Since ancient times, there have been many noble mothers who have guided their children on the right path. The future of the nation rests in the hands of mothers. That is why one calls one's own country as motherland. Bharat is the birthplace of many noble mothers. Our ancient culture has accorded first place to the mother. Father comes only next. Even on invitation cards we write Smt. and Sri. The husband may be highly educated and occupying a position of authority. He may be the president of the nation. Yet, we cannot write Sri and Srimati while sending an invitation. Srimati has to come first. Since ancient times, women are treated with great reverence and respect in Bharat. This land of Bharat is highly sacred. But unfortunately, people have lost love for their motherland.
He is a true human being who loves his mother and becomes the recipient of his mother's love. One who cannot earn his mother's love is verily a demon. Hence, respect and revere you mother. Experience and enjoy your mother's love. Dedicate your life for the happiness of the mother. You may acquire any number of degrees; you may undertake any number of sacred activities; but all of them will prove futile if you do not please your mother. There is none superior to the mother in this world. The Veda has accorded the place of highest prominence to the mother when it declared, Matru Devo Bhava, Pitru Devo Bhava, Acharya Devo Bhava, Atithi Devo Bhava (revere your mother, father, preceptor and guest as God). There may be a son in this world who does not love his mother, but there cannot be a mother who does not love her son. There may be differences of opinion between them, but the motherly love will never diminish.
It is your foremost duty to love your mother. As soon as you wake up in the morning, the first thing you should do is to touch your mother's feet and offer your salutations. Such a noble practice will protect you always and bestow on you all types of wealth. You are going to be fathers and mothers in future. You will be loved and respected by your children only when you love and respect your parents now. You are bound to face the reaction, resound and reflection of your actions. When you respect your parents, there will be rich rewards for you in the future.
You are bound to face the consequences of your actions. If you talk to others in a harsh manner, it will come back to you as resound. If you hit others, it will come back to you as reflection. Hence, do not hurt others. Do good, be good, see good and speak good. Then, you will be blessed with rich rewards. Though mother Easwaramma had no formal education, she conducted herself in an exemplary manner. She was one of profound wisdom. We should not criticise others. We should not hurt others or make fun of them. We should love all. This is what mother Easwaramma taught everybody. Do your duty sincerely. Then, you will certainly progress in life. Whoever he may be, follow the sacred teachings of our elders. People attribute certain teachings to Rama, Krishna, and so on and so forth. It does not matter whether it is Rama or Krishna, enquire what, why, when, where and under what circumstances they had given those teachings. You should remember the context in which those teachings were imparted and act accordingly. When you obey the command of elders and divine personalities, you will certainly attain exalted position in life.
Divine Discourse: May 6, 2003
You are boys today; tomorrow you will be men. If your children cause you worry, how will you feel? Will you be happy? No, not at all. All that happens to you in future will be in accordance with your conduct today. Everything is reaction, reflection and resound. Today's good deeds will blossom into good results in the coming time. If you do bad deeds today, you cannot expect to be rewarded with good results in future. If you do evil today, you cannot escape its consequences later. You may become a powerful officer or an employer. But the results of your past bad deeds will always keep haunting you. Keeping these facts in mind, make your parents happy and serve them to your utmost capability. Only then will you find fulfilment in life. What for is man born in this world? Is it merely to roam around and indulge in the pleasures of the world? You should understand that worldly pleasures are not permanent. A true son will see to it that his parents do not shed tears of sorrow.
Easwaramma breathed her last in this very Mandir. Summer classes were going on in the month of May 1972. She used to come and sit in these classes. Swami used to be amused at her presence and asked her what she followed in these classes. She used to say, "I am not interested in these studies. I come here to see how the students of Swami conduct themselves, how they obey His commands and how they react to Swami's advice and teachings." The parents take great pains in bringing up their children with expectation that they may lead a respectable life. Are the children behaving in accordance with the expectations of their parents? They wear new clothes provided to them by their parents, but do they spare any thought for the hardships their parents undergo to procure these clothes?
