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 in your hearts; be ever so inextricably established in Him. That is my message to you.

This Sai has come 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 which is the basis upon which the entire cosmos rests and of instructing all to recognize the common Divine heritage which binds man to man, so man can rid himself of the animal and rise to the Divine which is the goal.

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 other's faults; deal sympathetically with errors and mistakes of others; hear only good things about them; and do not give an ear to scandals.

The snake moves 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 hoods and sways in joy when it hears music; so too man, when he realizes the stage of Nirvikalpa, steady, unchanging establishment in the ultimate Reality, dances in heavenly Bliss.

Does thou know why you have been 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 visualize 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.

God is the source of all Love; 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.

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 24 hours and uses a minute idol 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 though 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.

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 found in others as faults, are the worst. The last type is nowadays most rampant.

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.

The relief and the joy 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 for 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.

All who come embodied are Avathars, 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 Splendor. Awareness confers liberation from bonds and from time, space, causation and sleep, dream and wakefulness. Avathars are ever alert and alight.

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' vigorously and unremittingly. Then, the Lord will shower His Grace.

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 cannot bear or tolerate the splendor 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 the people. Let me tell you this ; mine is no mesmerism or miracle or magic. Mine is genuine DIVINE POWER.

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. The 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.

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 to 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."

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.

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, on the table and operate. That is to say, I have no anger of 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.

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.

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.

Life is a jungle, where there is a great deal of dry wood which harbors 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 pass through the jungle of life, without harming oneself.

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.

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, Shanthi 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 recognizing one's identity with Madhava or Siva, or Brahman. Nara is but Narayana seen through the limitations of primal ignorance.

An iron box is essential to keep safe precious stones; so to, 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 behavior. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 realize God. The body has to be nourished for the sake of the Head, so that 'Jnana' can be attained and Liberation gained. Food-Head-God: this is the chain of events.

When you live in the world of desire, you must be prepared for both joy and grief. Invite the minister, bhoga, and you must be prepared for the visit along with him of his private secretary, roga! Invite on the other hand, 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.

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.

God is as eager to save you as your 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? It is a sign of My Ananda at the success of Bhaktas in capturing My heart.

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 Bhagavad 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.

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.

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.

The world is a furnace and a factory where man has to shape his destiny by his honest, untiring efforts. He who takes up this challenge and spends his allotted years and the skill and the intelligence with which he is endowed, in purposeful activity, is really entitled to the status of a Karma Yogi.

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.

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.

A person might appear poor, distressed, and depressed, to ordinary mortals; he might not have the exterior demonstration of devotion. But, God would 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.

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.

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 Vaikuntha; 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'.

We cannot describe God in the vocabulary learnt upon the Earth. We have to experience the Bliss of realizing Him as the core of our being. Man is endowed with a sense of wonder and awe, the sense which make him, either a participant (Karma Yoga), an inquirer into the mystery (Gnana Yoga) or a devout adorer (Bhakthi Yoga).

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, your are God yourself. You are not one person, but three; the one you think you are (physical); the one others think your 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.

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.

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.

You will see the day when the Chitravathi sands alone can accommodate the gatherings that assemble here from all parts of the world; when the sky alone can provide them 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.

When the Dharma of the Age is laid aside
To establish it anew, though 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 alright,
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;
Achuta has incarnated on this earth;
Vasudeva, Srihari has come into the world.

God alone is eternal; man is a momentary flash, a tiny wavelet that rises and falls, So, fill yourselves with vast thoughts, magnificent ideas, indefinable splendor, by reciting the names of God, names that describe Him to your receptive consciousness. That is the main discipline for this Age.

Remembering the Lord by 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 Sat-Chit-Ananda you may doubt whether such a small raft such 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, even the Pranava which is smaller, has vast potentialities. The raft need not be as big as the sea.

Do not fret against the rules and regulations which the organization imposes on you; they are laid down for your own good. Regulation is the very essence of creation. The oceans observe their limits. Wind and fire respect their limits and bounds. The human body has to maintain its warmth at 98.4F in order to be healthy; the heart has to beat at definite number of times per minute. How, then can the organization escape the prescription of certain rules and regulations?

The same Divine compassion that blessed Dharma; saved Gajendra; restored Kuchela; and stood by Prahlada, has come to earth as the refuge of the refugeless; as the Lord of peace, harmony and righteousness; as the Lord of all the worlds; as the Sath-Chit-Anandamurthi; and as the Puttaparthi Sathya Sai Sath-Chakravarthi - The King of Kings.

The Avathar is Atmashakthi that has put on the raiment of Kriyasakthi and Yogasakthi. Generally Avathar 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 clamors for help, the mother stoops and takes it up in her arms; her stoop is not to be described '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?

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

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