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THOUGHT FOR THE DAY -- 1008 sayings of Sri Sathya Sai
These sayings by Sathya Sai Baba are posted daily on the Ashram Blackboard. They were compiled into book form by an ardent devotee. Since this printed version had limited copies, another devotee later reproduced the original into a computer format to facilitate wider publication of the book and to allow for viewing as a 'daily saying' on devotees' computers world-wide. There is no copyright on the original book or on this program. These disks are distributed free of charge to devotees with the hope that they will be spread to other devotees. The only requirement is that the material continue to be distributed free and cannot be published for monetary gain.
With Swami's Grace it is hoped that these sayings will fill devotees' hearts with joy for many days to come. OM SAI RAM
An ardent devotee, who wishes to remain anonymous, has woven this resplendent garland of 1008 petals, each one suffused with the honey-dew of the Grace of the Divine Master. Over the last three years, each day, he called out, from the Divine Discourses of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, compiled in English by the noble soul, Shri. N. Kasturi, a glittering piece to serve as 'Thought for the Day.' Not one day passed by without the 'Thought' being written out and displayed on a Board attached to a tree in the vicinity of the Poorna-Chandra Auditorium in Prasanthi Nilayam,. It has been to us, in Prasanthi Nilayam, a common sight, every day, of Devotees congregating in front of the Board, after the morning Darshan, to have their minds soaked in the 'Thought for the Day' and to gather the strength and competence to take one step toward the Divine Master.
With the Blessings of Bhagavan Baba, this Devotee has completed this labour of love - putting 1008 Gems inside the covers of a handy Book that any Devotee can have as the priceless possession for his life-time. He has prayed to Bhagavan Baba to bless him with leave to place copies of this Volume, free of cost, in the hands of the students and the Teachers of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning and other Devotees who come with a ardent desire to sit at Bhagavan's Lotus-Feet. The contents of the Book, primordial, authentic, perennially sweet, and ennobling, can be read over and over again, at all times of the day. By the Grace of Bhagavan Baba, such reading will help to intensify the process of purification of the reader's mind. The Avatar is here to act as our Guru. Bhagavan has made his advent on Earth for our benefit, and to give us the opportunity to learn the Truth, and establish the foundation for our spiritual advancement. We, who are at the Divine Lotus Feet, are fortunate because we have been given a chance to move away from the pattern of life, in which we are enmeshed, in the twilight zone of Illusion - a state which obscures the Truth and prevents us from realizing lasting happiness. At this juncture, we should resolve, with all our hearts, to surrender to the Divine Master. By this act, we will experience Bliss, the supreme goal in life, and leave behind the miseries and disappointments of the past and the present and move into a future full of Divine Grace.
Says Bhagavan Baba:
'The choice is yours and the timing is yours. I shall always be here, waiting for you.'
This Volume, 'Thought for the Day,' constitutes a bridge that will help us, when we are on it, to learn to concentrate, and to acquire the ability to contemplate and finally reach the stage of meditation on the vision of Reality and the Divine presence.
In his Avatar as Krishna, Bhagavan has said:
'Knowledge is superior to Practice; Meditation is superior to Knowledge; Superior to Meditation is Renunciation of the Fruit of Action; From Renunciation arises immediately Peace'
Meditation holds the Golden Key to the Glory of Renunciation and the sacred Kingdom of ever-lasting Peace. This Volume, 'Thought for the Day', is a powerful instrument placed in our hands to facilitate our entry into the domain of 'Meditation' that will lead us to 'Divinity'.
The architect of this compilation in English makes this plea:
'Let this sacred text of Divine Thoughts, rendered in the English language, find its bloom in all the other languages of the World. Anyone, willing to take up this task, is free to do so, subject to the compassionate condition that the product will be placed in the hands of Devotees free of cost.'
By the Grace of Bhagavan Baba, may this noble aspiration find fulfillment!
With the Book in our hands, we stand immersed in the milky ocean of the Lord's Compassion. And, then, we are warmed by the Radiance of the Divine Master - a Radiance that of an order of magnitude so great that no mortal can find words to describe it. In every breath that we take, in every atom of our behaviour and in every manifestation of our intellect, we should strive to become worthy recipients of the Divine Master's Love and Compassion.
JAI SAI RAM
S. Sampath Vice-Chancellor, Prasanthinilayam,
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
'Suklambaradaram Vishnum Sashivarnam Chathurbhujam Prasanna Vadanam Dhyayeth Saravavignopa Shantaye'
One who wears a white dress; One who is omnipresent; One who shines like the Moon; One who has four hands; One who has a beautiful and shining face; One who wards off all obstacles. I meditate on Him.
AUM SRI SAI RAM
1. TODAY is the Birthday of Rama who is Dharma itself. He is Veda Dharma in Human Form. He is Anandaswarupa and Dharmaswarupa. On this holy day of Ramanavami you must immerse yourself in the Atma as Dharmaswarupa as the motivator of the moral life. Rama is 'Atma Rama' in every being. There is no place where Rama is not. He is imminent and eternal. Rama for you should mean the Path He trods, the ideal He held aloft, and the Ordinance He laid down. They are eternal and timeless. Now you worship His Form, you repeat His name; ignoring His orders. Without practicing the discipline laid down by Rama to purify the mind, all else is mere show, empty rituals. Contemplate on this unique day to obtain Godhood. Use it not for feasting, picnics, hikes, watching films, playing games, gambling, etc. The Immortal had come in the form of Rama to show the way to Immortality.
2. THE four brothers Rama, Lakshmana, Bharatha and Satrughna represent the Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva Vedas. When man neglects the Divine aspect of their natures and the awareness of the Omnipresent and Omnipotent OM, he falls prey to the impulses and instincts dominated by the ego and develops faith in material gains. He spends his life in amassing wealth, power and authority over fellow-beings and believes that holding others under his sway is a desirable achievement. If there were a vacancy in Heaven, he would surely apply for the position of God, for he believes that he has all the necessary attributes.
3. THE Ramayana has a deep undercurrent of significant meaning. Dasaratha means: he who rides in a chariot of ten, that is to say, Man. He is tied up with three Gunas or three wives, as in the Ramayana. He has four sons, the Purusharthas; Dharma (Rama), Artha (Lakshmana), Kama (Bharatha) and Moksha (Satrughna). These four aims of man have to be systematically realised, always with the last one, Moksha, clearly before the eye. Lakshmana represents the Buddhi or intellect and Sita is Truth. Hanuman is the Mind and the repository of courage, if controlled and trained. Sugriva, the master of Hanuman, is Discrimination. With these to help him, Rama seeks the Truth and succeeds. That is the lesson of the Epic to every man.
4. RAMA is Dharma personified. 'Vignahavak Dharmah'. Rama is the Supreme Exemplar of the Virtues that man must cultivate so that he might live as a master, husband, son, brother, friend or even foe. The other three brothers of Rama personify the other three ideals. Bharatha is the embodiment of Sathya; Satrughna of Shanti; and Lakshmana of Prema. Study the Ramayana with the aim of imbibing from it the ideals for happy living, for making this life worthwhile and you will be amply rewarded. Then you can deservedly style yourselves 'Devotees' of the Lord.
5. THE Ramayana is a guide-book, a sacred text, an inspiring scripture for every man in all lands, whatever his creed or condition might be. It imparts poise, balance, equanimity, inner strength and peace. Peace is the best treasure, without it power, authority, fame and fortune are all dry and burdensome. Thyagaraja has sung that there can be no happiness without inner peace.
6. WHY is it that the world reveres Rama and revolts at Ravana? Rama is not the uncle's son or Ravana the step-mother's child! It is the kinship of the spirit, innate goodness, responding lovingly, adoringly to the goodness in Rama; and reacting revoltingly to the wickedness of Ravana. It is not enough, nor is it essential that you should repeat the name of Rama loudly; respect it in the fullness of love and admiration. If you have no spring of love in you, dig into your heart with external instruments like Puja, Stotra, etc. and it will start to flow.
7. VIBHISHANA, Ravana's own brother, chastised him for his willfulness and lust and urged him to save himself, his kingdom and his kith and kin by restoring Sitha unharmed to her Lord. When Vibhishana went over to Rama, Rama knew that he had a pure heart and that he could not survive the poisonous atmosphere of Lanka. So He took him and saved him. The Lord likes to be called 'Aarthathraana-paraayana' more than any other name, for He is most happy when He rescues those in agony.
8. YOU talk glibly of Ramarajya, but how can it be established if you do not emulate Rama? He was 'Vignahavaan Dharmah', the very Embodiment of Dharma. He never deviated from it. Dasaratha means one who is master of the ten Senses, the five Karmendriyas and the five Jnanendriyas; that is to say, the successful Sadhaka. Such a person can have the holy progeny of the four Purusharthas-Dharma (Rama), Artha (Lakshmana), Kama (Bharatha) and Moksha (Sathrughna). Become a Dasaratha and save that holy progeny as a gift from God.
9. HANUMAN succeeded in coordinating his thought, word and act. Therefore he had the unique distinction of being great in physical strength, mental stability and virtuous character. He shines as an invaluable gem among the personalities of the Ramayana. He was also a great scholar, who had mastered, of all things, the six schools of grammar. He knew the four Vedas and the six Sastras. The Gita says that a scholar is one who sees the same Divine force motivating everyone. 'Pandithaha Samadarsinha'. Hanuman was a good example of this outlook.
10. HANUMAN spoke to the brothers in sweet, gentle and pleasing words. Rama was struck by the grammatical accuracy of his sentences. They readily answered all his queries; and Hanuman was satisfied with their bona fides. He offered to take them to his Master and Monarch. The Dharsan (sight) and first Mana of Rama had removed all his sins; their Sparsan (touch) burnt away all the consequences of his deeds in previous lives; and their Sambhashan (conversation) filled his mind with joy. That is the experience of all who welcome the impact of Divinity.
11. HANUMAN became the messenger of Rama. There are three classes of messengers: those who do not understand the orders of the Master or do not care to understand and who operate to the detriment of the work assigned them; those who do only just as much as the order literally communicates; and those who grasp the purpose and significance of the orders and carry them out unflinchingly until the purpose is achieved. Hanuman belonged to the last category.
12. YOU find some one parades all of a sudden some -ism- as new and revolutionary socialism, for example. Socialism, which means, recognising the equality of every individual with every one else was in fact practiced in India long ago. Rama, undisputed Sovereign of a vast Empire, gave heed to the flippant scandal uttered by an irresponsible laundry-man during a quarrel with his wife, and sent his Queen, the very dear person for whom had waged a war of tremendous carnage, into exile, regardless of the fact that she was pregnant at the time. Every one's voice was given equal weight in the empire ruled over by Rama.
13. THE vanaras, while building the bridge across the ocean, carried huge boulders on their heads repeating Rama-nama all the while; and that made the rocks weigh less. It is even said that they wrote the name on the stones and that made them float. Each time they handled or lifted a stone, they sang Rama-nama in unison and so they were a happy lot doing Puja, not work, which is unpleasant. Rama's Grace helped all to overcome obstacles. Take the name and make your work light: that is My advice to you.
14. I INSIST on your seeking and remaining in good company, Sathsangha. Being in the midst of such spiritual heroes, you can fight against evil with a greater chance of success. Once, when Garuda the sworn enemy of snakes went to Kailas, he saw the snakes that Siva wore round His neck, His arms, His waist, and His Feet. The snakes were safe now and they hissed with their puffed hoods at the celestial bird which could not do them any harm since they were in such Divine Company. Garuda said: 'Well! Glide down from the Body and I shall kill everyone of you'! That is the value of the Sath one has reached. Sathsangha is valuable, for it is like keeping a pot of water inside a tank of water; there will not be any loss through evaporation.
15. PRIDE is one of the worst sins in the spiritual field. If you feel conceited that you are Bhaktha of Hare, He will 'hare' (destroy, in Telugu) you. Remember, Sarangathi should be like the attitude of Lakshmana. Rama said: 'Take Sita and leave her in the forest'. Implicit obedience! There is no other way. That is Lakshmana. That is Sarangathi; the rest are deserving, only of 'Sarangathi', the arrow of Rama.
16. WHEN the queen Kaikeyi persuaded her husband to agree to her two requests - enthroning her son Baratha as the Crown Prince and sending the legitimate heir, Rama, into exile for fourteen years - Lakshmana, another brother of Rama and Bharatha, did not acquiesce tamely. He argued that man must meet every little crisis with courage and self-reliance and that he should not yield craven-like to the machinations of intrigue. He boasted that his arrow can avert the crisis. But the arrow is an inferior weapon, even a negligible weapon when compared with the efficiency of Love. Rama heard him coolly and advised him to desist from that hasty Karma, 'Dharma must guide Karma'; then alone can it be praise-worthy and successful.
17. THE path of spiritual discipline, which is most beneficial to man, is laid down in a simple and sweet manner in the great Scriptures of Ancient India. They explain, through example and precept, the Divine Principle inherent in the Universe and inspire mankind to gaze with awe and reverence at the handiwork of God and His inscrutable Leela (sport). They prompt man to march along the pilgrim road of sacrifice in the happy company of Sages, so that the body feels the vision of the Eternal which can be gained and enshrined in the heart for ever.
18. WHEN Sri Rama decided to end His Avatar career and walked into the flooded Sarayu river, a dog too followed the concourse. When asked why it had attached itself to the entourage, it said, 'I desire to enter Heaven with you all. I was in my previous life a full-fledged Yogi; but I slipped and fell from the straight path of self control. I became the slave of conceit. I expounded the Vedas as my fancy dictated, in strange but attractive ways. So, I have now become this animal that takes delight in barking, biting and baying. The persons who encouraged me then by praise are now the fleas and the flies that crowd on my skin and pester me. Help me, Lord, to escape from the disgrace. I have worked my Karma; I have lived out my sentence'.
19. WHEN Rama is installed in the heart, every thing will be added unto you - fame, fortune, freedom, fullness. Hanuman was a mere monkey-leader until he met Rama. He was a Minister in the Court of his Master. But when Rama gave him the commission to seek Sita, that is to say, when Rama was installed in his heart as Guide and Guardian, Hanuman became immortal.
20. DASA means 'ten' and Ratha means 'Chariot'. Hence Dasaratha (the father of Rama) in fact symbolises 'man' who operates with his ten sense-organs such as the eyes, the ears, the nose etc. His three wives symbolize man's three Gunas (attributes) and his four sons, the four Purusharthas (purposes). Lakshmana also represents the Buddhi (Intellect) of Rama. Hanuman is the mind, the repository of courage, while Sugriva stands for Discrimination. With these to help him, Rama succeeds in finding Sita, the lost Truth. This is the lesson of the Ramayana to everyone.
21. THERE are many who spend much time in mechanically reciting the name 'Rama' or systematically reading the Ramayana according to a fixed time-table, or who worship the images of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman as a daily ritual, with noisy pomp and pedantry; but like a person who puts a foot forward only to draw it back again, these persons do not progress at all as the years elapse. Without gaining purity of thought and intention, compassion and the urge to serve, these outward expressions and exhibitions are but ways of cheating yourself for having society applaud you as a great devotee. Your sight must become an insight; it must be turned within and used to purify and clarify your mind.
22. THE greatest formula that can liberate, cleanse and elevate the mind is Rama-nam, the Name of Rama. Rama is not to be identified with the hero of the Ramayana, the Divine offspring of Emperor Dasaratha. He was named Rama by the Court-Preceptor because it was a Name which was already current. Vasishta, the Preceptor, said that he had chosen that Name since it meant: He who pleases. While everyone pleases the self, nothing pleases the caged individualized self more than the free universal individualized self. The self is therefore referred to as Atma-Rama, the self that confers unending joy.
23. HANUMAN was ordered to discover the whereabouts of Sita and he implicitly, without question, obeyed and succeeded. He did not calculate the dangers of the journey and hesitate; and he did not feel proud that he was chosen for the high adventure. He listened; he understood; he obeyed; and he won. The name Ramadutha, Messenger and Servant of Rama, that he earned thereby has made him immortal. You must earn the name, Sai Rama Dutha. Have fortitude and self-control; use good and sweet-words; and examine each act of yours on the touch-stone of My preference.
24. THE toughest fiber is anger. It is the stickiest dirt. When you get angry, you forget mother, father and teacher; you descend to the lowest depths. You lose all discrimination in the excitement; even Hanumantha set fire to the whole of Lanka when he was incensed by the Rakshasas who set fire to the tip of his tail; and he lost sight of the fact that Sita was in the Asoka Vana. It was only after he had exulted in achievement for a little while that he remembered it and then he started condemning himself for his anger.
25. RAMA is extolled as the ideal son who acted according to his father's wish regardless of his own happiness. But Bhishma is a better example in this respect. He acceded to a whim of his father and in so doing made even a greater sacrifice than Rama. Dasaratha made Rama an exile in the forest for fourteen years to satisfy the claims of Truth, while Santhanu made his son give up the throne as well as a wedded life to satisfy a sensual desire of his senile body. As a matter of fact, it is not the obedience to the father's whim that is important; it is the adherence to Sathaya and Dharma, which is Rama's forte.
26. RAMANAMA Feast is cloying to some tastes, but it is something ever fresh, that gives undying sweetness to the heart that is filled with the love of God. One single name will yield fresh sweetness and fresh joy every time it is rolled on the tongue. I have to tell you the things I have told you often before; for until digestion is well established, medicine has to be taken. The face has to be washed day after day. One meal is not the end of the story; you have to eat, again and again.
27. RAMATATWA is known only to Rama. What can the rest know? At best, they can have but a glimpse of Rama's grace; and even then, only if they are immersed in intense inner prayer for God. Think of Him. Call out for Him; He melts. Whatever form He may be shining in, that intensity will make you recognise Him. He may be a cowherd boy, standing under a tree with a flute at His lips. You will see Him and adore Him and place Him in your heart. You extol the Lord as Love, Mercy and Grace.
28. EVERY step in the career of the Avatars is fire-determined; Rama knew that the coming of Surpanaka was the prelude to the coming of Ravana. He had asked Sita to enter the fire and remain in it as just an outer manifestation. Even before the human manifestation, the Lord had decided that the Shakti must also accompany Him. Ravana's tapas were so strong that only a major sin could make the blessings he had won from the Gods null and void.
29. DO not ask God for anything. Let Him deal with you as He wills. Did Jataya ask that Rama should come to him and perform the last rights? Did Sabhari plead with Rama? Earn the qualifications - holiness, purity faith and universal love - then He will approach you on foot, to console, comfort and save. If you have purity of heart and mastery over the senses, His Grace is your right.
30. EGO plays all kinds of tricks in order to get unholy pleasure. During the construction of the bridge to Lanka to take the army across, Hanuman heaved a boulder on the raging waves of the sea as part of the bridge! It floated. Rama heaved another; it sank. Hanuman's ego was tickled, naturally. He laughed in derision; at that very moment, his boulder sank! And the boulder that Rama had thrown rose from the bottom of the sea and floated! Hanuman's ego was pricked into nothing. That was the purpose for which Rama had willed that His boulder should sink!
31. RAMA Nama will save you, if you have at least the Pithru Bakthi and Mathru Bakthi that Rama had. If not, Rama Nama is merely a movement of the lips. Meditate on the Ramaswarupa, the Ramaswabhawa, when you recite or write Rama Nama. That will give exercise to the mind; and it will be made healthy and strong in the spiritual sense. Make the Dharmaswarupa your Atma Rama on the Janmadina of Rama. That is My advice and My Blessing.
32. MAKARA Sankaranthi is a holy day because the day takes you from darkness to increasing light. From today, the sun enters upon the Uttarayana taking a northward direction for six months. When your Drishti (Sight) is on BRAHMAN and when you have Uttamaguna it is Uttarayana, and when your Drishti is on Prakriti it is Dakshinayana. When you have fever, the tongue will be bitter. The bitter tongue is 'Dhakshinayana'. When you are healthy, your sweet tongue tastes well, it is Uttarayana. The real Uttarayana is when you crave for the thought of the Lord and the company of the Godly. Bhishma spent days in bed with pain, as he felt death, when the sun starts towards north is auspicious. Bhishma yearned for the vision of Krishna in Uttarayana. Become fit for the vision of God, cultivating Prema in your heart, full of fragrance and uncontaminated by the pests of greed and egoism.
33. WITHOUT the flowers, the plant yields no fruit. Without the emerging fruit, ripeness cannot happen. Without intense Karma, Bhakti cannot emerge. Without Bhakti, how can Jnana be found? Somaka the wicked, spurned and suppressed the Veda. But did he reap any happiness? The ten-headed monster coveted and kidnapped another's wife. But did he achieve any gain? The close-fisted Kaurava refused a pinpoint of land to his closest Kin. But did he keep his loot? The terror-bound Kamsa sought out and slaughtered each new-born baby; but did he escape from death? Wicked men, even now, shall meet this fate. Take this Sai word as the word of Truth.
34. HERE are the three vows that Krishna had taken; they are mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita for all humanity to read, know and believe: 'For the protection of the good and the punishment of the bad, for the establishment of the Moral I shall concretise Myself, age after age. Whoever is wholly immersed in My contemplation, with no other thought, I shall be ever with Him; and I shall bear the burden of his welfare. 'Surrender unto Me, giving up all the other duties and obligations. I shall liberate you from all sin; do not grieve'. The armlets are reminders of these tasks on which He is set.
35. VYASA is the Lokaguru, he is Divine Effulgence. Vyasa sought to bring home, through the Puranas, the need for mastering the egoistic impulses, as the Sloka says: 'Ashtaa dasa puraneshu Paropakara punyaya Paapaaya para peedanam'. Two statements can summarize all the eighteen Puranas composed by Vyasa. 'Do good to others; avoid doing harm'. Doing good is the drug; avoiding harm is the regimen that must accompany the treatment. That is the cure for the disease of suffering from joy and grief, honour and dishonour, prosperity and adversity and the dual thong that bothers man and deprives him of equanimity.
36. THE Lord will be the Guide of whoever installs Him as his Sarathi. He will not consider that position inferior. He is the Sanathana Sarathi, come to be the Sarathi of all. He is the Lord for all who seek a Master, a support. The Atma is the Master in every one; and Krishna is the 'Universal Atma' personified.
37. THE moment Krishna was born, the chains that bound his father fell off; the doors that had been bolted flew open; and the prison guards were immersed in the Ocean of Bliss, so that they could not recognise any event or thing in the material world. The fire of hatred that was burning in them was cooled; and darkness gave place to the dawn of wisdom. The sky showered raindrops to soften the earth and lay down dust. How can the element operate against the Divine Will?
38. KRISHNA has three separate meanings - (1) the word Karsh is one root from which the name is derived. It means, that which attracts; Krishna attracts hearts to Himself by His sportive pastimes, miraculous victories over the forces of evil, His charming conversation, His Wisdom and His personal beauty. (2) The word is also related to the root, Krish: to cultivate, a field, for growing crops. The word means, He who removes the weeds from the heart of Man and sows seeds of Faith, Courage and Joy. (3) It is related to the root Krish, meaning something above and beyond the three attributers and the three eras; and 'na' means Sath-Chith-Ananda.
39. KRISHNA had taken three Vows and the Kankans were symbolic of His determination to fulfill them. They were, as mentioned by Him in the Gita: (1) 'Dharmasamsthapanaya Sambhavaami Yuge Yuge'. (I shall incarnate myself, in every age, to revive and resurrect Dharma) - (2) 'Yogakshemam Vaham Yaham' (I shall bear the burden of ensuring peace of prosperity for all who rely on me) - (3) 'Mokshayishyami maa sucha' (I shall save all those who surrender wholeheartedly to Me and I shall liberate them from the cycle of birth and death).
40. KRISHNA dealt with the World as with a Sitar, pulling its heart-strings to arouse the melody of comradeship, heroism, love, affection, compassion and conviction. But, of these, the two emotions of love and compassion were characteristically His and His own. His breath was Love! His behaviour was Compassion! Adore Him, placing a garland of tears around His neck; washing His feet with tears, springing from joy at the contemplation of His Love! That very worship will endow you with the wisdom that Sages seek and the Bliss that the Books extol!
41. THIS is the genuine Bharathiya Vision to transform life into a pilgrimage towards the God resident in oneself; a steady march along the straight path to Bliss. There is no such steadiness now. Fancy and Fantasy rule the mind of man. You desire one thing in the morning; at noon you change over to something else. That desire will not persist until evening. If your desire is fulfilled, you praise God and parade your devotion. But if it does not prevail, you throw God overboard and parade your disbelief!
42. NARADA, who moves always by and with the Lord, feels that God is beyond his understanding; Balarama who came as His own brother could not fathom His personality. How then can you grasp My Mystery? How can those who strut about in well-ironed bush-coats fathom the Truth? I know some that are here, who sold their Faith to hollow men and started talking about My dress and My Hair! If you dare, seek My Truth. Come, surrender unto Me. Do not teach treason to your friends and to other seekers. Dress and manners have become polished now; but the inner man has deteriorated in virtue and faith!
43. DETACHMENT is a plant of slow growth; if you pluck the tender plant to look for the pods, you will be disappointed. So too, long and constant practice alone is rewarded by the Peace that God offers. Grace is acquired by Surrender as Krishna has declared in the Gita.
44. WHEN the Gita directs you to give up all Dharma (Set Codes of morality), it does not ask you to also give up all Karma, and when you do it for God, through God and by God, the Dharma of it does not matter; it has to be acceptable; and it is bound to benefit you. The statement is not an invitation to licentiousness or complete inactivity; it is a call for dedication and surrender to the highest in Man, namely GOD.
45. OF all the Slokas in the Bhagavad Gita, Ramakrishna was especially impressed by the one that emphasized the attitude of Atmanivedana or Saranagathi: 'Manmana Bhava Madbakto Madyaji Maam Namaskuru Mamevaishyasi Yuktvaitvam Atmanam Matparayanah'. 'Become one with Me; be devoted to Me; sacrifice to Me and bow down to Me. Unify yourself, thus you will surely come to Me'.
46. THE Mahabaratha declares: 'What is not in Bharath does not deserve reverential consideration'; and in Bharath, the message has always been: tolerance, respect for all faiths and the practice of the essential teachings of love and service with giving up of hatred, envy and pride.
47. PERFORM all acts with as much love as you would offer God. In Truth, you eat for the satisfaction of the 'I' in you and dress up to please the self-same 'I'. The husband loves his wife for the sake of the 'I'. And who is this 'I' that is persistently inherent in everyone? It is God Himself. 'Iswarah Sarva Bhoothanaam' says the Gita: the Lord resides in the heart of every being. He is the Atman in every being. He is the Atman in everyone, the Paramatman.
48. PONDER over your 'sthithi' (present condition), 'gathi' (direction of movement), 'sakthi' (capabilities), and 'mathi' (inclination). Then enter upon the path of Sadhana step by step, so that you approach the goal faster every day, every hour, every minute. Arjuna became entitled to the Gita Upadesh from the Lord Himself, because he evinced the 'Vishada', the 'Vairagya', the 'Saranagathi', the 'Ekagratha', essential to assimilate The Great Message. When the yearning for liberation has become intense, beyond expression, man can set aside all social conventions, worldly norms and codes of conduct that do not subserve that high purpose.
49. KRISHNA does not speak of whoever among men who pronounces the 'Pranava' at the moment of death, etc. The word He uses 'whoever' is without any qualification of sex. He does not say 'Whoever that is authorized' or 'Whoever among the deserving'. The clear intention of the Lord is to encourage women, as well as men, to take up Pranava-Upasana. You would have seen that I do not discourage anyone from the Upasana. It is the royal road to spiritual victory which all are entitled to use.
50. THE Gita says that, if you give up all Dharma and take refuge in Him, then He will save you from Sin and wipe your tears. Giving up Dharma does not mean that you can bid farewell to virtue and righteous action; it means, you have to give up egoism that you are the doer. Be confirmed in the faith that He is the 'doer' of every deed. That is the genuine 'giving up'.
51. I AM in your heart all the time, whether you know it or not. Draupadi called out for the Lord of Dwaraka, Sri Krishna, when she was cruelly assaulted by the wicked cousins of her husbands, and so the Lord responded but after a little delay. He had to go to Dwaraka and come from there to Hastinapura where she was! He told her that she could have received Him in the fraction of a second had she called out, 'Oh Dweller in my heart', for He dwells there as everywhere else.
52. THE elders in Brindavan who reveled in scandalizing Krishna - successors have been born for them even now - set an ordeal for Radha to test her virtue. She was given a mud pot with a hundred holes and asked to bring water in that pot from the Yamuna to her house! She was so full of Krishna-consciousness that she never knew the condition of the pot. She immersed it in the river, as usual repeating the name of Krishna with every intake of the breath and every exhalation. Every time the name Krishna was uttered, a hole was covered, so that by the time the pot was full, it was whole. That was the measure of her Faith. Faith can affect even inanimate objects.
53. IN Realty, Truth is God; Love is God; Dharma is God. The Gopis and Gopalas saw in Krishna the Embodiment of Truth, Love and Dharma. What He said was Truth; what He was became Love, what He did was Dharma. They were so immersed in Krishna-Consciousness that they saw everywhere and in everything nothing but Krishna. Krishna for them did not exist as a separate entity in the home of Nanda; He was right in their own consciousness, at all levels of it. These Gopis and Gopalas were true Bhakthas indeed.
54. WHATEVER is dedicated and offered to God can never be lost. People can gain enormous benefit by offering even a little to God. 'A leaf or a flower, a fruit or a little water' - that is enough, if offered with devotion. Draupadi gave Sri Krishna the fraction of a leaf sticking to the side of a vessel and God granted her endless good fortune. Kuchela gave a handful of parched rice and received from the Lord awareness of His endless Glory.
55. THE Lord had Maya as His consort, so to say, and He had a son called Manas. This Manas, to continue the parable, had two wives. Pravritti and Nivritti (Attachment and Detachment). Of course, Pravritti was His favourite wife and she had a hundred children. Nivritti was ill-treated and neglected; and she had just five. That is the symbolism of the Kauravas and the Pandavas. Though all the children lived in the same kingdom, ate the same food and learnt from the same Teacher, their natures differed widely from one another. The Kauravas, children of the attachment, were greedy, cruel, self-centered, and vain. The Pandavas, five of them, each one represented a Supreme Virtue, so that they could be said to symbolize Sathya, Dharma, Shanti, Prema and Ahimsa. As they were so pure and born of Detachment, the Lord became their Guide.
56. THE Gita speaks of Bhakthi, Jnana, Karma as Yogas; and by Yoga is meant what Pathanjali intended it to mean: 'Chiththa Vrithi Nirodha', that is to say, 'the stilling of the agitations of the consciousness'. Vishnu is the supreme exemplar of this calm, for He is 'Saanthaakaaram bhujagasayanam', the very picture of peace and calm, though reclining on a thousand-hooded snake, the snake being the symbol of the objective world with its poisonous fangs. Being in the world but not of it, not bound by it - that is the secret.
57. THE riches that you should strive to amass are not fields, factories, bungalows or bank-balances but the wisdom and experience of oneness with the Grandeur of the Universe and the Force that runs it without a hitch. Arjuna is called Dhanajaya by Krishna because he had won (Jaya) such Dhanam (riches) that saves man; and that cannot be taxed, stolen or transferred. The method of winning these riches is Sadhana.
58. GIVE joy to all. Prema or Love is the means to achieve this ideal. When Love can bring even God nearer to you, how can it fail where man is involved? Krishna could not be bound by any other means. That is the reason why SAI has declared: 'Start the day with Love; spend the day with Love, fill the day with Love; end the day with Love. That is the way to God'.
59. KRISHNA was known to all as Almighty, All-knowing, All-encompassing, and All-fulfilling. Yet, the enthusiasm to do Seva promoted Him to approach Dharmaraja, the eldest of the Pandava brothers, on the eve of the magnificent Raja Suya Yaga that he had planned to perform and offered to take up Seva of any kind. He suggested that He might be given the task of cleaning the dining-hall after the guests had partaken of the feast! Krishna insisted on outer cleanliness and inner cleansing. Clean clothes and clean minds are an ideal combination.
60. DURING the battle of Kurukshetra, which climaxed the Mahabharatha story, Krishna served as the 'driver' of the chariot of Arjuna throughout the day till dusk on the field and caused the adjournment of the fight. He led the horses to the river, gave them a refreshing bath and applied healing balms to the wounds suffered by them during the fierce fray. He mended the reins and the harness and rendered the chariot battle-worthy for another day. The Lord sets the example for the Devotees to follow. He teaches that Service done to any living being is offered to Him and is accepted by Him most joyfully. Service rendered to cattle, to beasts, and to men is laudable Sadhana.
61. THE World is today in deep distress because the common man and his leaders are all distracted by lower desires and lower motives, which require only the lower skills and meaner impulses of man. This is what I call 'devaluation'. Though man is inherently Divine, he lives only at the animal level. Very few live even in the native human level.
62. KRISHNA does say: 'whoever among men who pronounce the Pranava at the moment of death', etc. The word he uses is 'whoever' without any qualification of sex. He does not say 'whoever is authorized or whoever is among the deserving'. The clear intention of the Lord is to encourage women as well as men to take up Pranava Upasana. You will see that I do not discourage any one from the Upasana. It is the royal road to spiritual victory which all are entitled to use.
63. BHISHMA, for example, has to be revered and accepted as an inspiration, even more potent than Rama so far as homage to the father is concerned. In order to cater to the carnal cravings which he could have ordinarily condemned, he denied himself gladly, spontaneously, without demur and for the entire period of his life, both wedded life and royal status. The Vedic injunction, 'Pithru Devobhava' was honoured by him in the fullest manner.
64. THIS created Universe has two aspects, one is impermanence (Anityam), the second one is unhappiness (Askulham). In the Gita, Krishna has said, 'Anityam Asukha Lokam Imam Prapy Bhajaseva Maam'. Nothing in this World can give happiness that is true and lasting. Mistaking the World as 'All' and forgetting the Atman, which alone is eternal and the only refuge, is the greatest folly of man today. Man is pinning all his hopes on slippery work and is madly running after amassing and hoarding wealth. Of course, material needs are to be taken care of but within limits and not at the cost of spiritual values. Money and mansions are not the only wealth. Hoard the wealth of the Spirit. Character is wealth; good conduct is wealth; and spiritual wisdom is wealth.
65. WORKERS and peasants - that is the slogan nowadays. These two classes were given their due share of social importance and honour during the Krishnavathar. Now, people are honoured even if they grow not food but cash crops. Foreign exchange is what we are after and so, people are encouraged to produce what others can buy not what we need; such as milk and a variety of milk products which are highly nutritious foods. Balarama, the elder brother and an Avathar in his own right, had as his weapon the plough. It declared agriculture as a consecrated occupation.
66. EGOISM is the most dangerous illusion that has to be exploded and destroyed. Bhima had it; but when he could not lift and lay aside the tail of a monkey, who was really Anjaneya himself, that bubble was exploded. Arjuna had it one day after the battle. When Krishna brought the chariot back to camp, he wanted that Krishna should get down first, like all charioteers; the Master must get down later, after the Charioteer opens the door for him. Krishna refused and insisted that Arjuna should alight before He should. At last Krishna won. Arjuna got down and as soon as Krishna left His seat and touched the ground, the chariot went up in flames. In fact, if Krishna had gotten down first, the various fire-arrows which had the power of burning the chariot would have hit the target; but due to the presence of Krishna, their igneous powers could not manifest themselves. After knowing this, Arjuna was humbled and his egoism had a powerful shock. He realized that every action of Krishna was full of significance.
67. THE Gita advises 'Karmasamyasa', that is to say, Karma without attachment to the fruit thereof. There are Karmas which have to be done as duties related to the status in 'Samsara' and, if these are done in the proper spirit, they will not bind at all. Do all Karma as actors in a play, keeping your identity separate and not attaching yourself too much to your role. Remember that the whole thing is just a play and the Lord has assigned to you a part; act well your part; there all your duty ends. He has designed the play and He enjoys it.
68. IT is when you are in a desperate situation that you call upon the Lord, forgetting your pride and your egoism. The Pandavas were so full of misery in a worldly sense that they always had an attitude of prayer. If I had given you all the comforts and opportunities, you would not have come to Puttaparthi. Trouble is the bait with which the fish is pulled out of the water. Kunti asked that Krishna should continue giving her and her sons all kinds of misery so that He may grant them His Grace continuously.
69. THE Gita prompts you to seek the answers and directs you to experience them. It helps you to control the 'Chittha', the agitations of the mind; it destroys delusion. It develops true knowledge; it makes you glimpse the splendour of the Lord and confirms your faith. You say at one moment: 'Baba does everything, I am but an instrument; but the next moment the same tongue says: 'I did this; I did that; Swami did not do this for me'. If you never step into wrong, you can be ever certain of His Grace.
70. THE Mahabharata, for example, is basically the story of the five Vital Airs of Man (the Pancha Pranas) overcoming the hundred obstacles in the path of upward progress. The eldest of the Five Pandava brothers is Dharmaraja (Morality, Righteousness); he is ably supported by Bhima (physical strength devoted to Divine Service and charged with Devotion), Arjuna (steady pure Faith in God), and Nakula and Sahadeva, who represent Steadfastness and Equanimity. When these Five are exiled, the Hasthinapura (body) is inundated with Adharma (unrighteousness).
71. IN the Manasa-Sarovar (the deep, placid mind-lake) of every man lurks a poisonous cobra with six hoods: Lust, Anger, Greed, Attachment, Pride and Hate, infesting the air and destroying all who are near it. The Name of the Lord, when it dives into the depths, forces it to come up to the surface so that it may be destroyed. So, allow the Divine in you - the Krishna, Lord over the mind - trample on the hissing hood and take out the vicious viper; let it vomit the venom and become Sathvic and sweet.
72. LIKE all Avatars, Krishna announced His advent to the World bit by bit, step by step, testing every time how far the Reality will be accepted by the masses. The signs and miracles were intended, then as now, to proclaim the Avatar.
73. THE mystery and splendour of God can be grasped only by a pure mind and a clear vision. That is why the Lord granted a new eye to Arjuna in order that he might not be confounded by his glory. A resolution adopted by the mind is like a stone thrown into a Sarovar or lake. It produces ripples that affect the entire face and unsettles equanimity. A good resolution or 'Sankalpa' sets up a series of such thoughts, each contributing its quota to the process of purification and strengthening.
74. THE One is comprehensive of all this. So, it has no wants, no desires and no activity to realise anything. Sri Krishna tells Arjuna: 'Name Partha asthi Karthvyam, Thrishu lokeshu Kinchava Partha'. (There is nothing I have to do in any of the three Worlds). He has willed the World as his sport. He has laid down that every deed must have its consequence. He is the dispenser of the consequences but he is not involved in the deeds.
75. ONE can also be rid of Maya if one can discard the three Gunas from one's make-up. The 'Sathyaguna' too has to be transcended; why? The Gita directs that even the eagerness to be liberated is a bond. One is fundamentally free. Bondage is only an illusion. So, the desire to close the bond is the result of ignorance. Krishna says, 'Arjuna, become free from the three Gunas'. In truth, the word 'Guna' means 'rope', for all three 'Gunas' bind the 'Jiva' with the rope of desire. Liberation means liberation from delusive attachment or 'Moha'; 'Mohakshaya', decline in the desire caused by attachment to sensory pleasure.
76. CONSIDER for a moment how long worldly triumphs last. They are but the play of the scintillating name and form of the Divine which is the core of every being. Earn the vision that sees the Divine inherent in all. We are not troubled when something is good; only when it is bad. This is because goodness is natural. In our evil aberration, we are worried and alarmed when we slide into wrong or pain or sorrow. This is because Nature plans us to be right, to be happy and ever in a state of joy. It is a pity that man has lost his understanding of this Truth.
77. VYASA sympathized with man who was caught in the coils of do's and don'ts, of success and failure, of desire and despair. He demarcated many a path which leads man along to fulfillment. The fulfillment consists in up-rooting the animal that lurks in man and reaching out to the Divinity. That is his essence.
78. DHYANA is not mere sitting erect and being silent nor is it the absence of any movement. It is the merging of all your thoughts and feelings to God. Without the mind becoming dissolved in God, Dhyana cannot succeed. The Gita declares genuine Dhyana as 'Anayaschinthayanthomaam Ye Janah Paryapasathi' (Those persons who adore me without any other thought or feeling). Krishna has assured such persons that He would carry their burden and be by their side, guiding and guarding them. Persons adept in this Dhyana are very rare; most people go through the external exercises only. So they are unable to win Grace.
79. LIFE is a song, sing it. That is what Krishna taught through his life. Arjuna heard that song in the battlefield where tensions were at their highest and when the fate of millions was to be decided by the sword. Krishna sang the Gita for Arjuna to listen to. Gita means 'Song', and he sang because he was 'Ananda' wherever He might be, in Gokulam, on the banks of the Yamuna or at Kurukshetra between the warring armies.
80. WHY does He attract all to His Presence? To plough the heart, prepare it for receiving the shower of Grace, to grow the seeds of Love, weed it of all evil thoughts which smother the crops of joy and to enable it to gather the harvest of Wisdom. That wisdom finds its fulfillment in Krishna Himself, for Krishna also means the pure Essence, the Supreme Principle, the 'Sath-Chith-Ananda'.
81. WHERE there is Dharma there Krishna is; so, think for yourself, each one of you, how far have you deserved the Grace of the Lord? You draw Him near; you keep Him far. You entangle yourself, bind yourself, and get caught in the trap. No one is your foe except yourself. No one else is your friend. You are your only friend. The Guru shows you the road and you have to trudge alone, without fear or hesitation.
82. THE word Dharmakshetra is the first word in the Gita. In the very first verse of the Song Celestial, the Kurukshetra (field of Action), in which the Maamakaah (my people, as the blind Dhritharashtra described them through fond attachment and egoistic delusion), people motivated by greed and passion, and the Pandavas (the other people, the good and righteous, the sons of the Fair one, the Progeny of the pure), is spoken of as already transmuted into Dharmakshetra (field of Righteousness). For victory is always for Righteousness and not for greed and passion which blind men.
83. IF you ask Me, I will say that the Gita is like a balance: scales, needle and all. The scale on the left is the 7th sloka of the 2nd Chapter, speaking of 'Karpanya Dosha'. The fulcrum is the 22nd sloka of the 9th Chapter, beginning with 'Anayaschinthayamshomaam'; and the scale on the right is the sloka in the 18th chapter, speaking of 'Sarvadharmaam Parithyajya'. See how apt the fulcrum sloka is. It speaks of single-minded attention, 'steady, like the needle of a well-adjusted balance'. Really, the Gita begins with two scales and a fulcrum: the two armies of Righteousness and Unrighteousness with Krishna, the Teacher, in the middle.
84. BHAKTI is of various types according to the Damskara of the devotee and the state of his mind and the stage of his development. There is the Shanta Bhakti of Bhishma, the Vatsalya Bhakti of Yasodha, the Madhura Bhakti of the Gopikas. Of these the Dasya attitude is easiest and the best for the majority of aspirants at this time. It means 'Saranagathi' and 'Prapathithi' out of Shanti Bhakti.
85. THE fire of sorrow and joy burns when the fuel of Vasanas is fed into the furnace of the mind. Take away the fuel and the fire dies out. Take away the Vasanas, the force of the impulses, promptings and urges and you become your own master. This is done in Yoga by various physiological and psychological exercises. But Bhakti is the easier means for this end. Namasmarana is enough: it is said that the name Sitarama sufficed in the Tretha Yuga; the name Radha-Shama sufficed in the Dwapara Yuga; and in the Kali Yuga, I tell you, all Names have that capacity.
86. PRAKRUTHI is Dhara, Earth and Creation. Think of it always. Long for it. Pine for Dhara, Dhara, Dhara and you find you are pining for Radha, Radha. So, Radha is the Becoming and Krishna is the Being; the desire of Being becomes the longing of the Becoming for the Being - this is the Radha-Krishna relationship, which has been sung by seers and poets, calumniated and caricatured by ignorant critics, appreciated and apprehended by aspirants, and analyzed and realised by sincere scholars of spiritual lore.
87. WELCOME all the blows of fate, all the misfortunes and miseries, as gold welcomes the crucible, the hammer and the anvil in order to get shaped into a jewel; or as the cane welcomes the chopper, the crusher, the boiler, the pan, the sprayer and the dryer, so that its sweetness may be preserved and used as sugar by all. The Pandavas never demurred when disasters fell thick upon them. They were happy that they helped them to remember Krishna and call upon Him. Bhishma was in tears on the arrow-bed, when he was about to pass away. Arjuna asked Him 'why' and he replied, 'I am shedding tears because the miseries undergone by the Pandavas pass through my mind'. Then he said, this is done in order to teach the Kaliyuga a lesson; never to seek power, position or pelf but to submit to the will of God in a completely resigned way, so that you may be ever happy and unmoved.
88. THE Gita speaks of Bhakti, Jnana, Karma, as Yogas. By Yoga is meant what Patanjali intended it to mean 'Chiththa Krishthi Nirodha', that is to say, 'the stifling of the agitations of the consciousness'. Vishnu is the supreme example of this calm, for He is 'Saanthakaaram bhujaga Sayanam', the very picture of peaceful calm, though reclining on a thousand-hooded snake; the snake being the symbol of the objective World with its poisonous fangs. Being in the World but not of it, not bound by it, that is the secret.
89. THE Individual is Arjuna, the Universal which inspires him is Krishna: Led by the Universal, the Individual has to oppose the attractions and delusion of the Manifested, the Maya, and the Prakruthi, that is, the Kaurava hordes. The battle depicted in the Epic is the inner battle, between the temporary and the eternal, the particular and the universal, the sensual and the super-sensual, the seen and the seer. The Atma is described as a streak of lightning in the blue cloud. It is a Gita (streak in Telugu). Discover the Gita, then the purpose of Gita study is fulfilled.
90. WHEN Dharmaraja, the eldest of the Five Pandavas came to know - after the death of Karna which they effected successfully - that Karna was his brother, his agony knew no bounds; he was struck disconsolate and was torn by despair. If only he had known the truth, all that grief could have been avoided. So too, until you know that all are altars where the name God is installed and all are moved and motivated by the Grace of the self-same God, you are afflicted by hate and pride; once you know it and experience it, you are full of Love and reverence to all.
91. WHEN Krishna leapt down from His Chariot with the wheel-weapon in His hand to slay Bishma, Arjuna jumped down with Him and holding both His Feet he prayed 'Oh Lord, you have given word that you will not wield any weapon. Let it not be said that you broke your word to save me from Bhishma, I am prepared to die'. That was the measure of his Bhakti. Bishma too had equal Bhakti. He did not step forward to fight the new challenge nor did he question the Lord. He stood silent drinking in the charm of the Lord and filling himself with the vision of the magnificence of the Lord. That was the measure of the dedication to His will.
92. KRISHNA is slandered by ignorant, prejudice critics as 'jaara' and 'chora' and extolled by seekers and sages with the same appellations, 'jaara' and 'chora'. He stole the hearts and the owners were glad of it. He shed light, awakened people and made those, whose hearts he stole, richer and happier. He destroyed all craving for sensual pleasure and sensual knowledge and filled the entire being with thoughts of the Divine. How then can He be referred to as 'jaara' and 'chora'? When the blind leads the blind in this way, both have to fall into the pit.
93. IN the Mahabharatha, the most noteworthy theme is Dharmasthapana. When the Pandavas were called into the forest, it was as if the Five Pranas of Dharma, the sustaining forces of Dharma, were exiled. Dharmaraja is the Prana of the Right Conduct, Bhima, of the protective Might of Dharma; Arjuna, of the Faith and Devotion needed as its Foundation, Nakula and Sahadeva, of the sraddha essential for the Practice of Dharma. When the Pandavas went to the forest, Hastinapura was reduced to Astinapura, a city of bones, without flesh and blood.
94. KRISHNA was the Purushothama, Arjuna the Narrothama; It was a friendship between The Embodiment of the Highest and the Embodiment of the Best. Krishna was the Avataric Person. Arjuna was the anandic person; it was a coming together of the Avathramurthi and the Anandamurthi. Arjuna was often addressed by Krishna as Kurunandana. This name has a deep significance. 'Kuru' means 'act, activity, Karma'; Nandana means 'happy, delighted'. Kurunandana therefore means 'he who is delighted while engaged in activity'. Throughout the eighteen chapters of the Githa, Arjuna is alert and active, participating vigilantly in every turn of argument.
95. PRACTICE the constant presence of God and, learn to offer all your activities at the Feet of the Lord as an act of worship. Then they will be free from fault. Krishna advised Arjuna to enter the fight and, at the same time, told him not to have 'hatred' towards 'enemies'. These may appear to be two irreconcilable attitudes, for war is rage (passion, attachment) and renunciation of hatred is Vairagya (absence of raga). Arjuna asked Krishna how he was to reconcile these two attitudes. Krishna said, 'Maamnusmara yudhyacha' (keep Me ever in thy mind, and fight. Do not cultivate the egotistic feeling that it is you who is fighting. I am using you as My instrument).
96. THE Pandava brothers were highly fortunate. The eldest, Dharmaraja, rose to be the emperor. The second was the Indomitable Bhima, armed with the terrible mace. The third was Arjuna, son of the Lord of the Gods, Indra. The lord poured His Grace on Arjuna and deigned to serve him in battle as his charioteer! In spite of all these advantages, they were subjected to the severest tragedies in life. What is the lesson that their lives teach? No one can predict what calamity will overtake one and at what time. Every thing depends on the will of Providence; it all happens according to the Divine Plan.
97. THE question on the battlefield was not who was the Kin of whom, but who was right and who was wrong; fight for justice, fight for truth, fight for these as akshatriyu is in duty bound, and leave the result to the Dispenser of all. Krishna told Arjuna: 'I am surprised that you should weep, for you are Gudakesa, the conqueror of sleep and ignorance. You do not kill, so don't be so conceited; nor do they die. They have many more things to do; and so they are real deathless'. 'The sentence of death has been already pronounced on their bodies by Me, and you have but to carry out My Orders', Krishna said.
98. KRISHNA felt that it was time to reveal His Truth and so He just showed all creation in His Mouth when His mother asked Him to show her His tongue, when she suspected He had eaten sand. He made even the longest rope too short to bind Him. It became the talk of the place and every one felt he had all the fourteen Worlds in Him! Avathars choose the time and the mode of announcement of their Advent and Their Glory. Even in this Avathara such miracles had to be done when I decided that the time was opportune for taking the people into My Secret.
99. WHEN the righteous Pandavas were harassed by wicked Kauravas, the beauteous Krishna appeared and saved them. The lord can never design violence and blood shed. Love is His instrument, non-violence His Message. He achieves the correction of the evil-minded through education and example. But it may be asked, why did Kurukshetra happen? It was a surgical operation and therefore cannot be described as an act of violence. The Surgeon saves life through the beneficial use of His Knife.
100. CONSIDER the Name Krishna which the Avathar bore; what a significant Name? Krishna is derived from the root 'krish' which means (i) to attract (2) to plough and cultivate and (3) the Divine Principle beyond time, space and causation. Krishna, like all Avathars, attracts not only seekers, Saints and Sages but the simple, the innocent and the good. He draws also the curious, the critics, the Skeptics and those who suffer from atheism. He draws them towards Himself by the irresistible charm of His Person, by His invincible Look, His Voice, His Flute, His counsel and His undaunted Heroism! He is ever in a State of Bliss, spreading Harmony, Melody and beauty around Him; He sings every where in the peaceful Pasture lands of Brindavan and in the blood soaked battle field of Kurukshetra.
101. THE Githa was Arjuna and Krishna, though Krishna supplemented it with Captious explanations of why and wherefore. Arjuna admitted that he was a prapanner. He had to surrender to His Wait, so that there was no need for Krishna to argue with him. He was convinced of the correctness of His command. Still, in order that Arjuna might fight with a full heart, He gave him the reasons which supported the course that He laid down for him. I too want you to know why I designed it so you should act in a particular manner, and I do not like you to behave in another manner.
102. BISHMA was a Bhakta and by winning the Lord's Grace he was clothed with more Majesty and splendour than any early emperor. What majesty have these scepter-holders? They cannot claim to have inner peace, inner joy, they know not the joy of sharing love with all. Bhishma surrendered to the Lord when He challenged him with the su-darsana (Vishnu), that is to say, when He offers su (good) dharsana (vision) one must be wise enough to surrender, give up all, that is what Bhishma did.
