GEMS FROM THE LORD (301-350)
Have your Prema fixed on the Lord, whether your petty wishes are fulfilled or not. Do not let slip the treasure, on some silly excuse or other. When Sai Baba confers success after success on you, you are foremost in singing, "Sai Shankara, Sai Shankara", but when the shadow of disappointment falls on you, immediately you turn round and declare, "This Sai is not God".
Practice renunciation from now on, that you may set out on the journey when the call comes, you don't know when. Or at that moment, you will be in tears, when you think of the house your have built, the property you have accumulated, the fame you have amassed and the titles you have won. Know that all this is for the fleeting moment; develop attachment for the Lord, who will be with you wherever you go. Only the years that you have lived with the Lord have to be counted as life, the rest are all out of count.
The glory of Bharath which has illumined for centuries the hearts of humanity is awaiting the march of the Sai Movement, through proper presentation and practical application by you, to have an even more brilliant future in the coming years. As the spark that causes the fire, as a driver in the engine drawing a long line of coaches along, as the designer and operator of a system of 'automatic lights,' this Sai is here creating and fostering the world and all its various communities living and non-living.
Maya can be recognized and driven out only when the mind is purified by Prema and the avoidance of envy and hatred, born of egoism. No act done without Love can be commended; there are many who come here, thousands in fact, year after year, sharing in the Bhajans, listening to discourses, lectures and staying but they are exactly where they were when they first arrived. Name without 'Bhava' seldom reaches the mark. The name of the Lord must be recited with awe and wonder, humility and reverence.
Learn from childhood the recitation of the name and prayer and practice of silence. Let children contemplate the beauties and the magnificence of God's handiwork and be filled with mystery and awe. Do not count and calculate what the Puttaparthi Sai Baba gives. I do not give, in order to attract you to Me; I give only to fill you with 'Ananda'. Showering 'Ananda', is My task. I do not want you to extol Me; I shall be satisfied if you rely on Me. The mysterious indescribable super power has come within reach. It will never engage Itself in any task without fruit.
Music, a vehicle of peace, is universally popular; men, women and children of all lands are amenable to its subtle influence. Even animals and plants are susceptible to music. The Lord has said, "Madbhakthash yathra gaayanthe, thathra thishtaami Narada": "Where My devotees sing, there I seat Myself".
People of all ages, of all states of health and wealth, of various levels of learning and intelligence come to Prashanthi Nilayam. This Prashanthi Nilayam is also the refuge for all who have no other place to go to. Do not treat any one as an alien. Remember all have Me as their guardian and support. Have no anger, malice, envy or pride against or before anyone. Be full of humility; have faith in human goodness.
You can hear adoration to Sathya Sai's Name reverberating throughout the world, even while this body is existing - not at some future date, but when it is with you and before you. And again, you can witness very soon the restoration of 'Sanathana Dharma' to its genuine and natural status, the 'Dharma' laid down in the Vedas for the good of all the peoples of the world. The revival of Vedic Dharma is the Sai Sankalpa (the resolve that Sai has), not only drawing people towards Me, attracting them by the manifestation of My 'Shakti' (Power) and 'Samarthya' (Capacity). This is not a 'Brahmathathwa' (phenomenon of delusion). This phenomenon will sustain Truth, it will uproot untruth, and in that victory, make all of you exult in ecstasy. This is the Sai Sankalpa.
Rely on the Lord and accept whatever is your lot. He is in you, with you. He knows best what to give and when. He is full of Prema. That is My uniqueness: Prema. Prema is the special gift I bring, the special medium through which My Grace operates. That is the basis of all My acts. God is said to reside in everything. Yes. He resides as Prema. Devoid of Prema, the World becomes a cauldron of misery.
Before pointing to the faults of others, examine yourselves and assure yourselves that you are free from faults. That alone gives you the right; but the wonder is that you discover faults in others only when you have faults in you. Once you rid yourselves of faults, all are pure and good. Whatever you touch becomes gold; that is the Divine Alchemy of Love, Divine Love, Universal Love and Love for Love's own sake.
Since I move about with you, eat like you, and talk with you, you are deluded into the belief than this is but an instance of common humanity. Be warned against this mistake. I am also deluding you by My singing with you, talking with you and engaging Myself in activities with you. But, any moment, My Divinity may be revealed to you; you have to be ready, prepared for that moment. Since Divinity is enveloped by humaneness, you must endeavor to overcome 'Maya' (Delusion) that hides it from your eyes.
When a Namavali extols Shiva, the next one will have to be on Krishna, the next on Rama and so on. A person whose favorite form is Rama or Shiva will feel neglected if, out of inadvertence, you stick to only one form. Let the atmosphere of Bhajan be free from competitive conceit and fanaticism. This is My advice.
