Swami displaying materialized Bible

Video: Swami's 1988 Christmas Darshan at the Mandir (evening)
God is omnipresent. All are the embodiments of God. Today, people attribute various names and forms to God, like Rama, Krishna, and Jesus, and celebrate their birthdays. Truly speaking, can there be a birthday for God? No. To think that God took birth on a particular day in a year is a sign of ignorance. God is in the form of breath in every man. 'Soham', this symbolises the process of inhalation and exhalation. 'So' means 'That' (God), 'Ham' stands for 'I' (individual). Though there are two words, namely God and individual, there is no difference between them. They are one and the same. God in fact has no birth. He does not need to achieve any goals. However, in order to instill faith in the minds of people, He incarnates. If there is birth, there has to be death too. But, God is beyond birth and death. He has neither a beginning nor an end. To think there is a birthday for God is only your imagination. Devotees limit God to a physical frame, worship Him, and celebrate His birthdays. That is all a figment of their imagination and does not correspond to the truth.

Turn your vision inward and search for your true Self. Self-enquiry leads to true Sakshatkara (vision of God). Once you have Sakshatkara, you will be free from all worries. It is a mistake to say that you have not experienced God. He is present in you. A person kept a ten rupee note in a book and forgot about it. He was carrying it all along. One day he was in need of ten rupees. He asked his friend to lend him ten rupees. His friend readily agreed. But before giving the money, his friend wanted to see the book he was carrying. As he opened the book, the ten rupee note fell from it. He was happy that he had the required amount with him and that there was no need to borrow it from his friend. Likewise, today man is in search of God, since he has forgotten his innate divinity. Man can realise God only by self-enquiry.

You are making various efforts to experience Divinity. Do not search for God outside. He is in you. Everything is in you. All that you see outside is illusory. Do not be carried away by the illusory world. Only then can you attain peace and ultimately realise the truth "I am I". To know this simple truth, you need not go through various sacred texts. Keep the texts aside. Enjoy the taste of divinity within. Develop inner vision and visualise your true Self.

Divine Discourse: December 25, 2003

Jesus was a noble soul. He declared that he was the son of God, but he never said that he was God. When Jesus was born, three royal wise men from the east were guided by a star to a cowshed in Bethlehem where the baby Jesus lay in a manger. He was radiating divine effulgence. The first of them said, "This child will love God." The second said, "He will be loved by God." The third said, "He will love one and all. He is not different from God." The one who loves God is the messenger of God; the one whom God loves is the son of God; the one who understands the principle of unity becomes one with God. This is the inner meaning of the statements given in the Bible. The one you think you are; the one others think you are and the one you really are. You should understand the import of these statements.

God is not moved simply by sweet words. You must translate those sweet words into action. You may be a great hero in giving lectures on a platform, but if you are a zero in putting them into action, it will be of no use. You must become heroes in practical life. That is what gives Me happiness. Jesus Christ and Mohammad were highly noble. How could they acquire such greatness and goodness? It was only by their good deeds. Therefore, you must acquire goodness along with greatness. In fact, goodness is greater than greatness. Several great souls took birth in this land of Bharat. Saint Thyagaraja in one of his famous Kirtans sang, "Endaro Mahanubhavulu, Andariki Vandanamulu ?" (there are several great souls, I prostrate before all of them). A great saint Thyagaraja himself, exhibited such humility.

Whoever has acquired the quality of love will never be hated by others. Even the wild animals will not harm you when you have love. The great rishis of yore spent their lives peacefully in dense forests amidst wild animals. The wild animals fought among themselves, but they did not cause any harm to these rishis. What is the reason? The rishis possessed one single weapon of love which protected them from these wild animals. In fact, these wild animals also used to love these great rishis. What man has to acquire is this great weapon of love. Love alone can protect us, not atom bomb or hydrogen bomb. Consider My own example. I have one and only weapon, that is love. Because of this, millions of people from every nook and corner of the globe gather around Me. Did I ever send any invitation to you? No. It is only My pure and unsullied love that draws you here.

Divine Discourse: December 25, 2002

No spiritual practice can yield the desired result if the senses are misused. Have sacred vision. Speak good words. Hear only what is good. Entertain noble thoughts. There is no greater spiritual practice than this. This was the teaching of Buddha. The same was taught by Jesus too.

