My mind does not waver. I have a steady and ever alert mind. The body may undergo some changes; but I am always My own Divine Self.

People enquire “Swami! You are always smiling! Did you never encounter sorrow?” No. Not at all! Sorrow is nowhere near Me. Whatever has to happen will happen. If you go on worrying about it, will it be warded off? That will lead to much more worry. Hence, one should not give scope for worry at all. Once your mind starts worrying, it will never end.

You worry, “Examinations are nearing; Oh! God! How do I prepare myself!” What is all this worry about? Why do you fear to write answers for those questions, which you already know? Surely you will fare well in the examinations. Do not develop any fear of examinations.

No one can measure the distance of the sky from the earth. That is why it is said that the sky is blue. Similarly, none can describe the form of Divinity. In order to portray God, artists started using the colour of blue. In fact, God has no colour at all! If God were to be born with a blue colour, He would have been put in an exhibition as an object of wonder.

Divinity cannot be changed. You may change; but your Atma will never undergo any change. It isnirgunam, niranjanam, sanathanam, nikethanam, nithya, suddha, buddha, mukta, nirmala swarupinam(God is attributeless, unsullied, the final abode, eternal, pure, enlightened, free and embodiment of sacredness). That is why it is said, Buddhi grahya matheendriyam (the Atma is beyond the ken of the senses and can be understood only by the intellect).

Earn a name for yourselves as good boys. Bring honour to your parents. Also, let society be proud of you. If society is to be transferred into a good society, it can happen only through the students. Today, wherever our students are, people say they are very good. I am getting the news. Try to live up to that name. I don’t aspire for anything else.

I will give you whatever you want. In fact, I gave Myself to you. May you all be happy! Do not quarrel with anybody. Do not abuse anyone. May you all live like brothers and sisters! That is the fruit of education. That is real education. In spite of their education and intelligence, a mean-minded person will not give up their evil qualities.

Always conduct yourself as good boys. First and foremost, make your parents happy. If you cannot make your parents, who brought you up, happy, how can you make Me happy? Hence, you should all go to your homes and live happily with your parents. Then, I will also be happy. When people praise you, saying that your are a student of Sri Sathya Sai University, it is a matter of pride to you as well as to the Institution.

The University Grants Commission in New Delhi did not recognise several educational institutions in the country for a long time, whereas the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning was conferred the status of a Deemed University within the second year of its inception.

Dr. Madhuri Shah was the Chairman of the University Grants Commission then. She visited Puttaparthi and put forward a proposal to make our Institute into a Deemed University. Several objections were raised to her proposal on the ground that it was still a nascent Institute in its second year and that it would not be proper to confer the status of a University on it in such a short time.

Dr. Bhagavantham was with us at that time, translating My speech. He confidently said “this is impossible; impossible”. I told him very emphatically that it is possible. The U.G.C. committee visited our Institution thereafter in the second year itself and unanimously recommended to confer the status of a Deemed University on Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. As per the committee’s own admission, “This is the first college” to be conferred a Deemed University status within the second year of its starting.

Later, Dr. Madhuri Shah came here to formally open the Deemed University. She openly said in a meeting, “Dr. Bhagavantham! You said it is impossible to make it into a University in such a short time. How had it been possible now?” The Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning a Deemed University has since been made into a full-fledged University with the combined efforts of all people.

All our students are men of noble character. They are well behaved and well educated. You may not perhaps know how famous our Sri Sathya Sai University is all over the world, especially in the United States of America.

About 180 past students now work in America in different fields. Recently, they all came here in a group. They prayed to Swami, “Swami! We do not wish to go to our homes here. We will go back direct to America from here, after this visit.” Such was their love and dedication to Swami and Sri Sathya Sai University.

(Bhagawan then called Dr. Michael Goldstein, Chairman and Director, Sri Sathya Sai World Foundation and asked him to speak for a few minutes about the former students now working in America.)

41. Divine Discourse on Akanda Bhajan , 13 Nov 2007

AKHANDA BHAJAN – UNBROKEN NAMASMARANA IS THE GOAL

One has to understand what is meant by “Akhanda Bhajan”. There are two kinds ofBhajans – one is Khanda Bhajan and the other, Akhanda Bhajan. Khanda Bhajan is for a specific time, for example, the Bhajans held for a limited period either in the morning or evening. On the other hand, Akhanda Bhajan involves constant contemplation on God in the morning, evening or even during the night time. It is constant contemplation on God during all the three states – the waking, dream and deep sleep. It is “sarvada sarvakaleshu sarvathra Harichintanam.” Suppose you are watching a clock. There are three hands in the clock, namely, the second hand, the minute hand and the hour hand. The second hand is the longest; the minute hand is slightly shorter and the hour hand is the shortest of the three. When the second hand crosses sixty spaces, the minute hand moves forward by one space. When the minute hand crosses sixty spaces, the hour hand moves forward by one space. Which one of these three hands is important? Undoubtedly, the hour hand is important. On the same analogy, doing namasmarana and bhajan only in the morning and evening is like the second hand. The Divine name is highly potent. Each one of the several names of God has one type of power specific to it. If you wish to make good use of this power and derive lasting benefit out of it, you have to participate in Akhanda bhajan.

Once sage Narada approached Lord Vishnu and prayed, “Oh Lord! People speak very highly about the efficacy of Ramanama. Will you kindly explain?” Lord Vishnu wished to demonstrate the efficacy of Ramanama by an illustration. He therefore advised Narada, “Oh Narada” You go to a crow and utter the word ‘Rama’. Let the crow repeat the name.” Narada went to a crow and said, “Oh crow, Your entire body is black, without a trace of whiteness. Hence, you chant the Ramanama just once.” The crow uttered ‘Rama’, and immediately it fell down dead. Narada was sad that the crow died just by its chanting the Ramanama once. He, therefore, went to Lord Vishnu and informed Him of the crow’s death. Lord Vishnu then told him, “Don’t worry. This time you go to the beautiful peacock that is just born and ask it to chant Ramanama once.” As per the instructions of Lord Vishnu Narada went to the newly born peacock and said, “Oh Peacock, Your beauty and grace are enchanting to the entire world. You are very lovable and attractive. Please utter the word ‘Rama’ just once.” The moment he uttered ‘Rama’, it also fell down dead. Narada again went to Lord Vishnu and reported about the death of the peacock after chanting Ramanama just one time. Lord Vishnu again advised Narada, “Oh Narada, there is a cow in the shed nearby, which has just given birth to a calf. You please go to that new-born calf and ask her to chant Ramanamaonce.” Narada did accordingly. As soon as the new-born calf heard the word ‘Rama’, it also dropped down dead. When Narada informed the matter to Lord Vishnu, He again instructed him “Oh Narada, this time you go to the King’s palace where a baby boy is just born. You ask him to chant the Ramanama once.” Narada was very much afraid to approach the newly born prince, since the crow, peacock and the calf died earlier just by listening to the word ‘Rama’ once. He pleaded with Lord Vishnu to spare his life, since the King would put him to death if something happened to the new-born baby by chanting Ramanama. But, Lord Vishnu insisted that Narada should obey His command. Narada went to the palace and asked the newly born prince to chant Ramanama once. The prince saluted sage Narada and informed him that by the mere chanting ofRamanama just once, he was transformed from a crow to peacock, from a peacock to a calf and from a calf to a human being as a Prince. He expressed his gratitude to sage Narada for initiating him into Ramanama. Thus, Nama confers a human birth, which is considered to be a rare gift.

The human being is an embodiment of Divinity. You see any picture of God. All forms of God are portrayed with a human face. That is why it is said “Daivam manusha rupena.” (God assumes human form). It is only the divine name that confers human birth on a being. It is evident from the illustration narrated above that the birds and animals were able to get a human birth by listening to the holy name just once. Unfortunately, no transformation is taking place in the human beings in spite of repeating the Divine name several times. You should chant the divine name whole heartedly with full faith. Faith develops love towards God and that love towards God confers human birth. No doubt, man today is repeating the holy name; but not with love and steady faith. He is more concerned with how others are singing and whether theirSruthi and Raga are in order, etc. He is doing the Namasankirtana with a wavering mind. There can be no transformation in him by such fickle minded Namasankirtan,inspite of doing it for hours together. Namasankirtan has to be done with absolute concentration and steady faith like a yogi. It is said “Sathatham yoginah”. One can achieve great transformation if the mind is steadily fixed on the divine name.

When a lead singer is singing a particular Bhajan song, other singers think of the next song that they are going to sing. Thus, their attention is distracted, with the result, they remain as ordinary human beings only. The devotional singing of Bhajans will have no effect on them. It cannot transport them to a higher realm of Divinity. No doubt, the contemplation on God will sanctify a person to a certain extent. In order to attain purity, it is not enough if chanting of the divine name is confined to a limited period. It has to be a continuous spiritual exercise throughout one’s life. Then only the divine name gets imprinted on one’s heart.

You may attend to your daily routine. But, while attending to your duties in your own house or in the outside world, you must constantly remind yourself that “whatever I do, think or speak, everything belongs to God.” The proper attitude should be, ‘sarva karma Bhagavath preethyartham’. Take for example, the process of cooking. You add different ingredients to the items being cooked, in definite proportions and try to make them tasty. But the real taste comes only when the job of cooking is done as an offering to God. The food becomes divine when it is offered to God. On the other hand, if the various items are cooked with the attitude, ‘I am doing this job as a routine; I am cooking these items for my family members to partake’, it does not reach God. Hence, whatever work you undertake, do it as an offering to God chanting the name ‘Ram’, ‘Ram’, ‘Ram’ . Even while you are walking, think that it is God who is making you walk since Divinity is present in a subtle form in every atom and cell in this Universe. Unable to recognize this truth, people think, ‘I came by walk, I walked so many miles’ etc. Such work comes under the physical realm, not spiritual. Hence, whatever you think, speak or do, consider it as God’s command, God’s work. With such an attitude it is enough if you chant the divine name ‘Rama’ just two times – morning and evening. Not only the name “Rama”, any name you can take for chanting. Chant any divine name wholeheartedly at least once. That would be alright.

There is no use counting seconds and minutes while doing Namasankirtan thinking, ‘I have done Namasankirtan for so many seconds, so many minutes. It is enough if you chant the divine name just once, wholeheartedly. That is like the hour hand in a clock which carries certain value. Such heartfelt singing has become rare today. Some people participating in Bhajan say, “Today I am not well. I have a sore throat due to cough and cold. I am not able to sing.” True, you may be suffering from cold and cough. But, you can sing within yourself, surely. Do it. That will give you sufficient strength. The divine name is very sacred. If you repeat it just once, even the dead will come back to life. Savithri lost her husband. But, by her soulful prayers she could bring back her husband to life. Those who could bring back the dead to life are to be found only in the country of Bharath and nowhere else. Though divine power is spread everywhere and is omnipresent, it manifests in a high degree only in Bharath. Those who are pure in their heart will always succeed. Whatever work you undertake, do it conscientiously. Develop purity of mind. If you undertake the work with that purity of mind and then pray to God, surely you will achieve the result. Meera did the same thing. She prayed to the Lord, “Swami, I delved deep into the ocean and could get the pearl of your divine name. Let not this valuable pearl slip from my hand and drop back into the ocean. Having been born in this world, let me sing the glory of the divine name constantly and make my life sanctified.”

The Gita says, “Mamaivamso jeevaloke jeevabhutassanatanah”. You are all part of My Divinity. Hence, you all should follow Me. My love is divine and sacred. So shall be your love. If you follow this principle, you will automatically achieve purity. Where there is purity, there Divinity is. Everything is reflection, reaction and resound. Since ancient times, you all are My own Amsa (part). Do not ever forget this truth. If only you develop faith in this Truth, it amounts to reading the entire Bhagavad Gita.

Every human being follows Dharma. From where did this Dharma come? It has come from bhava (feeling), which in turn emanated from Viswasa (faith). It is only whenViswasa is there, Dharma is born. That faith is truth. Dharma is verily the embodiment of divinity. “Truth is God: Faith is God; Love is God; Live in Love.” If only you cultivate these three, you can achieve anything. You may encounter any number of losses and difficulties in life. You may undergo a lot of suffering. But, you should never give up truth, faith and love. Loss, suffering and difficulties are like the waves in the ocean of life. They just come and go. But, the water in the ocean remains permanently. Hence, develop the faith of ‘water’, i.e., divinity. Your thoughts are like the passing clouds. Hence, keep your faith firmly fixed on God. If you develop love and faith towards God, there is nothing in the world that you cannot achieve. By faith and love, you can even change the earth into sky and the sky into earth. The power of divine name is unparalleled. People often take it lightly. That is a mistake. One should not mistake a shining glass piece to be a diamond. The real diamond is altogether different. What is that diamond? ‘Die mind’. God’s name is the real diamond. Keep it safe and secure. Do not ever be bothered by pain and suffering, losses and difficulties. They just come and go. That is not your real nature. Your innate Self is strong, eternal and real (sat). You should not follow the fleeting and unreal waves, forsaking your own true and eternal nature. Unfortunately today people are following only the unreal and passing waves. If you hold on to such fleeting and unreal things, you will always be deceived. Once you seek refuge in the lotus feet of God, you should never give up. Wherever you go, the divine feet will protect you. If you install the divine name firmly in your heart, your life will become sanctified. That is Bhakthi (devotion). That is your Sakthi (power). That isMukthi (liberation). It is only for making people realise this truth that the Sadhana ofAkhanda bhajan has been prescribed for devotees at least once in a year. The word ‘Akhanda’ implies chanting the divine name non-stop for 24 hours. But people will be just coming and going while the Akhanda Bhajan is going on. Such a Bhajan can be termed only as Khanda Bhajan. It is a piecemeal Bhajan. It is difficult to maintain continuity of the divine vibrations in such a Bhajan. You should ensure that there is no gap in between. During Akhanda Bhajan you may go home for any purpose, for example, to take food. But, you continue to do Namasmarana while attending to any work in your house. God does not wish that you should not attend to your personal and domestic chores. You may attend to all your needs, but constantly remember God while doing so. That is the essence of Lord Krishna’s message in the Gita, “Maamanusmara Yuddhyacha” (keep Me ever in your mind and fight till the end). In other words, He advised Arjuna that he must engage himself in the war, constantly remembering Him. War in this context does not imply merely killing one another by shooting arrows or with missiles. That is not a sign of greatness. There you discharge your duty in the battlefield. If you do so, those who are destined to die will die.

You should always attend to your duties with a pleasant and smiling face. What is required is a smiling face. There is no use putting a ‘castor oil face’. “Happiness is union with God.” That is real Divinity. When you are confronted with some difficult situations, do not get upset constantly worrying, “Oh! How do I cross this situation?” For example, young people are often confronted with a “marriage worry”. Such worry will only worsen the situation. Repose your faith in God. Think that it is not marriage, but ‘my raise’, i.e., an opportunity for your betterment. If you develop such an attitude, your life will be sanctified. Whoever does Namasmarana, whatever be the name he takes and wherever he is, his life will be sanctified. He will be free from sin. You need not be too much concerned with Raga and Thala (tune and rhythm). There is only one Raga, that is Hridayaraga (the raga arising out of one’s own heart). That is ‘So…….ham’, ‘So………..ham’. Let your life be tuned to this raga of ‘Soham’. Then, whatever activity you undertake, it becomes a success. You are most fortunate to participate in thisAkhanda bhajan. During normal days, Bhajans are held in this hall both in the morning and in the evening. This is a great opportunity. Do not lose the opportunity of participating in the Bhajan. If only you make good use of it, your life will be sanctified. The global Akhanda Bhajan is held only for this purpose every year.

42. Vijayadasami Divine Discourse, 21 Oct 2007

MAKE SATHYA AND DHARMA YOUR STEADFAST COMPANIONS

Today is the festival of Vijayadasami. All people celebrate this festival with great joy and enthusiasm. However, for some people this day brought sorrow, for, it was on this day that Sai cast off His ‘old body’. The human bodies are, of course, merely material. Once a long-time devotee Lakshmibai approached Baba. Baba gave her two gold coins and told her, “Lakshmi, keep these two coins with you. Preserve them carefully.” The date of Baba’s departure from this mortal world was imprinted on the two coins. (Swami at this point created two gold coins with His divine hands). Showing them to the devotees sitting in the Sai Kulwant Hall), Swami said, “Look, here are those two coins.” The two gold coins gifted by Shirdi Baba to Lakshmibai represent Sathya (Truth) and Dharma (Righteousness) that help the spiritual progress of human beings. Swami frequently exhorts the devotees, “Lead your life’s journey with the help of human values. Let your daily life be suffused with Sathya (Truth), Dharma(Righteousness), Shanthi (Peace) and Prema (Love). Truth is Atma. Dharma is the duty that we have to perform. Hence, discharge your Dharma with Truth. These two are in fact the sadhanas you have to undertake. These two only will protect you in every way. They alleviate all sorrows and difficulties. No human being, during the course of his or her life’s sojourn in this physical world, should give up Sathyaand Dharma (Truth and Righteousness). Truth has to be experienced in one’s heart, while Righteousness has to be reflected in one’s deeds. These two are enough. No other sadhanas are required. The names Rama, Krishna, Govinda or Narayana are only names ascribed to God; but Divinity has no particular name or form. Truth comes first and Righteousness next. If Righteousness follows Truth, all sorrows and difficulties will be removed. There are millions of people living in this world. But, the Divinity present in all is only one. This has been described in the Gita as Mamaivamsho jivaloke jivabhuta sanathana (the eternal Atma in all beings is a part of My Being). There may be any number of people, but they represent only the number. Only one Divinity is present in all of them. And, that Divinity is the only Truth. You may call Divinity by any name – Rama, Krishna, Govinda, Allah or Jesus – but God is one and only one. Hence, realise the oneness of Divinity; contemplate on that Truth; consider that Truth as God and spread that Truth to one and all. What we are expected to do is not giving alms or charity. Whatever activity we undertake, it must be suffused with Truth. When people follow such a path, all will be happy. The entire universe represents only one Truth. But, people express it in different ways. Ekam sath viprah bahudha vadanti (truth is one, but the wise refer to it by various names). Truth alone is permanent in this world; all other things are ephemeral like the passing clouds. Names and forms are not permanent. Truth alone is permanent. It is the changeless principle. Keeping such an eternal Truth in your heart, whatever you do becomes Dharma.

I must tell you one thing in this context. There are many youths in this assembly. They should not take it amiss. In the name of modernism, many youths are taking to perverted ways of living these days. This permissiveness is not limited to a particular country or society. It has become a global phenomenon, irrespective of caste, community, religion or country. Right from the primary school children to boys studying in graduate and post-graduate courses are afflicted with this mental aberration. Love is God. Whatever activity you undertake with Love, it becomes success. Unfortunately, today, the term ‘Love’ is highly misused and misplaced and often misunderstood as relating to the body. No; this is not true love. It is fleeting and ceases with the bodily relationship. True love is heart to heart. It is changeless.

The body is made up of five elements and is bound to perish sooner or later, but the indweller has neither birth nor death. The indweller has no attachment whatsoever and is the eternal witness.

(Telugu poem)

The body is not permanent. Hence, do not give importance to the deha (physical body). The dehi (Indweller) is important. He alone is the embodiment of Truth. It is a serious mistake to ignore such an indweller. When you repose confidence in the Indweller and rely upon Him, He by himself will look after everything. We should never forget the dehi (Indweller), who is niramaya (free from all ailments).

When Shirdi Baba left His physical body, it was Vijayadasami day. During His last moments Baba told the people around Him, “Do not rely upon this physical body. It will fade away and whither out in a few minutes. Why do you treat such an ephemeral body as Truth? None should shed tears on this occasion. This is but natural in the case of physical body. Enjoy this physical body as long as it is alive. Thereafter, treat the passing away of this body as a dream.” The physical body will retain its shape for a short period after death. Hence, people around the body of Baba kept it as it is for sometime, with the hope that Baba might come back to life as it happened on an earlier occasion. Meanwhile, one of the devotees, Abdullah, came there and reminded them, “We are forgetting all that Baba had told us. Baba’s word is Truth. We have to follow it. Accordingly, we have to perform His obsequies, which is our duty.” Thus, all the devotees discussed among them what needed to be done and came to a conclusion. They shifted the body to the Wada (a stone structure built by a devotee called Booty) and buried (Samadhi) it there. Thus, the bodies are impermanent however long a person might live. The physical body is subject to certain limits. This body as well as all other bodies are bound by certain limits. Each body has its own limit. None can cross that limit. As the days progress, the limit approaches fast.

Embodiments of Love!

Please, therefore, treat love as your foremost concern. Establish Truth in your heart firmly. Whatever activity you undertake, do it with Dharma (Righteousness). It is Truth that sustains Dharma and Dharmain turn will protect Truth. It is for this reason that Lakshmibai kept with her the two gold coins given to her by Baba. She felt, “These coins are given to me by Baba. These are gold coins. These coins are very valuable; more valuable than diamonds. There can be nothing greater than these coins. I do not need anything else. These two coins represent Sathya (Truth) and Dharma (Righteousness).”

Truth and righteousness alone protect the world. We are undertaking several types of sadhanas in order that the world is protected. But, they are all pompous sadhanas only! You must install these two values in the heart and follow them at all times, day in and day out. Presently, you are just chanting these words by mouth. This is not enough. When you practice these values with all the sincerity at your command, you will achieve the desired results. There is no use repeating these words like a parrot. Even record player does such an exercise. One has to develop conviction in these values with all sincerity. Only then will they be imprinted in your heart forever. They always remain in you, with you. You have to put forth efforts to achieve such type of sadhana.

One day the daughter of Lakshmibai approached her and requested, “Mother, please hand over to me those two coins which Baba had given you sometime back.” But Lakshmibai refused, saying, “No, I cannot pass on these coins to you. They have to reach the same Person who gave them to me and none else. I have no authority to deliver them to you. They shall reach Baba, the Embodiment of Truth and Dharma.”

You may chant any number of names; any number of mantras; you may perform any number of yajnasand yagas. But, what ultimately remain are Sathya and Dharma. Follow these two. You are not separate from Me. You are all My amsas! (parts), as declared in the Bhagavad Gita. Sathya andDharma are following you since several births. Today, you are undertaking several sadhanas. In the end, they are all going waste. You chant the Ramanama saying, “Ram, Ram, Ram.” The japamala in your hand is rotating, but your mind is not turning towards Rama. It is only when your mind is fixed on the name you chant, your japa becomes fruitful. Whatever activity you undertake, let it be truthful. Adhere to Truth always and under all circumstances. In fact, Truth is your very life principle. It is yourswasa (life breath). Devoid of Truth and Righteousness, any number of discourses, Upanishads, Gitachanting, reading of spiritual texts, etc., will become a futile exercise. They may be useful for passing your time. Such exercises cannot sanctify your life. Truth and righteousness are the two most importantsadhanas that will liberate you from this mundane world. You should always remember that you are anamsa of God. You should realise your relationship with God. This is the only relationship that will last forever; you may belong to any country or religion. But do not entertain any differences on that basis. All religions teach the same truth and will lead to the same God. Not a single religion (Matham) is bad, provided your mathi (intellect) is good. Hence, you have to keep your intellect in good condition. You have to understand religion in its proper perspective. Your mind may be changing constantly, but thematham (religion) does not change. Hence, do not give scope for doubt in every aspect. Do not entertain any doubts. Keep only one thing in mind – truth and love. Truth is Atma. What is the meaning of the word ‘Myself?’ It means Atma. Follow your Atma. That is your Dharma. If you do this, you will not encounter any calamity. Everything will merge into this Divine Atma. Realise the Truth. Then your life will be sanctified.

Embodiments of Love!

May you all hold on to the two principles of Sathya (Truth) and Dharma (Righteousness). Dharma does not mean charity. You have to follow the dictates of your conscience, which is based upon Truth and Righteousness. You are all embodiments of Truth! You are all Embodiments of Sathya Sai! Remember this truth and march forward in your life’s journey. Often times you worry, “Swami did not talk even once during these Dasara days.” Today is Vijayadasami day. It was the day when Sai shed the old body. Today, Sai who has donned a new body is narrating to you incidents that happened while He was in the old body.

You should not join the bad company of friends. If you do so, you will also become bad. You must always move in good company. What is meant by good company? Sathya and Dharma. Hence, you should always move in the company of Truth and righteousness. If you hold on to these two values steadfastly, your life will go on happily and smoothly.

Very soon, the entire country will become one, shedding once for all, all divisive tendencies. In fact, the whole world will become one; shedding the differences of nation, religion, caste, etc., and all the people will experience Divinity. All people will move like brothers and sisters. You address each other as ‘brother’ and ‘sister’. You say ‘hello’ to one another. But, of what use it is if there is hollowness inside. You should always greet each other with a pleasant smile on your face. You should never exhibit your feelings with a wild laugh saying, ‘Ahaha …’ You should put on a sweet and soft smile on your face. That is the real laughter. If you make a loud noise while smiling, it amounts to insulting others. You are very fortunate to be here. I have explained the real meaning of the two gold coins gifted by Shirdi Sai Baba to Lakshmibai. Several people tried their best to snatch those coins from her. But, she did not oblige anyone. She returned them to Baba saying, “These coins belong to You. I am giving them back to You. Neither my children nor anyone else has anything to do with them.” The children are born. The relationship between a husband and wife comes only after marriage. If there is no bond of marriage, neither is there a wife nor a husband. If the husband and wife are not there, there is no scope at all for the child to be born. Thus, no one is related to the other. Each one for himself or herself only! That is the message conveyed in the famous “Bhaja Govindam” song composed by Adi Sankara.

Bhagawan concluded His Discourse with the song, “Bhaja Govindam, Bhaja Govindam …”

43. Bhagawan visits Book Trust, Images, Report and Discourse, 24 Aug 2007

It was a very memorable day, a momentous occasion for the staff members of Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust, young and old alike since Bhagawan stepped again in the portals of the Book Trust office after a gap of six years on the morning of 24th August 2007 at 8.50 a.m. The building was inaugurated by Bhagawan in the year 2001 on 23rd August. Bhagawan gave a Discourse, watched a video presentation on Book Trust, graciously went around various departments of the office and blessed the staff members.

Bhagawan was received traditionally with Poornakumbham, Veda chanting and Bhajans as He arrived at the central hall of the office. After a few Bhajans, the Convener of the Trust, Sri K.S. Rajan addressed the staff members. In his opening remarks, Sri Rajan observed that they were all fortunate to be here on this day. Bhagawan has set foot in this building on this day, and it will become very prosperous in all respects. Bhagawan’s message is being spread to every nook and corner of the world through the medium of “Sanathana Sarathi”, Books and Audiovisuals. He declared that this was all possible only due to Bhagawan’s grace. This visit of Bhagawan would be written in golden letters in the annals of the Book Trust. Sri Rajan concluded His speech with a prayer to Bhagawan to address the staff members so that they could cherish His words in their hearts and act accordingly. Bhagawan in all His compassion gave a Discourse, full text of which follows:

All those students who are working here are discharging their duties with steadfastness and devotion. It is because of them that this Book Stall has developed. It is not enough if you merely bring out books, you should put into practice what is there in the books. You should understand and assimilate all the teachings that are contained in the books and practise them. Pustaka (book) and Mastaka (head) should be in harmony.

What the world needs today is service. We should love everybody. Love All Serve All. This is what we are supposed to do. Whatever work we may do, we should do it with the feeling that we are doing the work of God. There is no place in this world where God is not present. He is all-pervasive. Never doubt that God is here and is not there. He is everywhere. God is in you, with you, above you, below you and around you. Whatever work you do, whatever happens is only due to the Will of God, and not by your own effort. (Showing His handkerchief) Here you see a cloth. This cloth is woven with a bundle of threads. The threads are made out of cotton. So, the process is first cotton, thread and then thirdly cloth. Similarly, you are not one person but three. The one you think you are, the one others’ think you are and the one you really are.

