Om Sai Ram
The festival of Sankranti has arrived in all its beauty and splendour. The sports and cultural activities of our students - boys and girls have added grandeur and bliss to the festivity. This day is no ordinary day. It marks the beginning of the sacred Uttarayana (summer solstice). It confers on us plenty and prosperity and helps us to develop virtues and undertake sacred activities. In addition, this day happens to be the auspicious one of Mukkoti Ekadasi also. That is, the day on which the devas and asuras obtained the pot of divine ambrosia (Amrita Kalasa) after churning the Ocean of Milk.
As man has filled his heart with worldly thoughts and feelings, he is not able to put into practice his innate divine qualities. Hiranyaksha, Hiranyakasipu, Duryodhana and Kamsa were by no means ordinary. Though they were very strong in their body and mind, they became weak as they were immersed in worldly feelings. Man can conquer the entire world when his thoughts are noble. Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakasipu were great scientists. Hiranyakasipu could reach not only the moon but even the sun. In spite of all his power, he became weak as he was full of worldly feelings. Every individual is endowed with mighty power and intelligence. But one should not fill his heart with worldly feelings. Young men and women of today are the future leaders of the world. The prosperity of the nation depends on its youth. Hence, youth should develop virtues, noble thoughts and sterling character. One who has filled his heart with noble thoughts can accomplish any great task.
Divine Discourse: Jan 14, 2003
Develop love and share it with others. Transform this world into a paradise of love. Then there will be no misery at all. Understand the nature of the mind and you will be redeemed. You took part in Sports Meet, exhibited great talent and won many prizes. This is also very essential from the worldly point of view. Worldly education is for life here and spiritual education is for the life hereafter. So, both are essential. Worldly education is like left leg and spiritual education is like right leg. Both the legs are needed for marching. Likewise, both forms of education are needed for progress in life. Left (world) has to be left some day or the other, but right (spirituality) is always right. Most of us use right hand to do our work. What does it mean? It means that we should do only right things and make everybody happy. Even in the daily life, the left hand is used to clean the dirt and the right hand is used for performing one's duty.
What is the goal of human life? One has to recognise the fundamental truth, i.e., the principle of Atma. It is within you. It is possible to know this only through the intellect because it has the capacity to discriminate. If you want to partake of an orange, you have to peel out the bitter rind. Even the monkey peels out the skin of a banana before partaking of it. Likewise, the intellect should give up evil and accept the good. What is the use of human birth if man acts in the same manner as a monkey or a buffalo? There is a lesson to be learnt even from buffaloes and cows. They graze in the fields without wasting a minute and masticate leisurely whatever they have eaten. Likewise, whenever you come across anything good, accept it without delay. Later on contemplate on it and assimilate it.
Pray wholeheartedly for the welfare of humanity - Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu (May all the people of the world be happy). You can be happy only when the world is happy. There is an intimate and inseparable relationship between you and the world. Chant the Divine Name. Pray for the welfare of the world and participate in service activities.
Divine Discourse: Jan 14, 2002
God does not exist for those who deny Him. He exists for those who believe in His existence. He says 'yes' for those who say 'yes' and 'no' for those who say 'no'. You may say 'yes' or 'no', but, for Sai, everything is 'yes, yes, yes'. If someone were to tell you that God does not exist, teach him a lesson saying, "God may not exist for you but He does exist for me. You have no right to deny the existence of my God. "With such courage and conviction, you should uphold our ancient culture. Being born as the children of this land of courage and valor, do not give scope for weakness of any kind. You are not weak, you have all the strength in you. Take a pledge to accomplish the task of restoring our ancient culture with courage and determination. God Himself has taken three pledges - that, He will incarnate age after age for the establishment of Dharma (Parithranaaya Saadhunaam Vinaashayacha Dushkritam Dharma Samsthapanaarthaya Sambhhavami Yuge Yuge), that, He will take care of those who constantly contemplate on Him (Ananyaah Chinthayanthomaam Ye Janaah Paryupaasathe Theshaam Nithyaabhiyukthaanaam Yogakshemam Vahamyaham) and that, He will grant liberation to those who surrender to Him completely (Sarvadharmaan Parithyajya Maamekam Saranam Vraja Aham Twa Sarvapaapebhyo Moksha Ishyaami Maasuchaha). Likewise, you too should take three vows that you will firmly believe in the existence of God, that you shall see Him and that you will become one with Him. Make every effort to fulfil these vows.