The fishermen wanted Jesus to fulfil their worldly desires. Peter wanted more fish. But ultimately, he realised the futility of worldly desires. He wanted to go beyond the level of body and the mind as per the teaching of Jesus. Jesus told them to give up hatred and to love all and serve all. He exhorted them to develop faith in the principle of unity. Many disciples of Jesus interpreted the teachings of Jesus in their own way.

When he was being crucified, he heard an ethereal voice, "All are one my dear son, be alike to everyone ". When the mother Mary was shedding tears, Jesus told her, "Death is the dress of life." Death is like changing of dress. Do you find anybody wearing the same dress every day? Just as you change your dress every day, you change the body from birth to birth. It is the body that dies, not the life principle. The Spirit is immortal and non-dual. To realise the non-dualistic nature of the Spirit was true wisdom, said Jesus.

Mathew was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus. He was an income tax collector by profession and used to meet the fishermen to collect taxes. Jesus used to impart sacred teachings to the fishermen everyday. Mathew noted down all his teachings and wrote the holy Bible. Later on, many others wrote the Bible based on their own feelings. Nowhere has Jesus ever stated that he was God or the Master. He always addressed God as his Father. He has shown the path to experience unity. He never gave scope for multiplicity. He always said that all were divine.

Divine Discourse: December 25, 2001

Today you have to remind yourselves of the ideals Jesus stood for. For ages, from time to time, many noble souls, endowed with immense spiritual power, have taken birth to propagate sacred teachings to the world. They struggled hard to make the world a good place to live in. But without understanding their noble intentions, foolish people tried to ridicule and persecute them. Right from his birth, Jesus had to face many trials and tribulations. When the name and fame of noble souls spread far and wide, many people become jealous. Asuya (jealousy) and Anasuya (absence of jealousy) are sisters. The history of Bharat is replete with many examples that bear testimony to this truth. Asuya has three children, viz, kama, krodha and dwesha (desire, anger and hatred). The Divine Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheswara were born to Anasuya. The three wicked sons of Asuya (i.e. desire, anger ,and hatred) caused a great deal of suffering to Jesus, who strove tirelessly for the peace and welfare of society. Jesus was the epitome of compassion and the refuge of the poor, needy and forlorn. But many people tried to create troubles for Jesus, since they did not like his sacred teachings and activities. Their hatred for Jesus increased day by day. Even the priests turned against Jesus as they became jealous of his growing popularity. The fishermen held Jesus in high esteem. They started following his teachings and became his disciples. Many people out of jealousy laid obstacles in his path and even tried to kill him.

Jesus had twelve disciples. Judas was the twelfth disciple, who ultimately betrayed Jesus. At that time, there was only one Judas, but today there are many such 'Judases'. Today the world is engulfed in unrest because of the rise in the number of betrayers like Judas. They are so mean-minded that they are easily tempted by money. Judas betrayed Jesus for just a few pieces of silver. Even two thousand years ago, money became the primary objective of man. Because of their greed for money, people resort to evil and unjust ways, distort the truth, and make false propaganda. This was the case then and it is so even now. No one needs to be afraid of such false allegations. Why should one be afraid of the mistake that one has not committed? In the past, many evil-minded people were jealous of the divine personalities who attained worldwide fame through their teachings of truth and righteousness. Even today there is no dearth of such wicked people.

Ultimately, what happened to Judas? He felt miserable for having betrayed Jesus for monetary gains. He shed tears of repentance. He hit himself, saying, "Fie on me! I am a traitor. I betrayed my own master and God." Betrayal of God is the worst of all sins. Such betrayal can never be atoned in any number of births. So, never try to betray God. Love all. Salute even those who criticise you,because Divinity is present in all. Do not give scope for anger and spoil your mind. Pray to God with love. Even in the past, all noble souls and incarnations had to put up with criticism.

Consider love as your very life. Love alone makes one's life sacred. One with love alone is a true human being. Love is man. Man is love. Man is God and God is love. It is love that unifies all. So, develop love. Tread the path of truth and righteousness and lead a peaceful life. These four values are the life supporting principles. There are no greater powers, no greater ideals, and no greater supports than these human values of Sathya, Dharma, Santhi, and Prema. Adhere to these four values and carry on with your life sojourn.