All of you who have gathered here have to take a pledge today. Live a good life. Be ready to help others. Love children, respect elders, respect all according to their status in society. If you live according to these principles, there is no better way of life. Imprint these principles firmly on your heart. Act in a manner so as to please your parents. Only then will your life find fulfilment. You are conducting Bhajans at various places and at different times. But mere singing of Bhajans is not enough. Behaviour and conduct are vital.
Divine Discourse: May 6, 2002
Mother Easwaramma had noble desires. As Sai's glory began to spread far and wide, she came to Me one day and said, "Swami, I am pained to see small children of our village walking all the way to Bukkapatnam to attend school. Please construct a small school." Conforming to her wish, I established a small school. After some time, she wanted a small hospital also to be established here. She said she could not bear to see the mothers taking the trouble of carrying their children to Bukkapatnam for medical treatment. Accordingly I got a small hospital built. The small school that I established has become a big university today. The small hospital that I constructed has become a super specialty hospital. These mighty tasks could be accomplished as a result of the Sathya Sankalpa (noble wish) of Mother Easwaramma and Nitya Sankalpa (Divine Will) of Sai. Her last wish was to provide drinking water to the village. She pointed out that the women had to take great pains to draw water from deep wells, which had almost dried up. I immediately provided drinking water to the village. Now under Sri Sathya Sai Water Supply Project, I have provided drinking water to the entire district of Anantapur.
Once you become the recipient of your mother's love, you don't need anything else. You may be aware or not, but even after 30 years of her passing away, Mother Easwaramma continues to express her love for Swami in a number of ways. Even to this day, she moves around in her physical body. At times, she comes to Me and expresses her motherly concern for My well-being. Once she cautioned Me not to accept handkerchief from everybody. I told her that I had to accept when people offered it with devotion. She said, "Swami, no doubt there are crores of such noble persons. But there are also a few evil-minded persons who may smear poison on the handkerchief and offer it to You. This can prove dangerous when You use it to wipe Your lips." I promised her that I would follow her advice. Even to this day, she makes her appearance in My room. The boys who sleep in My room too have witnessed this. Whenever she comes and talks to Me, they sit up on their beds and listen.
One day, I asked the boys for a belt to keep the silk Dhoti tight around My waist. The belt that they gave Me had a shining buckle and would be seen through the robe I wear. I did not want to use it lest people should think that Sai Baba wears a golden belt. After this, one day Easwaramma came to My room early in the morning and started talking to Me. Then Satyajit, Sainath and Srinivas woke up and wanted to know with whom I was conversing. They wondered as to how anybody could enter My room as the lift was locked and the key was with them. Then I told that Griham Ammayi (Mother Easwaramma) had come. I showed them the belt that she gave Me. It had no buckle. There are many such noble mothers in this world. But Easwaramma was the chosen one. I chose her to be My mother. That is the intimate relationship between Mother Easwaramma and Myself.
Today we are celebrating Easwaramma Day to propagate the glory of motherhood. The world is sustained by the prayers of mothers. A woman's prayer is more powerful than a thousand prayers of men because women are pure and tender-hearted. Never cause displeasure to your mother. Never hurt her feelings. Then God will help you in all your endeavors. One calls one's country motherland and not fatherland. Thus, mother is given an exalted position in the world. Consider your country as your own mother and work for its progress. Under any circumstances, do not cause any harm to your mother and motherland. This is the significance and main teaching of today's celebration.
Divine Discourse: May 6, 2001
Today we are celebrating Easwaramma Day. Who is Easwaramma? She is the mother of Easwara. This was not the name given to her by her parents. But after her marriage, Kondama Raju (Swami's grandfather), being one of wisdom and blessed with a vision of the future, started calling her Easwaramma (mother of Easwara). She was christened as Namagiriamma at the time of her birth. But Kondama Raju told her that Easwaramma was the most appropriate name for her, as he knew that she was going to become the mother of Easwara. Easwaramma was born in such a poor family that she did not even have proper food to eat. All that she had to eat was Ragi Sankati (gruel prepared from a coarse grain). Easwaramma was illiterate. When I see the egoistic attitude, perverted mentality and ostentatious behavior of the present-day educated people, I feel it was better that Easwaramma did not have any schooling.
