GEMS FROM THE LORD (151-200)
You think Sai Baba is comfortably sleeping in the mandir. Do you know where I find happiness? I am happy when I am with you. That is the reason why I declare "My Life is My Message". I am consistently engaged in some work or other at all hours. I do not get attached to anything nor do I need to detach myself from anything. I am ever in full Ananda.
Egoism is a thorny bush which, when planted and fostered in one's heart, makes one pay the penalty. Egoism makes enemies of fast friends and rains many good causes and projects, for it does not allow two good men to work together. Grief follows it like a shadow. Where there is no ego - joy, peace, courage, cooperation and love flourish. When man is aware that the same Divine consciousness that motivates him is equally motivating all others, then Love ousts the ego and takes charge of man's activities words and thoughts.
Overcome by inner foes, how can man succeed in overwhelming the outer foes?
Burdened with sloth and dullness, how can he achieve wisdom?
Prompted by passion, how can he cultivate devotion?
Balance and equanimity alone can confer peace and harmony.
Nara and Narayana are like iron and magnet. God, by his very nature, attracts man near, for in man there is the Divine. When the magnet fails to attract the iron piece, we sometimes conclude that the magnet has lost its power. The real fact is, however, that the piece of iron is too thickly covered by rust and dust. Thus man (the iron) does not realize his own defect, but rushes to blame God (the magnet) and even to deny Him.
Revere Jnana as you revere your father; adore love as you adore your mother; move fondly with Dharma, as if it is your own brother; confide in daya, as if it is your dearest friend; have shaantham as your better half; treat sahana, fortitude as if it were your own beloved son. These are your genuine kith and kin. Move with them; do not forsake them.
Hold all your property and wealth in trust for the Lord who gave them to you; even your family, you must treat as a sacred trust, as persons given to you by the Lord to love, foster and guide. Thus, you must elevate your attachment into worship and make it an instrument for spiritual progress.
You come to Puttaparthi, secure a picture, and taking it home, worshipping it every day or every Thursday; but that is simply sathkarma - good activity. They will not take you far. You must also develop sathguna, virtues, good habits, good attitudes, good characteristics and a good character. Otherwise our life is a chain of pluses and minuses, one canceling the other out, totaling up to a mere zero.
Devotion towards God goes ill with hatred towards fellow men. Fellow-men and the world must be seen ever in the mirror of Sath-Chit-Ananda. Kinship based on this recognition will alone last. That is the Sai kinship. When you deepen that kinship, the true presence, the constant presence of Sathya Sai will always be yours. Do not be led away by your fancies into the jungle of words and feelings. Be firm, true to your inner-most nature.
There are many trusts operating in this country and in others beyond the seas. I wish to emphasize that the Sathya Sai Trusts have to shine forth among them all by their special characteristics. They must be based on mutual trust and cooperation built on actual experience of the Oneness of all. There is no room here for egoistic poses, compulsory tactics, greed for power, recrimination and jealousy.
God too is a reality, ever present in us and in every being; but we miss Him, as we miss the movement of the earth. We have to infer God through proofs and inferences of His Providence, His Grace, His Majesty and His Glory, just as we infer the movements of the earth, the moon and the stars by watching the sky, the seasons and the precise procession of day and night. We cannot describe God in the vocabulary learnt on Earth.
Sivoham, Sivoham - was the exclamation that rose from the souls that knew the Truth in a flash of illumination, after long years of cleansing the mind through the process of Tapas. 'I am Siva-Siva am I' - Though called by many names and recognized in many forms, the Divine Principle is one, without a second. It is 'Sivam' and is latent in each being, including Man.
The serpent can be tamed and its poison fangs removed, when music from the Nagaswaram pipe is played and when it is fascinated by that sweet melody. The poison that vishaya exerts on the human mind can also be eliminated and countermanded, when man is fascinated by the sweet melodies of Namasmarana or Sankeerthan - that is to say, by the repetitive chanting of the meaningful names of the Lord. The poison, in both, can thus be transmuted into pure nectar.