Divine Discourse: December 25, 2000

Today (Christmas) is mainly celebrated by Christians, but do not make the mistake that it is only for Christians. It is a holy and happy occasion to be celebrated by the entire mankind. Get rid of religious and philosophical differences and enlarge your mind (Matha - religion and Mathi - mind). You house the single divinity only in your heart. Then the entire humanity becomes a single race. There is only one religion in the universe and that is divine love (Prema). The one without this principle of love in his heart is not a Christian, Muslim nor a Sikh and is no better than a demon. This principle of complete unity of all religions is now manifested only in Prasanthi Nilayam. Imagine what a phenomenon it is that Christians from so many countries in this world have joined together here to celebrate Christmas. There are people from sixty-four countries assembled here. They are all of one heart. This is true devotion. Swami reiterates it is not a celebration for Christians only but is a holy occasion for the entire humanity. It is the desire of Swami that such differences are completely eradicated.

Divine Discourse: December 25, 1999

When Jesus was born three Arabian kings came to see Him. They were overjoyed at seeing the newborn babe. While returning, the first king said to Mary, "Mother, you have given birth to a child who loves God." The second king said, "Mother you have given birth to a child who will be loved by God." The third king said, "Mother Mary your child is not different from God, both are one and the same." Once we understand the inner meaning of these three statements, we will know the truth. The one who loves God is the Messenger of God; the one whom God loves is the Son of God; the one who understands the principle of unity becomes one with God.

Worship Jesus by following His ideals. Jesus pointed to three stages. The first one is, "I am the Messenger of God." He wanted to propagate the message of God. The second one is, "I am the Son of God." The son has a claim to father's property. What is the property of God? Truth, Love, Forbearance, Peace and Righteousness are the properties of God. So, man has to strive to attain these qualities. He has to practice, experience and propagate these virtues. Only then man deserves to be called Son of God. The third one is "I and My Father are One." This stage is attained when the principle of unity is realized. When Jesus reached this stage, He had no suffering at all. He was always blissful and was prepared for anything. Even at the time of crucifixion, Jesus was smiling, because he realized that He was not the body. Body is bound to perish, but the indweller has no birth and death. Truly speaking the indweller is God Himself. Jesus understood that body was merely vesture, and He was the indweller.

You should have the firm faith that you are the Messenger of God. Propagate Swamis message to the entire world. Some people may like it and some may not. Do not bother about what others say, be it "yes" or "no." 'No' and 'yes' relate only to you, but for Sai everything is yes, yes, yes. There are no defects in God. All words and deeds of God are perfect. You see the reflection, reaction and resound of your feelings. They are psychological in nature. God always gives good alone. Understand and experience this truth.

Divine Discourse: December 25, 1998

Where there is love, there is no room for hatred. Do not be envious of anyone. When this evil quality appears, Love takes to flight. A pure heart is the abode of Love. Where there is Purity, there is Unity. Unity leads to divinity.

Today Purity is absent. How, then, do you realize Divinity? You must offer everything to God without any desire. Dedicate your all to God. This was the teaching of Jesus. He considered everything as an offering to God.

When he was being nailed on the cross, people around were weeping. At that moment an ethereal voice declared: "All are one, My dear Son! Be alike to everyone. " Jesus declared: "Death is the dress of life." Just as we change our clothes, we change also our bodies. The bodies are vestures (for the indwelling Spirit). Hence bodies should be regarded as mere vestures. We should not worry about the body.

How many heed such sayings? You must learn to lead ideal lives. That is the right way to observe the birthday of Christ. Few care to observe the ideals of the great teachers.

Christ was the victim of envious persons who were opposed to His teachings and who leveled accusations against Him. Devotees of God should not mind the criticisms of envious persons. All good people have to face such troubles. They should treat everything as meant for their good.

Divine Discourse: December 25, 1997

Develop the love of God. All other forms of love are not love at all, but only fleeting and impermanent attachments. Man's biggest folly is forgetting his divinity. All should realize that they come from God. All are children of God. Everyone should seek to get nearer and nearer to God. That is sadhana. You must feel that God dwells in your heart ( Hridayavaasi). You must develop compassion in the heart, because without it the heart is only a stone.

That is the message of Jesus - the message of love. Love is God. Live in love. Start the day with love. Spend the day with love. End the day with love. This is the way to God. Only the person who is filled with love will be dear to the Lord.

Today there are devotees here from many countries - Germany, Japan and others. Whatever happiness you may have experienced here, you will have to go back to your countries when your money is exhausted or your visa expires. Your aim must be to acquire a permanent visa to stay here permanently. That is got by God's grace. You can get it through love and love alone. When you have that love, your proximity to God is ensured for ever.

