There are some who are attracted by various systems and methods like Hatayoga, Kriyayoga or Rajayoga, which claim to help people to realise the self. But I must tell you that no one of this 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.

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 through 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 (meditation/worship), through these servants, is not a spiritual gain.

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 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 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 Karmakshetra.

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 this flame. Grace confers Ananda, which Kama, Krodha and Lobha can never confer.

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 of race or religion, colour or class. Have the picture of the happy, lovefilled human community in your heart. That will give you enough encouragement in your mission.

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 as without water, the cosmos, this world cannot be conceived as without God.

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 co-operation. Look at Lord Siva. The poison, which will ruin the world, 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?

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, for, unless those who lead, are themselves active and earnest, to bend and bear the burden, those, who are encouraged to follow, will lose heart and miss the way.

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 inspite of her severe sufferings. She was kept as a prisoner by her abductor. When Hanuman offered to recross 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 deny Rama the chance to punish him for his crime and retrieve her. Quite in consonance with Dharma.

The Gita is His Command. How can you earn the Master's Grace if you do not carryout 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 his quest and wanders into the wilderness. Ofcourse 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.

Nothing that is experienced will go to waste. It will shape the course of events. It will change the attitudes and habits. It will purify and clarify situations about outlooks. That is why I want you to read the Gita; it is like learning swimming - this learning of the Gita. Swimming 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.

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 Sayi, 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, Sathya Bliss, Equanimity and Truth. Take them as your Atmathathwam. You will not be wrong.

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 in a Gopi's house and was just standing beneath the pot of curds when she discovered Him. Krishna ran out into the street and Gopi pursued Him, and wanted to catch Him soon, 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.

Dharma, the very clothes that Bharthmatha has worn since centuries, which is the expression of her natural style, is now seized on 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 of Dharma.

Yasoda one day was searching for Krishna who had strayed away. She thought He went to the house of Radha and went there. 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".

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 ofdDesire, hatred and anger, that rise up in your hearts. It is sheer cowardice to yield to these enemies that turn you into beasts.

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".

Vasudeva Sarvam idam 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, that 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.

Let Me tell you, without reforming conduct, daily behaviour, and the little acts of daily type, '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, and, from that, will emerge Paramjyothi, the Supra-splendour of illumination. That illumination will reveal Param-Atma the Over-Soul, the Universal.

Prashanthi 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 and convinced for. The Prasanthinilayam is eagerly bent upon the task of upholding and demonstrating high and holy ideals achieving spiritual realisation. It does not seek those worldly riches, nor does it yearn for earning favours and fame.

In Prashanthi Nilayam, no misuse or extravagance can ever happen, for any festival either Shivarathri, Navarathri, or the Birthday. Many people imagine that lakhs of rupees are spent here for the Dasara celebrations, but, all who come serve their best in the fullness of devotion that dwells in their hearts and so, not a Naya paise is spent for any purpose. The priests who officiate in 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.

In Prashanthi Nilayam, no misuse or extravagance can ever happen, for any festival either Shivarathri, Navarathri, or the Birthday. Many people imagine that lakhs of rupees are spent here for the Dasara celebrations, but, all who come serve their best in the fullness of devotion that dwells in their hearts and so, not a Naya paise is spent for any purpose. The priests who officiate in 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.

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.

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 door-step of your heart.

What has brought you all, in this vast number, from your homes and villages to this place? Ponder over this. The reason for your presence is not any force or authority to earn material profit or gain. It is the Love you have for Me, and the Love I have for you.

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 so long as mountains raise their heads and the ocean exist, 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.

When you travel towards God, obstacles have to be bypassed. Prahlada went against his father, Vibhishana 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.

[Source: Thought for the Day, a collection of Swami's Quotations published from Prashanthi Nilayam]

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