Scriptures are endless; Sadhanas are countless; opportunities are few; time is already overstocked. But you can easily win the battle of life, in spite of these handicaps, provided you arm yourself with Love, which is the essential teaching of all Scriptures, the goal of all varieties of Sadhana, the best use to which all opportunities can be put and the most profitable way of utilizing the precious capital time.
The day when deep devotees sing songs in praise of the Lord and please the ear; The day when sorrows of the poor recur and men move closer as brothers born; The day when servants of God are fed with Love and Care, in thankfulness; The day when a Great One comes to us and relates thrilling tales of God. These indeed are worthwhile days. The rest are like days dedicated to obsequies for the dead.
Do not consider any act of service as demeaning. Sweeping the streets, for example, is not below your dignity. Do you not sweep the floor of your homes? Do you not scrub and wash off dirt? When you undertake such tasks, the villagers will also gladly share in them. Why feel ashamed to be good? The ridicule that may be cast on you has been the reward of many saints. It will soon fade away. Muhammad was driven out of Mecca by those who could not appreciate his teachings. Jesus was crucified. But their names resound in the heart of millions.
I have no sense of distinction between Bhaktas who worship this form or that. All can come near, all who crave for heat or light. The heat of this splendor will destroy the chill of sensual pleasure. The light will scatter the darkness of the ages. Cultivate Love and Prema towards all; that is the way to gain nearness. I do not measure distance in terms of meters or miles. The range of Love decides the distance for me.
The real aim of education must be to help the student discover the Divine in every being. Saint Vemana Says: Scholars, study! study! study! But the fools do not know what they are! Studying, studying. - The scholar is not free from vice; nor has he become wise. Then why study these mean, mortal things? Study only that which is deathless. The most desirable subject for study is the Secret of the Soul which is Immortal.
Seva is the adoration of the Lord, as Vishwa-Virataswarupa, as having the multifaced form and immanence in the entire Universe. The Vedas describe Him as thousand-headed, thousand-eyed and thousand-footed. The thousands of hands and eyes that have come here for the festivals are all His, the Lord's. Worship Him; that is the purpose of your Seva. And He is none else than your own self.
You must discover your identity; then only can you have peace. You are like a man who has forgotten his name; his address and his mission in life. Realize it and try to delve deep into yourself; so that you may know who you are. Then you get security and peace. Sharpen your intellect for this purpose; and cleanse your consciousness for this purpose through Sathsang, Japa, Dhyana, Namasmarana etc.
Valmiki was a highway-robber who waylaid and killed hundreds without hesitation; he was the slave of passion and emotion; but, when the seven sages whom he waylaid one night, counseled patience, forbearance and self-enquiry, he turned heroically into the path of Ram (giving up the lure of Kama or lust) and achieved immortality and immortal fame, as the narrator of Rama's story.
Scatter the seeds of Love in dreary desert hearts; Then the sprouts of love will make the wastes green with joy; The blossom of Love will make the air fragrant; The river of Love will murmur along the valleys; And every bird, beast and child will sing the song of Love.
Prayer is the very breath of religion; for it brings man and God together and, with every sigh, nearer and nearer. Dhyana is the process of listening to the Song Celestial, the Flute of Krishna, with the mental ears alert on the melody. Yoga is the merging of the Mind in the Bliss of self-forgetfulness, when the music fills the Consciousness.
The primal formless Absolute wedded Desire and the Mind was born. The Mind wedded two wives, Inner contemplation and Outer activity. The first gave birth to five sons; Sathya, Dharma, Shanthi, Prema and Ahimsa, the Five Pandava Brothers. Mind was infatuated more with the second wife, and so, gave birth to a 100, each one with a name indicative of badness and wickedness, the Kauravas. God was on the side of the Pandavas and they won.
The universe is seen; it can be learnt about; it can be experienced and enjoyed. But, God is unseen. He has to be inferred through His handiwork. So, too, society to which social service can be rendered, cannot be seen as such. We can contact only individuals. But, through the individual, you infer the immanence of the Divine. All are actors on the world stage, in His play. Every atom is surcharged with His Power, His Might and His Glory, every being is surcharged with His Bliss, His Beauty and His Goodness.