One day Easwaramma came in when I was having My food. She held both My hands and pleaded, "Swami, there is no hospital in our village. Consequently, when the children become sick, mothers are forced to carry them to Bukkapatnam. I am unable to see their suffering. My children and others' children are one and the same for me. So, kindly construct at least a small hospital in our village." I promised her that I would fulfil her wish and accordingly I built a big hospital, which was inaugurated by the then Central Minister, Bejawada Gopala Reddy. Easwaramma's joy knew no bounds. After some time, she approached Swami again and wanted a school to be built in the village. As desired by her, I got a school constructed. Initially, it was a small one. Later on, I made it into a big building. She was very happy. She went to the school, kissed the children and showered her love on them. Then she wanted the village to be provided with drinking water. I promised that it would be done. I found that bore wells were being dug to overcome water scarcity. But they become useless within a short period of time. So, I got a big well dug in the Old Mandir.
Before Easwaramma passed away, I fulfilled all her three wishes. There is no fee whatsoever in our institutions. Education is offered totally free to one and all. Our hospitals are also free. Nowadays doctors charge at least two to three lakhs for a heart operation. No doubt doctors need money. But there should be a certain limit. It is very unfortunate that the Bharatiyas are selling food, medical care and education. In fact, they are selling themselves! Bharat is a sacred land, a land of sacrifice and spirituality. It is being converted into a land of material pleasures. Spirit of sacrifice is very essential. Share whatever you have with others. A small amount of food is enough to satiate your hunger. Why crave for the entire river Ganga when a small glass of water is all that you need to quench your thirst? Do not harbor greed and other evil qualities lest you should suffer the same fate as that of Duryodhana and his tribe. Fill your heart with love.
Divine Discourse: May 6, 2000
In this world there are many types of relationships, but none equals the relationship that exists between the mother and the child. It is because of this intimate relationship with the mother that one's own country is called motherland. Similarly, one's own language is called mother tongue, not father tongue. Among the parents, first place is given to the mother, next comes the father. Not only in day-to-today life, but also in the field of spirituality mothers and women are given the highest regard. For example, when we mention the names of Divine couples such as Sita Rama, Radha Krishna, Lakshmi Narayana, etc., names of the goddesses come first. What is the inner significance of this? Mother represents Nature, which is the manifest aspect of Divinity. Similarly, the body and the Atma, the creation and the Creator, are closely interrelated. The body cannot function without the Atma. The Atma cannot be experienced without the body.
Mother is given the utmost importance in human life. There may be a wicked son, but not a wicked mother. It is because of the noble feelings of the mothers that sons become virtuous, intelligent, attain exalted positions and earn name and fame. The Vedas declare: Mathru Devo Bhava, Pithru Devo Bhava, Acharya Devo Bhava, Atithi Devo Bhava (worship the mother as God, the father as God, the preceptor as God and the guest as God). It is the mother who fosters you and nourishes you. It is she who knows your choices and preferences, and fulfils all your needs. So, you should be grateful to your mother always. Though you cannot see Rama, Krishna, Siva and Vishnu, you are worshipping them because you believe in scriptures and what the elders say. But, how is that you are forgetting your parents who are responsible for your progress in life? First and foremost, you should show gratitude to your parents, love them and respect them. Your blood, your food, your head, your money are all the gifts of your parents. You do not receive these gifts directly from God. All that is related to God is only indirect experience. It is only the parents whom you can see directly and experience their love. So, consider your parents as God. God will be pleased and will manifest before you only when you love and respect your parents.
It is the mother who teaches you the sacred principles like love, compassion, forbearance, tolerance and sacrifice. Mother shows the father, father takes you to the preceptor and preceptor directs you to God. That is why among mother, father, preceptor and God, mother comes first.
