Prema must grow with every moment of Sadhana. It must sweeten every word, deed and thought of yours. Emerge from Dhyana as a person more charged with Love! Return from Bhajan with a greater measure of Love! Return from Nagarsankirtan with a firmer conviction that everything is surcharged with the same Divinity that is behind all your activity.

The beauty of nature is but a reflection of the beauty that is God. But like all images, it is not substantial. Flowers fade, clouds scatter into new patterns, physical charm is but a flash that disappears in a moment. But Divine beauty is eternal, full and free. That Sundaram is Sathyam, unaffected by any passage of time, unchanging with the location; that Sundaram is the real Shivam, the only good that is. Pursuing petty physical beauty leads man astray; it is as calamitous as the pursuit of trivial joy.

You must all study the Gita daily. Read a few slokas and meditate on the meaning yourself; it will dawn on you in the silence of your heart. You need not read elaborate commentaries. Each word in the Gita is a gem. No more do you need gemstones for the ear, the nose and the neck; have the gem of the Gita slokas in your heart; let them activate your intellect and your hands.

We shall act ever as if we are in the presence of God, as if God is watching and weighing every thought, word and deed. See yourselves in all; see all in yourselves; that is the road to lasting peace and joy. Let us not seek the outer empire; let us become the rulers of the inner empire. Let us not try to defy the outer enemy, leaving the inner foe to grow in striking power. We have Krishna with us, and so, who can defeat us? We shall win through his Grace.

The Gayathri Mantram is a universal prayer that can be used by men of all climes and creeds, for, it calls upon the glorious power that pervades the sun and the three worlds to arouse, awaken and strengthen the intelligence, so that it may lead to intense Sadhana; and Sadhana may lead to success.

Happiness and peace do not follow when man is fed well, clothed well, housed well, and educated up to a good standard and employed under comfortable conditions, with no injury to health or security. There are many who have all these in plenty but who are yet worried or in pain or discontented. They depend on the inner equipment of man, not his outer skill or riches.

Punarvasu, the star under which Rama was born, has a mysterious influence on the authority which accepts all who submit to the Saranagatha-Thrana aspect of Rama's Glory.

If you live on the level of the body and the individual, you will get entangled in food, fun and frolic, ease, envy and pride. Forget it, ignore It, overcome it -- You will have peace, joy and calm. In the Divine Path, there is no chance of failure; it is the Path of Love.

One of the first principles of straight living is - Practice silence, for the voice of God can be heard in the region of your heart only when the tongue is stilled and the storm is stilled and the waves are calm. There will be no temptation for the others to shout, when you talk to them in whispers. Set the level of the tone yourself; as low as possible, as high as necessary to reach the boundary of the circle you are addressing. Conserve sound, since it is the treasure of the element Akaasa, an emanation from God Himself.

Spend the allotted span of years in the contemplation and the adoration of the Almighty, not in servile praise of the feeble, the futile and the weak. Life is an opportunity afforded to each, not to eat and drink, but to achieve something nobler and grander; to master oneself and merge in the Reality.

A person being transferred from one goal to another will have two constables who will escort him; the Punya and the Papa (good consequences and the bad consequences of actions) are the consequences who lead man from one birth to another. If you must escape from their attention and avoid migration from one goal to another, act - but do not calculate the consequences. That is to say, do not worry about the consequence; leave it to God who prompted the act and made it possible. Dedicate the act, the will and the wish, all to God.

It takes time for a fruit to mature and acquire sweetness and become eatable; time is a prime factor for most good fortunes. Make full use of Me, that is all I ask of you. I have at any time no feeling of separateness. I invite all to come and know and derive benefit from Me. Dive and know the depth; watch an discriminate; eat and know the taste- I long for people to do that.

Sarvam Vishnu Mayam Jagath: The universe is saturated with Divinity; there is nothing here which is not HE; Isaa Vasyam Idam Sarvam. He is the base and the superstructure, the material and the manner, the inner motive and the outer movement. The body is the temple of the Lord; the atmosphere of this temple is by its very nature, filled with Love for all beings. But man, overpowered by egoism, fouls it with envy and greed and so it festers with disease and distress.