There are three processes involved in writing a book – the person who writes, the people who read and the person who prints it. Do not lay importance on just bringing out books. The books we bring out should broaden the vision of the people. We should not give room to narrow-mindedness. The books should help people develop broad feelings. We should publish books which are essential for everybody. But money is not important, morality is important. Money comes and goes, morality comes and grows. We should develop morality. What is the use of writing and reading books without putting them into practice? We should be able to practice at least one principle. There may be many items in the plate, but by merely repeating the names of those items, will our hunger be satiated? Take at least one item and eat. In the same manner there are many books. People are writing about the divinity of Swami in many books. But are you putting into practice at least one principle contained in them? No. What is the use of reading books if you do not practice? You may listen to ten teachings, but at least one of them you should be able to practice. Only then will we derive the necessary strength to carry on our lives.

Our Rajan is putting in lot of efforts to develop the Book Trust. He is doing much more than what is expected of a person of his age. Students are also cooperating and working in the right direction to make it conducive for the smooth functioning of the organisation. You may take into consideration any workplace. Progress is possible only when there is cooperation. Cooperation should be such that there should be relationship between heart to heart. Whatever work we are doing, we should first understand it thoroughly.

All are one, be alike to everyone. All should work with unity. One may write the book, another may print it and yet another may bind the book. But there should be cooperation and unity between all the departments. Only when all work in unity can we get the desired result. When can you develop unity? You can develop unity when there is purity. How can you develop purity? If there are any negative feelings in the mind, purity is not possible. First of all, there should be unity. Where there is unity, there is purity. Where there is purity, divinity will manifest. So, first of all develop unity and purity. Then you will attain the grace of divinity. If you want to attain divinity, first of all you should develop unity and purity. Therefore, I exhort you to develop unity and work together – persons who are writing and those who are printing them. What I see is not the Pustaka (book) that you print, I see your Mastaka (head). Our Rajan brings so many things to Me that are printed by the Trust. But I am not satisfied with any of them. I see the purity of heart of the person who has written the book. Hence, purify your heart in the first instance. A cooked dish will be tasty only when the vessel in which it is prepared is clean. Cleanliness of the vessel is very important. In the same manner, purify your heart. Any number of changes may take place in the world, but the heart should not change. Here when I refer to the heart, it does not mean physical heart. I am referring to the spiritual heart. Spiritual heart means divinity. Divinity is referred to as Atma.

God has no specific form, but He is all-pervasive. He is in you, with you, below you, above you and around you. The Atma is present wherever you see. But when there are passing clouds you will not be able to visualise the Atma. Moon is always present in the sky, but you will not be able to see the moon when it is covered by clouds. You cannot deny the presence of the moon because it is covered by clouds. If you want to see the moon, you have to wait for some time. You can see the moon, once the clouds move away. The Veda declares, Chandrama Manaso Jataha Chaksho Suryo Ajayata (the moon was born out of the mind and the sun out of the eyes of the Supreme Being). The Atma is shining like moon in the sky of our heart. But sometimes, it is covered by the clouds of thoughts and desires. In some seasons, you find thick clouds. When there are thick clouds, you will not be able to see the moon. But do not deny the existence of moon just because you are unable to see. In the same manner, God is present in the heart of everyone. You are unable to see the Atma because of your thoughts and desires. So, you should exercise control over your desires. Less luggage more comfort makes travel a pleasure.You can experience immense happiness if you reduce the luggage of your desires. It is because of desires, you are unable to see the Atma. Therefore, reduce your desires. This is referred to as Vairagya in Vedanta. What is meant by Vairagya? It is reducing your desires. You should not have more and more desires. Our body grows with every day. But our life-span decreases day by day. As the body grows, our life-span also decreases. Hence, it will be very beneficial to us if we reduce our desires. You can always be happy and cheerful when you reduce your desires. You may read any number of books and listen to many sacred histories, but first and foremost you must reduce your desires. Only then can you find benefit out of them. Everyone has desires, but some are necessary and some are not. When we wake up in the morning what is that we do? We get up from the bed with a lot of desires.

Oh man! You struggle hard in life merely for the sake of filling your belly. You acquire myriad types of knowledge from various fields. Examine and enquire for yourself what great happiness you have achieved by spending all the time from dawn to dusk in acquiring worldly knowledge and earning wealth while forgetting God.

(Telugu Poem)

Forgetting God, whatever you may do is a mere waste of time. You should always keep God as your goal. God is not present in a far off land. He is present everywhere – in you, with you, below you, above you and around you. Hence, we should never forget God. People may say anything, you may face any number of difficulties, but you should never forget God. Only when you have such pure, unsullied and steady devotion can you be called a true devotee. You cannot call yourself a devotee if you do not have steadiness of mind. Your devotion should be steady like an ocean which never reduces in quantity. On the one hand, the water gets evaporated from the ocean and on the other hand, rivers merge in it, but still the ocean maintains all its characteristics. Our heart should be filled with devotion like an ocean. We should not entertain the waves of desires and malign it. Any number of waves may arise, but the ocean maintains its pristine state. Hence, keep your heart always pure, steady and selfless. Our Rajan is putting in a lot of effort. He is bringing about many changes in the publication of books. For the 80th Birthday, many good books were brought out.

Never entertain any desires. Whatever you do, do it as an offering to God. Sarva Karma Bhagavad Preetyartham (do all actions to please God). That is the sign of true devotion. Do not give rise to differences like this is my work, that is Swami’s work and yet another work pertains to public. Think all work is God’s work. One who writes the book, one who prints and one who reads the book, all are one. All are one. Never entertain any differences. Only when you do not have differences, can you develop steady devotion. Your devotion should always be steady; it should not waver moment to moment. When you have a wavering mind, everything will keep changing. Do not give scope to a wavering mind. Desires and thoughts may arise, but we should utilise our power of discrimination. Is it good or bad? Is it right or wrong? When your conscience tells something is right, follow it. Always follow your conscience. It is like a traffic signal. Follow it conscientiously. When your conscience tells something is right, follow it scrupulously, irrespective of what others say. Let people talk whatever they want, but we should remain steady in our mind. Greatness does not lie in bringing out books, but we should understand the essence contained in the books. We should bear in mind the essence in the books. Without matter, it cannot be called a book. Without any subject, you cannot get matter. What type of subjects you should choose? You should choose those subjects which are related to the heart. If you do not go by the dictates of the heart, you will not be successful.

An author should write good books which are beneficial to one and all. We should not print unnecessary things. There are many books brought out in the outside world which gives rise to worldly desires. What is happening to all those books? Nobody is reading them. Whatever subject is pleasing to the heart should be the subject matter of books. They are true and eternal. We should perform actions without deviating from the path of Sathya (truth) and Dharma (righteousness). Sathya and Dharma are not different from each other. Sathyannasti Paro Dharma (There is no Dharma greater than adherence to Truth). Sathya and Dharma are one and the same. Without Dharma there cannot be Sathya and without Sathya, there cannot be Dharma. They are interdependent and are like mirror images. We can achieve anything when we have Sathya and Dharma on our side. We should always keep Sathya and Dharma as our goal. Then we will certainly achieve our goal. Now, I cannot explain in detail any further due to time constraint. I wanted to tell you something related to publication of books and nothing else. We should publish only good books. Good books that are beneficial to one and all. You have heard Bhagawan’s Discourses, read many books. At least from now onwards put them into practice.

After blessing the distribution of Prasadam to all assembled and accepting the Arati, Bhagawan left for Sai Kulwant Hall at 10.15 a.m.

44. MBA Day Divine Discourse, 22 Aug 2007

DISCRIMINATION IS THE MEANS TO SELF-REALISATION

Embodiments of Love!

Today’s function is being held to celebrate the anniversary of the School of Business Management, Accounting and Finance. What is meant by business? Does business mean exchange of goods? No, it is not so. Truly speaking, the entire world is engaged in business. Right from the Prime Minister of the country to an ordinary worker, everybody is involved in some kind of business or the other and is following the working system appropriate to his occupation. Knowing fully well this reality, our students are making a mark for themselves in all fields of life.

Never Forsake your Culture

Man is endowed with five senses of perception. The functioning of the five senses is also a type of business in which all the limbs are engaged. All the senses perform their business in the most appropriate manner with regard to the limbs they are associated with. Those who give proper direction to their senses so as to lead them on the right path are truly first rankers. Business which is done mainly by reading books, business journals and comparing Indian business with overseas business cannot be called business in the true sense of the term. Indian business should be concerned with Indian traditions and values. It should keep in view the interest and situation of the country. Other countries are making changes in their business ventures just to increase their power. We should not imitate them in any such manner. We should adopt those practices which are appropriate to our culture and traditions.

Taking only money into consideration in business is flawed; culture has to be given utmost importance. Along with culture, the interest of the country should also be given high priority. True business is that which keeps in view, culture and country. Some people today ignore the culture due to the influence of modern times. You should never forsake culture at any cost. What is meant by culture? We should understand and follow our ancient traditions and values. We should never ignore our culture in our business matters. We should enquire into the relationship between culture and country. Culture has its existence due to the country. True humanness lies in the integration of culture and country. Culture is not related to your worldly relations and practices. Culture is concerned with the feelings of your heart and your power to discriminate between what is good and what is bad. Hence, you should develop strong power of discrimination. This discrimination brings about many changes in the life of man. It is due to lack of discrimination that our culture has suffered a decline. And because of the decline of culture our country has become weak. Wrong cultural practices followed by the people are, in fact, the main cause for the weakness of a country. Today people do not follow the true culture of our country. Consequently, the Government also takes to wrong path. As you all know, different political parties today follow different cultural values and ideologies. But if they all work together for a common cause, the results are sure to be good.

Give up Craze for Fashions

Once when I was a student, some political leaders approached Me and requested, “Raju! We understand that You write good poetry. We have arranged a meeting in Bukkapatnam where a large number of people are expected to come. We request You to please write a good song that can inspire the people.” Those were the days of the Second World War. Adolf Hitler was marching forward to conquer various countries in Europe. He was trying to invade Russia. India was then under rule of the Britishers. Taking the situation into account, I wrote a small playlet. In that playlet, I kept a rubber doll in a cradle and sang the following song, rocking the cradle gently:

Do not cry, my child, do not cry.

If you cry, you will not be called a valiant son of Bharat.

Go to sleep, my child, go to sleep.

Did you get scared because the terrible Hitler has invaded the invincible Russia?

Go to sleep, my child, go to sleep.

Do not cry, my child, do not cry.

For the Red Army is marching under Stalin.

They will put an end to Hitler.

Then what else is the reason for your crying?

Is it because the countrymen lack unity?

All the countrymen will unite and fight to win freedom;

Go to sleep, my child, go to sleep. (Telugu song)

I used to compose songs and make the children sing those songs in the village so that people might give up their craze for fashions and cultivate noble thoughts. The wrist watches had just arrived in those days. If anyone in the village wore a wrist watch, he was considered to be a great person. Not only that, gents used to keep a small moustache under their nose as a fashion. I composed a song on these fashions.

Oh folks! What are these times that have descended on us!

People hang silver medallions from a leather strap on their left wrists – and call it fashion!

Grotesque appearances are made that cannot be seen by the eyes – and they call it fashion!

Long moustaches are cut to tiny patches under the nose – and they call it fashion!

(Telugu song)

Seeing all these fashions, I asked them, “My dear! Why have you done this? Your moustache appears like two flies sitting on your upper lip. This is not good.” New fashions do not become prevalent all at once. These are the result of imitation; people see others and start imitating them. Gradually, this imitation changes into fashion for a particular period of time. See the influence of fashion on women! They have given up the use of auspicious turmeric and kumkum (vermillion) mark on forehead and have started putting a miniscule dot which is hardly visible. All these fashions keep changing. How long does a fashion last? It lasts only for a few months. Similarly, fashions of youngsters and adults undergo change within a short period. As you all know, earlier bell bottom pants became a fashion for youngsters; these were tight from above and loose below like the shape of a bell. This fashion lasted only for a short time. After some time, pants of the shape of a pipe tightly sticking to the body came into fashion. Recognising that it was not good, people thereafter reverted to ordinary dress. In this manner, many unnecessary fashions appear from time to time like clouds in the sky which come and go. I corrected the people when they took to such fashions. Man should live like a human being.

Unnecessary Changes are Harmful

Today many changes are being made in the field of education also. Many meaningless changes are being made in the syllabus. Authorities may thrust such changes from above. But, do they prepare the teachers who are responsible for putting these changes into practice? No, not at all. What can the students learn from such teachers? First of all, qualified teachers are required. Our university is making great efforts to prepare such qualified teachers. If the teachers are good, the students will also become good. Not only in the field of education, but changes have now crept in the area of health also. Earlier, people used pitchers, plates and pots made of clay by local artisans. After some time, stainless steel utensils replaced the clay utensils. But now plastic pitchers, plates and pots have come into vogue. These plastic articles have exposed man to great dangers. The plastic bags and other articles have created enormous waste material which is not biodegradable. Even if you bury it underground, it does not decompose and remains as it is even after many years. Much land is being spoiled by this plastic waste. Vegetables grown in such land are harmful to man. In this way, many harmful changes have crept in the life of man today. Therefore, we should not resort to unnecessary imitation and changes, particularly in the field of education.

Living in Present is Most Important

We should follow our indigenous system and experience the happiness of living in the present. Then our future will also become happy. Many people are worried about their future. Do not brood over past; don’t worry about future. Past is past; forget the past; do not think about it. Present is important. It is not ordinary present; it is omnipresent. Many people worry about their past and future and spoil their present. We should make proper use of our present. Sathya Sai colleges are the only institutions which teach the students to make proper use of their present, though the environment in these institutions may appear to be like that of a rural institution.

Future does not always bring happiness. And so far as the past is concerned, how much happiness have you experienced in it? Therefore, live happily in the present. Nothing is lost when you lose money. Acquisition of good qualities makes your mind steady. A steady mind is a good mind. It is the mind that brings about a change in the life of man. Even the parents do not know the mind of their children. The parents also should live in present. What is the use of thinking about the past? Presently, our students have achieved great progress in many fields and set ideals for all. What should we do in the present? Follow the maxim in the present: Less luggage more comfort makes travel a pleasure. We should not worry about the past at all. Thinking about past will not do any good to us. Therefore, we should lead our life in the present and achieve all-round progress. You should realise the significance of the word ‘present’. What does it mean? When you are in the class, you are present, otherwise you are absent. Absence will reduce your value. In every aspect of your life, present is important.

You achieve good results in all subjects when you are present. Therefore, all of you should think about only present. Today many elders have fond memories of past times, thinking, “Our past time was so good, but everything has turned bad in the present time. In those days, children respected their elders; they conducted themselves with great humility. They revered their elders and learnt good things from them. In fact, there was no need to go to teachers; the grandmother in the house taught many good things to children. In ancient times, all led a happy life.” “Old is gold” is a proverb. True to this proverb, people in olden times were like pure gold. By their teachings, they helped the people to take to noble path. But today we have damaged this path. Therefore, we should repair this damage and restore the path again.

Love and Serve your Motherland

Today, wherever you go you see people fighting with one another. There is neither unity nor purity anywhere; it is enmity everywhere. Anybody you come across, you will see him in anger. You talk to someone, he will talk against you. We should therefore drive away the evil qualities like anger, jealousy, hypocrisy, etc. We should never harm anybody; we should not cause pain to anyone. Help Ever, Hurt Never. You can achieve anything through unity. Therefore, you should always stick to the noble path of unity. Why Subhash Chandra Bose had to leave the country? It was nothing but enmity. When does enmity arise? It arises when selfishness overtakes you. Though he had to leave the country, he fearlessly kept serving the people wherever he went. Our country is in dire need of such noble people. Our professors also said, “Swami, our students are very good. They can bring about many good changes in society. Many parents today are sending their children to overseas countries. But, why should they send them out? Instead they can remain in our country and bring about changes in the community.” Instead of earning 10,000 rupees a month abroad, it is better to be satisfied with 1,000 rupees in Bharat. In overseas countries, even pure water is scarce. Life is full of difficulties. Half of your earning will go as house rent. All other things are equally expensive. A small banana costs ten rupees! Wherefrom can you get so much money? How can you bring up your children? Impossible! In Bharat, your children would be happy and satisfied if you give them a simple food of rice and chutney. Forgetting this simple life in our own country, people want to go to foreign countries undergoing all sorts of difficulties.

I have never visited any foreign country except East Africa. Even in East Africa, I spent most of My time seeing wild life in the forests and observed the good qualities of wild animals. There I saw large hordes of elephants; that looked very beautiful and majestic. I offered bananas to some elephants which they accepted very gladly and wanted more of them. Their ears were as big as a winnowing pan. When they swished their ears, mosquitoes sitting even at a long distance would fly away. There were many zebras and giraffes also. They were happily moving in the forest. None of these wild animals causes any harm to man. They will be inimical towards us only when we approach them with the intention of harming them. Otherwise, they will be friendly with us and follow us like pets. I saw a group of lions sitting at one place with their young ones. Even when we were very close to them, they did not show any feeling of enmity. In this way, all the wild animals behaved in a very gentle manner. Your evil qualities are reflected in the animals. If your feelings are good, the snakes will also not harm you even if you were to lie down by their side. Otherwise your own pet cow may gore you with its horns. If a person is angry with you, what is the reason? It is only reaction, reflection and resound of your own feelings. It is only the evil qualities of man which bring about a change in the gentle nature of animals, birds and beasts. Today there is hatred and conflict even between two sons of the same mother! What is the reason for this mutual hatred? Their evil qualities are responsible for this. We should never give room to such qualities.

Cultivate Unshakeable Faith in God

You are studying in a good college. You should uphold the good name of this college with your good conduct. If you want to earn a good name, you should join good company. Tell me your company, I will tell you what you are. As is your company, so you become. Hence, join good company. It is a great good fortune to be associated with good company. Therefore, you should join such good company and try to develop all-round goodness. Yesterday, the talks delivered by two of our MBA students were very good. Listening to them was a great pleasure to Me. We are very happy to have such good boys in our college. These two boys stood first in their class and were awarded gold medals. But you should not be satisfied with these awards and rewards. You should become good boys. Even the value of gold may diminish but not the value of goodness. Hence, you should cultivate goodness and earn a good name which will remain forever.

First of all, you should develop self-confidence. If you have self-confidence everything will turn out to be good for you. Devotees like Dhruva, Prahlada and Radha led their lives with sacred feelings. Everything became good for them because they had good thoughts. Wicked Hiranyakasipu subjected Prahlada to all types of sufferings. He attempted to get Prahlada trampled by elephants. Prahlada continued to chant the divine name of Narayana. He was never afraid of elephants. He saw Narayana in elephants also. Hiranyakasipu threw him before snakes but he escaped unharmed. When he was pushed down from a mountain top and thrown into a deep sea, Lord Narayana held him in His arms and saved him. In this manner, one with faith in God will never be put to harm. Hence, you should develop unflinching faith. Your firm faith in God confers on you all types of knowledge. Where there is faith, there is love. Where there is love there is Atma. Atma has no specific name or form. Similarly, faith has no form and divinity is also formless.

Love is God. Live in Love. Truth is God, God is Truth.The entire creation has emerged from truth.

The creation emerges from truth and merges into truth,

Is there a place in the cosmos where truth does not exist?

Visualise this pure and unsullied truth. (Telugu poem)

Realisation of truth is sakshatkara (God-realisation). Therefore, we should develop faith in this truth. No doubt, people do have faith but their faith is wavering. As is the faith, so is the result. If you have total faith, the results are bound to be good in all respects. When you are confronted with difficulties, you tend to lose your faith. You may lose anything but not faith. You should consider faith as your life. That is the path you should follow. You have a strong belief that your parents are your parents. Even if a thousand people tell you that they are not your parents, you will not agree with it. You must have such total faith in God also. God will go to any extent to help those who have such unshakeable faith in Him. Your faith in God should be total. We may have to undergo any number of difficulties and hardships, yet, our faith should remain firm. Ramadas worked as Tehsildar (revenue officer). He prayed to Rama, “Swami, whatever revenue I have collected I have spent it in your service. He sang thus:

Oh Ramachandra! I have spent ten thousand gold coins to adorn Mother Sita with a gold necklace and another ten thousand sovereigns to decorate Your brother Lakshmana with a gold belt. That crest jewel which adorns You cost me another ten thousand gold coins. Unmindful of my travails, You are flaunting the jewellery as if You got it with Your own money! (Telugu poem)

The compassionate Lord Himself appeared before the king and paid the money due from Ramadas. Later on, Ramadas repented and prayed for forgiveness, saying, “Unable to bear the hardships of Your test I have spoken such harsh words. Oh Lord! Please forgive me.”

One can achieve anything in life with the help of God’s grace. When you face all the tests of God with total faith and do your duty, you are sure to succeed. Do you know the depth of faith of overseas devotees? Many of them come to Puttaparthi and live in small hutments. Even then, they are very happy. It is not possible for anyone to describe their happiness which is the result of their unflinching faith. If you have such strong faith in God, He will take care of you wherever you are.

God is your sole refuge wherever you may be,

In a forest, in the sky, in a city or a village, on the top of a mountain or in the middle of deep sea. (Telugu poem)

Study to be Steady

First and foremost you should develop confidence. Mere acquisition of knowledge is not enough. Your knowledge may be as vast as an ocean, your common sense may be as great as the mighty Himalayas, but if you do not have discrimination, then everything is useless. It is enough if you have discrimination. Before you undertake any task, always enquire, “Is this good or bad, is this right or wrong?” You will come up in life if you develop this one quality in you. This itself is self-realisation. So, it is important to have discrimination first. Unfortunately, people use their discrimination to suit their self-interest. This individual discrimination varies from person to person. The same thing is viewed by ten people in ten different ways. You must adopt fundamental discrimination which is beneficial to society at large. Only fundamental discrimination will give you self-satisfaction which in turn will lead you to self-realisation. So, proper discrimination is of prime importance for self-realisation.

Students! You are like pure gold. You are all very good. But sometimes you encounter waves of disturbance and doubts in your lives. Many a time, your faith is shaken by some aberrations. Do not pay attention to these. They will go as they come. Come what may, you must remain fearless and steady. Your studies are meant to develop steadiness in you. Study to be steady. Keep this always in your mind. Look at these two boys. How happy they are! In fact, all the MBA students are good. It is not possible to say that one is good and the other is bad. Their singing also was so good. They are intelligent, virtuous and full of vigour. They will be an asset wherever they go. Such boys should stay back to serve the institution so that they can impart their goodness to others. There is nothing great in going abroad and earning a lot of money with your academic qualifications. Money comes and goes, morality comes and grows. You should develop such morality. It is enough if you have morality. What can money do? Can you eat money? Unless you spend it to buy something, you cannot satisfy your hunger. Hence, money is not important, morality is important. Faith comes first, job next. Do not give up your sacred culture and love for your motherland. Subhash Chandra Bose never forgot his motherland even when he was staying in other countries. You should proudly proclaim, “This is my motherland.” Do not tarnish the image of the sacred culture of your land. Be happy.

45. Sri Sathya Sai World Youth Conference 2007 – Valedictory Divine Discourse…28-07-2007

ALWAYS BE HAPPY AND PEACEFUL

The creation emerges from Truth and merges into Truth,

Is there a place in the cosmos where Truth does not exist?

Visualise this pure and unsullied truth.

(Telugu poem)

Every living being in this world, right from an ant to an insect, bird, beast, an animal has emerged from Truth only! Those who realise this truth are real yogis. Devoid of Truth, nothing will move in this universe. And that supreme Truth is embodied only in one person. He is Sathyam (Here Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba materialised a Lingam and showed it to all). Who else can manifest such pure consciousness? Truth is omnipresent. When you think of it and contemplate on it, it can manifest in you also. Hence, you constantly contemplate on Truth. Why was this body named Sathya Sai? Truth alone manifests from this Sai. Whoever contemplates on Truth, Sathyam is present in the heart of that person. Hence, one should never forget Truth. Dharma (righteousness) is the reaction, reflection and resound of Sathyam (Truth). In fact, Sathyannasti paro Dharma (There is no Dharma greater than adherence to truth). Today, we are teaching several branches of knowledge in secular education. But, this is not true education. True education relates to the Truth that emerges out of one’s heart. It has no name and form. What could be the form of Truth? What is the form of Dharma? What is the form of Santhi (peace)? Sathya, Dharma, Santhi, Prema and Ahimsa (Truth, righteousness, peace, love and non-violence) are all formless. One has to manifest these human values from out of one’s heart. The kind of divine energy that is not present in a human being is not to be found in any other living being either. Hence, a human being is verily God. He is God in human form.

You all consider a human being as a mere human being. That is the reason why you are committing so many mistakes. You are not merely a human being. You are God, verily. You think that you are God and you will become God. Yad bhavam tad bhavathi (as are the feelings, so is the result). When you think of bad, you will get only bad thoughts. All people in this world love someone or the other. However, there are differences in such love. The students love their fellow students. The ladies love other ladies. God is present in this lady as well as the other lady. Both are embodiments of Divinity. The one God is present in all bodies. We must love every human being. Love all Serve all,since God is present in all human beings. There is no place in this universe where God is not present. God is present in the sky, in the water, in the sound and in the light. Thus, everything in this universe is the embodiment of Divinity.

We forsake such omnipresent Divinity and worship God in the form of some idol in a temple. No doubt, you can worship those idols. Nothing wrong in that. But, you must realise the truth that the same God in that idol is present in every human being, nay, in every living being. I don’t say it is wrong to worship those idols. But, you yourself are God. Consider yourself as God first and then begin to see the same God in every living being. Your body is a temple. There is divine energy in that temple. However, a little discrimination is to be exercised in this context. You have to enquire whether this energy is God. In fact, the body is also God. God is immanent in every atom and every cell of the human body. There is no place in this universe where God is not present. Hence, you do not entertain any doubt about the existence of God. Do not forget God. In fact, if you forget yourself, it amounts to forgetting God. Hence, do not forget yourself. It is for this reason that one is advised, “Always be careful.”You must constantly enquire into yourself, “Am I forgetting God?” You must always be aware of your true nature and remind yourself, “I am I.” If you are firmly established in that truth, there will be no scope at all to entertain any evil thoughts about others. Not realising one’s own true nature, fools and ignoramuses think otherwise. God is present in all human beings. All the heads of all human beings in this world are God’s own heads, verily. That is the reason why God is described as Virataswarupa (embodiment of cosmic Divinity). His is the cosmic form. Each one in that cosmic form is having a different form. However, God is immanent in every form. Krishna declared in the Bhagavad Gita, Mamaivamsho jivaloke jivabhuta sanathana (the eternal Atma in all beings is a part of My Being). I alone am present in each one of you. You are not different from Me. Do not entertain any doubts or differences of opinion in this regard. Strengthen your love, that is the proper Sadhana. If only the fruit of love in your heart is ripened, the juice of that fruit can be shared with one and all. Hence, let that fruit of love ripen in your heart first. If only you fill your heart with pure love, that love can be shared with all. All people then will become embodiments of love. Then, there will be no scope at all for hatred and violence in the world.

Today, wherever you see you will find hatred and differences of opinion among people. In fact, they are not differences in the real sense. They may appear to be differences in the secular life. But, all are one from the spiritual angle. Strictly speaking, all are zeroes and only God is the hero. He alone is one. All others are zeroes standing next to Him. That is the reason why they acquire value. Remove that one, all will be reduced to mere zeroes! Hence, God is the only important entity in our life.

The mind alone is responsible for all the sorrows and difficulties as well as happiness of the human beings. Several people consider mind as very bad and call it ‘monkey mind’. In My opinion, it is not monkey mind; it is mankind. It is always kind. It is the mind that gives you joy and happiness. It is again the mind that causes you worry and sorrow. If only you can keep the mind in proper state, nothing can be bad. You consider the mind also as divine. Then you will always be happy.