103. ARJUNA exclaimed Krishna as the Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient God, when the foe was defeated day after day. But when his son Abimanyu was killed in the conflict he raved in the grief that Krishna had not guided him properly and guarded him efficiently. His mind wavered with every wind of fortune. To many the mind is the master of the intellect also. One must be vigilant and preserve the impartiality of instrument called Reason of Intellect. Clarify reason, then it will reveal God everywhere, even in you once you accept God as the core of the universe, and you have that strong and steady faith.
104. FILL every moment with energy enthusiasm and effort. The Epics teach you how to succeed in this. The Mahabharatha describes how and when every other of the hundred Kauravas died. The eldest Duryodhana was challenged by Bhima to meet him in a duel, when at last he fell on the ground, Bhima struck his head with his foot in order to add insult to injury. Duryodhana's pride was hurt, a Kshatriya, such as he, could not pass that insult by. He retorted even when he was dying. Do not exult that you have done some big heroic act by tramping on my head! In a few seconds dogs and vultures will be doing that act. It does not require a hero to plant his foot on a dying man. You dared not do this when I was capable of hitting back, you coward! That kind of awareness of one's potentialities and quick response to all happenings must be present in you too. Heroism gushed out even when he was passing away!
105. KRISHNA, whose advent you should celebrate, is not the cowherd boy who charmed the village folk with His flute, but Krishna the indefinable inscrutable Divine Principle that is born in the navel of the body (Mathura) as the product of Divine Energy (Devaki) that is then transported to the Mouth (Gokulam) and fostered by the Tongue (Yasodha) as its source of sweetness. Krishna is the Visualisation of the Atma that the repetition of the Name grants, the vision was gained by Yasodha, you must foster that Krishna on your tongue. When He dances on it, the poison of tongue will be ejected completely, without harming anyone as happened when as a child He danced on the hoods of the serpent Kalinga.
106. PURITY of motive is the best guarantee that you will have Peace. An uneasy conscience is a tormenting compassion. Righteous action will have no bad effects, to disturb your sleep or health. If there is righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in character; If there is beauty in character, there will be harmony in the home; When there is harmony in the house, there will be order in the nation; When there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the World. So, be righteous; avoid all prejudices against others on the basis of caste, creed, colour, mode of worship, status, or degree of affluence. Do not look down upon any one; look upon all as Divine as you really are.
107. ALL Faiths are inter-related and mutually indebted to each other for the principles they teach and the disciplines they recommend. The Vedic Religion was the first in time; Buddhism, which appeared about 2500 years ago, was its son; Christianity, which was influenced much by the Orient was its grand-son. And Islam, which has the Prophets of Christianity as its base, was the great grandson. All have Love as the Fundamental Discipline of the Mind in order to chasten it and merge man with the Divine.
108. VINAYAKA is called the child of two mothers, Gowri and Ganga. You are the pet children of four mothers, each of you; Sathya, Dharma, Shanti and Prema. Do not ridicule them by your act. Honour them and be grateful to them. Do not claim 'Anyaya' (Injustice), 'Akrama' (Undiscipline), 'Asathya' (Falsehood and 'Anachara' (Evil behaviour) as your mothers. Instead, expand your heart, taking in all humanity into the circle of your kin, even the birds, beasts, worms, and insects, trees and plants. The Vedic Prayer asks that the aspirant's heart may be expanded 'Brhathe Koromi' - I make myself Vast! The vastest is 'Brahman' which comes from the same root, 'brh', to enlarge.
109. I EAT as you do, move about as you do, talk in your Language and behave as you can recognise and understand, for YOUR sake - not for My sake! I turn you towards the Divine, winning your confidence, your love, your submission, by being among you, as one of yourselves, one whom you can see, listen to, speak to, touch and treat with reverence and devotion. My plan is to transmute you into Seekers of Truth (Sathya-anveshko). I am present everywhere at all times; My will must prevail over every obstacle; I am aware of the past, present and future of your innermost thoughts and carefully guarded secrets. I am 'Sarvatharyami', 'Sarva Sakthi' and 'Sarvajna'. Nevertheless, I do not manifest these powers in any capricious manner or merely for display. For I am an example and an inspiration, whatever I do or omit to do. My Life is a commentary on My Message.
110. LOVE must be manifested as Service or Seva. Seva must take the form of food for the hungry, solace for the forlorn, consolation for the sick and the suffering. Jesus was himself out in such Seva. The heart full of compassion is the temple of God. Jesus pleaded at the sight of the poor. Jesus is worshipped but His teachings are neglected. Sai is being worshipped but His teachings are neglected. Everywhere pomp, pageantry, hollow exhibitionism and Lectures, Lectures and Lectures! No activity, no love, no seva. Heroes while lecturing are Zeros while putting what is said into practice. Develop Compassion. Live in Love. Be Good, Do Good and See Good. This is the way to God.
111. THE nature we have around us and with us is the vesture of God. We have evidence of His Beauty, Goodness, Wisdom and Power all around us; wherever we turn our eyes. But the art of recognising Him is strange to us and so we deny Him and live on in darkness. We have all around us, in the atmosphere, the music emanating from all the Broadcasting Stations of the World, but they do not assail your ear at any time. You are not aware of any Station; but, if you have a receiver and if you tune it to the correct wave-length, you can hear the matter broadcast from any Station; if you fail to tune it correctly, you will get instead of news only nuisance! So too, the Divine is everywhere above, around, below and beside, near as well as far. For cognising it, you require not a 'Yantra' (machine) but a 'Mantra' (mystical formula potent with a psychological undertone). Concentration of Dhyana is the fixing of the exact location of the Station in the Band; Love is the correct tuning in; realising the Reality and the Bliss it confers is the happy clear listening!
112. THE Divine is a wine that would intoxicate you. It is produced by the nectar that the Name of the Lord is saturated in. Taste it and you forget everything else; you are transformed. Man is, they say, a monkey that has lost its tail; Well, he must lose many more attributes of the monkey before he is entitled to call himself Man. He must dedicate his thought, word and deed to God and surrender to His Will. Then only is this animal entitled to become a Man in whom the Divine is enshrined.
113. THE body is the ball filled with the air of Divinity; it is kicked in play by six players on the side (the six foes: Lust, Anger, Greed, Attachment, Pride and Hate); and six on the other (the six friends: Truth, Right, Peace, Love, Compassion and Fortitude); the goal-posts are on each side, and if the ball is hit so that it passes through them, they achieve 'Dharmavidya' (Moral attainment) and victory. Or else, their kick results in an 'out'! Learn to speak what you feel, act what you speak; do not allow them to be at cross-purposes. Man, with the feelings of a demon fuming with hate, engages in fighting, holds Peace Conferences and prides himself on his Plans for Peace! Transform the heart into a Tabernacle of Peace, then Conferences to deceive oneself and others become unnecessary. What can mere talk achieve?
114. DISCIPLINE trains you to put up with disappointments; you will know that the path of life has both ups and downs, that every rose has its thorn. Now, people want roses without thorns, life has to be one saga of sensual pleasure picnic all the time. When this does not happen, you turn wild and start blaming others. If each one cares for his own pleasures, how can Society progress? How can the weak survive? Mine, not thine, this sense of greed is the root of all evil; this distinction is applied even to God! - my God, not yours! Your God, not mine!
115. GOODNESS, compassion, and tolerance: through these three paths, one can see the Divinity in one-self and others. Softness of heart is condemned by people today as weakness, cowardice, and want of intelligence. The heart has to be hardened, they say, against pity and charity. But that way lies war, destruction, and downfall. Love confers lasting happiness and peace. Sharing can reduce grief and multiply joy. Man is born to share, to serve, to give and not to grab. When you have faith in God as a precious truth in the altar of your heart, you will welcome, with equal alacrity, the blows and blossoms of fortune.
116. HAVING come to this place and availed yourselves of this opportunity to treasure in your hearts the things you have seen and heard, resolve to plunge into a practice of them. Your resolution and your practice must happen simultaneously. Have a master-plan and start from tomorrow the execution of the program, drawn in consultation with others. This must happen in all countries. Do not think that only the Andhra State is Sai's. All are Sai's. All are one. We must endeavour by all means to realise and establish this Truth in this Kali Yuga. This is the message I am giving you today. I am fulfilling all your desires. So you must fulfill this one desire of Mine. I bless that you have long life, good health, Ananda, Peace and Prosperity; and that you will dedicate your physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual strength and skills for the service of the country and of all mankind.
117. THERE are some ignorant persons who laugh at 'Bhajans' and other acts of worship and consider them a waste of valuable time. Those persons might laugh at your pouring bags of paddy seeds on a slushy field and condemn that act too as waste of valuable food-material. But you know that, for every bag of paddy-seed, Mother Earth will give back grain tenfold or even twenty fold, in a few weeks. Time spent in contemplation of God or adoration of the Divine is indeed well spent, for it rewards you with a rich harvest of mental peace and courage.
118. WHEN Jesus was emerging as the Supreme Principle of Divinity, he communicated some news to his followers. The statement of Christ is simple. (He, who sent me among you, will come again) and he pointed to a lamb. The lamb is merely a symbol, a sign. It stands for the voice BA-BA. The announcement was 'The Advent of BABA'. - 'He will wear a robe of red, a blooded robe'. He will be short, with a crown (of hair). The lamb is a sign and symbol of Love. Christ did not declare that he will come again, he said, 'He, who made me, will come again'. That BABA is the Baba; and Sai, the short curly hair crowned, red-robed Baba has come.
119. MANY believe that a pilgrimage to holy places is conductive to spiritual progress. They journey to Tirupathi, Rameswaram, Badrinath or Amarnath and pray for the removal of their mundane troubles. They vow to remove their hair if, through Divine intervention, they win a prize in the State Lotteries, as if God is in need of hair. This trick of bargaining is only cheating oneself in an attempt to cheat God. Do not pray to God for wealth or fame, positions of power or for the fruits of your actions. The genuine seeker will pray for nothing else but God.
120. HUMAN lives are now passing on and on, filth over filth, bent, broken, diseased, distressed and disheartened. To enrich their lives and to make the human heritage worthwhile, I have come, I am evincing all this enthusiasm to teach you the prayer attitude to Seva, for Love expresses itself as Seva, Love grows through Seva, and Love is begun in the womb of Seva. And God is Love. The Avatar is a Child to the children, a Boy to the Boys, a Man among men, a Woman among women, so that the Avatar's message might reach each heart and receive enthusiastic response as 'Ananda'. It is the compassion of the Avatar that prompts His every action.
121. HAVE no thorn of hate in your mind. Develop Prema towards all. Desire is a storm; Greed is a whirlpool; Pride is a precipice. Attachment is an avalanche; Egoism is a volcano. Keep these things away, so that you can do Japa or Dhyana; they do not disturb the Equanimity. Let Love be enthroned in your heart. Then there will be sunshine and a cool breeze and the gurgling waters of contentment feeding the roots of faith.
122. THE title 'Sathyam Sivam Sundaram' is full of meaning. It speaks of HE, imminent in every one of you. Sathyam is the basic reality of you all; that is why you resent being called a liar. The real 'you' is innocent, you will not accept an imputation that is false. The real 'you' is joy, happiness, and auspiciousness. It is not Savam but Sivam, it is Subham, Nithyam, and Anandam. How then can you bear being called ugly? The Atma has got entangled in the body which it does not like; it is weighed down by shame, when you identify it with the body and attribute to it the weaknesses and deficiencies of that physical vehicle.
123. I NEVER speak through another; I never possess another or use another as a vehicle of expression. I come direct, I come straight, I come as I am to confer Peace and Joy. I do not accept from you flowers that fade, fruits that rot, coins that have no value beyond the national boundary. Give Me the Lotus that blooms in your Manasa-Sarovar, the clear, pellucid waters of the lake of your inner consciousness. Give Me the fruits of holiness and steady discipline. I am above all this worldly etiquette which enjoins you to see elders with some fruit or flower in your hand. My World is the World of the Spirit; there, values are different. If you are happy with faith in God and fear of sin, that is enough 'Service', enough 'Kainkaryam' for Me. It pleases Me so much.
124. YOU must speak soft and sweet words to everyone. Do you like the voice of the crow? No, you drive the crow away when it starts to caw; its speech is harsh, it is too loud for your ears. You must have heard the Koel, the cuckoo, haven't you? That bird looks very much like the crow; it grows in the nest of the crow with the baby crows; it is fed by the mother crow, along with her own kids. But no one will throw a stone at a 'Koel'; every one likes to hear its sweet voice. Speak soft and sweet; then every one will like you.
125. NO service is too low or mean; every emergency is immediately noticed and attended to. They need not be sorry that during those days they had no time to sit for Dhyana or do Japa or even to go out on Nagarsankirtan! Why? You can have the Name on the lips, when you sweep the streets or lift a corpse in the morgue or when you walk towards or away from the area of distress. People may dub you mad! But be elated that you are not affected by the insanity they suffer from!
126. THE mind plays many tricks with you, the chief of which is to foster the ego and hide the Prompter and the Power within. You must have heard of an Accountant in the Court of the King of Death, Chitragupta, by name. He maintains a Register of the good and the bad deeds done by each living being, and on death, he brings the book to the Court and strikes the balance between debit and credit. Yama, the king, then meets out the punishment that can expiate and educate. This Chitragupta has his Office in the mind of man, all the time, awake and alert. The word means the secret picture; what he does is to picture all the secrets from promptings that blossom into activity; he notes the warning signals as well as the occasions when those signals were ignored or wantonly disregarded. You must see that the warning of the Divine against the merely human or even the bestial inclination, is heeded.
127. YOU have the chance to see, experience and be sanctified by the incarnation of the Lord; this chance you have received as a result of the accumulation of merit in many previous lives. That merit has brought you here when I came down. For this chance, Rishis and Devas have prayed long in the past. Having won this chance, strive to taste the sweetness and achieve the Bliss of Merging without wasting even a single moment. The rays that emanate from Me are of three grades: the 'Sthula', filling this Prasanthi Nilayam; the 'Sukshma', pervading the Earth; and the 'Karana', covering the entire Universe. The people who have the privilege of living in this Prasanthi Nilayam are indeed lucky, for they are nearest to the 'Kiran' (rays). The 'Sthulakirana' makes a man a 'Sadhaka'; the 'Sukshma' makes him a 'Mahatma'; and 'Karana' converts him into a 'Paramahamsa'.
128. I NEVER deviate from Truth. Since I recline on Truth, I am called Sathya Sai; Sayi (as Seshasayi) means reclining. The name is very appropriate, let me assure you. It is only those, who fail to follow My instructions and deviate from the path I lay down, that fail to get what I hold out before them. Follow My instructions and become soldiers in MY army; I will lead you on to victory. When someone asks you in great earnestness 'where the Lord is to be found', do not try to dodge the question. Give them the answer that rises up to your tongue from your heart. Direct them. He is here in Prasanthi Nilayam. All Avatars teach, as the first step in the long road of 'Sadhana', the giving up of attachment. In the Thretha Yuga, the Yoga-Vasistha taught the same rule. In the Dwapara Yuga, Krishna taught Arjuna to give up Vishaya-Vasana, attachment to the objective world. People utter with apparent faith, 'Krishna, Krishna, Krishna', but they never give up 'Thrishura' (Thirst) for worldly goods or fame. In each Yuga, you have the Avatar of the Lord come to redeem, review and rebuild. At the present time, Mahasakthi, Mayasakthi, and Yogasakthi have come all together in One Human Form. Your endeavour should be to draw near and earn Grace therefrom.
129. WHAT is the immortal part of man? Is it the wealth he has accumulated, the residences he has built, the physique he has developed, the wealth he has acquired and the family he has reared? No, all that he has done, developed or earned are destroyed, he has to leave them all to the ravages of time. He cannot take with him even a handful of earth, the earth he loved so much. If only the dead could take with them a handful each, the earth would have become so scarce that it should have been rationed by now! Discover the Immortal 'I' and know that it is the spark of God in you; live in the companionship of that vast measureless Supreme and you will be rendered vast and measureless. Consider all objects that you collect here as given on 'Trust' to be used in this caravanserai during your pilgrimage in this Karunakshetra.
130. UNLESS you brighten your vision with Love, you cannot see the Truth. Love helps you to see God in everyone and everyone as Divine. The Jagath is not false, it is not a trap; it is the splendour of God, His reflection. He reflected and the Jagath happened! It is His own substance, manifesting as multiplicity, as latent or potent energy-matter. When activity is in accordance with awareness that is befogged or belittled, dried up or deluded, there Dharma is decadent and the Avatar appears among men!
131. EVERY one must learn the secret of happiness which consists in refusing to shed tears for anything less than God. You have won this human body, this human life, as the reward for many lives spend in acquiring merit. You have won this chance, this unique good fortune of being able to get Dharsan of Sai. Plunging deep into the waters of this tumultuous ocean of Samsar, you have heroically emerged from its depths, with this rare Pearl in your hands - the Grace of Sai. Do not allow it to slip from your clasp and fall into the depths again. Hold firmly on to it. Pray that you may have it forever and be filled with the joy that it confers. This is the way by which you can render this life fruitful.
132. UTILISE the World as the means to an end; do not desire to stay in it. It is a caravanserai, where you can rest a while during your pilgrimage to the source. It is a bridge wide and strongly built. Can any pilgrim build a house there on for himself? The Cosmos is changing constantly. The minutes that are past cannot be retrieved, even if tempted by a billion rupees. The past is not ours any more; the present slips from our grasp; and the future is uncertain. You come naked into the world, You go out of it without informing the survivors of the address where you can be contacted. In spite of this, attachment grows and you cultivate bounds. This is the great illusion.
133. THE grace of God cannot be won through the gymnastics of reason, the contortions of Yoga or the denials of Asceticism. Love alone can win it; Love that needs no requital; Love that knows no bargaining; Love that is paid gladly as a tribute to the All Loving; and Love that is unwavering. Love alone can overcome obstacles, however many and mighty. There is no strength more effective than Purity, no bliss more satisfying than Love, no joy more restoring than Bhakti and no triumph more praiseworthy than Surrender.
134. HIN means 'Hinsa' (Violence) and 'du' means 'dura' (distant); so HINDU means a person who is devoid of violence, who loves and sympathizes, who helps and serves - not one who hides and hits, harms and draws blood. The same sky is over everyone's head; the same earth supports everyone's feet; the same air enters everyone's lungs! The same God brought all forth, brings up all and brings about the end of this earthly career. Why then this inhuman role of foe and fanatic; of fight and feud?
135. I AM the embodiment of Love; Love is My Instrument. There is no creature without Love; the lowest loves itself at least. And its 'self is God'. So, there are no atheists, though some might dislike Him or refuse Him, as malarial patients dislike sweets or diabetic patients refuse to have anything to do with sweet! Those who preen themselves as atheists will one day, when their illness is gone, relish God and revere Him.
136. STRUGGLE to realise the Atma, to visualise God; even failure in this struggle is nobler than success in other worldly attempts. The buffalo has horns; the elephant has tusks, But what a difference? To live in the body, with the body, for the body is the life of a worm; to live in the body with God is good, for God is the life of man. The dull, activity-hating Thamasic persons have ego and their love is limited to their kith and kin. The Rajasic, active, passionate persons seek to earn power and prestige and love those who will contribute to these. But the Sathwic, the pure, the good and equanimity-filled love all as embodiments of God and engage themselves in humble service.
137. THERE are three types of approaches towards the Lord; the Eagle type, which swoops down on the target with a greedy swiftness and suddenness which, by its very impact, fails to secure the object coveted; the Monkey type, which flits hither and thither, from one to another, unable to decide which is tasty; and the Ant type which moves steadily, though slowly towards the object which it has decided is desirable. The ant does not hit the fruit hard and makes it fall away; it does not pluck all the fruits it seeks; it appropriates just as much as it can assimilate and no more. Do not fritter away the time allotted to you for sojourning on the earth in foolish foppery and fanciful foibles which always keep you outdoors. When are you to walk indoors into the warmth and quiet of your own interior? Retire into solitude and silence now and then; experience the joy derivable only from them.
138. WHAT is the sanctity of Sivarathri? Your answer, 'Linga emerges from Swami's Udara (abdomen)'. 'Today is the fourteenth day of the dark of the month, when the moon is all but invisible, just a minute fraction remains visible to man. The mind is the source of all the entangling desires and emotions. The mind is, therefore, almost powerless this day; if only this night is spent in vigil and in the presence of the Divine, it can be fully conquered and man can realise his freedom. Vigilance this night is to be secured by 'Sadhana', this is by means of 'Bhajan' or the reading of sacred texts.
139. RAMA, Krishna and Sai Baba appear different because of the dress each has donned, but it is the selfsame Entity, believe Me. Do not be misled into error and loss. The time will soon come when this huge building or even vaster ones will be too small for the gatherings of those who are called to this place. The sky itself will have to be the roof of the Auditorium of the future. I will have to forego the car and even the airplane when I move from place to place, for the crowds pressing around them will be too huge; I will have to move across the sky; yes that too will happen, believe Me.
140. SEE all as Narayanaswarupa and worship all with Prema. Even My nature can be understood by you only when you wear the glasses of Holiness. Holy things can be cognised only by the Holy Seeker. You get what you search for; you see what your eyes crave for. The doctor is found where patients gather; the surgeon stays in the operation ward; so too, the Lord is ever with the suffering and struggling. Whenever people cry out in agony 'Oh God', there God will be.
141. YOU very often condemn the mind as a monkey; but take it from Me, it is far worse. The monkey leaps from one branch to another; but the mind leaps from the heights of the Himalayas to the depths of the sea, from today to tens of years ago. Tame it by the process of Namasmarana. Make it as Ramdas did into a Badrachala, a stable and steady mountain. That is the task I assign to you. Make your heart an Ayodhya by means of Ramanama; Ayodya means a city that can never lie captured by force. That is your real nature: Ayodhya; Badrachala. Forget this and you are lost. Install Rama in your heart; and then no outer force can harm you.
142. THINGS are not so important; the transcendental truth of things is of value. You must visualise the spiritual in the material, the gold in the jewels, the Divine in the diversity of character and conduct and seek to know the Atma. All are equal in birth and in death. Differences arise only during the interval. The Emperor and the beggar are both born naked; they sleep equally silently; they bow out without even leaving their new address. Then how can their reality be different? There can be no doubt on this score. All are basically the same.
143. LISTEN to Me. When you wake up, feel that you are entering the stage to play the role assigned to you by the Lord; pray that you may act it well and earn His approbation. At night, when you retire to sleep, feel that you are entering the green-room after the scene, but with the dress of your role on; for perhaps the role is not yet over and you have not yet been permitted to take the dress off. Perhaps, you have to make another entrance the next morning. Do not worry about that. Place yourself fully at His Disposal; He knows; He has written the play and He knows how it will end and how it will go on; Yours is but to act and retire.
144. WHEN the mind of man is unattached to the ups and downs of life, but is able to maintain equanimity under all circumstances, then even physical health can be assured. The mental firmament must be like the sky, which bears no mark of the passage through it of birds or planes or clouds. Illness is caused more by malnutrition of the mind than of the body. Doctors speak of Vitamin deficiency; I will call it the deficiency of Vitamin G, and I will recommend the repetition of the Name of God, with accompanying contemplation of the glory and grace of God. That is the Vitamin G. That is the medicine; regulated life and habits are two thirds of the treatment, while the medicine is just one third only.
145. CARRY on your highest duty - following the four F's: Follow the Master; Face the Devil; Fight to the End; and Finish the Game. Then you win My love in full measure. Love is My highest Miracle. Love can make you gather the affection of all mankind. Love will not tolerate any selfish aim or approach, Love is God. Live in Love. Then all is right; all can be well. Expand your heart so that it can encompass all. Do not narrow it down into an instrument of restricted Love.
146. THE tongue is the armour of heart; it guards one's life. Loud talk, long talk, wild talk, and talk full of anger and hate; all these affect the health of man. They breed anger and hate in others; they wound; they excite; they enrage; they estrange. Why is silence said to be golden? The silent man has no enemies, though he may not have friends. He has the leisure and the chance to delve within himself and examine his own faults and failings. He has no more inclination to seek them (fault) in others. If your foot slips, you sustain a fracture; if your tongue slips, you fracture some one's faith or joy. That fracture can never be set right; that wound will fester for ever. Therefore, use the tongue with great care. The softer you talk, the less you talk and the sweeter you talk, the better for you and the World.
147. BIRTH is the consequence of 'Kama' (desire, lust); Death is the consequence of 'Kala' (Time, the lapse of Time). The God of Desire (Kama) was reduced to ashes by Shiva; the God of Time is Kala or Yama. He was subdued by sin. So, one has to surrender to Siva (God) if one has to escape the consequences of these two frightfully fatal forces. If between 'Kama' and 'Kala' you take refuge in Rama, then you can escape the rigour. For Rama is the Atma who has no 'Kama' and is unaffected by 'Kala'.
148. WHEN you seek to learn swimming, you will have to enter the water and struggle with the strokes. When Bhasma (Vibuthi) is given, doubt haunts some people whether Swami is wishing that the recipient should be a Saivite! It is a symbol of the indestructible basic substance which every being is. All things become ash; but ash remains ash, however much you may burn it. It is also a sign of renunciation, of sacrifice and of 'Jnana', which burns all 'Karma' - consequently into ineffective ash. It is a sign of Iswara and I apply it on your brow to remind you that you too are Divine. It is a valuable 'Upadesa' about your identity. It also reminds you that the body is liable any moment to be reduced into a handful of ash. Ash is a lesson in detachment and renunciation.
149. THE river of human life meanders along, through many a valley, leaps over many a cliff, loses itself in many a marsh and seeks to empty itself in the ocean of Divine Grace; though, what happens is that it falls into the undrinkable expanse of salt. The flood flows from the heights to the depths; only the flames of fire do ever rise from the depth to the heights. That is why we speak of 'Jnanagni', the Fire of Wisdom of Realisation. Man suffers because he has developed hunger as vast as the sky, with a throat as narrow as a needle. His throat must become as vast as the earth; his heart must blossom wide through Shanti and Sahana; that is through equanimity and fortitude. Then the desire of man for full lasting undiluted 'Ananda' can be attained.
150. LIFE on earth is as on the ocean, ever restless with the waves of joy and grief, of loss and gain, the swirling currents of desires and the whirlpools of passion, greed and hate. To cross the ocean, the only reliable raft is a heart filled with the Love of God and Man. Man is born for a high destiny, as the inheritor of a rich heritage. He should not fritter away his days in low pursuits and vulgar vanities. His destiny is to know the Truth, live in it and for it. The Truth alone can make man free and happy. If he is not prompted by this high purpose, life is a waste and a mere tossing on the waves, for the sea of life is never calm.
151. YOUR car is not meant to be kept a showpiece in a glass garage. It is meant for the roads, for taking you fast and safe to the place where you want to go. So too, your body must serve the purpose of your journey. Journey to where? Not, as it has been happening, to the cemetery. You have nobler things to do than merely die! You must know your own Reality before you die and merge in that Supreme Joy. Eat just enough to keep the body trim; use the body to discover this Reality, namely, God. Sanctify every moment of your sojourn here with pious deeds and sacred thoughts.
152. IT is to persuade you to engage in Namasmarana that I am concluding My discourses with singing a few Namavalis. An Officer of the Indian Civil Service has to write on the slate, A, B, C and D and pronounce those letters, in order to teach his children the alphabet. When you find him doing so, you do not infer that he is himself learning the alphabet, do you? Therefore, do not be surprised if I sing Bhajan songs; I am but initiating you into this most efficacious Sadhana. Strengthen yourself, purify yourself, and educate yourself by this 'Namasankeertan'. Do it loudly and in company. Let those who join you listen and imbibe the nectar of the Name.
153. WHEN you call out in all sincerity, the response will certainly come. Give up all low desires and call from the anguished heart. Do not pray from the lips, as you do now, from the puja room which is but a corner of the kitchen. You worship the Lord with an eye on the dishes or cooking on the oven, with a nose inhaling hungrily the smells of the hot curries. Your thoughts of God are vitiated by 'Vishavasana', attachment to sensory objects. There is a vast gap between what you say and what you do; and between what you are capable of and what you accomplish.
154. FOOD received by foul means and clothing procured through ease and comfort are the main things in life. Do not think that ease and comfort are the main things in life. Disappointment, disease and distress are the lot of all, rich and poor, educated and uneducated, young and old. They are the common lot of all. Let not your pure, immaculate hearts be rendered dirty by false-hood and wrong. Do not soil your tongue using it for uttering dirty words. Utter the name of God; it acts like a spark which can burn into ash a big hill of cotton! All evil thoughts, wicked plans and plots will disappear like fog before the Sun when the Name of God is remembered sincerely.
155. ONCE man is free from undue attachment to the body and its appurtenances, he is liberated also from the pulls of joy, grief, good, bad, pleasure, pain, etc. He is firmly established in equanimity, fortitude and undisturbed balance. There man discovers that the World is one in God; that all is Joy, Love and Bliss. He realises that he himself is all this apparent World, that all the multifarious manifestations are the fantasies of the Divine will, which is his own Reality. This expansion of one's individuality to cover the ends of the Universe is the highest leap of man. It gives supreme 'Ananda', an experience for which sages and saints spent years of prayer and asceticism.
156. MAN has been enslaved by money. He lives a superficial, hollow, artificial life. This is indeed a great pity. Man should seek to possess only as much money as is most essential for his living. The quantity of riches one must earn can be compared to the shoes one wears; if too small, they cause pain; if too big, they are a hindrance to physical and mental comfort. When we have more, it breeds pride, sloth and contempt for others. In pursuit of money, man descends to the level of the beast. Money is of the nature of manure. Piled up in one place, it pollutes the air. Spread it wide; scatter it over fields; it rewards you with a bumper harvest. So too, when money is spent in all the four quarters for promoting good works, it yields contentment and happiness in plenty.
157. MOVE forward towards the light and the shadow falls behind you. Move away from it and you have to follow your own shadow. Go every moment one step nearer to the Lord and then, Maya, the shadow will fall back and will not delude you at all. Be steady; be resolved. Do not commit a fault or take a false step and then repeat it! Have the 'Thaapam' (the deliberation, the decision, the discipline) first; that is better than 'Paschaath Thapam' (regret for the mistake made).
158. GIVE something divine if you want the Divine. Prema, Shanti, Dharma and Sathya are Divine. Do not try to get it for a flower that fades, a fruit that rots, a leaf that dries and water that evaporates. There are some who write and speak as if they have known Me, all that is to be known of Me. I can only say this: they can never know Me and My nature, even if they are born and reborn a thousand times. To know Me, one has to be like Me, rise to this height. Can ants discover the depth of the Ocean?
159. IN this Kali age, the wicked have to be reformed and reconstructed through love and Compassion. That is why this Avatar has come unarmed. HE has come with the message of Love. The only weapon which can transform the vile and the vicious is the Name of the Lord uttered with Love. The Name is redolent with Divine Glory. So when it is turned over in the mind, it transmutes it into an instrument for liberation from delusion.
160. THREE disciplines are essential to become aware of Divinity in all and in the Avatar; no activity should be taken up with individual aggrandizement in view; intellect and emotion must be directed to the revelation of the Resident of the Heart, Atma; and every act should be done sincerely, with Love, with no yearning for acquiring personal profit, fame or benefit. Above all, listen to the voice of God within. As soon as one contemplates a wrong act, the voice warns, protests and advises giving up. It pictures the shame that has to be suffered, the punishment that has to be faced and the disgrace that it entails.
161. IF God is implanted in the heart, you will see God everywhere, even in the objective World. 'Sarvam Brahmamayam' is a fact. Resolve this day to engage only in virtuous deeds, good thoughts, and good company. Let your mind dwell on elevating thoughts. Do not waste a single moment of your time talking in idle gossip, vain boasting or demeaning recreations.
162. THE journey into the inner consciousness, to calm the storms that rage, is more important than the journey to the Moon or Mars. The latter may be more spectacular, but the former is the more beneficial. Life without goodness, good thoughts, good actions and good words is like the sky in the night without the moon or stars. It is like a wheel without a hub or spokes! No one can push a boulder away while standing on it; you cannot be free from anxiety while all the entrances through which it sneaks in are open. Stop catering to the senses and feeding the desires that haunt you.
163. THE ceremony of Brahmopadesam is Upanayanam, because the word means, 'taking near', taking the young aspirant near Brahman, that is to say, introducing him to Brahmajynasa, the path of Brahma. It is one of the Samskaras, that is rites which reconstruct the personality, reform the mind, purify it and rebuild it. It makes the person receiving it a 'Dwija', twice-born! The boy is born first into the World; now he is born into the Sadhaka World. He becomes a Brahmachari, a person who walks towards Brahma.
164. SEE God in every being and then true 'Sneha' will blossom. This type of true 'Sneha' can come only when you follow the advice of Krishna. 'Adveshta sarva bhoothanam maitrah karuna evacha Nirmano nirahamkaarah Sama dukher Sukha Kshami': 'He who has no trace of hatred towards any creature, who is friendly and compassionate towards all, who is free from the bondage of 'I' and 'mine', who takes pain and pleasure as equally welcome and who is forbearing in spite of provocation'. Grow these qualities in you, for they are the signs of true 'Sneha'. It is only when you are proceeding on the God ward journey along the nine stages of Bhakti that you can attain this Divine ideal of true friendship.
165. MOHAMMED, who sought to establish the primacy of the One Formless Absolute, had a large share of persecution, defamation and privation. Jesus, who attempted to rebuild mankind on the basis of Love, was crucified by little men who feared that their tiny tower of hate and greed will be toppled by his teaching. Harischandra, who had resolved never to waver from Truth, was subjected to ordeal after ordeal, each more terrifying than the previous one. Those who seek to know God must steel themselves to bear insult, injury and torture with a smile.
166. YUGADI: The word 'Yugadi' means: the day of the Inauguration of the 'Yuga or Age'. On this day dedicate your life anew to the spiritual discipline, giving up all habits that interfere with the constant remembrance of God. Nature puts on a neat garb of green, but man alone continues with his old prejudices, out-worn habits and moth-eaten principles, which tarnish and demean him. The spiritual discipline prescribed by the Scriptures for the Kritha (Yuga) Age is Dhyana; for the Tretha Yuga it is Dharma; for the Dwapara Yuga it is Archana or Ritual worship; and for the Kali Yuga it is Namasmara and Seva. With the constant remembrance of God, worship the Lord, leaving the result to the All-powerful, All-knowing and All-Merciful. The New Panchangam reveals the position of the Sun, Moon and Stars. Saint Thyagarja sang that Rama's Grace can counteract the evil effect of Stars. Expand yourself. Take in all. Grow in Love. That is the new dress you have to wear and shine on this day.
167. I AM showing you by My example. You must fill every moment with useful beneficial activity. You talk among yourselves, 'Oh Swami is having his rest hour; Swami is sleeping', but I have never craved, for a minute's rest or sleep or relief. Shall I tell you at what time I feel restful, relieved and content? When I know that you are all earning supreme Bliss through detachment and spiritual discipline; not until then. I am ever engaged in some activity or other for your benefit. Things that I could get done, I do not entrust to others; I do them myself, so that they may learn self-reliance and get experience thereby.
168. YAMA or the God of death is described as dragging his victims to his abode by means of the rope or 'Paasa'. Well, He has no rope-factory there, for supplying him with the rope he needs. You manufacture the rope yourself and have it ready around your neck; he has only to take hold of the rope and pull you along! It is a three-stranded rope, the strands being 'Ahamkaram' (Egoism); 'Vishayavasana' (sense-attachment); and 'Kama' (Desire).
169. LEARN a lesson from the tree. When it is heavy with fruits, it does not raise its head aloft in pride, it bends low, stoops, as if it does not take any credit for its accomplishment and as if it helps you to pluck the fruit. Learn a lesson from the birds. They feed those who cannot fly far. The bird relieves the itch of the buffalo by scratching it with its beak; they help and serve each other with no thought of reward. How much more alert must man be then with his superior skills and faculties? Service is the best cure for egoism.
170. I WOULD advise you to dwell always on one Name of God, one personification of one of His innumerable attributes of Glory. Then there is the expansion of your Love, the removal of hate and envy from your mental composition, seeing the God whom you adore in every other person intently as you see Him in yourself. Then you become the Embodiment of Love, Peace and Joy.
171. REMOVE the cataract and the vision becomes clear. So too, remove the feeling of inferiority that dwarfs you now; feel that you are 'Atmaswarupa', 'Nityaswarupa', and 'Anandaswarupa'; then every act of yours becomes a 'Yajna', a sacrifice and a Puja. The ear, the eye, the tongue and the feet become tools for your uplift, not traps for your destruction. Transform 'Thamogunam' into 'Thapogunam' and save yourself.
172. REMOVE the weight from your head by transferring all burdens to the Lord, leave everything to His will and His Law. Feed your mind with sweet and wholesome food: 'Satsanga', 'Satpravatana', and 'Sarveswara Chintha'; then you are full of joy. I am 'Anandaswarupa'; come and take 'Ananda' from Me and, returning to your avocations, dwell on that 'Ananda' and be full of 'Shanti'.
173. THE greatest single cause for darkness in the World today is envy. When one is happy and contented, others envy him and strive to ruin his peace of mind. When any one is acclaimed as great, malice moves others to invent calumny in order to tarnish his reputations. This is the way of the World. There is in life the tragedy of ignorance and selfishness. They force man to take the wrong road; and suffer calamity.
174. A STRONG will is the best tonic. The will becomes strong when you know that you are a child of Immortality or a person who has earned the Grace of the Lord. Medicine and hospitalization are for those who doubt and hesitate and argue about this doctor being more efficient than the other and this drug being more powerful than the rest. For those who rely on the Supreme Doctor, His Name is the drug that cures.
175. YOU can call me on the phone, but I will not be available for all those who do not have the sincere and steady yearning for the Lord. For those who say 'No, You are not my Lord', I say 'No'. For those who say, 'Yes', I too echo 'Yes'. If I am available in your heart, I will be available over the phone. But remember, I have My own special Postal and Telephone Systems. They operate from the heart straight to the heart. There are rules and regulations for the operations of the Systems which the Sastras declare. You can find them there. I am glad that devotees have today acquired this new convenience at Prasanthi Nilayam.
176. TRUTH can reflect itself in your intelligence only when it is cleaned by 'Thapas'. 'Thapas' means all acts undertaken with higher motives and all acts indicating yearning for the spirit; repenting for past blunders; staunch determination to adhere to virtue; self-control; and unyielding adherence to equanimity in the face of success or failure. 'Thapam' means heat, burning intensity and earnestness of endeavour. It is 'Thapas' that fosters Renunciation and discipline.
177. THE Rama and Krishna Avatars performed the mission of restoring Dharma and fostering virtuous living, besides punishing the wicked and teaching the World that vice will not succeed. Man is an amalgam of Humanity, Animality and Divinity. It is a tragedy if he cannot get rid of the Animality; and it is a greater tragedy if he cannot cultivate his Divinity. Contemplation of the Rama and Krishna Avatars and their Leelas and Mahimas is the surest method of cultivating the Divine in Man.
178. GOD has four qualities and it is only when you cultivate them that you can understand Him. They are: Prema (Love), Beauty (Soundarya), Sweetness (Madurya), and Shoba (Splendor). The development of Prema is enough to add into you the other three. When you are full of Prema for the Divine in all creation, that stage is Beauty; when you are immersed in the sea of Universal Love, you reach the acme of Sweetness; when your mind loses its identity and merges in the Universal Mind, then there is Splendour indescribable.
179. MY task is not merely to cure and console and remove individual misery. It is something far more important. The important task of the mango tree is to produce mango-fruit. The leaves, the branches and the trunk of the tree are useful in their own way, no doubt, but the main aim is the fruit. So, also from the plantain-tree, the fruit is the main gain. The leaves and the edible core of the stem are all incidental. So too, the removal of misery and distress is incidental to My Mission. My main task is the re-establishment of Veda and Shastra in the heart of Bharthavarsha and the revival of Knowledge about them in the people. This task will succeed.
180. NARADA once asked Krishna the secret of the attraction His flute play had on the cowherds of Brindavan. 'Do they run to You or do You run to them?', he queried. 'Among us there is neither I nor they; how can a picture be separated from the cloth on which it is painted? I am imprinted on their hearts so inseparably and so inextricably', Krishna replied. Have God imprinted on your hearts; be ever so inextricably established in Him - that is My message to you.
181. THIS Sai has came in order to achieve the Supreme task of uniting the entire mankind as one family through the band of brotherhood, of affirming and illumining the Atmic Reality of each being in order to reveal the Divine, the basis on which the entire Cosmos rests, and of instructing all to recognise the common Divine Heritage that binds man to man, so that man can rid himself of the animal and rise into the Divine which is his goal.
182. DO not get elated at the riches, status, authority, and intelligence, which have been given to you on trust, so that you may benefit others. They are all signs of His Grace, opportunities for service and symbols of responsibility. Never seek to exult over others' faults; deal sympathetically with the errors and mistakes of others; hear only good things about them; and do not give an ear to scandals.
183. NOW, there is a wave of anxiety spreading over the World as a result of rising prices; and attempts are frantically being made to bring down the level. The fundamental cause for the rise in prices is the decline in the price of man. Man must realise his pricelessness; he should not regard himself as a cheap nut or bolt that has no higher purpose in life. He should know that he is the imperishable, unconquerable Atma; and the body is only a vehicle for the Atma.
184. DOES thou know why you are given eyes? To see whatever can be seen? No! No! To fill the eyes with the vision of God who resides on Mount Kailas. We have to cast our looks at sacred sights. We must visualise in everyone only the good and the Godly. That is the purpose for which God has equipped us with eyes. He has not gifted them to us to observe and judge others, to follow people into the bazaar or to see unsightly films.
185. THE snakes move in curves, not in a straight line; man too, when he is following the senses, has to move in a crooked path. He has greater poison in him than the snake; his venom is to be found in his eye, his tongue, his hands, his mind, his heart and his thoughts - whereas the cobra has it only in its fangs. The cobra raises its hood and sways in joy when it hears music - so, man too, when he realises the stage of 'nirvikalpa', (steady unchanging establishment in the ultimate Reality), dances in heavenly Bliss.
186. GOD is the source of all Love; Love God, Love the World as the vesture of God, no more and no less. Through Love, you can merge in the Ocean of Love. Love cures pettiness, hate and grief. Love loosens bonds; it saves man from the torments of birth and death. Love binds all hearts in a soft silken symphony. Seen through the eyes of Love, all beings are beautiful; all deeds are dedicated; and all thoughts are innocent. The World is one vast kin.
187. GOD is all powerful; God is everywhere; God is all-knowing. To adore such a formidable limitless principle, man spends a few minutes out of the 24 hours and uses a minute idol, image or picture! It is indeed ridiculous; it is practically futile. Adore Him so long as you have breath and so long as you are conscious. Have no other thought than God, have no other aim than knowing His command; no other activity than translating that command into action. That is what is meant by Surrender. Surrender yourself unto Him.
188. GOD is the guardian, the corrector, the admonisher and the saviour; so, people must get into the habit of calling on Him as a living presence. The temple helps to soften the hearts! It instills the virtue of compassion and charity. Greed and cruelty will spread in an atmosphere that has no devotion and adoration to God. Make yourselves into moving temples. Become aware of the God that resides in you. It is He who protects you, provides for you and prevents you from falling prey to pernicious propensities.
189. THERE are three types of persons: those, who confess their own faults and mention the excellence of others, are the highest type; those, who highlight their own excellence and decry the faults of others, are worse; those, who parade their own faults as excellence and deride the excellence in others as faults, are the worst. The last type is nowadays most rampant.
190. GOD has no will or want; He does not confer or withhold; He is the eternal witness. To put it in the language that you can understand: He is like the postman, who is not concerned with the contents of the letters that he hands over to the addressees; one letter might communicate victory; another defeat; and you receive what you have worked for. Do good and have good done in return; be bad and accept the bad that comes back to you. That is the law; and there is really no help (or) hindrance.
191. THE relief and joy that you give to the sick and the sad reach me, for I am in their hearts and I am the One they call out for. God has no need of your service; does He suffer from pain in the legs, or ache in the stomach? Try to serve the Godly; be 'dasanudasas', the servants of the servants of the Lord. The service of man is the only means by which you can serve God.
192. THYAGARAJA said that, if he is armed with the Grace of Rama, the planetary missiles can never injure him. Purandaradasa, another great saint, asked, 'What are eyes for?' and answered the question himself, 'To visualise the Lord'. 'Eyes that do not yearn to see you, are black balls; ears that do not hear your praise, are narrow mountain caves where jackals live; and the tongue that does not relish the repetition of your Name, can only croak like a frog', says Purandaradasa.
193. ALL who come embodied are Avatars, that is to say, advents of the Divine, Manifestations of God. What then is the special feature of Rama, Krishna, Buddha and Christ? Why do you celebrate their Birthdays with such reverential enthusiasm? The specialty is this: they are Aware; you are unaware of the Atma which is the Truth. Awareness confers Grace, Glory, Majesty, Might and Splendour. Awareness confers Liberation from bonds, time, space and causation, and sleep, dream and wakefulness. Avatars are ever alert, aware and alight.
194. THE name of God, if recited with love and faith, has that power. Once the mother of Agastya boasted that her son drank all the waters of the ocean; but the mother of Hanuman, who was there, said; 'Why go to that extent? My son leaped over it in a trice'. But there was the mother of Rama with them. She said, 'Your son leaped over the ocean, uttering my son's name. Without it, he was helpless'. The name has that overmastering power. It can bring unheard of and unimagined strength and courage.
195. FOR Namasmarana, no expense is involved; no materials are needed; there is no special place or time to be provided. No qualification of scholarship or caste or sex has to be proved. When a bit of iron is rubbed to and fro on a slab of stone, heat is generated; only the rubbing has to be vigorous and continuous. When you do so at intervals and with poor pressure, the iron will not get hot. So too, in order to get sufficient heat to melt the soft heart of the Lord, rub the name 'Ram', 'Ram', 'Ram', 'Ram' vigorously and unremittingly; then, the Lord will shower His Grace.
196. THIS is the best time to tell you something about the authenticity of this Advent. I only wish to communicate the Truth. There are many who can not bear or tolerate the Splendour that I am manifesting, the Divinity that is expressed in every act, the wonders and amazing happenings that are the result of Grace; these people label these as acts of mesmerism or miracles or feats of magic! They hope to bring these down in the estimation of people. Let me tell you this; mine is no mesmerism, miracle or magic. Mine is genuine DIVINE POWER.
197. LIFE sustained by food is short; life sustained by the Atma is eternal. Do not lay claim to long life; but to Divine life. Do not pine for more years on earth, but for more virtues in the heart. Buddha knew and made known to the World the Truth. Everything is grief. Everything is empty. Everything is brief. Everything is polluted. So the wise man has to do the duties cast upon him with discrimination, diligence and detachment. Play the role but keep your identity unaffected.
198. IN order to escape being tossed about on the waves of joy and grief, one should cultivate unconcern (upeksha), an attitude of welcoming either as a sign of Grace. Sri Ramakrishna said that if you must avoid the sticky fluid in the jack fruit from contacting your fingers when you peel it, you have to apply a few drops of oil on them. So, too, said he, 'If you do not want the World and its reactions to stick to you, have a few drops of unconcern applied on your mind'.
199. THE foundation for real peace is, according to the Vedas, the quality of Maithree. Maithree means amicability, friendship, compassion and, kindness. It can also be taken to mean 'My three', that is to say, my word, deed and thought shall be in accordance with words, thought and deed; that is to say, we shall speak, think and act together without friction or faction, in an atmosphere of love and understanding. That is what is wanted in the world today: My three.
200. ALL men are Mine; so the whole World has to be saved from the consequences of ignorance or limited knowledge. I will get all My people near Me, for they are Mine, and I am theirs. Then, I will start teaching and training them, until they become entirely ego-free. For the last 25 years, it has all been sweetness, kindness, soft persuasion; hereafter, it will be different. I will drag them, place them on the table and operate. That is to say, I have no anger or hate. I have only Love. It is Love that prompts Me to save them and to open their eyes, before they get deeper into the morass.
201. MAN alone can rise through effort to higher stages of spiritual evolution. No other animal can do so. Animal trainers of the Circus can train a tiger to perform various tricks, but they cannot change his nature. They cannot make it live on grass and completely deprive it of meat. But man is different. His nature can be changed by means of his own disciplined effort. He can control, by his will, the evil thoughts and ideas that arise in his mind. This is why birth as a human being is considered a rare gift.
202. FAITH in God will instill faith in themselves and in others and the World will be happier thereby. The Americans might walk on the moon, or the Russians picnic on the planet Mars, but they have both to return to Earth, which is their common home. One can claim genuine victory only when one has reached not the dead satellite, but the living star, not the Chandra, but Ramachandra, the Lord who rules over the inner satellites, the inner planets, the inner motives and aspirations.
203. LIFE is a jungle, where there is a great deal of dry wood which harbours worms and insects. No one cleans the floor of the forest or cuts away the undergrowth of bush and bramble. To wade through the thorns and the leech-ridden floor of the jungle, one has to wear boots. So too, one has to wear the boots of sense-regulation, if one has to pass through the jungle of life without harming oneself.
204. THERE are three desires which every 'I' cannot escape from. 'I must live' is the first. The will to live is overpowering and paramount. This is the urge for immortality. 'The desire to know' is the second. This too is unquenchable thirst and is an indication of the position of which the 'I' is the inheritor. 'The desire for joy' is the third, prompting man behind the senses into the outer World for pleasures. This evidence shows that deep in the core of the 'I' there is a spring of 'Ananda' which seeks its mate and its fulfillment.
205. THERE is no Vidya which our students are not proficient in. They develop all the virtues and they saturate every act of theirs, including their skills and studies, with those high and pure qualities. To demonstrate that this process will yield joy, peace and prosperity, I have these students as My instruments. They would themselves act as ideals. They are the source of My delight and they sustain My hopes. (They are My 'Aasaya', My 'Ananda' and my 'Ahaara') These students, and those of the same stamp are the pioneers in My task of mending the present World and ushering in a new World.
206. PARENTS set bad examples uttering falsehood, scandalizing others, gambling, drinking, behaving violently, inflicting injury, becoming addicted to nightclubs, pictures and drinking parties and quarreling after arriving home past midnight. How can children, used to such low sights and sounds, learn to become bright fresh fragrant flowers of the Sanathana Garden of India?
207. THE student of today is not able to realise what he should primarily be concerned with. It is only in name that he is a 'Vidyarthi', the seeker of knowledge. In practice he is only a 'Vishayarthi', a seeker of worldly pleasures. It is the duty of every human being to understand and respect his parents. Similarly, in a nation, it is the duty of every national to assimilate and appreciate the historical and cultural background of his nation and consider these two factors as his father and mother. In fact, one who is ignorant of the historical and cultural heritage of his country is like a stupid person who has no knowledge of his parents.
208. TODAY the student-world is tossed in confusion; not only in confusion but in downright insanity. They wear white clothing; but the hearts are still dark. Heads are full of evil thoughts Ears are open for scandal-tales, Eyes delight in peeping unseen; Minds crave for wicked plots; Reason pursues plan to cheat. When Vidya perceives these in man, It will not stay a moment there. When this is the condition, how can one earn Vidya? Of course, man's present situation and status are determined by his acts and thoughts in the past.
209. SAMSKRITI the word for culture and civilization is derived from the word samskara, which means the dual process of removing the dust and dirt of vice, and planting the virtues of Sathya, Dharma, Shanti and Prema. Samskara is also the name for certain obligatory rites of initiation and purification prescribed by the Vedas for the spiritual upliftment of man. Their number is forty-eight in all, but they could be reduced to ten and if needed, even to one; the final fulfilling one, of recognising one's identity with Madhava, Siva, or Brahman. Nara is but Narayana seen through the limitations of primal ignorance.
210. AN Iron box is essential to keep safe precious stones; so too, the body is essential to keep safe the precious gift of virtue, faith, love and discrimination. The parents gave it and so they have to be respected by speech, action and behaviour. How can you expect the Heavenly Father to respond to your prayers if you do not respond to the demands of the earthly Father? The first step in Dharma is gratitude; the first duty of the child is reverence to the parents. When the first step is absent, ascent is impossible.
211. IF a school has poor discipline and if its students are led away by self-seekers into the wilderness, the fault lies on the parents, elders and the Committee of Management. The Committee often is only a 'Come-for-Tea' affair.
212. HOWEVER superfine the paper, however artistic the envelope and however poetic the composition of the letter, it will not reach the addressee by post when it lacks the 50 paise stamp! So too the trappings, vestures, shawls, moles and rosaries are ineffective; they cannot reach the addressee - God. What will take their prayers to the addressee is the 50 paise stamp: dedication or Bhakti.
