The mind must become the servant of the intellect, not the slave of the senses. It must discriminate and detach itself from the body. Like the ripe tamarind fruit, which, becomes loose inside the shell, it must be unattached to this shell, this casement called body.

Liberation is just the awareness of Truth, the falling off of the scales of delusion from the eye. It is not a suburb of select souls - it is not a closed monopoly of expert Sadhakas. Like the Godavari losing its form, its name and its taste in the sea, liberation dissolves the name and form, aptitudes and attitudes. You are no more a separate, particular individual.

You are happy, that you have come on a pilgrimage here, but let Me tell you one thing: unless you control the stream of desire that springs in the mind, this is just a wasted opportunity. If your wish is fulfilled, you revere Me; if it is not, you revile Me. That is how desire debases you. When one wish is fulfilled, ten rise in its place. For there is no dearth of want; the same person has come to Me seeking success at the examination, then a job, then a father-in-law, then a child, then a rise in the salary, a transfer in a cheaper place and a seat in the Medical College for his son - a never ending series of wants, until at last he comes seeking My Grace for an end to worldly pursuits and for initiation into the path of spiritual practice.

No one can liberate you, for no one has bound you; you hold on to the nettle of worldly pleasures and you weep for pain. The kite is pursued by the crows so long as it carries the fish in its beak, it twists and turns in the sky trying to last and it drops the fish. That moment it is free. So give up the attachment to the senses; then grief and worry can harass you no more.

When you know that thieves have broken into your neighbor's house, you become extra cautious and, every night, before you retire, you examine every lock and bolt in the house. When you know that death has carried away a victim from the house next door, why do you not examine yourselves, whether you are equipped to meet it when it comes for you ? Why do you immerse yourselves in distractions like building houses, piling bank-balances, celebrating picnics and contesting elections. Engage yourselves rather in things that will make you immortal and serve your best interests by service to the world ! Seek your own Reality, that is what a wise man should do.

Dharma purifies the mind and leads you to God. It creates a taste for the Name and Form of God. When you love the name and form of Krishna, you will naturally respect and obey the command of Krishna, His Agjna, which is found in the Bhagavad Gita. Have the Name on the tongue and Form in the eye; and the demon, called Aasa, unending desire, will fly from your mind, leaving joy and content therein. This kind of constant dwelling on the indwelling God will promote Love for all beings. You will then see good in others and you will strive to do good to others.

Remove the vices of lust and hatred, and put out the raging flames of anger and greed, then the innate Santham and Soukhyam and the Swarupam and Sevabhavam of man, will manifest themselves unhindered. Santham is the Swarupam; and Soukhyam; and is the Swabhavam of man.

The very fact that man is equipped with memory, mind, intelligence, discrimination, the ability to anticipate the future and the desire to detach himself from the senses is an indication that he is destined for some higher goal. In spite of this, if man craves for a lesser consumption, he is a Papi (Sinner). But he who persists, in spite of temptations and obstacles, on the path that leads to self-fulfilment and self-realisation, is a Gopi, for the Gopis of Brindavan were the most inspiring examples of such souls.

When the Gita directs you to give up all Dharmas (Set codes of morality), it does not ask you also to give up all Karma (activity): that is to say, you have to do Karma, and, when you do it for God, through God and by God, the Dharma of it does not matter; it has to be acceptable and it is bound to benefit you. The statement is not an invitation to licentiousness or complete inactivity; it is all for dedication and surrender to the highest in Man, viz. God.

The body can be clean if washed with water; speech can be clean if it is saturated in Truth; life can be purified if it is sanctified by Tapas; and the intellect can be cleared of blemish through Jnana. Above all, the conviction that you are not the body only a resident of the body has to grow in you. If you identify yourselves with the body that you carry about with you, you are inviting sorrow and suffering to overwhelm you instead of the joy and peace which are awaiting to bless you.

Do not admit into your mind the demon of A-santhi. Direct all your cleverness and all your intelligence to the successful execution of the great drama, in which all of you are taking part at present. It is His drama. He is the Director, you play a role, an actor carrying out His Will, speaking the words that He put in your mouth and making movements as directed by Him.

The experience of this one life must be enough to show you that there is no joy unmixed with grief, that both grief and joy are short lived and they both depend on the mind and its control. You do not require the experience of a series of lives to grasp this patent fact. This world is keeping you in bondage; it is a prison from which you must get released; and you should not plan to return to it again and again.