Nityanandam, Parama Sukhadam, KevalamJnanamurtim, Dwand-wateetam, Gagana Sadrisham, Tattwamasyadi Lakshyam, Ekam, Nityam, Vimalam, Achalam, Sarvadhee Sakshibhutam, Bhava-teetam, Trigunarahitam (The Atma is the embodiment of eternal bliss, wisdom absolute, beyond the pair of opposites, expansive and pervasive like the sky, the goal indicated by the Mahavakya Tattwamasi, one without a second, eternal, pure, unchanging, witness of all functions of the intellect, beyond all mental conditions and the three attributes of Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas).

You call it Atma or mind or consciousness – all are one. We ascribe different names to the same principle, according to our convenience and reference. For example, this body has been given the name Sathya. This name is given to the body and not to Me. I am not the body. I am not the mind. I am not the intellect. I am not the Chittha. I am not imagination. Bhagawan is Bhagawan. You must develop such firm faith. It is possible that the minds of some people are susceptible to some disturbances due to changes in food habits and recreation. It is also possible that they may be influenced by some friends in this regard. Frequently, I will be repeating the saying, “Tell me your company, I shall tell you what you are.” Hence, I advise you to join the company of noble souls.

Satsangatwe nissangatwam,

Nissangatwe nirmohatwam,

Nirmohatwe nischalatattwam,

Nischalatattwe jivanmukti.

(Sanskrit sloka)

(Good company leads to detachment; detachment makes one free from delusion; freedom from delusion leads to steadiness of mind; steadiness of mind confers liberation.)

It is possible that everyone can attain Mukti (liberation). But, when? The moment you establish yourself in the truth “I am Atma”, you will attain liberation. Always think, “Swami is in me.” I am in Swami.” However, there will be no use if you simply repeat, “I am Swami”, I am Swami”, with a fickle mind. Develop firm faith, “I am Swami,”; I am God; I am God.” It is only when you develop that firm conviction, you will attain Divinity which is Nirgunam, Niranjanam, Sanathana Niketanam, Nitya, Shuddha, Buddha, Mukta, Nirmala Swarupinam (God is attributeless, unsullied, final abode, eternal, pure, enlightened, free and embodiment of sacredness). On the other hand, if your mind is polluted with bad thoughts, everything will turn out to be bad for you. Nowadays, even water is polluted. The human body will be afflicted with several diseases on account of this water pollution. It is therefore necessary that the physical body is also protected to a certain extent. What do you think of the purpose for which this body is gifted to you by God? It is only to make you realise your own Self. But, you forget this purpose and concentrate your mind on the physical body. After all, what is there in the physical body? The body is like a water bubble. The mind is like a mad monkey. Don’t follow the body. Don’t follow the mind. Follow the conscience. If only you learn this simple principle, your life will be sanctified. You need not pay heed to whatever people may say. Purity of consciousness is the fruition of knowledge. It is only when your consciousness is pure that you will attain wisdom. Purity of the mind is of utmost importance. Keep your mind pure, free from all kinds of pollution. Whenever evil thoughts enter your mind, remind yourself, “This is not good; this is not mine; not mine,” and drive away those evil thoughts. Tell yourself, “These are all not my property; my property is good thoughts and good ideas only.” Constantly remember the truth that love is God. Live in love. If you can cultivate such positive and noble thoughts, everything will turn out to be good for you. There are several people here who are deluded by ephemeral things. No doubt, you are pure at heart. You have only pure thoughts. But, certain amount of pollution sets in now and then. You must ensure that it does not happen. That isSadhana for you. What is Sadhana? Is it sitting in meditation and doing Japa (recitation of God’s name)? No. This is not Sadhana. What do you think is the meaning of meditation? You think it is sitting in a lonely place and contemplating on the Lord’s name. Not at all! Contemplate upon the pure thoughts in your mind. Contemplate on the Truth in you. If you really wish to know the secret ofSadhana, it can be explained through very simple methods. For example, make your mind steady and still for as short a period as eleven seconds. You can attain realisation even in such a short period. Realisation cannot be achieved by becoming restless like a clock. Just eleven seconds of stillness of mind would be enough. But you don’t do even that. You can achieve a lot during this period. Hence, do not trouble yourself unnecessarily. You are, at present, putting your body to a lot of trouble. You are wasting a lot of money too. Time waste is life waste.Money waste is an evil. Hence, do not waste money and time. Time is God and God is time. Hence, whenever you find time, think of Swami. I will certainly appear before you. Not only that, I will even talk to you. I am receiving several letters saying that Swami has appeared before them and talked to them. You can also do such Sadhana. Develop such unflinching faith in Swami. You will surely succeed in your Sadhana. Several people have come here as devotees. They have, no doubt, deep devotion towards Swami. But, what is devotion? What is the hallmark of a devotee? This has to be analysed first. First and foremost, you have to develop faith.

Where there is faith, there is love;

Where there is love, there is truth;

Where there is truth; there God is.

Truth is God. You need not have to make any special efforts to know Truth. In fact, eleven seconds are enough to realise truth. You just contemplate in your mind for a period of eleven seconds on Truth and you will be able to have God’s darshan. You are unnecessarily taxing your body by sitting for hours together in meditation. At the end, you are suffering from pain in legs and hands and back ache. Do not give scope for such painful joints. You ultimately land in a doctor’s clinic who will diagnose your trouble as rheumatic pains. They are not rheumatic pains at all. They are the result of misguided Sadhana. Stick to the time schedule of eleven seconds and you will have no pain. In addition, you also have timely food. With regard to food, you have to know certain subtle things and observe some restrictions. You should not consume non-vegetarian food like meat and fish. In fact, foreigners are used to non-vegetarian food only. This type of food causes diseases like cancer. Hence, give up such food, totally. Not only that. They also like cheese very much. The more you consume cheese, the weaker you become. You should not also take milk in excess quantity. Too much milk is very bad. It should be in limit. The milk should be diluted with water in equal proportion. Same is the case with curd. It should not be thick. It should be semi-solid. Thus, you have to control the food you eat daily. Proper food at proper time is very much necessary for contemplating on God. If you thus take proper food and observe discipline in your habits, you are sure to have God’s Darshan at that very moment. You need not have to undertake rigorous Sadhana for months and years. You can always be blissful. Bliss is the form of God.

You desire to have bliss. But, from where do you get bliss? From a shop in the market? Or by having a sumptuous meal with a variety of dishes in a hotel? No, not at all! Bliss has to come from within. You are, in fact, the embodiment of bliss. You were blissful at the time of your birth. But, once you started developing attachment with the world, you began crying. Hence, you have to reduce your worldly attachments. You are at present having a lot of attachment with the world. Thereby, you are weakening your body. Ultimately you will end up in sorrow. Worry is a very bad quality. Hurry, worry and curry – these three together make the heart very weak. Hence, keep them at a distance. Whenever you are in difficulties, you just assure yourself that these are passing clouds and will move away and therefore you will not be worried. Whatever comes, has to go. They are momentary. Same is the case with the human body. Hence, you have to give importance to the body, only to the extent required. The body has to be maintained within proper limits. Otherwise, it will decay. You have to be very careful. Those who are engaged in Sadhana and wish to have the Darshan, Sparshan and Sambhashan (vision, touch and conversation) with God, must follow My advice in this regard. You are sure to have His Darshan and can even talk to Him. Devotion is not merely performing certain forms of worship or undertaking religious vows or doing Japa. Real devotion presupposes unshakeable love towards God, devoid of delusion. You have to cultivate such steadfast love towards God. Then you will certainly attain Divinity. Since people are at present attached to the world, demonic qualities are growing in them. Both Kama (desire) and Krodha (anger) are the worst enemies of a human being. You must always be happy, smiling and loving. When you are smiling, love will automatically develop in you. There are, of course, some people who will put up a ‘castor oil’ face. You must always be smiling and cheerful. God is always blissful. He does not at all worry for anything. Sorrow and worry are nowhere near God. You observe Me. I am always cheerful and smiling. I have no pain or suffering. I am revealing the truth. Sometime ago, I sustained an injury to My leg due to a mistake committed by the students. My hip bone suffered four cracks. The doctors examined Me and decided to put My leg in bandage. I refused. I came to the balcony by walk and gave Darshan to the devotees. Even now, one of My legs is shorter by two inches. Several doctors including Dr. Pillay and his son from Singapore came and wanted to examine Me. They are specialists in the branch of Orthopaedics. Also several experts from America and other places came. They prayed, “Swami! Please spare just five minutes to us to examine Your leg.” I told them, “I will give you five hours for a spiritual purpose, if you wish. But, I don’t give this body even for five minutes for a clinical examination.” Even now, the students hold My body as I walk. I shout at them saying, “I will not go, if you follow Me.” Thus, I give strict instructions to the students accompanying Me. I am able to manage Myself. I have no pain or suffering in the least. I can walk in the normal way. I do not fumble while walking and can keep My normal pace. I am maintaining the same body weight since many years. My body weight then was 110 pounds. There was neither an increase nor a decrease in the body weight even to the extent of half pound. I am always hale and healthy. No one need worry about My health. I will always be happy. When you look at Swami from an external angle, you will think that Swami is perhaps suffering from severe pain. Not at all! I have no pain, whatsoever. Even if there is some pain, your love for Swami will remove that pain. It is enough if I look at you; all My pain is gone! I will be happy and cheerful. My pain, if at all there is some, has to be removed by your love for Swami and not by the doctors. What could be the reason for people in such large numbers gathering here today? What does it connote? I am extremely happy that I am able to win the love of so many people. You also be happy, wherever you are. I am always happy. I am extremely happy to see you all here. This is your good fortune. This time, the people have all come here with intense love and devotion. That makes Me very happy and cheerful. I am very eager to come to the Sai Kulwant Hall by walk from tomorrow to give you Darshan. There is no medicine more efficacious than love. Your love is My medicine. That is the most powerful medicine. Equally, My love is a powerful medicine to all of you. Always be happy and peaceful. Live like members of the same family with love and affection. Do not be weighed down by petty difficulties and suffering. Do not give scope to any worry. Even if your wife or children suffer from any disease, do not get perturbed. Go back to your places with firm faith that everything will turn out to be good. Lead a happy and peaceful life. (Swami, at this point of time showed the Linga He had created earlier to the audience and enquired) Did you see this Linga? It is heavy. A much bigger Linga will emerge from Swami’s mouth. The Sivarathri festival is approaching.

46. Sri Sathya Sai World Youth Conference 2007 – Inaugural Divine Discourse…26-07-2007

ONLY LOVE FOR GOD IS TRUE LOVE

We see a large number of living beings in this world. But none of them has the greatness, wisdom anddiscrimination of man. That is why it is said, Jantunam nara janma durlabham (of all living beings, human birth is the rarest).

Everything in this world is constituted by five elements. These five elements are present not only in man but also in animals, birds, insects and trees. But what is the use if he does not make proper use of these five elements? Today man is engaged in the pursuit of knowledge. How vast is this knowledge? It is as vast as an ocean. Similarly, man makes efforts to develop common sense. His common sense touches the height of the Himalayan mountains. In spite of all his knowledge and common sense, man’s power of discrimination is zero. What is good and what is bad? What should be done and what should not be done? This power of thinking is zero in man today. That is why humanness has suffered a great decline. The value of humanness depends only on discriminatory power. Man may possess anything and everything, but what is the use if he has no discrimination? People keep on comparing themselves with others in many ways. But nobody is making efforts to know if his discrimination power is more or less. Today man is engaged in amassing wealth. But he does not use his knowledge of discrimination to know whether he needs that much money or not. Wherever we see today, we find people hankering after money.

The mind of man is very powerful. But man’s mind today is deluded. (Bhagawan showing His hand-kerchief) What is this? This is cloth. How does it take the form of cloth? It becomes cloth by weaving thread. But where does this thread come from? It comes from cotton. So, first cotton, second thread and third cloth. In the same way, you are not one person but three: the one you think you are, the one others think you are, the one you really are (loud applause). The thread and cloth come only from cotton. Similarly, man is constituted by five elements. Krishna declared in the Bhagavad Gita:Mamaivamsho jivaloke jivabhuta sanathana (the eternal Atma in all beings is a part of My Being). It means that we all are parts of the Divine. All of you are in search of God. But there is no need to search for God, because you yourself are God. When you have light in your own house, where is the need to go to the houses of others in search of light?

You develop the feelings of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ due to the delusion caused by body attachment. Body is, in fact, the cause of all attachments. But, how long does this body last? It is desired only so long as there is life in it. When the life principle goes out of it, the body is mercilessly put on fire. Then, to whom does this body belong? Therefore, you are not the body. You say, “This is my body, this is my hand, this is my leg, this is my mind, this is my buddhi (intellect).” Everything is my, my, my. Then, who is that ‘my’? When you say ‘my leg’, you are separate from your leg. Then who are you? You are you only. In this way, man today is deluded by his attachment to his body and senses. But you are not the body, you are not the senses, you are not the intellect, you are you. You should realise, “I am I.” That universal ‘I’ principle is only one. Ekam sath viprah bahudha vadanti (truth is one, but the wise refer to it by many names). But the individual ‘I’ represents ego. When you cut this ‘I’, it becomes the cross which is worshipped by the Christians. It means, when you give up your ego, you become your true self.

You are not an ordinary person; you are God yourself. There is no need to search for God. Wherever you see, God is there. This cloth is God, this flower is God, this table is God, everything is God. It is only due to your ignorance that you give scope to differences like ‘I’ and ‘you’. You are not a separate entity. I am I. I am not Sathya Sai Baba. Sathya Sai Baba is the name given to this body. I don’t have any particular name. Your body is the gift of your parents. This body is endowed with Pancha Bhutas (five elements), Panchendriyas (five senses) and Pancha Pranas (five life principles). These Pancha Pranas are prana, apana, vyana, udana and samana. They are the same in everyone. Therefore, you are not different from others. Those who are unaware of this spiritual principle become victims of ignorance and are subjected to delusion.

Everything in this world is reaction, reflection and resound. Where does the resound come from? Here I am speaking. Where do My words come from? They come from My heart. You think that you hear with your ears. But it is not so. All your senses are, in fact, like decorations to your body; they cannot function on their own without the life principle within you. There is no need to search for God. Have faith that God is within you. When you have faith in God, you develop love. From love emerges peace; peace gives rise to truth. This truth is God. Truth does not exist separately. There is no need to search for truth. Truth has no form. Truth is truth. Who has created peace? Peace is peace. It also has no form. Love is love. It is not anybody’s creation. Love is God, Live in Love. What are the human values? They are Sathya, Dharma, Santhi, Prema and Ahimsa (truth, righteousness, peace, love and non-violence). They have no form. These formless principles are imprinted on your heart. All that we read and write corresponds to physical and worldly education. It cannot be called education in the true sense of the term. What is true is educare. Educare means to bring out our latent values. They are immanent in our heart, but we cannot see them. They have to be manifested through self-enquiry. True Sadhana lies in recognising and manifesting peace, truth and sacrifice that are present in our heart. You undertake various spiritual practices like meditation and Japa (recitation of God’s name). What do you understand by Japa? You think Japa means counting the beads of a rosary. But it is not so. All these spiritual practices are merely our imagination. They are all artificial, not real. Science teaches many things. It gives only that knowledge which we acquire through our senses. There can be no science without senses. We are leading artificial and mechanical life by acquiring this knowledge. It is not true life.

First and foremost, you must have faith. You can recognise your true form only when you have faith. From faith comes peace. Truth emerges from peace. This truth is God. God does not have any separate form. God manifests from the truth within you. You undertake many spiritual practices. In spite of all practices, you are unable to experience truth. Do not waste your time in unnecessary pursuits. Time waste is life waste.First of all, you should understand that truth is your goal. You will have no obstacles when truth is on your side. Your senses and mind are very strong when you are young. Your intellect is also very sharp. Being endowed with such great power, why should you feel weak and helpless?

Love is not your individual property. It is universal and belongs to all. Love is in everyone. Love is there in you, Me and everyone. We attribute various names to this love and try to experience it. You should not think otherwise. Today even school children develop a tendency for artificial love. But this is not correct. This artificial love makes man weak. This weakness can cause many diseases. Do not develop such love which gives rise to diseases.

The principle of love is the principle of divinity, nothing else. Accept that love which comes from God. Do not accept that love which comes from others. Your love for God is true love. Whomsoever you love other than that, it cannot be called true love. Man develops attachment to many people, but he is unable to experience true love. True love originates only from God. God is the embodiment of love.Love is God. Live in Love.You should experience only divine love, not worldly love. I will explain to you this principle of love in detail later. We have already exceeded the time limit. Therefore, I don’t want to cause inconvenience to you.

It is very easy to attain God. If you ask which is the easiest thing to attain in this world, it is only God. You can attain God in no time without undergoing any strain. It is very easy to experience love. Love is very powerful. There is nothing in this world which can surpass it. When you look at it, love appears to be very small. But it is as deep as an ocean and as high as a mountain. It is inexhaustible and infinite. You should realise this principle of love. Nobody can describe the principle of love because of the limitations of the circumstances and experiences.

47. Divine Discourse on Easwaramma Day in Kodaikanal – 6th May 2007

MAKE YOUR MIND THE MASTER OF DESIRES

Embodiments of Love!

Easwaramma Day is held to commemorate the day when Easwaramma left her physical body. The body is made up of five elements and is bound to perish sooner or later, but the indweller has neither birth nor death. The indweller has no attachment whatsoever and is the eternal witness. (Telugu Poem)

Understand the Importance of the Mind

People are deluded by body attachment. Body is ephemeral, evanescent and impermanent. Whatever is born is transient only. Whatever is there is this world is bound to perish. Only one thing remains forever and that is the mind. But many people call it monkey mind. No. You belong to mankind and have nothing to do with monkey mind. The mind, in fact, is of the nature of the Self. You should make befitting efforts to understand its true nature. Only those who have control over their mind can be called human beings. There are many in this world who are highly educated. There are also many who have mastered various forms of knowledge and are engaged in mighty tasks. But they cannot be called human beings in the true sense of the term if they have no control over their mind. All kinds of good and bad thoughts occur in the mind. Keeping the mind away from all that is bad, you should accept only that which is good. Never allow your mind to associate with anything that is bad.

Goddess Lakshmi always chants “Narayana! Narayana!” only. The principle of Atma originates from Lord Narayana. You may say Atma or mind or Hridaya; they are all one. The Atma means Narayana only! The mind is also Narayana! And so is the heart. Narayana is called Hridayavasi (indweller of the heart). We should give utmost importance to the mind. But many people do not give due importance to it. One who consider his mind as the basis of his life is a true human being. One who leaves his mind to its whims and fancies is, in reality, a monkey and not a human being. You should make your mind the centre of your awareness. Leaving the mind to its arbitrary ways is like leaving your life principle itself. Hence, make your mind the basis of every aspect of your life. (At this point of time, Bhagawan materialised a gold medallion). This medallion has the image of Lakshmi at its centre with precious stones all around it. The precious stones represent the desires, over which presides Lakshmi who is true, eternal and permanent. You should make your mind the master of desires like Lakshmi. Everyone should try to know this truth.

As is the Feeling, so is the Result

At the time of my departure for East Africa, Easwaramma tried to dissuade me from going, saying, “Swami! I hear there are many fierce animals in those forests and the place is full of all kinds of dangers. Therefore, you should not go there. Whatever You will, all that will come here. Then, why do you want to go there?” I told her, “I am not going to see the wild animals there. I am going in response to the loving prayers of My devotees.”

When I went there, the devotees of East Africa arranged small aeroplanes. I went round the forest in one such plane. There were thousands of wild elephants in the Kampala forest. It looked as though the entire forest was full of elephants. I had taken bananas with Me and gave one each to some of them. All of them enjoyed eating it. Bisons were also seen in thousands. We saw lions lying on the road here and there. Even when we drove our jeep over their tails, they did not react. Even fierce animals will not harm us if our mind is good. They will attack us only when we try to harm them. When we look at them with love, they also will look at us with love. Yad Bhavam Tad Bhavathi (as is the feeling, so is the result). Our thoughts are the cause of their enmity or trust. As we went forward looking at the animals, we saw fifteen lions lying near the road. Some were suckling their young ones, some others were eating the meat of an animal brought by them. I said to Dr. Patel and others who accompanied Me, “When we do not harm them, they also do not harm us.” Taking a camera from one of those who accompanied Me, I went near the lions and took their photographs. All of them were happy to see Me. You can see, none of the lions did any harm to us. When you approach them with the evil intention of harming or killing them, they will also try to kill you. We should never go to them with such wicked thoughts. In fact, we should not look at any being with evil intentions.

Do not develop body attachment

Meanwhile, Easwaramma kept thinking about Me with great concern and did not even eat her food properly, with the result that she became quite weak. I kept her informed everyday morning and evening by phone from Kampala saying, “I am quite all right.” Hearing this, she used to be somewhat comforted. When I came from Kampala, she was very happy. She came near My car and garlanded Me, saying, “Swami! You look very happy and healthy.” She took Me inside and rotated a coconut in front of Me to ward off the effect of evil looks of others.

She was beside herself with joy and said, “Swami, I never imagined that Your trip would be such a grand success.” She shared her joy with one and all in Puttaparthi also. Whenever we visited other places, on our return to Puttaparthi, Easwaramma used to describe to the people all that happened during these visits and exhorted them to follow the ideals set by Swami.

Once the Summer Course in Indian Culture and Spirituality was being conducted at Bangalore. At that time, Easwaramma had also come with Me. As long as she was alive, she always desired, “Swami, wherever you go, I should go with you.” She asked Me to give her a promise that I would not leave Puttaparthi. I gave her the promise. “Wherever a tree is planted, it should be allowed to grow there only. If it is pulled out and planted at different places, it cannot attain proper growth.” She used to say and pleaded with Me, “Swami! You should always reside at the place of your birth.”

One day, after her breakfast, she had a cup of coffee. Suddenly, she shouted “Swami, Swami, Swami.” I called back saying, “I am coming, I am coming, I am coming.” The she asked Me to come quickly and I came to her immediately. She caught hold My hands and placed them on her head and breathed her last. Where was the need to keep the body which had no life in it? Therefore, immediately I sent her body to Puttaparthi. I sent Ramabrahmam with the body after giving him necessary instructions. Those who were present there said, “Swami! You should also go with the body.” But I refused to go. Summer classes were in progress and students had come from many countries. The students thought, there would be no classes on that day as Swami would be going with the body of Mother Easwaramma. But the classes were held as usual and I went to the second class. The students wondered, “How has Swami come! He was supposed to go with the body of Mother Easwaramma!” Why should I go with the body? The body goes as it comes. I did not come with her body; I came separately. Therefore, I sent her body to Puttaparthi in a car with the instructions to make a Samadhi for her.

Many people in Puttaparthi also wondered, “Why Swami has not come with the body?!” The body comes alone and goes alone only. Everyone comes alone and goes alone. Ekameva Adviteeyam Brahma (God is one without a second). After the completion of Summer classes, I went to Puttaparthi. I told everybody there, “It is natural for the body to have birth, growth and death. All bodies are like that. Therefore, nobody should have body attachment.”

(Here, Swami told the life story of Iswarchandra Vidyasagar who fulfilled the noble desires of his mother and set an example of service to society. He also taught the lesson of humility and selfless service to an I.C.S. officer by carrying his suitcase from the railway station to the place where Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar himself was to deliver his speech.)

Easwaramma was happy that I ate only simple food. She would say, “Swami, You should let the world know about Your food habits.” I said, I would certainly do so. Right from those days, I have been emphasising on the need to have simple and sattwic food. When I am in Puttaparthi, I always eat Ragi Sankati with groundnut Chutney. Sometimes, I take Sankati with Totakura Dhal instead of Chutney. I do not relish any other item. I do not touch spicey items like Kurmas, Burmas! I do not even like the smell of Kurma. My only dietary requirement is Sankati with Chutney. But when I visit other places, people in those towns do not know what Sankati is. So, I eat whatever the devotees prepare for Me. I conduct Myself in accordance with the time, situation and circumstances. However, I never deviate from My practices; I strictly adhere to them. Let people think what they want. I never imitate the practices of others. In this manner, this body is completing 81 years. But none can say that I look like an 82-year-old person.

May you sanctify your time in the service of Swami! May you put into practice the principles of service that I have taught you! With this, I bring My Discourse to a close.

48. Divine Discourse on Vishu, Tamil New Year 2007…14th April 2007

WATER IS THE GIFT OF GOD TO MAN

Embodiments of Love!

As mentioned by the speakers who spoke just now, I provided water to Chennai both for drinking as well as for cultivation purposes. But the repair work of the canal was done only up to the border of Andhra Pradesh. Not only was this work executed without any problem, but it was also done in such a nice way that not even a drop of water was allowed to be wasted.

Depend only on God

Thus, the water of the river Krishna reached up to the border of Tamil Nadu very smoothly without any wastage. But there was wastage of water after it entered Tamil Nadu border as the part of the canal on the Tamil Nadu side was not repaired. It was envisaged that this work would be done by the Tamil Nadu Government, but it has not been done so far. Naturally, the people are worried as the work has not been completed. Therefore, I have decided to undertake this task (loud applause). The length of the canal to be repaired towards Chennai is about 25 km. The cost of repairing it is estimated at 30 to 40 crore rupees. There is no need for you to depend upon anybody else. It is enough if you pray to God. God can perform any task. Very soon, I will complete this work so that the water reaches the people of Chennai in full measure. Shortly, I will send the engineers there. As there are breaches in the canal on the Tamil Nadu side, a lot of water is being wasted. After the repair work is done, adequate water will reach Sathyamurthy Sagar. Thus, Sathyamurthy Sagar will be filled with Sathya Sai water (loud prolonged applause). I will do this work. This will ensure permanent supply of water to Chennai.

Everybody has Equal Right on Water

Sai can do any work which nobody else is able to do. The remaining part of the canal will be nicely repaired with cement lining. You have seen for yourself how much water is being wasted now. Water is not anybody’s property; it is God’s property. People are fighting with each other for water, which, in reality, is the property of God. So, they have no right to fight. Water is God’s gift to man. Everybody has equal right over it.

The name of this year is Sarvajit. What is the meaning of Sarvajit? It means victory in all fields, viz., business, agriculture, education, etc. Hence, we will also be victorious in performing this task. I will complete this work so that you have no inconvenience henceforth. I am prepared to spend any amount of money. The five elements are the gift of God; water is one of them. It is in the hands of God. You need not approach anyone else. You may inform Karunanidhi that I will surely do this work. Convey this good news to the people of Chennai also in this auspicious Sarvajit year. May you all lead a happy life! Constantly contemplate on God. This is your total protection. How can people have any problem when they have this sacred protection? Why fear when I am here? (loud applause) In this Sarvajit year, I will give water for Sathyamurthy Sagar. Therefore, you should have no worry. Have faith that God will not only provide food and water to you, but He will look after you in all respects.

Today is the sacred New Year day. It is an important day both for the people of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The people of Kerala and Tamil Nadu are recipients of My grace in full measure (loud prolonged applause). Hereafter, you will have no problems. Earlier, small children were suffering from many ailments by drinking polluted water. Now drink this sweet water, enjoy good health and lead a blissful and happy life without any problems.

All of you who have come here should go back happily. You will have no dearth of anything in life. I have great love for Chennai. Where is Chennai and where is Puttaparthi? Did anyone come here and pray to Me? No. Sai Himself has come to you and provided water. My love for Chennai cannot be described in words. May you all enjoy good health by eating good food and drinking pure water!