Divine Discourse: May 6, 1999
From ancient times, it has been the practice in Bharat to revere the mother as God. From the outset, the Vedas have declared: "Revere the mother as God, father as God and preceptor as God. If they are Gods, for what purpose are they Gods? In the ordinary course of daily existence, they are Gods for worldly purposes. For the human body the mother, father and preceptor are to be deemed as divine. But, for the pursuit of life the Divine is the only God. There is another Sanskrit saying which hails God as mother, father, kinsman, friend, wealth, knowledge and in fact the Supreme Lord of everything. This means that for the spiritual life, God is everything.
The mother and father are residents of the home. The preceptor dwells in his Ashram. But God is the indweller of the heart. Only God can reside in the heart. It is true that mother, father and preceptor are divine, but they are not entitled to dwell in the heart. They have to be revered, adored and made happy. God alone deserves to be worshipped. "God is nearer to man than his mother, closer than even the father. To give up such God is a heinous sin. This is the truth proclaimed by Sai".
Hence every son should make every effort to please his mother. Without keeping his mother pleased, the son cannot achieve anything in the world. The son should have those qualities which enable him to please his mother. At the same time, the son should also strive to win the Lord's grace. Without earning God's grace, the mother's blessings alone will be of no avail.
It is to demonstrate to the world the importance of reverence for the parents and the need to receive their blessings, Swami also makes it a point to visit the Samadhi of the parents of this body twice a year. In reality, Swami has no filial love for parents as such, but Swami adheres to this practice to serve as an example to the world.
Divine Discourse: May 6, 1998
Every person, man or woman, should respect the parents, install the Divine in the heart and pray to God constantly. Its is everyone's duty to bring a good name to one's parents. When the children are good, they bring a good name to the parents. It was because of the noble behaviour of Lava and Kusa that their mother Sita became renowned. When you cherish the mother and seek God's Grace, the blessings of the mother becomes more powerful.
Children should revere their parents, who account for their physical existence. But they should realize what they owe to God, who is the basis of all life. Recognizing this double obligation - to the mothers and to the Divine - they should redeem their lives by purposeful living.
Divine Discourse: May 6, 1997
There have been many mothers in the world who have sought, by their strenuous endeavors, noble thoughts and sacred practices, to bring up their children in the path of righteousness. In the city of Calcutta, there lived a mother and his son. For the education of the son, the mother made many a sacrifice. She, however, impressed on the son one lesson: "Dear son, do not be concerned about worldly education. The foolish ones acquire all kinds of scholarship, but have no understanding of what they are. By study alone, a man does not get rid of his lowly ways. Through scholarship, one learns only to engage himself in controversy but does not acquire complete wisdom. Why pursue studies which end up only in death? One should study that which frees him from death. Only spiritual knowledge can lead to immortality. It is enduring. Worldly knowledge is temporary. For earning one's livelihood, worldly education is necessary. But this education should be acquired only to lead an independent life, with limited desires. Therefore, dear son, while pursuing studies, embark also on the spiritual quest."
We must have children who revere the mother as God. Abiding by the mother's injunctions, you may do anything.
The nation needs noble mothers who lead an exemplary life. They should manifest in their life the great culture of Bhaarath. Then, the culture will be transmitted to their progeny. Many great men in the past brought up such worthy children and enhanced the name and glory of Bhaarath. Today the children are being spoilt only by the parents. If the children are brought upon right lines from childhood, they will grow up properly. The fathers today are behaving like Dhritharaashtra (the father of the wicked Kauravas). The mothers today are behaving like Kalakanthi (the woman who had Chandhramathi's son bitten by a serpent). The fathers, instead of chastising children who take to wrong ways, pamper them and encourage them. Children who misbehave should be severely dealt with. Youth today are forgetting God, reveling in sensual pleasures and ruining their lives. They have no reverence for the mother or the Motherland.