213. I WANT each one of you to grow into a strong, steady and straight person. Your eyes should not seek evil sights; your ears should not seek evil tales; your tongue should not seek evil speech; your hands should not seek evil acts; your minds should not seek evil thoughts. Be pure and be full of Love. Help those who are in a worse condition and serve those who need your help.
214. GOD appears in human form; He promotes pasture of cattle and agriculture in order that the food must sustain the Head and render it intelligent and clear enough to realise God. The body has to be nourished for the sake of the Head, so that 'Gnana' can be attained and Liberation gained. Food-Head-God: this is the chain of events.
215. MOST of the names of the Divine have but two letters or syllables; the significance of the number two, Rama, Krishna, Hara, Hari, Datta, Sakti, Kali etc., is that the first syllable represents Agni (Fire principle), which burns up accumulated demerit or sin; and the second represents the Amritha principle, the restorative, refreshing and the reformation force. The two processes are necessary for the removal of obstructions and the construction of the structure.
216. WHEN you live in the World of desire, you must be prepared for both Joy and Grief. Invite the Minister Boga, and along with him you must be prepared for the visit of his Private Secretary Roga! On the other hand, invite the Minister Thyaga or his colleague Yoga, and you will be happy to receive their Private Secretary Boga who plays a minor role in the presence of his Master.
217. MAAM anusmara - with Me in memory ever! Do not distinguish this task as Bhajan, or Bhojan (eating) or Pujan (adoration of God). All acts are Pujan, for food is given by Him, eaten by Him, for His sake to yield strength for His work. Each moment is worthwhile, for He gives it; He uses it; He fills it; He fashions it; and He fulfills it. When He is fused with every breath, you can achieve the sovereign task of merging in Him.
218. BHAKTI is not to be calculated on the basis of the institutions one has started or helped, the temples that one has built or renovated, the donations one has given away; nor does it depend on the number of times one has written the Name of the Lord or on the time and energy one has spent in the worship of the Lord. These are not vital at all; no, not even secondary. Bhakti is Prema, unsullied by any tinge of desire for the benefit that flows from it or the fruit of consequence of that Love.
219. GOD is as eager to save you as you are eager to be saved; He is Prema, He is Karuna, for all who flounder on the road. He is called 'Bhakta - Abhista - Prada' (He who grants the desires of the Devotees). You say that I laugh within Myself, that I roll my hair on My fingers and draw them right over My face, but let me say why? A sign of My 'Ananda' is the success of the Bhaktas in capturing My heart.
220. THE human body has been secured as a reward for many lives of meritorious activity. Being valued as a boat which can help us cross the ocean of change 'Samsara', it has to be tended with grateful reverence. The Baghavad Gita calls the body 'Kshetra', which means 'a field'; one can sow holiness or sin and gather a harvest commensurate with the particular quality. Choose the crop that you need before you sow the seeds.
221. THE bird, in the physical cage wherein man is imprisoned, is always, from the moment of birth to the moment of death, chirping 'Soham' declaring 'Jiva and Deva are One'. It is this affirmation that is the justification for the gift of life. When that chirp does not emanate from the breath, the body is a corpse: Savam! When it manifests, illumines and fills the cage with the 'Divine Fragrance', it is a Tabernacle: Sivam! Identify yourselves with the Manthra, the bird chirps and the breath repeats.
222. THE Vedavids marked three stages in the Life of man and assigned one aspect of God to preside over each stage. The first, where man is deep in activity of some sort or other in Karma, is presided over by Vasu. The second, under the protection of Rudra, is filled with reverential worship of the God in all, discovered through the impact of Love. The third is the stage of Gnana, the supreme Wisdom, presided over by the Source of illumination, Aditya or the Sun.
223. THE World is a furnace and a factory where man has to shape his destiny by his honest, untiring effort. He, who takes up this challenge and spends his allotted years and the skills and intelligence with which he is endowed, in purposeful activity, is really entitled to the status of a KARMA YOGI.
224. DUTY is God; Work is Worship; and there is a dictum: 'Heads in the Forest; Hands in Society'; Do deeds that are holy and beneficial, untarnished by ego and the greed to benefit. Start on the sacred pilgrimage to the Divine Goal and make every minute of your life holy and purposeful. Then surely, this Earth, your field of work, will be transformed into a Karmakshetra and a Dharmakshetra.
225. A DEVOTEE once lamented, saying, 'Oh God! you have forgotten me'! This is never possible; it is the devotee who forgets that he is the child of God, that God is his never failing friend and guide. God is all knowledge, all power, and all mercy. Faith in God has to be constant and firm in the face of every challenge by fate or fortune.
226. A PERSON might appear poor, distressed, and depressed to ordinary mortals; he might not have the exterior demonstration of devotion, but God could be ever installed in his heart, guiding and guarding him. He might be doing all acts as acts of worship to the God residing in his heart.
227. WE, who are crossing the ocean of Samsara (the chain of birth and death), need to cultivate the art of swimming through 'Bhagavath Chinthana' (Meditation of God). However learned we may be, if we do not have this training and cultivation, we are bound to sink. Life is a boat which enables us to cross the ocean of Samsara with the aid of Meditation on God.
228. WHEN you spend your hours in thoughts about God, you are also free from evil ways. You will not be tempted to abuse others or harm them in any way. You live in Love, accepting all the events as His gifts. Homes such as yours are, really speaking, Heavens on earth; the Joy that bubbles in your hearts is the symbol of Vaikunta; the earnestness and care that you evince in your work is the sign of Kailas, the abode of Siva. Hearts dedicated to these ideals are indeed 'golden'.
229. WE cannot describe God in the vocabulary learnt upon the Earth. We have to experience the Bliss of realising Him as the core of our being. Man is endowed with a sense of wonder and awe, the sense which makes him either a participant (Karma Yoga), an inquirer into the mystery (Gnana Yoga) or a devout adorer (Bakthi Yoga).
230. EVERYDAY before you begin work, pray to God for a few minutes at least; and, at the end of the day, when the work is over, gather in some consecrated spot, a temple or mandir and offer grateful thanks to the Lord, singing His name and meditating on His Majesty. That will make you real Karma Yogins, even heroes of the Karma Path.
231. ONE does not have to search for spiritual power, going around the World and spending a lot of money. Be in your own house, develop it in yourself, such spiritual power in you! You do not have to run for it here and there. God is not external; God is not outside you; God is inside you. You are not a man, you are God yourself. You are not one person, but three; the one you think you are (physical); the one others think you are (mental); and the one you really are. Do not be under the delusion that God is somewhere and you have to search for Him; God is in you.
232. PARENTS and teachers can earn My Grace only by becoming good and worthy examples to their sons and daughters, or their wards and students. You claim to have devotion to Me, but you must examine and discover whether I am pleased with you. You must examine yourselves every moment, whether you are observing the discipline I have laid down and the program of service I have marked out. That is the way to earn My Love. Love others and serve them; then you can win My Love.
233. YOU will see the day when the Chitravati sands alone cannot accommodate the gatherings that assemble here from all parts of the World; when the sky alone can provide a roof for them all. Many hesitate to believe that things will improve, that life for all will be happy and full of joy, that the Golden Age will ever recur. Let me assure you that this Dharmaswarupa has not come in vain; it will succeed in averting the crisis that has come upon Humanity.
234. WHEN the Dharma of the Age is laid aside to establish it anew, through loving means; when the World is polluted by conflict and confusion, to restore the path of virtue and peace; when good men caught in cruel coils wail, to save them from pain and shame; when sacred texts are not grasped aright, to proclaim the message they teach mankind; to relieve the earth of the burden of Vice, to fulfill the promise made in the Tretha Age; Achutha has incarnated on this earth; Vasudeva, Srihari, has come into the World.
235. GOD alone is eternal; man is a momentary flash, a tiny wave that rises and falls. So, fill yourselves with vast thoughts, magnificent ideas, indefinable splendour, by reciting the names of God, names that describe HIM to your receptive Consciousness. That is the main discipline for this Age.
236. REMEMBERING the Lord by means of His name is enough to save man. The Lord is 'Anandamaya'; He is also 'Ananda'. That 'Ananda' is to be tasted through the Name. It is 'Sath-Chith-Ananda'. You may doubt whether such a small raft as Rama, or Sai or Krishna can take you across the boundless sea of Samsara. People cross vast oceans on a tiny raft; they are able to walk through dark jungles with a tiny lamp in their hands. The name or even the Pranava ,which is smaller, has vast potentialities. The raft need not be as big as the sea!
237. DO not fret against the rules and regulations which the Organisation imposes on you; they are laid down for your own good. Regulation is the every essence of creation. The oceans observe their limits. Wind and fire respect their limits and bonds. The human body has to maintain its warmth at 98.4¯ F. in order to be healthy; the heart has to beat a definite number of times a minute. How, then, can this Organisation escape the prescription of certain rules and regulations?
238. THE same Divine compassion that blessed Dharma, saved Gajendra, restored Kuchela and stood by Prahalada, has come to the Earth as the Refuge of the refugees; as the Lord of Peace, Harmony and Righteousness; as the Lord of all the Worlds; as the Sath-Chith-Anandamurthi; and as the Puttaparthi Sathya Sai, Sath-Chakravarthi, the King of Kings.
239. THE Avatar is Atmasakthi that has put on the raiment of Kriyasakthi and Yogasakthi. Generally, Avatar or the process of Incarnation is described as a 'coming down' from a higher status to a lower one. But, no! When the baby in the cradle weeps, wails and clamours for help, the mother stoops and takes it up in her arms; her stoop is not to be described as a 'coming down'. If you earn the necessary credentials, the Incarnation will come and save you. If, on the other hand, you multiply your demerits and descend lower and lower, how can you be saved?
240. SAI only reflects your mind. He has no prejudices or preference. He is a mirror wherein you can see yourselves as you really are. In order to correct their mistakes and remove your faults, I sometimes have to use harsh words; but you may be rest assured that My sole aim is to turn you to better ways. I have no anger in Me. It is the inner compassion which takes the other form of anger.
241. YOU think that Sai Baba is comfortably sleeping in the Mandir. Do you know where I find happiness? I am happy when I am with you. That is the reason why I declare 'My Life is My Message'. I am consistently engaged in some work or another at all hours. I do not get attached to anything nor do I need to detach Myself from anything. I am ever in full Ananda.
242. EGOISM is a thorny bush which, when planted and fostered in one's heart, makes one pay the penalty. Egoism makes enemies of fast friends and rains many good causes and projects, for it does not allow two good men to work together. Grief follows it like a shadow. Where there is no ego - joy, peace, courage, cooperation and love flourish. When man is aware that the same Divine consciousness that motivates him is equally motivating all others, then Love ousts the ego into the background and takes charge of man's activities, words and thoughts.
243. OVERCOME by inner foes, how can man succeed in overwhelming the outer foes? Burdened with sloth and dullness, how can he achieve wisdom? Prompted by passion, how can he cultivate devotion? Balance and equanimity alone can confer peace and harmony.
244. NARA and Narayana, man and God, are like iron and magnet. God, by His very nature, attracts man near, for in man there is the Divine. When the magnet fails to attract the iron piece, we sometimes conclude that the magnet has lost its power. The real fact however is, that the piece of iron is too thickly covered by rust and dust. Thus, man (the iron) does not realise his own defect, but rushes to blame God (the magnet) and even to deny Him.
245. REVERE Jnana as you revere your father; adore love as you adore your mother; move fondly with Dharma, as if it is your own brother; confide in Daya, as if it is your dearest friend; have 'Shantam' as your better half; treat 'Sahana', fortitude, as if it is your own beloved son. These are your genuine kith and kin. Move with them; do not forsake or neglect them.
246. HOLD all your property and wealth in trust for the Lord who gave them to you; even your family you must treat as a sacred trust, as persons given to you by the Lord to love, foster and guide. Thus, you must elevate your attachment into worship and make it an instrument for spiritual progress.
247. YOU come to Puttaparthi, secure a picture, and taking it home, begin worshipping it every day or every Thursday; but, all that is simply 'Sathkarma', good activity. They will not take you far. You must also develop 'Sathguna', virtues, good habits, good attitudes, good characteristics and a good character. Otherwise, our life is a chain of pluses and minuses, one canceling the other out, totaling up to a mere zero.
248. DEVOTION towards God goes ill with hatred towards fellow-men. Fellow-men and the World must be seen ever in the mirror of 'Sath-Chith-Ananda'. Kinship based on this recognition alone will last. That is the Sai kinship. When you deepen that kinship, the true presence, the constant presence of Sathya Sai will be yours. Do not be led, away by your fancies into the jungle of words and feelings. Be firm, true to your inner-most nature.
249. THERE are many Trusts operating in this country and in others beyond the seas. I wish to emphasis that the Sathya Sai Trusts have to shine forth among them all by their special characteristics. They must be based on mutual trust and cooperation built on the actual experience of the One-ness of all. There is no room here for egoistic poses, compulsory tactics, greed for power, recrimination and jealousy.
250. GOD too is a reality, ever present in us and in every being; but we miss Him, as we miss the movement of the earth. We have to infer God through proofs and evidences of His Providence, His grace, His Majesty and His Glory, just as we infer the movements of the Earth, the Moon and the Stars by watching the sky, the seasons and the precise procession of day and night. We cannot describe God in the vocabulary learnt on the earth.
251. HUMAN desire is illimitable and without end. It makes you pursue the mirage in the desert; it makes you build castles in the air; it breeds discontent and despair once you succumb to it. But develop the thirst for Krishna; you discover the cool-spring of Ananda within you. Krishna-nama makes you very strong and steady; it is sweet and sustaining.
252. SIVOHAM, Sivoham - was the exclamation that rose from the Souls that knew the Truth in a flash of illumination, after long years of cleansing the mind through the process of 'Tapas'. 'I am Siva, Siva am I'. Though called by many names and recognised in many forms, the Divine Principle is one, without a second. It is 'Sivam' and it is latent in each being, including Man.
253. THE serpent can be tamed and its poisonous fangs removed, when music from the Nagaswaram pipe is played and when it is fascinated by that sweet melody. The poison that Vishaya exerts on the human mind can also be eliminated and countermanded, when man is fascinated by the sweet melodies of NNamasmaranaor Sankeertan, that is to say, by the repetitive chanting of the meaningful Names of the Lord. The poison in both can thus be transmuted into pure nectar.
254. SCRIPTURES are endless; Sadhanas are countless; opportunities are few; time is already overstocked. But you can easily win the battle of life, in spite of these handicaps, provided you arm yourself with Love, which is the essential teaching of all Scriptures, the goal of all varieties of Sadhana, the best use to which all opportunities can be put and the most profitable way of utilising the precious capital time.
255. IMAGINE the fate of the cows when a tiger enters the manger. Can they survive the invasion? So too, the cows of Truth, Justice, Peace and Love cannot survive in the human heart when the 'Tigers', namely Greed, Anger and Pride enter and play havoc. Today, the human heart, especially the heart of the educated man, has become the lair of wild desires and cruel habits.
256. THE day when devotees sing songs in praise of the Lord and please the ear; The day when sorrows of the poor recur and men move closer as brothers born; The day when servants of God are fed with Love and Care in thankfulness; The day when a Great One comes to us and relates thrilling tales of God; these indeed are worthwhile days. The rest are like days dedicated to obsequies for the dead.
257. DO not consider any act of service as demeaning. Sweeping the streets, for example, is not below your dignity. Do you not sweep the floor of your homes? Do you not scrub and wash off dirt? When you undertake such tasks, the villagers will also gladly share in them. Why feel ashamed to be good? The ridicule that may be cast on you has been the reward of many Saints. It will soon fade away. Mohammed was driven out of Mecca by those who could not appreciate his teachings. Jesus was crucified. But their names resound in reverence in the hearts of millions.
258. ISAA Vaasym Idam Sarvam, all this is enveloped by God; all this is soaked in God and saturated with God. Everything is the substance of God. In fact the best teacher is one's own heart. Time is the best preceptor and awakener; the World is the best scripture; God is the best friend for man. So there is no need to wander in search of a Guru. Man is of God, with and from God. The Cosmos is a bubble born in the Absolute. The human essence in man is Divine. The true Guru is not the human preceptor. Revere the World as Divine. All that is seen or heard is God. Revere the Universe as Guru.
259. I HAVE no sense of distinction between Bhaktas who worship this form or that. All can come near, all who crave for heat and light. The heat of this splendour will destroy the chill of sensual pleasure. The light will scatter the darkness of the ages. Cultivate Love and Prema towards all; that is the way to gain nearness. I do not measure distance in terms of meters or miles. The range of Love decides the distance for Me.
260. THE real aim of education must be to help the student discover the Divine in every being Saint Vemana says: Scholars study! study! study! But the fools know not what they are! Studying, studying, studying. The scholar is not free from vice nor has he become wise. Then why study these mean, mortal things? Study only that which is deathless. The most desirable subject for study is the Secret of the Soul which is Immortal.
261. SEVA is the adoration of the Lord, as 'Viswa-Virataswarupa' , as having the multifaceted form and immanence in the entire Universe. The Vedas describe Him as thousand-headed, thousand-eyed and thousand-footed. The thousands of hands and eyes and feet that have come here for the festivals are all His, the Lord's. Worship Him; that is the purpose of your Seva. And He is none else than your own self.
262. YOU must discover your identity; then only can you have peace. You are like a man who has forgotten his name; his address and his mission in life. Realise it and try to delve into yourself; so that you may know who you are. Then you get security and peace. Sharpen your intellect for this purpose; and cleanse your consciousness for this purpose through Sathsang, Japa, Dhyana, Namasmarana etc.
263. VALMIKI was a highway-robber who waylaid and killed hundreds without hesitation; he was the slave of passion and emotion; but when the seven-Sages, whom he waylaid one night, counseled patience, forbearance and self-enquiry, he turned heroically into the path of Ram (giving up the lure of Kam or Lust) and achieved immortality and immortal fame, as the narrator of Rama's story.
264. SCATTER the seeds of Love in dreary desert hearts; then the sprouts of Love will make the wastes green with joy; the blossom of Love will make the air fragrant; the river of Love will murmur along the valleys; and every bird, beast and child will sing the song of Love.
265. PRAYER is the very breath of Religion for it brings man and God together and with every sigh nearer and nearer. Dhyana is the process of listening to the Song Celestial, the Flute of Krishna, with the mental ears alert on the melody. Yoga is the merging of the Mind in the Bliss of self-forgetfulness when the music fills the Consciousness.
266. THE Primal Formless Absolute wedded Desire and the Mind was born. The Mind wedded two wives, Inner contemplation and Outer activity. The first gave birth to five sons; Sathya, Dharma, Shanthi, Prema and Ahimsa, the Five Pandava Brothers. Mind was infatuated more with the second wife, and so, gave birth to a 100, each one with a name indicative of badness and wickedness, the Kauravas. God was on the side of the Pandavas and they won.
267. THE Universe is seen; it can be learnt about; it can be experienced and enjoyed. But God is unseen. He has to be inferred through His handiwork. So too, Society to which social service is rendered, cannot be seen as such. We can contact only individuals. But through the individual, you infer the immanence of the Divine. All are actors on the World Stage, in His play. Every atom is surcharged with His Power, His Might and His Glory. Every being is surcharged with His Bliss, His beauty and His Goodness.
268. BE devoted to the Universal; be eager to become that. When you pray to God for a job, a son, or a prize, you are devoted not to God, but to the job, to the son and to the prize. Pray to God for God. Love, because it is your nature to Love, because you know nothing else and because you cannot act otherwise than Love. Expand yourself, take in all! Grow in Love.
269. HAVING an open heart, do not relish the narrow path of restricted love; love all, do not develop prejudices against men in power or position. They too are our kith and kin. We all sail together. Be convinced of one Truth about Me; Swami will never lay his hand on a task without proper reason and without some profound effect that will flow there from.
270. WHEN the Giver of Grace is here, you run after persons who claim that they got this or other article from Me or were blessed with this gift from Me. When you have Kamadhenu here, why seek to know and secure a cow? Kamadhenu can give you all that you need. When you have Kalpatharu here, why bother about the fruits on a tree? Kalpatharu can give you all that you ask. When you have here the mountain of Gold and Silver, Meru, why cringe for silver and gold from persons who are themselves beggars? When you have God come among you to support and sustain you, why grovel before crude vulgar entities?
271. MAN is equipped with a return-ticket when he takes birth. Holding it in his grasp, he earns and spends, rises and falls, sings and dances, weeps and wails, forgetting the end of the journey. But though he forgets, the wagon of life moves towards the cemetery which is its terminus. It brings no glory to man if he is tied helplessly to the wheel of birth and death. His glory and greatness consist in disentangling himself from that revolving wheel.
272. THE mind is the architect of your progress or decline. For the fool, the mind is a formidable dinosaur; for the intelligent, the mind is an angel. The trained mind is torn by fear; the pure elevated mind is placid and unruffled, like that of a homeless Sage. The Vedas teach how to purify the mind and render it into a useful tool.
273. INTELLECT alone can direct man in the path of discrimination, between the true path and the false; the proper and the improper. This is the reason why man has been praying since Ages, through the Gayathri 'hymn' 'Illumine me, prompt my intelligence, so that I may walk aright'.
274. SANKARA wrote a verse summarizing the advice he gave the poor struggling Brahmin house holder at Varanasi (Benares city): 'Bhaja Govindam, Bhaja Govindam, Bhaja Govindam, Moodha Mathe, Samprapthe Sannihithe Kaale Nahi Rakshathi Duakru Karane', Praise God, Praise God, Praise God, you fool, when death knocks at your door, rules of grammar cannot save you.
275. OF what avail is a car, a bank deposit, a bungalow in a posh extension of a city? If you have all these but no love in your heart, the heart becomes a dark deserted temple, where the bats of lust and anger breed in the everlasting night. Such hearts are foul, diseased with terror and error!
276. BIRDS, beasts and trees have not deviated from their nature; they are still holding it valid. Man alone has disfigured it, in his crude attempt to improve upon it. So, the Avatar has to come as Man among men, and move as friend, well-wisher, kinsman, guide, teacher, healer and participant among men. He has come to restore Dharma and when man follows Dharma, He is pleased and content.
277. GET up, place the rosary in its bag and engage yourselves in relieving distress; that is the true spiritual path. Do not waste all your years with stone images, pictures or idols, learn to see in every living vital active person the embodiment of all energy, all beauty, all beneficence, namely God. God is subtler than ether filling the smallest crevice with His Majesty. Know this and serve His manifestations, wherever you meet them.
278. CONTENTMENT is heaven; grief is hell; anger is the foe; calmness is the armour; and compassion is the comrade. You repeat Shanti three times, don't you? It is to encourage peace in the human, Godly and natural milieu in which you have to live; also to develop peace, in the body, mind and intellect.
279. ALL men have two constables ever with them; they are the symbols of his sentence of imprisonment. They are 'Abhiman' (sense of I) over 'Mamakar' (sense of Mine), the egoistic feeling and the pride of possession. Man is a prisoner of his senses so long as these two keep him under guard. Man strays away into misery and pain, because he loses the sense of value and runs after the temporary and the trivial. He ignores the voice of God which warns and guides from within; and he pays the penalty for the transgression.
280. AN act dedicated as an offering to the God, resident in all, becomes as sacred as the highest Seva, that is why Avatars happen; hence, when you offer Seva to mankind, the Avatar will naturally be pleased and you can win Grace.
281. THE individual born in the lake of Society must swim and float in the calm waters, and joining the River of Progress, merge in the Ocean of Grace. Man has to move from the stance of 'I' to the position of 'We'. This day we see only the wild dance of ego-stricken individuals, who hate Society and behave most unsocially.
282. THE call of the Divine echoes in every heart; it provokes the reaction of awe, reverence, affection, love and sacrifice all ingredients of Bhakti. It translates itself into acts of worship, of praise, of adoration and of rituals symbolizing the Majesty of God. Thus, the Mind gets saturated with Divine thoughts. It is recast in the Divine Mould until the flow of 'Ananda' becomes unabated.
283. GOD first; the World next, myself last! That is the legitimate sequence for the Sadhaka; and who is not a Sadhaka? You have to be one, now or later, so that you can be liberated from this cycle of birth-death! Now, man in his callousness towards his own welfare, has turned it topsy-turvy! It is myself first, the world next, and God is last. So, God is lost too! Hold fast to God; then you will be safe.
284. MY activities are not for publicity or propaganda or even to confer joy on others! They are for conferring joy primarily on me! I have no need to please others and to earn approval or appreciation. For I and you are not distinct entities; you are I; and I am you. I am the current that flows into every bulk and illumines it. Those who see me as separate are seeing falsehood. I am in your hearts; you are in Mine. Don't be misled into doubt and distress. Dogs may bark and jackals howl; but Truth moves majestically forward.
285. THERE is only one God and He is Omnipresent, True. But to concentrate on the Omnipresent, some fixed point or preliminary form is needed. And to conceive of the Divine as present everywhere at all times, the mind of man is to be clarified and purified by means of a certain psychological process called Sadhana.
286. REMEMBER, God is your guardian, when you sleep; when you are helpless; even when you have forgotten or neglected or discarded Him. He has no need for the things you offer or promise to offer. He is ever content, ever blissful, ever full and ever free. Do your duty to yourself - that is enough offering for Him.
287. MAN must first decide, after vigorous self-examination and continuous discrimination, the path that he wishes to traverse. Moksha or Liberation means the removal of the bonds of Ignorance that could hide the Truth and create a mirage of the Truth. In fact, living is only another name of the process of achieving alternate misery and happiness, hunger and contentment, illness and health, desires and fulfillment.
288. THE Sai Religion is the harmonious blending though Love of all Religions, though some followers of other Faiths feel that the Sai Religion is contrary to theirs. We should not entertain similar feelings. Ours is the Totality, the Sum; we should not limit or restrict our Vision.
289. YOU may have vast scholarship, fame and fortune. But the bee can give you a lesson on how to be free from torment. The tree can teach you forbearance and tolerance. It offers a shade to all, irrespective of age, sex or religion, nationality or status. It helps with fruit and shade even to the foe who lays his ax on its trunk! The dog can teach you a lesson in Faith, Selfless Service and the process of Dedication.
290. FORM small Sathsangas and meet regularly for Bhajans and mutual consultation about spiritual matters. Read some fine spiritual classics like Bhagavatha. Fill your eyes with the Beauty of His form, your ears with the story of His Leelas, and your hearts with the sweetness of His Glory; inspire yourselves by seeing Him everywhere. Think of His Immanence in every hill and dale, every man and beast, every tree, bird and insect. You will be really thrilled by the joy of that Vision.
291. MAN is daily growing more and more greedy to know more about the lives of others, more extrovert in fact. He wants to escape from himself by interesting himself in others. He does not want to worry about the details of his own life or the problems of his own rehabilitation. Of what benefit is all this burden of information that you seek to carry in your head, this knowledge of the various regions of the world without a knowledge of the region of your own self, the centre of all the interest that you evince?
292. REMEMBER, you cannot have the 'Anubhava' and the 'Ananda' first. And you cannot postpone Faith until you get them. You cannot bargain: Give me Ananda and then I shall have Faith; See the Purushothama in all Purushas. Purusha means: he who lives in the rural or port-city or town. Each one of us is the resident and the sole resident of a distinct house of God. But, the Purushothama, the Supreme Resident in all the cities, is God. You can recognise the Purushothama, if you educate yourselves properly.
293. EVERYDAY, when you take food you are offering eatables to the fire that God has put in you to digest food. You have to eat in a prayerful mode, in profound gratitude. The Gita says that the fire which cooked the meal is God; the meal is God; the eater is God; the purpose of eating is to carry on the work entrusted by God or pleasing to God; and the fruit of that work is progress towards God.
294. PREMA must grow with every moment of Sadhana. It must sweeten every word, deed and thought of yours. Emerge from Dhyana as a person more charged with Love! Emerge from Bhajan with a greater measure of Love! Return from Nagarsankirtan with a firmer conviction that everything is surcharged with the same Divinity that is behind all your activity.
295. THE beauty of Nature is but a reflection of the Beauty that is God. But like all images, it is not substantial. Flowers fade, clouds scatter into new patterns, physical charm is but a flash that disappears in a moment - but Divine Beauty is eternal, full and free. That Sundaram is Sathyam, unaffected by the passage of time, unchanging with the location; that Sundaram is the real Shivam, the only Good that is. Pursuing petty physical beauty leads man astray; it is as calamitous as the pursuit of trivial joy.
296. YOU must all study the Gita daily. Read a few slokas and meditate on the meaning yourself; it will dawn on you in the silence of your heart. You need not read elaborate commentaries. Each word in the Gita is a gem. No more do you need gemstones for the ear, the nose, and the neck; have the gem of the Gita slokas in your heart; let them activate your intellect and your hands.
297. WE shall act ever as if we are in the presence of God, as if God is watching and weighing every thought, word and deed. See yourselves in all; See all in yourselves; that is the road to lasting peace and joy. Let us not seek the outer empire; let us become the rulers of the inner empire. Let us not try to defy the outer enemy, leaving the inner foe to grow in striking power. We have Krishna with us, and so, who can defeat us? We shall win through winning His Grace.
298. YOU may be in the Prasanthi Nilayam area for 20 or 25 years. But you worry more about physical needs and comforts than Japam and Dhyanam; the waving of the camphor flame at the end of the Bhajan sessions is to remind you that your sensual craving must be burnt away without leaving any trace behind, and you must offer yourself to God for being merged with His Glory.
299. THE Gayathri Manthram is a Universal Prayer that can be used by men of all climes and creeds, for it calls upon the Glorious Power that pervades the Sun and the three Worlds to arouse, awaken and strengthen the Intelligence, so that it may lead to intense Sadhana; and Sadhana may lead to success.
300. VINAYAKA CHATHURTHI DAY
GANAPATHY is described as 'Buddhi Vinayaka' and 'Siddhi Vinayaka' (Vinayaka the Wise and Vinayaka the Accomplished). 'Vinayaka' means the Ganas, hence He is called Ganapathy. Man is confronted with many obstacles (Vighnas) in the journey of life. Prayers are offered to Vigneswara - for removing obstacles and impediments. He is the Deity to whom worship is offered first in any ritual. Because of the acute intelligence He displayed, Vinayaka was made Head of the Ganas by Parameswara.
301. HAPPINESS and peace do not follow when man is fed well, clothed well, housed well and educated up to a good standard and employed under comfortable conditions with no injury to health or security. There are many who have all these in plenty but who are still worried or in pain or discontented. They depend on the inner equipment of man, not on his outer skill or riches.
302. SPEND the allotted span of years in the contemplation and the adoration of the Almighty, not in servile praise of the feeble, the futile and the weak. Life is an opportunity afforded to each, not to eat and drink, but to achieve something nobler and grander; to master oneself and merge in the Reality.
303. A PERSON being transferred from one goal to another will have two Constables who will escort him. The 'Punya' and the 'Papa' (good consequences and bad consequences of actions) are the Constables who lead man from one birth to another. You must escape from their attention and avoid migration from one goal to another; act - but do not calculate the consequences. That is to say, do not worry about the consequence; leave it to God who prompted the act and made it possible. Dedicate the act, the will, and the wish, all to God.
304. IT takes time for a fruit to mature and acquire sweetness and become eatable; time is a prime factor for most good fortunes. Make full use of Me, that is all I ask of you. I have at no time any feeling of separateness. I invite all to come and know and derive benefit from Me. Dive and know the depth; watch and discriminate; eat and know the taste - I long for people who do that.
305. SARVAM Vishnu mayam jagath: the Universe is saturated with Divinity; there is nothing here which is not HE; ISAA VAASYAM IDAM SARVAM. He is the base and the superstructure, the material and the manner, the inner motive and the outer movement. The body is the temple of the Lord; the atmosphere of this temple is by its very nature filled with Love for all beings. But man, overpowered by egoism, fouls it with envy and greed and so it festers with disease and distress.
306. THERE are some who always condemn themselves and their lives and aspire for the Grace of God to save them. Jiva and Deva are two separate entities and never can they merge or unite, they declare. The obvious is very often untrue. Sin is not the real nature of man; it is acquired and can be shed. Man is pure, good, loving and wise. That is why in the Nilayam, I have stopped people from reciting slokas which proclaim man as sinful, born in sin, reveling in sin, etc., Let the purity, which you are, get manifested; endeavour to express it in your activities; that is what pleases me and wins my Grace.
307. I AM telling you this, because it is a forecast of what you can expect in the coming days. I have been declaring since six or seven years that the day, when millions will gather to benefit from the Avatar, is fast coming; I am advising you to garner and treasure all the Grace and all the Bliss you can, while you may, so that you can sustain yourselves ruminating on the sweetness of the memories and the experience.
308. IF you live on the level of the Body and the Individual, you will be entangled in food, fun and frolic, ease, envy and pride. Forget it, ignore it, overcome it. You will have peace, joy and calm. In the Divine Path, there is no chance of failure; it is the Path of Love.
309. WE have to pay attention to the plans that intelligence dictates, not to the external signs of orthodoxy. A person may appear strictly orthodox, but his heart may be filled with the poison of hatred and envy. Has he realised that God is the God of all, that He is present in every being 'Sahasraseersha, Sahasraksha, Sahasrapaad', (thousand headed, thousand eyed, thousand legged) as He is?
310. WHEN Avatars come, they choose the time and the place, clan and the family, and they decide and bring the comrades and the coworkers. When Rama came, Sesha, Sankha, Chakra and other inseparable adjuncts of the Lord also incarnated; they also came down in order to taste the sweetness of the Lord's company and service. Rohini, under which Krishna was born, is related to the attainment of Yogic success and the powers that flow from it.
311. PUNARVASU, the star under which Rama was born, has a mysterious influence on the authority which accepts all who submit to the 'Saranagatha-Thrana' aspect of Rama's glory.
312. HOW can darkness conquer or stand up to light? Krishna is 'Premaswarupa' and He can be won over only by 'Prema'. Audacity cannot approach Him. Actors in films, however, correct their accouterments (equipment) and intonation; they can never be the Real. Not even the biggest Scientist can understand Me by means of the categories to which he is accustomed. I always smile at those who deride Me and even those who praise Me. I am always full of 'Santhosh', whatever may happen. Nothing can come in the way of My smile. Derision and Calumny only tend to make it grow better and happier.
313. THREE disciplines are essential, to become aware of Divinity in all and in the Avatar. No activity should be taken up with individual aggrandizement in view; intellectual emotion must be directed to the revelation of the Resident in the Heart, Atma. Every act should be done sincerely, with love, with no yearning for acquiring personal profit, fame or benefit. Above all, listen to the voice of God within. As soon as one contemplates a wrong act, that voice warns, protests and advises giving up.
314. ONAM FESTIVAL
ONAM is the Festival of the Vamana's advent as well as Bali's Transformation. Emperor Bali was both humiliated and blessed by God Vamana, the Emperor of the Three Worlds. Bali was saturated with egoism. God came to him in the guise of a Brahmin boy and asked for a gift of just three-foot measures of land. The Preceptor of Bali warned him about the identity and bona fide of the strange mendicant who was God Himself. Vamana drew Himself up to Cosmic proportions and measured the entire earth with one foot and the vast expanse of space with another foot. Bali offered his own head as the third foot-measure and went into the Nether World. Vamana taught that Pride meets with doom. He permitted Bali every year on Onam day to receive the homage of the people.
ONAM is the Festival which instills a Divine Message into those who observe it with an eye on its inner significance. Kerala has contributed a great deal to the preservation of Vedic Culture and Sanskrit learning. Keralites have a name for faith and dedication. Witness the age-old privilege the Nambudris of Kerala enjoy as priests of the great Vaishnavite shrine thousands of miles away from their land, namely Badrinath, among the Himalayas.
316. MANY people think that Concentration is the same thing as Meditation, but there is no such connection between Concentration and Meditation. Concentration is something which is below your senses, whereas Meditation is something which is above your senses. But many are under the false impression that concentration is identical with Meditation and they take to a wrong path. Concentration is something which we use involuntarily in our daily, normal routine life.
317. TO many it may appear strange that in this Anandalaya (Abode of Bliss) there exists an Arogya Nilaya (Abode of Health) or Hospital. They may wonder why prominence is given to bodily health, in a place that is dedicated to the health of the Spirit. But for attaining the four aims of Human life, Dharma (Righteousness), Artha (Prosperity), Kama (Fulfillment of Desires) and Moksha (Liberation from Bondage), the basic requirement is health of the body and the mind.
318. IT is enough if Prema is cultivated, the Prema that knows no distinction between oneself and another, because all are but limbs of One corpus of God Almighty. Through Love alone can the Embodiment of Love be gained. Here, no scholarship is needed; in fact, scholarship will be an impediment for it caters to egoism and it breeds doubts and the desire for disputation and laurel of victory over others preening themselves as learned.
319. IT is a national disgrace if the sons and daughters of India (which was for centuries the Light of Asia and the Guru of the West) grope in the dark, blinded by the scintillations of the scientific inventions of the West. But Peace does not drop from outer space! It springs from the heart within.
320. THE Himalayas, which form the bastion of Bharath, are the symbols of might and majesty; they remind us of the Purity that we should develop in ourselves; they teach us that we should be as firm, as unshaken as the snow clad peaks, as unaffected by the noise and turmoil of the bazaars of mankind.
321. BETWEEN Concentration and Meditation, there is a border area which covers both and that is the area of Contemplation. To be in that area of Contemplation is to free yourself of worldly attachments. If you break away all the worldly attachments - all the routine attachments in the World - then you enter the region of Contemplation. When you have completely broken away all your attachments, you break through this area of Contemplation and you get into the area of Meditation.
322. THE ultimate step of Self-realisation depends upon the base of Self-confidence. You must therefore develop as a first step Confidence in your own self. Without having and developing Confidence in your own self, if all the time you are talking of some power being with someone else, if in this way you travel all the time and depend upon a power which is with someone else, when are YOU going to acquire any power and confidence in your own self?
323. EVEN when Divinity comes down as Avatar, man is unable to pierce the veil and revere the Divine. Lord Krishna says that people are unable to recognise the Divinity that is He, because they deem Him to be merely human. Only those who are aware of the current within, the Atma, can identify the Source of Power before them.
324. ONE of the first principles of straight living is: Practice Silence. For the Voice of God can be heard in the region of your heart only when the tongue is stilled, the storm is stilled and the waves are calm. There will be no temptation for others to shout when you talk to them in whispers. Set the level of the tone yourself; as low as possible, as high as necessary to reach the outermost boundary of the circle you are addressing. Conserve sound since it is the treasure of the element Akasa, an emanation from God Himself.
325. WHAT is a School for? To make man human. Man has in him certain specific attributes which have to be developed and fostered, so that he can rise up to his full stature. If these are ignored or allowed to lie fallow, he exists at the animal level only. Discipline alone can make him grow into his heritage. The animal can be transformed by training to behave like a man.
326. I LIKE simplicity, I like a dress that will not discourage people from approaching you for a kind word, a bit of service, a helping hand. It must be clean and decent; not outlandish and queer. It should not be worn to attract attention. Just as you desire to wear clean comfortable clothes for the body, desire also clean, consoling exercises for the mind, like 'Japam' and 'Dhyanam'.
327. MAN is flying to the Moon and diving into the Sea; but he does not know how to live on Earth with his fellow men in Love and Peace. He moves towards the Moon for fear others may reach there before him and dives through the Sea to strike terror, himself terrified of others! The way to live without fear or causing fear is laid down in the Gita, the very first Sloka which is about Dharmakshetra!
328. IF one's passions and emotions have come under control of his higher nature, then the Lord will assume responsibility for his progress towards Him. Otherwise, he will have to wait. Do not think that you have no Natha or Guardian. God is the only 'Anatha' - Guardianless Person. All the rest have Him as the Natha or Guardian. He is ever beside Man, within him as Conscience, without him as Companion and Guide.
329. DO not lay the blame on Godhead, as you are prone to do. When everything goes right you say that God has come close to you; when something goes wrong you say that God has deserted you and gone far away! He does not move far or near. The distance from Him to you is as much as the distance from you to Him. He is everywhere. He is always in your heart. Recognise Him there; realise Him as closest and nearest to you. He is your own self, neither terrible nor tender, but simply IS.
330. YOU cannot be fresh and feeling fine wearing a washed vest under an unwashed shirt, or an unwashed vest under a washed shirt. Both have to be clean to provide the sense of tingling joy. So too, outer and inner cleanliness is but the reflection of the inner achievement. There is a strange glow on the face of a guideless person. Inner cleanliness has its own soap and water - the soap of strong faith and the water of constant practice.
331. REASON can prevail only when arguments are advanced without the whipping of the Sound. Silence is the speech of the Spiritual Seeker. Soft sweet Speech is the expression of genuine Love. Hate screeches; Fear squeals; Conceit trumpets, but Love sings lullabies, it soothes, it applies balm. Practice the Vocabulary of Love; Unlearn the language of hate and contempt.
332. THE true aspirant will have a reverent attitude to the duty he is bound to. He will carry out every task assigned to him as if it is an act of worship, by which the Lord will be pleased and through which he can approach the pedestal of God. Duty is God; Work is Worship--that is the motto.
333. WORSHIP is not a uniform to be put on and off at stated hours of the day. Render every thought into a flower worthy to be held in His Fingers; render every deed into a fruit, full of the sweet juice of Love fit to be placed in His Hand; render every tear holy and pure, fit to wash His Lotus Feet.
334. NOW I must tell you, that during this Sai Avatar, there is no place for a 'drama' with scenes of failures and defeats! What I will, must take place; what I plan must succeed. I am Truth; and Truth has no need to hesitate, fear or bend.
335. DO not attempt to know Me through the external eyes. When you go to a temple and stand before the Image of God, you pray with closed eyes, don't you? Why? Because you feel the Inner Eye of Wisdom alone can reveal Him to you. Therefore do not crave for the trivial material objects; but crave for Me and you will be rewarded.
336. I SHALL tell you why I give these rings, talismans, rosaries, etc. It is to signalize the bond between Me and those to whom they are given. When 'calamity befalls them, the article comes to Me in a flash and returns in a flash taking from Me the remedial Grace of protection. The Grace is available to all who call on Me in any Name or Form, not merely to those who wear these gifts. Love is the bond that wins Grace.
337. I HAD to tell you so much about My Truth, for I desire that you should contemplate on this and derive joy from the reform, so that you may be inspired to observe the disciplines laid down by Me and progress towards the Goal of Self-realisation, the Realisation of the Sai that shines in your hearts.
338. IF each one does his duty in the spirit of dedication, the Light can illumine all, but if the doors of the heart are shut against the Light, how can darkness disappear? You cannot sit back and expect the Incarnation to bring Peace and Joy into you. The Incarnation comes to warn, to guide, to awaken, to lay down the path and shed the light of Love on it. But man has to listen, learn and obey with hope and faith.
339. THE deer, the elephant, the cow, the horse - these live on Sathvic food and behave in a Sathvic manner. So they are adored and even worshipped by man. Tigers, bears, hyenas and other wild animals are feared by man and are driven by him into the dark recesses of the forests. The wonder is that the wildness, the cruelty and the terror-inflicting attributes of these beasts are developed and exhibited by man himself! Man prides himself as the crown of creation, he declares that he has in him the spark of the Divine. But he ignores it or suppresses it and revels in displaying the qualities of the ferocious beasts of the jungle.
340. THE ocean is a vast mystery. It is boundless and as old as time. It has in its womb chaotic whirlpools, raging currents, and it has a face with furious moods. No one can hope to sail over it from one shore to another without a sturdy boat of Divine Grace to cross the raging Ocean of this 'Samsara' (ever-changing, ever-agitated flow of life). This ocean too is vast and full of mystery; it has its unplumbed depths! It tosses man about from birth to death and again from death to birth.
341. TO equip oneself with the Ocean-worthy boat of Grace, one has to develop in himself the qualities of Faith and Discipline. One has to clarify and purify the inner Consciousness, the 'Chitta'. Time is the Gift that God has blessed man with, for this purpose. So man should use it as an instrument for the clarification and the purification. Contemplating the Glories of God, discovering His Presence in Beauty, Goodness and Truth seen anywhere, meditating on His Form, repeating His Name - by these means the process can be made successful.
342. TO achieve release, man kneels before a million Gods, in frantic pain. If he but blasts the ego within, the goal is reached, he is freed indeed! It is difficult indeed to understand the ego in its depth and devious ways. It is an inert entity; that is to say, it cannot know itself nor can it know others. It has no fear; it will not bend before others; it degrades man from the golden glory, which is his due, to the level of lowly dust.
343. THE best way to resolve the confusion and conflicts that hamper moral, ethical, material, technological and spiritual progress is for man to live as fully as man ought to and rise to the height of the Divine, that is his Reality. That is the one eternal, universal teaching. The thoughts that the intellect frames, must be reflected as feeling in the mind and translated into action by the hands. Thought, word and deed must be coordinated. They must fulfill one another. The sign of a holy person of Mahatma is 'Manasayekam, Vachasyekam, Karmanekam', 'One mind, one word, one act'.
344. SATHYA and Dharma go together; they are the two faces of the same coin. 'Sathyam-naasthi Paro Dharmah', 'There is no Dharma higher than Sathya. Righteousness is built on the foundation of Truth'.
345. WORDS can confer strength; they can drain it off; Words can gain friends; they can turn them into enemies; words can elevate or lower the individual. One must learn the habit of making one's words sweet, soft, and pleasant. A person is judged by his words; words inflict damage in other ways too. Whenever we talk disparagingly, defamingly, sarcastically or hatefully of others, they get recorded on the tape, which is our own mind.
346. DIAMOND and gold are only material things; man has made them precious. But, man is really the most valuable being on earth. He has recognised his uniqueness and importance for, he declares, 'Janthoonaam narajanmam durlabham'. In spite of the awareness, man desecrates himself by bartering himself for trivial pleasures.
347. WE have a feeling that 'Ananya Bhakti' consists in surrendering to God, saying 'I have no Saviour other than you'. We think that simply by declaring 'You are mother, you are father, you are friend; you are my saviour, Oh God of Gods', we have surrendered and are practicing 'Ananya Bhakti'. Real 'Ananya Bhakti' comes from deep inquiry into the Reality of the Inner Self.
348. THE World today is in a very bad state. The situation can improve only through Asthikas, who are believers in Divinity. They should become Prema Swaroopas or Embodiments of Love and by their Sadhana, backed by patience, forbearance and compassion, play their role in serving Society and contributing to the betterment of the World. God is present in you and is visualizing through thousands of eyes what you do. Even when no one is seeing, God is watching your actions always. Do everything with this awareness.
349. WHEN clouds gather in the sky, lightning appears and illuminates the cloud. Similarly, 'Wisdom must illuminate Education'. This word of SAI is the path of Truth. Smaller than the smallest atom, bigger than the biggest thing, witness of everything, the Atma is Brahman and Brahman is 'Atma'.
350. THERE are three types of knowledge: Knowledge of matter-energy; knowledge of mental energy; and knowledge of cosmic energy. Cosmic energy works in every person in the form of Divine knowledge. Matter in all forms is only Energy. Without atoms, you cannot have any matter, and in the atom, energy has the form of electron, proton, neutron, etc. Energy springs from the structure of the atomic constituents.
351. MAN does not live by food alone. In fact he lives by the power of the Atma. So you must use your strength of body and mind, wealth and education with intelligence, in order to realise the Power of the Soul. Without discrimination, what is the use of physical strength?
352. ILLNESS, both physical and mental, is a reaction of the body, caused by poisons in the mind. An uncontaminated mind alone can ensure continuous health. Vice breeds disease. Bad thoughts and habits, bad company and bad food are fertile grounds where disease thrives. 'Arogya' and 'Ananda' go hand in hand. A sense of elation and exultation keeps the body free from ill health. Evil habits in which men indulge are the chief causes of disease, physical as well as mental. Greed affects the mind; disappointment makes man depressed. Man can justify his existence as man, only by the cultivation of virtues. Then he becomes a worthy candidate for Godhood.
353. THE God ward path is Karma, based on Dharma. That is the path also towards joy, contentment and, therefore, of strength. Now, the path has become hidden by an overgrowth of briar and bush; the bridges and culverts are in disrepair. People have forgotten the goal, the path and the habit of walking on it. That road is the only refuge; it must be trodden tomorrow, if not today, for the goal lies at the end of that road. It was laid down, centuries ago in the Vedas, beyond the memory of history. 'Sathyam Vada', 'Dharmam Chara': the Vedas call on you.
354. MAN is basically, essentially and fully immortal. He is 'Amruthaswarupam' yet he is afraid he would die! He is 'Anandaswarupa'; yet he weeps that he is miserable. He is Santhiswarupam; yet everywhere he is overlaid with anxiety. This absurd self-deception is the root of the tragedy from which the World suffers today.
355. ALL Religions exhort man to cleanse the heart of malice, greed, hate and anger. All Religions hold out the gift of Grace as the prize for success in this cleaning process. Ideas of superiority and inferiority arise only in a heart corrupted by egoism. If someone argues that he is higher or that his Religion is holier, it proves that he has missed the significance of his faith.
356. SACRIFICE, service, sharing in the exaltation of others, and compassion when others suffer grief are virtues that purify and prepare the individual to the arduous task of reaching the Goal. Expand the limited awareness of the individual into the limitless realm of Divine Glory - that has been the call, down the corridors of Time.
357. FOR each person, there is a Code of Conduct laid down in the Shastras, according to age and status, the profession adopted, the stage of spiritual attainment reached and the goal of life accepted. Do not carp at the behaviour of others or at the efforts they make to get consolation and courage amidst the turmoil of life. For each there is the path that he has chosen and the Name and the Form of God he prefers. Also do not give up your Code of duties and take up that which is recommended for someone else.
358. DELUSION has to die; then only does the cycle of change end, then only is man liberated from the bonds of birth, life and death. Call it 'reaching the Goal', or 'Sayujyam' or 'Brahmasaakshaathkaaram', or 'Aikyaanubandhaanam' or 'becoming one with the Infinite' - the Names may differ but the Finish is the same. Every mortal must attain Immortality; for he is 'Amruthasya Puthra', a child of Immortality.
359. IT is much easier to speak the Truth and be done with it. What you have seen or heard or done, speak about these just as you saw or heard or did! And what is Dharma? Practicing what you preach, doing as you practice in life. Earn virtuously; earn piously; live in the fear of God; live for reaching God. That is Dharma.
360. THE Five Elements have each a characteristic that affects and attracts one of the five senses: Sound (ether) which fascinates the mind through the air; Touch (Air), which draws the mind to itself through the skin; Form (fire), which manipulates the mind in its favour through the eye; Taste (Water), which enslaves the mind through the tongue; and Smell (Earth), which attracts the mind through the nose. Contact with the external world is maintained by the senses, for the sake of these experiences which yield joy or grief.
361. THE symbol on the Flag at Prasanthi Nilayam is a reminder of this ideal, which you have to put into practice. It is the symbol of Victory, achieved by steady endeavour over the diabolic foes of lust and greed, of envy and hate and of malice and conceit. It is the symbol of the silent state of the Supreme Bliss, won through Self-control and Self-realisation.
362. THERE is not the slightest trace of self-interest in Me. Whatever I do, whatever paths I pursue, everything is intended for the happiness of all, for the good of all, and for the improvement of all. Not a single action of Mine is undertaken for the satisfaction of My own personal desires. Desire is something alien to Me. All My wishes are only to promote the welfare of the World. 'Loka Samastha Sukino Bhavanthu' is the only objective of SAI (May all the World be happy).
363. SAI'S main purpose is to develop the minds and attitudes of young men on right lines, so that they may work for the progress and welfare of Bharath. Students are the only wealth that I cherish. All My hopes are concentrated on them. To reform them and train them to serve as exemplars of righteousness is Sai's sole resolve.
364. I DO not have any particular desire with regard to food or any other need. My 'Ananda' is My food; and to secure that food I promote happiness in others and derive delight from their joy. That is the significance of My statement, 'My Life is My Message'. To feel blissful enjoying the happiness which others experience, is a quality of the Divine.
365. YOU come to know that you are a spark of the Divine Flame. Very soon, you realise that others too are sparks from the self-same fire. How then can hate, anger, envy or greed survive in the Sunlight of the Vision?
366. CHANGE your Vision and the world will appear accordingly. Let the eye be charged with the Divine, it will see all as God. It is foolish to try to shape the World; shape yourself as the embodiment of Peace, Love and Reverence. Then you will see all as Love, Compassion and Humility.
367. YOU are the image of the Supreme Atma, the image that is reflected in the body that is part of 'Prakriti'. Your body is Kith and Kin of all the objects that surround you in nature; your body is an object among so many. The original Divine spirit, the individualized spirit, which is the image and the objective world of which the body is a part - these are the entities called Iswara - Jiva - Prakriti.