The eye which is scarce two inches long can see millions of miles into space, but is incapable of seeing itself ! Man too is as shrewd and as weak as the eye. He can analyze others' motives, count others' faults and map out others' skills and capacities, but he is powerless to analyze himself, his feelings and his emotions. Unwilling to discover his own faults, he cannot assess his innate skill and realize his inner reality ! But the power can be acquired if you keep company with Sadhakas (aspirants for spiritual progress), not otherwise.

Man thinks himself that he knows everything but, when asked about himself, he hangs down his head in shame. Man knows the news of every land, but he is ignorant of the nuisance that he is to himself and others. He is moving in darkness but yearning for Ananda. He does not know the means of securing Ananda: Prayer, Seva, study of spiritual texts, meditation and silence. He has no faith that he is Ananda and that Ananda is his own nature. He is blown off by calamity, for he has no strength to withstand the blow. Faith in the God within is the toughest shield against the thrusts of Fate.

Nests laboriously built by birds are torn away by storms; the fragrant petals of flowers are felled by rain. Defeat and victory are the obverse and reverse of the same coin; when you welcome one, you have willy-nilly to welcome the other too. Forbearance, compassion and incorruptible virtue are the three pillars of the happy life. Only such a life can be called civilized; the rest is barbarian existence.

When you do not accept the insult some one casts on you, it goes back to the person who indulged in it first; a registered letter that is not accepted returns to the sender. Do not damage your mental peace by receiving the letter and reading the contents. Refuse to receive it. You have a chance of correcting the wrong-doers too; accept it and pin the gang of mischief makers. So be warned !

WHEN you pray for a thing from God, you run the risk of condemning Him, if for some reasons the Prayer is not answered the way you want it to be or as quickly as you want it. This contingency arises because you feel that God is an outsider, staying in some Heaven or holy spot, far away from you. God is in you, God is in every word of yours, every deed and every thought. Speak, do and think as befits Him. Do the duty that He has allotted to you to the best of your ability and to the satisfaction of your conscience. That is the most rewarding Puja.

When you stand before another, his image is in your eye and your image is in his; have you not observed this? You are in Him, I am in you: that is the Truth this phenomenon proclaims. When you believe in this, and when you cultivate Love, Humility, Reverence for Life and Tolerance, you are on the Right Path. When you are not on this Path, that is to say, when you are traveling left, you are certainly left out when it is a question of sharing Divine Grace.

I know many parents who dote on their children and admire them when they learn the bad habits of gambling or drinking! They do not curb them when they swagger about in the bazaars, teasing and bullying those who pass by. They do not instill into the young minds the attitude of reverence towards property belonging to others. As a consequence, their children land themselves in trouble and, then, the parents repent and curse themselves for their unpardonable foolishness.

IF the parent is a drunkard, a gambler and a cheat, no amount of textbook ethics can cure the sons. I like children and the young innocence. I will not allow them to be blamed. The fault lies wholly on the shoulders of the elders, the parents, and the leaders who shape the norms which they imbibe.

Cleanse your emotions, passions, impulses, attitudes, and reactions. That is the essence of spiritual discipline as laid down in all Faiths. Examine your mind, your thoughts; do not seek the fault ridden person. Seek only purity; speak ill of none. Do not humiliate anyone; respect him for the good in him. Their grief at your behavior will haunt you during your last moments.

Life is a mosaic of pleasure and pain - grief is an interval between two moments of joy. Peace is the interlude between two wars. You have no rose without a thorn; the diligent picker will avoid the pricks and gather the flower. There is no bee without the sting; cleverness consists in gathering the honey nevertheless. Troubles and travails will haunt you but you must not allow them to deflect you from the path of duty and dedication.

If you feel you must have something to be happy, pray to God: "God, you have the responsibility to keep me healthy, happy, good and intelligent; give me this thing which I believe is necessary for my happiness; but, if you think I am wrong, give me whatever you think best". God will never desert His obligation. He will feed you and foster you.

Have patience; do not, in your hurry, enjoy cheap joys, fall into error and unrighteous deeds. Have faith that God will add unto you all the joys that you desire and deserve. People ask men for favors; they extend their hands towards others and plead "Dehi" (Give). But, "Dehi" means also, "He who dwells in the 'Deha' or Body; which is God". So, do not humiliate that "Dehi" by calling out "Dehi" before others. Say "Dehi" to the Dehi; He will respond generously and graciously.