There are some who always condemn themselves and their lives and aspire for the Grace of God to save them. Jiva and Deva are two separate entities and never can they merge or unite, they declare. The obvious is very often untrue. Sin is not the real nature of man; It is acquired and can be shed. Man is pure good, loving and wise. That is why in the Nilayam, I have stopped people from reciting slokas which proclaim man as sinful, born in sin, reveling in sin, etc., Let the purity, which you are, get manifested; endeavor to express it in your activities; that is what pleases me and wins my Grace.

I am telling you this because it is a forecast of what you can expect in the coming days. I have been declaring since six or seven years that the day when millions will gather to benefit from the Avathar is fast coming; I am advising you to garner and treasure all the Grace and all the Bliss you can, while you may, so that you can sustain yourselves ruminating on the sweetness of the memories and the experience.

We have to pay attention to the plans that intelligence dictates, not the external signs of orthodoxy. A person may appear strictly orthodox, but his heart may be filled with the poison of hate and envy. Has he realized that God is the God of all, that He is present in every being - Sahasraseersha -Sahasraaksha - Sahasrapaad (thousand headed, thousand eyed, thousand legged) as He is?

When Avathars come, they choose the time and the place, clan and the family, and they decide and bring the comrades and co-workers. When Rama came, Sesha, Sankha, Chakra and other inseparable adjuncts of the Lord also incarnated; the Devas also came down, in order to taste the sweetness of the Lord's company and service. Rohini, under which Krishna was born, is related to the attainment of Yogic success and the powers that flow from it.

How can darkness conquer or stand up to light? Krishna is Premaswarupa and He can be won over only by Prema. Audacity cannot approach Him. Actors in films, however, correct their accouterments (equipment) and intonation; they can never be the Real. Not even the biggest scientist can understand Me by means of the categories to which he is accustomed. I always smile at those who deride Me and even those who praise Me. I am always full of Santhosha, Whatever may happen. Nothing can come in the way of My smile. Derision and calumny only tend to make it grow better and happier.

Three disciplines are essential, to become aware of the Divinity in all and in the Avathar. No activity should be taken with individual aggrandizement in view; intellectual emotion must be directed to the revelation of the resident in the Heart. Atma; every act should be done sincerely, with love, with no yearning for acquiring personal profit, fame or benefit. Above all, listen to the voice of God within. As soon as one contemplates a wrong act, that voice warns, protests, advises giving up.

Many people think that Concentration is the same thing as meditation, but there is no such connection between concentration and meditation. Concentration is something which is below your senses, whereas meditation is something which is above your senses. But many are under the false impression that concentration is identical to meditation, and they take to a wrong path. Concentration is something which we use involuntarily in our daily, normal routine life.

To many, it may appear strange that, in this Anandalaya (Abode of Bliss), There exists an Arogya Nilaya (Abode of Health) or Hospital. They may wonder why prominence is given to bodily health, in a place that is dedicated to the health of the spirit. But, for attaining the four aims of human life, Dharma (Righteousness), Artha (Prosperity), Kama (fulfillment of desires) and Moksha (freedom from bondage), the basic requirement is health of the body and the mind.

It is enough if Prema is cultivated, the Prema that knows no distinction between oneself and another, because all are but limbs of one corpus of God Almighty. Through Love alone can the embodiment of Love be gained. Here, no scholarship is needed; in fact, scholarship will be an impediment, for it caters to egoism and it breeds doubts and the desire for disputation and laurel of victory over others preening themselves as learned.

The Himalayas, which form the bastion of Bharat, are the symbols of might and majesty; they remind us of the purity that we should develop in ourselves; they teach us that we should be as firm, as unshaken as the snow-clad peaks, as unaffected by the noise and turmoils of the bazaars of mankind.

Between concentration and meditation, there is a border area which covers both and that is the area of contemplation. To be in that area of contemplation is to free yourself of worldly attachments. If you break away all the worldly attachments - all the routine attachments in the world - then you enter the region of contemplation. When you have completely broken away all your attachments, you break through this area of contemplation and you get into the area of meditation.

The ultimate step of Self-realization depends upon the base of self-confidence. You must therefore develop as a first step confidence in your own self. Without having and developing confidence in your own self, if all the time you are talking of some power being with someone else, if in this way you travel all the time and depend on power which is with someone else, when are you going to acquire any power and confidence in oneself?