368. IT IS not enough you are at Puttaparthi. You have to engage in Sadhana to win My Sankalpa. You may think that the burden of the consequences of acts done in previous births cannot be easily brushed away; no, they can be destroyed, as a heap of cotton is by a spark of fire. 'Jnanagni dagdha karmanam', the speck of Jnana will destroy the effect of Karma in a trice.
369. DO not jump to conclusions, abdicating your discrimination and do not deny the validity of your own experience. Stand on your strength. Be unmoved, either by adulation or denigration. Follow My lead. I am unaffected by either; I march on alone, undeterred and of My own accord. I am My own Guide and Witness; have full faith in this.
370. TODAY, man dabbles in Yoga (devotional practices) in the morning hours; revels in Bhoga (festivity and luxury, catering to the senses) during the day; and tosses about in roga (disease) during the night! Bhakti is not to be 'performed' during certain periods every day and superseded by other fashionable attractions. Bhakthi is a constant, continuous bent of mind, a habit of thought and a way of life. It must be loyally adhered to, whatever may happen - dishonour, distress, despair, deprivation, pleasure, prosperity, power and pomp.
371. MAN seeks joy in far off places and peace in quiet spots; but the spring of joy is in his heart; the haven of peace is in himself. Even when he walks on the Moon, man has to take with him, his fears, his anxieties, his prejudices and his pet aversions. Have faith in God and in the correctness of moral living. Then you can have peace and joy, whatever may be the fare that fortune offers you.
372. THE parents gave you this body and fostered the intelligence and love that are embedded in it; so gratitude is their due. If you do not honour the parents who are the creators in human form, how can you learn to honour the Creator in Divine Form? Moreover, the parents reveal to you the glory of God and the means of worshipping Him; they are the first representatives of authority which you meet with, authority modified by love and care. Learn to bend before that authority; and you will learn how to submit to the Lord.
373. POEMS, that deal with the fundamental problems of life and death, truth and delusion, and virtue and vice, will last for centuries and will help man at all times. Problems of exterior living change and get changed. So when poems deal with them, they are short-lived. 'Prakriti' and 'Paramathma', Creation and Creator are like two halves of a pulse: and seedling sprouts from between them.
374. YOU have it in your power to make your days on Earth a path of flowers, instead of thorns. Recognise the Sai Resident in every heart and all will be smoothness, softness and sweetness for you. Sai will be the fountain of Love in your heart and in the hearts of all with whom you come in contact. Know that Sai is Omnipresent and that He is present in you and every living being. Adore everyone as you adore Sai.
375. THE span of life allotted to man is very short; the World in which he lives is very wide; time extends far behind and far beyond. What little man has to accomplish must be done quickly, at the place that is assigned to him and within the time that is allotted to him. And, man has such a formidable task before him; it is to fulfill it that he has come as man, exchanging for this human habitat all the merit he has acquired during many past lives. The task is no less than the manifestation of the Divinity latent in man.
376. RISE up to the Divine, don't bring down Godhead to your human and even animal levels. Do not worship God as the picture before you, but worship the picture before you as God, because God is in everything and can be grasped through every single symbol. There is nothing wherein He is not; there is no might or right, apart from Him.
377. SNAKES hiss; pigs grunt; and bulls moo! They are asserting their ego, intent on keeping others away. Of the traits of ego, pride is the most poisonous. But the pride of the scholar and the vanity of Pundits are so thick that it is impossible for them to get rid of these.
378. GOD is the vastest among the vast, minutest among the minute. Yet, God has no ego. How then can man, who has no claim to even the tiniest glory, parade himself as great? It is really a ridiculous pose. The egoist ignores the source which can bring respect to him. He loses the chance of developing his skills and talents on the right lines.
379. WHAT can ten baths a day do to cleanse a person, when his mind is fouled by evil thoughts? What can the shaven head and the ochre clothes do to foster spirituality, when his mind is riddled by desires and wants? You may rotate a ball of sweets round the mouth but unless it is eaten, hunger will not be abated. So, develop sincere longings, cleanse the mind, purify the thoughts and put the precepts into practice.
380. SOME of you claim to be Saibhaktas, Ramabhaktas, and Krishnabhaktas. But unless you are perfect instruments in His hand, you do not deserve that name. For example, Bharata can call himself Ramabhakta. He lived with Rama-Nama in every breath; he suffered as much as Rama; he was as much as anchorite as his brother; so, he too become Shyama (dark-skinned) like Rama.
381. THE body has to be exercised to keep it trim as a tool for serving your fellowmen. The body has not been granted by God in order to be fed and well-clothed and to be paraded around in pride. Plunge into the problems of Society, take up the burden of the family and advance the interests of your country. Shine as examples of Loving Service.
382. MAN has in him vast resources of Power. When he does not utilise them while discharging his duties to himself and the Society which sustains him, he is only becoming a target for ridicule. When you are at the railway-station, waiting for the train, and then you come to know that it will arrive five hours late, how do you react? You fling abusive words at the train. When the coaches receive such treatment from you, then what treatment do you deserve for not fulfilling your duty and for disappointing the expectations that you have raised by your being a man!
383. WHEN you struggle to achieve paltry fame by devious means, remember who among the crores of your countrymen are honoured today and for what? Don't you see that only those who gave up, renounced, and sought the more difficult road of God realisation, instead of easier path of World realisation, are honoured everywhere?
384. THE Lord rushes towards the Bhakta faster than the Bhakta rushes towards Him. If you take one step towards Him, He takes a hundred steps towards you! He will be more than a mother or father. He will foster you from within you, as He has saved and fostered so many Saints who have placed faith in Him.
385. YOU must not be like a piece of blotting paper, absorbing all the passions and emotions, all the joys and grief that the actress Nature demonstrates during the stages of life. You must be a Lotus, unfolding its petals when the Sun rises in the sky, unaffected by the slush where it is born or even the water which sustains it!
386. FAITH in God is the secure foundation on which hope has to be built. The faith has to be stable and strong. The feeling that God will come to our rescue has to be vivid and vital, motivating and activating all that we do or speak or think. Service rendered to others in this spirit will be a great source of joy to you as well as to the recipient.
387. WOMEN are proverbially too individualistic! There is a popular belief born out of folklore, that three women cannot live in unison! There is a Telugu limerick, which says, 'The world shivers before one woman. The ocean will dry up, if there are two! And if they are three, O, the stars will drop down at noon'! Why are women so characterized? A woman is extremely deficient in Sahana; by Sahana, I mean ability to bear defeat, fortitude, forbearance, patience and quiet, suffering with no thought of retaliation. That is why woman is said to be the weaker sex.
388. SILENCE, Cleanliness and Forbearance. In Silence the voice of God can be heard, not in the revelry of noise. Through Cleanliness, you earn purity. By Forbearance, you cultivate Love. You have come today to your own home. This is your home not Mine. My home is your heart. So do not try to have your lunch elsewhere but in your home where you get this day food consecrated by Me, the Prasad.
389. ONE should progress from this stage to the awareness of the Atma. Flowers fade and rot soon. The effect of offering flowers may not last long. What God loves more are the flowers blossoming on the tree of man's own life, fed and fostered by his own skill and sincerity. The are the flowers of his virtues grown in the garden of his heart.
390. IT is the duty of everyone to live in the awareness of Truth. He who lives on Earth must become Man at first. Then, he has to learn the way to God, and discover the delight of the Spirit. This is the 'Raja Yoga' path that the Vedas teach. The Atma illumines all objects; it needs no other source of illumination to shine; it is the seer of the Universe
391. NOWADAYS man has the habit of acting and talking according to his whims. There is no control exercised by conscience or moral sense or manners. For one who is so perverse, who is determined to go down to his doom, there is no need for counsel! Medicine is for the ill, not for the wholly healthy, or the wholly dead. Counsel is for those, who suffer from doubt, anxiety or agitation. This counsel is contained in the Shastras and the Sacred Texts.
392. GOD is seeking the pure heart that longs to reach Him. The World is reduced to a theatre by man, for devotion to God has become a histrionic performance. You find people weeping in their heart of hearts but laughing their lives away. We find people who laugh in their heart of hearts, but to all observers, weeping profusely over their fate. Worship is more for effect, a play acted with the pit in view; there is no sincerity.
393. MAN did not come here to sleep and eat; he has come to manifest, by disciplined processes, the Divine in him. That is why he is called 'Vyakthi', he who makes 'Vyaktha' (clear) the 'Sakthi' that is in him, the Divine energy that motivates him. For this purpose, he has come endowed with the body and the intelligence needed to control it and divert it to useful channels of activity. You must achieve this by Dharma-Nishtha, and Karma-Nishtha, steady pursuit of Dharma and Karma, morality and good work.
394. THE World itself is a great teacher, a constant guide and inspiration. That is the reason why man is surrounded and sustained by the world. Every bird, every animal, every tree, mountain and star and each tiny worm has a lesson for man, if he has but the will and the thirst to learn. These make the World a veritable University for man; it is a Gurukul where he is a pupil from birth to death.
395. THE Linga is the Form of God, emerging from the 'Nirakara' to 'Sakara'. Other 'Akaras' (Forms) are all subsumed in the Linga Form. 'Prakrithi' or the Objective World is the base; it signifies that the Lord is established in that manifestation of His, which is the concrete presentation of His play, His potentiality and His power, His Sakthi. That is why the Lord is described as Shiva, Shakthi, Atmaka and Swarupam, the Supreme to which Shiva and Shakthi belong, the latent and the patent.
396. IF you do not feel the call at the sight of human distress, disease or deviation from the right, how can you muster the determination and dedication necessary to serve the unseen, inscrutable, mysterious God? When you do not love man, your heart will not love God. Despising brother man, you cannot, at the same time, worship God. If you do, God will not accept that hypocrisy. God is resident in every heart; so, if you serve any one, that service reaches the God within him: it brings to you the Grace of God.
397. THE heart that does not melt at the sight of persons caught in the coils of ignorance, disease or deprivation, has to be labeled demonic; to call it bestial is an insult to the beasts. Give up egoism, sensualism and greed; fill your hearts with renunciation, belief in the glory of the Atma (Self) and Love. That is the means by which you can make yourselves efficient Seva Dal Workers.
398. THE pollution of character that is spreading in the cities is fast invading the villages also. The villages should not yield to the temptation of imitation and invite catastrophe on themselves. They must appreciate the ancient Indian ideals of simplicity and sincerity, service and spiritual oriented living. You must curb greed, anger, envy and pride, and live in amity and the spirit of brotherhood. Then India will be happy and prosperous. Each one must carry out the duties of his role in a worshipful attitude.
399. LIFE has been bestowed not for just eating and digesting and roaming and reclining, but for a far greater purpose - the realisation of Divinity in us, in all that exists around us and even beyond all things that strike our senses. To waste such a life in vain pursuits and in a mere sense of pleasures is not the sign of an intelligent person. Deserve the Grace of God by helping the weak and poor, the diseased and the disabled, the distressed and the downtrodden.
400. SHIVA is worshipped with the three-leafed bilva, for He is immanent in the three Worlds, in the three phases of Time and in the three attributes of Nature. He removes the three types of grief; He has no basis outside Him; He is the source of Bliss; He is the embodiment of the sweetness and efficacy of nectar. Since every being is Shiva Swarupa (for without Siva, it is mere 'Sava'-Corpse), man has to live up to that Divine status.
401. FAITH has to be cultivated, first and foremost. It has to be nurtured in Love. Love is fostered by Shanti (equanimity). Shanti can be gotten only when there is full reliance on God and complete surrender to the Divine Will. If one loses wealth, he may regain it by some means or other. If he loses health, some doctor might prescribe a tonic to win it back. If one loses status and authority he may, by sheer luck, gain them back. If Virtue is lost, it is lost forever; nothing can restore the pristine purity. So one has to be ever vigilant and should never slacken.
402. THE greatest of the virtues is Love. Love is the basis of Character. You may have all other desirable things in plenty; but if you have no character, that is to say Virtue, which is all strung on Love, you cannot have genuine Peace. Money comes and . . . goes! But morality? It comes and grows! Morality has to be grown in the heart by feeding it with Love; then only we can have justice, security, law and order. If Love declines among the people, nations will weaken and mankind will perish.
403. THIS created Universe has two aspects. One is impermanence (Antiyam). The second one is unhappiness (Asutham). In the Gita, Krishna has said 'Anityam Asukham Lokan Imam Papya Bhajaswa Maam', nothing in this World can give happiness that is, true and lasting happiness. Mistaking this World as 'All' and forgetting the Atman, which alone is eternal and is the only refuge, is the greatest folly of man.
404. TODAY, man is pinning all his hopes on this slippery World and is madly running after amassing and hoarding wealth. Of course, material needs are to be taken care of, but within limits, and not at the cost of spiritual values. Money and mansions are not the only wealth. Hoard the wealth of the Spirit. Character is wealth. Good conduct is wealth. Spiritual wisdom is wealth.
405. DEVOTE your body, mind and senses to the service of others. 'Paropakarartham Idam Sariram', it is said. This body is intended to do only good and service to others. The body is not gifted to you so that you hate and nurture jealousy against others and live selfishly, worse than an animal. You should devote this precious gift of the body in selfless and loving service always.
406. ANY one may blame you, but you should ignore all such blame and go forward in doing service without rancour. Serving is your sole duty. The Universe is a manifestation of God. So also is the individual. All these three are like Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara, the Trinity. Actually there are no three; they are one; it is Unified Godhead. Cherishing this thought of Oneness and serving Society is true Adyatmic or Spiritual life.
407. SHANTI has detachment as the basic quality. The sea, which likes to gather and possess, lies low; the cloud, that likes to renounce and give, is high up in the sky. Shanti endows man with an unruffled mind and steady vision. The Prayer for Shanti is usually repeated thrice: 'OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti', since peace is prayed for in the physical, mental and spiritual planes. Man should not bring his blood to boil nor should he yield to fear.
408. MAN has been enslaved by money. He lives a superficial, hollow and artificial life. This is indeed a great pity. Man should seek to possess only as much money as is most essential for his living. The quantity of riches one must own can be compared to the shoes one wears; if too small, they cause pain; if too big, they are a hindrance while walking. Money too has to be with us only just enough for a life of physical and mental comfort. When we have more, it breeds pride, sloth and contempt for others.
409. THE world is becoming more and more deeply immersed in irreverence and cruelty. Codes of decent behaviour are being ignored and laughed at. The material is receiving greater attention than the moral and spiritual. Faith in the victory of Truth, Justice and Goodness is fast disappearing; the distinction between good and bad is seldom recognised.
410. JOY is a deceptive trap; grief is the real preceptor, teaching caution, circumspection, discrimination, detachment, awareness and vigilance. Death is not the merciless that he is made out to be; he is the friend and companion, the teacher, the kindly kinsman, who takes you into his fold and clothes you with the halo of remembrance. The heart of man has to be toughened, not hardened; it has to be made soft, not slithery; this can be achieved only by the blows of loss, grief and distress. It is God's way of shaping us in the Divine mould.
411. MAYA can be recognised and driven out only when the mind is purified by Prema and the avoidance of envy and hatred, born of egoism. No act done without Love can be commended; there are many who come here, thousands in fact, year after year, sharing in the Bhajans, listening to discourses, lectures. But, they are staying exactly where they were when they first arrived. Name without 'Bhava' seldom reaches the mark. The name of the Lord must be recited with awe and wonder, humility and reverence.
412. THE Sages of this land had known the mine of Ananda that lies in every human heart and they had discovered methods of developing that mine and working on that gold. They said that if 'Bhoomata' (Mother Earth), 'Gomata' (Mother Cow), 'Nijamata' (the Mother) and 'Vedamata' (Mother Scripture) were revered and fostered and used as best as they could be, happiness is certain and liberation is assured.
413. YOU will doubtless agree when I say that Ananda is your greatest need. But you cannot order it from any shop. It has to be earned the hard way - doing good deeds, moving in good company, desisting from evil and keeping the mind attached to the Glory of God. Good and bad cannot be kept together in the same vessel; then the good also will turn bad. Night and light cannot coexist.
414. YOU are getting the great chance of partaking in a huge Sathsang from today. Thousands are coming to this place, prompted by a keen desire to see, hear and contact Divinity, and for those who have kindled desires, the chance to move about in the Sea of Spirit is indeed a sign of Grace. This is the benefit, as fairs and festivals are held in holy places, the wave of exhilaration, enthusiasm and exultation lifts men aloft into the rarefied air of Holy Beatitude.
415. ENDEAVOUR always to promote the joy and happiness of your fellow countrymen in this continent; be sharers in this joy and happiness. Bharath is so called, because the people of that country have 'Rathi' (great attachment) to 'Bha' (Bhagavan, the God). They are afraid of sin; they are eager to acquire 'Jnana'.
416. HAVE your Prema fixed on the Lord, whether your pretty wishes are fulfilled or not. Do not let the treasure slip on some silly excuse or other. When Sai Baba confers success after success on you, you are foremost in singing, 'Sai Sankara, Sai Sankara', but when the shadow of disappointment falls on you, immediately you turn around and declare. 'This Sai is not God'.
417. PRACTICE renunciation from now on, that you may set out on the journey when the call comes, you don't know when . . Or at that moment, you will be in tears when you think of the house you have built, the property you have accumulated, the fame you have amassed and the titles you have won. Know that all this is for the fleeting moment; develop attachment for the Lord, who will be with you wherever you go. Only the years that you have lived with the Lord have to be counted as life, the rest are all out of count.
418. THE glory of Bharath, which has illumined for centuries the hearts of humanity, is awaiting the march of the Sai Movement through proper presentation and practical application by you, to have an even more brilliant future in the coming years. As the spark that causes the fire, as a driver in the engine drawing a long line of coaches along, as the designer and operator of a system of automatic lights, this Sai is here creating and fostering the World and all its various communities living and non living.
419. LEARN from childhood the recitation of the Name and Prayer and the Practice of Silence. Let children contemplate the beauties and the magnificence of God's Handiwork and be filled with mystery and awe. Do not count and calculate what the Puttaparthi Sai Baba gives. 'I do not give in order to attract you to Me; I give only to fill you with Ananda. Showering Ananda, is My task. I do not want you to extol Me; I shall be satisfied if you rely on Me. The mysterious indescribable Superpower has come within reach. It will never engage Itself in any task without fruit'.
420. YOU need not waste time in trying to discover Me and My nature. Understand what I teach not Who is the teacher, for I am beyond your intellect and your Shakti. You will understand Me only through My work. That is why sometimes, in order to reveal who I am, I Myself show you My 'Visiting Card', something that you call a Miracle. Know the 'Marma', or the mystery and carry out the 'Karma', or the duty I assign you.
421. MUSIC, a vehicle of Peace, is universally popular. Men, women and children of all lands are amenable to its subtle influence. Even animals and plants are susceptible to music. The Lord has said, 'Madbhakthash yathra gaayanthe, thathra thishtaami Naarad': 'Where My devotees sing, there I seat Myself'.
422. PEOPLE of all ages, of all states of health and wealth, of various levels of learning and intelligence come to Prasanthi Nilayam. This Prasanthi Nilayam is also the refuge for all who have no other place to go to. Do not treat any one as an alien. Remember all have Me as their guardian and support. Have no anger, malice, envy or pride against or before anyone. Be full of humility; have faith in human goodness.
423. PREMA is the motive power in Karmayoga. It is the very breath of Bhaktiyoga. It is universal and infinite in Jnana; it sees the Lord everywhere and in everything, when Vairagya has been achieved. The Bhagavata is saturated with the sweetness of Prema.
424. VEDANTA is like the roar of the lion; it gives courage and enterprise; it makes a man hero, it does not whine or howl or cry; it drives cowardice away, instills the highest types of self-confidence; it is the strongest armour against the arrows of take; it acts like a waterproof medium against the hail storms on sensual pleasure; it is a curtain keeping out the mosquitoes of worry, which would otherwise rob you of sleep. With a Vedanta- saturated heart, you are a rock on the shore, unaffected by the waves of temptation. Vedanta challenges your spirit of adventure and your own reality.
425. THE spiritual laws that the sages of India have discovered and laid down will never be overruled. They stand valid forever. Further research can only strengthen and confirm their authenticity, as further facts only render the diamond more brilliant. Bharath has contributed to the World the priceless gem of Truth; 'Iswarah Darvabhutaanaam Hrddese, Arjuna, Thishtati'. God is the resident motivator of all beings. Until this fact is realised by the individual he will be tainted by traces of anger, pride and hate, for he sees others as distinct and different.
426. ALL Religions teach one basic discipline - the removal of the blemish of egoism from the mind, of running after little joys. Every Religion teaches man to fill his being with the Glory of God, and evict the pettiness of conceit. It trains him in methods of detachment and discrimination, so that he may aim high and attain liberation. Believe that all hearts are motivated by the one and Only God; that all faiths glorify the One and the Only God; that all names, in all languages, and all Forms men can conceive, denote the One and Only God.
427. IF you have the capacity to draw the Lord to yourself, He will Himself come to you and be with you. Be like the flute - a hollow reed - straight, light, with no substance to hinder His breath. Then He will come and pick you up from the ground. He will breathe Divine music through you, playing upon you with a delicate touch. He will stick the flute into His sash. He will press His lips on it. In His hand, the Infinitesimal will be transmuted into the Infinite, the OM will be transformed into the gama.
428. THE Dharma that is the heritage of India is the stuff of life for all men. It is the backbone of morality and well-being. It is the nectar which can confer Immortality. Others may, in their ignorance, laugh at Indians for taking a stone to be God. But what they do is to realise even the stone as God. It is transformed into God, an act which is a grand victory. The highest energies of man in this land are used for conquering death, while in other countries they are misused in the diabolic attempt to make weapons of mass destruction.
429. DO not attach yourself too much to this body or to the things that bring comfort to it. You earn three friends in this life: the first is the riches you accumulate which refuse to come with you when you move out of this life. The second, Kith and kin, accompany your body to the burial ground or cremation ghat. The third, the merit and demerit that you have earned, accompany you to the last.
430. YOU complain that God is invisible, but the fault is yours not to recognise God in all His various manifestations. You are yourself 'a manifestation of God'. But you do not know it; you call yourself a sinner, a worm born in sin, wallowing in sin, essentially wicked. But let someone who takes you at your word call you 'Hello, Sinner', you resent it. Why? Because your real nature is purity, peace, and joy.
431. MAN must earn his birthright, namely 'Shanti'. 'Ashanti' is for him an unnatural state. His real nature is 'Shanti'. To recover his heritage of 'Shanti', man tries various methods: accumulation of riches, maintenance of health, mastery of knowledge and cultivation of the arts. But these are not fundamental. Three basic wants still remain after all these methods have been tried: the need for Reality; for Light; and for Immortality. It is only when 'Sath', 'Jyothi' and 'Amrutham' are won that 'Shanti' will be established.
432. DO not cloud your mind with cheap desires, transitory hungers, and thirsts that need but morsels or mouthfuls. Yearn for the enthronement of your soul as the unquestioned monarch of the Universe, when you merge in the Universal. Celebrate your triumph over the foes within that hamper your march to victory. Acquire Me as your Charioteer. I shall lead you to that consummation. Earn that unfailing Grace by your sincerity, simplicity, and 'Sadhana'.
433. YOU have two eyes in your Consciousness, namely, 'Sathya' and 'Ahimsa'. They are the guides which will take you to the goal, the two lights, the Sun and the Moon of the inner firmament. If you want to know the way in which you have to observe 'Sathya' or Truth in speech, look into the Gita. It tells you that the best speech is 'anudvegakarm Vaakyam'. (Speech that does not create pain or anger or grief to others).
434. RELY on the Lord and accept whatever is your lot. He is in you, with you. He knows best what to give and when. He is full of Prema. That is My uniqueness: Prema. Prema is the special gift I bring, the special medium through which My Grace operates. That is the basis of all My acts. God is said to reside in everything. Yes. He resides as Prema. Devoid of Prema, the World becomes a cauldron of misery.
435. BEFORE pointing to the faults of others, examine yourselves and assure yourselves that you are free from faults. That alone gives you the right; but the wonder is that you discover faults in others only when you have faults in you. Once you rid yourselves of faults, all are pure and good. Whatever you touch becomes gold. That is the Divine Alchemy of Love, Divine Love, Universal Love, and Love for Love's own sake.
436. TO have faith you must dive deep into the inner mystery of the Avatars, like Rama or Krishna, and not lose your way in the tangle of the outer events and emotional conflicts, the external adventures and activities. Do not take Rama as a brother, son and husband, entangled in the personal calamity of having his wife kidnapped and heroically rescuing her. You can be moved into the adoration only by diving into the cool depths of the inner mystery. This process was specially discovered by the Sages of the inner mystery. It was specially discovered by the Sages of India, and so, India rose to the status of the whole World.
437. SINCE I move about with you, eat like you, and talk with you, you are deluded into the belief that this is but an instance of common humanity. Be warned against this mistake. I am also deluding you by My singing with you, talking with you and engaging Myself in activities with you. But any moment, My Divinity may be revealed to you. You have to be ready, prepared for that moment. Since Divinity is enveloped by humanness, you must endeavour to overcome 'Maya' (Delusion) that hides it from your eyes.
438. YOU can hear adoration to Sathya Sai's Name reverberating throughout the World, even while this Body is existing - not at some future date, but when It is with you and before you. And again, you can witness very soon, the restoration of 'Sanathana Dharma', to its genuine and natural status; the 'Dharma' laid down in the Vedas for the good of all the peoples of the World. The revival of Vedic Dharma is the Sai Sankalpa (the resolve that Sai has), not only drawing people towards Me, attracting them by the manifestation of My 'Shakti' (Power) and 'Samarthya' (Capacity). This is not a 'Brahmathathwa' (phenomenon of delusion). This phenomenon will sustain Truth, it will uproot untruth, and in that victory, make all of you exult in ecstasy. This is the Sai Sankalpa.
439. MAN is ill; but he is resorting to remedies that cannot cure. Diagnose yourself. Discover the root cause; apply the proper remedy; that is the way of the wise. Do not run after quacks or pseudo panaceas. Sow the seeds of Prema, after preparing the soil of you heart, and removing the weeds. Let them grow, watered by Faith and yield the blossoms of 'Sahana' (fortitude); later you are assured of the fruit, 'Shanti'. This is the task; this is the duty; and this has to be the vow.
440. WHEN a Namavali extols Shiva, the next one will have to be on Krishna, the next on Rama and so on. A person whose favourite form is Rama or Shiva will feel neglected if, out of inadvertence, you stick to only one form. Let the atmosphere of Bhajan be free from competitive conceit and fanaticism. This is My advice.
441. YOU are only actors on the stage before the footlights. The Director, who knows the Play, who assigns the roles, who gives the cues, who calls you in and puts you on, is behind the curtain. You are a puppet; He holds the strings. If He must be seen, you have to be His 'Sakhaa' (friend) or 'Bandhu' (kinsman). Merely being an onlooker will not entitle you to approach Him and be in His holy company. Cultivate His friendship or kinship by the attitude of Love and Dedicated Service.
442. TO realise the One, the Universal Absolute, which personalizes itself into God and creation, there is no discipline more valuable and more effective than Seva. All the 1008 Names of the 1000-faced Society connote only the One God that plays in those 1000 roles. The One appears as if it is enshrined in the 1000 bodies. This is the Truth you have to realise and cherish as the most precious in life.
443. MAN cannot reap the full fruits of his life here below if he only gathers riches or collects popular votes, or loads his head with tons of tomes. He has to cultivate and practice virtues too. He has to adhere to Dharma. The Sruthis direct that man has to earn just enough for his upkeep by honest means and use the rest of his time and skill for the general good, Dharma-Artha. Earn Artha through Dharma. Then he will certainly have plenty of Divine Grace.
444. ONE gets the liberating Wisdom of the Reality through Grace, Prayer, or Prema. You cannot achieve the Goal through good works alone. In good, there is an extra 'O', something that is a mere Zero; that is to say, the desire which prompts you, the fruit that entices you, the reputation that tantalizes you - these are all sheer zeros, a big 0. Leave it off and then we have God who is Zeroless, with no self intruding. That is to say, we have God. Desire plus Life is Man. Life minus Desire is God.
445. YOU have to busy yourselves with activity in order to use time and skill to the best advantage. That is your Duty and Duty is God. The dull and the inert will hesitate to be active for fear of exhaustion or failure or loss. The emotional, passionate individuals will plunge headlong and crave for quick results, and will be disappointed if they do not come in. The balanced persons will be active because it is their duty. They will not be agitated by anything - failure or success. The Godly will take up activity as a means of worshipping God; and they leave the result to God. They know that they are but instruments in the hands of God.
446. INTELLECT alone can direct man in the path of discrimination, between the true path and the false, the proper step and the improper. This is the reason why man has been praying since Ages through the Gayatri hymn; 'Illumine me and prompt my intelligence so that I may walk aright'.
447. MAN loses his status of humanness through acts that shame even the beasts. He does not strive towards revealing and manifesting his latent Divinity! That is not as big a failing as this sliding back into the animal from which he rose! If he keeps on with his human attributes and capacities, that will serve him well enough. A formidable list can be made of the inadequacies and defects of man but, the basic defect is greed; 'Uncontrolled desire', always clamouring for more, as a result of the ceaseless prompting of the senses.
448. THE human body is a temple chariot; the Atma is installed therein; and it is dragged by emotions, impulses, passions and urges, along the streets of desire. Success and failure, joy and grief, gain and loss are the dancers who accompany this procession of Life. Here too, many pour their attention only on the chariot; its height, its decoration and its progress. Many others are concerned with the dance of duality and the pain-pleasure duet, that is part of the procession. Few pay attention to the Atma, the Crown and Consummation of human existence.
449. SAGES and Saints have known that the most noteworthy achievement of the senses of man is the glorification of the God within. 'They are not eyes, they are but globules of glass, that do not earn a vision of God', says one. 'They are not ears, they are but muscular protrusions that do not relish the praise of God' says another. Surdas condemns the hand that does not worship God and calls such hands 'sticks of wood'. The World and its attractions may appeal to your instincts and impulses but, God draws out your Love, as no worldly being can. Develop the inner vision and the habit of listening to the inner Voice; and you are assured of unshakable Peace and infinite Joy.
450. LIVE without hating others, condemning others and seeking faults in others. Vyasa, who wrote eighteen voluminous Puranas, summarised all the Puranas in one single line of a small couplet: 'Doing good to others is the only meritorious act; doing evil is the most heinous sin'. When you feel you cannot do good, at least desist from doing evil. That itself is meritorious service! Do not try to discover differences; discover unity. Creeds, castes and country of origin may differ; but the inner hunger is the same for all mankind.
451. CONSIDER the word 'Nara', which denotes 'man'. Of these two syllables 'ra' means decline, decay, destruction and death. 'Na' means 'without'. Man or Nara has no decay, he is immortal as God, for he is God. It is pitiable that man is misled to believe that he is the decaying, daily dying physical frame. Whereas 'Nara' means Man, 'Narayana' is the name for God. Nara symbolises the five constituents of the Cosmos; the five Bhoothas (projections, elements), which emanated from God to form the Cosmos. The expression Narayana, which is used in the Scriptures, implies that Nara is Narayana.
452. THE spark of Love in you has to be cherished and fed, so that it may reach God. Then, every being will be God, every act will be Divine, every reaction you get from the outside world will be charged with Prema and sweetened with nectar. You love the God in all beings and the God in all beings responds with Love. Love God, though tribulation may be your lot. Love Him, though you are refused and rebuked. For it is only in the crucible of travail that the metal is purified and cleared of blemish. Adoration of God has to be through one name and one form; but, that should not limit your loyalty to that particular province only.
453. THE Dominion of God is without horizon. It envelops space and goes even beyond it. So do not allow the needs of worship or puja to put blinkers on your eyes. Do not have other names or other forms of the same Supra-Cosmic Magnificence, the Purushottama. For hate breeds fear. Hate is the seedbed of anxiety, scandal, and falsehood. It drains your mind of peace. You may have light without oil, fire without smoke, breeze without a bearer fanning you, a chilliness in the air of your room in the sizzling heat of summer. Unless you are at peace with yourselves and with those around you, your pulse will be quick and your blood will be racing in rage and rancour. Love alone can alleviate anxiety and allay fear.
454. PREMA, when you cultivate it, will remove the weeds of anger and malice. It will blossom into peace and calm. My teaching is Prema. My message is Prema. My activity is Prema; and My way of living is Prema. There is nothing more precious than Love within human grasp.
455. BHARATH is the birthplace of the Vedas and of the Shastras, Epics and Puranas that have elaborated the principles enunciated therein for the education of the common man. It is the nursery of music and other fine arts, inspired by the noble passion of consecrating human skills for adoring the Divine and communicating the super sensuous. It is the stuff and sustenance of the mystic and the ascetic, the intellectual and the dynamic adorer of God. It is the field where the Science of Yoga was cultivated and systematized.
456. WHO is Baba? Who am I? And the answer is: I am the reflected image of Baba. Baba is the original of which I am the reflection. That is the relationship. That is the bond, whether you know it or not. Whether the image is distorted or correct, you do 'Dhyana' morning and evening; you do 'Japam', you engage yourself in 'Sravanam', 'Kirtanam', 'Padasevanam', 'Vandanam', 'Dasyam', 'Archanam', 'Sakhyam' and 'Atmanivedanam' - all for realising that you are but an image to become a clean, clear image of the Lord; so clean and clear that you merge in Him.
457. ENDURANCE, with joyful resignation of the ups and downs of life, is the royal road to Peace. Everyone craves 'Sukha' and 'Shanti'; but there is no one to instruct Youth how to win them. The Ramayana and the Mahabharatha are reservoirs of Knowledge for the seekers of Peace. They are replete with examples and precepts which are inspiring and timely. By taking the teachings to heart, Purity can be attained. The pure heart directed towards God and reflecting His image is indeed Heaven, Vaikunta, or Kailasa.
458. LIVING under the impression that you are the body and you are destroyed with the death of the body is an illusion which is basically undesirable. Another illusion is that happiness consists in accumulating money, knowledge, comforts, or reputation. Trying to be happy through such accumulation is like getting into the Madras bus and hoping to reach Bangalore. What is happiness? It is the state of mind which is, by fortune, good or bad. By systematic education, the mind can attain the state. If activity is done as worship, then the mind can attain the state. If activity is done as worship, then the mind will be steady and free from anxiety.
459. THE word Hindu means those who keep away from the path of violence, away from inflicting injury on others, Hin (Hinsa - Injury; Violence); du (dura-away, distant) The Shastras declare that the essence of all the 18 Puranas, so highly revered in India, is: Merit is when you do good to another; Sin is when you do evil to another. When you are fixed in this path, you will welcome all Faiths and Religions as kith and kin. All Faiths attempt to train man along the path. Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jews, Parsis, all aspire to win the same illumination, through the cleansing of the mind by means of good work.
460. WHEN a tree first shoots forth from the seed, it comes up with a stem and two incipient leaves! But later, when it grows, the trunk is one, and the branches are many! Each branch may be thick enough to be called a trunk but, one should not forget that the roots send food as sap through one single trunk. God, the same God, feeds the spiritual hunger of all nations and all faiths, through the common sustenance of truth, virtue, humility and sacrifice.
461. BRAHMA'S lotus is not the stalk that grows in mud and rises above the waters to catch the rays of the sun and blossom but, the many petalled lotus of the Heart, each petal being the direction in which a particular tendency attracts the individual. The Bull on which Siva is said to ride is not the animal called by that name but, the symbol of Dharma or Righteousness which has the four legs; 'Sathya', 'Dharma', 'Shanthi' and 'Prema'. Gopala did not graze cattle but, protected and fed 'Jivis', known also as 'Go'. In the study of the Veda, you should look for the meaning which satisfies the head.
462. THIS Nilayam is 'Prasanthi Nilayam'. It is the abode of the highest form of Shanti - Prasanthi. In fact, you are, each one of you, the Nilayam of Prasanthi. That is why, I very often address you as 'Shanti Swarupulaara'. My object is to remind you that your real nature is Shanti, equanimity, peace, unruffledness and non-attachment. You cannot draw out from within you that which is not there. Therefore, Shanthi must be deep down, at the very core of your being.
463. THIS World is full of people who suffer from insanity but, who are still outside the asylums! Suddenly, when hatred envelops a country, even ordinary sane people go mad and behave like savages. But sometimes in the Mental Hospital you will find one type of 'mad man'. He sits in a corner, resting without a break, watching the pranks and the wildness of the other inmates. The doctors will be thankful to him, for he needs no care; he causes no trouble. His madness may be melancholia or he may be a Jnani. The God bound man is like that. He is the only sane man in this mad world.
464. BECOME fit for the vision of God that you seek in the temples. Go humbly, with Prema in your heart for all creation. Take the 'Hrudhayapushpa', full of fragrance of Prema, the 'Mano-phala' uncontaminated by the pests of greed and egoism. Become sweet in word, deed and thought, so that you can dedicate yourself to the services of God's Plan.
465. YOU will have seen the announcement that you should not bring Me fruits, flowers etc. Some of you I know are sad that I have announced so. But I tell you; Come to Me with empty hands. I shall fill your hands with gifts and Grace. If your hands are full, what am I to fill them with?
466. ALL Worship and Puja is for 'Bhakthi' only; for the better comfort and more luxurious consumption of the Worshipper himself. Devotion has been vulgarised into a business deal. I shall give you so much, provided you give me so much in return. If another shrine promises more, this shrine is given up. And if you do not get quick returns there or somewhere else, some other God, might be more profitable. That is the way in which worldly men wander about in their panicky rounds.
467. YOU are as distant from the Lord as you think you are, as near Him as you feel you are. Well, let me tell you this. This distance from Me to you is the same as the distance from you to Me, is it not? But, you complain that I am far from you, though you are approaching nearer and nearer. How can that be? I am as near you as you are near Me.
468. WHEN a prisoner is taken from place to place, he is accompanied by two Constables. When man, who is a prisoner in this jail, moves from one place to another, he too, is accompanied by 'Ahamkaram' and 'Mamakaram': Egoism and Attachment. When he moves above without these two, you can be sure he is a free man, liberated from prison.
469. DO all the household work as acts of Worship for Him. That is more fruitful than hours of Dhyana, hours gained by entrusting this precious work to paid helpers. Men too must feel that frittering away precious time, flitting from one vanity to another and seeking more and more purposeless means of spending days and nights, is detrimental to the main aim of life. Spread joy, give strength, distribute courage, console the distressed, and help the lame to walk, and the blind to see. That is the real timetable of activities of man.
470. THE wealth that you hoard is not yours. The wealth that you have shared is yours. For wealth that belongs to you need not be hidden. The wealth that you have given away is really yours. That is the reason why Vedas have declared: 'Not through actions, not through progeny, not through wealth can Immortality be won; it can be won only through renunciation'.
471. IF only you surrender your wish and will and your fancies and fantasies to God, He will lead you aright, and give you peace and joy. You must not run after diverse ends and fleeting pleasures. Leave everything to God. Accept whatever happens as His Will.
472. GOD is the echo of the hills, the flutter of the leaves, the whisper of men, the babble of children, and the OM that is wafted everywhere. God is present at all places but, to recognise Him Saints have had to prescribe a thousand methods. He is in everyone, yet He evades discovery by all but a few, being all powerful. He is the Giver of all Gifts, the Providence bestowing upon us all the wherewithal: 'Asvrithya Thishtathi' (He remains All Encompassing).
473. THROUGH sheer ignorance, and perversity, the Shastras have been ignored and set aside, and man is misleading himself into the belief that his fancies are true, just, and beneficial. Man has thrown his 'humanness' into the crater of cruelty; forgetting his best interests under the influence of hatred, envy, conceit and power. He has cast aside the expanse of his culture. As a result, Peace has flown from the heart of man, from the fold of Society, and the boundaries of Nations.
474. ONE flower cannot make a garland. All flowers must come together to make one. So you must equip yourselves with strong bodies, sacred ideals, and unselfish intentions in order to serve your country. You can achieve any high ideal provided you are cooperative, well disciplined, soaked in service and sacrifice, and fully determined to succeed.
475. DO not hope to gain Grace by looking down upon mankind and looking up at Sai. Remember that your dress, behaviour, and appearance will reveal your character and attitude towards others. Always have sweet, soft words on your tongue. Cast your eyes only on holy sights. Wear clean, simple clothes and do not imitate those who are fascinated by latest fashions in dress and style. How can you do Seva when you move so far away from the common man? I advise you to 'Follow the Master'. By 'Master' I mean the Conscience within you, the Voice of God.
476. SERVICE is God. Why has God endowed man with a body, a mind and an intellect? Feel with the mind, plan with the intelligence and use the body to serve those who are in need of service. Offer that act of service to God; worship him with that Flower. Put into daily practice the ideals that Sathya Sai has been propagating and make them known all over the World by standing forth living examples of their greatness.
477. THE Upanishads proclaim that Thyaga alone can grant 'Amrithatva' (Renunciation alone can bring about the Bliss of Immortality). One has to ignore all bonds of kinship and comradeship, give up all attachment and affection, and, in the heart thus liberated, install God in all His Glory. This is the only means to earn everlasting and undiminished Ananda.
478. WHETHER one is a renowned scholar with expert knowledge of the deepest levels of religious lore, a monarch reveling in the brilliance of palatial luxury, a hero of many battles, or a miserable victim of poverty - if one has no devotion to the Lord, one does not deserve homage, honour, or attention.
479. DO not hesitate to practice humility and obedience, discipline and compassion; Give up pride of your status, wealth, scholarship or official position. 'Can I, a big Officer, a rich merchant, a great scholar, a man highly respected in Society, descend to this level of clubbing with this sorrowing man? 'Do not ask such silly questions. Everyone of these qualifications of which you boast will disappear with death, or sometimes sooner. The Ananada that you give and the Love that you share will be your lasting possessions.
480. THE great axioms of Bharathiya Culture found in the Vedas - 'Iswarassarvabhuthaanaam', 'Isaavaayamidam Sarvam', 'Vassudevassarvamidam' (God is the inner Motivator of all beings; All this is enveloped in God; All this is Vasudeva and the Divine is to be inside one). This is the inner mystery of the Incarnation: God incarnating in all! All are one; The One is All. There is only one God; He is Omnipresent! There is only one Religion, the Religion of Love. There is only one Caste, the caste of Humanity. There is only one Language, the Language of the Heart.
481. WHAT is the root of worry? Wants and the efforts to fulfill them, and the fear of not succeeding to the extent desired. Reduce wants and you reduce worry. You congregate here on the Nilayam verandah seeking a personal interview with Me, with a load of wishes in your heart; wishes, that you want me to fulfill! Why carry all the load? Carry only one load: the desire to win the Grace of God. He will confer what is best for you. Leave the rest to Him.
482. WHAT is this lifetime? Is it to struggle in the mire or march straight on to the eternal? You will get millions to tell you what is pleasing to you, but it is difficult to get one in a million who can tell you what is good for you. What is good for you is akin to Truth. Truth is hard but beneficial. It is unpleasant advice to tell a man to stick to the Truth at all costs; Truth alone pays dividends that satisfy.
483. PEOPLE think that they live on food. Then how is it that, while the wealthy who can afford all kinds of food, succumb to untimely death, while the poor still live? Man does not live by food alone. In fact he lives by the power of the Soul. Without discrimination, what is the use of physical strength?
484. TO presume that either from wealth or kith and kin you can derive mental peace, is a great error. Such peace only comes from God. In fact, there is no strength superior to Love. Where Love is, there everything is. So you must live in God; and live in Love; then everything shall be right. You must make others also live in Love.
485. WE talk of Moksha. What is it? It is only giving up the 'Anatma', the Unreal. Suppose you want a tumbler of fruit juice. Unless you throw away the water already in the tumbler, you cannot pour the juice in the tumbler. Similarly, unless you give up materialism, 'Atmabhava' (spirituality), cannot come to you. 'Moksha' is not a distinct and different 'Sadhana'. It is only giving up unnecessary desires. Through anger, wisdom is lost. Disharmony is the cause of anger; of disharmony, jealousy, and of jealousy, ignorance is the cause.
486. MAKE your body and mind pure. This place is like a workshop where broken-down cars are repaired and made whole. Do not entertain bad thoughts and do bad deeds. Life is holy and sacred. Go through it with joy and happiness. Do not carry gloomy, unhappy faces. Happiness is union with God. This period of your life is sacred. If you can not derive happiness and live in Bliss at this age, can you be blissful when you grow old? Now, you have only two legs to carry; you can jump about freely. But when you marry and rear up a family, you will move like a caterpillar with many legs!
487. SO long as man is bound to the body, his God too has to be in a body like his own. It is often said disparagingly, that God is conceived as having eyes, nose, tongue and limbs. When the person who worships has these, the worshipped too must have them, in order to make the worship meaningful. Only when one is unaware of his 'form', can he adore the 'Formless'! It is indeed surprising that those who laugh at God being pictured as having a body, do not laugh at their being enclosed in a body! When man has to be corrected and liberated, God has to come as Man, as Narayana had to do to save Mahabali.
488. THE Vedas are the foundation of the Bharatiya Culture. If in modern Society a trace of spiritual illumination is visible, we can ascribe it to this Vedic basis and the way of life I demand. All moral codes (Dharma) have emanated from the Vedas; and all the Worlds have Dharma as their sustenance: 'Vedamulam Idam Jagath'.
489. YOU will learn that I am Prema itself; that I give only one thing, Ananda, through that Prema. My task is to distribute Solace, Courage, and Shanti. That is to say, My Characteristics are the ancient authentic ones. Only the Manifested Form is new. My desire, if I can put it in so many words, is this: 'More and more should yearn for Me. The desire will be realised only if I assume this Form and come among you'.
490. EVERY day, when you sleep, where are you? Who are you? Your senses are inoperative; your intelligence is in abeyance; your mind creates a World of its own and, after playing in it for some time, it lapses into inactivity. That is sleep: the nearest you reach in your journey to Samadhi. Live in the 'Atmathathwam' that will ensure 'Shanti'. With the poison of 'Raga' and 'Dwesha' inside you, how can you be pronounced healthy? If you experience the 'Atmathathwam', you become Bhagawan Himself.
491. ONCE Narada was asked to name the most noteworthy among the things of the World. He answered that the Earth was the biggest. But, he was told water has occupied three fourths of the Earth; it threatens to swallow up the balance too, bit by bit. So, water, he had to agree, was more powerful. However, water too was drunk up by the Sage Agasthya and the Oceans were rendered dry by him and he, in turn, is now just a star in the sky! Is the sky the biggest, then? For it was covered by one single foot of the Vamena Avatar of the Lord. And, the Lord? O, He enters the hearts of the devotees and resides there. So Narada had to conclude that the hearts of Bhaktas are the grandest things in creation.
492. SANKARACHARYA came for the work of Dharma-Sthapana, but he did not wage a war against the narrow Sectarians, or the wild Theologians who opposed him as a Pseudo Buddhist. He won them over by argument, persuasion and preaching. He spoke softly, but with conviction. He gave his opponents a fair chance to present their cases to the best of their ability and sometimes he even helped them to clarify their own points of view. Through Bodha alone, can Dharma be saved in the modern Kali age. That is why I am engaged in Bodha, this task of reconstruction through Upadesa.
493. A LIFE without character is as barren as a temple without a lamp, a coin that is counterfeit, and a kite whose string has snapped. A teacher who instructs pupils with his eye fixed on his salary, and a pupil who learns with his eye fixed on a job are born missing their vocation. The teacher has to help the pupil unfold and manifest the skills and qualities inherent in him and encourage him to rise to the fullest height he is capable of. The Divine is the Core in both the teacher and the pupil.
494. EVERYTHING in the Universe is vibrant with Sath, Chith and Ananda. We (Sath) are intelligent (Chith) and blissful (Ananda). These three are attributes of Divinity, which is our dormant but dominant force. Ignorant of the truth, structures are built up and paraded on other bases. Mankind suffers from fear and hatred on account of this fundamental defect in their search for Knowledge.
495. PRAYERS for worldly ends do not reach God. They will reach only those deities who deal with such restricted spheres. But all prayers arising from pure Love, unselfish eagerness to render service from hearts that are all inclusive, will reach God. For God is the very Embodiment of Love. We know that we can see the Moon only through the Moonlight. So too, God, who is Love, can be realised only through Love. Love is God. Live in Love.
496. THE desires that cling to the mind are the blemishes that tarnish man's inner consciousness. Control the senses. Do not yield to their insistent demands for satisfaction. When a corpse is placed on a pyre and when the pyre is lit, both the corpse and the pyre are reduced to ashes. So too, when the senses are negated, the mind too disappears. When the mind disappears, delusion dies and liberation is achieved.
497. VAAK or voice has to be rigourously trained to avoid chatter and wandering prattle. Keep the tongue under control; do not express all you are prompted to say; cut that inclination to the minimum. Silence will charge the battery and you can win through a longer period of 'Dhyana'. Be full of Prema and then your words will spread Prema. They will be sweet and soothing like balm to those who suffer.
498. ATTACHMENT, affection and interest will create prejudice, partiality and illusion; they hide the truth; and they dull the intelligence. Raga is Roga; attachment is a disease, so far as the inquirer is concerned. It does not become a Yogi to have Raga (affection); He must be free from favourites, fancies and fondness. Once you attach yourself to some person or habit or mannerism, it will be difficult for you to shake them off.
499. UPASANA means that all your thoughts, deeds and words on those holy days must be about God; that you should spend the day 'Near Him', 'in Him' and 'for Him'. It means that eating, sleeping and other bodily avocations have to take a secondary role and that Meditation and Japam have to take the main role. If your body wastes away as a result of these fasts, God will be blamed. So, you are only drawing down the calumny of people on the God you adore.
500. WHY must man live for years - a burden on earth, so much of rice or wheat consumed, year after year with no return in joy or peace to himself or others? The Petromax light will shine bright only when you pump air vigorously, that is to say, engage yourself in Sadhana and illumine your mind better and spread light on all who come near you.
501. THOSE who deny God are denying themselves and their glory. All have Love in their hearts, in some form or other; either towards the children of the poor or their work for the good of others. That Love is God, the spark of the Godly in them. They have Ananda however small or temporary, and that is a spark of God and the Godly. They have Shanti, Detachment and Sympathy. All these are the reflections of the Divine on the mirror of their minds. These are all mental excellences, revealed through an appreciation of the advantages of virtue.
502. THE principle of Love has no trace of ego or blemish. It is fully free from selfish attachment. Whatever Sai does, whatever Sai thinks, whatever Sai says and whatever Sai observes is all for your sake, not for Sai's sake. My only desire is your Ananda. Your Ananda is My Ananda. I have no Ananda apart from yours.
503. WHATEVER thoughts arise in Me are only for the Peace and Welfare of the World, for the progress of Youth and for transforming ideal boys and girls who will lead others along the path. You must dedicate yourselves for rendering enthusiastic service to the people of the World, recognising that the Sai Principle has no egoistic urge.
504. WHEN do we need Light? Not during the day, but when night prevails. Then we need a lamp, a flame, the Moon; so too, until wisdom enlightens us, we need Sadhana; until we experience the one Unified Divine, we have to accept and practice discipline, regulations and Sadhana. Ignorance is the Night. Knowledge is the Light. There are nine lamps that can illumine the mind and free it from darkness: Sravanam (listening); Keerthanam (Adulation); Smaranam; Padasevanam; Archanam (ceremonial worship); Vandanam; Dasyam; Sakhyam; and Atmanivedanam.
505. PRAYER must emerge from the effect to the causes. The individual Self has to yearn for the Supreme Self. It must emerge from a pure heart. Prayer drinking cup must be clean, both on the out side and the inside. Prayer should not arise out of the tongue, as music rises out of the gramophone record. When the song does not arise from your depth, when you are not involved in it, how can it draw God unto you? You must achieve confidence, then the self-confidence will lead to self-sacrifice and self-realisation.
506. WHOLESOME happiness arises only from fullness of Love, Truth, Peace, Charity and Fortitude. These can fructify only in the atmosphere of Love - Sathya Sai. Men yearn for good times, high status, power and good life. But seldom do they yearn for good thoughts, wisdom and virtue. What better advice can Sai give?
507. GOD is the entity close to man, dearest to man. Your mother and father might be far away, but God is right with you. Even if you do not Love Him, He will not depart from you or move afar. 'Anoraniyam' say the Vedas (Smaller than the Atom). He becomes 'Mahathmaheeyaam', expanding beyond the Cosmos and fitting all with Grace. In every call, He will be in you. You can earn this Awareness through intense Love.