Be devoted to the Universal; be eager to become that; when you pray to God for a job, a son, or a prize, you are devoted not to God, but to the job, son and to the prize. Pray to God for God. Love, because it is your nature to Love, because you know nothing else and because you cannot act otherwise than Love. Expand yourself, take in all! Grow in Love.
Having an open heart, do not relish the narrow path of restricted love; love all, do not develop prejudices against men in power or position. They too are our kith and kin. We all sail together. Be convinced of one Truth about Me; Swami will never lay a hand on a task without proper reason and without having some profound effect that will flow there from.
When the Giver of Grace is here, you run after persons
who claim that they got this or other article from
Me, or were blessed with this gift from Me;
When you have Kamadhenu here, why seek to know and secure a cow?
Kamadhenu can give you all that you need. When you have
Kalpatharu here, why bother about the fruits on a tree?
Kalpatharu can give you all that you ask. When you have here
the mountain of Gold and Silver, Meru, why cringe for silver
and gold from persons who are themselves beggars? When you have
God come among you, to support and sustain you,
why grovel before crude vulgar entities?
[NOTE: Kamadhenu is a wish fulfilling Cow in Indian mythology which could satisfy any wish. Kalpatharu is a wish fulfilling tree also in mythology which could satisfy any wish.]
Man is equipped with a return-ticket when he takes birth. Holding it in his grasp, he earns and spends, rises and falls, sings and dances, weeps and wails, forgetting the end of the journey. But though he forgets, the wagon of life moves toward the cemetery, which is its terminus. It brings no glory to man if he is tied helplessly to the wheel of birth and death. His glory and greatness consist in disentangling himself from that revolving wheel.
Intellect alone can direct man in the path of discrimination, between the true path and the false; the proper and the improper. This is the reason why man has been praying since Ages, through the Gayatri 'hymn' "Illuminate me, prompt my intelligence, so that I may walk aright".
Shankara wrote a verse summarizing the advice he gave the poor struggling Brahmin householder at Varanasi (Benares City).
Bhaja Govindam, Bhaja Govindam,
Bhaja Govindam, Moodha Mathe,
Samprapthe Sannihite Kaale,
Nahi Nahi Rakshathi 'Dukrun Karane'
"Praise the Lord, praise God, praise God, you fool, when death knocks at your door, rules of grammar cannot save you"
Of what avail is a car, A bank deposit, a bungalow in a posh extension of the city? If you have all these but no love in your heart, the heart becomes a dark deserted temple, where the bats of lust and anger breed in the ever-lasting night. Such hearts are foul, diseased with terror and error.
Birds, beasts and trees have not deviated, from their nature; they are still holding it valid. Man alone has disfigured it, in his crude attempt to improve upon it. So, the Avathar has to come as Man among men, move as a friend, well-wisher, kinsman, guide,teacher, healer and participant among men. He has come to restore Dharma and when man follows Dharma, he is pleased and content.
Get up, place the rosary in the bag and engage yourselves in relieving distress; that is the true spiritual path. Do not waste all your years with stone images, pictures or idols, learn to see in every living vital active person, the embodiment of all energy, all beauty, all beneficence, namely God. God is subtler than ether filling the smallest crevice with His Majesty. Know this and serve His manifestations, wherever you meet them.
Contentment is heaven; grief is hell; anger is the foe; calmness is the armor; and compassion is the comrade. You repeat shanthi three times, don't you? It is to encourage peace in the human, Godly and natural milieu in which you have to live; also to develop peace, in the body, mind and intellect.
All men have two constables ever with them; they are the symbols of his sentence of imprisonment. They are 'Abhiman' (sense of I) over 'Mamakar' (sense of mine), the egoistic feeling and the pride of possession. Man is a prisoner of his senses as long as these two keep him under guard. Man strays away into misery and pain, because he loses the sense of value and runs after the temporary and the trivial. He ignores the voice of God which warns and guides him from within; and he pays the penalty for the transgression.
An act dedicated as an offering to God, resident in all, becomes as sacred as the highest seva, that is why Avathars happen; hence, when you offer seva to mankind, the Avathar will naturally be pleased and you can win Grace.
The individual born in the lake of society must swim and float in the calm waters, and joining the river of progress, merge into the ocean of Grace; man has to move from the stance of 'I' to the position of 'We'. To this day, we see only the wild dance of ego-stricken individuals, who hate society and behave most unsocially.