You are only actors on the stage before the footlights. The Director, who knows the Play, who assigns the roles, who gives the cues, who calls you in and puts you on is behind the curtain. You are a puppet; He holds the strings. If He must be seen, you have to be His 'Sakhaa' (friend) or 'Bandhu' (kinsman). Merely being an onlooker will not entitle you to approach Him and be in His Holy Company. Cultivate His Friendship or Kinship by the attitude of Love and Dedicated Service.
To realize the One, the Universal Absolute, which personalizes itself into God and creation, there is no discipline more valuable and more effective than Seva. All the 1008 Names of the 1000 faced society connote only the One God that plays in those 1000 roles. The One appears as if it is enshrined in the 1000 bodies. This is the Truth you have to realize and cherish as the most precious in life.
Man cannot reap the full fruits of his life here below, if he only gathers riches or collects popular votes or loads his head with tons of tomes. He has to cultivate and practice virtues too. He has to adhere to Dharma. The Sruthis direct that man has to earn just enough for his upkeep by honest means and use the rest of his time and skill for the general good. Dharma-Artha. Earn Artha through Dharma. Then he will certainly have plenty of Divine Grace.
One gets the liberating wisdom of the Reality through Grace or Prayer or Prema. You cannot achieve the goal through good works alone. In good, there is en extra 'O', a something that is mere Zero; that is to say, the desire which prompts you, the fruit that entices you, the reputation that tantalizes you - these are all sheer zero, a big O. Leave it off, then, we have God who is Zeroless, with no self-intruding, that is to say, we have God. Desire plus Life, is Man; Life, minus Desire, is God.
Man loses his status of humanness, through acts that shame even the beasts. He does not strive toward revealing and manifesting his latent Divinity! That is not as big a failing as this sliding back into the animal from which he rose! If he keeps on with his human attributes and capacities, that will serve him well enough. A formidable list can be made of the inadequacies and defects of man but the basic defect is greed, "Uncontrolled desire" - always clamoring for more, as a result of the ceaseless prompting of the senses.
The spark of Love in you has to be cherished and fed, so that it may reach God; then every being will be God; every act will be Divine; every reaction you get from the outside world will be charged with Prema and sweetened with nectar. You love the God in all beings and the God in all beings responds with Love. Love God, though tribulation may be your lot. Love Him, though you are refused and rebuked; for, it is only in the crucible of travail that the metal is purified and cleared of blemish. Adoration of God has to be through one name and one form; but that should not limit your loyalty to that particular province only.
Prema, when you cultivate it, will remove the weeds of anger and of malice. It will blossom into peace and calm. My teaching is Prema; My message is Prema; My activity is Prema; and My way of living is Prema. There is nothing more precious than Love within human grasp.
Bharath is the birthplace of the Vedas and of the Shastras, Epics and Puranas that have elaborated the principles enunciated therein for the education of the common man. It is the nursery of music and other fine arts, inspired by the noble passion of consecrating human skills for adoring the Divine and communicating the supersensuous. It is the stuff and sustenance of the mystic and the ascetic, the intellectual and the dynamic adorer of God. It is the field where the Science of Yoga was cultivated and systematized.
Who is Baba? Who am I? And the answer is: I am the reflected image of Baba. Baba is the original of which I am the reflection. That is the relationship. That is the bond, whether you know it or not. Whether the image is distorted or correct, you do 'Dhyana' morning and evening; you do 'Japam', you engage yourself in 'Sravanam', 'Kirtanam', 'Padasevanam', 'Vandanam', 'Dasyam', 'Archanam', 'Sakhyam' and 'Atmanivedanam' - all for realizing that you are but an image to become a clean, clear image of the Lord; so clean and clear that you merge in Him.
Endurance with joyful resignation of the ups and downs of life is the royal road to Peace. Everyone craves 'Sukha' and 'Shanthi'; but there is no one to instruct Youth how to win them. The Ramayana and the Mahabharatha are reservoirs of knowledge for the seekers of Peace. They are replete with examples and precepts which are inspiring and timely. By taking the teachings to heart, Purity can be attained. The pure heart directed towards God and reflecting His image is indeed Heaven, Vaikuntha or Kailasa.
Living under the impression that you are the body and you are destroyed with the death of the body is an illusion which is basically undesirable. Another illusion is that happiness consists in accumulating money, knowledge, comforts or reputation. Trying to be happy through such accumulation is like getting into the Madras bus and hoping to reach Bangalore. What is happiness? It is the state of mind which is, by fortune, good or bad. By systematic education, the mind can attain the state. If activity is done as worship, then the mind can attain the state. If activity is done as worship, then the mind will be steady and free from anxiety.