508. BLESSEDNESS can be conferred only by the Divine Source; it cannot be acquired from worldly achievements and triumphs. It is dependent on the Immutable Triad, of Sathyam, Shivam and Sundaram.
It assumes all forms, this Santham! It assumes all names, this Shivam! It is Sath-Chith-Anand, this only one! It is Sathyam-Shivam-Sundaram!
509. LET the children, even grown-up boys and girls, touch the feet of the Father and Mother every morning before the daily tasks are started; it will generate a reverential atmosphere in the home. Five minutes in the shrine room and the Namaskaram for Parents - let this be the daily routine. The Upanishads recommend this as the basic requirement of our Culture: 'Mathru Devo Bhava; Pithru Devo Bhava; Acharya Devo Bhava'.
510. THE home is the temple where the family, each member of it is a moving temple, is nurtured and nourished. The Mother is the high priest of this House of God. Humility is the incense with which the house is filled. Reverence is the lamp that is lit with Love as the oil and Faith as the wick. Spend the years of your lives, dedicating them for such worship in the homes that you will find.
511. PEOPLE crowd into film shows, rush towards social clubs, spend days together in playing cards, but when they are asked to sing the Glory of God and purify themselves and the atmosphere, they clamour for concession! When the heads hit against each other in anger, can the feet be steady and unaffected? They too will kick and trample as maliciously as they can.
512. REMEMBER three things always: continue Seva, wherever you are; seek chances of helping others; never lose an opportunity of using your skills and enthusiasm for the alleviation of sorrow, pain or distress. Again, do not omit or neglect or postpone your own particular spiritual Sadhana. Study Japam, Dhyanam, Bhajan, Namasankirtan and other such disciplines. Above all, have the faith that Swami is with you at all times and all places.
513. AS the Vedas announce, there is no Dharma higher than Truth. Truth gets hidden, appears distorted and is declared to be failing; so, the Avatar asserts its validity and value once again. God wears Truth, the good seek Truth and the bad are rescued by Truth. Truth liberates; Truth is power; Truth is freedom. It is the lamp that illuminates the heart and dispels doubt and darkness. The effulgence of God is Truth. Welcome God in your heart. Install Him there as a result of yearning. Be always concerned with Brahman; then you are entitled to be known as a Brahmin.
514. INJURY inflicted on any being is sacrilege, self injury. Love is transformed into poison if hate contaminates it. Love some, but do not hate the rest, for that hate will foul the Love and make it mortal. Love comes automatically to the realised soul; but the Sadhaka has to cultivate it by means of Seva and inquiry into the unity of the Atman. Love must flow not only from the tongue or head, but chiefly from the heart.
515. PRASADAM means Grace, which flows from God when He is propitiated. My Grace is ever with you; it is not something that is given or taken. It is given always and accepted by the Consciousness that is aware of its significance. Win the Grace of your own subconscious, so that it may receive the Grace of God which is ever available. God does not deny anyone; it is only you, who deny God. When the gift is preferred, you have to do only one little act so that you may earn it. You have to extend your hand to receive it.
516. THE Kshetra or Field or Body must be transmuted into the Dharmakshetra, the purified area of Virtue and Vairagya (Renunciation of lower desires). Then the Charioteer will take charge and man gets liberated and the body becomes Brahmakshetra. That is the life story of a self-realised person.
517. THE Avatara-Purusha, however, has come solely to save mankind, and so, He is aware of the pilgrim, the path and the goal. He is the master of creation and He is fully conscious of His power. He knows the past, the present and future of all. He leads and liberates.
518. AMBITION to earn fame in the world, to gain some position of authority over fellow men, to lead a luxurious life - this can never ensure Shanti, Mental Peace. Mental Peace is the result of quite different attainments. Wealth cannot command it, nor authority commandeer it! It must be won the hard way through Meditation, Namasmaran and the nine steps to the presence of the Almighty. It must be won on the Earth, to which man rightfully belongs, and not on any other heavenly body towards which he may dare navigate.
519. THE basic lesson that each Religion teaches is to surrender to the sovereign will of God and leave the consequences of deeds well done to the Lord Himself. It is His will, and your only duty is to shape yourself into a fit instrument. To suppress the assertive ego, disciplines have been laid down in every Religion, by every compiler of moral codes, by every educator and reformer of human morals. But the oldest, most effective and the most successfully practiced system is the body of directives laid down in the Vedas and Shastras of India.
520. TIME ticks on relentlessly and man is born, lives and dies, rotating on the wheel of Karma and consequently unaware of the means of escaping from the oncoming destiny. Agony and anxiety have not softened his heart; adventure and achievement have not made him humble. He is proud of his advance in the path of hatred and haughtiness. He revels in cruelty and sin. He displays an unholy satisfaction in immorality and untruth. He has reduced himself to a level lower than that of beasts.
521. THE receptacle may be different, but the Divine content is the same. The taste of sea water will be saline whether you test a truckload, a bowl full, a pit full, a sip or a drop on the tongue; the taste of the Divine can be experienced in the atom or the Cosmos, the friend as well as the foe, the virus and the Universe. This is the Realisation, the Liberation, the Illumination and the Revelation: 'Sarvam Vishnumayam Jagat.' This sphere of change is surcharged with the Omnipresent Divine.
522. THE Saints and Sages of India and even the Incarnations that God vouchsafed to take in this land have proclaimed and practiced the ideal of service to fellow beings. Krishna drove the chariot of Arjuna during fateful days when the fortunes of the Pandavas were decided at the point of the sword. Imagine the Lord of the Universe holding the reigns of Arjuna's horses. Note how Hanuman was elated when he rose to the status of the servant of Rama.
523. THERE is no discipline equal to service to smother the ego and to fill the heart with genuine joy. To condemn service as demeaning and inferior is to forego these benefits. If a wave of service sweeps over the land, catching everyone in its enthusiasm, it will be able to wipe off the mounds of hatred, malice and greed that infest the World. Attune your heart so that it will vibrate in sympathy with the woes and joys of your fellow men. Fill the World with Love. Love will warn you against advising another to do something which you are unwilling to do; your conscience will tell you that you are living in a lie!
524. ASCETIC practices, years of constant recitation of the Name, pilgrimage to holy places and shrines, study of the sacred books - these will not help the aspirant to spiritual victory as much as communion with the Godly and the good. Bharath is a rare treasure house of spiritual jewels; it can confer all boons on the sincere.
525. NEVER give up the Gayatri. You may give up or ignore any other Mantra, but you should recite Gayatri at least a few times a day. It will protect you from harm, wherever you are - traveling, working or at home. Westerners have investigated the vibrations produced by this Mantra and have found that, when it is recited with the correct accent as laid down in the Vedas, the atmosphere around becomes visibly illumined. So Brahmaprakasa, the effulgence of Brahma, will descend on you and illumine your intellect and light your path when this Mantra is chanted. Gayatri is Annapurna, the Mother and the Force that animates all life.
526. THE lotus has as many as a thousand petals. They all emanate from the Central Karnika or pericarp. Each petal draws its strength, sustenance, colour, fragrance and charm from the Karnika. Detached from the Karnika, the petal cannot survive. That attachment and that affection can be secured when the petal clings to the ideals of Sai and the lessons of Sai. In My message to you, there is no scope for your seeing differences or distinctions among those you serve. 'Loka Samastha Sukino Bhavanthu', (May every being in all the Worlds be happy); That is My wish and Blessing.
527. FROM the narrow vision of 'individual need' man must voyage out into the broad vision of the 'Universal'. When a drop of water falls into the Ocean, it loses its narrow individuality, its name and form, and assumes the form, name and taste of the Ocean itself. If it seeks to live separately as a 'drop', it will soon evaporate and be reduced to non-existence. Each one must become aware that he is part of the one Truth that encompasses everything in the Universe. It is reprehensible to stick, for one's whole lifetime, to the narrow path of selfishness, envy and greed. Make the heart big and the mind pure.
528. MEN may have super abundance of food, clothing and housing, but their hearts may be dry and their spirits gloomy. Sense control, self-confidence, contentment, absence of hatred and greed are far more precious possessions than land, money or houses.
529. THERE are four 'F's' that you will have to fix before your attention: (1) Follow the Master; (2) Face the Devil; (3) Fight to the End; and (4) Finish at the Goal. 'Follow the Master' means: observe Dharma. 'Face the Devil' means: overcome the temptations that beset you when you try to earn Artha (wealth or the wherewithal to live in comfort). 'Fight to the End' means: struggle ceaselessly; wage war against the six enemies that are led by Tama or lust. And finally, 'Finish at the Goal' means: do not stop until the goal, Moksha (Liberation from ignorance and delusion) is reached. The 'F's' are fundamental for the pursuit of the four Purusharthas - Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha.
530. I HAVE not been Manager, Secretary, President or Chairman. I am the example, the Leader, the Guide. I have none to compel Me, nor do I profit. Still I work in order to guide and teach. If I remain inactive, how can the wheels of the World revolve? I attend even to the minutest detail of every arrangement here - the stage, the dais, tarpaulins, sheds, water tanks, pumps and everything else. I do everything even for Myself. So I do not need your Seva. If you do Seva to those who gather here, that gives Me Ananda. I need no other food beyond Ananda.
531. NO bird casts the seed on land to grow food for itself, nor do beasts plough and enclose fields claiming, 'this is mine, this is for my children and my children's children'. 'Nishkama-Karma' is the natural face of activity for the children of God, the progeny of Immortality. They sing and swim, they dance and drive, they talk and walk and they pray and pine, because they must; it is the nature too. They do not know what will happen as a consequence; they do not care; they do not anticipate any result. They are just themselves when they do these things. It is Sahaja-Lakshana, their innate nature and their inborn characteristic.
532. JNANA is not an attribute of the Universal Absolute (Param-Atma). It is Param-Atma itself. The Upanishads declare, 'Sathyam-Jnanam-Anantham-Brahma' (Truth, Wisdom and Eternity-is Brahman). Jnana is the fulfillment, it is the goal, the consummation. Man is as ugly as a face without a nose if he has no wisdom, whatever other attainments he may decorate himself with!
533. AGRICULTURE is for living; mind culture is for life. Skills are for shaping material things so that they cater more to the comfort of man; studies are for shaping attitudes, feelings, desires, emotions and impulses of man, so that they may confer more peace, more joy and more fortitude on man.
534. ONE day, Anjaneya appeared in a garden on the outskirts of Dwarka. Krishna, who heard about the pranks of the strange Monkey, directed Garuda to proceed and scare the animal out of the city limits. Garuda failed, even though he later took the entire army with him for the fray. His pride was humbled. Krishna sent a message through him to the Monkey, who had declared himself as Anjaneya, that he should deign to come to Krishna's court. But Anjaneya, recognised only Rama and would obey only Rama. So Krishna had to send another message that Rama was calling him to His audience hall! Devotion compels the Lord to yield to the whims of His servants. Anjaneya hurried to see Rama and Krishna gave him the dharsan of Rama Himself.
535. EGOISM will be destroyed, if you constantly tell yourself, 'It is He, not I'; 'He is the force, I am but the instrument'. Keep His name always on the tongue, and contemplate His glory whenever you see or hear anything beautiful or grand. See in everyone the Lord Himself moving in that form. Do not talk evil of others; see only good in them. Welcome every chance to help others, to console others and to encourage others along the spiritual path.
536. MAN is suffering because he cannot rid himself of the greed for sense objects and sense pleasures or Vishaya-Vasana. He knows that he has to give up whatever he earns and collects, sooner or later; but yet, his attachment waxes instead of wanes as the years go by. If every man on Earth could take with him on death even a handful of mud from the Earth, there would have been nothing much left and mud would have been rationed at so many ounces per head!
537. YOU have read that the Lord, melted and moved when one performs acute Thapas, comes and asks softly and sweetly: 'My dear child, what is it you need'? He wants you to express in words what you have yearned for and ask the Lord whom you have brought before you through the exercise of silence. That is the little game He plays. And sometimes He wills that the questioner answers in the way His plan demands.
538. TO cross safely the flood of 'Birth-Death-Continuum', the bridge called Nishta or discipline of an unflinching kind is essential. It must be sturdy, a safe bridge or else you will fall into the raging waters and be drawn into the sea, infested with the sharks: Lust and Anger. See how great heroes like Prahalada did not lose their hold on the Lord, in spite of heavy odds. Prahalada never gave up the repetition of the Name of the Lord, though he was tortured, twisted and burnt. One must have that determination and faith.
539. SORROWS and disasters are like the clouds that flit across the sky; they cannot injure the blue depths of space. Your duty is just to strive on from this very moment. Do not vacillate or postpone. Who knows when death knocks? Maybe, he will knock this very night, this very moment; therefore, do not delay. Do you postpone for tomorrow the dinner of this day! Feed the spirit as scrupulously as you now feed the body.
540. YOU will find that you have craved only for paltry things and for momentary distinctions for fleeting fame; you should cry only for God, for your own cleansing and consummation. You should weep, wailing for the six cobras that have sheltered themselves in your mind, poisoning it with their venom: Lust, Anger, Greed, Attachment, Pride and Malice. Quiet them as the snake charmer does with his swaying flute. The music that can take them is the singing aloud the Name of God. And when they are too intoxicated to move and harm, catch them by the neck and pull out their fangs as the charmer does. Thereafter they can be your play things; you can handle them as you please.
541. IF you seek to fulfill low desires, why come here? Come here only if you seek to earn Grace. Go to a hospital only when you are resolved to take the drug the physician prescribes and go through the regimen he lays down. So, obey the directions that I give, whatever others may say or however difficult they may appear to be. You have not come to Prasanthi Nilayam to please those others. You have to please Me.
542. PRASANTHI NILAYAM is the centre for Spirituality uplifting the whole World; devotees from all over the World are here. The slightest mistake or wrong committed by you will be the talk of the World. Your behaviour must be exemplary; every country must learn from you. The foundation must not give way. You must be strong and steady, sincere and straight.
543. RAMA is the personification of Dharma. So Rama partakes of the Excellence of the Vedas. The Mahabharatha is generally known as the Fifth Veda. And the Bhagavatha describes the Glory and the Grace of the Lord and His splendour as the Indweller in All. So, that too is as efficacious as the Vedas to elevate man and to release him from the bondage to the mean and the sordid.
544. PEOPLE talk loud and long from all kinds of platforms about Dharma, Prema, Shanti, Daya, Sathya, etc. This is published in the Newspaper the next day and there their purpose ends. The paper of today is the wastepaper of tomorrow! It is used for packing or thrown into the dust heap and burnt as refuse. That is the story of all platform professions. Put into practice a fraction of what you preach.
545. TURN the key in the lock to the right, it opens; turn the same key to the left; it is locked. Turn your mind towards the objective World, it is locked, caught, entangled. Turn it to the right, away from the objects of the senses; the lock is loosened, you are free and deliverance is at hand. How to turn right? Well, begin with Namasmarana, as the first step. That will itself take you through the second and the third....to the very goal.
546. IF Liberation means the stoppage of grief and the acquisition of joy, then it is easy. What you have to do is to place all your burdens on God; that makes you free of grief and carefree. Then, when you take everything as the Leela of the Lord you love, you clap your hands in Ananda whatever may happen, for it is His Leela and you are as happy as He is, when His plans are going through!
547. YOU heard of the methods by which the Shastras have asked man to pay his debt to the Gods, the Sages and the Ancestors. You heard how Sanathana Dharma has laid down a 'thornless Path' for the progress of man, from Humanity to Divinity! Thornless or thornful, each has to tread the path, alone and in full confidence.
548. THE mind must become the servant of the intellect, not the slave of the senses. It must discriminate and detach itself from the body. Like the ripe tamarind fruit, which becomes loose inside the shell, it must be unattached to this shell, this casement called body.
549. LIBERATION is just the awareness of Truth, the falling off of the scales of delusion from the eye. It is not a suburb of select souls, it is not a closed monopoly of expert Sadhakas. Like the Godavari losing its form, its name and its taste in the sea, Liberation dissolves the name and form, aptitudes and attitudes. You are no more a separate, particular individual.
550. YOU are happy that you have come on a pilgrimage here, but let Me tell you one thing: unless you control the stream of desire that springs in the mind, this is just a wasted opportunity. If your wish is fulfilled, you revere Me; if it is not, you revile Me. That is how Desire debases you. When one wish is fulfilled, ten rise in its place. For there is no dearth of want; the same person has come to Me seeking success at the examination, then a job, then a father-in-law, then a child, then a rise in the salary, a transfer to a cheaper place and a seat in the Medical College for his son - a never ending series of wants, until at last he comes seeking My Grace for an end to worldly pursuits and for initiation into the path of spiritual liberation.
551. NO one can liberate you, for no one has bound you. You hold on to the nettle of worldly pleasures and you weep for pain. The kite is pursued by the crows so long as it carries the fish in its beak. It twists and turns in the sky trying to last and then it drops the fish. That moment it is free. So give up the attachment to the senses; then grief and worry can harass you no more.
552. WHEN you know that thieves have broken into your neighbour's house, you become extra cautious and, every night before you retire, you examine every lock and bolt in the house. When you know that death has carried away a victim from the house next door, why do you not examine yourselves, whether you are equipped to meet it when it comes for you? Why do you immerse yourselves in distractions like building houses, piling bank balances, celebrating picnics and contesting elections. Engage yourselves rather in things that will make you immortal and serve your best interests by service to the World! Seek your own Reality; that is what a wise man should do.
553. DHARMA purifies the mind and leads you to God. It creates a taste for the Name and Form of God. When you love the name and form of Krishna, you will naturally respect and obey the command of Krishna, His Agna, which is found in the Bhagavat Gita. Have the Name on the tongue and the Form in the eye, and the demon called Aasa, unending desire, will fly from your mind, leaving joy and content therein. This kind of constant dwelling on the indwelling God will promote Love for all beings. You will then see good in others and you will strive to do good to others.
554. REMOVE the vices of lust and hatred, and put out the raging flames of anger and greed, then the innate Santham and Soukhyam and the Swarupam and Sevabhavam of Man will manifest themselves unhindered. Santham is the Swarupam, and Soukhyam is the Swabhavam of man.
555. THE very fact that man is equipped with memory, mind, intelligence, discrimination, the ability to anticipate the future and the desire to detach himself from the senses is an indication that he is destined for some higher goal. In spite of this, if man craves for a lesser consumption, he is a Papi (Sinner). But he, who persists in spite of temptations and obstacles on the path that leads to self-fulfillment and self-realisation, is a Gopi, for the Gopis of Brindavan were the most inspiring examples of such souls.
556. FROM birth to death, man is the slave of urges and hesitations. One must examine these and rely more on those that lead him towards subjective joy rather than objective pleasure. Subjective joy can be acquired by harmony at home, mutual cooperation among the members of the family and community, acts of service to others and concern for the welfare and prosperity of the Society in which one is living.
557. THE body can be clean if washed with water. Speech can be clean if it is saturated in Truth. Life can be purified if it is sanctified by Tapas; and the intellect can be cleared of blemish through Jnana. Above all, the conviction that you are not the body but only a resident of the body has to grow in you. If you identify yourselves with the body that you carry about with you, you are inviting sorrow and suffering to overwhelm you instead of the joy and peace which are awaiting to bless you.
558. WHEN the Gita directs you to give up all Dharmas (Set codes of morality), it does not ask you to also give up all Karma (activity); that is to say, you have to do Karma, and when you do it for God, through God and by God, the Dharma of it does not matter; it has to be acceptable and it is bound to benefit you. The statement is not an invitation to licentiousness or complete inactivity. It is all for dedication and surrender to the highest in Man, viz. God.
559. WEAKNESS, vacillation and despair bring dishonour on Him who conferred on you the honour of 'Amirthesya Puthraah'. You are 'Bala-Swarupa', or the Nature of strength. Whenever accosted, you must declare yourself so and not otherwise. Do not bend and cringe and barter your self-respect. Do not believe that you are a little lump of body. You are the indestructible immortal Atma of the same nature as Brahman itself.
560. DO not admit into your mind the demon of Asanthi. Direct all your cleverness and all your intelligence to the successful execution of the great Drama, in which all of you are taking part at present. It is His Drama. He is the Director, you play a role, an actor carrying out His Will, speaking the words that He put in your mouth and making movements as directed by Him.
561. THE experience of this one life must be enough to show you that there is no joy unmixed with grief, that both grief and joy are short lived and they both depend on the mind and its control. You do not require the experience of a series of lives to grasp this patent fact. This World is keeping you in bondage; it is a prison from which you must get released; and you should not plan to return to it again and again.
562. THE eye which is scarce two inches long can see millions of miles into space but is incapable of seeing itself! Man too is as shrewd and as weak as the eye. He can analyse others 'motives, count others 'faults and map out others 'skills and capacities but, he is powerless to analyse himself, his feelings and his emotions. Unwilling to discover his own faults, he cannot assess his innate skill and realise his inner reality! But the power can be acquired if you keep company with Sadhakas (aspirants for spiritual progress), not otherwise.
563. DO not imagine yourselves as Hindus for the reason that you are born in Hindustan. You are too entangled in the rules of Caste, the Ceremonial of rituals, and the coils of Astrology to grasp your own inner Reality. You do not realise the spark of Divinity in you and try to raise it into a flaming fire of Divine Splendour, reducing your pretty 'I' into ashes. Sanathana Dharma tells you about that spark and teaches you how to foster it and develop it. When you ignore this Dharma and allow Science to entice you, you are bringing disrespect to your culture and disowning your country.
564. TO spend some time in the Divine presence is a fortune which is a reward for past merit. You are here, going through Sentences from Courts for delinquencies. Let me tell you that all men are undergoing Sentences for long or short periods with simple or hard labour, to atone for misdemeanors and crimes done by them in their past lives. Every fall makes a dent; every fault has to be corrected; and every sin has to be cleansed. Everyone is a prisoner.
565. INSIST that you are the body, the mind, the senses and the intelligence. It encourages you to care for the strengthening of the body and its beautification; to cater to the fancies that attract the mind; to pursue the fleeting pleasures of the tongue and eye; it tells you that reason is the only instrument for measuring Truth and decries intuition and experience. 'Mine' teaches you to grab, acquire and possess, merely for the joy of possession and the joy of depriving others of things of value. But the mind can also be used for Liberation from these two shackles, I and Mine. Let it be fixed on God; they will both disappear.
566. MAN thinks that he knows everything, but when asked about himself, he hangs down his head in shame. Man knows the news of every land but he is ignorant of the nuisance that he is to himself and others. He is moving in darkness but yearning for Ananda. He does not know the means of securing Ananda: Prayer, Seva, Study of Spiritual Texts, Meditation and Silence. He has no faith that he is Ananda and that Ananda is his own nature. He is blown away by calamity, for he has no strength to withstand the blow. Faith in the God within is the toughest shield against the thrusts of Fate.
567. NESTS laboriously built by birds are torn away by storms; the fragrant petals of flowers are felled by rain. Defeat and victory are the obverse and reverse of the same coin; when you welcome one, you have to willy-nilly welcome the other, too. Forbearance, compassion and incorruptible virtue are the three pillars of a happy life. Only such a life can be called civilized; the rest is barbarian existence.
568. PRAYER for some benefit or gain should not be addressed to God, for it means that God waits until He is asked! Surrender to Him; He will deal with you as He feels best and it will be the best for you. God does not dole out Grace in proportion to the praise He receives!
569. WHEN you pray for a thing from God, you run the risk of condemning Him, if for some reasons the Prayer is not answered the way you want it to be or as quickly as you want it. This contingency arises because you feel that God is an outsider, staying in some Heaven or holy spot, far away from you. God is in you, God is in every word of yours, every deed and every thought. Speak, do and think as befits Him. Do the duty that He has allotted to you to the best of your ability and to the satisfaction of your conscience. That is the most rewarding Puja.
570. WHEN you stand before another, his image is in your eye and your image is in his; have you not observed this? You are in Him, I am in you: that is the Truth this phenomenon proclaims. When you believe in this, and when you cultivate Love, Humility, Reverence for Life and Tolerance, you are on the Right Path. When you are not on this Path, that is to say, when you are traveling left, you are certainly left out when it is a question of sharing Divine Grace.
571. WHEN you do not accept the insult someone casts on you, it goes back to the person who indulged in it first; a registered letter that is not accepted returns to the sender. Do not damage your mental peace by receiving the letter and reading the contents. Refuse to receive it. You have a chance of correcting the wrongdoers too; accept it and pin the gang of mischief makers. So be warned!
572. I KNOW many parents who dote on their children and admire them when they learn the bad habits of gambling or drinking! They do not curb them when they swagger about in the bazaars, teasing and bullying those who pass by. They do not instill into the young minds the attitude of reverence towards property belonging to others. As a consequence, their children land themselves in trouble and, then, the parents repent and curse themselves for their unpardonable foolishness.
573. IF the parent is a drunkard, a gambler and a cheat, no amount of textbook ethics can cure the sons. I like children and the young innocence. I will not allow them to be blamed. The fault lies wholly on the shoulders of the elders, the parents, and the leaders who shape the norms which they imbibe.
574. CLEANSE your emotions, passions, impulses, attitudes, and reactions. That is the essence of spiritual discipline as laid down in all Faiths. Examine your mind, your thoughts; do not seek the fault ridden person. Seek only purity; speak ill of none. Do not humiliate anyone; respect him for the good in him. Their grief at your behaviour will haunt you during your last moments.
575. LIFE is a mosaic of pleasure and pain - grief is an interval between two moments of joy. Peace is the interlude between two wars. You have no rose without a thorn; the diligent picker will avoid the pricks and gather the flower. There is no bee without the sting; cleverness consists in gathering the honey nevertheless. Troubles and travails will haunt you but you must not allow them to deflect you from the path of duty and dedication.
576. IF you feel you must have something to be happy, pray to God: 'God, you have the responsibility to keep me healthy, happy, good and intelligent; give me this thing which I believe is necessary for my happiness; but, if you think I am wrong, give me whatever you think best'. God will never desert His obligation. He will feed you and foster you.
577. HAVE patience; do not, in your hurry, enjoy cheap joys, fall into error and unrighteous deeds. Have faith that God will add unto you all the joys that you desire and deserve. People ask men for favours; they extend their hands towards others and plead 'Dehi' (Give). But, 'Dehi' means also, 'He who dwells in the 'Deha' or Body; which is God'. So, do not humiliate that 'Dehi' by calling out 'Dehi' before others. Say 'Dehi' to the Dehi; He will respond generously and graciously.
578. WOMEN preserve the culture of this country with greater tenacity and faith. They keep men on the moral path and inspire them to follow spiritual discipline. Their hearts are tender and full of compassion for the hungry and the distressed. That is why in this land, women are adored and revered.
579. ELDERS quote the Shastras that say that the home, where the floor is soaked by the tears of a woman, can never see prosperity. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa took great care to see that Saradamani Devi did not take his simple jokes and ridicules too much to heart, for then she might shed tears. We honour the land where we are born as our 'Mother Country', the language we learn on our mother's lap as 'mother tongue', and the Scripture that teaches us Morality as 'Mother Veda'. In this way, every Indian has four mothers, including the mother who gave birth to him. According to Indian Culture, all these have to be adored as Divine.
580. THOSE who deny God, the Supreme Will or the First Cause, can give no real satisfactory justification for their stand; nor can those who assert that there is God. Both have to rely on their own experience. After all, how can sweetness be denied by one who refuses to taste sugar? How can one be convinced that sugar is sweet until one tastes it? We have to feel the great marvel of energy, manipulating both, the minutest atom and cell and the vastest, most distant star. How else can we understand the Omnipresence and Omnipotence, except by accepting God as the Architect of the Cosmos?
581. FOLLOW the call of the Divine arising from the hearts of all living beings. Serve them in an attitude of worship, not expecting something in return. Do not even accept gratitude, having dedicated all your acts to the indwelling God. This will purify you, so that you shall be able to listen to the 'Soham' that your breath repeats every moment. 'Soham' transmutes itself into OM when the distinction between He and I has dissolved itself in the process of 'Samadhi'.
582. MAN is born for the attainment of Joy, not for sheer eating and reveling. Real and lasting Joy can be won only by a life led along the path of Dharma which makes the inherent Divinity of Man shine forth; Illumination is the purpose of life; of the recurring sequence of birth and death. Man has in him the spark of Divinity which is Omnipresent, Omniscient, Omnipotent and immanent in the entire Universe. In order to become ever aware of this innate Reality, man must learn the technique laid down by the Scriptures revealed by the same Divinity.
583. THE very first lesson of the Primer of the spiritual text is 'Control of Speech'. Speech is the armament of man; other animals have fleetness of foot, sharpness of claw, fang, horn, tusk, beak and talon. But man has sweetness of Speech which can disarm all opposition and defeat all the designs of hatred. Sweetness makes you 'Pasupathi' - Divine; harshness makes you 'Pasu' - bestial. Mere outward politeness or sweetness is hypocrisy! Sincere speech must flow from real sweetness of heart, a heart full of love. Remove all evil from the Manasarovar, the pellucid lake of your Mind, and, make it a fit abode of Godhead.
584. START from today a new Chapter in your life, the Chapter of Japam and Dhyanam, Japa- Sahitha Dhyanam or Dhyana Sahitha-Japam. In the Tretha Yuga, the Name was Sitharama; in the Dwapara, it was Radha-shyama; and in the Kali yuga, it is Sarvanam, that is to say, all Names of the Lord; you can select any one that appeals to you.
585. EVERY man desires to acquire Ananda. From where can Ananda be acquired? Faith alone can win Ananda. Peace can be gotten only through Faith; Faith is the spring of Joy. But now we see Sorrow, wherever we cast our eyes. Why does this happen? Because man has lost Faith. He has no Faith in himself. How then can he acquire Ananda? How can a person, who has not enough Faith to live happily for a few days, win the Grace of God?
586. NAMASMARANA is the process by which this dedicatory attitude can be cultivated and confirmed. When confronted by calamity, you must attach yourself to this Sadhana even more firmly, instead of losing faith in it and getting slack. The drug should not be given up when it is most needed. The pity is that, when the first disappointment faces you, you lose courage and confidence and give up Rama or Krishna or Sai Baba.
587. MANY of you have problems of health or mental worry of some sort or other. They are mere baits by which you have been brought here, so that you may contact the Grace and strengthen your faith in the Divine. Problems and worry are really to be welcomed as they teach you the lessons of humility and reverence.
588. BHARATHVARSHA knew that the secret of Peace lay in Service and Love towards all beings. The Culture of this land proclaimed that the best form of Service is to foster the practitioners of the good life; the Sages and the Sadhakas. Do not decry the servants of God; do not obstruct the charity of the generous; do not discourage the study of the Scriptures, even if you cannot positively promote any of these; that is the lesson taught in this land.
589. AT present, everyone is after Sukha. The hunt for comfortable jobs and positions of influence, the founding of banks and business houses, the growth of bungalows - all this is evidence of the eagerness to live in happiness. But there is no eagerness to live in Shanti. Sukha is confused with Shanti. Sukha is taken to be the same as Shanti. None of the rich, well placed, prosperous or powerful have Shanti. You can investigate and find out for yourselves the truth of this. Shanti is not found in the Pass-Book or many roomed bungalows or godowns or iron safes. Your whole attitude is topsy-turvy.
590. GO straight along the path of Karma and Dharma towards Brahma; this is your destiny. Karma has to be done; there is no turning away. Each has his allotted task, according to the status taste, tendency and earned merit. Do it with the fear of God and of sin deep in your heart. Welcome pain and grief, so that you take both success and failure as hammer-strokes to shape you into a sturdy Sadhaka. Inner contentment is more important than outer prosperity.
591. THE Sun is about 90 million miles distant from our Earth. The most distant planet so far known is Pluto, which is nearly 3670 million miles away from the Sun. It takes 248 long years to make one journey around the sun. Well! Has God planned all these heavenly bodies out of sheer caprice? Or does He intend to convey any lesson through these happenings? God will never produce an effect without cause or purpose. Nor will He manifest substance without value. Why? The rotation of the Earth on its own axis, for example, causes the seasons, the formation of clouds and the falling of rain. God has graciously willed to establish peace and prosperity on Earth.
592. FRIENDSHIP must serve as lids for the eye, as sandals for the feet. The friend must be 'another Me'. He must experience, in equal depth, the joy and the grief of the other. Friends must be like milk and water. Let Me elaborate this example. When milk, when mixed with some water is placed on a burning stove, the water goes, off as steam. The milk laments the separation and boils over. Then, the only way to keep it calm, is to sprinkle a spoon or two of water; its friend is back and it is happy. Milk cannot tolerate separation from its friend.
593. OUR friends today attach themselves not to you but to your purse or to some advantage they can gain through your father's kindness. When your purse is empty or when your father is no longer in power, they bid you good-bye. Friends who drag one away into evil habits and vicious deeds are prowling around in search of victims.
594. UDYOGAM Purusha Lakshanam, it is said. Ud-yoga means, as is commonly understood, employment in some job, something that is worth doing. No, it means Ud (Higher) Yoga (spiritual discipline): a Sadhana which has assumed the status of a job. All jobs that you take up are Ud-yogas, higher disciplines, which mark out (Lakshanam) the Purusha (the man). When Artha is sought through Dharma, the Purushartha deserves the name, 'Paramapurushartha', for it is Parama oriented towards the Para or the higher eternal values.
595. IN one of his speeches, Nehru had to acknowledge that there is a Destiny that shapes events, irrespective of individual effort. Well, everyone will come to that conclusion sooner or later; for there is a limit to the capacity of man to control events. You may call it Destiny. Another may call it Providence; and a third, God. Names do not matter. It is the humility that matters; the wonder and the sense of awe that matters.
596. THE eye sees because it is illumined by a microscopic spark of the rays of the Sun. 'Chakshos Suryo ajayatha'. From the eye, Surya was born. The Atma is the motive force of all the Senses; the eye is but a window through which the Atma peeps out at the external world. Of what use is the eye when the vision is not correct? Samam means Brahmam; Samadrishti means seeing only Brahmam, the one in all things, at all times. This Ekathwam is the basic Truth. All other experiences are partial, distorted, and false.
597. EDUCATION must include the education of the mind of man, of his impulses to hate, to hoard, to fight and to defame. It is not merely the acquisition of certain skills by which the materials found in nature can be reshaped into utility products; it is not merely the acquisition of information about the laws of Nature. It is the process by which man makes the best of his own inner equipment, his Anthakarana, to know himself. It should open his inner eye more than his outer; the outer must reveal the Glory of God; and the inner must reveal the God within.
598. CHILDREN should grow in the awareness of the brotherhood of man and the fatherhood of God. If no provision is made for this atmosphere and this teaching, we are denying them their due. Faith in man involves Faith in God; Faith in God creates Faith in man. Without faith, man is a creature bereft of roots; and he dries and withers quickly.
599. THE friends that the child collects at school and around the house have a beneficial or deleterious effect on its growth. Comics, horror stories, terrorism, gunmen pictures and cinema posters degrade man into a zero. The child learns to worship money and the things which money can buy; he admires cruelty and cunning, rather than Sympathy and Love. So, the Home, the School and the Society have to rise and take up this challenge posed to the future of this great land.
600. MAN is born with a great thirst and a deep hunger for bliss. He knows that he can get it, but he does not know from where. He has faint memories of his being the heir to the Kingdom of Ananda. But he does not know how to establish his claim to his heritage. Something in him revolts when he is condemned to die, to suffer and to hate. It whispers to him that he is the child of Immortality, of Bliss and of Love. But man ignores these promptings and, as one exchanges diamonds for dirt, he runs in search of meaner pleasures and sordid comforts.
601. I DO not care either for praise or for blame. I only pity these people who, in order to scrape together a few paise from the poor, resort to such filthy tricks. For all who are pained by these subhuman antics, I declare 'Even if all the fourteen Worlds unite together, the work for which I have come will not suffer a bit; even if Earth and Heaven combine, My truth can never be fully grasped'.
602. PRAYER and Meditation Prayer makes you a supplicant at the Feet of God; Dhyana induces God to come down to you and inspires you to raise yourselves to Him. It tends to make you come together, not place one in a lower level and the other on a higher. Dhyana is the royal road to Liberation from bondage, and with Prayer you earn the same fruit. Meditation needs concentration after controlling the claims of the senses. You have to picture before your inner eye the Form on which you have elected to contemplate.
603. WHEN you see in a house on the walls of the shrine room a picture of Mine, do you not feel a wave of reverence and kinship surging within you? You may not like him for any other reason, but this picture will bring him closer to you, though the owner of the house may be your rival in the professional field. So, too, know that every other person has in his heart of hearts a picture of the God you revere. Recognise it and reconcile your misunderstandings; close up all gaps with the brothers in pilgrimage, encouraging and inspiring each other along the arduous road.
604. WHEN the parents have no reverence for God, when the pictures of Stalin, Hitler, Churchill and Lenin adorn the walls of the home, when the child has to breathe the atmosphere of scandal, faction and greed at home, how can it grow into a happy, healthy balanced individual? The films that children are taken to see are full of violence and falsehood, mean tricks and conspiracies, which tarnish the springs of sympathy and love.
605. THERE are parents who are proud when their children join in card games and even in drinking and gambling; there are parents who get angry when their children read religious books, attend temple rites and sit quietly for a few minutes meditating on the awe and wonder that Creation evokes in them. How can such parents claim to be the well-wishers of their progeny? They are the greatest foes of their progress.
606. ALL the twenty-four hours are spent in attending to the care of the body, the prevention of disease, the promotion of health, the development of muscle, etc. No care is spent on the God resident in this physical tabernacle, who has to be recognised and revered. The weighing machine on which you stand to read your weight with pride laughs at you for the silly exaltation. It sneers at your conceit over physical victories; it warns you against too much concern over paltry gains. It knows that death is lying in wait to snatch you away, however heavy you may grow. Develop 'Drishti' (vision); not 'Deha' (body). Concentrate on the Maker, not the made.
607. TO elevate man to the level of his consciousness, He (God) has to incarnate as man. He has to speak to them in their own styles and languages. He has to teach them the methods that they can adopt and practice. Birds and beasts need no Divine Incarnation to guide them, for they have no inclination to stray away from their Dharma. Man alone forgets or ignores the goal of Life.
608. I HAVE no desire to have My Birthday celebrated. Such trivial thoughts can never enter Me. My only desire is to share My 'Ananda'. My Birthday is when you get 'Ananda'. My Mission is 'Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavanthu'. May all the Worlds be happy and prosperous! Become aware of the unity of mankind. Promote, by Love and Service, the Joy and Contentment of everyone on Earth and fill your hearts with that yearning.
609. ACTS done between dawn and dusk are offerings into the sacred Fire of Wisdom. Of such acts, those that are promoted by instinct and impulse are material; they do not arise from a mind moulded by the intellect. When the mind is crossed and the outer shore reached, all acts become pure and holy. When deep sleep overpowers the senses, the mind, the intellect, and even the sense of ego disappears. The entire Cosmos disappears from awareness. That is the Truth when the Atman is alone by itself and bondage is naught.
610. GOD, Over-self or Paramatma is praised by man when his desires are fulfilled. When they are not realised, He is blamed. But He has no prejudice or partiality. If He has Love, He must also have anger. Any manifestation of these feelings is only superficial and does not rise from the core. God is the witness of the act-consequence chain. You can avoid the consequence by dedicating the act of God and abstaining from attachment.
611. ONE'S action decides one's destiny. There is no use blaming others for our misfortune and misery. Nor is it right to blame God as being partial or cruelly unconcerned. When you plant a bitter seed, how can the fruit be sweet? It has become the fashion to claim all good as one's own achievement and to ascribe all the despair and disappointment to an irresponsible attitude of Divinity.
612. I WISH to emphasise that purity of the heart, the mind and the consciousness is more important for progress than even Meditation and Prayer. Purity alone can convince you of the Divine within you of the Kshetrajna immanent in the Kshetra. Love all, adore all and serve all. That is the Sadhana of worship, to win purity and earn Grace.
613. THE consequence of the meritorious activities of previous births can be drawn upon now; but unless you have them, no cheque will be honoured. Moreover, only those who have the account can operate. Each must have a separate account in his own name: One brother cannot draw on the account of another brother; and the wife cannot draw on the account of the husband.
614. SOMETIMES, the Bank will give you overdrafts, so that you tide over temporary crisis; the extent of the overdraft is settled by the Manager with reference to your reliability and capabilities. It is like the 'Anugraha', Grace that God will confer on you when you have earned it by 'Sathkarrna', 'Sathchinthana', 'Sathsanga' and 'Namasmarana' (good deeds, good thoughts, good feelings and, good company), and constant repetition and reflection on the Name of God and the Glory it seeks to express:
615. WHEN you have attained true wisdom, you will find that good fortune should not be gloated over, nor bad fortune grieved over. The Hero treats both with equal unconcern. They are breezes and storms that cannot affect the depths of the Ocean of Bliss in the heart of Man.
616. PEOPLE in America, Europe, and Africa, Hong Kong and Australia are establishing Sathya Sai Bhaktha Mandalis and Study Circles; they are having Telugu classes, so that they may listen to Me and learn things directly from Me. As for Me, I have no 'near' and 'far'- all are near to me except those who keep afar. Even they are close to Me, if only they dedicate themselves to God, under whatever Name and Form.
617. CYNICAL laughter cannot harm the Sadhaka. Can a storm shake the Himalayan range? Let not your faith in the goal or the road quake before trouble or trial, toil or travail, distress or despair. They are but passing clouds, casting temporary shadows hiding for a little time the glory of the Sun or Moon. Do not get distracted by doubt of despondency. Build the mansion of your life on four firm pillars: Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha, the Purusharthas laid down by the ancient sages, each pillar bound strong and safe with every other.
618. THE Ramayana, the Mahabharatha, and the Bhagavatha are to be mastered, not allowed to become masters. You go through them without allowing them to go through you! The Volumes are bound in silk; and incense sticks are burnt before them, while man prostrates before them in reverence. But no attention is paid to what the pages proclaim. The frills and fringes attract the mind more than the kernel provided by the text.
619. ACT according to your professions. Do not play false to yourself and to your ideals. To deny by your acts the truth of what you preach is a sign of cowardice and moral suicide. You say that Baba knows and sees everywhere, but you do something wrong in the belief that Baba is somewhere else. You pray to Kali in the idol form, believing it to be alive and you hide something behind the idol, imagining that no one would know about it.
620. THE chief Characteristics of Sathya Sai are: equanimity and forbearance (sahana). There are many who are engaged in criticism and calumny. Many papers publish all types of writings. Many pamphlets are printed. All kinds of things happen in the World. My reply to all these is a smile. Such criticisms and distortions are the inevitable accompaniments of everything good and great. Only the fruit-laden tree is hit by stones thrown by greedy people. No one casts a stone on the tree that bears no fruit.
621. SANKARACHARYA was going along the streets of Varanasi, when he saw in a small hermitage a monk poring over a book of grammar. He took pity on the aging scholar and warned him that, when the end draws near, his panditry will not save him from perdition or take him to the goal of merging with God. So he asked him to adore God and fill himself with thoughts of the Divine. This is the proper way to deal with life, not frittering it away as a feast of fancy.
622. THE tree will grow with branches on all sides; countless flowers will bloom; it will provide and promote peace and security to the World. In order to realise this result, students must do as roots do: remain firm and provide sustenance. I know that the roots have to be watered so that flowers and fruits may emerge. Students are my all. If you ask Me, what is My property, many expect the answer to be, 'Oh! All these buildings; all these vast areas of land'. But My answer is 'My entire property consists of My students'. I have offered Myself to them. But many are not aware of this fact. Some unfortunate people cannot believe the Reality of this Love: the Love of a thousand mothers.
623. THE situation in India and in the World today is 'Evaniki Vaare, Yamuna Theere' (Each for each on the Yamuna beach). There is no togetherness. How happy can man be if he develops togetherness! Can you eat a meal with a single finger? When the five fingers work in unison, the stomach is filled in five minutes! So, no attachment should be developed; no wish is to be welcomed, nothing is to be sought for; and no defeat is to be taken to heart, without solving deep into the consequences.
624. IT was ascribed to one's past deeds and one's own mental tendencies. It is wrong to cast the blame on others. But, someone pointed out that God was the originator of both joy and grief and that without His will no blade of grass can waver in the wind. Yes; if that Truth be firmly established in the heart, one gets the unique bliss of liberation. God gives everything; whatever we get is His Grace, and you have no right to judge if it is good or bad.
Bhaja Govindam, Bhaja Govindam Bhaja Govindam Moodha Mathe Sammpraapthe Sannihitthe Kaale Nahi Nahi Rakshathi Dukrn.
625. PRAISE God, Praise God, Praise God, you fool, when death does knock at door, rules of grammar cannot save you. Sankara exhorted his pupils to disseminate the ideal of this verse, and they, too, responded with verses on the same lines, each of the fourteen contributing one verse. Sankara gave another twelve of his own, as well as four more verses about the transformation that the teaching would confer. Thus, there are 31 verses in all, in the text called Bhaja Govindam or Moha Mudgaram. The latter name means, 'The weapon with which delusion can be destroyed'. Each one is a step in the ladder which lifts man into God.
626. ELECTRICITY is found everywhere in Nature but it can be collected, stored and utilised only through certain contrivances designed by man. The spiritual Atma Sakthi that is also everywhere is stored in a body and passed through the thin wires or nerves; it illumines and directs activity. These activities have to be oriented towards Ananda and not attachment to temporary pleasures. The life principle that flows as intelligence through every cell and nerve is also a reflection of the Atma.
627. WORK is for the physical level, worship for the mental and wisdom for the spiritual. You have to pass through the three stages, each one of you. When I say to you, there are three of you! The one you think you are, namely the body, the physical person; the one the others think you are, the mental you, your passions, emotions, impulses, attitudes, and beliefs; and the one you really are, namely, the Atma, the Spirit, the real Reality of your Personality.
628. ONE can understand the spirit of renunciation and the depth of tolerance that is inherent in India's noble response. Whoever is afflicted with calamity, at whatever time, under whatever condition, your heart must react without delay in sympathy shown in the same practical manner. No one should be condemned as trash; even a little stick can serve as a toothpick! God has not made any man wholly bad or wholly good; your likes and dislikes are inducing you to label them as such.
629. UNLESS one develops virtue, uses skill, intelligence and discrimination in the most beneficial manner and directs his physical might with restraint, his life is wasted in bitterness and grief. The Vedas declare: 'Nakarmanaa, naprajayaa-dhanena, thyagenike amrthathwa masmuth'; (Not by acts, nor by riches nor by progeny, but, only by renunciation can immortality be gained). 'Renunciation, detachment, sacrifice, giving up - these alone can ensure the highest Realisation and Eternal Bliss. Renunciation is the law of life. That is why life is worthwhile and a source of happiness.
630. OF what avail is the shaving of the scalp while leaving inside of it a multitude of desires clamouring for satisfaction? This kind of Sanyasa is a fraud on the person entering it and on Society. No Avatar, you will note, has granted Sanyasa to any aspirant. These external insignia are not essential or even necessary. Non-attachment, born out of wisdom and fostered by the Grace of the Lord, is the precious capital for spiritual advance.
631. THE Sanyasi has to declare his death and perform obsequies for himself and bury his past. He destroys all that binds him to the rest and to his past, his history and his name. He avoids any reminder of his erstwhile adventure and the pursuit of sensory joy. He flees from his friends and foes, his habits, and habiliments, his hobbies and prejudices. But we find men who have taken the vow of Sanyas still clinging to their long established practices and habits. Instead they must completely break with the past. That is why in the Gita, Karma Sanyasa and not any other types of Sanyas is prescribed.
632. GURU Nanak said that without faith in God, man is blind; Without it, you are a moving corpse - your life might be as grand, beautiful, and rich as the Taj Mahal but remember, the Taj is but a tomb! Whatever the method of worship and whichever the Name or Form, it is faith that matters; it is that which gives life and energy for higher things.
633. I LIKE the Puja that is done not for the sake of the individual but for the sake of humanity. By all means, do Puja in order to promote the happiness and peace of living beings. Develop that love for men everywhere. That is My Mission too, My Resolution, My Sankalpa, and My Deeksha - the planting of Love in every human heart.
634. IT becomes essential to cleanse the mind through regular Sadhana, to tune the little will to the infinite will of God, so that it becomes merged in His Glory. Scholarship or skill, however deep and varied, have no cleansing power. They only add the alloys of pride and competition. Learned men are not necessarily good, nor are men with spiritual powers over nature above pride, envy and greed. Sathya, Dharma, Shanti and Prema are the hallmarks of a purified heart, where God is enshrined and is manifest.
635. INSTEAD of transforming his heart, his home, his village, his state, and this World into a Prashanthi Nilayam, the abode of the peace that passes understanding; man has made the World an arena for the wild passions of anger, hate and greed. Instead of making the senses (which are, after all, very poor guides and informants) his servants, he has made them his masters; he has become a slave of external beauty, evanescent melody, exterior softness, tickling taste and fragile fragrance. He spends all his energies and the fruits of all his toil in the satisfaction of the trivial demands of these untamed underlings.
636. INDIVIDUAL efforts and Divine Grace are both interdependent, without effort there will be no conferment of grace. Without Grace, there can be no taste in the effort. To win that Grace, you need only have faith and virtue. You need not praise Him in order to win His Favour.
637. THE character of the children must be made strong and pure. Give them all the confidence and courage they need to become good, honest, and self-reliant children. It is not enough if they learn something by which they can make a living. The manner of living is more important than the standard of living. The children must also have reverence towards their religion, their culture, their educational attainments and their country. They must learn well their mother tongue, so that they can appreciate the great poetical works and epics written by the Seers of their land. This will give them valuable guidance in the stormy days ahead.
638. LEARN to share with others their grief and their joy, do not get jealous when others are happier or when others win prizes or credits in examinations. Emulate their industry, pray for a higher share of intelligence or a sharper memory, but do not give room in your hearts to envy and malice. Envy is a deadly poison, it will contaminate character, ruin health, and rob you of peace. Be Anasuyas, unaffected by envy, and you can subdue the Gods of creation, Protection and Destruction. Like a pest that destroys growing crops, envy enters slyly and spreads quickly. So even in small matters, be vigilant to ensure that you do not fall a prey to envy.
639. THE six enemies of man are eating into his vitals, embedded in his own inner consciousness. They are the demons to be killed. They are Lust (Kama), Anger (Krodha), Greed (Lobha), Attachment (Moha), Pride (Mada) and Malice (Matsarya). They reduce man to the level of a demon. They have to be overpowered and transmuted by the supreme alchemy of the Divine urge. Then the nine nights of struggle will become a new type of night, devoted to the purification of the mind and the illumination of the soul, the night described in the Gita as 'the Day of the Worldly'. What is clear and attractive to the ordinary man is uninteresting and unknown to the Worldly man. This is the nature of the topsy-turvy world.
640. THE selfishness fouling your love is veiling divinity from your vision. What is the reason for the selfishness which is veiling divinity from us? It is simply our attachment to the body; It is the weakness of our mind and our enslavement to our senses.
641. USE the eyes to watch wholesome things, the feet to proceed to the Home of God, the hands to serve the embodiments of God moving around you as men and the tongue to soothe pain, praise virtue, and glorify God. Do not use your eye to vulgarise your brain and your feet to stand in queue for deleterious movie-shows.
642. THOUGH the World has become a very small globe as a result of fast means of communication and transport, man has not yet learnt the art of living together in close proximity as brothers and as children of the One God. The closer men are brought, the larger the differences that appear. Thus, the little World is now riddled with problems of conflicting cultures, competing creeds and contesting ambitions. The sorrows of one State spread fast into all its neighbouring ones and infect the whole world. The World has become one vast battlefield.
643. MOST of you are leading a double or triple life: Yogam in the morning; Bhogam the rest of the day; and Rogam at night. You seek Ananda outside you and suffer from the ulcer of desire inside you. You utter one thing with the tongue and carry out the opposite with the hand. You claim to be the seekers of Jnana but you are attached to the delusion that you have cultivated. You have a ticket for Calcutta but you are traveling in the train headed for Bombay. With the body, which is your ticket and Vigna and Vairagya your luggage, you are traveling not in the train which goes God ward but in the train leading to Prakruthi. This is a pity.
644. THE Atma has an eternal festival. It is Anandaswarupa. It is beyond time and so does not calculate the passage of time. Let me ask, how can man celebrate a festival when he is afflicted by Dehabhranthi, Manabhranthi, Indriyabhranthi, and Lokabhranthi? He believes the falsehoods that are called the body, the senses, the mind and the world. He pursues them and tastes joy and grief, and when a certain number of years have passed, he celebrates a festival.