Women preserve the culture of this country with greater tenacity and faith. They keep men on the moral path and inspire them to follow spiritual discipline. Their hearts are tender and full of compassion for the hungry and the distressed. That is why in this land, women are adored and revered.

Elders quote the Shastras that say that the home, where the floor is soaked by the tears of a woman, can never see prosperity. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa took great care to see that Saradamani Devi did not take his simple jokes and ridicules too much to heart, for then she might shed tears. We honor the land where we are born as our "Mother Country", the language we learn on our mother's lap as "mother tongue", and the Scripture that teaches us Morality as "Mother Veda". In this way, every Indian has four mothers, including the mother who gave birth to him. According to Indian Culture, all these have to be adored as Divine.

Those who deny God, the Supreme Will or the First Cause, can give no real satisfactory justification for their stand; nor can those who assert that there is God. Both have to rely on their own experience. After all, how can sweetness be denied by one who refuses to taste sugar? How can one be convinced that sugar is sweet until one tastes it? We have to feel the great marvel of energy, manipulating both, the minutest atom and cell and the vastest, most distant star. How else can we understand the Omnipresence and Omnipotence, except by accepting God as the Architect of the Cosmos?

Follow the call of the Divine arising from the hearts of all living beings. Serve them in an attitude of worship, not expecting something in return. Do not accept even gratitude, having dedicated all your acts to the indwelling God. This will purify you so that you shall be able to listen to the "Soham" that your breath repeats every moment. "Soham" transmutes itself into OM when the distinction between He and I has dissolved itself in the process of 'Samadhi'.

Man is born for the attainment of Joy, not for sheer eating and revelling. Real and lasting joy can be won only by a life led along the path of Dharma which makes the inherent Divinity of man shine forth; illumination is the purpose of life; of the recurring sequence of birth and death. Man has, in him, the spark of Divinity, which is Omnipresent, Omniscient, Omnipotent and immanent in entire Universe. In order to become ever aware of this innate Reality, man must learn the technique laid down by the Scriptures, revealed by the same Divinity.

The very first lesson of the primer of the spiritual text is "Control of Speech". Speech is the armament of man; other animals have fleetness of foot, sharpness of claw, fang, horn, tusk, beak and talon. But man has sweetness of speech which can disarm all opposition and defeat all the designs of hatred. Sweetness makes you "Pashupathi" - Divine; harshness makes you "Pashu" - bestial. Mere outward politeness or sweetness is hypocrisy! Sincere speech must flow from real sweetness of heart, a heart full of love. Remove all evil from the Manasarovar, the pellucid lake of your mind, and make it a fit abode of Godhead.

Start from today a new chapter in your life, the chapter of Japam and Dhyanam, Japa-Sahitha Dhyanam or Dhyana Shitha-Japam. In the Tretha Yuga, the Name was Sita-Rama; in the Dwapara, it was Radha-shyama; and in the Kali Yuga, it is Sarvanam, that is to say, all Names of the Lord; you can select any one that appeals to you.

Every man desires to acquire Ananda. From where can Ananda be acquired ? Faith alone can win Ananda. Peace can be got only through faith; faith is the spring of joy. But now we see sorrow, wherever we cast our eyes. Why does this happen ? Because, man has lost faith. He has no faith in himself. How then can he acquire Ananda ? How can a person, who has not got faith enough to live happily for a few days, win the Grace of God ?

Namasmarana is the process by which this dedicatory attitude can be cultivated and confirmed. When confronted by calamity, you must attach yourself to this Sadhana even more firmly instead of losing faith in it and getting slack. The drug should not be given up when it is most needed. The pity is that, when the first disappointment faces you, you lose courage and confidence and give up Rama or Krishna or Sai Baba.

Many of you have problems of health or mental worry of some sort or other. They are mere habits by which you have been brought here, so that you may contact the Grace and strengthen your faith in the Divine. Problems and worry are really to be welcomed as they teach you the lessons of humility and reverence.

Bharatavarsha knew that the secret of Peace lay in service and Love towards all beings. The culture of this land proclaimed that the best form of service is to foster the practitioners of the good life; the sages and the Sadhakas. Do not decry the servants of God; do not obstruct the charity of the generous; do not discourage the study of the scriptures, even if you cannot positively promote any of these; that is the lesson taught in this land.