49. Divine Discourse on Sri Rama Navami, 27th Mar 2007

REMEMBER THE NAME OF RAMA FOR EVER

Thousands of years have passed since the advent of Treta Yuga, yet even now everyone; right from children to elderly people remember the name of Rama. The glory of Rama’s name is such that it has not diminished even a bit with the passage of time. This truth should be recognised by all. Rama is the name given to a form, but the name of Rama is not limited to a form. Atma is Rama, and its true name is Atmarama. Therefore, wherever and whenever you remember the name Rama, Rama is there with you, in you, around you.

Embodiments of Love!

Rama is one, whether you identify it with the Atma or with the form installed in your heart. Every year comes the festival of Sri Rama Navami. But we have not so far understood its true significance. You identify Rama with a form. But Rama is not limited to any particular form. It is the name that is latent in your heart. Many changes and variations keep occurring in the world, but the name of Rama is immutable, is eternal, unsullied and everlasting. Rama was not an ordinary individual. He was verily God who incarnated on earth for the welfare of mankind. People call God by many names like Rama, Krishna, Easwara and Mahadeva. They are all the names of one God. You should recognise the glory of this name. Sage Vasishtha said, “Ramo Vigrahavan Dharma” (Rama is the personification of Dharma). Dharma itself incarnated in the form of Rama. You should follow Dharma. Which Dharma should you follow? Do not follow the Dharma associated with your mind. Follow the principle of Dharma which comes from your heart.

Sita became the consort of Rama who was the personification of Dharma. Wherefrom did Sita take birth? Sita was born out of the womb of the earth. When King Janaka was ploughing a field in the process of the performance of a Yajna, he found a box in it. When the box was opened, a small baby was found in it. Considering this as the boon of God, he took the baby home and brought it up with great care and affection. This baby was given the name Sita. Since she was the daughter of the King of Videha, she was also called Vaidehi. This name had great significance since it meant one who transcended the illusion caused by body attachment.

Once Sita was playing a game of ball with her companions in her house. There was a big box in the house of Janaka, which contained a huge bow. As her playmates were playing with the ball, the ball went under the box. It was not possible for anyone to move this box. Sita went there and put it aside with her left hand. Seeing that act of Sita, King Janaka decided that very day that Sita’s power should be made known to the world. Thereafter he organised a Yajna and made a declaration: “Whoever strings the bow of Lord Siva, I will give my daughter Sita in marriage to him.”

Kings of many countries came there. All of them thought it was a great good fortune to marry Sita and to become the son-in-law of King Janaka. They came one after the other and tried to lift the bow but all of them failed in their attempt. In that assembly, Rama and Lakshmana were also present accompanied by Sage Viswamitra. As per the direction of the sage, Rama went forward. Rama walked with great humility to the delight of one and all. His speech, His actions and His demeanour was full of sweetness. He went near the bow, lifted it with His left hand and bent. It broke with a thundering sound. Everybody expressed their happiness with a loud applause. People thought it would be very difficult to lift the bow; but what is difficult for Rama? His mere Sankalpa (Will) could do any stupendous task. Viswamitra went near Rama and said, “Rama! Today You have demonstrated Your divine power. Certainly it is not a human power. It is indeed divine.”

Everyone praised Rama and started garlanding Him. Then King Janaka brought his daughter Sita. As she came, Rama did not even look in the direction from where she was coming. Why? He did not want to look at her without the command of His parents.

King Janaka conveyed the good news to King Dasaratha at Ayodhya. He requested all of them to come after deciding the Muhurtham (auspicious time) of the marriage. He said, “Your son has achieved success in the competition organised by me. Therefore, all of you are requested to come prepared to celebrate the marriage of Sita with Rama.”

Welcome to all for Rama’s wedding;

together we shall witness the joyous scene.

Many have gathered already,

decked up in all their finery.

With necklaces the ladies are adorned

of jewels pure and gleaming.

Rama shall tie the knot today

to beauteous Sita, oh what a fine match they make.

(Telugu Song)

The women of the Kingdom came to participate in the wedding and joyfully sang the song:

Come let us go and see the marriage of Rama and Sita,

The sight shall confer great merit.

Blessed are those who see this scene.

Oh come one and all, watch with joy the sacred marriage. (Telugu Song)

In this manner when the women came from one direction, men came from another direction singing joyfully, “Come, let us go and see the marriage.” Dasaratha along with his queens and his sons Bharata and Satrughna and his ministers arrived in Mithila with great enthusiasm. It appeared as though the entire Ayodhya had come to Mithila. King Janaka extended a royal welcome to them with great honour.

The name of the second daughter of King Janaka was Urmila. His younger brother had two daughters, namely Mandavi and Srutakeerthi. It was decided to give Urmila to Lakshmana, Mandavi to Bharata and Srutakeerthi to Satrughna in marriage. Everyone was happy that all the four pairs were going to be married at the same time.

When everyone was seated in their respective places, the marriage ceremony started. Sita, Urmila, Mandavi and Srutakeerthi stood in front of Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Satrughna respectively. First Sita put the garland around the neck of Rama. Thereafter, the other three brides garlanded their respective bridegrooms. All the people joyfully hailed the occasion.

It is not possible to describe the leelas and glories of Rama. After the marriage function, all left for Ayodhya. On the way they heard a deafening sound. When they looked around to find where the sound had come from, they were confronted with Parasurama in his fierce form. All of them were perturbed to think, “What is this great hurdle after the glorious celebration of the marriages?” Good and bad always follow each other. After experiencing great joy in Mithila, they were confronted with a great difficulty on their way to Ayodhya. Dasaratha and others became fear-stricken. Parasurama came forward and asked, “Who has broken the bow?” “It is I who has done it,” said Rama.

“If that is so, let us see if you can break my bow,” saying so he gave his bow in the hands of Rama. Rama broke even that bow with his left hand. Seeing that Parasurama offered his salutations to Lord Rama and went away. Experiencing the joy of victory, all of them returned to Ayodhya and participated in the festivities held in Ayodhya with great joy and enthusiasm. The people celebrated functions with great joy to propagate the power of Rama and the devotion of Sita to the world.

Manthara became jealous to see all those festivities. You can find people like Manthara everywhere. Manthara became very angry when King Dasaratha decided to crown Rama instead of the son of Kaikeyi; she started poisoning the mind of Kaikeyi by fabricating many false stories against Rama. Hearing this evil talk of Manthara, the mind of Kaikeyi changed. Though a queen, she was influenced by the words of her servant and became responsible for the exile of Rama. Afterwards she repented, realising it was the conspiracy of Manthara. In reality Kaikeyi loved Rama very much. It was Kaikeyi who taught many things to Rama. Rama also loved Kaikeyi more than his mother Kausalya.

Manthara pleaded with Kaikeyi: “Mother! I am your servant. From your very birth, I have nursed you and brought you up. Kindly fulfil a desire of mine. King Dasartha has decided to crown Rama. But as per the promise given to you earlier, he should crown Bharata. Rama should be sent to exile for fourteen years.”

Both Sita and Rama were ready for the coronation wearing yellow coloured silk clothes. All were waiting in the royal court to extend welcome to them. Meanwhile, Rama went to mother Kausalya and said, “Oh mother! I am going to forest. Kindly permit Me.” Then Kausalya asked, “Why my dear one! Why do you want to go the forest now, as this is the time of Your coronation.” Rama said, “Mother! It is the command of My father that I should stay in exile in the forest for fourteen years; I have to uphold the promise made by My father,” saying thus, He saluted His mother and went to meet Sumitra. Sumitra was the second wife of Dasaratha. Prior to his marriage with Sumitra, Dasaratha sought the consent of Kausalya. Kausalya replied, “Our Kingdom needs an heir, isn’t it? Hence, you may marry a woman of your choice. I will also participate in the marriage.” Dasaratha was very happy and pleasantly surprised. Such women are also there in the world who go by the wishes of their husbands!

Sumitra was one of great virtues. True to her name “Su-mitra” (good friend), she was the friend of all. She went to Kausalya and spoke words of great encouragement. “Dear elder sister! Why should you worry? What do you think of Rama? He is Lord Narayana Himself. How does it matter to Him whether He is in Ayodhya, or in a forest? Wherever He is, He is always with us. For Rama, Ayodhya and Aranya (forest) are one and the same.”

Kausalya was somewhat comforted to hear the words of Sumitra. Her mind also became peaceful. Sumitra added, “Dear elder sister, two sons were born to me, while both you and Kaikeyi gave birth to one son each. Do you know why? The reason is that both my sons will have the opportunity to serve their elders brothers; Lakshmana will serve Rama, and Satrughna Bharata. Therefore, pay attention to my resolve. Lakshmana will go to forest with Rama and will protect Rama as the eyelids protect the eyes. Therefore, do not have any fear.

Before proceeding to the forest, Lakshmana went to meet his wife Urmila. So far she had not come to know that Rama, Lakshmana and Sita were going to the forest. Sitting in her room, she was absorbed in painting the scene of the coronation of Rama and Sita. At that time, Lakshmana went there and called “Urmila” to draw her attention. “Yes, Swami”, said she, getting up suddenly from her seat. As she got up, by mistake the paint got spilled on the painted picture. Distressed at this happening, she exclaimed, “Oh! A beautifully painted picture is spoiled.” Then Lakshmana said, “Urmila! Here, you are worrying that the picture is spoiled. There, Kaikeyi has spoiled the coronation of Sri Rama which could bring about immense good to others.” Lakshmana then informed her that he was going to forest with Rama. Frightened at the news of Rama going to the forest, she asked Lakshmana, “What do you mean by saying, Rama is going to the forest? A few moments from now He is going to be crowned. Is it not so?” Then Lakshmana apprised her of all that had happened. As she was endowed with a great spirit of sacrifice, she was not at all perturbed by the thought of separation from her husband. Overjoyed at the thought of her husband getting the opportunity to serve Rama and Sita, she said to Lakshmana, “Sanctify your time by serving Rama and Sita. Very few have such a great fortune. Go happily.” Saying this, she bade farewell to Lakshmana.

Cautioning her daughter about the dangers of the forest, Janaka asked Sita, “Sita! You are going to forest with Rama. Many fierce animals roam about in the forest and frightening sounds are also heard there. Can you bear all this without getting frightened?” Sita replied, “Where is the scope for any fear of animals when Rama, a lion in the human form is there with me? Rama is Lord Narayana Himself. Therefore, I have nothing to fear.” In this manner, Sita, Rama and Lakshmana put at rest the fears of everyone and proceeded to the forest. In the forest, Lakshmana protected Rama and Sita with great care and engaged himself in their service.

After killing Ravana, when Rama returned to Ayodhya along with Sita, the people of Ayodhya welcomed them enthusiastically hailing their return with great festivity, “Rama has come. Mother Sita has come. Ayodhya is shining in the effulgence of their glory. This is a great day for Ayodhya.” There were many great celebrations on their return to Ayodhya and the people were overjoyed to see Rama and Sita whom they revered as Lord Narayana and Lakshmi.

Sita counselled Rama, “Transform this kingdom into a kingdom of joy where everybody can lead their life happily. Even today people in every village, every house and every hut of Bharat worship Rama. It is a common practice among the people of Bharat to name their children as Rama and Sita. There is no change in the name of Rama and Sita even after the passage of thousands of years. The glory of these names is eternal and immutable. There have been wars in many countries, but not in Bharat. People may fight with each other due to their personal differences, but no war was fought in this country. Not only that, there will never be any war in Bharat. It is Rama Rajya. It is the land of peace. It is the land of love.

This land of Bharat has given birth to many noble women like Savitri who brought her dead husband back to life; Chandramati who extinguished wild fire with the power of truth; Sita who proved her chastity by coming out of blazing fire unscathed and Damayanti who reduced an evil-minded hunter to ashes with the power of her chastity. This land of piety and nobility attained plenty and prosperity and became the teacher of all the nations of the world because of such women of chastity. (Telugu Poem)

Such great women took birth in the land of Bharat. Therefore, every day in Bharat is a festival and an occasion for celebration. You know, when a man’s wife dies he immediately makes efforts to marry again. But the women of Bharat are not like that. Bharat is befittingly called the teacher of the world. In this sacred land, Lord Narayana incarnated and redeemed the life of the people by showing them His divine play and divine glory.

Every individual is the image of the Atma. The same truth was propounded by Krishna: Mamaivamsho Jivaloke Jivabhuta Sanathana (the eternal Atma in all beings is a part of My Being). All of you are the embodiments of the Atma. You may be having different names, but the Atmarama in all of you is the same. Therefore, do not think Rama is somewhere else. Your heart itself is the temple of Rama. Therefore, constantly contemplate on Rama who is immanent in your heart. Rama is there with you, in you, around you not only in your waking state, but also in the dream and deep sleep state also. He is eternally with you. Rama is not limited to a particular form. He assumes innumerable forms. Though the forms are many but Divinity in them is one. Therefore, whomsoever you see, offer your salutations to him, considering him as the form of Rama. Now Swami is being extolled as Sai Rama and Sai Krishna as He embodies the same principles of Dharma (righteousness), Prema (love) and Santhi (peace) which Lord Rama and Lord Krishna personified.

Rama is immanent in everyone; Easwara is present in all; Rama is within you. In fact, you yourself are Rama. Establish this truth in your heart firmly and spend your time profitably. Then your life will be filled with everlasting bliss. Constantly recite the name of Rama.

Aeons have passed, yet the name of Rama has not been forgotten. Rama is not separate from you. You are not separate from Rama. You may call a person by his name, but it is Rama who is present in him. You may call Him Sai Rama, Sita Rama or Ayodhya Rama or any other name, but do remember Rama forever.

50. Divine Discourse on Ugadi (2nd Discourse), 20th Mar 2007

DEVELOP LOVE AND LEAD THE LIFE

OF A TRUE MANAVA

Students! Citizens of Anantapur!

The words you uttered and the programmes you presented got imprinted in My heart. You have set an example to others and proved beyond doubt that people of Anantapur are endowed with immense potentiality and talent. It is My wish that all other districts should emulate your example. I do not have any other desire. I want to purify your heart and confer peace and bliss on you. That is the only desire I have. I do not have even a trace of hatred in Me nor do I have any enemies. All are Mine. It is My love that is present in all of you. I speak only about love and nothing else. I have immense love for the children. In fact they are My only property. If they come up in life, the entire world will prosper.

You should always be united. You call yourself a Hindu. What does the term HINDU signify? H – Humility, I – Individuality, N – Nationality, D – Divinity, U – Unity. These are verily our five life-breaths (Pranas). Just as five elements, five senses and five life-sheaths constitute our physical body; these five principles constitute the very essence of spirituality. Hence you have to safeguard these five principles and stand united. Never give scope for differences of opinion even in trivial matters. If any differences were to arise, each should be prepared to forgive the other. All are the children of God. All are brothers and sisters. You should understand this truth and conduct yourself accordingly. There is love in everyone. It is only when man develops love in him can all be united. When we develop love and give up hatred, our innate power will manifest. Elders are bogged down by a number of worries which weaken their mental power. But the youth are endowed with immense power of mind and senses. They should develop it by putting the senses to sacred use.

We should develop the spirit of unity. Never think that you belong to a particular state and thereby give rise to differences. You should always think that you belong to India. This is what I told in Madras (Chennai) recently. Do not identify yourself with Vyashti Tattwa (individual principle). We should identify ourselves with Samashti Tattwa (societal principle) and cultivate unity. Never forget the feeling of nationality. Consider truth, righteousness, peace, love and non-violence as your Pancha Pranas (five life-breaths) and uphold the sanctity of the name ‘Manava’ (human being). Where there is love, there is peace. Where there is peace, there is non-violence. One bereft of love cannot attain peace. Peace cannot be purchased in a shop. In the external world, you find only pieces, but not peace! Even if you were to ask a millionaire, he will say, “I have everything except peace of mind.” One can attain peace only through love. Divine love is the basis for every thing. When we develop love for God, everything will be taken care of. If we do not have love for God, we will be giving scope to evil qualities such as anger, hatred, jealousy etc. Man today has given up human qualities such as love, peace, compassion and is leading the life of an animal.

We should face all difficulties with forbearance. Forbearance is the real beauty in this sacred land of Bharat. Of all the rituals, adherence to truth is the greatest penance. The nectarous feeling in this country is the feeling of love towards one’s mother. Character is valued far higher than the very life itself. People have forgotten the basic principles of this great culture and are imitating Western culture. Alas! The Bharatiyas are not aware of the greatness of their cultural heritage just as a mighty elephant is not aware of its own strength. (Telugu Poem)

Man is endowed with great power. The power that is present in us cannot be traced anywhere else. But we forget our innate power as we are drowned in evil qualities such as hatred and jealousy. We should never have hatred or anger towards any one. Do not be perturbed if someone vents out his anger on you. Offer your salutation to him and remain calm and composed. Greet even your enemy with love saying, “Hello brother! How are you?” When you address him as brother, he will reciprocate the same brotherly affection. On the other hand, if you tell him, “You are my enemy”, he will continue to develop hatred towards you. All your feelings will come back to you in the form of reaction, reflection and resound. As is the action so is the result. Can you get the belch of pineapple when you eat a mango? No. The smell of your belch depends on the fruit you have consumed. Likewise, you will experience only love when you fill your heart with love.

Dear children!

You should develop love right from this tender age. Here love implies not worldly love, but divine love. When you have divine love, you will not be affected by the ‘deep wine’ of worldly desires. Hence, develop divine love. My life bears testimony to the principle of divine love. Love is the hallmark of true humanness. One bereft of love cannot be called a human being at all. Hence, develop love and lead the life of Manava in the true sense of the term. Earn a good name.

The programme you presented today and the feelings you have expressed should be propagated to the entire nation. Unfortunately, these days none of the newspapers carry reports of such sacred events. They give wide publicity to all the trash of the tinsel world.

We should fill our heart with sacred, selfless and unwavering love. God is described as Nirgunam, Niranjanam, Sanathana Niketanam, Nitya, Shuddha, Buddha, Mukta, Nirmala Swarupinam (God is attributeless, pure, final abode, eternal, unsullied, enlightened, free and embodiment of sacredness). We should make efforts to sanctify our human birth. How can it be sanctified? Is it by indulging in conflicts and developing hatred? No, no. These are bestial qualities. Love is the true human quality. Hence, dear children! Develop love. Whenever there is difference of opinion among you, brush it aside. When you consider love as your life-breath, there will be no scope for bestial tendencies such as hatred and jealousy. Animals are living in forests without any hatred towards each other. Such an evil tendency is seen often among men who are supposed to lead a civilised life. It is contrary to human nature. Human life is meant to develop love, not to accumulate money. Money comes and goes but morality comes and grows.

Dear children! You are endowed with a pure heart and a steady mind. When you have the purity of heart, it is easy to develop love. In fact, your love can become as expansive as the sky. Never give up love under any circumstances. Swami is always in you, with you, around you, above you and below you. Hence, develop love. Very soon I will come to Anantapur. It is more than ten years since I last paid a visit to Anantapur. But now, drawn by the power of your love and Sankalpa, I will certainly come. Be prepared for My visit singing Bhajans more and more and sharing your love with one and all. “Hari Bhajan Bina Sukha Santhi Nahin…” One cannot attain peace without singing the glory of God.

There are many women who are endowed with Bhakti and Prapatthi (devotion and a sense of surrender). They should all come together and organise activities. They should keep their homes clean and mould their children along the sacred path. But today educated women are undertaking jobs. Such women will have little understanding of their responsibilities on the home front. If women go out for jobs, who will take care of the home? If women go out to teach others’ children in schools, who will look after their own children? Firstly, you should teach your own children and put them on the right path. Only then can you be called a true mother. If you go to office neglecting your own children, they may take to wrong ways. Consequently, you will lose your peace of mind. Hence, take proper care of your family in the first instance. Respect your parents and in-laws. There lies the true meaning of ideal womanhood. Children, youth, elders, men and women, all should tread the path of truth. Only then can you spread joy and bliss to our nation and to the world at large. It is not merely our home or our physical body that we have to safeguard. We have to protect our nation. After all what is this physical body? It exists today but may not live to see another day. Body is like a water bubble. Mind is like a mad monkey. Do not follow the body, do not follow the mind. Follow your conscience. Only then can you attain happiness in all respects.

Embodiments of Love!

Today your love has deeply touched My heart. My heart is filled with immense bliss watching you distribute various items to the poor and the needy. Aswattha Narayana and his family have extended all their support to this noble cause. Many people of the town, professors and lecturers worked together with great enthusiasm. They have done much more than what they had planned.

(Addressing the beneficiaries Bhagawan said) Ask Me whatever you require, I will certainly give you. Do not give up your studies for want of money. If you cannot afford to pay your monthly fees, ask Me. I will give you the required money. Your parents may be struggling to make both ends meet. Hence, do not trouble them for money. “Matru Devo Bhava, Pitru Devo Bhava” (Revere your mother as God, father as God).

Do not think that God is present in a distant land, far away from you. God can never be away from you. He will never forsake you. He is always in you, with you and around you. Have firm faith in this truth and be happy always. When you are alone, think that God is with you. Tell yourself, “I am not alone. God is with me.” Right from this moment, develop such firm conviction. You will be free from all worries and anxieties. Develop sacred feelings in your heart.

51. Divine Discourse on Ugadi (1st Discourse), 20th Mar 2007

THE HAPPINESS OF EVERYONE IS MY HAPPINESS

Embodiments of Love!

There are sixty years in the Telugu almanac by name Prabhava, Vibhava, Shukla, Pramodhutha, Prajotpatthi, Angirasa, Srimukha, Bhava, Yuva, Dhathu, Easwara, Bahudanya, Pramadhi, Vikrama, etc… This cycle culminates in the 60th year Akshaya. This body has seen two Akshaya years so far. This year Sarvajit is very significant to realise the divinity latent in a human being.

A human being has several desires and aspirations. The year Sarvajit fulfils such desires which are truthful. The year will see significant progress being made in the moral, physical, righteous, spiritual and scientific fields. A truthful desire will always result in fulfilment. One has, however, to hold on to the Truth with steadfast faith.Sarvajit year will bring victory in all possible ways. It is the most important year in all these sixty years. ‘Jit’ signifies victory. Sarvajit means victory in all fields of human endeavour. If one were to progress in life, one has to cultivate truthful desires in thisSarvajit year. I have not seen a single person who cultivated such truthful desires and failed in his life. Hence, I exhort you all to cultivate truthful desires and aspirations and lead a life full of happiness and bliss in this Sarvajit year.

Goddess Parvati is responsible for this year being named as Sarvajit. She did severe penance for a number of years with an ambition to marry Lord Siva, giving up food and sleep. Lord Siva was pleased with her penance and appeared before her. He enquired, “For whose sake are you doing this penance?” She replied, “Oh! Lord! I am doing this penance to win your grace.” Lord Siva then informed her, “Your wish is fulfilled today. You can join Me now.” Before Parvati could join Lord Easwara, several divine ladies tried to dissuade her from marrying the Lord, criticising thus:

Oh! Gowri! You are very young and

Sambasiva is old;

He has matted locks and

wears a tiger skin;

He rides a bull and

is constantly on the move;

He is adorned with snakes;

How did you court Him?

Don’t you know all this?

He has no house of His own and

sleeps in the cremation ground. (Telugu poem)

They enquired, “Why do you wish to marry such an old man who goes about begging in the streets?” Parvati replied “You do not know, you are seeing only his external form. You are not making any effort to realise the Atma Tattwa in him. I am, in fact, aspiring for the divinity in him. Divinity is changeless and eternal.” Lord Easwara accepted Parvati as His consort. She was happy in every aspect. The day on which Goddess Parvati could fulfil her desire surmounting all difficulties, is celebrated as the New Year day of Sarvajit. In fact, this name to the New year was given by goddess Parvati herself!

The names of the years that follow this Sarvajit are Sarvadhari, Virodhi, Vikruthi …, Nala, Pingala, Kaalayukthi, Siddharthi, Roudri, Durmathi, Dundubhi, Rudhirodgari, Raktakshi, Krodhana and Akshaya. It is only when you pass through all these years that you can reach Akshaya. Goddess Parvati rejoined the divinity, that is Akshaya(imperishable), only by great penance and after undergoing several hardship and pain. Divinity always incarnates in the year Akshaya only. This body was born in the yearAkshaya during Brahmamuhurtha (the auspicious period at dawn) at 6.00 a.m. It is only when we get into the inner meaning, that we will be able to know the good and bad of any aspect.

Parvati is the goddess that supplies water to the entire world. Lord Easwara granted this boon to her. Ganga is another form of goddess Parvati. That is why the river Ganga is worshipped as Gangadevi. Some years ago, I visited the East Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh. I had to travel by car to reach Chennai (Madras). There is a place called Red Hills near Chennai, where a huge reservoir was built to store water. I was told that drinking water is supplied from that reservoir to the entire city of Chennai. But, there was no water in the reservoir itself at that time. How can water be supplied to the city? There were of course, a few places in the reservoir where rain water collected as small cesspools. I saw some children drinking polluted water from those cesspools. I was also informed that the same water is being used for drinking and cooking as well. There were a few devotees travelling along with Me in the car. They enquired, “Swami! When would this reservoir get filled?”

For everything, there is a time, action, reason and duty, which shall go together. I kept these aspects in view and told them, “I will not step into this city of Chennai till the next ten years. It is only after supplying water for drinking and irrigation purposes, and the people of Chennai drink pure water that I would visit Chennai again.” Ten years passed by. I fulfilled My promise of supplying drinking water to the entire city of Chennai. Besides, it is also being used for irrigation purposes. Accordingly I visited Chennai during Janurary this year.

The Britishers who ruled this country prior to independence, lived for 200 years in Chennai city. There were no proper roads or cars in those days. They used to go to far off places and hill tops on horse back and search for water sources. Nevertheless, they could not solve the drinking water problem till they left this country. At the time of acute water shortage, the rich could buy water in tankers from private owners of borewells. But, what about the poor people? They have no money to purchase water. One day, I was in Teynampet in Chennai city. Several people gathered there. They represented, “Swami! We have no drinking water.” There were a number of small children in that gathering. It was a holiday for the primary school children on that day. They all surrounded Me and prayed, “Swami! We need drinking water.” I told them, “My dear boys! Surely you will get drinking water. I will arrange for the supply of pure drinking water from the river Krishna.” I fulfilled My promise.

The Britishers promised to link the three rivers Ganga, Godavari and Krishna. But, they did nothing in this regard. The Godavari water is going waste by draining itself into the sea. Of course, the Krishna river is not going that way. Even now, there is copious supply of water in the river Krishna. Several dams and reservoirs are being built across the river Krishna. We had to spend a huge sum of two hundred crores of rupees to supply drinking water to the city of Chennai, as also for irrigation purposes. The people of Chennai are very happy that they are able to drink pure water now. During My recent visit to the city, I went to Teynampet once again. The people there expressed their feelings thus: “Swami! We are able to drink pure, sweet and refreshing water now. How can we express our gratitude to You? Words fail to express our sense of gratitude to Swami.”

God can do anything, achieve any insurmountable task. But, foolish human beings fail to realise this truth. You teach a proper lesson to such fools. They have accumulated enormous wealth. But, they don’t shell out a coin in charity to the beggars. I told those people, “You need not depend on the charity of others. God Himself who is the creator, can grant everything unto you. Hence, pray to Him, for whatever you need.” They gathered there to greet Me on My way and express their gratitude to Swami for this boon of sweet drinking water. I told them, “Drink this pure, sweet water and be happy. That would be enough, I don’t need anything else”. Now, the same water is supplied to every house and even small huts by laying pipes. All people are drinking sweet and pure water. I must tell you that My entire heart is filled with sweet water! The happiness of everyone is My happiness. This is the inner meaning of the prayer, “Lokah Samasthah Sukhino Bhavanthu” (May all the people of the world be happy!). You also pray this way.