645. INDIA is the Moolasharam of Sathya, Santhi and Prema and she has been holding forth these ideals and emphasising their practice since centuries. Bharath means the land that has 'rathi' or attachment to 'bha' or Bhagavan; it means that the people here are God-loving, not so much God-fearing. If you love God, you have to love Man also. This teaching, that Sathya is the basis of Dharma which lays down individual and social duties and obligations, and that Sathya is also the root of Prema and Shanti, is the unique feature of Bharath. Sathya is enough, no other God needs to be worshipped.
646. THE task now is to install Dharma in every heart, to shed light on every road, through the revival of Vedanta. The World is like a famished person waiting for a feast; it is like the parched land waiting for rain. I have seen and felt the atmosphere of this land surcharged with discontent and dishonesty. I have seen it from Kanyakumari to the Himalayas: that is the reason why thousands, like you seek Dharsan, Sparsan and Sambhasan. I am only surprised that thousands are denying themselves that chance.
647. IT is best you stay away from companions who drag you to such distractions that weaken and worry you; spend a few minutes every morning and evening in the silence of your own home, spend them with the highest of all powers that you know of; be in His Elevating and Inspiring Company; worship Him mentally; offer unto Him all the work you do; and you will come out of the silence, nobler and more heroic than when you went in.
648. JUST consider - do you come out of the cinema more peaceful, more heroic, purer and nobler than when you went in? No, your passions are aroused, your animal impulses are catered to and your lower nature is fed. Nothing else can give one that rich reward which Silence and Prayer and Communion with the Master can give, not even a decent bank account, nor a string of degrees, nor the muscles of a prize fighter.
649. LIVE upon the Ananda that you derive when you sing the Name and glorify the Form of the Lord That is My Food and My daily sustenance. So, I have no need to talk to you; it is sufficient if I sit here and draw in the Ananda that you feel when you do Bhajan.
650. THERE are certain dire possibilities which I want all social workers to guard against. First cleanse your own minds and then start advising others. Earn mental peace and strength for yourself and then try to secure them for others. Learn the secret of lasting happiness yourself and then endeavour to make others happy. Seek the real limb not the artificial limb. Get the doctor who will assure 'hereafter you will not fall ill' and not the doctor who gives some relief only for the present attack.
651. THE greatest instrument by which success can be ensured for all your efforts is Bhakti. That will give health, wealth and prosperity too, for it will eliminate hatred and faction and give more power to your elbow when you plough the land. A man with Bhakti will do every act as worship of the Lord and so the act will be done better and more efficiently, without any maligning or insincerity. It will also win the Grace of the Lord, and so, a Bhakta will be able to raise more crops and enjoy greater health and mental happiness.
652. WE light many candles with the flame of a single candle. But remember only a burning candle can light other candles. An unlit candle cannot light other unlit candles. Only one who has earned wisdom can enlighten others who are in ignorance. One who is himself unillumined cannot illumine others dwelling in the darkness, Maya. One must light his own lamp from the universal light of love and thence forward he can transmit illumination to all who seek and strive. All lamps shine alike since they are all sparks of the Param-Jyothi the Universal Luminosity, that is God.
653. IS the Universe real? Is it relatively unreal? This problem has been agitating man since ages in all lands. The realists and the idealists have argued on their explanations for centuries. The scientists or realists believe that the Universe is a conglomeration of atoms in varying patterns which have assumed manifold forms and names. But this is only partially true. The Vijnana Vedins (the spiritually oriented) point out to the Dhoatik Vedins (the materially oriented) that a firm base is essential for all these transformations to happen. The Universe must have a basic force or energy or phenomenon, as basic as clay is to the pot. That fundamental principle is, according to them, the Atman.
654. THE human body is a temple-chariot; the Atman is installed therein and is dragged by emotions, impulses, passions and urges, along the streets of desire. Success and failure, joy and grief, gain and loss are the dancers who accompany the procession of life. Here, too, many pour their attention only on the chariot, its height, its decoration and its progress. Many others are concerned with the dance of durabilities. The pain and pleasure due to that is part of the procession. Few pay attention to the Atman, the crown and consummation of human existence.
655. WHY is man so pathetically afflicted today with fear and anxiety? Are we to search for the reasons outside us or do they live within us? The reason lies in the false emphasis we have laid on things of the material world, ignoring things of the spirit. The body that man bears is essentially the receptacle of God. It is a temple where God is installed and where God is the Master. It does not deserve all the attention you now pay to fulfill its whims. It is equipped with very valuable instruments which can help you in the journey but which you seldom use.
656. MANY are affected by the problem of what caused the Cosmos. How did it come into being? They advance various theories and lay down many opposing hypotheses. But there is no need for seekers to beat about the bush so much. Just as a dream results when one is cut off from reality in a state of sleep, the Cosmos is a result of being cut off from Reality by Maya, in a state of ignorance. It is difficult to discover laws that explain or govern its infinite mysteries.
657. WE find individuals and groups trudging to Badrinath, Kedarnath, and Haridwar in search of peace and prosperity. They also go to Tirupathi and Kashi. Have they jettisoned even a few of their animal propensities? That is the test; that is the justification for the money and time they have spent and the troubles they have undergone. When the animal is conquered and Godhead is felt within reach, man can assert that all these pilgrimages are within him. He has no need to travel from temple to temple. And without achieving this victory, you have no right to claim that you are a devotee of Rama or Krishna or of another incarnation of the Lord.
658. GOOD deeds like Puja, Japam, Dhyanam, the observance of vow, etc., are 'steps'. Good thoughts like prayer for greater discrimination and more chances to help others, also help. Slowly and steadily cleanse the mind; sharpen the intellect, purify the senses, and win grace.
659. IT is because you feel the urge to use the body with which you have been endowed, and for this higher purpose you are here in Prasanthi Nilayam. The kinship among you and all of you with Me, is ageless; it is eternal; it is not based on a worldly relationship; it is based on the aspirations of the heart. It is Prasanthi Nilayam that is the abode of Supreme Bliss.
660. THE Lord is described in the Purusha Suktha as 'thousand-headed'. It does not mean that He has just a thousand heads, no more, no less. It means that 'the thousands of heads' before Me now have just one heart, which gives life and energy to all, and that heart is the Lord. No one is separate from his neighbour, all are bound by the one life-blood that flows through the countless bodies. This is the special teaching of Sanathana Dharma, which the World needs.
661. THE Lord has endowed man with the body, and so, every limb and every sense is worthy of reverent attention. Each must be used for His Glory. The ear must exult when it gets a chance to hear the wonderful tales of God. The tongue must exult when it can praise Him. Or else, the tongue of man is as ineffective as that of frogs which croak day and night sitting on the marshy bank.
662. THE human body has been given to you for a grand purpose: realising the Lord within. If you have a fully equipped car in good running condition, would you keep it in the garage? The car is primarily for going on a journey, to get into it and go. Then only is it worthwhile to own. So too with the body, proceed and go forward to the goal. Learn how to use the faculties of the body, the senses, the intellect, and the mind for achieving the goal and march on.
663. MAN must proceed ever towards 'Balam' strength; he should not take to untruth, wickedness, and crookedness, all of which denote a fundamental fatal trait of cowardice, 'Balaheenam'. 'Balaheenam' is born of accepting as true a lower image of yourself than what the facts warrant. You believe you are the husk. But really you are the kernel. That is the main mistake. All Sadhana must be directed to the removal of the husk and the revelation of the kernel. So long as you say 'I am', there is bound to be fear, but once you say and feel 'I am Brahmam', 'Aham Brahmasmi,' you get unconquerable strength.
664. I WANT that you all should build new houses for happy living and install the Lord therein. I do not mean houses of brick and mortar, but houses of good thoughts, good words, good deeds and good company, where you could live calm and collected. Invite Me for the Grahapravesam of such houses and I shall most readily agree. In fact, then the house is Mine already and I do not need even an invitation to come and enter it. These houses are for worldly comfort; that house is for spiritual joy. And My place of Residence is the pure aspiring heart.
665. YOU are going about with a temple where God is in the innermost shrine. The body is not a mass of flesh and bone. It is a medicine for Manthras-Manthras which save when they are meditated upon. It is a sacred instrument, earned after long ages of struggle, equipped with reason and emotion, capable of being used for deliverance from grief and evil. Honour it as such; keep it in good condition, so that it might serve that high purpose; maintain it even more carefully than these brick houses and always preserve the conviction that it is an instrument and nothing more. Use it for just the purpose for which it has been designed and given.
666. IT is urgent that every one should inquire into the true, the pure and the permanent; for there is at present a delusion about values. Even the leaders of people are hugging the false hypothesis that happiness can be had by means of wealth or health, housing or clothing, or the cultivation of skills in handicraft and manufacture. The bird sits upon the bough that sways in the storm, confident of its wings, not confident of the bough on which it sits. So, you too should feel strong because of the wings, the wings of Sraddha and Bhakti, not because of the bough of the objective World on which you have perched.
667. YOU know from the experience of the Cauvery floods, neither status nor castes nor wealth nor even health can help unless you know the simple art of swimming. Need I say that crossing the ocean of Samsar, reaching the other shore of the sea of Birth-Death, is similarly possible only for those who know the art of Spiritual Sadhana. Those who are trying to build the seaman community on a foundation of 'Dhana', are building on sand; those who seek to build it on the rock of 'Dharma', are the wise.
668. DHARMA Moolam Idam Jagath. Dharma is the root of this World. Obey it and you are happy. The evil man is a coward, haunted by fear. He has no peace within himself. Respect for the parents who started you in life and brought you into this World, together with the vast and varied treasure of experience, is the first lesson that Dharma teaches. Gratitude is the spring which feeds that respect. It is a quality that is fast disappearing in the World today. Respect for the teacher, for the elders and for the wise is on the decline. That is why Dharma is fast disappearing and losing its hold.
669. JUST as the body is the house you live in, the World is the body of God. An ant biting the little toe of your foot is able to draw your attention to the spot; and you react to the pain, making an effort to remove the tiny enemy. You must similarly feed the pain, misery or joy or elation whenever it is evinced in the entire land; you must make an effort to protect the land from the enemy, however remote the place may be where the enemy has presented himself. Be kin with all your kind. Expand your sympathies, serve others who stand in need, to the extent of your skill and resources. Do not fritter away your talents in profitless channels.
670. THE entire epic Ramayana hinges on two women and two passions. Manthara representing Krodha (anger, resentment and vengeance) and Surpanaka representing Kama (lustful passion). Manthara plotted to send Rama into exile and Surpanaka caused the abduction of Sita and the destruction of the Rakshasas as a consequence. The two women are insignificant characters in the story; but the roles they play are key-roles, for they sparked off, by means of the passions they represented, strong chapters of pain and grief. Krodha and Kama are more destructive than atom bombs; but when Rama is installed in the heart, they just fizzle out.
671. WELCOME the epic Ramayana as you welcome an efficacious drug; it can cure deep rooted illness of the mind, the disabilities of the inner senses, and the defects of the inner consciousness. It can clarify your vision and make you strong and steady on the path towards God.
672. SANTHAAKAARAM Bhujaga Sayanam is one of the ways in which the Divine is described. Bujaga is the cobra, the poisonous snake. Its visha (poison) is the symbol of the evil influences of vishaya (Worldly desires). The Lord is said to repose on the bhujaga, the evil filled multiplicity of the World. Yet, the description says: He is Saanthakaaram (in absolute peace, unruffled in the least). The Lord is unaffected, though He is immanent in the Universe. Man too must be in the World, but not of it.
673. YOU must be careful about the food you take; the Jiva and Guhya are the two great foes of man. The cravings of hunger and sex drag you into perdition. Desist from catering to the tongue and its greed; do not be a victim of lust or taste. Have Sathvic food and eat it in Sathvic company. Be moderate in food and keep the senses strictly under control.
674. WHAT exactly is the aim and purpose of all the Shastras, the Bhagavatham, the Puranas, these discourses and the Harikathas? It is to tell man the truth about himself. There is no plot to mislead you. That is not the desires of the Sages who wrote down these annals and their own experiences. You know only the present and what is happening before your eyes. You do not know that the present is related to the past and is preparing the course of the future. It is like the headlines and titles of a film on the screen; as the letters gleam one after the other, you read them and pass on to the next that comes to view. Each new letter or word wipes out the one already before your eye, just as each birth wipes out the memory of the one already experienced.
675. PEOPLE who were charged with the social duty of reminding the masses of their heritage, have been rendered dispirited and mendicant. The Dharma laid down in the Vedas has to be experienced in order to be appreciated; it cannot be merely talked about in tall language. The use of the Vedas does not consist in mere recitation, though the reciters are doing a valuable service, presenting them in correct form and style of pronunciation. Vedas yield Ananda; Vedamatha is the Ananda Matha.
676. WHO am I? Every one of you has to know that this question has to worry you sooner or later. And everyone has to discover the answer. The senses, each specialising in one small field of cognition, are powerless to give the answer; they are at best very inadequate even in their own specialised provinces; there are sounds the ear cannot hear; there are colours the eye cannot take in and interpret to us; and tastes beyond the ken of the buds of the tongue. They are imperfect instruments for the study of the external World. How can they serve to teach us about the intangible, invisible, inner World of the self? The Vedantic vision alone can reveal to you: 'Anoraniyam mahatho maheemyam', 'the smaller than the smallest and bigger than the biggest'.
677 DHARMA is the road for individual and social progress in this World and through this World to the next. It is external, basic and fundamental. The principles may not be altered or adjusted to suit personal whims or pressing problems that appear formidable to the eyes of some individuals or group of persons. It is like the mother who has to be accepted, not like the wife whom you can choose or discard.
678. IF you can inquire deeply and reason fearlessly, you can appreciate the Indian point of view that, instead of seeking a lower standard of Ananda by feeding the senses, one can get lasting Ananda by training the mind to be ever in the eyes of the Cosmic, the Universal, the Lord as it is called, when you impose a Name and a Form upon it, and enclose it in your consciousness. Why does man get Ananda when he contemplates the Cosmic and the Universal? Because he is the Cosmic, the Universal.
679. ALL hearts are His Property. It is all His Domain, But just as the Zamindar sits only on a clean spot, though the entire area may be his, the Lord will install himself only if the heart is cleansed. The Lord has said, 'Mad bhaktha yathra Gaayanthe, thatra thishtaami Narada', 'Where my devotees sing of Me, there I install Myself'. I must tell you that you are luckier than men of previous generations. The accumulated merit of many previous births must have granted you this luck. You have got Me and it is your duty now to develop this relationship that you have achieved by sheer good fortune.
680. IN four or five year's time, you will see Yogis and Maharishis and Munis crowding here and you may not have such chances of asking Me questions and getting the answer, of approaching Me and directly speaking to Me. So, do not be like frogs around the Lotus, be like the bees. Plantains and mangoes are kept, while yet green, in straw or dried grass or in a closed room so that the heat may make them ripe and tasty. The meditation on God gives you too the right temperature to ripen yourselves and become sweet and tasty.
681. THERE are seven things that have to be fostered for the welfare of the World: the Cow, the Brahman-ward aspirant or the Brahmin, the Vedas, Chastity, Truth, Non-attachment and Dharma. All these are now fast declining and I have come to restore them in their pristine purity and strength. Do not think that this Sathya Sai Gita was composed by some Bhakta and that he reads it and explains it here. As he said, I am the inspirer and it is for your benefit that he has summarised My Teachings in this way. 'Ekkam Sathyam Vimalam Achalam'. It is said that the One Truth is pure and unshakable.
682. THERE are now thousands and thousands of educated institutions in the world. But, there is a great difference between the rest and those founded by Sathya Sai. The fundamental objectives of Sai institutions are humility, adherence to discipline and application of what is learned in daily life. If, what is learned is not put into practice, the student is like a cow that does not yield milk; a fruit lacking in taste, a book bereft of wisdom. It is not really man's task to stuff his head with transient knowledge and waste time in acquiring it. He should not engage in valueless activities and fritter away years of life. When man ruins himself , he descends to the level of the beast. When man uplifts himself, he ascends to the level of God.
683. OF the four Yugas, the present Kaliyuga is far more congenial than the previous three (Kritha, Thretha, and Dwapara) for the acquisition of wisdom and the cultivation of discrimination (Viveka), for we now have many simple paths available for liberating ourselves. The Scriptures say:, 'No age is equal to the Kali Age. Just through Smarana and Chinthana we can reach the Goal'. Smarana is the process of keeping the Lord ever in the memory; and Chinthana is the process of thinking of His glory all the time. Many people are scared because they believe that the Kali Age, in which we live, will witness the ultimate Deluge. Others call it the Kalpa Age, the Age of Conflict. This Age is the Golden Age for the seekers of God and for earning and learning Viveka.
684. PILES of books are plentiful in bazaars; schools abound; and there is no dearth of teachers. But wholesome learning and sincere teaching are not to be seen. It is for this reason that these spiritually oriented educational (Sai) institutions are being established to impart teaching in proper ways in order to preserve the hearts of students in pristine purity, stability and unselfishness; to develop them into workers dedicated to the progress of Bharath, intent on removing the anxiety and gloom that spread all over the land; and determined to revive the Glory of the Bharathiya Culture.
685. IF Divinity is absent, everything is devilry. So, teachers and students must have faith in God and boldly call on God. This will drive away the devilry that encompasses us. Of course, hesitation to address God is only superficial. During examinations, every student prays to the Almighty. When calamities happen, when loss is sustained, and when members of the family are struck by disease and are in mortal danger, people do pray to God. Why, then, yield to false pride and refuse to acknowledge God? This is sheer hypocrisy.
686. BHAKTI, to be effective, must be regularised through self-discipline; it should not be allowed to grow wild and untended. You rush forward to touch My feet or to prostrate before Me, ignoring the children, the aged and the sick, upon whom you fall when you press forward towards Me. Do not forget the Sai in those people, when you rush forward towards this Sai. The merit of all the hardship you underwent to see and hear this Sai is as good as canceled, when you inflict pain on the Sai who resides in them. That plus and this minus add up to zero. In your frenzy to offer homage, you should not forget others who have been waiting long for the chance; you must provide facilities for their dharsan.
687. TRANSMUTING humanity into Divinity is the task allotted to man. Word, thought and deed are instruments for this unavoidable destiny. By unremitting practice, this has to be achieved. The priest in the temple has to ring the bell with the left hand and wave the camphor flame with the right hand, an exercise in manual coordination which comes only as a result of practice. A new priest will use both hands and shake the camphor plate. Vemana has said that, while the serpent has poison in its fangs and the scorpion in its tail, man is capable of inflicting poison through his tongue, eyes, hand and mind. He has to overcome this acquired tendency and remind himself that he is 'Amrithasya Puthra' (the Child of Immorality), conferring sweet nectar and not death-dealing poison.
688. IF your circumstances do not allow you to partake in this Sankeerthana, stay at home and sing the songs alone in the silent cave of your heart. Do not do so according to a fixed measure, so many times or so many songs at a sitting. The heart does not calculate in numbers; it confers contentment which is immeasurable. That contentment can arise only through faith. When the mind wavers, loyalty sits light; love disappears; and faction begins.
689. I HAVE come for the re-establishment of Dharma and so, I always insist on people observing Dharma in all walks of life. Dharma is the inner voice of God. It is the conscience that has shaped itself as a result of centuries of experience and generations of asceticism and austerity; it is the voice of history, warning you against the branch of its command.
690. FOR treading the Bhaktimarga, one needs not scholarship, nor wealth, nor riches, nor ascetic rigours. Tell me what was the lineage of Valmiki, the wealth of Kuchela, the scholarship of Sabari, the age of Prahalada, the status of Gajaraja and the attainments of Vidura? - Prema was all they had and it was all they needed. The Grace of the Lord is as the Ocean, vast and limitless. By your Sadhana, your Japam, Dhyanam and systematic cultivation of Virtue, this Grace is converted into clouds of Truth, and they rain on humanity as Prema Showers, which collect and flow as the flood of Ananda back again into the Ocean of the Lord's Grace.
691. YOU have come here to learn and practice detachment. Get wet in the rain, while engaged in serving others. It does not matter if death comes while serving; do not pause; if you are so determined, God will not allow it to approach you. You complain 'Swami has not softened towards me'. Well, melt His heart, yearn, show Him the warmth of a repentant heart and of a sympathetic heart anxious to alleviate distress. Through deep detachment the craving for sensual pleasure must disappear; that will cleanse the Chitha or consciousness. God will then be reflected clear and the Reality can be recognised. This results in Peace and Equanimity which is the highest bliss.
692. THE wise will not give place in their hearts to covetousness and possessiveness. They know that there is a 'Kshetragna' who is the motivator of this 'Kshetra'; 'a knower of the field, who is the master of this field'. Vyasa, who collected the Vedas, composed the aphorisms that demarcate the Divine Principle (the Brahmasatram) and wrote the Mahabharatha, reputed to be the fifth Veda, could still not win mental peace. Those were intellectual feats, flights of poetry and philosophy but not flowers that blossomed from authentic experience.
693. IDEALS must become higher and grander. Desires must become more and more selfless and sublime. Attachment must be transmuted into nobler and subtler emotions. The story will be gripping only when there is steady development towards the denouement. That is why one passes through the crucible of joy and grief and emerges all the purer and stronger for the experience. When a child's growth is stunted, it causes grief; when he starts to grow normally, it causes joy, when the growth is abnormal, it causes grief again.
694. THERE is none to question Me if I do not act; there is nothing I would lose if I do not engage in activity. Nor have I any great urge to be active. But yet, you see Me very active. The reason is, I must be doing something all the time, for your sake, as an example, as an inspiration, as a piece of training. Those who are leading must themselves follow; and those who command must themselves carry out what they expect others to do. I am engaged in activity so that you may learn to transmute every minute into a golden chance to enable you to move into Godhood.
695. MAN is endowed with many skills; he is offered many lives; he is shown many paths. The purpose of all these gifts is to develop in him the spirit of devotion and dedication and release him from the dual dribble of joy and grief. When man visualises the Universe as God, its capacity to confer the dual experience disappears; he knows the Truth and is calm. God is One and One only; 'Ekam eve Adhivitiyam Brahma' (One only, without a second-Brahmam, which is the immanent principle). So one must endeavour to know God, who is Truth.
696. THE internal foes can be destroyed by the light of Jnana (the illumination that accompanies the Realization of the Reality). To acquire that illumination, one has to cultivate the spirit of impartial, steady, unfluctuating inquiry, based on the revelations made in the Vedas about the nature of man and God and the relation between the two. The Vedas have to be studied reverentially, for they give us the key to Jnana. The Veda is the Philosopher's stone that turns all metals into gold, all students into Sadhakas and all Sadhakas into Sages.
697. SEE how the insufferable heat of the Sun is controlled and modulated and reduced by your bodily mechanism to the congenial temperature of 98.4 degree F. So, you too should keep the destructive force of your elemental passions born out of the clamour of Sabdha, Sparsa, Rupa, Rasa and Gandha rigorously in check and bring it down to tolerable levels, yielding comfort and congenial living. You yourselves create the Maya of which you are the slave. Deny it the chance to lord over you and it will not harm you.
698. SHEER ignorance is the root cause for the disrespect that is being shown to Indian culture and the fascination exercised by the West. Do these people at least grasp the values of Western culture fully? No, only the fringe and the foppery are adopted. How can a person, who is unable to understand his own culture and heritage, understand the meaning and significance of an alien culture?
699. THE most fundamental teaching of the ancient culture of India is Love. For generations, the youth of this land have been exhorted, encouraged and taught, by precept and example, to love the poor, the helpless, the handicapped, the illiterate and the disabled, for the same spark of Divinity that is in us, is also equally evident and active in them. Education must endow man with this compassion and this spirit of service - intelligent, timely and full. That is to say, education must not only inform but also transform.
700. THE mind is like a boulder which the intellect transforms into an image, as a sculptor does. If the intellect allows the senses to dictate the design, the boulder will be shaped into a horrid idol. If, however, the senses are sublimated by the spirit, the image wrought by the intellect will be simply adorable. One must have the mind fully cooperating in the spiritual discipline and not obstructing its progress at every step. Liberation is the goal and the mind must help the pilgrim at every stage of his journey. The Mind should not admit any activity that is contrary to Dharma or injurious to spiritual progress.
701. IN order to live up to the high standards of morality which Indian culture exhorts, you must cultivate Love, non-violence, fortitude and equanimity. The last three guard and foster the first, Love, which you must cultivate. Many people have succeeded, with the help of the latter three qualities, to get their minds established in universal Love; but a large number of Sadhakas give up the ascent midway, because they lose confidence in their true selves. They do believe in God, who is the embodiment of Love and is their Real sustenance.
702. YOU must have heard some people say that no living person can be adored as God, even though the Sruthi declares: 'Daivam Mansushya Roopom' (God is to be seen in the human form). Perhaps they can revere only a corpse. Not Sivam, but Savam, is what they wish to revere.
703. OM must be recited slowly and with deliberation. The sound must be like an aircraft, first approaching from a distance to the spot where you are and then flying away again into the distance (soft at first but gradually becoming louder and louder and then slowly relapsing into silence; this silence, after the experience being as significant as the Pranavas). 'U' is the zenith, the Kailas, reached by the sound in its adoration. 'A' is the initial nadir and 'M' the final.
704. YOU must realise that the Divine current that flows and functions in every living being is the one Universal Entity. When you desire to enter the Mansion of God, you are confronted by two closed doors - the desire to praise yourself and the desire to defame others. The doors are bolted by envy; and there is also the huge lock of egoism preventing entry; so if you are earnest, you have to resort to the key of Prana (Love) and open the locks, then remove the bolt and throw the doors wide open.
705. THE day on which Jesus was born is a holy day. He announced himself as the Messenger of God. In fact, all humans are born as Messengers of God. The sole purpose of this human career is to propagate the Omnipresence of God, His Might and Glory. No one has incarnated for merely consuming food and catering to one's senses. Human life is much more precious than that. That is why the capacity to appreciate beauty, truth and goodness has been endowed only on man.
706. THE Brahmin, when born, is just a Sudra; birth does not entitle him to take up the study of this Mystery, even if the boy happens to be the son of a great Vedic scholar. It is only when he has been formally initiated by a special ceremony that he can start the study of Sacred Scriptures. The ceremony makes him a Brahmin; he is then born again into a sacred world of study and responsibility.
707. MY Prema towards the Veda is equaled only by My Prema towards Humanity. My mission, remember, is just fourfold; Vedaposhana, Vidwathposhana, Doarmarakshana and Baktharakshana. Spreading My Grace and My Power along these four directions, I establish Myself in the Centre.
708. WHAT profit is it for the children to know the length of the Mississippi River or the height of the Vesuvius? Why load them with information they may never require? On the other hand, give them the tonic to strengthen their spirit, the tonic of the Repetition of the Name of the Lord, the tonic of meditating on the Glory of God in the silence of the heart. Formerly, children were learning Rama Nama and the Aksharamala together: 'Suddha Brahma Paraathpara Rama'. They were taught to read and write. Now, they sing, 'Ding dong bell, Pussy is in the well'. This type of silly meaningless jargon is spreading everywhere like a poisonous infection, destroying the seeds of peace and joy.
709. LIVING becomes a glorious experience only when it is sweetened by Tolerance and Love. Willingness to compromise with others' ways of living and cooperation in common tasks make living happy and fruitful. Certain modes of behaviour have been laid down and proved beneficial by centuries of practice. These have to be observed with modifications to suit the conditions of today. We are developing in each department of life, but it is a pity that we are not developing the unique qualities of human beings. Develop the Atmic awareness, the consciousness of the Divine and the acquisition of Divine attributes. Expand love and understanding.
710. WITHOUT mastery over the inner instruments of emotion, no man can be deemed to be educated. The latent has to be cleansed so that the patent can flourish. Experience is essential for the confirmation of consolidation of what is learnt from books. We do not see any sign of this in the present educational system. There is no attempt to awaken the Divine in Man and awareness of the possibility of rising to the psychic plane.
711. EDUCATION must produce wisdom and moral character. It can be acquired only by hard living and spending days of toil, with no respite even for sleep. But present day education makes those who undergo it mere bonded-slaves to their senses. They do not know how to avoid this bondage, so they revel in envy, greed and egoism. What the country expects and demands from the educated person is, however, that he should set an example of honest labour and light the lamp of knowledge in every home.
712. SANKARA asserted that God is Formless and without Attributes and is best described as Supreme, Effulgence or Jyothi. He also said that the individual is not different from the Universal, that Jiva is Brahman itself, that the manifold nature is also Brahman itself and seen through a strange veil as a mixture of truth and falsehood, a peculiar make-believe called Maya or Avidya.
713. BRAHMAN is the cause and Prakruthi (Nature) the effect. Nature is the deluding manifestation of Brahman. It is what can be called Leelavibhuthi or an expression of Glory (Vibhuthi) done as more sport (Leela). When the Leela is perceived as apart from Brahman, it is a false and incomplete perception. The Leela is manifold, Brahman is all. To discover the One in the many is the purpose of human existence. Brahmam is eternal. It is the Nithyavibhuthi, the everlasting Splendour. It is named the Kingdom of God. Leelavibhuthi is Prakruthi or Maya or Avidya or Nature with deluding, deceptive diversities.
714. SPIRITUAL health is preserved and promoted by attention to three Gunas: Sathvika, Rajas, and Thamas. Health is preserved and promoted by attention to three humours: Vatha (wind) Pitha (bile) and Kapha (phlegm). Thri-dosha has to be avoided, that is to say, the three humours must not get vitiated or unbalanced. A healthy body is the best container for a healthy mind, illness makes the mind agitated and anxious. The material and the spiritual are the two pans in the balance. They have to be attended to, in equal measure, at least until a certain stage of progress is attained in spiritual development.
715. THERE is a conscience in Man, a whispering right advice, restraining unjust hands which man has almost succeeded in silencing; but, it is the voice of God; it can never be made dumb. Make the children cognizant of it. In Kerala there is a practice, still happily existing in rural parts, of the elders gathering the children around them every evening and spending an hour or so reciting aloud the Stotras in praise of God. It is essential that it must be revived. Time thus spent is well spent. It will give great peace and joy.
716. THE Upanishads were not composed or collected by persons who craved for fame or fortune; nor are they vapours of idlers and scribblers. They have the true ring of actual experience. They arose out of compassion for others wandering in the wilderness, out of concentration on the means of liberation from the dual chain of tears and triumph. Those, upon whom the people are traditionally depending for guidance, have become callous, forgetting their task, or involved in darkness and dialectics. So, there is need to spread the message of Love, which is the message of God. Simplicity is the sign of Divinity. Pomp, Paraphernalia, Jaw-breaking formula, abracadabra and dark mysterious mumblings are alien to the spirit of true Religion. These are tricks by which man wants to monopolise or gain God.
717. PEOPLE do not understand the ways of God. How can they know why a particular event takes place at a particular time, in a particular manner? He alone can know. But people try to sit in judgment and talk ill when, for example, someone dies of illness at this place. How can anyone escape death? Even Avatars cast off the physical form when the task for which they have come is over. It is the height of foolishness to lose faith in God, when someone you cared for dies. The sentence, that he earned is over and he is released. No one is born and allowed to live for the sake of another.
718. I ADVISE you to utilise every moment of your lives in the most beneficial manner, to serve your fellow men to the best of your capacity, to cultivate Love towards all mankind and to give up hate and malice. Believe that your God, the Form that you revere, is in every one and sanctifying every act as worship of that Form.
719. MONKS are instructed to shave their heads so that they can move about unrecognised by former friends and companions, but now, we find that they desire recognition and even appreciation, adulation and adoration, things that cater to the ego, things they are asked to flee from. A monk should, strictly speaking, eat like a dog and sleep like a fox-that is the popular saying. Eat whatever one gets and appease the hunger; and sleep wherever one finds shelter. Do not store food for another day or build a house wherein to pass one's days. Escape the entangling coils of the senses and of the ego that prompts them.
720. OF what benefit is the discourse of Mine if you do not receive it into your hearts and act accordingly? I find that all the efforts, all these years to awaken you to your duty are not fructifying in you. You are like the rocks on the seashore that unflinchingly face the beating of the waves. The rock does not move; the wave will not stop. This predicament should end. Awake and avail yourselves of this unique chance.
721. DRAUPADI moved into the tent and fell at the feet of Bhishma who blessed her spontaneously as was his wont: 'May you have many years of married life'. Draupadi revealed herself as soon as she was blessed. She prayed that the Pandava Brothers, her husbands, may be saved from arrows. Bhishma guessed that Krishna must be the author of this stratagem. 'We are but puppets in His hands', he said; and when he found Krishna at the entrance of the tent, he inquired what the bundle contained. Imagine his dismay when he was told that the Lord had condescended to carry under His arms the sandals worn by His devotee. Have faith in Him; He will never give you up; He will guard and guide you until victory is won. Sincere devotion and unshaken faith can never fail to earn Grace.
722. IN this Kali Age, the wicked have to be reformed and reconstructed through Love and compassion. That is why this Avatar has come unarmed. It has come with the message of Love. The only weapon which can transform the vile and the vicious is the Name of the Lord uttered with Love.
723. BEFORE every Incarnation, two collaborators for the task, which causes the incarnation to come, also appear as Mayasakthi and Yogasakthi. Maya comes, as the elder sister, to warn the wicked; Yoga comes, as the elder brother, to enthuse and keep constant company. Maya thrusts Kama deeper and deeper into perdition, so that his downfall will be more terrible.
724. YOU cannot have this chance of being near to the greatest source of joy in any other place. Here it is so near, so easy to attain and so full of grace. If you fall back, you will seldom get the chance again. Ask and get what will save you, not what will bind you. You ask from Me a thousand things of the World, but rarely do you ask for 'Me'. That is why I seldom address you as Bhaktas; I usually address you as 'Divyatma Swaruplara', for that is your real Swarupa. This Divyatman is Divinity. Though you do not know it, it is a fact. Therefore, I can address you so, with confidence. I can even call you 'Divya Divya Swarupalara' but as for Bhakti, it is a quality that will make you desire the Lord and nothing else.
725. WHEN the pot of milk on the hearth boils over, you pour cold water on it, and it settles down. Durvasa is the example of the pot of milk boiling over; and Narada of the pot of milk that does not. Narada had the Name of the Lord always on the tongue and so the senses did not establish mastery. If you too keep your senses and your wishes in check, you will gain by listening to these talks and by this visit; and I will be happy that you have taken to the path that will give you real strength and joy.
726. IN the past Ages, Avatars rid the world of evil, by destroying the few fanatics and heroes who wrought it. But now, fanaticism and felony reign in every heart. The number of Asuras or evil men is legion. All are wicked to some extent or other. Therefore, everyone needs correction; and everyone has to be educated and guided into the right path. Every being is a pilgrim destined to reach Madhava and merge in Him; but most people have forgotten the road; they wander like lost children, wasting precious time in the by-paths.
727. BHAKTI involves dedication with nothing held back; not even a wisp of ego should remain. His command alone counts; His will prevails. Like a drunkard, the Bhakta has no sense of honour or decency, pride or conceit. He is a Matha, as Unmatha, a mad person, unconcerned with all that is unrelated to his ideal. He is deaf to the call of hunger and thirst; he misses steps in logic and he calculates wrongly while dealing in the marketplace.
728. Kurukshetra must be made a Dharmakshetra. Kurukshetra is the field where brothers fought over a handful of earth; but it must be made a field for the uplift of man through the practice of Dharma. It is for the sake of Jnana that Dharma has been laid down. Bhakti and Karma are the two feet; and, the head is Jnana; walk on with the help of these two.
729. WHEN the heart is pure, the Lord is revealed, He is the judge. He cannot be bamboozled. The doctor may assure you that you do not have a fever, but the thermometer cannot lie. The doctor may say so in order to save you from panic, but the thermometer declares the truth. God knows and God will deal with you as you deserve. Have that faith. Repent for all the wrongs done and resolve not to repeat the mistake; then God will extend His grace.
730. YOU are the citizens of no mean land. Bharath is indeed a Divya Bhoomi: a land saturated since the ages with Devotion and dedication to God, the path to God was sought for by even the common folk; and spiritual discipline permeated every activity of life and every detail of daily life. You are the inheritor of a great culture which has survived the onslaughts of alien rule and political suppression.
731. WHEN someone sitting near you is immersed in sorrow, can you be happy? No! It may be that a that when a baby weeps within hearing range, you will get tears in your eyes in sympathy. Why? There is an unseen bond between the two. Man alone has the quality of sympathy. He alone can be happy when others are happy, and miserable when others are miserable. That is why he is the paragon of creation and the acme of animal advance. Man alone is capable of Seva; that is his special glory and unique skill.
732. GOOD ideas have to be accepted and bad ones eschewed. Each idea has to be judged in the Supreme Court of Viveka (Intellect). And the ruling has to be treated as inviolable. It is in this context that we have to remind ourselves of the prayer of Gandhiji; 'Sabko Sanmathi de Bhagavan', 'Oh, God bestow the right understanding on all'.
733. YOU must devote sometime regularly for study and for Sadhana. Now you are wasting time till late at night in clubs and frivolous company. A portion of that time, if spent with God, can confer valuable results. This Motherland has given you a culture that is attracting distracted people from all parts of the world. Be grateful, study the culture and practice the disciplines it lays down. Serve the poor and the helpless and those who eke out their livelihood by hard work.
734. TODAY, we have factions everywhere at home, between husband and wife, in the school between teacher and the pupil, and in Society between group and group, This is deterioration indeed. Peace and harmony between members of the same family are the foundation for peace in the land. The individual must be at peace with himself. The coordinated effort of all the organs of the body is essential for the healthy life.
735. FEEL happy that this is your mother country; love of the country is the basis on which you can build love for the World Community. Love expands; it does not limit itself to boundaries. Love your mother tongue; then you will discover that all languages are as sweet as yours, for a language is as sweet as the tongues of the speakers.
736. DO not preach; practice. In politics, in the field of administration, in schools and colleges, in spiritual institutions, everywhere, we have a surfeit of preachers but a famine of practitioners. Heroes on platforms prove themselves to be Zeros when they descend to the ground. Therefore, demonstrate in your own lives how Love can confer peace and joy; how all faiths lead to the same goal; and how all men are brothers of one another.
737. THE only Message, the only lesson I can impart to you today is to remind you of the great traditions of Bharath and ask you to spread Love throughout the length and breadth of this great Land. Then, India can again be the spiritual leader of humanity and fill the whole World with Divine Love.
738. STRIVE to move away from Untruth towards Truth; attempt to acquire knowledge of yourself and of the origin of all selves and thus shed your fundamental ignorance. Move away from the thoughts and anxieties about this body, subject to decay and death, and become aware of the immortal soul which you really are.
739. WHO is the real resident of the body? You are the positive aspect that is activating the negative aspect, the body. The life-breath repeats Soham, every time you breathe. It means: 'I am He, I am God'! What a profound authentic declaration the breath is making every moment of your life while waking, dreaming or in a deep sleep, whether you listen to it or not! If this simple lesson, this Truth which is being dinned all twenty-four hours of the day does not alert you or inform you of your real task, how can you understand your Reality by the mere study of books?
740. DO not get involved with borrowed ideologies, imported fashions or attitudes or apparels and exciting notions of social behaviour. Youth today is ruined by this fascination for the false. Borrowed ideas cannot fit into the pattern of our Culture. Sanathana Dharma is the Culture that has grown on this soil and is best suited to maintaining peace and joys. You cannot shine in borrowed feathers for long. They can give only temporary delight. So, do not distort or disfigure your culture by limitation or neglect.
741. I AM neither a Sastravadin or a Budhivadin. I am a Premavadin. So I have no conflict with either the scholar who adheres to texts or the devotee of Reason. Both have their good points as well as their limitations. If you acquire Prema, then you can dispense with the Shastras, for the purpose of all the Shastras is just that: to create the feeling of 'Sarvajnana Samaanaprema' equal love for all and to negate egoism which stands in the way.
742. PILGRIMAGES too are for elevating the heart, sublimating the impulses and leading the lower self to higher levels of thought and action. Reason serves the same purpose, or at least it ought to. Reason seeks to know the unity of the Universe, the origin and goal of it all, the laws that govern the anu and brhath, the microcosm and the macrocosm, and it peeps behind the curtain to get a glimpse of the 'Suthradhara', who pulls the strings.
743. JUST as you tend to the body with food and drink at regular intervals, you must also tend to the needs of the inner Atmic body by regular Japam and Dhyanam and the cultivation of Virtues. Sathsanga, Sath Pravarthana and Sath-Chinthana are all essential for the growth and the health of the inner personality. The body is the Bhavanam of the Bhabaneswara, His Bhuvanam. In so far as you are particular about coffee or tea at regular intervals, be also particular about Dhyanam and Japam at fixed times for the health and liveliness of the spirit.
744. IT is only when attachment increases that you suffer pain and grief. If you look upon Nature and all created objects with the insight derived from the Inner Vision, then attachment will slide away though the effort will remain. You will also see everything much clearer and with a glory suffused with Divinity and splendour. Close these eyes and open those Inner Eyes and what a grand picture of essential unity you get. Attachment to Nature has limits but the attachment to the Lord that you develop when the Inner Eye opens has no limit. Enjoy that Reality not this false picture. The Lord is the Immanent power in everything.
745. IT is here in India that there is a mine of Spiritual Wisdom and Spiritual Treasure. The Dharsanas, Upanishads, Gita and the Vedas have to be distributed pure and unsullied, guaranteed in value and quality to eager aspirants everywhere. We have had a succession of Sages and Saints. On account of the teachings and the lives of these people, there is a vast field of spiritual virtue in this Land which needs only a little more care to yield a rich harvest.
746. YOU must each one try to become ego-less; and then the Lord will accept you as His Flute. Once, when a number of people were asked by Me what they would like to be in the hands of God, I got various answers. Some said the Lotus; some the Sankha; some the Chakra; but no one mentioned the Murali. I would advise you to become the Murali, for then the Lord will come to you, pick you up, put you upon His lips and breathe through you and out of the hollowness of your heart, due to the utter absence of egoism that you have developed, He will create captivating music for all creation to enjoy.
747. YOU have to carry on certain processes of thought and action in order to get to the hard core of faith that this World is a funny mixture of Sathya and Asathya, which is Mithya in fact. The Divine Life does not admit to the slightest dross in character or delusion in intellect. So, people dedicated to it must emphasise this by precept and example. Wipe out the root causes of anxiety, fear and ignorance. Then only can the true personality of man shine forth. Anxiety is removed by faith in the Lord; the faith that tells you that whatever happens is for the best and that the Lord's will be done.
748. YOU are all Sath-Chith-Ananda Swarupas; only you are unaware of it and imagine yourself to be this individual or that, and subjected to this limitation or that! This is the myth that must be exploded in order that Divine Life may start. It is the Divine that inspires, activates, leads and fulfills the life of each being, however simple or complex its physical structure may be. From the 'Anu' to the 'Brahath', every single entity is moving towards the estuary where it merges in the Sea of Bliss.
749. THE Guru very often tells you that you have forgotten your real name or that you have lost the most precious part of yourself and yet are unaware of the loss. The Guru is the physician for the illness which brings about the suffering of alternate birth and death. He is an adept at the treatment needed for the cure. If you do not get such a Guru, pray to the Lord Himself to show you the way and He will surely come to your rescue.
750. WHEN the sun is over your head, there will be no shadow; similarly, when faith is steady in your head, it should not cast any shadow of doubt. When man loses his way and strays into the wilderness believing that he is the body, the Gunas or the object, then the Avatar comes to warn and guide. Keep the faith in the Lord undiminished, you can then safely move about in the World. No harm can come to you.
751. HUSBAND and Wife are like two pieces of Wood, drifting down a flooded river, they float near each other for sometime and, when some current comes between them, they are parted. Each must move on to the sea at its own rate and in its own time. There is no need to grieve over the parting of the two. It is the very nature of Nature that it should be so.
752. DIVINE family exists in peace and concord. Siva has snakes on His arms, on His head and around His waist. One of His sons, Kumara, rides on a Peacock, which attacks snakes; another rides on a Mouse, which the snakes feed on. One son has the head of an Elephant which whets the appetite of the Lion, which is the vehicle used by Durga, the consort of Siva, who is so inseparable that She is the left half of the body of Siva Himself. Nor is the Lion friendly by nature to the Bull, which Lord Siva Himself has as his vehicle! Siva has Fire on the central part of His Brow, and Water, the River (Ganga), on His head, both incompatible. Imagine how loving and how cooperative the various components have to be to render life on Kailas smooth and happy.
753. CARRY to every door the name of God and let the clouds be illumined by love and reverence. Let every street in the towns, every village in the State ring with the adoration of the Almighty; every sunrise sing of Rama, Eswara, Sankara, and Krishna. Any Name is effective, provided it is suffused with the Divine Essence. Love the branches, twigs, leaves, flowers and fruits. They may appear to be different in colour, feel, taste, smell, etc. but they all are products of the Earth, drawing sustenance from the Soil and the Sun. Live together in Love; live in Peace; and live in Service.
754. WHEN clouds gather in the sky, lightning illuminates the clouds; similarly, wisdom must illuminate education. The word of Sai is the path of Truth. Smaller than the smallest atom; bigger than the biggest thing. The Atma is Brahmam; witness of everything, and Brahmam is Atma.
755. BAMBOO is valued for its form and strength and beauty. Similarly, the real worth of man lies in his intelligence. His intelligence has come to him over many lives and the real value of his Buddhi is to practice Thyaga or renunciation. But the Buddhi is covered by illusion, which is only the real reflection of the Truth. When we throw away the water in the pot, we throw away the reflection of the Sky in it as well. The reflection of Truth in our minds is only the conglomeration of our desires.
756. THERE are three types of Knowledge: Knowledge of matter energy; Knowledge of mental energy; and Knowledge of cosmic energy. Cosmic energy works in every person in the form of Divine knowledge. Matter, in all form, is only energy. Without atoms, you cannot have any matter; and in the atom, energy is in the form of electron, proton, neutron etc. Energy springs from the structure of the atomic constituents.
757. VOICE breeds disease. Bad thoughts and habits, bad company and bad food are hostile grounds where disease thrives. 'Arogya' and 'Ananda' go hand in hand. A sense of elation and exultation keeps the body free from ill health. Evil habits, in which men indulge, are the chief cause of disease in the physical as well as the mental state. Greed affects the mind; disappointment makes man depressed. Man can justify his existence as man only by the cultivation of virtues. Then he becomes a worthy candidate for Godhood.
758. ANYONE may blame you; but you should ignore all such blame and go forward in doing service without rancour. Service is your only duty. The Universe is a manifestation of God. So too is the individual. All these three are like Brahma, Vishnu, Maheswara - the Trinity. Actually, there are no three, they are one - it is the unified Godhead. Cherishing this thought of Oneness and serving the Society is true Adhyatmic or spiritual life.
759. YOU should take to 'Sarvada, Sarvakaleshu Sarvatra Haricharithanam'. It is just not sufficient holding a mala and doing Japa, once in the morning during Brahma Muhurtha time, once in the afternoon and once in the evening. All the twenty four hours you should be in the remembrance of God. You should all the time be striving to awaken the spirit within you and for its blossoming (Atma Vikas). This is the real purpose of life.
760. MAN has in him vast resources of power. When he does not utilise them while discharging his duties to himself and to the Society which sustains him, he is only becoming a target for ridicule. When you are on a railway station platform waiting for the train that is due, and when you come to know that it arrives five hours late, how do you react? You fling abusive words at the train. When the coaches receive from you such treatment, how much worse treatment you deserve for not fulfilling your duty and for disappointing the expectations that you have raised by your being a man? Utilise your skills and learning as consistently and as effectively as duty demands.
761. MOHAMMED preached monotheism and was driven out of Mecca. Jesus preached mercy and charity and he was charged with treason. Harischandra refused to give up his allegiance to Truth and was driven to such straits that he had to sell his wife and son as slaves. So, when you stick to the path of Truth and Righteousness, pain and poverty haunt you. But they are only clouds passing through the sky, hiding for a little while the splendour of the Sun.
762. THE motherland is not a mere lump of earth. When we desire its progress, we have to promote the progress of the people who dwell therein. The skill needed for resuscitating and reforming man are found only in students. The reforming process involves the removal in daily living of bad conduct and bad habits and the practice of good conduct and good deeds. A man's worth can be measured by his efforts to reform himself. This day, the Government has no authority to reform the people; and the people have no authority to reform the Government.
763. THE Pranava is the essence of all sustenance, the embodiment of Rasa; of the Earth, Water is the Rasa; of the water, Physic (Oshadi) is the Rasa; of the Physic, the Human Person is the Rasa; of the Human Person, the Word is the Rasa; of the Word RK is the Rasa; of the RK, Sama is the Rasa; of the Sama (Veda), OM is the Rasa. These eight Rasas, the Earth, Water, Physic, Person, Word, RK, Sama and OM lead to the ninth Ananda (Bliss). These are the Navaratnas, the nine Essences, the nine Sustainers; and Ananda is the goal which man is seeking, the aim of human life.
764. THE A of AUM is the Viswa; the U is Tejas; and the M is Praajna- this is another interpretation in the Scriptures. Viswa is the Walking; Tejas is the Dream; Prajna, the Deep Sleep stage. The Pranava Sadhana (the spiritual exercise of meditation on OM) is therefore very important for Seekers. The Vedas prescribe the repetition of the Pranava, while studying holy texts, reciting the Name of the Divine, carrying out daily duties and offering gifts.
765. YOU have a Kalpavruksha, ready to give you all that you want; you have the Lord, who protects and promotes all. The virtues of the people are treasures of the State; the Smarana of the Name of the Lord is the root of all virtues. Narada, who was afflicted with conceit that there was no other who had dedicated his very breath to the recital of the Name, was once humbled to find that a ryot, who managed to repeat the Name three times in the course of his overwhelming multitude of distressing preoccupation from cock-crow to dusk, was judged a great Bhakta.
766. JOY is your birth right; Shanti is your in-most nature. The Lord is your Staff and Support. Do not discard it; do not be led away from the path of faith by stories invented by malice and circulated by spite. Take up the Name of God, any of the in- numerable ones, any that appeals to you most and the Form appropriate to that Name and start repeating it, from now on. That is the Royal Road to ensure Joy and Peace, that will train you in the feeling of brotherhood and remove enmity towards fellow men.
767. BECAUSE you have taken residence in this body, you cannot call the body 'I'. When you sit here in this Hall, you do not call the Hall 'I'. You know you are separate and that you are here only temporarily. When you go about in a tonga, you do not say that the tonga is you, do you? You do not take the tonga inside, when you step down from it on reaching home. So, you also have to drop this body when you reach 'home'.
768. PARAMATMA reveals its Glory in man; Prema appears in various forms, attaching itself to riches, parents, children, one's life mate or friends. All these are sparks of the same flame and the Love of the Universal is its highest expression. This Prema cannot be cultivated by reading essays, guide books, and made-easy lessons and learning the steps by note. It has to begin with yearning for the Light and an unbearable agony to escape from the Darkness as in the prayer 'Thamasomaa Jyothir Gamaya'. The yearning itself will draw the light. The Love will grow by itself and, by its own slow alchemy, turn you into God.
769. YOU must cultivate non-attachment towards Prakruthi and attachment to the Lord. I am reminded of the story of Sankara Bhatta. He was a great Sadhaka intent on Japa and Ahgama to such an extent that he was reduced to skin and bone. He worshipped Saraswathi or Vidya which is the key to open the doors of Mukti. Goddess Lakshmi saw his sad plight and was moved with great pity. She chided Saraswathi for denying Her votary even the common joys of life and she hid in his leaky hut to pour on him Her Grace. She offered him plenty, prosperity, fame and fortune. She derided Saraswathi for neglecting to award comfort and joy on Her hapless servant. But Sankara Bhatta turned a deaf ear to her allurements; he said politely but firmly, 'No, Saraswathi has blessed me with the most precious wealth, the gift that liberates me. I do not crave your Grace. Please remove yourself from my presence'.
770. JEWELS give Joy, not Gold. You can experience the Name, you can imbibe the Form; you can take them to heart and dwell upon them and fill yourself with the joy that they evoke. That is why Jayadeva, Gomanga, Ramakrishna and others wished to remain ants, tasting Sugar rather than becoming sugar itself. The Name is like the seed implanted in your heart; when the shower of His Grace falls upon it, it sprouts into a lovely tree. All trees that sprout from the Name are equally lovely and shady.