At present, everyone is after Sukha. The hunt for comfortable jobs and positions of influence, the founding of banks and business houses, the growth of bungalows - all this is evidence of the eagerness to live in happiness. But there is no eagerness to live in Santhi. Sukha is confused with Santhi. Sukha is taken to be the same as Santhi. No one of the rich or well placed or prosperous or powerful has Santhi. You can investigate and find out for yourselves the truth of this. Santhi is not found in the pass book or many roomed bungalows or godowns or iron safes. Your whole attitude is topsy turvy.

Go straight along the path of Karma and Dharma towards Brahma; this is your destiny. Karma has to be done; there is no turning away. Each has his allotted task, according to the status, taste, tendency and earned merit. Do it, with the fear of God and of sin, deep in your heart. Welcome pain and grief; so that you take both success and failure as hammer strokes to shape you into a sturdy Sadhaka. Inner contentment is more important than outer prosperity.

Friendship must serve as lids for the eye, as sandals for the feet. The friend must be "another Me". He must experience, in equal depth, the joy and the grief of the other. Friends must be like milk and water. Let Me elaborate this example. When milk, into which some quantity of water is poured, is placed on a burning stove, the water goes off as steam. The milk laments the separation and boils over. Then, the only way to keep it calm, is to sprinkle a spoon or two of water; its friend is back and it is happy. Milk cannot tolerate separation from its friend.

Your friends today attach themselves not to you but to your purse or to some advantage they can gain through your father's kindness. When your purse is empty or when your father is no longer in power, they bid you good-bye. Friends who drag one away into evil habits and vicious deeds, are prowling around in search of victims.

Be in the world like a maid servant in a rich man's house. The maid servant deals with all the objects and things always knowing that nothing belongs to her and that this is not her true home.

Those who seek to know God must steel themselves to bear insult, injury and torture, with a smile.

We shall be judged not by the creed we profess or the label we wear or the slogans we shout- but by the work, the industry, the sacrifice, the honesty and purity of character. Realize the Heaven within you and all at once all the desires are fulfilled, all the misery and suffering is put an end to. Feel your self above the body and its environments, above the mind and its motives, above the thought of success or fear. The great cause of suffering in the world is that people do not look within: they rely on outside forces."

God is inscrutable. He cannot be realized in the outer objective world. He is in the very heart of every being.

Gemstones have to be sought deep underground; they do not float in mid-air. Seek God in the depths of your self, not in the tantalizing, kaleidoscopic nature. The body is granted to you for this high purpose, but you are now misusing it, like the person who cooked his daily food in the gem-studded golden vase that came into his hands as an heirloom.

Man extols God as omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent, but he ignores His presence in himself! Of course, many venture to describe the attributes of God and proclaim Him to be such and such, but these are but their own guesses and the reflections of their own preferences.

Who can affirm that God is this or thus? Who can affirm that God is not of this form or with this attribute? Each one can acquire from the vast expanse of the ocean only as much as can be contained in the vessel he carries to its shore. From that small quantity, he can grasp but little of that immensity.

Like the seven blind men who spoke of the elephant as a pillar, a fan, a rope or a wall, because they contacted but a part and could not comprehend the entire animal, so too, religions speak of a part and assert that their vision is full and total.

"Udyogam Purusha Lakshanam", it is said. Ud-yoga means, as is commonly understood, employment in some job, something that is worth doing. No, it means Ud (Higher) Yoga (spiritual discipline): a Sadhana which mark out (Lakshanam) the Purusha (the man). When Artha is sought through Dharma, the Purushartha deserves the name, 'Paramapurushartha', for it is Parama, oriented towards the Para or the higher eternal values.

In one of his speeches, Nehru had to acknowledge that there is a destiny that shapes events, irrespective of individual efforts. Well, everyone has come to that conclusion sooner or later; for, there is a limit to the capacity of man control events. You may call it Destiny. Another may call it providence; and a third, God. Names do not matter. It is the humility that matters; the wonder, and the sense of awe that matter.

The eye sees because it is illumined by a microscopic spark of the rays of the Sun. "Chakshos Suryo ajayatha". From the eye, Surya was born. The Atma is the motive force of all the senses; the eye is but a window through which the Atma peeps out at the external world. Of what use is the eye, when the vision is not correct ? Samam means Brahmam; Samadrishti means seeing only Brahmam, the one, in all things at all times. This Ekathwam is the basic Truth. All other experiences are partial, distorted, and false.

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

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