What the nation needs today is not material prosperity or high education. It needs men and women of character. The people should develop faith in God, have concern for the good name of society, cherish fear of sin and dedicate themselves to Godly activities. Then the nation will enjoy peace and security. Every mother should be regarded as an embodiment of the divine. Then every son will enjoy peace and prosperity.
Divine Discourse: May 6, 1993
Love for mother has to be fostered by everyone. Barely one in a million realizes that he owes food, blood and life itself to the mother. Wherever she may be, a mother is verily divine. It is said, "Matru Devo Bhava; Pitru Devo Bhava; Acharya Devo Bhava; Athithi Devo Bhava." [Regard the mother as God, the father as God, the preceptor as God and the guest as God]. The mother stands foremost among these four. She is indeed the first teacher for everyone. It is only the mother who strives most for securing the well being of the child by showering on him boundless affection and love and showing him the father.
Everyone should treasure in his heart love for his mother, who has borne him, reared him with love and fostered him with care. The person who forfeits his mother's love will not earn any one's love.
Every man is prone to commit mistakes either wittingly or unwittingly. But one mistake he should not commit in any circumstance is to forget what he owes to his mother. Love of a mother can redeem a man's life, whatever his other lapses may be. The greatest gift of the parents is the body with all its powers. Although the Lord rules over all lives, it is the parents who have endowed the body to the child. Clay and water are the gifts of nature. But it is the potter who makes the pots out of them. Hence gratitude to parents is a primary obligation.
Everyone should see that he makes his mother happy. He should seek from the mother nothing but her love and blessings. Mothers should strive to keep their children on the straight path. Only such mothers and children are worthy of the name. When mothers and children act properly, the nation will develop along the right lines. Righteousness will spread from the family to the whole world.
Divine Discourse: May 6, 1987
The mother is man's first Guru (preceptor). She gives the physical body to him. Besides, she gives man, the father. She alone can point the father to the child and draw his love and care towards it. The mother bears, fosters and molds the child into humanness and therefore gratitude is due to her first and foremost.
My life is My Message. So, I am setting an example of reverence to the Mother. Nature is the mother in whose lap mankind grows. And nature fondles the child and says, "Baabu, that is your father, see." Though Mother Nature draws attention to God, the children seldom pay heed. How can they, who do not love the mother that fosters them with affection and zeal, adore the Master of Nature?
This day is Eswaramma Day. The significance of the day is that it is celebrated as Children's Day, a day when little children are to be reminded of the ideal, a day when she presented an ideal. No one can escape death, but the aim of everyone should be to remind oneself at the time of death of the Divine or have some holy or sacred thoughts. The importance of this Day is known to many. Kasturi also spoke about it now. There is a saying in Telugu: "The proof of the Good is the way they die." Genuine devotion is evidenced during the last moments. I shall point out a small incident concerning the goodness of Eswaramma.
The summer classes were on at Bangalore. In the morning at 7, breakfast had to be served to the students. They went round with Nagara Sankeerthan (street singing of spirituals) and returned at 6. I gave them Darshan (audience) at its close. Then, I went for my bath. Meanwhile, Eswaramma had finished her bath; she drank her coffee as usual quite happily and took her seat on the inner verandah. All of a sudden proceeding to the bathroom, she cried out, "Swaami, Swaami, Swaami," thrice. At this, I responded, "Coming, coming." Within that period, she breathed her last. What greater sign of goodness is needed? She had no need to be served and nursed. Swaami will come to the memory at that time only for a very few. The mind will usually seek and stay on some object or the other, some jewellery or valuables.
From the ground floor, she called, "Swaami! Swaami!". I replied, "Coming, coming" and she was gone. It was like the elephant's calling and the Lord proceeding to Bless it - the two wires achieving connection, the release happening instantaneously.
This is the authentic consummation that life must strive for. Beside her at the time she had her daughter Venkamma, her grand daughter Shailaja, but she called out only for Swaami. Getting this yearning at the final moment is the fruit of holy purity. It is the sign of an ideal adorable life.
Divine Discourse: May 6, 1983