Develop love in order to acquire Divine grace. You cannot get even a handkerchief unless you pay for it. You are asking God for peace, happiness and liberation. But what are you giving to God in return? Offer your love to Him and receive His grace in the form of peace, happiness and liberation. You have no right to ask unless you give. Only through love and service will you earn the right to ask.
Divine Discourse: Jan 14PM, 2000
Tomorrow marks the commencement of holy Uttarayana. It is for this auspicious moment that Bhishma waited for 56 long days lying on a bed of arrows to give up his mortal coil. Tomorrow the sun begins its northward journey, which is most auspicious.
Make best use of the divine proximity of Sai. Once you lose this precious chance to serve the Lotus Feet, you will never regain it. Sai confers devotion, power and ultimately liberation on you. Never get misguided by the words of others. Keep this in mind and redeem yourself.
Divine Discourse: Jan 14, 1999
This festive day has been celebrated from ancient times as a day of fulfillment and joy. Every festival is a social occasion, arising in society, flourishing in society, and promoting the well being of society. Every festival has been designed to promote the welfare of society. With social changes, festivals also have undergone changes.
Today's festival is an extremely important one for Bharatiyas. It is a festival to celebrate the glory of the Sun God.
The Sun moves every month from one sign of Zodiac to the next.
Sankranthi meaning 'sacred change' - occurs every month as the Sun moves from one house of the Zodiac to another. But special sacredness attaches to the movement of the Sun to Capricorn (Makara-Sankranthi).
The Sun appears cool
The day gets shortened
And is made pleasant by chill wind
On the fields lit by moonlight
The crows caw over the grain heaps
While the farmers sing in joy
Over the golden harvest
The flowers express their joy
By putting forth their petals
While in every home, filled with grain,
The people welcome the advent of Sankranthi
On Sankranthi day the farmers rejoice over the fullness of the granaries in their homes with the newly harvested crop.
When the Sun enters the sign of Capricorn, he begins his northward motion. The sun shines in every human body illuminating the 'six chakras'. Of these chakras (spiritual centres in the body) two are most important: the Hridaya Chakra and the Sahasraara Chakra. The Hridaya Chakra has eight petals. God is the Lord of the eight- petalled Hridaya Chakra. These eight petals are regarded as eight consorts of the Lord. In this context the Lord is adored in the form of the Sun. The world cannot survive without the Sun. The solar system is derived from the Sun. Hence the Sun is worshipped as Divine.
The ancient sages adored the eight petalled Divine centre in the heart and thereby reached the Sahasraara Chakra and enjoyed supreme bliss.
Divine Discourse: Jan 14, 1998
Today's holy festival is related to the beginning of the apparent northward movement of the sun (Uttaraayana). The sun moves every month from one house of the zodiac to the next. Today the sun enters the house of Makara (Capricorn) and hence it is known as Makara Sankraanthi. This auspicious day heralds the conferment of many worldly and spiritual blessings on man. The Sankraanthi day is a witness to the prospective successes of man in many fields.
Sankraanthi day marks the arrival in the farmers' houses of the grains which are the fruit of their labors. Sankraanthi is a holy festival for a worldly achievement. It is also a cherished day of rest in the cool atmosphere. Man needs days of rest after a period of hard work. Only then he can enjoy peace of mind. "Samyak kranthi iti Sankraanthi". Sankraanthi confers peace and heralds a welcome change. It brings out the inner joy in people. It effects a change in the life-style. It generates sacred thoughts.
Divine Discourse: Jan 14, 1997
Sankramana is the time when the inward journey towards a pure and unsullied heart is made. Just as the sun embarks on his northward journey, Sankraanthi is the day on which the intellect should be turned towards the Atma for Self-realization.
The Veda has declared the Uttaraayana as a sacred period. The great warrior Bhishma, lying on a bed of arrows, waited for 56 days for the advent of Uttaraayana to end his life. The puranas have stated that whoever passes away in Uttaraayana will attain liberation.