771. MANAVA can become Madhava by engaging himself in Madhava Karma; he can then discover his 'Narayana - Tatwam'. What is the use of doing only Manavakarma or even Danavakarma and claiming that man is divine? Virtue is the life-breath and character is the backbone. Without these, no meritorious act will fructify. A man without character is like a pot with many holes, useless for carrying water or for storing it. Renounce and win Peace.
772. HOW far have you progressed using the chance of these Discourses and the Dharsan and Sparsan? Bring something into your daily practice, as evidence of your having known the secret of higher life from Me. Show that you have greater brotherliness, speak less with more sweetness and self-control and that you can bear defeat as well as victory with calm resignation.
773. WHILE speaking of God, who is guarding you, I am reminded of a note that someone has sent Me from this gathering. The note wants Me to explain why I have not mentioned SAI BABA in any of my Discourses so far, though I bear the name as the Avatar of SAI BABA. Evidently, the writer of the note had in mind the people who engage themselves in publicity work of Rama, Krishna or SAI BABA.
774. FOOLISHNESS, egoism, and sheer ignorance are the causes of misery of man today. The eye, the ear and the tongue lead man to anxiety and malice instead of making him a messenger of Peace and Harmony. Intellect is the root of pride and envy. Vishnu is Jagannatha at Puri; at Kasi Siva is Visweswara; where then is any room for rivalry between those who worship at Puri and those who worship at Kasi? Vishnu is Gopal (protector of cows) and Siva is Pasupathi (master of cows). Still, the innate urge to fight comes up in the heart of man and he uses the name of the Lord as an excuse for provoking the fighting tendencies.
775. THE airplane has to land at a certain place to take those who have reserved the right to fly with the tickets they have purchased. So too the Lord has to come down so that those who have won the right to be liberated may be saved. Incidentally, others too will know of the Lord, of His grace and ways of winning it, of the joy of liberation. There are some who deny even today the possibility of air travel; they curse the contrivance. They cavil at it. Similarly, there are many who cavil at the Avatar who has come to save them.
776. YOUR minds are wayward like monkeys that skip and jump from bough to branch. Give them to Me. I can make them steady and harmless. When I say 'Sit', they will sit; when I say 'Stand', they stand. That is what Sankaracharya offered to do; he told Siva that he would hand over to him the monkey that was his mind to Him so that it might be tamed and used for his delight. But it must be a complete handing over with no reservations.
777. MAN comes into the World, burdened with Maya and its instrument, the Mind. The Mind expresses itself through Attraction and Repulsion, Raga and Dwesha, Affection and Hatred towards the external World. Raga is Rajasic in its effect and it can be used for one's uplift as Narada used it to fix attention on the Lord. Dwesha is Thamasic as Durvasa expressed it in his dealings with Ambarisha and others. Without Raga and Dwesha, the Mind cannot function at all. If these two are removed, there can be no mind and no Maya; and you get fixed in Jnana.
778. THE study of the Vedas is the highest type of learning since it leads to the conquest of Death. All other studies deal with the means of living or the surroundings which you have to live; they deal with earning and spending, deriving a little pleasure by this trick, escaping a little grief by that trick. The Vedas show the path to the Realm of Eternal Bliss, where there is no Birth or Death. People learn details about China, Russia and America; they know about the volcanoes of the Pacific or the islands of the Arctic regions; but they do not know an iota about the features of their own inner realms.
779. THE Karma Kanda is the biggest part of the Vedas, because Karma or sanctified activity is the means by which the tree blossoms and the fruit matures and grows. The Upasana Kanda deals with Upasana, the method by which the fruit ripens. The Jnana Kanda describes Jnana, the process by which the fruit fills itself with sweetness. The first stage takes the longest time. Also, it comprises the largest portion, the second and the third are quicker by comparison. And so they are shorter. The third stage can be accomplished, even apart from the tree, by keeping in a warm place amidst straw or a hot room.
780. MAN can acquire the sweetness of Jnana by keeping himself in Sathsang or even by remaining in a solitary place by himself with Dhyana, for example. But, by whatever means, the sweetness (Jnana) cannot be injected from outside; it must grow from within. It is the transformation of the inner nature won by a struggle with the inner foes.
781. JUST think of this for a while. You are in this body, in this receptacle, in order to realise the God you really are. This body is the cocoon you have spun round yourselves by means of your impulses and desires. Use it while it lasts, to grow wings so that you can escape from it. You came into this world crying, announcing your grief at being thrust into it, grief for having lost hold of God. Having come with grief, decide not to go with it from here. Get rid of it in this life.
782. BECOME entitled to the honoured title of Bhakta. My glory is spread daily through those who call themselves My Bhaktas. Your virtue, your self-control, your detachment, your faith and your steadfastness are the signs by which people read of My Glory. Not that I want any such prop. But it just happens that in this World, where men estimate others indirectly rather than directly. Let me tell you, such Bhaktas are very rare. That is the reason why I do not address you as 'Bhaktulara'. You can lay claim to that name only when you have placed yourself in My hands fully, completely, and with no trace of ego kept back to cater to your vanity.
783. ALL ills are traceable to faulty living. And what is that traceable to? The ignorance of one's real Nature, ignorance so deep-rooted that it affects thoughts, words and deeds. The drug that can cure it is presented under different Names: Jnana; Karma; Upasana; and Bhakti. They are all the same in potency and curative power. The difference lies only in the method of administration: either as a mixture or as a tablet or by injection.
784. THIS Nilayam should not be treated with scant reverence. Make the best use of your stay here. Do not treat this chance lightly. You come, spending lots of money and you have put yourselves to much trouble to reach here. But you do not bloom as fragrant offerings at the Lord's feet by learning the Sadhana path. The senses have to be curbed into obedient servants of the Sprit. For example, I insist on silence. Talk less. Talk low when you must talk. Do not thrust your sorrows, your needs, and your problems into the ears of those who come here with their own bundles of such things.
785. IN this Prasanthinilayam, there are certain limits laid down, certain modes of spending time usefully recommended by Me. All who come here, whether longtime residents or new arrivals, have to observe them. You have seen Me, stayed here, and heard the Discourses. Let me ask: What is the gain? Are you going back unchanged, unaffected? Dogs do not chew sugarcane; they seek a bone instead. Ill-fated mortals recoil, when the talk is about God, Goodness, Sadhana, and Saakshathkara. But you must pull yourselves away from slums and bylanes and travel on the highway to God. Dwell always on the Glory of God then you will shine in that Glory. Adhere to Truth. That is the surest means of removing fear from your heart. Prema can grow only in the heart that is watered by Truth.
786. THE Shastras warn you of false steps. They console you in times of stress and they strengthen you in distress. They give correct interpretations of moral dilemmas. They prescribe the dress, the food, the manner of speech, the methods of social conduct, the mode of mutual behaviour and the lines of onward march. They are the conscience of Society.
787. THE whole World knows what sacred ideals inspire the Sathya Sai Organizations. It is true that a big bag of rice might contain a few grains of sand. Any human organization is bound to have a few black sheep. But that will not affect the Organization as long as it is true to its principles. The kind of service and sacrifice the Sathya Sai Organizations are rendering is colossal. The basis for all is the Love that prevails among the members. From ancient times, the Upanishadic prayer said 'Sahanaa Vavathu; Sahanaa Bhunaktu' (May He protect us all; may He nourish us all.) The spirit of Oneness proclaimed in these Manthras is operative today only in the Sathya Sai Organization.
788. SANATHANA Dharma is bound to overcome today's rampant materialism, for it can harmonize the secular and the spiritual into a single way of life. It can bring into closer kinship both man and God. It is based on the Divine which is the reality of the Self. So, it is not limited to one country, one individual, one period or one set. It has a variety of procedures, points of view, disciplines and guidelines, in accordance with the special features of the region, the age, and the environment.
789. THE human body is the home of countless microbes and other parasitic beings. No one can be free from these disease-inducing causes. But one can easily overcome this sorrow by developing feelings of compassion towards all beings, and by thoughts which thrive on and spread Love. Illness, both physical and mental, is a reaction on the body caused by the poison in the mind. An uncontaminated mind alone can ensure continuous health.
790. MAN struggles variously to attain Ananda. Ananda is the height of happiness, the embodiment of joy. It is sought in three different ways, according to the innate quality of the seeker - the Sathwick, the Rajasik and the Thamasik. The Sathwik path is poison in the early stages and nectar while coming to fruition. It involves firm control and regulation of the senses of cognition and action. This will be very hard to accomplish. But as one progresses in practice, the joy increases and bliss is attained. How can such a goal be secured, without undergoing hardship?
791. THE Scripture says: 'Happiness cannot be won through happiness (Na Sukaad Labhyathe Sukham). Happiness can be won only through misery'. Pleasure is but an interval between two pains. To achieve the Sathwik happiness that is positive and permanent, man must perforce take on trials and tribulations, loss and gain.
792. TECHNOLOGY must be dedicated to the promotion of high ideals, those which are cherished in Bharathiya culture. For without the background of the culture, educated people are easily turned into slaves of other cultures. Those who belong to a country have to proceed along the special circumstances and resources of the country. Of course, one must love all mankind; all are children of God. One must not emphasize the differences between Nations or between castes and creeds. Cultivate Universal heartfelt Love.
793. MAN must withstand both praise and blame, success and failure, pleasure and pain, like the Meru Mountain Peak. He must strive to be steadfast and unmoved. Once you collect desires, you become their slave; you will find no end to them. When they are attained, others assail you and still leave you discontented. Be aware of your innate Divinity and show these recurring desires their due place. The Atma in you is unaffected by desire, defeat or victory. They are passing clouds.
794. SENSE-Control will guard you against a host of evils. Do not believe that because you are equipped with the senses nothing harmful can happen. Through their free exercises, you may have your car registered in your name and be driving it yourself, but, if you do not apply the brakes in a timely manner, accidents are bound to be your lot. Your body can be compared to a car. Your eyes are like the lights. Your stomach, the petrol tank; your mouth, the horn; your mind the steering wheel; Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksh, the wheels; the air within the tires is faith; and intelligence or Buddhi, the switch.
795. FAITH is the basis of every act. You do not run away from the barber because he is armed with a sharp razor. You place faith in him and allow him to cut your hair, quietly submitting to his idiosyncrasies. You give away costly clothes to the dhobi since you have the faith that he will return them washed and ironed. You have faith in the driver of your car and in the engineer who built your house. So too, believe in the inner Motivator, the Atman within, the voice of God.
796. THE awareness of the Atman or the Divine in man can neither be gifted to another nor be accepted from another. It is all the time hidden behind the veil of ignorance. When the false image disappears, the Truth shines in all its Glory. It is like the Sun behind the passing cloud. Your duty is to draw this veil and let the Sun of Awareness shine forth and illumine your thoughts, words and deeds.
797. ACTIVE participation in Society, in a spirit of dedication and surrender, conceiving all acts as worship and all men as the embodiments of the Supreme, is a more beneficial form of Sadhana. For there is no spot where He is not, no object which is not He. For, as the Sruthi declares, He willed that He becomes all this. Worship, adoration, and pilgrimage cannot be the end-all. The goal is the realization of 'I am He; He is I'. That alone can fill the heart with Bliss.
798. IT has been proclaimed that God is one, and that He is known and can be known through various Names and forms. It has been declared that God is installed in the heart of every being. Look at the emblem of the Sathya Sai Organization. It tells you that the Hindu, the Muslim, the Parsee, the Buddhist and the Christian are all adoring the same God for the same consummation. The mind of man has to be a garden of many coloured flowers, a Nandavanam. Krishna will certainly delight in dancing there and playing on the enchanting Flute in the bowers of the garden.
799. THE knowledge derived through the mind utilising the senses is always incomplete, but the knowledge that is earned through the Buddhi or intellect, illuminated by the Atma, is full, freeing and revealing the Truth. The first is termed 'Manojnana' and the second 'Atmajnana'. 'Manojnana' informs that you are distinct from others; that God is at Kailas, Tirupathi, Kasi, or Prasanthinilayam. But Names, Forms and Temples are only for the Kindergarten stage.
800. THE prayer that rose from millions in this country from all its temples, yapiaskas, theerthas, holy sea fronts, shrines and altars for centuries has been, 'Sarve janaah Sukine bhavanthu', Let all the peoples of the World be happy and prosperous. 'Samastha Lokaah Sukino Bhavanthu', May all the Worlds have peace and prosperity. So pray for all humanity, for the welfare and happiness, the peace and progress of Russia, China, Africa, Pakistan and all the countries of the World and all beings everywhere.
801. YEARN to fill your heart with Him, not with you. Your yearning must be warm, so warm that it can be called 'Thapas' (Heat). Become hot (earnest). Now it is only a lukewarm longing, a surface activity. Examine yourselves how far you have filled your heart within. Measure the heights you have reached with the yardstick of virtue, serenity, fortitude and equanimity. You now become easy victims of lust, anger, malice, envy and the rest of that evil brood; the atmosphere of the heart is polluted by the ego-fumes.
802. MAN has all the resources he needs himself. He can tap them by identifying them and manifesting them and by sharing them with others. He is Sath-Chith-Ananda; he is Siva-Sakthi Swarup, Matter-Energy. When man extols himself, he is extolling God. Do not cultivate the conviction that you are mere men; be assured that you are destined for Divinity. When Divinity takes on the human form, as described in the Ramayana, the Mahabaratha and the Bhagavatha, one has to interpret the actions as providing examples and lessons and not as human stories enacted for entertainment.
803. THE five Pandava brothers are five qualities in human character, all observing the norms set by the eldest, which is the noblest and the most righteous. Rama is the example of uncompromising adherence to the principle of Righteousness, regardless of the temptation to bypass it. Rama was charged with a Love that transcended all considerations of advantage, Caste or Creed and extended it to animals and birds, human and subhuman beings. Love is the key to open the doors locked by egoism and greed.
804. WE have at present persons who pride themselves on their encyclopedic scholarship and technical skills; they claim to know the innermost secrets of Nature; they fly into outer space and even land on the moon. But ask them if they have 'Ananda' and can stay in 'Ananda'. They will reply that they have not yet experienced it. If they know everything worth knowing, why have they missed this? It is clear that they are suffering from some delusion.
805. BE eager to confer consolation and courage; be anxious to be of help. Watch for the chance. Snatch each opportunity to expand yourself by sympathy, to enlarge the horizon of Love by understanding and prayer. Do not keep another at arm's length, saying 'My God is different from yours or my God is opposite to yours'. It can never be so. Paramatma, the Name for God, does not mean a strange God but the Supreme God. Who can vouchsafe for the correctness of the picture which you now worship as the picture of Rama or Krishna? The poet described and the painter delineated, but both rely on their imagination rather than on actual authentic vision.
806. CYNICS question the validity of the type of adoration and say that it will only confirm faith in a superstition. 'Can God be a stone, or a piece of paper?', they ask. This attitude is not correct. By adhering to the traditionally laid down ritual worship many aspirants have attained the vision of the Omnipresent and stayed in that Incommunicable Bliss.
807. IN fact, Puja (formal worship at regular hours), with the recitation of hymns and songs, is the very first step in the spiritual pilgrimage. Many seekers have undoubtedly achieved an awareness of God by years of asceticism among jungle caves. But starting early with puja and continuing with scrupulous care, the rites of archana, bhajana and aradhana (offering of flowers with the repetition of God's Name, singing His Glory and adoring Him as a living presence), are more fruitful and satisfying.
808. PUJA, Japa, Archana and Aradhana are the letters of the Spiritual Alphabet. The collection of the various items (lamps, camphor, flowers, plates, caps, a bell and the book) are necessary for precious hours-long concentration on the Divine. The Puja itself may take another hour or two of concentrated and devout attention, and the performer rises up after the recitations and meditations as a stronger and steadier pilgrim on the path.
809. THE sixteen modes of worship, laid down in the Shastras to make the aspirant aware that he is the very presence, and that every gesture and movement of his has to be motivated by devotion and dedication, ensure the purification of the mind of men from ego and all its brood of blemishes. This is 'Chittha Suddhi', the cleansing of all levels of one's consciousness.
810. PUJA or archana offered without a purified heart is a sheer waste of time. But even a short sincere session of Puja, spent in Divine Awareness, yields much fruit. Thiru Thondar, a Tamil Saint, confessed that he had engaged himself in worship of the Lord's idol in order to cleanse his mind. The material and the Form are inseparable, but the seeker must dwell on the Form which he desires to be manifested in all its Glory rather than on the material.
811. WHAT exactly is implied by 'Adhyatmic'? Is Bhajan or congregational prayer 'Adhyatmic'? Or does it involve 'Japa' or 'Dhyana'? Or does it denote religious rituals and ceremonies? Or does it extend to pilgrimages and holy places? No. These are only beneficial acts. 'Adhyatmic', in its real sense, relates to two progressive achievements or at least to sincere attempts towards those two achievements: elimination of the animal traits still clinging to man and unification with the Divine.
812. DHYANA is interrupted in most cases by worry and anxiety regarding one's kith and kin, and one's earnings and riches. Since all are manifestations of Maya, which is natural to Brahmam or Paramathmam, the Paramathmam or Lord, in whom you take refuge, will certainly free you from fear. Why? You are, each one, the Atman and nothing else. This is the reason why I begin the Discourse, addressing you as 'Divyatmaswarupas'!
813. THE mind is the altar. Place the animal which is to be offered as oblation (the evil aspects of your character, behaviour, attitude etc.) and sacrifice it to the deity involved. Though born as a human, man is burdened by animal instincts and impulses that have attached themselves to him during his previous lives as an animal. He has passed through many an animal existence and each has left its mark on his mental makeup like a scar on the skin when a wound has healed.
814. BUDDHI is the only instrument for realisation. Jnana alone can grant the Vision, the ultimate Truth. That is why the Gayatri, a Vedic prayer to the Light that fills the Universe to illuminate the intelligence, is a prayer for prompting the spirit of inquiry and for illuminating the path by the inner light of the Spirit.
815. YOUR devotion to God is best expressed by achieving the control of the senses. For the senses rush towards the temporary and the tawdry; and they foul the heart. I require from each of you no other gift, no more valuable offering than the heart I have endowed you with. Give Me that heart, as pure as when I gave it to you, full of the nectar of Love I filled it with.
816. IT is certainly wasteful to spend precious time in mere study without any attempt to translate it into action. You need not give your word to Me now, but try to put into practice at least a few of the good things that appeal to you and that are helpful in giving you peace and contentment. To evoke the Divine in you, there is no better method than Namasmarana.
817. YOU must take every step in Sadhana or in Samsara, only after deep deliberation and satisfying yourself that it will be for your good. Otherwise, it will be like the story of the weeping city. One day, a close female attendant of the Queen came to the palace weeping in great sorrow, and so the Queen began to shed tears. Seeing the Queen in tears, the entire Zannan wept and the weeping spread to the male attendants also. The King, finding the queen inconsolably sad, also wept profusely in sympathy, and the sight made the entire city weep loudly without end. At last, one sensible person set in motion an inquiry, which passed through person after person until the Queen herself was accosted. She said that her attendant was in sore grief, and when she, a washer-woman by caste, was interrogated, she confessed that it was all due to the sudden demise of her favourite ass. Reason out; discriminate; and do not rush to conclusion or be led away by mere hear-say.
818. WHEN you scatter seeds on the surface of the soil, they do not germinate; you have to keep them inside the soil. So too, Bodha, if scattered on the surface, will not germinate, grow into the tree of knowledge and yield the fruit of wisdom. Plant it in the heart; water the plant with Prema; and measure it with Faith and Courage. Keep off pests with the insecticides of Bhajan and Sathsang, so that you may benefit in the end.
819. KARMA must not be felt as a burden, for that feeling is a sure sign, indicating that it is against the grain. No Karma which helps your progress will weigh heavily on you. It is only when you go counter to your inner-most nature that you feel it as a burden. A time comes when you look back on your achievement and sigh at the futility of it all. Entrust your mind to the Lord before it is too late, and let Him shape it as He wills.
820. WHOM the Muslims adore as Allah, the Christians as Jehovah, the Vaishnavas as Phullajaakshe and the Saivites as Sambhu, who grants in answer to their several prayers, health, prosperity, and happiness to all wherever they may be, He is the One God of all mankind.
821. FOOD and recreational habits are the two main causes for ill-health. Great care has to be bestowed to ensure that injurious tendencies do not affect these two. At present, drugs have multiplied and hospitals have been established in every nook and corner, ill-health is also widespread. This situation is attributable to the spread of deleterious food habits and pastimes.
822. TO remove the evils of Egoism, Service is the most efficient instrument. Service will also impress on the person doing the Service, the Unity of all mankind. He who dedicates his time, skill and strength to Service will never meet with defeat, distress or disappointment, for Service is its own reward. His word will be ever sweet and soft and his gestures ever revered and humble. He will have no foe, no fatigue and no fear.
823. THE Scriptures proclaim that health is the very root of all endeavours in the four fields of human achievement: Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha. Without health, man cannot brave temptations, earn a decent living, fulfill his basic needs or succeed in spiritual Sadhana. Man can engage himself in obligatory and optional functions only if he is healthy.
824. THE same Divine Compassion that blessed Dhruva, saved Gajendra, restored Kuchela and stood by Prahlada, has come to the Earth as the Refuge of the refuge-less, as the Lord of Peace, Harmony and Righteousness, as the Lord of all the Worlds, as the Sath Chith-Anandamurthi, as the Puttaparthi Sathya Sai Sath-Chakravarthi, the king of kings.
825. INDIA is the land where the ideals of service, renunciation and spiritual endeavour were born and have flourished. It is only recently that India fell under the impact of alien cultures which highlighted material comfort, physical luxury, sensual liberty, and exterior display; and that Indians have trodden the wrong path of exploitation and violence, idleness and pompousness. With the spread of alien cultures and alien ways of thought and life, diseases too have multiplied and mental imbalances have increased.
826. DO not try to delve into Me; develop Faith and Sraddha and derive Ananda through Prema. That is the utmost you can do; do that and benefit. Do not run after all and sundry who blabber textbook stuff and wear the cloak of fakir hood. Examine, judge and admire. Examine the daily conduct, the motive, the outlook, the trend of the advice and the coordination between what is said and what is done.
827. WITHOUT surrender there can be no liberation. So long as you cling to the narrow 'I', the four prison walls will close in on you. Cross out the 'I' and you are free. How to kill the 'I'? Place it at the feet of the Lord and say 'You', not 'I' - and you are free of the burden that is cursing you. Associate always with the Niranjana, the vast, the unlimited, the Divine; dream and plan to merge with the Absolute; fill your ears with the call from the Beyond and the Boundless. Transcend the walls, the bars and bolts, the locks and chains. You can do so easily by fixing your mind on your own Infinity.
828. I HAD to do My Dharma; and every act of Mine has its significance which you cannot understand. You are in the dark and you fear more. You cannot notice the heaps of earth and the pits on the road. You cannot even know that the road is smooth and fine. There is no fault or partiality in creation; be confirmed in that. Then you will no more waver in your faith. If God's creation was faulty, all would have suffered equally.
829. LAKSHMI or wealth accrues by fair means as well as foul; money is earned by gambling, by various forms of deceit; by highway robbery; by high and low; by all and sundry. Worship Lakshya. I shall appreciate you! Keep the Lakshya, the Goal of expanding your Love till it embraces all beings, until it sees every being as your mind's eye; then, Lakshmi will, of her own accord, favour you to the extent necessary for realising the Goal. Never doubt that. Never falter.
830. YOU do not know the Gem shining inside you, the Divinity whose effulgence is your intellect and whose reflection is the Prema you evince. You know many things other than this, but not this essential thing; you do not know where such and such a scholar lives in Venkatagiri, but you know where such and such a film star lives in Madras: This is something to be ashamed of, this loss of the sense of values. You must recognise the Higher, the Highest.
831. YOU believe that those who have no faith in the Vedas and the Shastras and those who do not aver that there is some Omnipresent, Omniscient Being, are Nasthikas. But let me tell you, those who revere their Parents and foster them, and those who love and protect with care their brothers and sisters, are Theists. Asthikas believe in Gratitude, Love, Affection, Duty, and Dharma and these qualities are enough to save them from perdition.
832. THE Truth can flash only in a mind clear of all blemishes. The first blemish that I would like to warn you against is: 'inability to bear the success of others'. Envy is the greatest of the sins. Vanity, envy and egoism are kin. They cut at the root of man's real nature. To feel proud that you are a Bhakta is also a blot. Though you may be a mountain, you must feel you are a mound; and you should not pretend to be a mountain.
833. ALL men are kin, they are of the same likeness, the same build; moulded out of the same material, with the same Divine essence in each. Service to man will help your Divinity to blossom, for it will gladden your heart and make you feel that life has been worthwhile. Service to man is service to God, for He is in every man and every living being and in every stone and stump. Offer your talents at the feet of God; let every act be a flower, free from creeping worms of envy and egoism and full of the fragrance of love and sacrifice.
834. WHAT exactly is a dream? It is a dream within a dream. It is a dream which unfolds before you even while you are 'awake' in another dream. It tries to shed some light, some joy, some courage, some faith, some hope, and some meaning on the dream called Life. Naturally, man has to seek all means of discovering the meaning of Life, for without knowing it, he is lost; he wanders from birth to birth, receiving knock after knock and is seldom the better for all the experience.
835. WHERE you go to a temple, you see the idol within but your thoughts are with your footwear that you had to keep outside the gate. These are matters that reveal the concentration that you are capable of. Every little point has to be taken care of, lest the benefit of the Sadhana will be lost. You cannot get liberation by merely coming here; you cannot get it even by Dharsan, Sparsan, and Sambashan. You will have to follow the instructions, the Ajna, the Order and the Directions.
836. MOKSHA or Liberation results from the breaking of the Mind with all its vagaries and wishes. You have to break your Mind but, how can you do it, when the fibrous armour of sensual desires encompasses it? Remove it and dedicate the Mind to God and smash it in His presence. That moment you are free.
837. ONE should accept the body as the 'Tantra', one's own breath as the 'Mantra', and one's heart as the 'Yantra'. There is no need to seek them outside oneself. When all words emanating from you are sweet, your breath becomes Rig Veda. When you restrict what you listen to and prefer only sweet speech, all that you hear becomes Sama Gana. When you do only sweet deeds, all that you do is Yajur Homa. Then, you will be performing every day the Vedapurusha Yajna, the Yajna which propitiates the Veda.
838. THE vehicle of human life is drawn by two wheels by the senses, which are driven by Buddhi, with Viveka and Vairagya as the reins, the two wheels being the Kala Chakra and the Karma Chakra. The spokes of the wheel are the rules of Dharma, bound by the rim of Prema. The self is the Rider and he will not come to harm if the axle is Sathya and the goal is Shanti.
839. THE Gita is for saving all and granting them liberation. Gita, in Telugu, means a line; it draws a line across and cancels the series of births and deaths; it teaches you to stand erect, unafraid, along the straight path of Dharma, along the line laid down.
840. HAVING been born, man earns and acquires land, riches, materials, grains and articles of comforts and luxury, which he feels will give him happiness and which, therefore, become the object of his struggle. But the object of realising God is forgotten. You may ask: why should anyone seek good company, do good deeds, and direct his mind towards good thoughts? You are listening to Me and what do you get when you so listen? You agree that I am giving you Anandam. What do you give Me in return? Give Me the Aacharana of what I am telling you, practice what I teach, that is enough. That is all I ask for.
841. IN every country today, men have become power-mad and they resort, without any compunction, to self praise and dry declamation. They develop hatred against others, foster envy and feed their fatal egos. They plunge the Society to which they belong into fear, anxiety and disorder. They do not know, that if elevating ideals are adhered to and practiced, they could gain eternal fame; instead they are content with cheap applause and short-lived publicity.
842. THE mansion called life must be built on a strong foundation and the pursuit of Artha and Kama, of Wealth and Welfare, and all desirable objects must be regulated by the standard of Dharma. Dharma fosters those who foster it. 'Dharma Rakshithi Rakshithah'. The strongest foundation is ever-present Faith in the Almighty. Some may ask, 'If He is Almighty, why then is He not patent'? He reveals Himself only to the person who yearns for the answer, not to the one who questions out of impudence or ignorance.
843. HE will be patent only in the transparent heart, the heart that is not clouded by egoism or attachment. The string of the Rosary is patent only in the Spatika Heads, the crystal beads, not in the coral or Rudraksha beads. Though the string runs through these latter also, it can be seen only by splitting those beads. This is the meaning of the story of Hiranyakasipu who split the pillar. When he did that, he could see for himself the Lord, who is the core of every object and being.
844. YOUR Reality is the Atma, a wave of the Paramatma. The one object of this human existence is to visualise this Reality, this Atma, this relationship between the wave and the sea. All other activities are trivial; you share them with birds and beasts; but this is the unique privilege of man. He has clambered through all the levels of animal, all the steps in the ladder of evolution in order to inherit this high destiny. If all the years between birth and death are frittered away in seeking food and shelter, comfort and pleasure, as animals do, man is condemning himself to a further life sentence.
845. THERE are only three ways of saving oneself: Prakruthi, Nivrithi and Prapatti. Prakruthi (action, external activity) is a method of sublimating the instincts and impulses. Nivritti (detachment; internal quiet), is a method of subduing the thirst of the senses and of the ego. Prapatti (surrender) is a method of utilising the senses, the instincts and impulses, the intelligence and the emotions for the glorification of the all-knowing, all-directing Divine. Do and dedicate, work and worship, plant and protect; but do not worry about the fruit; that is the secret of spiritual success.
846. THE boulder on the hill, from which a portion has been blasted away to carve an idol for the temple, tells the idol, 'Thath Thawam Asi' (You and I are the same), That and this are one substance. Yes, of one substance, but what a difference? The hammer and chisel have made one, a thing of beauty and a joy for ever, an inspiration to make life beautiful and holy. You too must subject yourself to the hammer of discipline and the chisel of pain-pleasure, so that you become Divine.
847. WHEN you reach the bank of a river in a strange land, you do not take advice from a lame person or a blind person on where you can best wade across. You follow a person who has waded often and who is neither lame nor blind. The man who can see is a scholar; the man who can walk is a person with experience. The man with both capacities is a good guide, not those who prattle things learnt from the books or dole out set formulae irrespective of the stage the recipient has reached, or roamed about in search of people whom they can squeeze for money.
848. MAN imagines that he has achieved much as a result of his search for material pleasures. He has discovered electricity and is using it for giving light. But what poor glory is this? When the sun rises even the brightest bulb pales into insignificance. Man has invented the fan and, by means of electricity, he is able to create a breeze. But, when a storm arises in Nature, the toughest tree is uprooted and man's handiwork of brick and mortar is laid in ruins, with the roofs flying in the air. On what basis can he erect his pride?
849. ALL who come embodied are Avatars, that is to say, advents of the Divine, Manifestations of God. What then is the special feature of Rama, Krishna, Buddha and Christ? Why do you celebrate their Birthdays with much reverential enthusiasm? The specialty is this: they are Aware, you are unaware of the Atma which is the Truth. Awareness confers Liberation from bonds, from time, space and causation and from sleep, dream and wakefulness. Avatars are ever alert, aware, and alight.
850. THERE was a huge halo of splendour illuminating the sky over the village when Christ was born. This meant that He who was to overcome the darkness of evil and ignorance had taken birth; that He will spread the Light of Love in the heart of man and the councils of humanity. Appearances of splendour and other signs to herald the era that have dawned are natural when Incarnations happen on Earth. Jesus was to shatter the darkness that had enveloped the World and the Aura of Light was a sign that announced the event. The Masters arrive in answer to man's prayer, 'Thamasomaa Jyothirgamaya'; 'Lead us from darkness unto Light'.
851. THE word 'Hindu' has been interpreted by scholars in various ways, but the real meaning is 'Hin' (Hinsa or Violence), 'Dur' (far from): people who keep away from violence. The Hindus have been praying since the ages for the peace and prosperity of all the Worlds. 'Loka Samastha Sukino Bhavanthu'. Their conception of the immanence of God is strong and unshakable. The rituals, ceremonies, vows and rites prescribed in Hinduism are all directed to the promotion and well-being of 'all the Worlds'. This is the reason why Hinduism is still alive and active.
852. VISHNU is described as 'Buyagasayamam' sleeping on the snake and also as 'Samthaakaaram'. The 'Bujaga' or snake, which has visha or poison, represents the World or 'Vishaya' and, when you rest upon it, instead of allowing it to envelop you, you can afford to have 'Santham'. Let your boat be on the waters; but do not allow the waters to enter the boat. Be in the World, but not of it. That is the secret of a successful life.
853. SARANAGATHI, or unconditional surrender, is the main gate to enter the mansion of Mukthi. It has four floors: Dhyanam, Karma, Bhakti and Jnanam. Each floor rests upon the one beneath and the uppermost cannot be reached without ascending the first three. Remember this, when you hear people arguing about the relative superiority of the Yogas or labeling themselves as 'this' or 'that' in the Adhyathmic field.
854. PLEASE do not be under the delusion that God needs light and that He requires illumination. He is 'Jyothiswarupa' with the splendour of a thousand suns. He is the force which makes Light shine, and He is above and beyond the Thejas that Nature can supply. It is not so much this stone structure that needs illumination. When you come to think of it, it is the temple that you are carrying about with you in body that must be fitted with lights. 'Dehodevalaya Proktham'. The body is said to be the temple. 'Jivodevah Sanathanah'. And in that temple is installed the Jivi who is the 'timeless' God.
855. YOU try to avoid grief; you try to taste joy instead. It is the nature of man to do so. For he is essentially 'Anandaswarupa'. When we seek 'Ananda', it is like the call of the deep for the deep. When someone asks you, 'How do you do?' and you answer, 'Quite well, thank you', he does not stop to enquire why you are well. It is only when you answer that you are ill, that he stops and expresses concern and probes into the causes, symptoms and care of the illness. 'Wellness is natural'; illness is unnatural. Anxiety is caused by the unnatural only. So you are 'Suka-Swarupa' also.
856. CLARIFY the Buddhi by Sadhana so that you get a vision of the Lord who dwells within, that is the Sudarsana which saved Gajendra, the wild elephant (man) that was caught by the alligator (egoism) while rollicking in the lake. The objective World (Samsara) looks upon joy and grief as teachers of hardihood and balance. Grief is a friendly reminder, a good task-master; even a better teacher than joy. The Lord grants both, protection and punishment; for how can he be the Lord if he does not insist on strict accounting and strict obedience?
857. TAKE everything as it comes. Cultivate contentment, do not multiply your wants and foster greed and despair. You take off your warm clothing when you start feeling warm. The coat of desire has to be taken off when the warmth of Bhakthi increases. Strive to secure Grace; do not strive to secure any lesser fruit.
858. THE youth today, in India as well as in other lands, are afflicted with deep discontent which manifests itself in revolt against rules, regulations, curricula and social norms and an agitational approach to every little problem that affects them. What is the basic cause of this phenomenon? The Reason lies in the fact that they have started to neglect the ancient culture of India and its ideals. They are imitating undesirable and fanatic norms of behaviour and are addicted to a code of disbelief, having no roots anywhere.
859. WHEN God has come assuming a Form, take it from Me, it will not fill inferior vessels or embellish tawdry stuff or enter impure bodies. So, do not extol these falsities and ruin those unfortunates. Deal with them severely and they will be cured. Those who have seen the brilliance of the diamond will not be misled by glass trinkets. The Lord is like the diamond, call it by any name. But a trinket cannot be turned into a diamond, however loud the praise and however adamant the claim.
860. WHO can give us the secret of transcending the barrier that divides the region of death from the region of immortality? Of course, the Lord has often sent Messengers to tell humanity about it, and He himself has come down in human form to communicate it and save mankind from perdition. It is because the task of guiding man has gone on so consistently that today, at least in India, there is this quantum of earnestness to achieve it and to escape from the cycle of birth and death.
861. THE Jnanendriyas are more important for Sadhana than the Karmendriyas; Buddhi is more important than all the rest of the inner instruments given to man. Make Buddhi the master of your Manas and you will not fail. You will fail only when the senses establish mastery over the mind.
862. EASWARASSARVOTA Bhoothaanaam Hrddese Arjuna Thishtath, 'Oh Arjuna, the God resides in the heart of all being' says the Lord. He is not to be found specially in Amarnath, Kasi, Tirupati, Kedaram or Gokarnam. Just as every drop of the ocean has the taste, the composition and the name of the ocean, so too every single being has the Divine taste and composition and the name of the Lord. Only you do not realise it so clearly. The Godavari realises itself by reaching the sea; man realises himself by merging in the Absolute. 'Gamyam ithi Lingam' (That which merges in the goal is Lingam).
863. YOU have to trace your ancestry and be proud of it. From Paramatma, Moola Prakrithi descended with the emergence of Maya, and from the stuff of that illusion, Akasa; and from Akasa, Vayu; from Vayu, Agni; from Agni, Jala; from Jala, Earth. By a combination of the five elements, this Tabernacle of Paramatma, which is you, was produced. The entire ladder has now to be climbed up in order to reach the Paramatma, the Origin of all. There is a regular syllabus for the promotion of the spiritual aspirant, which is given in that form in the Veda and in the form of an elaborate story in the Bhagavatha.
864. THE discovery of Truth is the unique mission of man. Man is a mixture of Maya and Madhava; the Maya throws a mist which hides the Madhava. But through the action of the healthy impulses inherited from acts performed while in previous bodies, or through the cleansing done by austerities in this body, or through the Grace of the Lord Himself, Maya melts away; for it is just a mist which flees before the Sun. Then Nara is transformed into Narayana and this Bhuloka is elevated into a Prasanthi Nilayam.
865. EVERYONE has a mother as the source of his life and body. So, the mother has to be strong in mind and body, ripe in culture and character, sanctified by holy thoughts and steeped in love and dedication. Good mothers make a good nation. Mothers have to be repositories of 'Thyaga, Yoga and Bakthi', Detachment, Discipline and Devotion. Their Karma (Activity) must be based on these three urges.
866. THE one Namaskaram you do, do with devotion. That is enough. You do not even do that; you do it so callously, so indifferently and automatically. When you fold your hands and bring them together, feel that you are offering at the Feet all the actions of the Five Karmendriyas and the Five Jnanendriyas as indicated by the ten fingers. Again, the purpose of Namaskaram is to touch the Feet, to have Sparsan of the Lord. The Negative pole Mayasakthi, and the Positive pole, Mahasakthi, have to meet in order to produce a spiritual current that will flow through you.
867. COME, I am the repairer of broken hearts, of damaged Anthahkaranas. I am like the smith who welds, mends and sets right. Ten years ago, a devotee prayed to Me in song, 'My heart has gone dry, my lamp has gone out, my path is dark, my brain is confused. Lord make me fit again for life's arduous journey'. The Lord will be waiting outside the door of the puja room of the Bhakta, anxious to fulfill his wish. Verily he, who has the Lord as His Servant, is the real Prabhu.
868. EVERY little movement or incident results in sound. Only, you may not be able to hear, because the range of your ear is limited. The falling of an eyelid over the eye makes a sound and the dropping of dew on a petal makes a sound. Any little agitation disturbing the calm is bound to produce a sound. The sound caused by the primal movement that resulted in the enveloping of Brahman by self-evolved Maya is the Pranavashabda or OM. The Gayathri is the elaboration of that Pranava and so, it is now held so venerable that initiation into Adhyatmic life is achieved by its contemplation.
869. YOU may complain that God is hard and heartless since He does not respond to prayer, give a signal from his pictures and speak from 'nowhere' in clear unambiguous terms, assuaging, assuring, advising - but let Me tell you: God is Love. Love is God. His Akara (Form) is Prema (Love). His Swabhava (essential Nature) is Ananda (Bliss); and His Raktha (Life-blood) is Sathya (Truth). Even when the stony cliff echoes your voice and responds when you cry, will not the Softest, Sweetest, Love-filled Heart of God respond? When there is no response, infer that there is something wanting in the cry; perhaps, the cry is hollow, insincere, mere play-acting set to a pattern, addressed to someone alien to oneself, taken to be far away and distant as a tyrant or task master.
870. KNOW that God is the One that is dearest and nearest to you, as dear and as near as your own heart and pray to him. Surely his answer will be vouchsafed immediately. You may have huge hordes of men in the army; but they are useful only when the few Generals who lead them know where they are and whether they should proceed and how to overcome the enemy, whose strength and weakness they have comprehended. Hordes of people sing, recite, adore, worship, praise and prostrate, but these are the soldiers. Those who believe, those who have faith and who practice the disciplines are the Generals in whom the Master confides.
871. TALKATIVE persons easily step into scandal mongering. Too much talk and a tongue addicted to scandal are twins; they work together and in unison. A poet addressed his tongue thus 'Oh, Tongue, knower of taste, relisher of sweetness, always prefer the Truth'. One should not inflame passion, diminish enthusiasm or inflict injury 'Sathyam Brooyath, Priyam Rooyath' (Speak the Truth, Speak pleasantly), 'Nabrooyath Sathyam Apriyam' (If unpleasant, do not speak the truth), 'Priyam cha na anvartsham brooyth' (Though it may be pleasant, do not speak falsehood).
872. THE Lord has said in the Gita: 'Anudevega Karam Vakyam Sathyam Priya Hitam Chayat'. (Speech, that does not offend, that is truthful, pleasant and beneficial, has to be praised). Such speech sanctifies the tongue. It knows and respects the limits. The ear cannot tolerate a false or discordant note. Every one of the senses responds within its own limits of tolerance and protests when that limit is exceeded or disregarded. You must be vigilant that they are put to use with proper attention to those limits. When they stray from the path or overstep the boundaries, reason bites its head and makes you inhuman.
873. YOU can master all Knowledge and win loud applause. The crowds that gather may praise and proclaim: 'Ah, what a wonderful lecture he gave'. You can be hailed as a King and rule over the realm. You can pile up vast wealth and donate old and land. But what is the benefit gained? Karna gave away the earrings he wore and even sliced off his Divine suit of armour and gave it away in charity. Wherein lies the key to greatness? Whereto does renunciation lead? The question is, does it purify the heart? Does it help the Divinity within to manifest itself?
874. BRAHMACHARYA does not mean merely desisting from marriage. It means becoming soaked in Holy Love for the Divine through transparent sincerity, unselfish will, pure consciousness and holy thoughts. You all know that Hanuman is described as the Eternal Brahmachari. He was married to Srivatsala, yet he earned that description. How? Brahmachari means, 'He who is in Brahman'. Hanuman had no other thought than Rama (who is Brahman) and so, was ever moving in Brahman and living in Brahman. Your thoughts, feelings, desires and activities must all move in Brahman, the Universal Absolute. That is to say, whatever is spoken and whatever is seen must be cognised as Brahman. That is the real Brahmacharya stage.
875. LIFE can be sanctified and elevated to a worshipful pilgrimage if only every one clings to his way and sees it in its proper perspective. Idle brains exaggerate matters; and cynics cause great social damage. Gulfs are widened by thoughtless criticism. If only all of you would remember the principle underlying the brotherhood of man, mankind will become a mighty family full of peace and joy.
876. MOHAKARMA flows from delusion and leads to further delusion. Man must outgrow this tendency and turn towards Dharma Karma, that is to say, moral activity, idealistic activity, activity that sublimates lower instincts and impulses and transform every deed into an act of dedication. When the attitude is confirmed and consolidated, all Karma becomes Brahmakarma. Man merges in the Universal and loses the inhibiting individuality. That is the Karma which the Atma craves for and delights in.
877. PREMA or Love is a much misused word. Any positive response to the attraction is called Love. Any feeling of attachment, however trivial or transitory, is characterised as Prema. We must certainly coin new words or set aside specific words to indicate the forms of Love. The attachment of parents to their children or of children to parents must be called affection. The response to the attraction of sex can be best described as fancy, fascination or delusion, Moha. The feeling of Kinship or comradeship evokes dearness. The pleasure one gets through a sense of possession, especially of material objects, can be known as satisfaction. Only the yearning to reach for the sublimity that lies inherent in Truth is entitled to be called by that holy word 'Prema'.
878. IT is My general practice to induce people to learn the sweetness of the Name. I begin My Discourses with the recitation of a spiritual poem and end them with these Namavalis and in between I give the lesson I love to teach. It is like a tasty health giving meal which I serve to you on a plate (the problem) covering it with a lid (the Namavalis). That is how you may take it.
879. HOW can a person, who cannot swim, teach others the art? How can one whose granary is empty, pour out charity? Acquire the wealth of devotion, fortitude and peace, before venturing to advise others how to acquire them. Bharath (India) has suffered slights and disregard as a result of a spate of teachers who have not cared to practice what they teach. I know you have the enthusiasm to carry My message among the people of this country and other countries. Let Me remind you that the best and the only successful way in which you can do it is to translate the Message into your own lives. Your thoughts, words and deeds must be saturated with the message. They then will spread effortlessly and efficiently, and the face of the World will be transformed.
880. THE Name undoubtedly brings in the Grace of God. Meerabai, the Queen of Rajasthan, gave up status and riches, fortune and family and dedicated herself to the adoration of the Lord, Giridhara Gopala. Her husband brought a chalice of poison and she was ordered to drink it. She uttered the Name of Krishna while she drank it. It was transformed into nectar, by the Grace the Name evoked.
881. GOD is the harmony of all the Forms and Names that man gives Him. Only those who are ignorant of the Glory of God will insist on one Name and one Form for His adoration and, what is worse, condemn the use by others of other Names and Forms. Since you are all associated with the Sathya Sai Organisation, I must warn you against such silly obduracy. Do not go about proclaiming that you are a sect, distinct and separate from those who adore God in other Forms and Names; thereby, you are limiting the very God whom you are extolling.
882. PEOPLE pray to God to relieve them from pain, grief and loss, to confer on them health, strength and wealth. But if you develop an intimate attachment to Him and make Him yours, then He will manage to give you all that you need. Do not demean the relationship into bargaining: give me this; then I shall give you that in exchange. If you insist on wages you become a coolie. Become His own. He is providing for the idler, the insane and the shirker; can He not provide for you?
883. THE duration of life is under the control of Him who gave life, the Creator. It does not depend on the calories of food consumed or the quality of drugs that are injected, or the qualification of the physician who prescribes the medicine. The chief causes of ill health and death are Fear and Loss of Faith. If one concentrates on the Atma, which has no change in characteristics, no subtraction or senility, and no decline or damage, man can conquer Death. Therefore, the most effective prescription is the injection of Atma-Vidya (Knowledge of the Atma, the Soul as one's Real Self).
884. THE future of India is in your hands. You are fully aware of the characteristics of this Kaliyuga we are passing through. You find around you injustice, irregularities, immorality and untruth, with all their devilish attributes and atrocities. But we have to march ahead in spite of all this with a quite tolerant and benign attitude towards life. Almost all the fields and walks of life are polluted with these poisonous feelings; but the field of education, being the most prominent organ, needs our special attention.
885. EVERY Indian will have to recognise the culture based on Vedic philosophy. You will know how restless and agitated the youth of India are today, trying to rob everything of pride and without achievement and thus, getting involved in meaningless pursuits. The student of today is not able to realise what he should primarily be concerned with. It is only in name that he is a 'Vidyarthi', the seeker of Knowledge. In practice, he is only a 'Vishayarthi', a seeker of worldly pleasures.
886. LOVE is the seed, courage is the blossom and peace is the fruit that the Sages grow in the garden of their hearts. They toiled for identifying themselves with the Truth, not for painting falsehood with the authenticity of Truth and parading as if they had accomplished the mission on which they had come to earth. They achieved such success that Bharath, for centuries, was the Preceptor of Humanity; but now the Preceptor has started to take lessons from the least intelligent of the pupils and is rearing its head in pride when the pupil congratulates him.
887. IN the Gita, the Lord has declared 'Beejaymmaam Sarva Bhoothaanam', 'I am the seed for all beings'. The tree is a broad spread of leaves and flowers, fruit and green. All have grown out of one single small seed, and every fruit of that tree has seeds of the same nature inside it: contemplate for a while on the magnificent multitude of life, all its rich variety of strong and weak, prey and hunter, distressed and delighted, creeping, crawling, flying, floating, walking, hanging, burrowing, living, and swarming. All this uncountable variety of created beings have come out of the 'Beejam' (Lord) and again, visualise the immanent Divinity. You will become humble, wise, and full of Love.
888. DO NOT waver, hesitate or doubt your destiny. Yearn to realise your Reality; that yearning itself will endow you with a steady endeavour and the Grace of God which will remove all obstacles. Be an example to others. Do not scatter advice without the authority born of practical experience. Do not search for the faults of others, seek your own. Love, Cooperate, Help, and Serve. This is your prime duty.
889. THE six demons, Kama (Lust), Krodha (Anger), Lobha (Greed) Moha (Attachment), Mada (Pride) and Matsara (Hate) pursue you and turn you on to wrong paths and make you servile, stupid and sad. Fight against them resolutely. That is the life-long war you have to wage. It is not a seven year war or a thirty year war; it may be a hundred year war, if you live a hundred years. The struggle knows no respite. This is a civil war, where vigilance alone can bring dividends.
890. THERE are no characteristics in God, but in the characteristics of Sathya, Jnana and Ananda there is God. God is everywhere and no spaceship can hit against Him; no astronaut can espy Him. He is too subtle for all that type of contact, subtler than ether or Akasa. So, do not lend your ears to people who swear there is no God. God is too vast and too far above the reach of reason or imagination. You can only get glimpses of the Bliss derived from the contemplation of His Magnificence.
891. KRISHNA is hiding in the recesses of your hearts. You have to trace Him there and hold fast. He runs away but leaves footprints marked by the spilled milk on which he has trodden in His hurry to be beyond our reach. Yes, the lesson is: recognise his Footprints in everything of beauty, every act of goodness, every tear of gratitude and every sigh of compassion; and discover Him in the bower of your own heart filled with the Fragrance of Love and Light of Virtue.
892. A HEART without Love is as dreary as a town without a temple. Spiritual pride is the most poisonous of all varieties of Pride. It blends and leads the person suffering from it into ruin. Beware of Pride; be always aware that you are but an instrument in My Divine Mission of Dharmasthapana, Revival of righteousness. Try to be more and more efficient as such instruments. The hand that wields the instrument knows how and when it has to be applied.
893. AT THIS critical hour in the history of the World, when the demoniac forces of fear and anxiety, injustice and inequity are raging in wild fury, it is the duty of every human being to be equipped with spiritual strength so that he may not be overwhelmed by the storm. This is an urgent and essential task and I must say, that the women of India have a contribution to make, a service to render and a role to play. They must bring God into the heart of the child and help it to keep Him there. For Faith in God is the tonic that man needs to get back his health and happiness.
894. SOCIAL service should not become show-cial, work carried out for publicity or with the camera in view. Nor should it become slow-cial work. Why go slow, when you are doing good to the deserving? Do as much as you can. If you cannot do any good, at least desist from doing harm or from finding fault with those who serve you.
895. YOU know that you can draw cheques upon a bank whenever you need money, provided you have enough current deposit therein. If the Bank goes bankrupt, it will be a disaster. The educational system is the Bank on which the nation draws a cheque whenever it wants strong, reliable skilled workers. If it goes bankrupt, as it nearly has today, it is a national disaster.
896. SERVICE: Let that be the slogan for this nation. Service not for those who have many to serve them and the wherewithal to help themselves, but for the diseased in the hospitals who have no one to nurse them, give them a smile or a flower or write a letter home for them.
897. THE chief means by which you detach your mind from distractions and attach yourselves to the search for God are: Yoga and Thyaga. Kama (desire) has to be gotten rid of by Thyaga (Renunciation); and Rama (God) has to be secured by Yoga (the conjunction of all your faculties for the common purpose). Desire discolours the intelligence; it perverts judgment; it sharpens the appetites of the senses; it lends a false lure to the objective world. When desire disappears or is concentrated on God, intelligence is self luminous and it shines in the pristine splendour; and that splendour reveals the God within and without. That is the real 'Atmasakshatkara'.
898. OF WHAT benefit is it to have a body if you do not seek to know how best to utilise it? Learn from the Saints and Sages who have realised the Truth about the path you shall tread and the goal you have to attain. That goal is God. He is beyond all notions of good and bad, right and wrong. These are earthly measures, by which the temporary is weighed and judged. He has no Form, no Limbs, no duality, no preferences, no prejudices and no predilection. To say that He is 'Sathyaswarup' (having the characteristic of Truth), and 'Jnanaswarup' (having full wisdom), and 'Anandaswarup' (full of Bliss) is also not correct. For He has no 'Swarup' or 'Swabhav'; He is Sathya; He is Jnana; and He is 'Ananda'. That is the experience of those who have tasted 'Ananda'.