Even when the Divinity comes down as an Avathar, man is unable to pierce the veil and revere the Divine. Lord Krishna says that people are unable to recognize the Divinity that is He, because they deem Him to be merely human. Only those who are aware of the current within, the Atma, can identify the Source of power before them.

What is a school for? To make man human. Man has in him specific attributes which have to be developed and fostered, so that he can rise up to his full stature. If these are ignored or allowed to lie fallow, he exists at the animal level only. Discipline alone can make him grow into his heritage. The animal can be transformed by training, to behave like man.

The true aspirant will have a reverent attitude to the duty he is bound with. He will carry out every task assigned to him as if it is an act of worship, by which the Lord can be pleased and through which he can approach the pedestal of God. Duty is God; Work is worship --- That is the motto.

You cannot be fresh and feeling fine, wearing a washed vest under an unwashed shirt; or, an unwashed vest over a washed shirt. Both have to be clean, to provide a sense of tingling joy. So too outer and inner cleanliness is but the reflection of the inner achievement. There is a strange glow on the face of a guileless person. Inner cleanliness has its own soap and water - the soap of strong faith and the water of constant practice.

Man is flying toward the moon, and diving into the sea; but, he does not know how to live on earth with his fellow-men, in love and peace, he moves toward the moon for fear others may reach there before him; and dives through the sea to strike terror, himself terrified of others! The way to live without fear or causing fear is laid down in the Gita, the very first sloka of which is about Dharmakshetra!

Reason can prevail only when arguments are advanced without the whipping of the sound. Silence is the speech of the spiritual seeker. Soft sweet speech is the expression of genuine Love. Hate screeches; fear squeals; conceit trumpets. But, love sings lullabies; it soothes; it applies balm. Practice the vocabulary of love; unlearn the language of hate and contempt.

I like simplicity, I like a dress that will not discourage people from approaching you for a kind word, a bit of service, a helping hand. It must be clean and decent; not outlandish and queer. It should not be worn to attract attention. Just as you desire to wear clean comfortable clothes for the body, desire also clean, consoling exercises for the mind, like Japam and Dhyanam.

I shall tell you why I give these things, talismans, rosaries etc. It is to signalize the bond between Me and those to whom they are given. When calamity befalls them, the article comes to me in a flash and returns in a flash taking from Me the remedial Grace of protection. The Grace is available to all who call on Me in any Name or Form, not merely to those who wear these gifts. Love is the bond that wins Grace.

I had to tell you so much about my Truth, for, I desire that you should contemplate on this and derive joy from the reform, so that you may be inspired to observe the disciplines laid down by Me and progress toward the Goal of self Realization, the realization of the Sai that shines in your hearts.

Do not attempt to know Me through the external eyes. When you go to a temple and stand before the image of God, you pray with closed eyes, don't you? Because you feel the inner eye of wisdom alone can reveal Him to you. Therefore do not crave for the trivial material objects; but crave for Me, and you would be rewarded.

Worship is not an uniform to be put on and off at stated hours each day. Render every thought into a flower worthy to be held in His Fingers; render every deed into a fruit, full of the sweet juice of Love, fit to be placed in His Hand; render every tear holy and pure, fit to wash His Lotus Feet.

If each one does his duty, in the spirit of dedication, the light can illumine all. But, if the doors of the heart are shut against the light, how can darkness disappear? You cannot sit back and expect the incarnation to bring peace and joy into you. The incarnation comes to warn, to guide, to awaken, to lay down the path and shed the light of love on it. But, man has to listen, learn and obey with hope and faith.

The best way to resolve the confusion and conflicts that hamper moral, ethical, material, technological and spiritual progress is for man to live as fully as man ought to, and to rise to the height of the Divine, that is his Reality. That is the one eternal, universal teaching. The thoughts that the intellect frames must be reflected in the mind, and translated into action by the hands. Thought, word and deed >must be coordinated. They must fulfill one another, The sign of a holy person of Mahatma is "Manasyekam, Vachayekam, Karmanaekam","One mind, one word, one act".