The call of the Divine echoes in every heart; it provokes the reaction of awe, reverence, affection, love and sacrifice - all ingredients of Bhakti. It translates itself into acts of worship, of praise, of adoration and of rituals symbolizing the majesty of God. Thus, the mind gets saturated with Divine thoughts. It is recast in the Divine mould, until the flow of Ananda becomes unabated.
God, First; the World next, myself last! That is the legitimate sequence for the Sadhaka; and, who is not a Sadhaka? You have to be one, now or later, so that you can be liberated from this cycle of birth-death! Now, Man, in his callousness towards his own welfare, has turned it topsy-turvy! It is myself first, the world next, and God is last. So, God is lost too! Hold fast to God; then, you will be safe.
My activities are not for publicity or propaganda or even to confer joy on others! They are for conferring joy primarily on Me! I have no need to please others and to earn approval or appreciation. For, I and you are not different entities; you are I; and I am you. I am the current that flows into every bulb and illuminates it. Those who see me as separate are seeing falsehood. I am in your hearts; you are in Mine. Don't be misled into doubt and distress. Dogs may bark and jackals howl; but Truth moves majestically forward.
"There is only one God and He is Omnipresent". True. But to concentrate on the Omnipresent, some fixed point or preliminary form is needed. And to conceive of the Divine as present everywhere and at all times, the mind of man is to be clarified and purified by means of a certain psychological process called Sadhana.
Remember, God is your guardian, when you sleep; when you are helpless; even when you have forgotten or neglected or discarded Him. He has no need for your offer or promise to offer. He is ever content, ever blissful, ever full and ever free. Do your duty to yourself - that is enough offering for Him.
Man must first decide, after vigorous self examination and continuous discrimination, the path he wishes to traverse. Moksha or liberation, means the removal of bonds of ignorance that could hide the truth and create a mirage of the truth. In fact, living is only another name of the process of achieving alternate misery and happiness, hunger and contentment, illness and health, desires and fulfillment.
The Sai Religion is the harmonious blending, through Love, of all religions, though some followers of other faiths feel that Sai Religion is contrary to theirs. We should not entertain similar feelings. Ours is the totality, the sum; we should not limit or restrict our Vision.
You may have a vast scholarship, fame or fortune. But, the bee can give you a lesson on how to be free from torment. The tree can teach you forbearance and tolerance. It offers shade to all, irrespective of age, sex or religion, nationality or status. It helps with fruit and shade even to the foe who lays his ax on its trunk! The dog can teach you a lesson in faith, self-less service and the process of dedication.
Remember, you cannot have the Anubhava and the Ananda first. And you cannot postpone faith until you get them. You cannot bargain: Give me Ananda and then I shall have faith; See the Purushottama in all Purushas. Purusha means: he who lives in the rural or port-city or town. Each one of us is the resident and the sole resident of a distinct house of God. But, the Purushottama, the supreme resident in all the cities is God. You can recognize the Purushottama, if you educate yourselves properly.
Form small Satsanghas and meet regularly for Bhajans and mutual consultation about spiritual matters. Read some fine spiritual classics like Bhagavatha. Fill your eyes with the beauty of His form, your ears with the story of His Leelas, and your hearts with the sweetness of His Glory; inspire yourselves by seeing Him everywhere. Think of His immanence in every hill and dale, every man and beast, every tree and insect. You will be really thrilled by the joy of that vision.
Man is growing more and more greedy to know more about the lives of others, more extrovert in fact. He wants to escape from himself, by interesting himself in others. He does not want to worry about the details of his own life or the problems of his own rehabilitation. Of what benefit is all this burden of information that you seek to carry in your head, this knowledge of various regions of the world, without a knowledge of the region of your own self, the center of all the interest that you evince?
Everyday, when you take food, you are offering eatables to the fire that God has put in you to digest food. You have to eat in a prayerful mode, in profound gratitude. The Gita says that the fire which cooked the meal is God; the meal is God; the eater is God; the purpose of eating is to carry on the work entrusted by God, or pleasing to God; and the fruit of that work is, progress towards God.