899. YOU may boast that you have been visiting Puttaparthi since twenty years or that you have made the place your permanent residence; but, unless you follow the lessons I emphasise, that boast is mere empty vanity. If you develop love for all beings, in the faith that God resides in all, you may be anywhere else, but your prayers would reach Me and My Grace will reach you. While in My previous body, I told Nanashab that I am in ants, insects and animals, besides all men. When a dog ate all offerings intended for Baba, it was declared to have reached Baba, for he had eaten it in that form. 'Nana says, he is giving Me food, but when I go in the form of a dog, he drives Me off'.
900. INDIA has always laid down disciplines to cultivate Universal Love; the Yagnas and Yaga which are recommended in the Vedas are for Lokakalyana, Lokasangraha, the welfare and security of all mankind. That is why India is like the engine which drags the wagons along, all the wagons that are coupled with it. The wagons are the different nations. 'Lokaasamathaah Sukhino Bhavanthu' is the prayer that rises from the children of the land since thousands of years. God is Omnipresent. He is immanent in every being and in equal measure. So man must visualise Him equally in himself and in others.
901. ONCE Ramadas wailed, 'Oh Lord! you are Mighty, all powerful, all knowing; I am alone helpless, orphaned and poor'. Then the Lord interrupted the self condemnation and said, 'No, how can you call yourself poor, helpless and orphaned? I am with you and in you, showering My Grace. The only orphan in the Universe is Myself, for I have no guardian, no means of support, nobody to fall back upon. I am the A-natha; all else are Sa-natha (with Lord), for I am their Natha (Lord)'.
902. THE Universe is the Body of God; in that Body, the Unity Consciousness is Bharath, the Ekabhava. 'Ekam Sath' the Vedas declared eons ago! That is the heartbeat of Bharath today. This is the reason why Sages, Saints, Divine Personages and Incarnations of God appear here and proclaim their message to mankind from this land. The precious message is being exported but very little is used inside the country. That is the tragedy. For the influence available from positions of authority and for acquiring and accumulating power, individuals talk ill of others and breed hate.
903. MAN strives to provide himself with food clothing and housing for the sake of the body. He must also provide himself with something to keep the mind healthy and happy. It is the mind that conditions even the body. The mind is the instrument, the flywheel, and the thickest comrade of man. Through it, one can ruin oneself or save oneself. Regulated and controlled, channeled properly it can liberate; wayward and let loose, it can entangle and bind fast.
904. TRAIN the mind to dwell on the inner equipment rather than the outer attractions. Use the mind to cleanse the feelings, impulses, attitudes, tendencies and levels of consciousness. Let it not accumulate dirt from the outer world and deposit them within itself. If it is attached to work (Pravriti Marga), the consequences of work get attached to it. Unattached work is the purest; it does not encumber the mind with elation or disappointment. 'I did it', this is mine', these are the two fangs that make the individual poisonous. Pull out the fangs, the snake can be handled and played with as a pet.
905. THE Lord is closest to you. He is the Mother, Father, Teacher, Friend, Guide and Guardian. Call on Him and He responds immediately. From dawn to dusk, spend every minute in His company. That is the reason why I have directed that every Sathya Sai Organisation must arrange for Nagar Sankirtan in the pre-dawn Bhahmamuhurtham. It is a mission of Love and all will welcome it. It is a great act of social service to wake up people with the Name of God. It is a purifying pilgrimage, casting off anger and hate that infest the atmosphere.
906. THE Gita speaks of 'Yukthahara Viharasya', habits of feeding and recreation, which are controlled and regulated. The gross part of food is discarded as feces, the subtle part is transformed into muscle, blood etc., and the more subtle of the subtle aspects are transmuted into the mind and its activities. That is why the Sages have prescribed certain limits and levels of food, in order to promote the spiritual urges and prevent contrary tendencies. But nowadays, as a result of the downgraded time, spirits and food that damage the spiritual urge, are being increasingly favoured.
907. THE Karma or activity is the indicator of inner character. Observing one's actions, their motives, their consequences and the extent of one's involvement, it is possible to declare one as a Pasu (beast) or Pasupathi (The Lord of Individual Souls: that is to say, as Divine as God Himself).
908. AT school, the first lesson is 'Baa Baa Black Sheep, Have you any Wool?', and the second is 'Ding Dong Bell, Pussy in the well'. Gone are the days when the first lesson was on Rama, Krishna or some great sage or saint? Getting to know about black sheep will make children black sheep; getting to know about the great and the good will make children great and good. Children of Baba Vihar are therefore told stories of Rama, Krishna and other Divine Persons. Learn those tales and decide to live like them. Learn Indian ways and Indian tales, and be true Indians.
909. WHY say 'Good morning' or 'Good night'. 'Namaskar' or 'Namaste' is the Indian way, the really humble way. You must have Bhaya Vinaya and Viswasa - Fear, Humility and Faith. Fear of what? Fear of doing wrong and of falling into falsehood. Humility before whom? Before elders, teachers and parents. Faith in what? Faith in God, in your own strength and in your own victory.
910. 'TAMASOMA Jyothigamaya' is the prayer. Egoism is Thamas. There is an easy way to illumine the inner consciousness and the outer behaviour with the light of God. Put the lamp of the Name of the Lord, the illumining flame, on the tongue! That is the doorstep. That light will drive out the darkness from both, inside and outside. Have it ever burning, clear and bright. You will soon reach remarkable heights and enjoy happiness, the like of which you cannot get by sticking to the senses.
911. KRISHNA took upon Himself three vows: (1) 'Parithraanaya Sadhoonam Vinaasaayacha Dushkrithaam, Dharma Samasthaapanaarthayya Sambhavaimi Yuge Yuge' - 'For the protection of the good and the punishment of the bad; for the establishment of the Moral Order, I shall concretise Myself, age after age'; (2) 'Anayaaschinthayathramanm Yejanah Paryappasatha, Shaamnishya-Abhiyukthaanaam Yoga Shemam Vahamyaham' - 'Who ever is wholly immersed in my contemplation, with no other thought; I shall be ever with him and I shall bear the burden of his welfare'; (3) 'Sarvadharmaan Parithojya Maamekam Saranam Vrajas Ahamthwaa Sarva Paapebhyo Mokshaysh Yaami Maasuch' - 'Surrender unto Me, giving up all other duties and obligations, I shall liberate you from all sin; do not grieve'.
912. WHEN Dharma (which means, that which is worn, the apparel, clothes) was sought to be removed from the wearer, the Lord blessed Draupadi with the grant of an unending series of saris. Today, the Sanathana Dharma which is the robe of Bharathamatha is sought to be taken away by her unworthy and deluded sons; and the Lord has come to grant solace and strength. You will see splendid saris pouring into her lap from every door of the Durabar Hall, where she is being insulted. You will witness this great Miracle by the Avatar who has come to protect her honour and her heritage.
913. YOU stay far and complain that Grace has not come. You do not scrape off, by the process of repentance, the mud and rust that prevent attachment. You come for needs sometime and stray away into the distance. I do not mean physical distance at all. You may be physically far but mentally by My side. I do not measure distance in miles or meters. I am always with you, in you, beside you; only you have to be aware of that and make use of My presence. You must become an 'Aartha', torn by intense suffering to sense the Lord.
914. THE Lord has to take the Form that is suitable for the task He has to fulfill. To catch a gang of decadents, the Police Officer has to move among them as a decadent. That is why the Human Form has been taken. But who, challenged with impurity by their own wives, dare challenge the Avatar and ask for proof! Of course, if you desire to understand, you are welcome; be near, watch, learn and believe. Put on the role, if you have the courage and the conviction that you can enact it well. Are you not tired of playing the parts of beggar and clown, in scene after scene, birth after birth? Aspire for the nobler role, at least now, in this birth.
915. IF you plan to give joy to others, you will be joyful. Who are these others? Even when the Lord has come with a definite Human body, all humans that you come across are but parts of His Glory and Splendour. 'Iswarasarvabhuthanaam, Hrdresse Arjuna Shrishtethi', 'Oh! Arjuna, the Lord, dwells in the regions of the heart in all beings', says the Lord in the Gita.
916. HOW can we find time for all this when we have to toil every moment for feeding and clothing ourselves? But you forget, the Lord will grant you these material things and even immortality, if only you place full reliance on Him. Whatever you do, have the name, Rama or Krishna, or Siva or Hari on your tongue, no extra time or energy is needed for that. When you rise in the morning, rise with the Name on your tongue and slide into sleep with the Name on your tongue.
917. CONSIDER the condition of the field of your heart; it is overgrown with thorns and bushes of lust, anger, greed and envy. Remove them, root and all. Do not allow the land to turn fallow. By continuous good work, plough the field and fill the field with the water of Prema. Select the Nama-seed that appeals to you and sow it in the field. Discipline is the force which will guard the growing crop against cattle. Virtue is the pesticide. Fostering the field with great care, you can bring home the precious harvest of Ananda.
918. ONE day, Krishna pretended to be fast asleep! With the flute carelessly thrown aside by His side, when Radha approached the fortunate flute and asked it in plaintive terms, 'Oh lucky Murali! Tell me how did you earn the great good fortune. What was the vow you observed, the vigil you kept, the pilgrimage you accomplished'? The flute got a voice through His Grace: 'I rid myself of all sensual desire of envy, greed and ego, that is all. I had no feeling of ego left to obstruct the flow of His Prema through me to all creation'.
919. REVERE Jnana as you revere your father; adore Love as you adore your mother; move fondly with Dharma as if it is your own brother; confide in 'Daya' as if it is your dearest friend; have Shantams as if it is your better half; treat Sahana (Fortitude) as if it is your own beloved son. These are your genuine kith and kin. Move with them; live with them; and do not forsake or neglect them.
920. THIS is a place where you must try to help and not hinder; this is the atmosphere of peace and Prasanthi. Do not behave here as you do when you gather elsewhere. There is no scope here for envy or malice of hate or competition. When Kama and Vrodha are rising in hot flames from the heart, how can the cool rays of Shanti, Sathya, Ahimsa and Prema emanate therefrom? This human birth is a rare chance! Use it for spreading joy, and not grief. Of course, it is natural for man to resent and to grow angry. But you should not allow anger a free and furious scope.
921. KRISHNA had undoubtedly the power to transform in a trice the wayward mind of His kinsman into unillumined instrument for resolute action. But Krishna did not use the power! He only prescribed the medicine and the regimen. Arjuna had to swallow the drug and follow the regimen himself in order to be saved. He said, 'You are My friend; you are My kinsman; you are now so near to Me that I am now your charioteer; you are also in great distress; I agree that the delusion, which has overpowered you, must be removed quickly; but, your Ajnana must fall off through your own efforts not through some Miracle of My design'.
922. ONE can claim genuine victory only when one has reached not the dead satellite but the living star; not the Chandra but the Ramachandra, the Lord who rules over the inner satellites, the inner planets, the inner motives and agitations. Then one's inner reaction and agitation will be transmuted into the Divine. All that one experiences through the senses, the mind and the intellect will take on the Divine lustre, reveal their Divine core, and man will be shaped through the mould of Love.
923. ONE can be in the World but yet unaffected. Activity will then be for the Almighty by His Grace and through His will. Do not get work done by cooks, servants, ayahs and others in the home, women must not depend on these for the care of their children or attendance on their husbands. Earning leisure for Dhyana through these servants is not a spiritual gain.
924. I ALWAYS encourage Samathanam, Sanghikam and Saam Krishikam activities: the three S's. If it is for reviving the values recognised as great by time or recreating the damaged structure of the good of Society or restoring vigour to some fine art that is declining, you can count on My Blessings. I always exhort people to win, not the titles that come to those who canvas support but the title that the Upanishads proclaim as the highest decoration for spiritual aspirants: 'Amirthaaya-Pathrash', 'Children of immortality'.
925. EVERYONE'S heart is Dharmakshetra where the battle between the forces of Good and Evil is fought. The whole country is Dharmakshetra. So, the mothers and children of this land must be devoted to Dharma, above all. The Gita begins with the words, Dharmakshetra, and ends with the words: 'Sarva Dharmaan Parithajiya'; 'Through Dharma, you have to transcend Dharma'. That is why Kausalya exhorted Rama when He went into the forest: 'May the Dharma, which you are upholding by this act, be your guardian when you are in the forest as an exile'. And Rama upheld Dharma even under the most trying circumstances.
926. THIS World is His play; it is not an empty dream; it has purpose and use; it is the means by which one can discover God; see Him in the beauty, grandeur, the order and the majesty of Nature. These are shadows of His Glory and His splendour; that is why the Vedas have three Sections or Kandas; Karma, Upasana and Jnana. Karma leads to the consciousness of the ever-present, immanent, all powerful God. Upasana or adoration of that God lends to the knowledge that He is in all. When you experience that, there is no second, that is Jnana.
927. MY place is among you, with you and wherever work lies. That is why I moved among you and stood at your back. This is just to show you that, even in your own places, when you do Bhajan or some other type of adoration like serving children, the sick or the poor, I do not sit on a special seat, apart and distant. Do not believe I am on the pedestal that you offer Me. I am part of you, a partner and partaker in all your efforts, inspiring and instructing when you ask or need inspiration and instruction.
928. BY developing spiritual qualities, you will be promoting the resuscitation of this country and its culture. Look at the warning that the sacred texts offer! Somaka, the Asura, stole the Vedas! Ravana kidnapped Sita, Duryodhana grasped an empire; Kamsa slaughtered children; but not one of them realised their heart's desire that their names be exalted by history. Sentence of death awaits everyone, cutting off their pride and pomp. Some young persons feel that the work they have on hand gives them great pleasure but they do not pay heed to its future consequences. When you seek beneficial results, you have to involve yourselves in beneficial activity.
929. THERE are some who are attracted by various systems and methods like Hathayoga, Kriyayoga or Rajayoga, which claim to help people to realise the self. But I must tell you that none of these can make you realise God - I am saying this most emphatically. The Prema Yoga, Discipline of Love, alone can lead you to God. Those Yogas may calm the minds' agitation temporarily and may improve health and prolong life for a few more years - but that is all that they can do. What is the good you hope to achieve with that body in those extra years? If Love is absent, they weigh you down as life's big burdens.
930. WHAT is the immortal part of man? Is it the wealth he has accumulated? The residences he has built, the physique he has developed, the health he has acquired, and the family he has reared? No, all that he has done, developed or earned are destroyed; he has to leave them all to the ravages of time. He cannot take with him even a handful of earth, the earth he loved so much. If only the dead could take with them a handful each, the Earth would have become scarce; it should have been rationed by now! Discover the Immortal 'I'; and know that it is the spark of God in you! Live in the companionship of that vast measureless Supreme and you will be rendered vast and measureless. Consider all objects that you collect here as given on trust to be used in this caravansari, during your pilgrimage, in this Karmashetra.
931. THE law of Karma is not an iron law. By dedication, by purification which invites benediction, its effects can be modified and its rigour mitigated. Do not despair; do not lose heart. When vices hold sway over your heart, it becomes foul and sooty. The flames of Kama, Krodha and Lobha char the heart. Grace is provided by the quenching of these flames. Grace confers Ananda, which Kama, Krodha and Lobha can never confer.
932. WHY is it that the World reveres Rama and revolts at Ravana? Rama is not its uncle's son or Ravana its step mother's child. It is the kinship of the spirit, your innate goodness, responding lovingly and adoringly to the goodness in Rama and reacting revoltingly to the wickedness of Ravana. It is not enough nor is it essential that you should utter the name of Rama loudly, respect it in the fullness of love and admiration. If you have no spirit of love in you, dig into your heart with external instruments like Raga, Stotra etc., and it will start to flow.
933. WE are today celebrating the Advent of Krishna. The Avatar (incarnation) in the Krishna. Form has a vast mystery enshrined in it. Brindavan (the forest of Brinda) is the tangled jungle of life. The cows tended by Lord Krishna in Brindavan are none other than the humans that are helpless without His care and guidance. Gokula (the herds of cows) is the name given in the Bhagavatham (book on the Glory of the Lord) to the region where Krishna tended the cows. 'Go' means also the individual who is enclosed in the body. So, Gokula, is the region inhabited by man.
934. ONE poet has sung, 'Oh, Krishna, Oh, Gopala, do not count on your being kind to me, being moved by my appeals for mercy. Don't I know that you killed with your own hands your maternal uncle? You killed the very nurse who came endearingly to you in order to feed you at her breast! With no iota of compassion towards the father of your dearest devotees, you tortured him and killed him while the son, Prahlada was looking on! You approached Bali as if for alms, and when he gladly placed all he had at your feet, you trampled on his head and pressed him into the nether regions! How can a heart that has no tenderness melt at my misery'? Yes, the Lord is above all attachments, He has no favorites or foes.
935. BY THE example of your lives, you have to restore confidence among the people in the higher values of life. Do not neglect the great lessons embedded in Sanathana Dharma, which have sustained countless generations in this land for many centuries. 'May all the Worlds be happy', this is the goal towards which Sanathana Dharma is leading us. Welcome within the fold of your Love, all men without distinction or race or religion, colour or class. Have the picture of the Happy, Love filled human community in your heart. That will give you enough encouragement in your mission.
936. ISSA Vassyam Idam Sarvam; 'All this is enveloped by God'. All this is soaked in God; saturated with God. Everything is the substance of God. We are on the Earth; around it revolves the moon. Both, the Earth and the Moon are illumined by the Sun. Dependent on the Sun, planets like Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and Saturn dutifully move along the orbits at different speeds. Their Satellites also belong to the Solar family. Whenever we lift our eyes up to the sky at night, we notice Stars beyond numbers. And in the Milky Way, we see thick masses of Star Clusters. In space, there are more than ten thousand crores of Stars, and regarding the Galaxies in the Milky Way and elsewhere, we have more than ten crores. Without being lost in numbers, we must ponder over the mystery of the Unity and Harmony of this Cosmic projection.
937. IT IS not possible to consider Creation and the Creator, Nature and God as different or separate. Can we see that waves are separate from the sea? They are of the sea, with the sea, and from the sea. Man too is of God, with and from God. The bubble is born in water, stays in water and is lost in water. The Cosmos too is a bubble born in the Absolute, exists as the Absolute and merges in the Absolute or Paramatma. Nara (the human) is the bubble. God (Narayana) is the sea. Recognise this truth, as the bubble cannot be conceived without positing water. The Cosmos, this World, cannot be conceived without God.
938. GOOD men are the targets for maligning by the small. Have your own errors and evils hidden so that you can tackle them in solitude; do not inflict them on others. Wrestle with them and overwhelm them in the silence of Sadhana. Deal with others only beneficially and in joyful cooperation. Look at Lord Siva. The poison, which will ruin the World ruthlessly, has been contained in His throat! The Moon that can shower cool, calm comfort is worn by Him on His head for all the Worlds to benefit from! That is a lesson for you. Why render others miserable, because you are too weak to suppress the bandits your heart has welcomed?
939. I KNOW there are many of you who argue and discuss how and in what manner these structures came to be built so grandly. If you have known Me through and through there will be no such argument at all. You will know that this is but an insignificant product of My power. I have done this only as an example; unless those who lead are themselves active and earnest to bend and bear the burden, all those who are encouraged to follow will lose heart and miss the way. Religious leaders have a great responsibility in this respect. People fly high, only to cast their eyes on a wider circle, searching for sustenance as vultures do! The eye belies what the wings proclaim.
940. WHEN you have filled your heart with sympathy for the distressed, the Lord will shower His Grace. Draupadi had earned the Grace through her devotion and virtues. Sita, too, had stuck to the highest ideals of life in spite of her severe sufferings. She was kept as a prisoner by her abductor. When Hanuman offered to cross the ocean with her on his shoulders and take her safe to her Lord Rama, she replied that she would not allow herself to be abducted back from the custody of Ravana since that would deprive Rama of the chance to punish him for his crime and retrieve her. Quite in consonance with Dharma.
941. THE Gita is His Command; how can you earn the Master's Grace if you do not carry out the Master's commands. If the son says, 'Leave me to myself, I need no instructions from you'; how can he expect the father to give him a share of the property? The Gita also helps you to recognise the incarnations of God. Usually, when the Lord appears with Form, man is pestered by doubts and he actually loses the precious chance. He asks himself and all those whom he meets 'Is it true?'; 'Can it be true?'; and before his doubts are removed, he deserts the quest and wanders into the wilderness. Of course, steady enquiry is essential! Do not be led by others; awaken your own reason; amass your own experience; and decide for yourself your own path
942. NOTHING that is experienced will go to waste. It will shape the course of events. It will change attitudes and habits. It will purify and clarify situations and outlooks. That is why I want you to read the Gita; it is like learning Eatha (Swimming) - this learning of the Gita. Eatha saves you from drowning. Gita saves you from drowning in the treacherous flood of worldly desires. The Gita is the real purpose for which the Avatar of Krishna was undertaken.
943. TO condemn all is unjust, untrue, and unkind. Take My own instance. I never exult when I am extolled, nor shrink when I am reviled. Few have realised My purpose and significance: but I am not worried when things that are not in Me are attributed to Me. Why should I worry? When things that are in Me are mentioned, why should I exult? 'Sayiki Sarvam Yes, Yes, Yes'. For Sai, it is always S.S.S. If you say 'Yes, you are the Lord', I am the Lord to you. If you say 'No', I am 'No' to you. I am 'Ananda, Shantham, Dhanam', Bliss, Equanimity, and Courage. Take them as your 'Atonathathwam' and you will not be wrong.
944. THE influence of the Divine is such that while you are contemplating it, all traces of envy and greed will disappear from the mind. The boy Krishna had entered a Gopi's house and was just standing beneath the pot of curds when she discovered Him. Krishna ran out into the street and the Gopi pursued Him and wanted to catch Him quickly, for she was so distressed that the boy was running in the hot sun. She never worried about the loss of curds or milk or butter, but the very thought of Krishna's tender feet walking over the hard stones in the sun was something she could not bear. The Prema that Krishna showered made everyone forget everything else. He too gave such disarming replies to the queries of the mother and the Gopis that no one could have anything but Prema towards Him. That is the characteristic of Avatars at all times.
945. DHARMA is the very habiliment of India, the dress that Bharathamatha wears to protect her, honour to reclaim her status to shelter herself against heat and cold and to set a standard to her sisters. When the wicked Kaurava princes seized hold of the sari that Draupadi wore and tried to inflict insult on her honour, Krishna rescued her and foiled the foul design. Dharmaraja sat as if he was unaware of his rights and duties. Bhima was involved in doubt concerning his obligations to his elder brother and his consort. Arjuna cared more for his own interests. Nakula and Sahadeva waited and weighed the pros and cons. But the Lord did not wait! His Grace knew no delay or doubt.
946. DHARMA, the very clothes that Bharathamatha has worn since centuries, which is the expression of her natural style, is now seized by wicked irreverent hands. They wish to dress her in unbecoming styles on their own initiative or frenzied dictates. So Krishna has to come again for resuming the eviction of the wicked. Krishna revealed the hollowness of the people who were confident of their capacity to dishonour Draupadi and the weakness of those entrusted with the task of protecting her. Now too, the Lord has to foil the attempts to undermine Dharma and to stand in support of those who are the traditional protectors and protagonists of Dharma.
947. YASODA one day was searching for Krishna who had strayed away. She thought He went to the house of Radha. Radha just closed her eyes and meditated on Krishna for a while and when she called 'Krishna', Krishna was there. Then Yasoda shed tears of joy. She said, 'I love Krishna as a mother. I have a sense of egoism in me that He is my son and that I must save Him from harm and seek to give Him guidance and protection. Your Prema is pure; it has no egoism promoting it'.
948. REMEMBER always that it is easy to do what is pleasant; but it is difficult to be engaged in what is beneficial. Not all that is pleasant is profitable. Success comes to those who give up the path strewn with roses and brave the hammer blows and the sword-thrusts of the path fraught with danger. As a matter of fact, no road is strewn with rose petals. Life is a battlefield, a Dharmakshetra, where duties and desires are always in conflict. Smother the fiery fumes of Desire, Hatred and Anger that rise up in your hearts. It is sheer cowardice to yield to these enemies that turn you into beasts.
949. THE vision of the Virat, the Cosmic Form, is given to those who surrender their ego and take refuge in the Lord (as Arjuna did) and who imbibe with care the Gita sung by the Lord in the silence. God is Omnipresent. He is the inner Motivator of every particle in the Universe. To declare that He is amenable only to your style of worship and that He will answer only the Name that you have learnt to use, is to insult His Omniscience and His Glory. See Him in all; serve Him in all; revere Him in all. Pray, 'Let the Whole World prosper; let all mankind be happy'.
950. IMAGINE the Prema of the Gopis. One noon, Krishna stealthily entered the house of a cowherd and drank all the milk in the pot. The Gopi discovered Him and, when she admonished Him, Krishna took to His heels. When the Gopi saw Him running over the hard cobblestones of the street, she shed tears of contrition. 'These Lotus feet must feel great pain', she wept. 'Oh, what a great sinner I am', she wailed. Krishna will make the most wicked heart melt in repentance. He is Premaswarupa and Santhaswarupa and so He makes every heart sprout up to Prema and Shanthi.
951. VASUDEVASSARVAMIDAM does not mean that all this is just Krishna, the son of Vasudeva. It means that all this is God, by whatever Name He is known. So if you decry anyone, you are decrying God, which is His real core. If you become aware of the God in you and the God in all else, there is nothing to equal the peace and joy that you get.
952. LET Me tell you, without reforming conduct in daily behaviour and acts, 'Ananda' will be beyond reach. I consider 'Pravarthana', Practice, as essential. A man or an institution is to be judged by his integrity and whether acts are according to the principles proposed. The mind, the body and the word; all three must work in unison. By such disciplined Karma, the senses will be sublimated and Prasanthi won. Then out of this Prasanthi will arise Prakanthi or the great light. From that will emerge Paramjyothi, the Supra-splendour of illumination. That illumination will reveal Param-Atma, the Over-Soul, the Universal.
953. PRASANTHI Nilayam is holding forth and exemplifying the higher ideals in the material, ethical, economic, moral, spiritual, worldly and even political fields. There is no place here for anything contrary. This can be asserted without any possibility of contradiction. In spite of this, some ignorant individuals rely more on their guesses than on facts and indulge in spreading wrong conclusions. Let me tell them that if a single person in the whole world points out a wrong step in Prasanthi Nilayam, he shall be met with and be convinced that the Prasanthi Nilayam is eagerly bent upon the task of upholding and demonstrating high and holy ideals of achieving spiritual realisation. It does not seek those worldly riches, nor does it yearn for earning favours and fame.
954. IN Prasanthi Nilayam, no misuse or extravagance can ever happen. For any festival, either Sivarathri, Navarathri or the Birthday, many people imagine that lakhs of Rupees are spent here. For the Dasara celebration, all who have come served their best in the fullness of devotion that dwells in their hearts and so, not a Naya paise is spent for any purpose. The Rithuriks, who officiate at the Yagna and the lecturers who deliver discourses, all come and share in the joy out of Love and Faith. Their comforts are looked after by the members of the Seva Dal and the Sevasamithis and by the Volunteers who dedicate their strength and skills to make the Festivals a success. No paise is spent on any item.
955. TODAY, you find the Prasanthi Nilayam area clean and pleasing. What is the reason? How many sweepers have we employed? How many coolies are engaged, you may wonder? No, not one, Everyone cleans the place where he is staying and the adjacent area. Thus, cleanliness is ensured without any cost. It can be asserted that at no place in the World are resources put to such good use, with the least expense, as at Prasanthi Nilayam.
956. MAN has Truth as his nature, that is to say, you can rely on man's behaviour being always true; he will speak out only what he feels to be sincere; he will act according to his words. His thought, word and action will be consistent and complementary. If in any one case this concordance is absent, then the person is a man only in outer form. He is worse than a beast, for beasts are free from the burdens of thought and speech.
957. GOD gives an ear to the prayers that rise in all languages and even from the silence of the dumb. He has no trace of anger or worry. You too have no reason to develop anger and anxiety. When the teeth bite your tongue, do you get angry at them for hurting? Do you break the teeth that hurt it so? No, teeth and tongue are both yours. Similarly, he who hurts you and you are both limbs of the same body - God. Feel that Oneness and avoid hate. God is on the lookout for the inner vision. He blesses those whose hearts are so vast that they can take in all His children. How can He be pleased when you are so selfish and narrow minded that you send away His children from the doorstep of your heart?
958. WHAT has brought you all, in this vast number, from your homes and villages to this place?. It is the Love you have for Me, and the Love I have for you. The reason for your presence is not any force or authority or temptation to earn material profit or gain. Ponder over the things I have told you out of My Love. Try to cleanse your minds through repentance for the wrongs done or contemplated and, through a firm resolve to shape your lives anew according to the Divine Plan, by which each can stand revealed as fully Divine.
959. RAMA strove to uphold Sathya as the main plank of Dharma. Whatever the trial and however hard the travail, He did not give up Truth. Sathyam is Dharmam; Dharmam is Sathyam; the two are irrevocably intertwined. 'Sathyam Vada; Dharmam Chara', say the Upanishads. Rama will be remembered as long as mountains raise their heads and the ocean exists because of this strict adherence to Sathya and Dharma. If He had argued 'Why should I be bound by the word of my father?', He would not have earned this immortality. The Immortal had come in the Form of Rama to show the way to Immortality.
960. WHEN you travel towards God, obstacles have to be bypassed. Prahlada went against his father; Vibhishna went against his brother; Jamadagni had to harm his own mother; Meera could not obey her husband; because they stuck to the path of God and broke through all those who opposed them. Young men like you have the problem, I know, of being forced to marry against your will by parents who seek to hasten you into marital security. You have to win them over and get their approval as Sankara did when he wanted to enter the monastic order.
961. BELIEVE that All are God through Jnana, even then compassion compels you to love and serve. Believe that God is Master or Father and that you are His children or servants through Bhakti. Even then, His command is to wipe the tears, nourish the sick, and help the lame to climb over the stile through pity and sympathy. Believe through faith in Karma that God has to be adored through dedication. The highest form of adoration is by means of Seva done in Love.
962. RAMA is the personification of Viveka, the discriminating faculty of the intellect. Sita and Lakshmana are the higher levels of consciousness - Sujana and Prajnana. Rama puts an end to evil feelings and promotes good thoughts. Rama is the emperor of Ayodhya. That name means impregnable will. No enemy, that is to say, no demeaning feeling or thought can invade the heart when Rama is installed therein. Thyagaraja sang 'Telisi Rama Chinthana Cheyeve Manasa', (Oh Mind, Meditate on Rama with the full knowledge of what He represents).
963. INDIA shone for centuries as the Karmabhoomi, where each activity of man was ennobled by a high purpose and sense of dedication. She was therefore acclaimed as Yogabhoomi, the land where the people yearned for atonement with God. She was revered as the Thyagabhoomi, where the ideal of the mendicant monk, the naked fakir and the simple monarch, counseled by the sage, was placed before the people through precept and example. At the present time, it is being forged into a Bhwyabhoomi, the land of skyscrapers, air conditioning and tinned foods and an undisciplined mass of humanity pulled from its roots and transplanted in other soils. This is an insult to our past and a defiance of history.
964. SRI Sathya Sai College is not founded, as some of you are guessing, to promote financial considerations, nor is it intended as an instrument for publicity. It will be an example of an inspiration, a beacon, a pioneer and a lesson for educators and for all those who have the future of humanity in their hearts. The usual answer to the question, 'Why College education? Is it to help secure jobs? Why this college?' is, 'It is to sweeten the hearts of the future mothers of this land with humility, faith and discrimination; and to light the path they tread towards truth and virtue'.
965. YOUR car is not meant to be kept as a showpiece in a glass case. It is meant for the roads, for taking you fast and safe to the place where you want to go. So too, your body must serve the purpose of your journey. Journey to where? Not, as it has been happening, to the cemetery. You have nobler things to do than merely die! You must know your own Reality before you die and merge in that supreme joy. Eat just enough to keep the body trim and use the body to discover this Reality, namely, God. Sanctify every moment of your sojourn here with pious deeds and sacred thoughts.
966. MAN has been enslaved by money. He lives a superficial, hollow, artificial life. This is indeed a great pity. Man should seek to possess only as much money as is most essential for his living. The quantity of riches one must earn can be compared to the shoes one wears; if too small, they cause pain; if too big, they are a hindrance while walking. Money too has to be with us only just enough for a life of physical and mental comfort. When we have more, it breeds pride, sloth and contempt for others. In pursuit of money, Man descends to the level of the beast. Money is of the nature of manure. Piled up in one place, it pollutes the air. Spread it wide, scatter it over fields - it rewards you with a bumper harvest. So too, when money is spent in all the four quarters for promoting good work, it yields contentment and happiness in plenty.
967. MOVE forward towards the light and the shadow falls behind; you move away from it and you have to follow your own shadow. Go every moment one step nearer to the Lord and then Maya, the shadow will fall back and will not delude you at all. Be steady; be resolved. Do not commit a fault or take a false step and then repent! Have the 'thaapam' (the deliberation, the decision and the discipline) first, that is better than 'Paschaath Thaapam' (regret for the mistakes made).
968. THE Universe is seen; it can be learnt about, it can be experienced and enjoyed. But God is unseen. He has to be inferred through His handiwork. So too, society to which social service is rendered, cannot be seen as such. We can contact only individuals. But through the individual you infer the immanence of the Divine. All are actors on the world stage in His play. Every atom is surcharged with His power, His might, His Glory. Every being is surcharged with His Bliss, His Beauty, His Goodness.
969. DO not compare the various manifestations of the Divine and pronounce judgment, declaring that Rama is greater than Krishna or Siva superior to Vishnu. This line of thought is poisonous and harmful to the devout aspirant. You do not know your own self, but yet, how dare you pronounce judgment on personalities and powers you have never experienced or understood. Rama is as unknown to you as Christ and so it is best to keep silent, and revere both with equal ardour. For all are manifestations of the same Divine Effulgence.
970. THE airplane runs on wheels for some length on the ground before it takes off into the air. You may ask 'Why wheels for the airplane?' so too, when you reach a certain height in spiritual Sadhana, rules and regulations can be folded up, as the pilot folds up the wheels when up in the air. While serving others through the Samithi, do not forget to do some Sadhana for your own advancement. Paraseva (service of others) is the negative Pole. Atma - Seva (service to oneself) is the positive Pole, and when they meet, the flash of Ananda (Bliss) emanates. Bliss obliterates all worries, all fears, and all anxiety. March on to that Consummation, through Sadhana and Seva. These are my Blessings to each of you.
971. THE Purusha Suktah of the Vedas says 'Sahasra Seersha Purushah, Sahaeraakshah, Sahasrapad', The supreme Sovereign Person has a thousand heads, a thousand eyes and a thousand feet. The heads, eyes and feet of the thousands who gather here, are my heads, My Eyes, and My Feet. Nurse them respect them, attend to their needs - you have done your japam dhyanam and puja! The mantra says 'Sarva Deva Namaskaraha Kesavam Prathi, Gachachathi'; the homage that you pay all to the Gods flow towards the one only, Kesava. I would elaborate it further and give you this new mantra; 'Sarva Jeeva Namaskaraha Kesavam Prathi Gachchathi'; The reverence, the Service that you offer to every single being (Jeeva) flows automatically to the One, namely Kesava.
972. GOD is to be recognised in all that exists, all that is charming or suffering, blooming or drooping. He is Intelligence in the insect, Faithfulness in the dog, latent Energy in the rock! Vivekananda announced at Chicago that Hinduism uncovered the upadhi (Scabbard) and sought the inner core of the Divine in all things, animate and inanimate. A gentleman may wear morning dress, evening dress, dinner coat or luncheon slacks; he is the same inside all these dresses, isn't he?
973. THE Vedas are for the Glorification of the Gods, 'Devaanam sthuthy antham', in the Kaliyuga, one is asked to rely more on Namasmarana for Liberation. Why is it considered enough for the people of this Age? For other sadhanas are fraught with difficulties. They need rigorous discipline and much preliminary effort. Again, there is another advantage in Namasmarana; as soon as the Name is uttered, the owner of the Name comes into view. When you think of the Form, the Name may not always accompany; you may not be able to identify. There may be more than One Name and you may be confused, but take the Name and the Form automatically appears before the mental eye.
974. THE true Guru is not a human Preceptor. It is the Cosmos itself, Prakrithi, Creation, the World around us. Life must have an ideal before it, it must proceed towards a goal, it must be a constant march. Life has as its sole purpose: man becoming Divine, the transformation of the man. We profess to be the God we really are. 'Gu' in the word Guru indicates the qualities of Gunatheetha, that is unaffected by attributes and attitudes, not associated with any one particular characteristic, and 'Ru' means rupa-rahitha, that is not limited to any form but pervasive in all forms. In this context, the Universe and all its components are to be looked upon as one's Preceptors and lessons learnt from each.
975. IT is all God, an expression of His Majesty! Derive joy from the springs of joy within you and without you; advance, do not stand still or recede. Every minute must mark a step forward. Rejoice that it is given to you to recognise God in all and welcome all chances to sing His Glory, to hear His chronicle, to share His presence with others. God has His Hands in all handiwork, His Feet on all altitudes His Eyes beyond all horizons, His Face before every face. That is what the Bhagavad Githa declares, you who read the Githa can vouch for the accuracy of that statement, if only you have faith in it and live in its light.
976. THE sages have laid down three categories which comprise the knowable world; God, Nature and the I (Iswara Prakrithi and Jiva). God, when seen through the mirror of Nature, appears as I. Remove the mirror, there is only God, the image merges in the Original. Man is but the Image of God. Even Nature is but an appearance of God; the reality is He alone. The Principle of Appearance that deludes as multiple manifestation is Maya. It is not external to God; it is inherent in God, just as all Powers are inherent in Him.
977. GOD, the Eternal Absolute is pictured, praised and adored as temporarily apparent and is adored in limited regions as Rama, Krishna, Vishnu, Eswara, etc. These are not basic fundamental expressions of His Nature. These are only Forms assumed for certain purposes, like conferring peace on earth, re-establishing the norms of justice and strengthening the ideal of faith in the Supreme. The fixed and fundamental Attributes are Sathyam, Jnanam, Anantham. This is the swarupa of Brahmam.
978. THE Lord is now worshipped by offering Him all things that you crave for; by treating Him with all the honour you like to have yourself. The idol is bathed and washed, bedecked with jewels, fed and fanned, surrounded with fragrance, etc. since these are things you desire. But the Lord is pleased only when you do things the Lord desires! How else can you win the Grace? How else than by nursing and nourishing, scouring and saving His Children? How else than by helping them to realise Him as their Lord and guarding and cultivating Faith in Him, through your own straight and sincere living?
979. CLEANSE the heart by listening to spiritual discourses seeking the Company and comradeship of the righteous, the simple, the sincere, the seekers and by cultivating goodness of character and sweetness of disposition. Fill your hearts with the sweet, fragrant waters of Prema (Love). Then every act of yours, every word of yours (which are like the water drawn from the tank through the taps - tongue, hand, brain etc.) will be sweet and fragrant. If the tank is filled with pollution, how can the word be helpful, the thought beneficial, or the deed commendable?
980. SOME people are afraid of cynical criticism by unbelievers and therefore reluctant to move out in groups along the streets in the early morning hours singing the Glory of God. When you have the embodiment of fearlessness installed in your heart, why should the slightest tremor of fear affect you? If others do not join for fear of derision or ridicule, move out alone singing the Name. You came into this world alone with no companion, didn't you! During the years of life you collected all this kith and kin, you gathered wife and children, friends and acquaintances, which attached themselves to you. When you return to the Realm from which you came, you enter the portals alone, with no one to keep you company. So too, let it be with the journey called Nagarsankirtan. Come into street alone, collect kith and kin, if they come to you, move with them unconcerned and unaffected; revel in your own sweet solitude and finally enter your home in the satisfaction that your job is well done.
981. GOD likes such pure souls who come gladly to merge in Him. Some people say, 'Oh, it is the Dasara Festival and lakhs and lakhs of people throng there. And they pour lakhs and lakhs of rupees there'. Well, what they give is Alakshyam, not Lakshyam! My hand stretches out for receiving only when a pure heart full of Prema is offered; on all other occasions, He gives, never takes. Let the People with poison in their hearts, barren of Love and Service, feel shame, and resolve to cleanse themselves from now on.
982. IT was announced that I was born like Janaka, as the result of some Karmasesha! I have no sesha or Karma as already mentioned in the Githa. The Mahasakthi puts on the cloak of Mayasakthi in order to fulfill the purpose of contacting and protecting mankind. I have no desire and so, no binding Karma. It is only you have the desire, aim and wish that drag you along various paths. For Me, your Ananda is My Food, your elation is the swing on which I sit, your activity is My Playground.
983. WE have hospitals and dispensaries and clinics in every street now because disease has its hold in every family, in every home. Even little children wear glasses, young people dye their hair, many wear dentures. The reason is, the atmosphere in the modern home is filled with artificiality, anxiety, envy, discontent, empty boasting, vain pomp, extravagance, falsehood, and hypocrisy. How can anyone, growing up in this corrosive atmosphere, be free from illness? If the home is filled with the clean fragrance of contentment and peace, all its occupants will be happy and healthy.
984. THE Patient must drink the drug himself. There is no vicarious cure. The balm must he applied where the pain is. The cause of the illness and the misery is in your mental vision, for you are many when there is only one. You say 'My God', 'Their God', 'Your God Baba', as if there are many Gods existing to help you quarrel and fight among yourselves. Ask the Lord for the removal of your earthly troubles. There is no mistake in that. It is much better than asking other men and losing self-respect and honour.
985. ATMA is the Ocean, Prakriti is just a wave of that vast ageless, boundless Ocean, and the Jivi is just a drop of that wave. You cannot give up the wave or the sea, you can only merge the Name and Form of the drop, Once you enter the depths of the Sea, it is all calm, it is all peace, agitation, noise confusion - all are only on the outer layers. So also in the innermost recesses of the heart, there is a reservoir of Santhi where you must take refuge.
986. THE doctors can serve the poor by treating them without insisting on payment: give the poor all the attention and care that you lavish on the rich paying patients. Do it for the sake of God; feel that it is the Puja you are offering Him. The lawyers can help those, who for want of a skilled advocate have to go undefended or have to suffer at the hands of unscrupulous men. Do not publish these acts of sympathy, do them spontaneously without fanfare. That is more precious than demonstrating your service with the help of headlines and photographs. These reduce the worth of the deeds of compassion. You must be uncomfortable when those around you are unhappy; when you ease their discomfort, you are making them happy and making yourself happy, isn't it?
987. TAMASO maa Jyothirgamaya, is the Prayer, Egoism is thamas; sharanagathi is Jyothi. There is an easy way to illumine the inner Consciousness and the outer behaviour with the Light of God. Put the Lamp of the Name of the Lord, the illumining flame, on the tongue! That is the doorstep, that Light will drive out the darkness from both, inside and outside. Have it ever burning clear and bright. You will soon reach remarkable height and enjoy happiness; the like of which you cannot get by sticking to the senses.
988. SIVARATHRI is a very auspicious day for all. It is the fourteenth day of the Lunar fortnight, when the moon is waning and the sun is in the sign of Aquarius. The festival is however related to the moon, rather than the sun. That is the reason why it is called 'Sivarathri', the night of Siva, unlike other nights, this particular night is the night of consecration or dedication of illumination. On this night, there is just a minute part more to be conquered and that can be done by keeping vigil and dwelling on the Glory of God. The Vigil that is prescribed is symbolic of the eternal vigil one has to observe, while the rite of fasting is symbolic of diverting the senses of the pleasures they crave for. The night-long bhajan is significant of the lifelong consciousness of the Divine Presence that every one should cultivate.
989. THE Lord is closest to you. He is the mother, father, teacher, friend, guide and guardian. Call on Him and He responds immediately. From dawn to dusk spend every minute in His company. That is the reason why I have directed that every Sathya Sai organisation must arrange for Nagarasankirthanam in the pre-dawn Brahma-muhurtam. It is a mission of Love and all will welcome it. It is a great act of social service to waken people with the Name of God. It is purifying Pilgrimage, casting off the foul fumes of anger and hate that infest the atmosphere.
990. THERE was once a wicked commentator who said that this direction removes the need to discriminate between the right and wrong! He must have been the same person who said, 'The Lord says in the Githa that He will be pleased if even a leaf, a flower, a fruit or a little water is offered to Him'. Well, this hookah contains all four, the tobacco leaf, the red flower, denoted by the cinders, the shell of the coconut, fruit, and water through which the smoke bubble bubbles! Impertinence and irrelevance cannot hide irreverence from the eyes of God.
991. THE Anandam that will well up within you and the contemplation of Anandaswarupa will drive out all grief, all worry. Siva it seems laughed when He took a good look at the chariot that was provided for Him when He started out to slay the Thripura - Asuras, the Asuras of the three bodies; Sthula, Sukshma and Karana (the Gross, the Subtle and the Causal). Vishnu, the Charioteer, was mostly in yoganidra, the Stable Earth was the Chariot and the two wheels were the Sun and the Moon, two spheres which never revolved in Unison! That slaughter laid the Asuras low. There was no more need to proceed against the Asuras. How did the evil forces that dwelt in the three bodies die? They could not exist where there is Ananda; for they are products of grief. Develop Ananda; then evil impulses and tendencies will vanish, for they will not get any foothold in the heart.
992. THE human body has been secured as a reward of many lives of meritorious activity. Being valued as a boat which can help us cross the ocean of change, Samsara, it has to be tended with grateful reverence. The Bhaghavad Githa calls the body 'Kshetra' which means a field. One can sow holiness or sin and gather a harvest commensurate with the particular quality. Choose the crop you need before you sow the seeds.
993. KSHETRA also means the entire earth. Another significant meaning of the word is 'a holy place'. We say 'Kasi - Kshetra', 'Prayaga - Kshetra', etc. to indicate those places are sacred. The body is also a kshetra since it is a temple where God is installed and worshipped through thoughts, words and deeds. The temple has to be cleaned and kept healthy and pure. Purity is to be preserved and promoted not by multiple baths or by avoiding contact with others 'condemned as untouchable'. You cannot be pure by the observance of the superficial taboo, 'Don't touch'.
994. THE body can be cleaned if washed with water. Speech can be cleaned if it is saturated in truth. Life can be purified if it is sanctified by Tapas, and the intellect can be cleared of blemish through Jnana. Above all, the conviction that you are not the body but only a resident of the body has to grow in you. If you identify yourself with the body you carry about with you, you are inviting sorrow and suffering to overwhelm you, instead of the joy and peace which are awaiting to bless you.
995. AVATARS manifested in the Krithika Yuga for preservation of Vedic tradition, in the Tretha Yuga for the protection of Dharma, and in the Dwvapara Yuga for the promulgation of the right of Property. In the Kritha Yuga the Avatar saved the Vedas from neglect, in the Tretha Yuga, He saved women from dishonour, and in the Dwapara Yuga He saved property from injustice. Now, in the fourth Age, the Kali Yuga, all three are in dire peril. The Vedas are ridiculed, women are tempted into unworthy lives, and property is condemned as theft! So, the Avatar has a threefold Task. Man has no purity in the heart, no sanctity in his emotions, no love in his deeds, no God in his prayers.
996. THE Earth is a caravanserai where men come and stay for the night and when dawn breaks, one by one they tramp their different ways. Kith Kin are the words we use for the attachment to the travelers cultivated in the caravanserai during the short term of acquaintance. Husband and wife are like two pieces of wood drifting down a flooded river; they float near each other for some time and when a current comes between them, they are parted. Each must move on to the sea at its own rate and in its own time. There is no need to grieve over their parting of the two, it is in the very nature of Nature that it should be so.
997. MAN must be Yoked to Samsara and broken; that is the training which will teach that the world is unreal; no amount of lectures will make you believe it is a snake unless you actually experience it. Touch fire and get the sensation of burning; there is nothing like it to teach you that fire is to be avoided. Unless you touch it, you will be aware only of its light. It is both light and heat; just as this world is both true and false; that is to say unreal.
998. COURAGE comes out of the grace of the Lord, it needs generations of learning and struggle. Meanwhile you must start with the first step, the cleansing of the mind and the cultivation of virtue. Even if you do not start with that step, at least do not laugh at those who do and discourage them. Do at least this much! Then, do not depend upon others for doing your work like attending to your personal wants. Do it yourself; that is real freedom. Again, never accept anything 'free' from others; Pay it back in service or work. That will make you a self-respecting individual! Receiving a favour means getting bound to the giver. Grow with self-respect and dignity. That is the best service you can do to yourself.
999. THAT which is born has also to die; coming implies going; that which has no birth has no death either. The Atma has no birth, no death, nor can you say it spreads or grows or weakens. It has no history, that is all that can be said about it. It is ever Intelligence, ever Bliss. There is the urge to desire a thing that is named Ichcha Sakthi - but it too is a derivative of the Atma Sakthi, the Divine that is your core. Realise it as such and do not demean it by desiring deleterious objects. Desire, so sublimated, is the basis of Love, 'Prema'. It is the fruit of the tree of God-ward directed Ichcha Sakthi.
1000. WHY attached false values to exterior symbols? Why develop prejudice for the reason that a man was born on the other side of a political boundary or calls on God in another language? God is the origin of all languages. Boundaries shift and are subject to revision, resettlement and change. These are man-made differences and should not interfere with God-ward activities. God has made the Universe as one single Home for one Single family. Each state is but an apartment in that mansion.
1001. BAKTHI is defined as the means of discovering the Divine Reality within each being. Four steps are laid down in the scriptures to help man succeed in this effort; Discrimination between the Permanent and the Impermanent; withdrawal from the process of catering to the senses; Positive control of the feelings, thoughts, and pursuits; and incessant yearning for Liberation from all bonds. Bakthi is the urge which manifests as all four endeavours. Bhakthi is derived from 'Bha' or Bhaghavan or God. It directs man to have God ever in mind and to cultivate love for God within him.
1002. DEVOTION fosters the highest virtue; it is the most precious treasure, it is the truest path, the only way to God. Man must live in Bakthi; for Bakthi; through Bakthi. For Bakthi is Love of the purest and the noblest variety. Such love is the breath that sustains life that supports the Soul in the effort to merge in the super-soul. The years of life spent without the Light of Love are years of ruin, of dust and disease. One could as well be dead and decay forever.
1003. THE Jivi has come to this birth in order to reveal the splendour of the spark of Godhead which it is. The body is the wick of the lamp, yearning for God is the ghee which feeds the flame. But like the rat which, attracted by the strong smelling cheap stuff inside the trap, neglects all other articles of food in the granary and falls prey to its foolishness. Man too neglects his real sustenance and wastes his life in pursuit of mortal riches.
1004. YOU must dive deep into the sea to get the pearls. If you must realise the full fruit of this Avatar, dive deep and get immersed in Sai Baba. Halfheartedness, hesitation, doubt, cynicism, listening to tales, all are of no avail. Concentrated complete faith, that alone can bring victory. This is true of any worldly activity, is it not? Therefore, how much more true must it be in the spiritual field? But if you have already attached yourselves to some Name and Form, do not change it, do not choose another in place of the Prema Swarupam.
1005. HAVE your mind fixed on one. Do not, now and then, allow clouds of doubt like 'Is He Great?', 'Is He God?' to dim your faith. Behold and Acknowledge the Glory that you have witnessed; proclaim the joy that you have experienced; confer the Grace that you have earned. For example, when people ask you whether you are going to Puttaparthi and whether you too are singing Bhajans, say, 'yes' proudly, for there is no shame in walking on the right path.
1006. THE only new thing is man's perverse behaviour, the directions in which he has been wasting his talents, misusing his capacity of playing false to his own nature. He has been forgetting the path prescribed in the Scriptures for the cultivation of his nature, therefore all this suffering and hence My advent.
1007. YOU might have heard people talk about the miracles; My 'making' this and 'giving' that, My fulfilling all your wants, My curing your illnesses. But they are not so important as the Sathwa guna I appreciate, promote and instill. Of course, I confer on you these boons of health and prosperity but only so that you might, with greater enthusiasm and with less interruption, proceed with spiritual Sadhana. Bakthi leads to Sakthi and Sakthi will grant Yukthi. The Yukthi will help you to fix your Rakthi or attachment on the proper objects and your Bakthi thus promoted, finally results in Mukthi.
1008. CRITICISING others and finding fault with them are both results of egoism. Search your own faults instead. The faults you see in others are your own faults instead. The faults you see in others are but reflections of your own personality traits. Pay no heed to little worries; attach your mind to the Lord and then you will be led to the Company of good men and your talents will be transmuted.