The word Hindu means those who keep away from the path of violence, away from inflicting injury on others, Hin (Hinsa - Injury; Violence); du (dura - away, distant). The Shastras declare that the essence of all the 18 Puranas, so highly revered in India, is: Merit is when you do good to another; sin is when you do evil to another. When you are fixed in this path, you will welcome all faith and religions as kith and kin. All faiths attempt to train man along the path. Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jews, Parsis all aspire to win the same illumination, through the cleansing of the mind by means of good work.
When a tree first shoots forth from the seed, it comes up with a stem and two incipient leaves! But later, when it grows, the trunk is one, and the branches are many! Each branch may be thick enough to be called a trunk; but one should not forget that the roots send food as sap through one single trunk. God, the same God, feeds the spiritual hunger of all nations and all faiths, through the common sustenance of truth, virtue, humility and sacrifice.
This Nilayam is "Prashanthi Nilayam". It is the abode of the highest form of Shanthi - Prashanthi. In fact, you are, each one of you, the Nilayam of Prashanthi. That is why, I very often address you as "Shanthi Swarupulaara" ! My object is to remind you that your real nature is Shanthi, equanimity, peace, unruffledness and non-attachment. You cannot draw out from within you that which is not there, is it not? Therefore, Shanthi must be deep down, at the very core of your being.
This world is full of people who suffer from insanity, but who are still outside the asylums! Suddenly, when hatred envelops a country, even ordinary sane people go mad and behave like savages. But in the mental hospital, you will find, some times, one type of "mad man". He sits in a corner, resting without a break, watching the pranks and the wildness of the other inmates. The doctors will be thankful to him, for he needs no care; he causes no trouble. His madness may be melancholia or he may be a Jnani. The God-bound man is like that. He is the only sane man in this mad world.
Become fit for the vision of God that you seek in the temples. Go humbly, with Prema in your heart for all creation; take the 'Hrudhayapushpa', full of fragrance of Prema, the 'Mano-phala' uncontaminated by the pests of greed and egoism; Become sweet in word, deed and thought, so that you can dedicate yourself to the services of God's Plan.
You will have seen the announcement that you should not bring Me fruits, flowers etc. Some of you, I know, are sad that I have announced so. But tell you; Come to Me with empty hands; I shall fill your hands with gifts and Grace. If your hands are full, what am I to fill them with ?
All worship and puja is for 'Bhakthi' only, for the better comfort and more luxurious consumption of the worshiper himself. Devotion has been vulgarized into a business deal. I shall give you so much, provided you give me so much in return. If that shrine promises more, this shrine is given up; if even there, you do not get quick returns, somewhere else, some other God might be more profitable. That is the way in which worldly men wander about in their panicky rounds.
You are distant from the Lord as you think you are, as near Him as you feel you are. Well, let me tell you this. This distance from Me to you is the same as the distance from you to Me, is it not? But, You complain that I am far from you, through you are approaching nearer and nearer. How can that be ? I am as near you as you are near Me.
When a prisoner is taken from place to place, he is accompanied by two constables. When man, who is a prisoner in this jail, moves from one place to another, he too is accompanied by 'Ahamkaaram' an 'Mamakaaram': Egoism and Attachment. When he moves above without these two, you can be sure he is a free man, liberated from prison.
Do all the household work as acts of worship for Him; that is more fruitful than hours of Dhyana, hours gained by entrusting this precious work to paid helpers. Men too must feel that frittering away precious time, flitting from one vanity to another and seeking more and more purposeless means of spending days and nights is detrimental to the main aim of life. Spread joy, give strength, distribute courage, console the distressed and help the lame to walk and the blind to see. That is the real time-table of activities of man.
The wealth that you hoard is not yours; the wealth that you have shared is yours. For wealth that belongs to you need not be hidden. The wealth that you have given away is really yours. That is the reason why Vedas have declared: "Not through actions, not through progeny, not through wealth can Immortality be won; it can be won only through renunciation".
If only you surrender your wish and will and your fancies and fantasies to God, He will lead you alright and give you peace and joy. You must not run after diverse ends and fleeting pleasures. Leave everything to God; accept whatever happens as His Will.
God is the echo of the hills, the flutter of the leaves, the whisper of men, the babble of children and the OM that is wafted everywhere. God is present at all places; but to recognize Him Saints have had to prescribe a thousand methods. He is in everyone, yet He evades discovery by all but a few, being all-powerful. He is the Giver of all Gifts, the Providence bestowing upon us all the wherewithal: "Asvrithya Thishtathi" (He remains All Encompassing).
Through sheer ignorance, and perversity, the Shastras have been ignored and set aside, and man is misleading himself into the belief that his fancies are true, just and beneficial. Man has thrown his "humanness" into the crater of cruelty, forgetting his best interests under the influence of hatred, envy, conceit and power. He has cast aside the expanse of his culture. As a result, peace has flown from the heart of man, from the fold of Society and the boundaries of Nations.