Our next project was the supply of drinking water to the people living in the upland areas of East and West Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh. The District President of the West Godavari district, Dr. Bhaskara Rao is now here. They all worked very hard for completion of this project. It is very difficult to lift the water from the low lying areas to the upland areas. It is a tedious and expensive work. I assured them, “You do your job; I will look after everything else.” I sent Ramakrishna, former Vice President of M/s Larsen & Toubro Company and Kondal Rao, former chief Engineer, Government of Andhra Pradesh to inspect the progress of work. They were surprised to find that the work was going on at a brisk pace. They exclaimed, “Oh! To what great heights the water reached! It is a miracle. It cannot be expressed in words. It is only to be seen to be believed. The people living on those hills and hillocks are not living like other human beings. They do not go down the hills and interact with fellow human beings living in plains, as they are afraid of them!

They expressed their awe at this huge water supply project thus: “Swami! We are living in the hills right above the river Godavari flowing in the plains. But, till today we did not taste even a drop of Godavari water. Such people are now happily drinking sweet and pure water right in their homes, supplied by laying pipes up to their doorstep. Several of those people, especially ladies came all the way to Prasanthi Nilayam by walk to see this place and have My darshan. They spoke to the devotees here and expressed their sentiments thus: “How fortunate you are! Of course, we are also fortunate! We will also settle at the Lotus feet of Swami one day.”

Thus, we have supplied pure drinking water to several villages to the complete satisfaction of one and all. They composed songs in their local dialect and expressed their gratitude to Swami, singing those songs. The theme of their songs was, “The water we drink is supplied by Sri Sathya Sai. We should not waste even a drop of that water. Come! Let us drink that water and sustain our lives.” They set the song to a fine tune and sang it in a group, dancing all the time. Thus, those villagers are very happy that their drinking water problem has been solved permanently by Swami. They fill that sweet water in big vessels and carry them to their homes by means of a Kavadi (yoke). It is a beautiful scene to be seen. In fact, there is a lot to be learnt by the people of the towns and cities, from those innocent and jubilant villagers. They are experiencing indescribable bliss and contentment in their lives.

Yesterday, Ramakrishna and Kondal Rao came to Me and represented, “Swami! You must surely visit those villagers. They are all praying and eagerly waiting for Swami’s visit.” I told them I will surely visit them. Very soon, I will visit Rajahmundry. But, there is no way I can go to those villages by car from Rajahmundry. Their places can be reached only by foot. The villagers pleaded with Me earlier, “We will not cause any strain to the body of Swami. We will try to take you to our places, without making you walk. We will carry Swami on our shoulders, if necessary.” Thus, those villagers are very happy and eager to receive Swami in their villages.

On this holy occasion of Ugadi, we are launching a new scheme for rural development, under the name, “Village works”. It is necessary that every house in every village shall be kept clean. The houses are to be kept neat and clean both inside and outside. The children in these homes are also to be groomed into clean and healthy children. We propose to cover every village under this scheme. Of course, the project involves huge expenditure. But, we don’t hesitate to incur the necessary expenditure. Money comes and goes. But, the help and good work we render remain. Hence, we must undertake this rural development project immediately. We are launching this scheme from today itself on the holy occasion of Ugadi. The elders as well as children, the poor and rich, all should work united for the success of this project. It is Seva that unites people. Both the villages and towns should join and work together in a spirit of unity. We are sure that very soon it will be a reality. We are launching this scheme today itself. It is our wish that by the next Ugadi, all the villages are shaped and moulded into model villages. All of you, including children shall take part in this village service. You must consider it asDaiva Seva (service to God). Service to man is service to God.

At present, we are at the individual level. We are working with an individual interest. This attitude must change. We must change. We must develop unity and national interest. The entire country must stand united. In a recent meeting held at Chennai, several Chief Ministers, Governors of States and several I.A.S. officers participated. Many people attended that meeting. All these people shared a common cause. Thus, you must all come united and participate in this village service programme. If all people work together, the entire world can be changed into a better place to live in. I am with you always, guarding and guiding you at every moment. Whatever you need, ask Me; I will provide. Like the rivers that flow merge into the sea ultimately, whatever Seva you do to anyone, reaches Me only. Hence, don’t fear for anything. Why fear, when I am here? Do not hesitate to ask Me for whatever you may need. Surely, I will provide everything to you. Hence, make yourself ready to participate in this service, both men and women.

Yesterday, a group of devotees from Mumbai have come to Prasanthi Nilayam. They are very rich. They represented to Me, “Swami! We propose to erect a Dwaja Sthambain the name of Swami in the sea near Mumbai. It will be several hundred feet high. We propose to arrange a beacon light on top of the Dwaja Sthamba, so that it is visible to all from long distances. It will have the divine name “Sai Ram” and will involve an expenditure of several crores of rupees. We will come again to Prasanthi Nilayam after the project is completed and have Swami’s Darshan.” No doubt, the devotees of Mumbai are doing a lot of Seva. Everything is good; but the city of Mumbai is very dirty. First and foremost, make the city free from pollution. Some efforts were made earlier in this regard, but they were not successful. The reason being, at high tide the sea is at a higher level than the city drainage system. As you all know, the water flows down only. Unless the drainage water in the city is pumped out, the city cannot be kept clean and beautiful. I am sure that a way can be found for tackling this problem. I am also sure that the people of Mumbai can certainly undertake this task. I told them in no uncertain terms, “You finish that work; I will surely come.”

I wish that the entire country of Bharat should be made beautiful and the people lead a happy and peaceful life. “Lokah Samasthah Sukhino Bhavanthu” (May all the people of the world be happy!). Swami’s happiness lies in the happiness of all. He does not need anything special. Your happiness is My happiness. Hence, whatever work you undertake, let it be for the peace, welfare and happiness of all people.

More than anything else, the foremost requirement today is water for all. Water is life sustaining. You may live without food for a few days, but you cannot live without water. In future, there will be copious rains. No one need to have any fear of drought. In fact, I have come into this world to correct all these maladies. I will surely provide you happiness, by correcting and forgiving your faults. You must all live in unity and love. We consider the Panchapranas (the five vital airs) as Prana, Apana, Vyana, Udana and Samana. No; what I mean by Panchapranas is Sathya (Truth), Dharma(Righteousness), Santhi (Peace), Prema (Love) and Ahimsa (Non-violence). Where there is Truth, there will be righteousness. Where there is righteousness, there will be peace. Where there is peace, there will be love. Where truth and love go together, everything else will be added unto such a person.

Very soon, the entire world will be united into a single unit. Students should strive to achieve that ideal. The senses are very strong in children. The physical, mental and spiritual strength in them is of a high order. You have to make proper use of that strength. I expect you not to misuse your senses. Only then can you do great service to the world. It is not enough if you simply go to one temple and do some whitewashing to its walls. It is no service at all. Every house must be kept clean. You can visit any house that is kept clean.

In the earlier days, the Harijans used to live in houses built separately, at a distance in Puttaparthi. I used to visit their houses also. There used to be one person by name Nagappa in those days. His son-in-law Ramulu was educated up to 3rd form (8th standard). He knew about Swami and His divinity to some extent. One day, he invited Me to have lunch in his house. I informed the matter to Subbamma. She was taken aback and tried to dissuade Me from going to his house saying, “Alas! Swami! Will You go to the houses of Harijans? Please do not go.” I insisted on going. I also told her to come along with Me. Subbamma belonged to the orthodox Brahmin community. Nevertheless, she decided to follow Me saying, “I will do anything for the sake of Swami.” I was leading and she was following Me. Ramulu was walking in front of Me.

By the time we reached that house, the entire area was filled with divine fragrance. I enquired the inmates of the house “From where did you bring this fragrance.” Ramulu replied, “Swami! We did not bring it from anywhere. It is emanating from You only.” I stepped into that house. Subbamma willingly followed Me. She was then 62 years old. I was served with some rice in an aluminium plate. In fact, that is what they had. There were no stainless steel plates then. Subbamma was served food in another aluminium plate. Subbamma used to have a feeling of belonging to the high caste Brahmins, in the beginning. Later on, she changed her attitude on the advice of Swami. She decided, “Fie on me! I should not entertain such feelings of superiority.” She happily dined in their house, along with Swami.

By the time we returned to the village after finishing our lunch in Ramulu’s house, the entire village joined together and started heckling us saying, “Subbamma has become a Mala (harijan).” They issued a decree that none in the village should touch Subbamma. Subbamma responded by saying, “That is exactly what I desire. Let no one touch me. It is enough if Swami alone touches me. I have no children. I need not maintain any relationship with any family. Neither I need give my children in marriage to other families nor do I need bring their children into my house. It is enough if Swami is with me.”

In those days, Subbamma used to cook food for every devotee visiting Swami, in Puttaparthi. In keeping with her hospitality, fortune would favour her and she used to reap rich harvest from her fields. Her fields were yielding rich crops two to three times a year. Those paddy bags could not be taken into her house. Hence, the bags used to be emptied into a specially built granary from above. Thus, Subbamma sanctified her life in the service of Swami. One day, I enquired from Subbamma what she needed from Me. She replied, “Swami! I have no desire for anything. Before I leave my mortal coil, if You can graciously pour a few drops of sanctified water into my mouth from Your divine hands, it would be enough.” I assured her that her wish would be fulfilled.

Once I was returning from Chennai to Bukkapatnam, by car. Subbamma died the previous night. Her relatives were making arrangements to bring her dead body from her house to the cremation ground in Bukkapatnam. As soon as they saw Me, they ran towards Me and informed, “Subbamma died yesterday.” I told them, “It is only your illusion. Subbamma did not die. She won’t leave her mortal coil till she had MyDarshan.” So saying, I reversed My car towards her house. Subbamma’s mother was still alive then. With an agonising heart she told Me, “Swami! She was remembering You all the while and was chanting “Sairam”, “Sairam”, till last night. She was enquiring everyone, “Did Swami come?” The body of Subbamma was covered with a cloth. I removed that cloth and called her, “Subbamma! Subbamma!” To everyone’s surprise, she opened her eyes.

When God gives a word, He will not forget it under any circumstances. I told her, “You wanted that I should pour a few drops of water into your mouth during your last moments. Is it not? Here it is; have it.” So saying, I dipped a basil (Tulasi) leaf in a tumbler filled with water and put a few drops of that sanctified water in her mouth. Subbamma then drank the water, held My both hands tightly and put them reverentially on her eyelids. She took leave of Me saying, “Swami! I have been waiting to take leave of You finally before I shed my mortal coil. You have fulfilled my last wish, as promised. Now permit me to leave. Here I am going.” I gave her permission and she merged in Me.

I have built a housing colony in memory of Late Subbamma and named it after her. Subbamma was a great soul. She used to go up on the terrace of her house and converse with Mother Easwaramma, every now and then. She used to tell her, “Easwaramma! You gave birth to Swami and I fostered Him. Hence you are Devakidevi and I am Yashoda.” Easwaramma used to reply, “Subbamma! You served hundreds of Swami’s devotees by giving food and shelter to them in your house. Don’t you deserve the fruit of that Seva? Surely you will.” Before Subbamma left her mortal coil, she came to Easwaramma one day and pleaded with her, “I am leaving. You look after Sathyam well.” Both of them shed tears. The next day Subbamma died.

The name of Subbamma’s husband was Narayana Rao. He always used to sit near theTulasi Brindavan in front of his house. When he took to bad ways, I composed some songs and trained a few children to sing those songs in front of his house in order to correct him. The children used to move in a group in front of his house, singing those songs, one of which runs as follows:

Don’t seek the company of women of bad character;

Surely you will fall down.

Your caste people will not allow you into their houses;

Your relatives will discard you; if they see you;

Your friends will beat you with chappals

if they see you in the company of such women. (Telugu poem)

While the children were moving about in a group singing this song, he felt very much embarrassed. He called them inside and enquired, “Who taught you this song?” The children replied, “Raju taught us, Sir!” He thought, “Yes, it is true. Who else can know about my behaviour?” From then on, he shed his bad thoughts and bad habits. In those days, cartloads of mango fruit used to be brought into his house. He used to distribute those fruits to all the children, lovingly.

The wrist watches just arrived in those days. If anyone in the village wore a wrist watch, he was considered to be a great person. Not only that. The gents in those days used to wear a small insect-like moustache under their nose, as a fashion. Keeping in view these vainglorious fashion trends, I composed a song thus and taught it to the school children so that they may go about in the streets singing that song:

People wear some glittering white badge to the left hand

with leather belt tied to it.

What fashion is this, Oh! Dear!

What fashion is this?

Disgusting appearances are they;

What fashion is this?

Long moustache is trimmed and shaved;

Few hairs are kept under the nose instead;

What fashion is this, Oh! Dear!

What fashion is this? (Telugu song)

Thus, I used to compose songs and make the children sing those songs in the village in order that people shed the craze for fads and cultivate noble thoughts. I used to bring about a transformation in one and all right from the children to the elders, by such methods.

From today onwards, you must all embark on a mission to bring about a transformation in the villages. It does not mean that the villages are to be transformed into towns and cities. In fact, I don’t like such transformation. First and foremost, the villages are to be kept clean. Already, the towns and cities are stinking with filth. The people living there wear a neat pant, shirt and a neck-tie. But, their inner feelings are all bad. You must cultivate good thoughts and feelings, in keeping with the neat dress you wear. First of all, you try to bring about a transformation in your own self and then work for a change in the outside world.

Yesterday, three boys sang a nice Burra Katha about Easwaramma. They rendered it well. There was a wonderful description about Subbamma in that Burra Katha. I am very happy about it. In fact, it was such a unique story. No one has written such a story so far.

52. Divine Discourse in Chennai, 27th Jan 2007

53. Maha Shivarathri Divine Discourse, 17 Feb 2007

GIVE UP EGO AND ATTACHMENT TO BECOME GREAT

Dear students!

Can all the birds of green colour talk like a parrot?

Can the insects that crawl on the flowers become the bumble bees?

Can an over sized pig become an elephant?

Can one who does not know about himself acquire knowledge of the Self?

(Telugu Poem)

Man today considers himself as great. On the other hand, one who is devoid of humanness is not a human being at all! A real human being is one who manifests humanness. A real human being is one who practises the five human values of Sathya (Truth), Dharma (Righteousness), Santhi (Peace), Prema (Love) and Ahimsa (Non-violence) and preaches them to others. Even if one out of these five values is deficient, it is unbecoming of a human being. Man, in fact is very intelligent. His intelligence is unlimited and unparalleled. But, it is not being reflected in his behaviour.

Parvati’s firm dedication…

Once Lord Easwara was absorbed in intense Tapas (penance). Parvati wished to marry Him. But, her parents tried to dissuade her. They started to reason with her describing Siva’s form thus:

Oh! Gowri! You are very young and

Sambasiva is old;

He has matted locks and

wears a tiger skin;

He rides a bull and

is constantly on the move;

He is adorned with snakes;

How did you court Him?

Don’t you know all this?

He has no house of His own and

sleeps in the cremation ground. (Telugu Poem)

Parvati paid no heed to all these reasoning and ignored it. Lord Easwara knew her nature and Parvati knew Siva’s nature. They are in fact, not different from one another. Lord Siva is Siva-sakthi-atmaka-swarupa (Embodiment of Siva and Sakthi). So too is Parvati. How can the ordinary mortals understand such mystic nature of Lord Easwara and Parvati! Where there is a feeling of duality, there arises doubt.A man with dual mind is half blind. In fact, there is no difference between Lord Siva and Parvati.

Meanwhile, Saraswati arrived on the scene to counsel Parvati about Lord Siva’s unsuitability as her bridegroom. She explained, “Dear Parvati! Society will not accept such an odd combination. There is no compatibility between you and Lord Siva. You yourself know everything. I need not elaborate on the point further. I am sorry that knowingly you have fallen into that illusion.” Parvati replied firmly, “Oh Saraswati! I am interested only in Lord Siva and none else. I have no other interest in life except becoming the consort of Lord Siva. No one can change my decision.”

Divinity pervades everything…

Isavasyam Idam Sarvam (the entire universe is permeated by God). The power of Lord Siva permeates the entire universe. The foremost duty of a human being is to love Easwaratwa (the divinity of Lord Easwara). Actually, the same divine power is immanent in every human body also. Just as the human body is covered with a cloth, Divinity is enveloped in Maya (illusion). Hence, though Easwaratwa is omnipresent it is not visible. In accordance with the maxim Easwara Sarva Bhutanam (God is the indweller of all beings), Easwaratwa is permeating every living being. Parvati explained that thisEaswaratwa transcends age and it is in no way related to external appearance.

Parvati’s woes

Mother Lakshmi too tried to dissuade Parvati from marrying Lord Siva. She explained “My dear! You are quite young and beautiful. You have great power in you. It is unbecoming that you seek to wed someone who goes begging from house to house for alms.” Parvati was very upset and she sternly replied, “My bridegroom is no beggar. In fact, He is the one who gives alms to the entire world. It is not proper for you all to indulge in this campaign of slander against Him.” Several others also were averse to the choice of Parvati. They enquired, “He is adorning Himself with snakes. How did you court such a person? Don’t you know about it?” Parvati retorted, “The snakes have poison only in their fangs. But, a human being has poison in the entire body. His vision, his hearing and his actions, are all full of poison. You consider such a poisonous human being as a good person. If the fangs are removed, the snake cannot harm anybody. But, the human being with his two fangs of Ahamkara (ego) andMamakara (attachment) is roaming about nonchalantly and causing great harm to fellow human beings and to the world around. He is considering himself great. Man is full of poison. How can such a human being be corrected?”

One with pride will not be successful in any of his endeavours.

He will commit sins and will be ridiculed by one and all.

His own people will abandon him.

He will lose all wealth and respect.

His pride will ruin him completely. (Telugu Poem)

Recognise your innate nature

God is loved by one and all. Every human being lives by love alone. In fact, one who has no love in him is not a human being at all! The love that exists between God and the human being is comparable to that between a father and a son. What a great sin it is to attribute ill-will to such pure and unsullied love? In fact, it is the result of evil qualities that has permeated society. When the innate divine nature of every human being is recognised, there will be no scope for any kind of differences. All are one, be alike to everyone. We have to achieve such transformation in our lives. You study several texts. Mere reading is not enough. It will not help you in any way. The truth contained in those texts has to be realised and experienced.

Laila and Majnu were great lovers. Theirs was selfless love, which became immortal. Unable to understand the true nature of their sacred love, people attributed all sorts of motives to their love and created a lot of confusion. The mind must be filled with pure love. One should not develop attachment to sense objects and poison one’s own mind. It is only then can real happiness be experienced. Every human being in this world must analyse for himself what is to be changed and corrected and what is to be accomplished. Accordingly, he should conduct himself. It is only then that he would have realised real humanness. The Divinity called ‘I’ is immanent in every human being. This Divinity ‘I’ is not to be construed as Brahma, Vishnu or Siva. These are all names ascribed by man to Divinity for the purpose of recognition. The names are not that important. The real Divinity is ‘I’. ‘I am I’. We consider Brahma as the creator, Vishnu, the sustainer and Siva, the destroyer. God grants Darshan to each one in the same form on which each one contemplates.

Matru Devo Bhava

Once Lord Siva and Mother Parvati were strolling in the ethereal world. They saw, on the earth, one person cutting the branch of a tree on which he was resting. The branch was almost cut and was about to fall any moment. Parvati was very anxious. She prayed to Lord Siva, “Oh! Lord! Please save him immediately from falling on the earth below.” Easwara replied, “It is you who saw him first. You only realised that he may fall down by cutting the branch on which he was sitting. Hence, it is your responsibility to save him.” Parvati then laid down a condition, “Swami! Normally, any person falling from a height will express his agony by uttering the words ‘Amma!’ or ‘Appa!’ If this man cries ‘Amma!’ I will rescue him. On the other hand, if he cries ‘Appa!’ You have to rescue him.” Easwara agreed for this suggestion. Meanwhile, the branch that was being cut finally broke. The person sitting on it fell down. Mother Parvati was ready to save him. Lord Siva was also ready. But, the person prayed to neither ‘Amma!’ nor Appa!’ He just wailed ‘Ayyo!’ Though Lord Siva and Mother Parvati were both waiting to rescue him, the man did not call them! This story is a reminder to one and all that we must always remember our parents wherever we are and in whichever situation we are placed in. They are the living divinities constantly guarding and guiding us. The Upanishads exhort, Matru Devo Bhava, Pitru Devo Bhava, Acharya Devo Bhava, Atithi Devo Bhava (revere your mother, father, preceptor and guest as God). You may be highly educated. You may be an adept in all branches of knowledge in this world. Yet, to your mother you are only a child. Your mother’s blessing will be always with you. The life of a son who neglects such a mother is worthless.

It is only Mother Parvati who has a compassionate heart to protect a man in distress. Hence, we must constantly contemplate upon that Sakthiswarupini. Lord Easwara is The Father and Mother Parvati isSakthiswarupini. Easwara cannot take that much liberty and move forward to save a devotee. It is only after the Sakthi takes a step forward, Lord Easwara follows her. Hence, one has to worship theSakthiswarupini in the first instance. She is the mother, verily. That is the reason why it has been saidMatru Devo Bhava! It is the mother who has been given the first place. Even one’s own country is compared to the mother. We say, “India is my motherland.” Everyone refers to his country as ‘motherland’ and not as ‘fatherland’. It is a common practice in the country of Bharat that a girl after her marriage goes to her in-laws’ house to live there with her husband and in-laws. The lady of the in-laws’ house is referred to as ‘mother-in-law’ in the English language. But Mother Parvati is ‘Mother-in-love’ for the whole world. ‘Law’ is a word relating to the world, whereas ‘love’ refers to one’s heart. Hence, first and foremost develop love. Consider love as your everything. It is only then that you would have led a fruitful life. Your mother may be very simple and not worldly-wise. She may be very weak physically and intellectually. Yet, a mother is a mother. You should not neglect your mother simply because she is weak or has fallen sick. A mother is always full of love for her children. That is the reason why Bhakta Ramadas prayed to Mother Sita, “Oh! Mother Sita! Please represent my case to Rama and help me. When you are engaged in happy conversation with Rama in solitude, kindly make a mention about my pitiable condition.” Bhakta Ramadas worked as a Tahsildar under NawabTanisha. He spent all the revenue collected from the people in building a temple of Lord Rama, Lakshmana and Mother Sita and decorating the idols with gold jewellery. He was imprisoned on charges of misappropriation for not depositing the money in the treasury. Unable to bear the agony in jail, he lamented, “Swami! I have dedicated all the money collected by me in your service only.” In a beautiful Kirtan (song), he sang thus:

Oh Ramachandra! I have spent ten thousand gold coins to adorn Mother Sita with a gold necklace and another ten thousand sovereigns to decorate your brother Lakshmana with a gold belt. That crest jewel which adorns You cost me another ten thousand gold coins. Unmindful of my travails, You are flaunting the jewellery as if You have got it with Your own money! (Telugu Poem)

One cannot achieve anything in life, unless one gets rid of ego and attachment. Anything can be achieved with humility and obedience. In all spheres of life – moral, spiritual, physical and even political, one should conduct oneself with devotion. Only then will the task achieved shine in glory.

Women should be respected…

When a mother leaves her physical body, her soul will still be concerned with her children and their welfare. One day a mother approached Me and pleaded with Me, “Swami! My daughter listens to everyone. But, she gives importance to only Swami’s words. My daughter is obstinate from the very beginning. She does not listen to what I say. But, if You once talk to her, she will follow Your advice. She has lot of faith in You. She will not disobey Your words.” Thus, several mothers come and pray for several things on behalf of their children. Mothers have an important role to play. There is no God higher than mother. Hence, one should never disregard his/her mother. Those who ignore their mother will encounter several difficulties. Women shall be respected, loved and shown gratitude. It is only then will men and women reach an exalted position. You may be great or highly educated or you may be illiterate even – you must respect your mother and give weight to her words as your foremost duty.

A mother and her son by name Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar used to live in a small village near Kolkata. The mother used to struggle a lot to bring up her son. Since there were no lights in their house, Vidyasagar used to sit under the streetlights and study his lessons. Thus, he worked hard day and night and studied well. Finally, he attained a good position in his life. He became very famous as an orator. People used to gather in thousands to hear his lectures. Once, Vidyasagar was travelling in a train to go to some town to give a lecture there. An I.C.S. officer was also travelling in the same compartment to go to the same town to hear his lecture. As soon as the officer alighted from the train at the station, he called for a coolie to carry his briefcase. Vidyasagar approached that officer and told him, “Sir, give me that briefcase. I will carry it for you. By the way, where have you to go?” The I.C.S. officer replied, “I am going to the place where Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar will deliver a lecture.” On hearing those words, Vidyasagar smiled to himself and started for the place of meeting. As soon as they reached that place, Vidyasagar handed over the briefcase to that officer and said, “Sir! I take leave of you.” The officer offered some money to Vidyasagar for carrying his briefcase, saying, “Look! Take this money.” Vidyasagar replied, “Sir! I have carried your briefcase as an act of service, not for money,” and politely declined the offer of money. The meeting commenced. Vidyasagar was profusely garlanded and brought on the stage with honour. The officer, on seeing Vidyasagar recognised him as the person who carried his briefcase a few minutes ago. He felt very embarrassed. As soon as the meeting was over, he fell at the feet of Vidyasagar and begged for pardon.

Humility brings greatness…

It is only humility and obedience that brought great honour to Vidyasagar. Even today, you will find the life story of Vidyasagar in the textbooks. Greatness is not in the education we pursue or the high academic degrees we obtain. It is humility and obedience that bring greatness to us. There are several educated people in this world. But, of what use it is? What benefit does the world derive out of their education? It is only because of ego and attachment that a person is spoiled. One can become really great when he sheds these two.

During his debating tour of north India, Adi Sankara met a great scholar named Mandana Mishra. He had a wife by name Ubhayabharati. She was selected to be the arbitrator and judge to decide the winner in the debate between Adi Sankara and Mandana Mishra. She considered truth as God and was therefore eminently suited for the assignment. Sankara defeated Mandana Mishra in the debate and he was declared the winner by Ubhayabharati. As per the conditions of the debate, Mandana Mishra had to take to Sannyas(renunciation), and he did accordingly. As a dutiful wife, Ubhayabharati followed suit and she also became a renunciant.

Ubhayabharati serves eye-opener…

One day, Ubhayabharati was going along with her disciples to the river Ganga for taking bath in the river. On the way, she observed a Sannyasi who was relaxing, keeping a dried bottle gourd under his head. He was using this for storing drinking water, and hence he was preserving it carefully. Ubhayabharati saw this Sannyasi’s attachment to the bottle gourd and said to her disciples, “Look! This man calls himself a Sannyasi, but he is attached to a bottle gourd which he is keeping under his head as a pillow.” The Sannyasi heard this comment, but did not utter anything then. While Ubhayabharati and her disciples were returning from the river, he threw away the bottle gourd in front of them in order to demonstrate that he was not attached to it. Observing his action, Ubhayabharati aptly remarked, “I thought there was only one defect in him – Abhimana (attachment). Now I realise that he has another defect also – Ahamkara (ego). How can one with Abhimana and Ahamkara become a Jnani andSannyasi?” Her comment was an eye-opener for the Sannyasi. He expressed gratitude to Ubhayabharati for imparting true knowledge of renunciation to him.

Emulate Karna

Diverse population must be following differing paths in the world. Lord Krishna is the one who taught the path of wisdom and established the truth that the quality of love is common to all. He forgave even people with demonic qualities, like Duryodhana and Dussasana. Though Karna joined the evil forces, he was a man of noble qualities. Hence, Lord Krishna praised his qualities. Karna did not have even a trace of ego and attachment. He was a great warrior and a person of highest charity. One should therefore emulate his noble qualities. Every student should hear good things and put them into practice. Experience bliss and share that bliss with all. This is your foremost duty.