Embodiments of Love! There is love in everyone of you. Develop that love. Share it with others. When you have this love there is no need for you to go in search of ashrams. There are some foolish persons who go on hopping from one ashram to another. This is sheer folly. There is no need to go anywhere. The Divine is in your heart. Adhere to one belief firmly. Do not change your faith from day to day. Follow one path with firm faith. That is the Love principle.

Divine Discourse: December 25, 1996

Christ determined to make the giving and sharing of Love his main objective in life. Such love was met with many obstacles and losses. Christ considered a true man to be the one who can face obstacles and move forward in Love. Do not give in to losses and pain. Do not be carried away with pleasure. Face everything with equanimity.

Christ could never see suffering passively. In Jerusalem doves were sold and killed as an offering. Christ decried the violence committed towards the poor creatures. He began to undertake the holy task of stopping such violence and freeing the captive birds. Some men began to cast aspersions, slandered him and tried to punish him.

"Salutations to any living beings go toward God," say the Vedas. ("Sarva bhuta namaskaram; Keshavam prati gachate.") We think there is no meaning in saluting both the one who praises us and the one who criticizes us. Saluting the one who praises us is understandable, but what is the use of saluting the one who accuses us? We must have continuous relationship with accusations, because without them there is no beauty or value to praise. Without criticism, appreciation loses its meaning. That is why every word, every thought, has some obstacle or no beauty or value to praise. Without criticism, appreciation loses its meaning. That is why every word, every thought, has some obstacle or other. For the good, bad is a shadow. For pleasure, difficulty is a shadow. All opposites are interrelated. The pleasure and pain, the profit and loss, exist together. Christ went on pursuing his path in the face of many obstacles with strength and endurance. He gave His life for the service of men, for the principle of Love and propagation of Love.

The season of Christmas is associated with Christmas Grandpa or Santa Claus. Tokovan was his original name. He was born in Turkey. He began his career as a priest and gradually began to attain spiritual heights. How did he become a spiritual giant? By the spirit of sacrifice. He used to give a chocolate or a doll or a gift to any child he met. All his life he kept on giving continuously. When Christmas was approaching, all the children used to run behind Santa Claus. He used to carry all the gifts in a bag and distribute to all the children. In what manner did he distribute? He said, "Here is a token of God's Love. Here is a token of God's Love," and thus distributed them. Eventually he came to be called Christmas Grandpa, and his original name was forgotten.

The important message which I want to convey today, which Jesus also propagated, is one of Love and compassion. So boys and girls, on this holy and sacred day, when we celebrate the birthday of that holy personage, we must conduct ourselves in accordance with his message. It is easy to celebrate birthdays, but we must also keep in sight the purity and message of the person whose birthday we celebrate.

If you are devotees of Sai, what are the ideals of Sai? Share Love, be united, consider all to be the children of God. Foster the brotherhood of man and fatherhood of God. When we accept and obey these, we can call ourselves devotees of Sai.

Divine Discourse: December 25, 1995

Today we celebrate the birthday of Christ. It is said that when Jesus was born in a manger, three kings were led by a star to Jesus's place of birth. ln fact, they were not kings but three shepherds. One of them, seeing the infant Jesus, observed: "This child will be a lover of God". A second one said: "No. God will love him." The third one said: "Verily He is God Himself" .

The true significance of these three statements is: To love God is to be His Messenger. To be loved by God is to be a son of God. The final state is to be one with God. As Jesus said: "I and my Father are one". Thus all persons are messengers of God. This means that they should divinise themselves. When can men call themselves Sons of God? Recognize what pure actions are done by God, selflessly for the sake of all. There is no trace of self-interest in Him: Everything He does, says or thinks is for the good of others. On the other side, everything men do, speak or think is born out of selfishness. Men have become puppets in the hands of selfishness. Men can describe themselves as "Sons of God" only when they are completely free from selfishness and become Godly. To call yourself the "Son of God", you have to manifest the qualities of the Father.