In the movement of the sun from house to house in the Zodiac, the entry into Capricorn is most important. Capricorn is a sign of peace and contentment. According to the Gregorian calendar, Sankranthi begins on January 13 or 14. This confers a kind of mental and physical peace.
Few people understand the true significance of festivals like Sankranthi. Man cannot secure enduring bliss through physical pleasures. He has to discover that the source of this bliss is within himself. Sankranthi enables man to make this discovery, like a man who carrying his spectacles on his forehead searches for it everywhere and discovers to his joy that it has been with him all along.
The Divine is not anywhere else. It is enshrined in one's heart. Hence, the man who seeks the Divine within his heart redeems himself. He then attains liberation. All external spiritual exercises are of temporary value. They should be internalized to experience lasting bliss. All mental exercises also leave the heart unaffected. In the nine paths of devotion, beginning with listening to sacred things and ending with total surrender of the self (Aatma nivedanam), the last is the most important. After "Aatmanivedanam" (total surrender) there is no need for any other effort.
"Sankraanthi" gives the call for this total surrender. Sankraanthi is a kind of family festival. Yes. This is so. But the whole world is one family ("Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam"). The festival relates to the entire world. It is not confined to one's kith and kin. Sankraanthi is related to the entire mankind. Whether people realize it or not, Sankraanthi promotes in one and all a feeling of happiness.
Sankraanthi promotes mental transformation. It illumines the minds of people. It induces the unfoldment of inner feelings. It brings about the manifestation of the invisible Atma within everyone. Sankraanthi is pregnant with such immense significance. It influences not only the mind but also the powers of nature. Nature is a projection of the mind. The world is rooted in the mind. (Manomoolam idam Jagath"). When the mind is turned towards the heart and the heart is filled with the Divine, the mind will cease to be a source of trouble. The mind is the master of the senses. When the senses are controlled the mind is under control. Only the master of the mind can attain Madhava (the Divine).
Divine Discourse: Jan 15, 1996
In the Dwapara Yuga the cowherds and cowherdesses used to experience boundless joy in the presence of Krishna, forgetting themselves in their devotion to the Lord. On Sankraanthi Day they used to employ cow-dung as a sacred means of cleansing purposes. They demonstrated also the inner significance of the Sankraanthi celebration. They placed three balls of cow-dung in front of their houses, fixing three pumpkin flowers on their top and went round singing and dancing in adoration of Krishna. What is the significance of these three balls of cow-dung? In olden days, people used to sprinkle water mixed with cow-dung in front of their houses. The cow-dung helped to destroy the bacteria in the atmosphere. The cow-dung was considered a symbol of health and happiness. The first cow-dung ball represented Krishna who was worshipped as Gopala (the protector of cows). Krishna was adored as bestower of joy and health. The second cow-dung ball was placed as a symbol of the Govardhana Hill which Krishna lifted and thereby demonstrated his divinity. The third cow-dung ball symbolised the cow, which is the source of health and joy for the people as the giver of milk. Gopala, Govardhana, and Go (the cow) were worshipped in this manner.
Among vegetables the pumpkin has a place of honour as the largest in size. The Gopikas looked upon the pumpkin as a symbol of large heartedness. Hence, pumpkins were offered as fitting gifts on Sankraanthi Day. What is the gain from this offering? The pumpkin does not rot quickly. It can be preserved for a long period. Any number of edible preparations can be made from it. It can also be used in combination with many other vegetables. Because of its distinct qualities, the offer of a pumpkin also meant making an offer of one's virtues.
The Sankraanthi festival should be regarded as the day on which man turns his vision towards God. Man's life may be compared to a stalk of sugarcane. Like the cane, which is hard and has many knots, life is full of difficulties. But these difficulties have to be overcome to enjoy the bliss of the Divine, just as the sugarcane has to be crushed and its juice converted into jaggery to enjoy the permanent sweetness of jaggery. Enduring bliss can be got only by overcoming trials and tribulations. Gold cannot be made into an attractive jewel
Divine Discourse: Jan 15, 1992