One flower cannot make a garland; all flowers must come together to make one. So you must equip yourselves with strong bodies, sacred ideals and unselfish intentions in order to serve your country. You can achieve any high ideal, provided you are cooperative, well-disciplined, soaked in service and sacrifice and fully determined to succeed.
Do not hope to gain Grace by looking down upon mankind and looking up at Sai. Remember, that your dress, behavior and appearance will reveal your character and attitude towards others. Always have sweet, soft words on your tongue; cast your eyes only on holy sights. Wear clean, simple clothes and do not imitate those who are fascinated by latest fashions in dress and style. How can you do Seva when you move so far away from the common man ? I advise you to "Follow the Master". By 'Master' I mean the Conscience within you, the Voice of God.
Service is God. Why has God endowed man with a body, a mind and an intellect ? Feel with the mind, plan with the intelligence and use the body to serve those who are in need of service. Offer that act of service to God; worship home with that Flower. Put into daily practice the ideals that Sathya Sai has been propagating and make them known all over the World, by standing forth as living examples of their greatness.
The Upanishads proclaim that Thyaga alone can grant 'Amrithatva' (Renunciation alone can bring about the Bliss of Immortality). One has to ignore all bonds of kinship and comradeship, give up all attachment and affection, and in the heart thus liberated, install God in all His Glory. This is the only means to earn everlasting and undiminished Ananda.
Do not hesitate to practice humility and obedience, discipline and compassion; Give up pride at your status, wealth, scholarship or official position. "Can I, a big Officer, a rich merchant, a great scholar, a man highly respected in Society, descend to this level of clubbing with this sorrowing man ?" Do not ask such silly questions. Everyone of these qualifications of which you boast will disappear with death or - sometimes - sooner. The Ananda that you share will be your lasting possessions.
The great axioms of Bharathiya Culture found in the Vedas - 'Iswarassarvabhuthaanaam', 'Isaavaasyamidam Sarvam', 'Vasudevassarvamidam' -
'God is the inner Motivator of all beings';
'All this is enveloped in God';
'All this is Vasudeva and the Divine is to be inside one'.
This is the inner mystery of the Incarnation.
God incarnating in all !
All are one; The One is All.
There is only one God; He is Omnipresent !
There is only one religion - the Religion of Love.
There is only one Caste - the caste of Humanity.
There is only one Language - the Language of the Heart.
What is the root of worry ? Wants and the efforts to fulfill them, and the fear of not succeeding to the extent desired. Reduce wants and you reduce worry. You congregate here in the Nilayam verandah, seeking, personal interview with Me, with a load of wishes in your heart, wishes that you want me to fulfill ! Why carry all the load ? Carry only one load, the desire to win the Grace of God; he will confer what is best for you. Leave the rest to Him.
What is this life-time ? Is it to struggle in the mire or march straight on to the eternal ? You will get millions to tell you what is pleasing to you, but it is difficult to get one in a million who can tell you what is good for you. What is good for you is akin to Truth, Truth is hard, but beneficial. It is unpleasant advice to tell a man to stick to Truth at all costs; Truth alone pays dividends that satisfy.
Make your body and mind pure. This place is like a workshop where broken-down cars are repaired and made whole. Do not entertain bad thoughts and do bad deeds. Life is holy and sacred. Go through it, with joy and happiness. Do not carry gloomy, unhappy faces. Happiness is union with God. This period of your life is sacred. If you can-not derive happiness and live in Bliss at this age, can you be blissful when you grew old ? Now, you have only two legs to carry; you can jump about freely. But when you marry and rear up a family, you will move like a caterpillar with many legs !
We talk of Moksha. What is it ? It is only giving up the 'Anatma', the Unreal. Suppose you want a tumbler of fruit-juice, unless you throw away the water already in the tumbler you cannot pour the juice in the tumbler. Similarly unless you give up materialism, 'Atmabhava' (spirituality) cannot come to you. 'Moksha' is not a distinct and different 'Sadhana'. It is only giving up unnecessary desires. Through anger, wisdom is lost: disharmony is the cause of anger; for disharmony, jealousy and, for jealousy, ignorance is the cause.
To presume that either from wealth or from kith and kin you can derive mental peace is a great error. Such peace only comes from God. In fact there is no strength superior to Love; where Love is there everything is. So you must live in God; and live in Love; then everything shall be right. You must make others also live in Love.
So long as man is bound to the body, his God too has to be in a body like his own. It is often said disparagingly that God is conceived as having eyes, nose, tongue and limbs. When the person who worships has these, the worshipped too must have them, in order to make the worship meaningful. Only when one is unaware of his 'form', can he adore the 'Formless' ! It is indeed surprising that those, who laugh at God being pictured as having a body do not laugh at their being enclosed in a body ! When man has to be corrected and liberated, God has to come as Man, as Narayana had to do to save Mahabali.