Jesus exemplified the spirit of social service. The inspiration for this came from His mother, Mary. From His childhood Mary taught Him such good qualities as truth, kindness, compassion and justice. Jesus had learnt His lessons from His mother and developed His spiritual faith. After they returned from Jerusalem, Jesus felt that service to His parents was His foremost duty, because He owed everything to them. ln this spirit, He used to assist His father in His carpentry work. Joseph passed away when Jesus was thirty. He sought His mother's permission to devote Himself to the service of the needy and the forlorn. After leaving home, Jesus had Himself baptized by John. Then for forty days Jesus observed severe austerities without food and drink. At first He considered Himself as a "Messenger of God". After the penance He realised He was the Son of God. He began His ministry with a group of fishermen as His first disciples. He taught them that they should first seek the Kingdom of Heaven. To enter that Kingdom they had to cultivate loving hearts. Then, their hearts would become the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus further declared to them: "I and my Father are One".

Christmas is celebrated today in many countries. In every country small groups of people go to their respective churches, listen to the sermon and return to their homes. In some places people eat, drink, and make themselves merry. But nowhere in the world can you find Christmas being celebrated with the solemnity and holiness obtaining in Prasanthi Nilayam. Here are gathered men and women from all countries. There are many denominations among Christians and the members thereof celebrate Christmas in their separate ways. Only in Prasanthi Nilayam do Christians of all denominations and men and women of other faiths join to celebrate Christmas. All of them work in unison. Here is a concrete manifestation of the Brotherhood of Man and the Fatherhood of God.

Divine Discourse: December 25, 1994

Jesus taught that God is Love. Instead of recognizing this basic truth, men are allowing hatred, envy and other evil qualities to pollute their love. Man is gifted with the quality of love not to express it for selfish purposes but to direct it towards God. Jesus declared that there was nothing great about returning good for good. They should do good even to those who harm them.

It is not right to celebrate Christ's birthday by feasting, drinking, singing and merry-making. The ideals taught by Jesus should be put into practice. That is the right way to celebrate his birthday. Whomsoever you adore, you must try to live up to his teachings. What kind of devotion is it when the devotee does not practice what he professes? It is pseudo-devotion.

Divine Discourse: December 25, 1988

There are many who are deeply devoted to Jesus. Their duty is to glorify the great message of Jesus. The most important message of Jesus is the establishment of "Peace on Earth and goodwill among men." Without peace, mankind cannot achieve progress in any sphere--- material, spiritual or moral.

In the Treta Yuga, Sri Rama came to establish the reign of Sathya and Dharma (Truth and Righteousness). In the Dwapara Yuga, Sri Krishna came with the mission to promote Prema and Shanthi (Love and Peace). In the Kali Yuga (the present yuga), Sathya, Dharma, Shanthi and Prema are the purposes of the Divine Mission. Hence you must make these four the guiding principles of your life. When you adhere to these four principles, Ahimsa (Non-violence) issues as a natural result. There is no use in merely invoking the name of Jesus and praying to Him without regard to His most vital message: "God is in everyone. Do not revile anyone. Do not cause harm to anyone." This was Jesus's greatest message.

Divine Discourse: December 25, 1985

Wealth without wisdom becomes an instrument of exploitation and tyranny. Wisdom without wealth becomes mere fantasy and a bundle of blueprint. Use makes them worthwhile; misuse makes them disastrous. It is like the knife in the hands of maniac, it becomes an instrument for murder; in the hands of a surgeon, it becomes an instrument which saves a life! Are you doing good with wealth? Are you benefiting others by means of wisdom, that is the test. This day, Christmas, when you celebrate the birth of Christ, resolve to lead the lives of Loving Service, to the weak, the helpless, the distressed, the disconsolate. Cultivate tolerance and forbearance, charity and magnanimity. Hold dear the ideals He laid down and practice them, in your daily lives

There is one point that I cannot but bring to your special notice today. At the moment when Jesus was emerging in the Supreme Principle of Divinity, He communicated some news to his followers, which has been interpreted in a variety of ways by commentators and those who relish the piling of writings on writings and meanings upon meanings, until it all swells up into a huge mess.

The statement itself has been manipulated and tangled into a conundrum. 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. "His Name will be Truth," Christ declared. Sathya mean Truth. "He will wear a robe of red, a bloodred robe." (Here Baba pointed to the Robe He was wearing!). He will be short, with a crown (of hair). The Lamb is the sign and symbol of Love. Christ did not declare that he will come again, he said, "He who made me will come again." That Ba-ba is this Baba, and Sai, the short, curly-hair-crowned red-robed Baba, is come. He is not only in this Form, but he is in every one of you, as the Dweller in the Heart. He is there, short, with a robe of the color of the blood that fills it.

Divine Discourse: December 24,1972