54. Maha Shivarathri Divine Discourse, 16 Feb 2007

TREAD THE PATH OF TRUTH BY CONSTANTLY CONTEMPLATING ON GOD

The creation emerges from truth and merges into truth,

Is there a place in the cosmos where truth does not exist?

Visualise this pure and unsullied truth. (Telugu Poem)

Truth is all-pervading. Truth is omnipresent. We are witnessing Truth everywhere. In fact, all our Darshan, Sparshan and Sambhashan are associated with Truth only! Where is Shuddha Sattwam (pure consciousness)? It is everywhere. Truth has no form. Whatever we see is Truth! (Swami has created an object) This is Truth. From where did it come? It has come from Truth and it will merge in Truth. It is said, Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma (verily all this is Brahman). Truth is the embodiment of Brahman. Truth is indivisible. It is not two; one and only one. Yet, people have to make a lot of effort to realise this Truth. Truth is not merely a word. It assumes several forms. Similarly,Brahman assumes infinite number of forms. Yet, Brahman is one only. That is the reason why it is said, Brahma Sathyam Jagan-mithya(Brahman alone is real, the world is a mistaken perception). Everything else is the reflection of Brahman, nothing else. Truth is one, but the wise say it in different ways.

Everything in this Universe is born out of Truth. Dharma (righteousness) has emerged out of Sathya (Truth). It is said, Sathyannasti Paro Dharma (There is no Dharmagreater than adherence to Truth). When Truth and Righteousness go together, Peace is the result. From Peace comes Love. This Love envelopes one and all. There is no place in this world, where Love is not present. Similarly, there is no place in this world where Truth is not present. Thus, from Truth and Righteousness emerges Peace and from Peace, Love; and finally from Love emerges Bliss. Where there is love, there is no scope for hatred. It is exactly at such a place, non-violence makes a beginning. Hence, if you wish to promote non-violence, you must cultivate love. If only there is love, all will become one.

The Bhagavadgita says, Mamaivamsho Jivaloke Jivabhuta Sanathana (the eternalAtma in all beings is a part of My Being). The impact of this declaration is “All are MyAmsa (part). You are not different from Me. You are My own reflections! You are Me and I am you.” Names and forms may be different, but, the Atma present in everyone is the same. Each body assumes a different name. These names are given for the purpose of identification. They do not, however, reflect your true self. It is the sameAtma that is in all life. Hence, love that Atma. Then, it amounts to loving yourself. Today, love has assumed different names and forms in the world. The love between a husband and wife is termed as Anuraga. Similarly, the love a mother has towards her children is referred to as Vatsalya. These are all mental feelings only! However, the love that permeates all individuals is only one. With such a universal love, all can be united. There will be no scope at all for differences. There will be no duality. Where there is no duality, all are one! A man with dual mind is half blind. We are not blind. Are we? We have two eyes; together, they see one object only. Hence, we are all one.

When the feeling of fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man is cultivated, the feeling of difference, fighting with one another, unrest, agitation, etc., will be wiped out from the world. All are children of one father, God! We have to foster such a noble feeling today. Only then will humanity become one. How do you refer to yourself? You say, “I am a human being.” Who is a human being? A person full of Kama (desire) and Krodha(anger)? No, no. The real meaning of the word Manava is one who conducts his life with no feeling of difference. In fact, we should not entertain any feeling of differences. We are all embodiments of Divine Self! We are the children of one father, verily! The names and forms appear to be different. Basing on these names and forms, we should not develop a feeling of differences. Wherever we go, we must all be united. Is it not a fact that the hand is only one, though the five fingers are different from one another?

Jewels are many but gold is one.

Cows are many but milk is one.

Beings are many but breath is one.

Castes are many but humanity is one. (Telugu Poem)

We have taken birth as human beings. We are all human beings. Though we are all human beings we may have differing capabilities, but the Atma in all the human beings is one only. Look! There are several electric bulbs glowing here. Though the bulbs appear to be different, the current flowing in them is only one. Human bodies are like those bulbs. Each bulb may be of different wattage. I will always be happy to drive home this point of oneness. I have received lakhs of letters recently urging Me to restrain Myself from drawing out lingam from My body. They prayed, “Swami! You are making the Atma Linga emerge out of Your body. The doctors are also advising against it. You are, of course, required to produce the Linga to make the human beings realise the truth and experience its divine effulgence.

The Hiranyagarbha Linga will be in liquid form in the body. For it to solidify, a lot of energy is required. To expel the Linga calls for a lot of strength of the body. Each Lingathat emerges out of your body has much weight. It is not good for your physical body to spend so much energy to draw out those Lingas. Let those who believe your Divinity do so; have no concern for others who do not. Please do not strain Your physical body under any circumstances. Your body is very important for us. We have, in fact, sought refuge in You. If you thus weaken Your body, we are very anxious. Hence, kindly restrain Yourself and conserve Your physical energy.

God, by His Divine Will can achieve anything. He can change the earth into sky and vice-versa. It is very easy for Him. But, of what use it is? What will happen to theSadhakas, thereafter? Hence, please do not make use Your precious divine energy to make the people happy or to satisfy them.” True. This body is already 81 years old. This will last for a few more years. I have to maintain this body to provide joy to all of you in several ways. Very soon, I will provide you infinite bliss. For those who will be happy to see My physical body in good condition, the body is important and necessary. Hence, it is also My duty to take good care of My physical body.

In Bharat devotion is very important. You call this country as ‘Hindu’ country. The five letters in this word ‘Hindu’ stand for several pentads of entities such as Panchabhutas(five elements), Pancha Pranas (five life-breaths) and Pancha Koshas (five life sheaths). Then, what is the inner meaning of this word ‘Hindu’. The letter ‘H’ stands for Humility, ‘I’ for Individuality; ‘N’ for Nationality; ‘D’ for Divinity and ‘U’ for Unity. It is only when you maintain unity, you can achieve divinity. Similarly, it is only when you develop divinity, you can achieve peace and happiness. We have to safeguard the national feeling. We have to develop faith in the unity of the nation. If we lose the national feeling, we cease to exist. What is it that protects national feeling? The individuality will sustain humanity.

We have to set a limit to our aspirations in this world. Only then will we have peace. God is omnipresent. The entire universe emerges from truth. The entire creation reflects collectivity. Wherever you see, it will only be equality. Do not imagine that God is somewhere far away in a niche of his own. You are all embodiments of Divinity! You develop that feeling. In fact, this truth is being experienced by every human being directly. You just reflect on yourself for a moment, closing you eyes: “Who am I?” What did you see on closing your eyes? Nothing. But, you hear one question constantly ringing in your ears: “Who am I? Who am I?” Then you will realise, “I am not this form.” All these names and forms are transient. They are never permanent.

The body is given to you to toil hard. You should not feel bad about sorrows and difficulties. If there are no difficulties at all, you will not know the value of happiness.Pleasure is an interval between two pains. In fact, we derive pleasure out of pain only. Even difficulties are only for a short period. If you wish to acquire more happiness, you must experience some difficulty and pain at least. Saint Purandaradasa sang thus:

Oh! Rama! Who is the one that painted the peacock’s feathers?

Who is the one that gave a red beak to a green parrot and made it beautiful?

Who is the one that watered the tree on a hill?

Who is the one that provides food to the frog in the rock?

You are the sustainer of the entire universe. (Telugu Poem)

Divinity is the direct witness to humanness

May you therefore protect all!

May you pervade all living beings!

You are omnipresent as the Divine Atma

The Atma protects Atma, none else;

Oh! God! May you grant all, the awareness to realise this truth. (Telugu Poem)

We have to develop faith in the Atma Tattwa. Atma has no name and form, whatsoever. Yet, if you develop faith in the Atma Tattwa, it will protect you always. In fact, Atma is the living divinity!

Sarvatah Panipadam Tat Sarvathokshi Siromukham, Sarvatah Sruthimalloke Sarvamavruthya Tishthati (with hands, feet, eyes, head, mouth and ears pervading everything, He permeates the entire universe).

The Atma Tattwa that pervades all living beings is true and eternal. The Atma is indivisible. The same Atma permeates all, just as the same current flows through all bulbs. If the electric wire that carries current to all the bulbs is cut at one place, all the bulbs cease to glow.

Dear students!

The scientific advancements are creating lot of havoc in the world. Several difficulties are arising on account of these scientific experiments. Cows are being fed with tripe in America, with an expectation that they will yield more milk. But, those cows are suffering from several other diseases. In fact, those who drink their milk are also exposed to diseases. Each country is experimenting with some new changes. It is only the Bharatiyas who are leading a natural life till now. One should not lead a life of artificiality. If you lead such a life, everything in your life will be artificial. For example, you might have observed a lot of changes in the vegetables we consume of late. We the Indians consume a lot of green leafy vegetables. The leafy vegetables provide good strength to our body. Now, they are grown with the polluted water flowing through the drainage system. Today, all the vegetables and green leafy vegetables are polluted. Several people in India, especially those living in the southern states like brinjal curry (called Vankaya in Telugu). There is a poem which extols the taste of this curry thus:

Matchless is the taste the curry of Vanka(ya)

Matchless the face of virtuous Sita like a blossomed Panka(ja) (lotus)

Unmatched is the compassion of the Lord Sanka(ra)

Unequalled indeed is the valour of the victor of the Lord of Lanka. (Telugu Poem)

But, this poem does not apply to the present-day brinjals. They are totally polluted. Because of this increasing pollution day by day, our minds are also polluted.

Dear Students! You are well educated. You should not read all sorts of trash and pollute your mind. Follow our glorious Indian culture. Indian culture is very sacred. Our ancestors experienced the glory of our great culture and led their lives happily. I am sure that in the very near future even the people from overseas will fully realise the greatness of our Indian culture and adopt it. We, however, need not wait till such time. Let us take to the noble path right now. God protects all in every way. He knows everything. When God Himself is in us and with us, we need not fear anything.

Prior to independence in our country, I used to conduct meetings in villages. I used to tour the villages with a view to help the poor people. When I was moving about in the villages wearing a knicker and half sleeves shirt, people used to restrain Me treating Me as an immature boy. They used to bring a dhoti and make Me wear it over My shorts so that I may look like an adult to match the kind of activities I was doing. I used to go to the houses of the harijans and teach them some folk songs. Here is one such song that is meant to bring about a transformation in the rich, in their attitude towards the poor:

We toil in the fields day and night

ploughing and sowing and harvesting;

You sit in the cozy comfort of your mansions

eating, drinking and making merry;

You don’t even get down and enquire our welfare,

Toil is ours and all comforts, yours;

Is it proper? (Telugu Song)

The harijans used to sing songs composed by Me in the public. Whenever anyone questioned their intransigence, they used to sing another song composed by Me, as a reply:

The earth is God’s gift, not the property of the rich,

If you attack us with your might, God is there for us;

Great souls there are, charged with the feeling of brotherhood,

Awake! Awake! Rise up from the slumber of Maya. (Telugu Song)

While I was thus charging the poor and downtrodden with My songs, the rich used to feel embarrassed and attack Me. Even the elder brother of this body used to reprimand Me, saying “Why do you engage yourself in such activities in the public? You don’t go out. Sit quietly in the house and study Your lessons. You should not stir out of the house, hereafter.” So saying, he used to lock Me up in a room at home. All My regular companions would come to our house and call Me, “Raju! Raju! Raju!” Poor souls! They were so much attached to Me. I used to counsel them saying, “My dear ones! Bear with Me for sometime. I shall surely come out and fulfil your aspirations. I belong to you.” Thus, I have been helping the poor since then, till date.

To protect the poor, provide succour to them by giving food, shelter and water and thereby make them happy is My duty. Even now I am sending My students to every nook and corner of the villages to distribute food to the villagers. Whenever a hungry person stands in front of our house, I used to provide food to him even foregoing My share of food. For those who had no clothes to wear, I used to give away My clothes. Thus, I have been helping every needy person since My childhood.

My motto then as now is Help Ever, Hurt Never. I had a lot of experience in helping others since childhood. Several people pay ‘lip service’ to the poor, but they do not really help them. Manasyekam Vachasyekam, Karmanyekam Mahatmanam; Manasyanyath Vachasyanyath, Karmanyanyath Duratmanam (Those whose thoughts, words and deeds are in perfect harmony are noble ones; those who lack harmony of these are wicked). I have been protecting, fostering, counselling and making the people tread the right path since My early days till today. I never did any harm to anyone. I have never shown anger or hatred on anyone. However, some people out of egoistic envy are fabricating some stories about Me and publishing them in the newspapers. They are resorting to false propaganda about Me in the print and electronic media. All this does not perturb Me. I am not afraid of anybody.

My very name is Sathyam Sathyam Sathyam (truth). I am bound by truth. The name of this body is Sathyam (Truth). I will never stray away from the path of truth. Persons indulging in vituperative publicity impelled by envy, greed or hatred will reap the appropriate consequence. The time has come when proper action has to be taken to dissuade these people from resorting to such false propaganda. Of course, they are also not to be blamed. They are resorting to such false propaganda for the sake of money. They must try to realise their mistake. There is not even an iota of dosha(impurity) in Me at any time. Hence, you all follow Sai. You can achieve anything in this world by following the path of truth. Tread the path of truth by constantly contemplating on God. (At this point, Swami enquired the children whether He is causing any inconvenience to them by giving a long discourse. The children replied in one voice, “No, Swami!”)

It had never been My intention to cause suffering to anyone. Such thoughts do not come anywhere near Me. Whatever I do is for your own good, not for Me. In fact, even the food I partake is for you only! The water I drink is for you! Thus, all the activities I undertake are for your good only! Those who realise this truth will be benefited. Their lives will be sanctified.

I was deeply pained to know that people in some upland areas of the East and West Godavari districts are drinking polluted water. Immediately I arranged for the supply of pure drinking water at a cost of rupees two hundred crores. Nearby in the lowlands the Godavari flows, but they had not even a drop of water to drink. Hence, I arranged for lifting of the Godavari water to the upland areas through pipes. They are all very happy now. I intend to visit those people shortly. That is great news for them. They are very happy and give expression to their joy thus: “Swami! We never imagined that You will shower such abundant grace on us. Your love and compassion are unparalleled. We are extremely happy and grateful to know that You are visiting us.” They are cleaning all the roads en route and making all arrangements for My visit. Ramakrishna and Kondal Rao, who executed the project, are accompanying Me. Thus, we must help others and do good to all, to the extent possible. If you thus lead your life, you will also be happy. Everything will be turning out good for you as well.

Dear students! Whenever you come across an enemy, offer Pranams (salutations) to him lovingly and say, “Oh! Brother!” They will also wish you in the same way, with love. All are brothers only! It is only when you conduct yourself in such a manner that you would have earned good name to our Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. We are not taking even a paisa from the students. Not even examination fees. Students from different parts of the country and even abroad come here, pursue their education and go with high academic degrees. We are even providing for research degrees like Ph.D., at great cost. If all the students develop such exemplary character as in Sathya Sai Institute, our country will earn great name. We have good news about our past students pursuing their vocations in America. Recently, a plane load of our past students from U.S.A. visited Prasanthi Nilayam. The plane was specially chartered from America for their visit in appreciation of the services rendered by them in that country. They said, “Swami! There are several students from your Institute in our country. They are great people. They are giving us a lot of joy.” There are two hundred past students from our Institute. They, along with their families, numbering 250 in all came here. They experienced great bliss during their stay in Prasanthi Nilayam. While leaving, they expressed their gratitude saying, “Swami! We never imagined even in our dreams that You will provide so much grace to us.”

I intend to undertake a world tour, shortly. Several devotees are coming here from Africa and Russia. The devotion of the Russians is indescribable. There are several Russian devotees sitting in this hall. They enjoy a lot, My discourse. (Pointing towards the Russian devotees) “Look! Those devotees with raised hands are all Russians.” They are all very devoted. (Pointing towards the Russian devotees again …) “You are not Russians. You belong to our country only! I love you all.”

Dear students! There are several countries in the world like Russia, America, Germany, Japan, Italy, France, etc. Though the countries are different, the people living in all those countries belong to us only! They helped a lot for the construction of the Indoor stadium in Prasanthi Nilayam. They worked hard day and night. They love Swami intensely. Wherever I go, they follow Me. They run after My car. They even came to Chennai (Madras) recently when I was there. They are coming here, unmindful of the great difficulties and expense. You have to learn a lot from their devotion to Swami.

55. Divine Discourse on 11 Feb 2007

56. Makara Sankranthi 2007 – Divine Discourse

REPOSE FAITH IN YOUR CONSCIENCE

The sun appears serene and peaceful. The days have become shorter, and the cool wind is blowing. The fields are ripe with golden crops. Marigold flowers are blossoming like garlands of pearls on the banks of rivers. The farmers are rejoicing and singing. The sweet festival of Sankranti has come in the month of Pushya (a month in Indian calendar), filling our homes with the newly harvested grain. (Telugu Poem)

God willed that the Sankranti festival shall bring all prosperity to the people and they shall not feel any inconvenience in the matter of food and other needs. The farmers, having brought home the produce after harvesting it, will be happily taking rest in their homes. Even the agricultural workers will be free, for, the harvesting season will be over by then. Having worked hard day and night in the fields for some months, they will be now enjoying the comfort of a home, by God’s grace. Whatever God does, it is for the good of the people! For, they are all His ‘Amsa’ (parts) only! Mamaivamsho Jivaloke Jivabhuta Sanathana (the eternal Atma in all beings is a part of My Being), said Lord Krishna in the Bhagavadgita. Not only human beings, even animals, birds and insects are the embodiments of God! However, all people do not realise this truth. Saint Thyagaraja sang in one of his immortal kirtanas,cheemalo Brahmalo Siva Kesavaadulalo prema meera velasi unde birudhu vahinchina Rama nannu brovara (Oh Rama! In Your pure and unsullied form of love, You indwell all beings from an ant to Brahma as also in Siva and Kesava. Please be my protector too). Unable to realise this truth, people kill the ant that crawls on their bodies. The same people worship the ant if it appears as an embodiment of Divinity. Thus, the feelings make all the difference.

During this season, the sun appears to be gentle and soothing during daytime. The days are shorter and the nights are long. During the nights, the moonlight is cool and comfortable. Having worked hard during daytime, people will have comfortable sleep during nights. The human body needs rest. Hence, every human being should have adequate rest. As the saying goes, “Sleep a while after lunch.” One should take a nap at least for a short period after lunch. However, one should not keep himself awake for long during nights. One should have sound sleep during night.

Everything is God’s will. The entire universe is created by God. Nothing in this world will move without God’s will.Not even a blade of grass will move without divine Will, People who do not realise this truth, get carried away by their pride of intelligence and discrimination. But no one however great one may be knows what lies ahead for them in future.

(Telugu Poem)

Who is a “HINDU”? The letters in the word HINDU stand for:

H – Humility, I – Individuality, N – Nationality, D – Devotion, U – Unity.

Wherever there is unity, there will be Divinity. It is only Divinity that can unite the world. You should not try to break the world into pieces saying ‘this is my India’, this is my Japan’, ‘this is my Germany’, etc. The divinity called ‘I’ in all human beings is only one! There is only one race, that is human race. Humanness is very sacred, holy and divine. The word ‘Manava’ (human being) means very sacred. The festival of Sankranti reminds you of this truth and awakens you to this reality. During this holy period of Makara Samkramana, people especially the village folk, enjoy by participating in several kinds of rural games and play. As a matter of fact, this is a festival season for the animals too! Some people in the villages bring together the gangireddu (a decorated bull) and a cow naming them as Rama and Sita and perform their marriage symbolically, in the hope that their marriage shall bring forth peace and welfare to the world. The cowherd gives proper training to the bull and the cow in advance. He asks the cow “Amma! Is Rama beautiful?”, the cow shakes its head in disapproval of the suggestion. Then, the gangireddudasu with the stick in his hand tries to counsel the cow “Amma! Rama is blackish blue in colour. Yet he is very good. He is a great king. He is mighty and prosperous.” Thereupon the cow nods its head in approval. It seems to indicate, “Yes, I like Rama.” The children in the village watch the gangireddu play very enthusiastically. They invite their friends and relatives to witness this play, thus:

“Oh my dear brother, here comes the Gangireddudasu. Come, let us go and see him. He wears a silver medallion and a waist belt. He carries a decorated staff and wears special marks on his forehead. He brings with him richly caparisoned sacred cow and bull and performs their marriage. Let us see the marriage ceremony and offer our gifts.” (Telugu Song)

Thus, the village folk will be tastefully decorating their cattle and playing with them. Sankranti is a festival that gives joy to the birds too. They will be perching in large numbers on the temples and minarets, chirping and singing. They thus teach a lesson in unity and joy to the human beings of all regions and religions in the world. Sadly, several people nowadays have no faith in the religion. Religion sets a great ideal for the human beings to follow.

There are several students studying in Sri Sathya Sai Educational Institutions. They have no differences of religion at all! In fact, one who believes in such differences is not a human being. There is only one religion – the religion of love. A real human being is one, who follows such a religion. We must cultivate the goodness in all religions. There is a lot to learn from the birds, beasts and insects. Religion means love. Today, we do not at all find such religion of love. Devoid of love, there can be no relationship with anybody. Hence, we must follow the religion of love. No one thinks of such religion of love in the modern age. Our ancestors did recognise the true meaning of religion and followed it in letter and spirit. They took their elders as an ideal in this regard. Even now if you enquire some children, “who told you this?”, they reply “my grandmother told me; my grandfather told me”, etc. One should never disregard the advice of elders. When you follow their advice, everything will turn out to be good for you. Unfortunately, no one listens to the good words of elders these days. However, they listen to all sorts of movie songs played in a tape recorder. They imitate those songs. Whatever tune is played in the tape recorder, they try to imitate that tune. Man today is not living like a human being. He is turning out to be a mere gramophone record or a tape recorder. We should never disregard the words of elders. Man today does not listen to the sound advice of the elders and acts contrary to the nature of a human being. People do not listen to good things, and indulge in all unnecessary and unwarranted activities. The festival of Sankranti is meant to remind man about the sanctity of humanness. It is said, Easwara Sarva Bhutanam (God is the indweller of all beings). Hence, every human being, nay, every living being is an amsa (part) of God! But, there seems to be a flaw in your own behaviour. What is the reason? You throw to winds the sacred feelings and allow your mind to run after all and sundry things. That is how your behaviour is tainted. You are now in your prime of youth. Your body, mind and intellect are strong and secure in this age. Hence, you have to make proper use of your capability to live up to your sacred feelings. Sankranti is not to be considered as a mere festival like any others. The festival of Sankranti brings great joy to one and all. Even a poor man will arrange to make payasam (sweet pudding) in his house and partake of it happily. The festival of Sankranti will bring joy in ever so many ways. It is not limited to song and play. It expands one’s heart with joy. It is a festival of unity; that unity develops purity resulting in divinity in human beings. Hence, people must cultivate unity and purity in the first instance. What is purity? Our vision must be sacred; our words must be soft and sweet and our ears must listen to only good things. Our nose should smell only divine fragrance. Thus, all the senses in our body must be put to proper use.

Man is born out of Karma. Karma is the most important Dharma (duty) of a human being:

Man is born in action, is sustained by action and ultimately merges in action. Action is the cause for pleasure and pain. Truly speaking, action is God for man. (Telugu poem)

Hence, we should continue to perform karma. What is karma? It is not merely reading and participating in the games of football, volleyball, etc. Even inhaling and exhaling are karma! There can be no karmawithout these two. When you inhale your breath, the sound of ‘so’ emerges. Similarly, when you exhale your breath, the sound of ‘hum’ emerges. Thus, every act of inhaling and exhaling results in the sound of ‘sohum’, meaning ‘I am that Divinity’. That life-breath which is a great energy is the gift of God to a human being. It is vital to the sustenance of a human being. It is not the real nature of a human being to eat, drink and be merry. First and foremost, wherever you go, people will observe your qualities. You must conduct yourself in such a way that people will be able to say, “Look! His behaviour is good. We feel very happy to talk to him. We feel very happy by merely looking at him.” It is only your good qualities that bring happiness and joy to you.” Man should make proper use of his panchapranas (five vital airs), panchabhuthas (five elements) and panchendriyas (five senses). The food we partake must be sattwic. It is not good to take too much of chillies or chilly powder. One should not hanker after ‘taste’. It will ‘waste’ our life. One should eat for the sake of satisfying one’s hunger, without hankering for special taste or flavour.

There is no charity greater than feeding the hungry,

There are no greater gods than parents,

There is no greater gain than the company of the good. (Telugu poem)

There is nothing greater than truth. Truth is only one, not two. By associating yourself with good people, you will also become good. Who are real friends? It is only the good people who are real friends to you. Tell me your company, I shall tell you what you are. Hence, you must always join good company; talk to good people and live with good people. Only then will you become a good person. Otherwise, you will spoil yourself. Good friends shall always strive to work for the good of each other and bring about a transformation in each other. If for any reason your friend took to bad ways on any occasion, of what use is your friendship if you do not try to bring him back into good path? On the other hand, if you are taking to bad ways, your friend should help you to come back to normal ways. Thus, trying to help each other to tread the good path is the hallmark of true friendship. However, friends in present time wish each other ‘hello’ and separate. Later, they say ‘goodbye’. Such attitude is not good. Instead of saying, ‘goodbye’, you must become a good boy. Thus, you must tread the path of truth in daily life. Only then will you become an educated and courageous person in the real sense, with a sense of discrimination. If you are a good person with a sense of sacrifice, several people will follow you. If your behaviour is not good, none will even look at your face. It is only people without character who will be moving in your company. It will do no good for your spiritual advancement.

You say, “so and so is my good friend”. But, for how long? Only for some time. Later on, if that person does not pay attention to your words or refuses to oblige your demands, you hate him. You will become enemies. Indeed, you must be very careful in developing friendship with others.

In every aspect of our life, our behaviour itself is a witness to our interpersonal relationships. You reside in any place or go to any country; but, keep up your good character. Respect all! Love all! Hate none. Earn a good name for yourself. It is not the academic degrees that bring greatness to us. How many Ph.D.’s are not there in this world today? How many people who did I.A.S. are not there in the country now? Has the world become better in any way on account of these people? In fact, it is only because of the so-called educated people the country is sliding down from its eminence. Let us not be concerned with such so-called ‘great’ people. It is enough if people wish each other with a Namaskarand enquire their welfare. That itself is greatness. One has to imbibe humility and obedience, along with education. Only such a student is the real student; you should not have even a trace of ego, pride, pomp and such other bad qualities.

The student who did the role of Prahlada in yesterday’s play did well. His voice was sweet. Also, his acting was exemplary. Prahlada’s father Hiranyakasipu had to undergo punishment on account of his hatred towards God. God donned the Narasimha Avatar and killed him. When we lead a good and virtuous life, our end will also be good. We will also earn a good name for ourselves. Right from our birth till death, we must lead an exemplary life. However, people do not listen to good words. They listen to only wrong advice and spoil themselves. It is our common experience that while we travel in a train or a bus, we come across a beggar singing the glory of Ramanama beautifully. Our fellow travellers will be happily listening to the song fully immersed in it. Finally, when the beggar completes his song and begins to move away, people compliment him saying, “You sang well and made us very happy.” They express their gratitude to him by offering some charity. Thus, life can be really meaningful when you make others happy.

You are all students gathered in this hall. You must share good thoughts and words amongst you on such occasions as these. Good thoughts, good words and good deeds are the qualities of Divinity. We must cultivate good qualities. When you stand in front of the sun at sunrise, your shadow will be fifty feet long while you are actually five feet tall. As the sun begins to rise in the sky, the length of your shadow becomes shorter. When the sun positions itself exactly above your head at noon, your shadow falls under your feet. In the same way, when you begin your journey towards God and gradually progress in the Godward path, the shadow of maya (illusion) falls behind. On the other hand, if you go against God and travel in the opposite direction, the shadow of maya will be in front of you.