To achieve release, man kneels before a million Gods, in frantic pain. If he but blasts the ego within the goal is reached, he is freed indeed! It is difficult indeed to understand the ego in its depth and devious ways. It is an inert entity: that is to say, it cannot know itself nor can it know others; It has no fear; it will not bend before others; it degrades man from the golden glory, which is his due, to the level of lowly dust.

The deer, the elephant, the cow, the horse - these live on sathwic food and behave in a sathwic manner. So they are adored and even worshipped by man. Tigers, bears, hyenas and other wild animals are feared by man and are driven by him into the dark recesses of the forests. The wonder is that the wildness, the cruelty, and the terror-inflicting attributes of these beasts are developed and exhibited by man himself! Man prides himself as the crown of creation, he declares that he has in him the spark of the Divine. But, he ignores it or suppresses it and revels in displaying the qualities of the ferocious beasts of the jungle.

We have a feeling that Ananya Bhakti consists in surrendering to God by saying, "I have no Savior other than You". We think that by simply declaring "You are mother, You are father, You are friend, You are my savior Oh God of Gods" means we have surrendered and are practicing Ananya Bhakti. Real Ananya Bhakti comes from deep inquiry into the Reality of the Inner Self.

Words can confer strength; they can drain it off. Words can gain friends; they can turn them into enemies; words can elevate or lower the individual. One must learn the habit of making one's words sweet, soft and pleasant.

A person is judged by his words; words inflict damage in other ways too. Whenever we talk disparagingly or defamingly or sarcastically or hatefully of others, they get recorded on the tape which is our own mind.

Sathya and Dharma go together; they are the two faces of the same coin. "Satyam-naasthi Paro Dharmah":" There is no Dharma higher than Sathya. Righteousness is built on the foundation of truth."

The world today is in a very bad state. The situation can improve only through Asthikas, who are believers in Divinity. They should become Prema Swaroopas or Embodiments of Love and by their Sadhana, backed by patience, forbearance and compassion, play their role in serving society and contributing to the betterment of the world. God is present in you and is visualizing through thousands of eyes what you do. Even when no one is seeing, God is watching your actions always. Do everything with this awareness.

There are three types of knowledge: Knowledge of matter-energy; knowledge of mental energy; and knowledge of cosmic energy. Cosmic Energy works in every person in the form of Divine Knowledge. Matter in all forms is only Energy. Without atoms, you cannot have any matter, and, in the atom, energy has the form of electron, proton,neutron, etc. Energy springs from the structures of the atomic constituents.

The Godward path is Karma based on Dharma. That is the path also towards joy, contentment and therefore, of strength. Now, the path has become ridden by an overgrowth of briar and bush; the bridges and culverts are in disrepair. People have forgotten the goal, the path and the habit of walking on it. That road is the only refuge; it must be trodden tomorrow, if not today, for the goal lies at the end of the road. It was laid down centuries ago beyond the memory of history, in the Vedas. 'Sathyam Vada, Dharmam Chara': The Vedas call on you.

All religions exhort man to cleanse the heart of malice, greed, hate and anger. All religions hold out the gift of Grace as the prize for success in this cleaning process. Ideas of superiority and inferiority arise only in a heart corrupted by egoism. If someone argues that he is higher or his religion is holier, it proves that he has missed the significance of his faith.

Sacrifice, service and sharing in the exaltation of others; and compassion when others suffer grief: these are the virtues that purify and prepare the individual to the arduous task of reaching the Goal. Expand the limited awareness of the individual into the limitless realm of Divine Glory - that has been the call down through the corridors of Time.

For each person there is a code of conduct laid down in the Shastras, according to age and status, the profession adopted, the stage of spiritual attainment reached and the goal of life accepted. Do not carp at the behavior of others or at the efforts they make to get consolation and courage amidst the turmoil of life. For each, there is the path that he has chosen and the Name and Form of God he prefers. Also, do not give up your code of duties and take up that recommended for someone else.

Delusion has to die; then only does the cycle of change end. Then only man is liberated from the bonds of birth, life and death. Call it "reaching the Goal" or "Sayujyam" or "Bramhasaakshaatkaaram" or "Aikyanubandhaanam" or "becoming one with the Infinite" - the Names may differ but the End is the same. Every mortal must attain immortality, for he is 'Amruthasya Putra', a child of immortality.

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

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