Embodiments of Love!

All our students are gold. What sort of gold? Pure 24 carat gold. Wherever they go and in whichever activity they participate – in sports, in education, in behaviour, in their talk and in every activity, they are earning good name for themselves. It is only due to this reason, I have seen people praising, “The students of Sri Sathya Sai Educational Institution are exemplary in character”, everywhere. If you just look at them, you will find Sai Baba reflecting in their faces.

The Ati Rudra Yajna will commence on the 19th of this month in Chennai. But, the people in Chennai are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Swami’s students, not the Ati Rudra Yajna. They are looking forward with a feeling, “We understand Sai Baba will be here to participate in the Yajna along with His students. His students alone are ideals for us.”

The sanctity of education is deteriorating due to the misuse of scientific knowledge, today. The scientists are endeavouring to change the laws of nature. If a tree were to bear fruit, it is being given an injection. If a cow were to yield milk in more quantity, it is fed tripe from other slaughtered animals. They think that by feeding animal parts to the cow it will grow strong and yield more quantity of milk. Even the water is polluted nowadays. It is that polluted water that is responsible for all the diseases suffered by man today. In whichever fruit you see, there are insects and bacteria. The ‘figs’ used to be very good for consumption, earlier. But, now there are bacteria and pollutants even in the figs. What is the reason? Only the polluted water that is fed to the plant. People have to clean and boil the water and then only drink it. We have supplied drinking water from the Krishna river to the people of Chennai by spending rupees 300 crores. I have seen small children bathing in cesspools and drinking the same dirty water. I felt very sorry for them. I have decided then itself, “I will not visit Chennai till we supply pure drinking water to the people of Chennai.” That was ten years ago. Now I have supplied drinking water to them. I am now visiting Chennai in the backdrop of the children drinking pure water and happily spending their time in play. We can be healthy and happy only when we drink pure water and eat healthy food. That is how you have to protect your health. However, I find that some students are not partaking of good food. They are tempted by all varieties of dishes. You please do not look for the taste. You just decide for yourself whether the food you are eating is good for your health or not. Only then will you be healthy and happy.

Dear students!

Study well. Do not waste time. Whenever you find time, read only good books. Tread the good and Godward path and become good people. It is only the students of Sathya Sai Educational Institutions that can transform all the people in the world into good citizens. You be good and make others good. Avoid evil qualities like kama(desire) and krodha (anger).

Today, our children are going to present a play called “Sri Krishna Rayabaram”. You all know that in the Mahabharata the evil Kauravas troubled the Pandavas in many ways. However, the Pandavas were of very good nature. Their mind was pure. They tried their best to do good to the Kauravas. I will quote one small example to illustrate how pure their minds are. The elderly Kunti, mother of the Pandavas broke down and breathed her last on hearing the sad news of Lord Krishna leaving His mortal coil. Dharmaraja, her eldest son who was near her during her last moments kept her head on his lap. The four brothers Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva surrounded him. Dharmaraja then explained to his brothers “Dear ones! Lord Krishna who protected us all the while has left for His heavenly abode. We should not therefore remain in this world any more.” He then called Bhima near him and told him to make arrangements for the funeral of their mother. He also called Arjuna and told him to make arrangements for the coronation ceremony of Parikshit as king. Finally, he called the two younger brothers Nakula and Sahadeva to his side and ordered them, “We have to begin our great march towards the Himalayas. You go and make all arrangements for our journey.” Thus, on one side he was arranging for the funeral of their mother and on the other, the coronation of the grandson of his younger brother as king to ensure the continuity of the dynasty. Can anyone undertake such task in such a grievous situation? Thus, all responsibilities were discharged at the same time, then and there.

The Pandavas embarked on their great march: Draupadi, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva dropped down in the middle of the journey. Dharmaraja continued his journey and first reached Naraka (hell). He saw many people undergoing several kinds of punishment for their sins, there. The moment Dharmaraja stepped into hell, they were relieved of their suffering and felt very happy. Now, the question arises as to why at all Dharmaraja had to go to hell in the first instance?

He never spoke a lie during his entire life. However, during the Mahabharata war he spoke the words, “Aswatthama hathah” (Aswatthama died) loudly and then “kunjarah” (the elephant) softly, in order that the mighty warrior Dronacharya dies on account of the shock of the news. The words, “Aswatthama hatha kunjarah” meant the elephant by name Aswatthama died. Unfortunately, the name of the son of Dronacharya’s was also Aswatthama. In the din and commotion of the war, Dronacharya could not hear the word “kunjarah” properly and mistook the words of Dharmaraja as ‘Aswatthama died’. Unable to bear the grief and shocked over the ‘death of his son Aswatthama’, he threw away his bow and arrows in the battlefield. Thus, Dharmaraja was indirectly responsible for the fall of Dronacharya by uttering falsehood on one occasion. For expiating this sin, he had to spend sometime in hell. Thereafter, he was taken to heaven. While Dharmaraja was leaving for heaven, the people undergoing punishment in the hell fell on his feet and prayed, “Sir! Please do not leave us, you stay here itself and give us happiness. Dharmaraja then replied, “My dear ones! I cannot but obey the command of God”, and left for heaven. Wherever we are, if we do good, we will experience good only. Good work begets good results only.

Dear students!

After passing your examinations in this Institution, you can pursue higher studies elsewhere if you wish. But, along with academic excellence, let your behaviour also set an example to others. Do not indulge in falsehood, injustice and evil ways. Follow the path of truth and become immortal. TheGitacharya declared, “Mamaivamso …” You should not forget this truth. You pursue any type of education anywhere, with this awareness. (Bhagawan then enquired, “Am I giving you any trouble?” The students replied in one voice, “No! Swami!”) Making you all happy, working for your progress, striving to remove all pain and suffering from you, making your parents also happy – this is My job. Your happiness is My food. I need no other food. That one type of food is sufficient for Me. Hence, may you all lead a happy and blissful life always! You may encounter any number of difficulties; keep them aside and march forward.

Today, some people are indulging in false propaganda saying, “Sai Baba’s reputation is growing day by day. Sai Baba is converting all foreigners as Hindus.” They are highly jealous of Me. Due to this jealousy, they write all sorts of trash in the newspapers. We should ignore such writings. We must have firm faith in our own conscience. Whatever they may say, put it aside considering it as nonsense! I have nothing to do with it! You repose faith in your conscience. Whatever I do, it is for the good of all! If someone abuses you, you take it as he is abusing only my body, not me. If they hurl abuses against you openly, let them merge into thin air. On the other hand, if they scold you silently, they do not reach you. Do not bother about them. Keep your faith in God firmly. That should be your attitude.

God is immanent in every living being. The name and form may be different. But, God is only one. He is present in one and all. You are all embodiments of Divinity! Develop that feeling in you. Do not cultivate the differences of high and low. All are one. Repose faith in the principle of the fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man and lead your lives happily.

Dear students!

I wish that all of you should come out in 1st class in your examinations with good marks.

(Bhagawan concluded His discourse with the bhajan, “Hari Bhajana bina sukha santhi nahi …”)

57. Christmas Divine Discourse – 25th Dec 2006

EARN ETERNAL PEACE WITH ETERNAL TRUTH

The pompous person

with unclear mind

what chance has he

of realising the true self?

An intellect pure alone

is able to comprehend

the true principle of self

No more is there to be said on this.

(Telugu poem)

Everything is contained in purity of consciousness. Here is a bouquet of flowers. Outwardly, it appears like a single flower. But, there are a number of flowers in this bouquet. Similarly, the world appears to be a single entity. But, it consists of several individuals with diverse names and forms. All such individuals shall come together like the flowers in a bouquet. The Panchabhuthas (five elements) are the most important characteristic of the world. The world is a conglomeration of individuals. All are one. There is nothing like I am Deva (God) and you are Jiva (individual). You and I are one only. Not realising this, you perceive unity as diversity.

Embodiments of Love!

Love is one. The same feeling of love permeates every human being. Nevertheless, depending upon the mental make-up, the state and destiny of different human beings assumes different forms. A child is called a ‘baby’. When she grows up, she is called a ‘girl’. Later, when she is married and goes to her in-law’s house, she is referred to as daughter-in-law. The same woman after giving birth to children is called mother. She also becomes grandmother in due course.

Is it not a fact that the lady being referred to by so many names is only one? Similarly, all human beings living in this world belong to only one category. Jesus Christ exhorted: “All are one; be alike to everyone.” We should love all. We should take everyone into our fold. In fact, that is My way. But, some people may not agree. That is due to their lack of maturity; the reflection of their inner feelings. God assumes different forms in consonance with the inner feelings of the devotees. For example, when someone calls Me ‘Thatha’ (grandfather), I appear to them so. Some people call Me ‘father’ and I appear to them as ‘father’. Yet, some others address Me as ‘Swami’ and I will be Swami to them. By whatever name and form the human beings contemplate on God, He will appear to them in the same name and form.

In this Age of Kali even good appears to be bad. The same individual loves one and hates another. He develops enmity with one and friendship with another. This sort of friendship or enmity is not something that he has acquired from outside. Such feelings are of his own heart. When you consider someone as your ‘enemy’, he becomes so. On the other hand, when you consider someone as your ‘friend’, he becomes a friend. Supposing you come across a girl, you call her a ‘college girl’. After sometime when you marry her, you call her as ‘my wife’. Your ‘wife’ of today and the ‘college girl’ sometime ago are one and the same. Is it not a fact?

Thus, man develops a number of relationships based on names and forms. In fact, it is the mind that is responsible for so many changes in the world. Man, per se is faultless. It is love that permeates all human beings. It is true that human beings exhibit qualities like anger, hatred, jealousy, pomp, etc., sometimes. But, God is not affected by them. God is beyond gunas (attributes), whereas human beings are with gunas. Those gunasmay be positive or negative. Good and bad are only in a human being, not in God. We often come across people who are by nature angry, displaying feelings of intense love sometimes. In the Kali age we find several such people with such paradoxical behaviour. When you witness such changes, you think that God is bringing about such changes. No; God is only a witness. He is not responsible for these changes. God is like milk, which, when added to the decoction, becomes coffee. The same milk can become a sweet pudding too. All the changes that are taking place in the human beings are only due to their gunas.

A person called Paul was inimical towards Jesus Christ in the beginning. The same person became an ardent devotee later. The qualities in a human being bring about a lot of changes. For example, this African devotee has been devoted to Me since his childhood. He used to love Me intensely from the beginning. I advised him that he was still young and he should return to his country to pursue his vocation. Bowing to the wishes of Swami, he returned to his native land. But, there is no change whatsoever in his devotion. He has been constantly praying to Me, calling ‘Baba! Baba!’

Some years ago, when I went on a tour to East Africa, several Africans came to Me fordarshan. Each one of them prayed, “Swami! Please spend some time with us”. There were a few hundred children among them. All of them had their vision glued to My form. You know the then President of Uganda, Mr. Idi Amin. He was a military officer. He was young and very energetic then. He was tall and hefty. He had a number of wives. He was very fond of Swami. He used to have the darshan of Swami both in the morning and evening. I was very short before that giant. The sight of Me beside him was like the view of a deer by the side of a camel. People were surprised at his love and devotion towards Swami. He was well educated and was the President of his country, Uganda. He was known for his stern nature. Such a person shed tears when I started on My return journey. He told Me, “Swami! I have never shed tears since my birth. Today, I am very sad and have a feeling of separation because Swami is leaving us.” He covered his face with a handkerchief so that others may not notice his feelings. His hands were very strong. He held My hands firmly, expressing thanks for My visit. He also prostrated before Me. He held My feet so tightly that it became difficult for Me later to climb the ladder for boarding the aeroplane. At the time of My departure, he pleaded with Me “Swami! I will surely come to have Your darshan shortly. Otherwise, You please visit our country again. I cannot bear the separation from You.” The situation in Uganda then was such that he could not leave the country.

During My stay in Uganda, he planned to host a dinner for Me in his house. He therefore came to the house of Dr. Patel to personally enquire about the arrangements to be made in this regard. He collected all information as to how to organise the dinner, what should be the menu, who are to be invited as guests, etc. He arranged for brand new utensils for cooking various dishes. He also arranged for new tumblers for the guests. Finally, when I visited his palace for the dinner, all his wives stood in rows on either side and greeted Me with veneration. He introduced them to Me, one by one. I stayed in Kampala, the capital of Uganda. The last day was Guru Purnima, an important occasion for Sai devotees. I had earlier promised to return to Bombay by that date. But, the Africans did not allow Me. They fell at My feet and prayed: “Bhagawan! Please spend this holy day with us”, with tears in their eyes. In answer to their prayers I stayed back to spend Guru Purnima with them.

On that day, they wished to take photos with Me. I told them that they might silently pray in their hearts so that their request would be fulfilled. To their joy, each one of them found a photo with Swami standing beside them. The devotion of Africans is indescribable. Even now, I feel very happy when I think of their devotion. My next visit was to the country of Tanzania. There also, everyone who came to have My darshanfelt very happy. Ladies and gents came in large numbers to welcome Me, wearing their traditional dresses. They danced in ecstasy on seeing Me. On the day of departure, just before the plane took off, all of them stood in front of the aircraft and pleaded with Me, “Swami! You should not go from here. You must be here only.” How can I accede to their request? I had to leave. The pilots and other officers in the airport counselled them saying, “You should not obstruct Swami’s aircraft like this. This is not good.” They then moved away. I was observing all this from the window of the aircraft. Finally, when the plane started to take off, many of them nearly fainted in grief. That scene was fresh in My memory till I reached Bombay.

During that trip, I visited three countries – Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. They are all neighbouring countries. I was very happy and felt deeply touched at the devotion of African people. During My return journey, the aircraft was filled to the brim with the articles gifted by the African devotees. What are those gifts any way? They brought all sorts of articles like dinner sets and tea sets in gold colour. They are still with Me. We are making use of them while hosting high dignitaries like Prime Ministers and Governors.

There are several devotees in foreign countries who love Swami. Their love towards Swami is incomparable. The devotees of East Africa enjoyed a lot during My visit to their places. I have decided then itself that I would make no further visits abroad. Since then, I never visited any foreign country. Even for My visit to East Africa, there was a reason. Dr. Patel prayed to Me from the depth of his heart that I should pay a visit to Africa. He prayed “Swami! Your visit is not exclusively for us. There are several wild animals in these parts. Kindly confer the good fortune of Your darshan to these animals and bless them too.” When I went to that place, he arranged for some small aircrafts for our journey through the wild life habitats. He saw to it that only two people sat in each aircraft, with plenty of space to move about in it.

Sitting in those small aeroplanes, we saw a number of places abounding in scenic beauty. The huge Lake Victoria is spread over a vast area. It took us one and half hours to cross that lake by those aeroplanes. There are several crocodiles in that lake of extraordinary size. Unable to find enough space to move about in the lake, they were falling on one another. Later, we had a boat ride in the lake. The crocodiles were looking at us with jaws wide open while we were moving in the lake. We threw apples towards them. Surprisingly they did not eat those apples, till we completed our boat ride. They were holding the apples in their mouth and gazing at us. There were several Hippopotamuses in that lake. Some of them were suckling their babies. It was a charming sight of wild animals in their natural habitat.

The beautiful scenery was a feast to our eyes. The animals also have desires like human beings. But, their love towards us was unparalleled. By the time we reached the shore of that lake, we could see big herds of elephants moving about in herds. The African elephants have enormous fan like ears. The wind caused by a wisp of their ears was enough to make people fall down. I went into their midst in a car. On seeing Me sitting in the car, they raised their trunks in veneration and paid obeisance to Me. The noble qualities in those wild animals are not to be found even in human beings. There is no feeling of hatred at all in those animals! All those animals are living together happily. Normally, an elephant fears a lion. But, the lions and elephants are living together happily in those forests.

We went to a small hillock, where there was a group of ten lions. The elephants were moving about in their presence without any fear. We went near them and took photographs. There may be fear and anxiety in the human beings now and then. But, not even one wild animal displayed any fear on seeing us. There were some lions relaxing there. Our jeep passed over their tails. But, they were not bothered. On the other hand, they drew their tails near their mouths and kissed them. I was really moved by their love and affection. I could not come out of that place.

Such intense feeling of love is not to be found even among the human beings today. The humans hate one another. Even the mother and child hate each other. The husband and wife hate each other. But, we could not find even a trace of hatred in those wild animals. I could witness an unparalleled and intense feeling of love and equality in those wild animals.

It was time for us to leave that wonderful place and people. The agony of separation suffered by the people, especially the devotees living in those countries during our return journey is indescribable. In fact, I also felt sad to leave those loving devotees. Our plane reached Bombay very late. Sri K.M. Munshi was waiting there for our arrival. You know, who Munshi was? He was the chairman of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. He was suffering from a paralytic attack of his right side and his mouth. The moment he had My darshan on alighting from the plane, he could raise his hand. With boundless joy, he shouted, “Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Babaji Ki Jai”! The people around were surprised that Munshi could raise his hand and speak.

Munshi took Me to the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, straight from the airport. The world conference of the Sathya Sai Organisations was to be held there. A large number of devotees and public had gathered there. Munshi addressed that gathering without any difficulty. He declared: “The invisible Lord is standing right in front of us and speaking to us today.” He made a small request that I should stay in his house for three days. Acceding to his request, I stayed in his house for three days. Those three days passed like three seconds to him. He was very happy.

After My return from the East African tour, I tried to explain the intense love and devotion of the African people and the wild animals residing there, to the people in these parts. If the animals could develop such intense love, why not the human beings? The animals have no prajnana (divine wisdom), vijnana (discriminatory intellect) andsujnana (higher level of consciousness). But, human beings who are endowed with all these noble qualities and read a number of texts are bereft of even an iota of love. Hence, oh! human beings! I wish that all of you should lead a life of mutual love. “Love all! Serve all!” – this is My exhortation to you. If only there is love, you can achieve anything. Love is everything. “Love is life; life is love”.

Life is associated with love, not hatred. Today, wherever you see there is hatred, hatred, hatred! This is not a good sign. Being born as human beings, it is not proper to possess animal qualities, throwing to wind the human qualities. Sometimes, the animals seem better than human beings in this regard. The animals seem to possess human qualities. Today, the animals are transforming themselves into humans and the humans degenerating into animals. This is not proper. The human beings should lead the life of human beings. They should strengthen their human qualities.

The person who spoke a little while ago is an African. He is engaged in propagating the human values. The world is full of such people. But, persons imbued with human values are very rare. In fact, some people do not know how to talk courteously. Even if you enquire with love, “Sir! Where did you come from?” They will give a curt reply, “I came from somewhere.” Whatever they talk, will be discourteous and harsh. This is not correct. A human being should talk sweetly and softly. The words must be suffused with love. Only then will you experience peace. When your behaviour and talk is bad, how can you expect peace to reign in your heart? Peace is not in the outside world. It is very much in your own heart. There are only pieces outside, not peace.

You say “I want peace”. Let your behaviour be good and courteous. Then, peace will flow from you. Wherefrom do you get truth? Can you obtain Truth from the text books you read? No! Truth is very much in you. Truth, righteousness, peace, love and non-violence are the innate qualities of a human being. Love is the very form of God! We can experience God’s love only with love from our side. Love and peace are the most essential qualities for a human being. A millionaire may build several residences, purchase a number of cars and have several conveniences. But, whomever you come across, they say that they have no peace. Of what use is all this wealth and comforts and conveniences, if there is no peace within?

Nowadays, there is a real estate boom all over the country. How much land does a human being require? Only six feet! Nothing more. There was a rich landlord who went in search of some land. He wanted to purchase an additional piece of land. Having come to know of this man’s efforts, a person came to him and advised, “Sir! You may please go to the Himalayan region where plenty of land is available free of cost.” This man went to the Himalayas and contacted the king of that region. The king told him: “I promise to give you all that land which you cover by walking from sunrise to sunset.” The landlord was very happy. Next morning, he set on his expedition, enthusiastically. In fact, he began to run greedily with a view to acquire more land. He was thus running continuously from morning till evening. It was sunset. He was very tired and weak. Yet, he did not give up his greed. Just when he was at a distance of six feet before his final goal, he swooned and fell down. The king came to that spot, saw his condition and commented: “Alas! What this man requires now is only six feet land!” In fact, what every human being requires is only that much land!

King Alexander conquered several countries and finally set his foot in Bharat. As he was crossing a river, he had a heart attack. The doctors who examined him confirmed that he was nearing his end and any medicines will be of no use. King Alexander then lamented, “I am the king of such a vast kingdom. I acquired gold in plenty. I have a great army by my side. Is there no one who can save me from the clutches of death?” Immediately, he called his ministers and told them, “Oh ministers! After my death, you take my dead body to my native country. Wrap it with a white cloth keeping my hands in a raised position and take it in a procession through every street.” As per the king’s wish, his dead body was taken in a procession through the streets.

The people were rather surprised at this strange act and enquired, “Why are you taking the dead body of the king in procession, with his hands raised?” The ministers replied, “Alexander the Great, who was rolling in great wealth left this world empty-handed. It is only to make this fact known to the people as per the king’s last wish, his dead body is being taken in procession like this.” Not only Alexander, but every human being has to ultimately depart from this world empty-handed. One may acquire a vast kingdom; one may have a great army behind him; one may have a number of friends and relatives; but, none will accompany one during one’s last journey.

Several kings and great souls spread this truth in those days and exhorted people to give up attachment to the body. Unfortunately, you are not reading the stories of such great people. What you are learning now is not ‘history’, but ‘hysteria’. No one reads history. What is history in the real sense? His story is History!” Man today is pursuing high education. He is learning science and technology. But, today’s ‘technology’ is mere ‘trick-nology’. What you read may not remain in your brain. Only what you have actually put into practice lasts long. It is enough if you put into practice at least one aspect of what you have read. That will help you in every way.

Embodiments of Love! Dear students!

You may pursue any type of education; but, do not forget the human values. Truth, righteousness, peace, love and non-violence are the five human values to be cultivated by a human being. You learn these five human values and put them into action. Then your life will go on smoothly. This is what I wish to communicate to you today as an important message. Truth is eternal. It is only when you follow this eternal truth that your name will remain in the annals of history forever. Eternal truth will earn eternal peace for you. If you succumb to bad qualities like anger, jealousy, envy, arrogance, etc., your entire life will become miserable with unrest and agitation.

58. Bhagawan’s 81st Birthday Divine Discourse, 23rd Nov 2006

SERVICE TO SOCIETY IS SERVICE TO GOD

When the child emerges from the womb of its mother, one does not find any garland around its neck. There are no jewels made of pearls nor are there glittering gold ornaments. There are no necklaces studded with precious stones like emeralds and diamonds. But there is one garland around its neck. Brahma strings together the consequences of his past deeds into a heavy garland and puts it around its neck at the time of birth.

(Telugu poem)

Embodiments of Love, Students – Boys and Girls!

It is not possible to describe how fortunate a human being is. Jantunam nara janma durlabham (of all living beings, human birth is the rarest). Man is not able to realise the value of humanness and is deluded by the sight of ephemeral and transitory objects of the world. The basis of man’s life is not the transitory and ephemeral world. His life on earth is a synthesis of moral, ethical and spiritual values. Man, in fact, is the image of divinity. Mamaivamsho jivaloke jivabhuta sanathana (the eternal Atma in all beings is a part of My Being). All of you are a part of Myself, you are not different from Me. Unable to realise the value of his humanness, man becomes a victim of his many delusions. All your learning and your strenuous efforts should be directed towards realising this truth. You don’t need anything else after realising this fundamental truth. All the material possessions of this world are a cause of bondage for man and so long as man is in bondage, he has to suffer. Therefore, man should try to achieve freedom from this bondage. He should get rid of the feeling of attachment. Nothing is ‘mine’ and ‘thine’, everything is one. Develop the feeling in your heart that all are one. Only then can you experience truth, peace and bliss.

Embodiments of Love!

Your life is full of ambitions and desires. You have to enquire whether you are making appropriate efforts to attain fulfilment in life. First search your heart to know what your thoughts and feelings are – whether they are pure, steady and selfless or are they tainted with desires. Desires are like luggage which is a heavy burden in the journey of life. Less luggage more comfort makes travel a pleasure. Therefore, gradually reduce your desires. If you have less luggage, you will be more peaceful. On the contrary, man today is increasing his baggage of desires instead of lightening it.

Thousands of people have assembled here. Heads are many, but the feeling is one. Ekatma sarva bhutantaratma (one Atma dwells in all beings). Because of your body attachment, you are subjected to too many troubles. Today you are a single person. After completing your studies and securing a good job, you will try to get married. Then you become two. When one wears one bangle, no sound is produced. Only when one wears two bangles sound is produced. After marriage, you are inclined towards worldly acquisitions. You will have children and your family will expand. With this type of ‘progress’, how can you have peace? All these worldly attachments are the result of your deluded thinking. There is no reality in them. When your thoughts and feelings are not in the right direction, you are bound to suffer. Instead of getting yourself entangled in worldly life, you should engage in the service of society.

Once you take to the path of service, your problems will gradually decrease. Love All, Serve All. Do not consider anybody as other person. Develop the feeling that he and you are one. The entire mankind is one. What you see in this world is only the reaction, reflection and resound of the reality that is one. Once you understand this truth, you will be peaceful. Only then will your mind be steady and one-pointed in the pursuit of your study and profession. Therefore, first and foremost, engage yourself in the service of society. What is society? Society is your own reflection. Therefore, do not distance yourself from society. Keep yourself always engaged in the service of society. Why has God given hands to you? They are not given to scribble something on paper. They should be fully engaged in the service of God. Work is worship. Duty is God. Do your duty.

Embodiments of Love!

You are now young and all your limbs are healthy and strong. First is the body. Next come the senses. Higher than the senses is the mind, and the intellect is higher than the mind. The Atma is the highest. When you understand and contemplate on the principle of the Atma, you will be free from all suffering and bondage. It is the perversion of the mind that is the cause of all your sufferings and bondages.

Once the mother of this body, Easwaramma, went to a well to fetch water. Suddenly, she felt giddy and heard an ethereal voice, “I am entering your body.” She was fear-stricken and was at a loss to know what was entering her body, whether it was a ghost, a spirit or an angel. She heard the voice again, “I am entering your body for the welfare of the world.”

Easwaramma was not the name given to the mother of this body at the time of her birth. This name was given to her by Kondama Raju, the grandfather of this body. He was a noble soul who had realised My Divinity even when I was a child. Realising that she was the mother of Easwara, he changed her name to Easwaramma (mother of God). Easwaramma was not an ordinary woman; she was a high-souled person who was loved and admired by one and all. Wherever she went, people greeted her with great love.

Karanam Subbamma was one of great virtues. She had a highly respected position in the village. As time passed, there was great transformation in her. She prepared food for all the devotees who came for My darshan. Whatever she made, she made it for the sake of Swami. Those days, I did not stay at home most of the time. I moved about in the adjoining hills and valleys. Subbamma made many preparations, put them in a tiffin box and went searching for Me wherever I was. Her love for Swami was great. In the Dwapara Yuga, it was Devaki who gave birth to Krishna, but Yashoda had the great good fortune of being called the mother of Krishna. Similarly, Subbamma had such great good fortune in this Age.

Once Karanam Subbamma performed Sathyanarayana Vrata. She invited Easwaramma also to participate in it. As I was born after Easwaramma partook of the Prasadam (sanctified food) of Sathyanarayana Vrata, I was given the name of Sathyanarayana. Right from My birth, people did not consider Me as an ordinary person; they always considered Me as a Transcendental Being endowed with great Divine powers. When I was a child, all the children in the village used to surround Me. I used to ask everyone of them what he wanted. Each one of them wanted to have something or the other like a pencil, a pen, a sweet or a peppermint. Whatever they asked, I used to take it out of My empty bag. I did not have even a single paisa with Me. On receiving the items they asked for, they used to wonder how I was able to give them all those things. There was no possibility of My mother giving them because she too had no money. One day, I left My bag and went inside. Finding this as an opportune moment, the boys searched the bag all over. They were not ordinary boys. They wanted to make sure if there was anything hidden in the bag. After making a thorough search, they could not find even a single pin. Then they realised that all these things were coming from some unknown source. They were wonderstruck. In this manner, I was always surrounded by boys right from My childhood.

Gradually, My name spread far and wide. This created jealousy in some people. In spite of the jealousy of people, My name and fame spread to all corners of the world. People from many countries of the world representing various faiths started coming to Prasanthi Nilayam in large numbers and started celebrating their festivals here. Now December is coming and Christmas is approaching. Christians from all parts of the world will assemble here and celebrate this festival. Likewise, Mohammedans also came to Prasanthi Nilayam and prayed for My permission to celebrate their festivals. People belonging to all faiths have been coming to Prasanthi Nilayam to celebrate their festivals here. As I have always been telling you, “All are one.”

Religions are many, but the goal is one.

Clothes are many but yarn is one.

Jewels are many but gold is one.

(Telugu poem)

Likewise, there are many beings, but the indwelling Atma in them is the same. However, there are certain people who are creating differences. As the name and fame of Swami is spreading, many people have developed jealousy and they are making false propaganda. Recently, a meeting was held in London in which Air Chief Marshal (retd.) Suri repudiated all such false propaganda. There he told the critics that they should go to Sathya Sai Baba, observe and experience the truth personally and then only make any comments. He further asked them not to listen to all sorts of gossip and start talking about it. What do you gain by listening to others? Those who spread rumours have themselves not seen or experienced anything. But they started false propaganda and it spread to many countries; it reached India also. Without ascertaining the facts, some Indian newspapers also published these false articles, imitating the foreign newspapers. In fact, these critics don’t have faith in what they themselves speak. Then, why should they believe in what others say? Their only intention is to defame Swami by foul means. But it is not possible for anyone to defame Swami.

Not only now, but for all times to come, nobody can tarnish Swami’s name. Everybody has to surrender to Swami’s love one day or the other (loud applause). The Name of Sai is eternal and changeless. One can speak whatever one likes. Boneless tongue can be twisted in any way. Stones are hurled only on a fruit-laden tree. Like a fruit-bearing tree, all noble people are subjected to many ordeals and difficulties. But when one firmly adheres to truth, nothing can shake one. Let any number of people fight against truth; they can never win. Therefore, hold on to truth firmly, come what may. One who stands by truth is bound to be victorious. Therefore, never give up truth.

Who is God? Truth is God. Truth is unshakable. Sathyannasti paro Dharma (There is no Dharma greater than adherence to truth). It is Dharma that leads man to peace. Without peace man cannot live. Saint Thyagaraja said, “One cannot have happiness without peace.” When you attain peace, you will experience love and bliss. Truth is the origin of bliss. Non-violence also emerges from truth. A man of love will not entertain even a thought of violence. Sathya (truth), Dharma (righteousness), Santhi (peace), Prema (love) and Ahimsa (non-violence) are like the five life-breaths of man. These are the prime qualities of a human being. The need of the hour is to develop these human values. Only when these values are developed can there be peace in the country. Wherever you see today, you find limitless desires in people.

Take any area of human endeavour, man’s desires have no limit. There is no limit even in reading of books. People keep reading books all the time. This reading of all sorts of books is a mere waste of time. What is the use of reading if it does not give you self-satisfaction? Your bookish knowledge can help you only in earning a living. Bharatiya culture emphasises the inculcation of morality, ethics and spirituality. But our modern authors are ignoring these three principles. That is why in spite of widespread academic learning, there is no real progress.

Oh man! Do not feel proud of your education. If you do not offer your salutations to God and do not think of Him with devotion, all your education becomes useless.

(Telugu poem)

Therefore, man should develop love for God. If you have love for God, you will have everything. Without love for God, everything will come to nothing. Love for God is like the main switch. If the main switch is put off, no other switch can function and there will be no light. Once the main switch is on, you will get light by pressing any switch.

Humanness is the main quality of a human being. Mother Easwaramma was fully endowed with humanness. All her thoughts were always focused on Swami. The Summer Course was going on at Brindavan. Easwaramma had her breakfast and coffee. After that, she was chewing betel. Suddenly she shouted, “Swami, Swami, Swami” three times. I said, “I am coming, I am coming, I am coming.” I came down immediately and she breathed her last. She had an easy death without any suffering at all. Body has value so long as there is life in it. Once the life goes out of it, it is just like a log of wood. The body of Easwaramma was taken to Puttaparthi according to My instructions and the final rites were performed. Many people said that I should also go. But I did not go. I do not have any body attachment. Body attachment is a big bondage. Once you surrender your body to God, your wayward senses will also lose their power and you will be free from bondage. There may be some ups and downs in life, but once you have surrendered to God, nothing will disturb you.

Embodiments of Love!

Study whatever you are expected to study. Earn a good name in society. Your parents have high expectations from you. You should satisfy their aspirations. Matru devo bhava, Pitru devo bhava, Acharya devo bhava, Atithi devo bhava (revere your mother, father, preceptor and guest as God). When you make your mother, father, preceptor and guest happy, then God will give you more happiness. All your learning is useless without love for God. You are all young. You should study well and earn a good name in society. This is what I expect from you. I do not want you to merely acquire high academic qualifications. There are many highly educated people in the world. But what good have they done for the world? You should work hard and make others happy. You will have fulfilment in life only when you make the society happy. Kalam is highly educated and is devoted to the service of society. Render all possible service to society. That alone will make Swami happy.

Yesterday, Ram Setty said that he did not want to go back to America. He wants to spend the rest of his life here in the service of Swami. His son is as worthy as his father. He is also a doctor. He told his father that he did want to come in the way of his father’s wish. This stadium is built by the munificence of Ram Setty, his wife, son and daughter. He sold all his property and donated the entire money for the construction of this stadium. He is a man of great sacrifice. He has donated 40 crore rupees for the construction of this stadium. How many will have the spirit of sacrifice of such a high order? In this Age when people turn away even a beggar without giving him anything, this family has made such a great sacrifice. He has a son and a daughter. Even then he has donated such a huge amount. Both his son and daughter are not interested in worldly enjoyments. Their only objective is to obey Swami.

Peace and happiness lie in spirituality and in nothing else. You may study, get married, have children and lead a happy life. There is nothing wrong in it. But never forget God. Without forgetting God, you may follow any path. This is My blessing to you. Spread the Divine Name of Sai in every nook and corner of the world. That will lead to manifestation of divinity within everyone. The closer you come to Swami, the divinity within you should become more pronounced. Then your life will be sanctified.

The worldly pleasures are no pleasures in the real sense of the term. Today you may enjoy pleasure, tomorrow you may experience difficulties. You may be happy when a son is born, but you will be grief-stricken when some mishap occurs to the son and he dies. One day you smile, another day you cry. There is only a little gap between happiness and sorrow. Everything in man’s life is transient and temporary. Ma kuru dhana jana yauvana garvam, Harathi nimeshath kalah sarvam (do not be proud of your wealth, progeny and youth; the tide of time may destroy them in a moment).

Students!

May you live long and lead a happy life! Serve society. Consider service to society as service to God. Service to society alone can confer peace on you.

(Bhagawan concluded His Discourse with the Bhajan, “Hari Bhajan Bina Sukha Santhi Nahin…”)

59. Bhagawan’s Benedictory Address during the Institutes 25th Convocation

Put Human Values Into Practice

Man today feels proud that he has mastered many branches of knowledge and studied a number of texts. But he does not try to understand the essence of education. Nowadays learning is limited only to physical and worldly aspects, moral, ethical and spiritual aspects are left out. Today the parents make strenuous efforts to provide education to their children. But nobody is trying to know the real meaning of education. People think that those who can speak eloquently and have studied a number of books are highly educated. But the fact is that it shows just the knowledge of the alphabet and nothing else. Mere knowledge of the alphabet cannot be called education. Besides knowing the letters, one has to know the meaning of the words and the sentences constituted by them.

Having realised this truth, King Krishnadevaraya convened a big assembly. He posed a question to all the assembled poets and scholars. Also present in this assembly were eight renowned poets of his court known as Ashta Diggajas. They were: Allasani Peddana, Nandi Thimmana, Madayyagari Mallana, Dhurjati, Ayyalaraju Ramabhadrudu, Pingali Surana, Ramarajabhushanudu and Tenali Ramakrishna. Krishnadevaraya wanted to know who among them was the best. He wanted them to frame a meaningful sentence consisting of five letters, each letter having the same meaning in five different languages. “Whoever comes out with an answer to this question by tomorrow morning will be suitably rewarded”, he declared.

Since his house was far away, Tenali Ramakrishna decided to spend the night in his brother-in-law’s house. When he was provided with a comfortable bed for the night, Ramakrishna refused to sleep on it. He said, “I have to think of an answer to a question put by the king by tomorrow morning. A bed like this is sure to put me to sleep in no time. So, provide a cot for me in the cowshed.”

As he was lying on the cot, at one o’clock in the night, one of the cows in the shed gave birth to a calf. Ramakrishna called out to inform his brother-in-law about this. His brother-in-law wanted to know which cow had given birth since he had given different names to his cows like Lakshmi, Saraswati, Radha, etc. He asked Ramakrishna, “Ye Aav Ra Bava” (Oh brother-in-law! Which cow is that?). When Ramakrishna heard this, his joy knew no bounds since he had found an answer to the king’s question. So, he repeated the phrase again and again. His brother-in-law thought that Ramakrishna was behaving in this strange manner due to lack of sleep.

Next morning, Ramakrishna went to the royal court and found that no one else had the answer to the question. All others were convinced that it was not possible to frame such a sentence. “Ye Aav Ra Ba Va. This is the answer”, he said. Everyone was intrigued. Then he explained, ‘Ye’ in Marathi, ‘Aav’ in Hindi, ‘Ra’ in Telugu, ‘Ba’ in Kannada and ‘Va’ in Tamil convey the same meaning, i.e., ‘come’. All the five languages were represented in this sentence.

In this manner, one should know the meaning of every letter. People today read many books without knowing the real meaning of the words. But in ancient times, people knew the meaning of every letter that they studied. Pleased with the answer of Tenali Ramakrishna, Krishnadevaraya presented to Ramakrishna a bundle of gold coins and precious diamonds. Ramakrishna was happy to receive the precious gift from the king, but he was worried how he should safeguard it. Therefore, he requested the king to provide him with two bodyguards so as to carry the bundle safely to his house. Accompanied by the bodyguards, he carried the bundle safely to his house.

On reaching home, the thought of keeping the bundle safe in the house caused him a lot of worry since he did not have any iron safe. His wife came near him and saw the bundle. At that time, Tenali Ramakrishna noticed two thieves who had followed him all the way and were now hiding in the backyard of his house. Then he told his wife that he was going to drop the bundle of gold coins and precious stones into the well in the backyard of his house for its safety. He spoke loudly so that the thieves could overhear him. Instead of putting the bundle of precious gems in the well, he actually put a bag of stones in it. All through the night, the thieves kept on drawing water out of the well in expectation of getting the bundle of gold coins and precious stones. All their attempts proved futile. They left the place at daybreak. Tenali Ramakrishna was happy that he could save the precious bundle from the clutches of thieves and in the process they had poured adequate water in his fields.

One who knows the meaning of every letter, every word and every sentence is a true poet. Tenali Ramakrishna was one such great poet.

Kavim Purana Manushasitaram Anoraniyamsamanusmaredya,

Sarvasya Dhataramachintyarupam Adityavarnam Tamasa Parastat.

(He who contemplates on the all-wise, ageless Being, the ruler of all, subtler than the subtle, the universal sustainer, possessing a form beyond human conception, refulgent like the sun and far beyond the darkness of ignorance, he reaches verily that supreme divine Purusha (God).

Today people try to know the meaning of sentences without trying to know the meaning of letters and words that constitute the sentences. Even the preceptors today give only the worldly meaning of the sentences, but none gives the moral, ethical and spiritual import of the sentences. It is the responsibility of teachers to disseminate the knowledge pertaining to moral, ethical and spiritual principles. That is true education. Today the students pursue their studies, but if you ask them what you are doing, they reply, “Chaduvu-Kontunnamu”, which also means, “We are buying education”. That is no education at all. We have to know the meaning of every letter, every word and every sentence and act accordingly.

Despite acquiring all this worldly knowledge, one has to meet one’s end which is inevitable. One should acquire that knowledge which makes one immortal. It is the knowledge of five human values, namely, Sathya, Dharma, Santhi, Prema and Ahimsa.The first one is Sathya (truth). Truth is deathless. Truth is one, not two. Dharma (righteousness) is eternal. Santhi (peace) is the source of bliss. Next is Prema (love). Right from a child to an old person at the verge of death, everyone is endowed with love. But love has no death. The last, but not the least is Ahimsa. Where is the death for Ahimsa (non-violence)? Buddha propagated this principle. He declared: Ahimsa Paramo Dharma (non-violence is the highest Dharma). Knowledge and practice of these five principles is real education.

Speak truth, follow the path of righteousness and experience peace. Share your love happily with all and lead your life with non-violence. This is the essence of education. These are the five main human values which should be propagated in the world. They are eternal and immortal. Today we run after all that is perishable ignoring that which is immortal. The President of India has told you many important things. You can achieve great heights if you put his teachings into practice. Every human being is endowed with these five values. If we promote these five values, we become God.

The Vedas declare: Tat Twam Asi (That Thou Art). This profound statement of the Vedas contains the essence of all knowledge. Therefore these five human values have to be inculcated in everyone right from childhood. When you rely on truth, you can achieve anything in life. Daivam Manusha Rupena (God is in human form). God is not separate from man. All are the embodiments of Divinity. The same principle of the Atma is present in all. But it assumes many names. Develop self-confidence. Face all difficulties with self-confidence. Whomsoever you see, consider him as your own reflection. God is beyond all attributes and actions.

Develop the spirit of sacrifice. Na Karmana Na Prajaya Dhanena Thyagenaike Amrutatthwamanasu (immortality is not attained through action, progeny or wealth; it is attained only by sacrifice). You should be prepared to make any sacrifice. Have the firm conviction that I am God and God is not separate from me. Wherever you see, God is there. There is nothing else except God. Names and forms may be different, but the same principle of the Atma is present in all.

All that man experiences is the result of his actions. It is already very late now. I do not want to cause inconvenience to you by speaking at length. It is enough if you know these five principles and put them into practice in your daily life. It is only by practising these five principles that you can know them, not merely by reading or writing about them. Any knowledge that is not put into practice is no knowledge at all. Put into practice at least one or two principles in your life out of all that you have learnt,. Then only will your life be redeemed and you will acquire merit. Only then, you would have followed the right path. You have heard many things from Me and Kalam. What is the use of all your listening if you do not put anything into practice? It is your rare fortune that you have got the opportunity of listening to such sacred talks. Make the best use of the opportunity and attain the goal of your life.

Lord Krishna declared in the Bhagavadgita, Mamaivamsho Jivaloke Jivabhuta Sanathana (the eternal Atma in all beings is a part of My Being). You are all sparks of divinity. You are not mere mortals. You are not separate from Me. Being an aspect of My divinity, you should conduct yourself accordingly. Do not waste your time in vain gossip. These five values have originated from God.

Wherever you see, there is the principle of unity. You and I are one. Many people ask Me about My true identity. I tell them, “You and I are one. You are not separate from Me.” Consider all your fellowmen as your brothers and sisters and strengthen the bond of love with them. You should all stand united. Never give room for evil qualities like anger, hatred and jealousy. These qualities will create only differences. We should develop these five human values which will promote harmony and unity in the world. We should develop those qualities which will bring us closer to each other and not the ones which take us away from each other. Leave the burden of all your responsibilities to God. This is My message to you today.

60. Bhagawan’s 81st Birthday Divine Discourse, 23rd Nov 2006

81st Birthday Celebrations of Bhagawan

SERVICE TO SOCIETY IS SERVICE TO GOD

When the child emerges from the womb of its mother, one does not find any garland around its neck. There are no jewels made of pearls nor are there glittering gold ornaments. There are no necklaces studded with precious stones like emeralds and diamonds. But there is one garland around its neck. Brahma strings together the consequences of his past deeds into a heavy garland and puts it around its neck at the time of birth.

(Telugu poem)

Embodiments of Love, Students – Boys and Girls!

It is not possible to describe how fortunate a human being is. Jantunam nara janma durlabham (of all living beings, human birth is the rarest). Man is not able to realise the value of humanness and is deluded by the sight of ephemeral and transitory objects of the world. The basis of man’s life is not the transitory and ephemeral world. His life on earth is a synthesis of moral, ethical and spiritual values. Man, in fact, is the image of divinity. Mamaivamsho jivaloke jivabhuta sanathana (the eternal Atma in all beings is a part of My Being). All of you are a part of Myself, you are not different from Me. Unable to realise the value of his humanness, man becomes a victim of his many delusions. All your learning and your strenuous efforts should be directed towards realising this truth. You don’t need anything else after realising this fundamental truth. All the material possessions of this world are a cause of bondage for man and so long as man is in bondage, he has to suffer. Therefore, man should try to achieve freedom from this bondage. He should get rid of the feeling of attachment. Nothing is ‘mine’ and ‘thine’, everything is one. Develop the feeling in your heart that all are one. Only then can you experience truth, peace and bliss.

Embodiments of Love!

Your life is full of ambitions and desires. You have to enquire whether you are making appropriate efforts to attain fulfilment in life. First search your heart to know what your thoughts and feelings are – whether they are pure, steady and selfless or are they tainted with desires. Desires are like luggage which is a heavy burden in the journey of life. Less luggage more comfort makes travel a pleasure. Therefore, gradually reduce your desires. If you have less luggage, you will be more peaceful. On the contrary, man today is increasing his baggage of desires instead of lightening it.

Thousands of people have assembled here. Heads are many, but the feeling is one. Ekatma sarva bhutantaratma (one Atma dwells in all beings). Because of your body attachment, you are subjected to too many troubles. Today you are a single person. After completing your studies and securing a good job, you will try to get married. Then you become two. When one wears one bangle, no sound is produced. Only when one wears two bangles sound is produced. After marriage, you are inclined towards worldly acquisitions. You will have children and your family will expand. With this type of ‘progress’, how can you have peace? All these worldly attachments are the result of your deluded thinking. There is no reality in them. When your thoughts and feelings are not in the right direction, you are bound to suffer. Instead of getting yourself entangled in worldly life, you should engage in the service of society.

Once you take to the path of service, your problems will gradually decrease. Love All, Serve All. Do not consider anybody as other person. Develop the feeling that he and you are one. The entire mankind is one. What you see in this world is only the reaction, reflection and resound of the reality that is one. Once you understand this truth, you will be peaceful. Only then will your mind be steady and one-pointed in the pursuit of your study and profession. Therefore, first and foremost, engage yourself in the service of society. What is society? Society is your own reflection. Therefore, do not distance yourself from society. Keep yourself always engaged in the service of society. Why has God given hands to you? They are not given to scribble something on paper. They should be fully engaged in the service of God. Work is worship. Duty is God. Do your duty.

Embodiments of Love!

You are now young and all your limbs are healthy and strong. First is the body. Next come the senses. Higher than the senses is the mind, and the intellect is higher than the mind. The Atma is the highest. When you understand and contemplate on the principle of the Atma, you will be free from all suffering and bondage. It is the perversion of the mind that is the cause of all your sufferings and bondages.

Once the mother of this body, Easwaramma, went to a well to fetch water. Suddenly, she felt giddy and heard an ethereal voice, “I am entering your body.” She was fear-stricken and was at a loss to know what was entering her body, whether it was a ghost, a spirit or an angel. She heard the voice again, “I am entering your body for the welfare of the world.”

Easwaramma was not the name given to the mother of this body at the time of her birth. This name was given to her by Kondama Raju, the grandfather of this body. He was a noble soul who had realised My Divinity even when I was a child. Realising that she was the mother of Easwara, he changed her name to Easwaramma (mother of God). Easwaramma was not an ordinary woman; she was a high-souled person who was loved and admired by one and all. Wherever she went, people greeted her with great love.

Karanam Subbamma was one of great virtues. She had a highly respected position in the village. As time passed, there was great transformation in her. She prepared food for all the devotees who came for My darshan. Whatever she made, she made it for the sake of Swami. Those days, I did not stay at home most of the time. I moved about in the adjoining hills and valleys. Subbamma made many preparations, put them in a tiffin box and went searching for Me wherever I was. Her love for Swami was great. In the Dwapara Yuga, it was Devaki who gave birth to Krishna, but Yashoda had the great good fortune of being called the mother of Krishna. Similarly, Subbamma had such great good fortune in this Age.

Once Karanam Subbamma performed Sathyanarayana Vrata. She invited Easwaramma also to participate in it. As I was born after Easwaramma partook of the Prasadam (sanctified food) of Sathyanarayana Vrata, I was given the name of Sathyanarayana. Right from My birth, people did not consider Me as an ordinary person; they always considered Me as a Transcendental Being endowed with great Divine powers. When I was a child, all the children in the village used to surround Me. I used to ask everyone of them what he wanted. Each one of them wanted to have something or the other like a pencil, a pen, a sweet or a peppermint. Whatever they asked, I used to take it out of My empty bag. I did not have even a single paisa with Me. On receiving the items they asked for, they used to wonder how I was able to give them all those things. There was no possibility of My mother giving them because she too had no money. One day, I left My bag and went inside. Finding this as an opportune moment, the boys searched the bag all over. They were not ordinary boys. They wanted to make sure if there was anything hidden in the bag. After making a thorough search, they could not find even a single pin. Then they realised that all these things were coming from some unknown source. They were wonderstruck. In this manner, I was always surrounded by boys right from My childhood.

Gradually, My name spread far and wide. This created jealousy in some people. In spite of the jealousy of people, My name and fame spread to all corners of the world. People from many countries of the world representing various faiths started coming to Prasanthi Nilayam in large numbers and started celebrating their festivals here. Now December is coming and Christmas is approaching. Christians from all parts of the world will assemble here and celebrate this festival. Likewise, Mohammedans also came to Prasanthi Nilayam and prayed for My permission to celebrate their festivals. People belonging to all faiths have been coming to Prasanthi Nilayam to celebrate their festivals here. As I have always been telling you, “All are one.”

Religions are many, but the goal is one.

Clothes are many but yarn is one.

Jewels are many but gold is one.

(Telugu poem)

Likewise, there are many beings, but the indwelling Atma in them is the same. However, there are certain people who are creating differences. As the name and fame of Swami is spreading, many people have developed jealousy and they are making false propaganda. Recently, a meeting was held in London in which Air Chief Marshal (retd.) Suri repudiated all such false propaganda. There he told the critics that they should go to Sathya Sai Baba, observe and experience the truth personally and then only make any comments. He further asked them not to listen to all sorts of gossip and start talking about it. What do you gain by listening to others? Those who spread rumours have themselves not seen or experienced anything. But they started false propaganda and it spread to many countries; it reached India also. Without ascertaining the facts, some Indian newspapers also published these false articles, imitating the foreign newspapers. In fact, these critics don’t have faith in what they themselves speak. Then, why should they believe in what others say? Their only intention is to defame Swami by foul means. But it is not possible for anyone to defame Swami.

Not only now, but for all times to come, nobody can tarnish Swami’s name. Everybody has to surrender to Swami’s love one day or the other (loud applause). The Name of Sai is eternal and changeless. One can speak whatever one likes. Boneless tongue can be twisted in any way. Stones are hurled only on a fruit-laden tree. Like a fruit-bearing tree, all noble people are subjected to many ordeals and difficulties. But when one firmly adheres to truth, nothing can shake one. Let any number of people fight against truth; they can never win. Therefore, hold on to truth firmly, come what may. One who stands by truth is bound to be victorious. Therefore, never give up truth.

Who is God? Truth is God. Truth is unshakable. Sathyannasti paro Dharma (There is no Dharma greater than adherence to truth). It is Dharma that leads man to peace. Without peace man cannot live. Saint Thyagaraja said, “One cannot have happiness without peace.” When you attain peace, you will experience love and bliss. Truth is the origin of bliss. Non-violence also emerges from truth. A man of love will not entertain even a thought of violence. Sathya (truth), Dharma (righteousness), Santhi (peace), Prema (love) and Ahimsa (non-violence) are like the five life-breaths of man. These are the prime qualities of a human being. The need of the hour is to develop these human values. Only when these values are developed can there be peace in the country. Wherever you see today, you find limitless desires in people.

Take any area of human endeavour, man’s desires have no limit. There is no limit even in reading of books. People keep reading books all the time. This reading of all sorts of books is a mere waste of time. What is the use of reading if it does not give you self-satisfaction? Your bookish knowledge can help you only in earning a living. Bharatiya culture emphasises the inculcation of morality, ethics and spirituality. But our modern authors are ignoring these three principles. That is why in spite of widespread academic learning, there is no real progress.

Oh man! Do not feel proud of your education. If you do not offer your salutations to God and do not think of Him with devotion, all your education becomes useless.

(Telugu poem)

Therefore, man should develop love for God. If you have love for God, you will have everything. Without love for God, everything will come to nothing. Love for God is like the main switch. If the main switch is put off, no other switch can function and there will be no light. Once the main switch is on, you will get light by pressing any switch.

Humanness is the main quality of a human being. Mother Easwaramma was fully endowed with humanness. All her thoughts were always focused on Swami. The Summer Course was going on at Brindavan. Easwaramma had her breakfast and coffee. After that, she was chewing betel. Suddenly she shouted, “Swami, Swami, Swami” three times. I said, “I am coming, I am coming, I am coming.” I came down immediately and she breathed her last. She had an easy death without any suffering at all. Body has value so long as there is life in it. Once the life goes out of it, it is just like a log of wood. The body of Easwaramma was taken to Puttaparthi according to My instructions and the final rites were performed. Many people said that I should also go. But I did not go. I do not have any body attachment. Body attachment is a big bondage. Once you surrender your body to God, your wayward senses will also lose their power and you will be free from bondage. There may be some ups and downs in life, but once you have surrendered to God, nothing will disturb you.

Embodiments of Love!

Study whatever you are expected to study. Earn a good name in society. Your parents have high expectations from you. You should satisfy their aspirations. Matru devo bhava, Pitru devo bhava, Acharya devo bhava, Atithi devo bhava (revere your mother, father, preceptor and guest as God). When you make your mother, father, preceptor and guest happy, then God will give you more happiness. All your learning is useless without love for God. You are all young. You should study well and earn a good name in society. This is what I expect from you. I do not want you to merely acquire high academic qualifications. There are many highly educated people in the world. But what good have they done for the world? You should work hard and make others happy. You will have fulfilment in life only when you make the society happy. Kalam is highly educated and is devoted to the service of society. Render all possible service to society. That alone will make Swami happy.

Yesterday, Ram Setty said that he did not want to go back to America. He wants to spend the rest of his life here in the service of Swami. His son is as worthy as his father. He is also a doctor. He told his father that he did want to come in the way of his father’s wish. This stadium is built by the munificence of Ram Setty, his wife, son and daughter. He sold all his property and donated the entire money for the construction of this stadium. He is a man of great sacrifice. He has donated 40 crore rupees for the construction of this stadium. How many will have the spirit of sacrifice of such a high order? In this Age when people turn away even a beggar without giving him anything, this family has made such a great sacrifice. He has a son and a daughter. Even then he has donated such a huge amount. Both his son and daughter are not interested in worldly enjoyments. Their only objective is to obey Swami.

Peace and happiness lie in spirituality and in nothing else. You may study, get married, have children and lead a happy life. There is nothing wrong in it. But never forget God. Without forge