The super-speciality hospital was built at the cost of many crores. Was it for my sake? Similarly, the university was established by spending crores of rupees. For whose sake? Is it for my sake? This magnificent hall (attached to the mandir) was erected to protect devotees from heat and rain. Am I sleeping in this hall? Everything I do is for your sake. I am surprised that you do not recognise this. Can devotees be so lacking in intelligence? There is no trace of selfishness in Me anywhere. I have no fear of any sort. Only the guilty man is racked by fear. I have done no wrong to anybody and so I have no fear. But I am subservient to devotees.
Not realising this truth some people imagine that Swami is angry or ill-disposed toward them. Get rid of such mistaken feelings. Be convinced that whatever Swami tells you is for your own good and act up to it. I gain nothing by your good behaviour. I don’t lose anything by your misconduct. Because I love you, I do not want you to suffer from the consequences of your misconduct.
Understand God’s love
Turning to God’s love, let me make it clear that 99 percent of devotees do not understand what this prema means. This love is construed in a worldly sense. This leads them astray. The attachment between husband and wife, between mother and child, between friends, between kith and kin —all are loosely described as prema (love), but these attachments are the result of temporary relationships and are by their nature transient. Prema is Thrikaala-abaadhyam (Love is that which lasts through all the three categories of time—the past, the present, and the future). Such love can exist only between God and the devotee and cannot apply to any other kind of relationship.
It is not easy for you to comprehend the true nature of God’s love. You are aware only of worldly attachments, which are subject to ups and downs. What is liable to such changes cannot be called love. True love is unchanging. It is Divine. Love is God. Live in love.
Embark on this path of love. You are liable to feel elated over trivial pleasures or depressed over petty losses. God’s love is permanent and unvarying. Try to understand that love. How is it to be done? By cultivating the feeling that whatever happens to you, whether pleasant or unpleasant, is for your own good. When you have that firm conviction, the value of God’s love for you goes up.
Most people feel the boundless joy of God’s love as long as they are in the presence of Swami. But this feeling evaporates once they are in the environment of the outside world. You must see that the same sacred environment exists wherever you may be, by carrying your devotion wherever you go and spread the divine message to every nook and corner of the country. Chant the name of the Lord wherever you are—in the village, in the street, in every home, and in your speech and songs. This is the way to ensure that your love of God remains unshaken and unabated.
God derives no benefit from this, since He has no desires. He wants nothing. It is only for your own good. “UddharethAtmanaaAthmaanam”(Elevate yourself by your own self-effort). Failing to recognise this truth, many people imagine that Sai Baba is holding akhanda bhajans (continuous devotional singing) and celebrating various festivals to glorify his name. They are utterly foolish persons. Sai Baba seeks nothing from anyone. You improve yourselves. Become better. Experience your bliss. Make your lives sublime. Utilize these festivals and devotional activities for this purpose.
Sathyam, Shivam, Sundaram
Embodimentsoflove!Since love is verily your form, manifest it in every way. Share it with others. The Lord is the Indweller of the Heart (Hridayavaasi).
Sath-chith-aanandha roopam adhvaitham
Sathyam Shivam Sundharam
The sustainer of all beings, Peace incarnate,
The bearer of all names, Goodness incarnate.
Embodiment of Being-Awareness-Bliss, the One without a second.
He is Truth, Goodness and Beauty.
The Greek philosopher Plato —the teacher of Aristotle, under whom Alexander studied— declared three things as fundamental verities: truth, goodness, and beauty. These are the same terms as Sathyam, Shivam, Sundharam, used by the Indian sages to describe the Divine. Thus in all religions and philosophies through the ages, these three have been declared as the forms of the Divine. Love is the form of the Divine. Dharma (righteousness) is the form of the Divine.
Mother and motherland are greater than heaven
The first impulse that emanated from man was prema (divine love). All other things came thereafter. Every child that is born develops immediately love for the mother. Every child tries to recognise at the outset the mother and the father. In the same manner ,every individual should recognise the land of his birth and his cultural heritage (samskrithi). One’s nation and one’s culture should be revered as one’s parents. The nation is one’s mother. One’s culture is the father. This profound truth was proclaimed by Rama when he declared: “The mother and the Motherland are greater than Heaven itself.” Love the mother. Love your country’s culture. These are the two primary duties of every man. They should be the main aims of life.
When people follow this path of truth and righteousness, love will sprout naturally in their hearts. All knowledge and scholarship are of no avail if there is no practice of virtue. Practise at least one of the teachings and experience joy.
Embodimentsoflove!Devotees from East and West Godavari, Guntur, and Krishna districts rejoiced in the celebration of what they described as the Golden Jubilee of the Sai Movement. There is no need to seek a reason for experiencing joy. Sarvadha sarvakaaleshu sarvathra Harichinthanam (Always, at all times and in all places contemplate on Hari). Make every moment a holy day. Invest every word with the power of a mantra(sacred formula). Sanctify the ground you tread on. Make this the mission of your life. Without wasting a single moment, use all the time you can find to spread the message of the Lord’s name to every nook and corner of India.
Desires can be reduced by chanting God’s name
Today we are witnessing corruption, violence, wickedness, and malpractices everywhere. The basic reason for all these is selfishness. Insatiable desires are at the root of these evils. By chanting the Lord’s name, desires can be reduced, while legitimate wishes get fulfilled.
Sakkubai prayed and yearned to go to Pandharpur for darshanof Panduranga. She endured all kinds of troubles and indignities and earned the Lord’s grace. How can you get God’s grace without undergoing trials? You know what severe processes gold goes through from the crucible onwards before an ornament is made. There can be no happiness without pain. When you desire the welfare of someone, you must. be prepared to let him face the ordeals which are necessary before he can experience what is good for him. Pleasure and pain go together in this world. In the Gita, the Lord says He is both the kshetra(the body) and the Kshetrajna(the Indwelling Knower).
What people have to learn today is to give up attachments to the things of the world and seek the love of God. When one cultivates the love of God, renouncing worldly things becomes as simple as leaving hold of a handkerchief. Clinging to property is difficult. Giving it up is easy when people have understood the meaning of God’s love. Let people, wherever they may be, in villages or towns, cultivate faith in God, develop love and share it with one and all. Then they will experience ineffable bliss. Liberation will not come though meditation or penance. Love is the only means. When you render service with love, it will become meditation, penance and all else. Love is the fifth Purushartha,the supreme goal of life. Love is also the panacea for all the ills that afflict society today. Hate is the cause of all ills. Hence hatred should be banished, as declared by the Gita.
Don’t give room for any evil feelings in your heart, which is the seat of God. Dedicate your minds to God. In due course, you will merge in-the Divine and become one with God.
********************************************************** Service to Man is Service to God Sathya Sai Speaks vol 37, chapter 1
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
1 January 2004 People can say that this is Brahman,
None can say, however, that this is not Brahman,
God only exists always,
The world is illusory, look!
Embodiments of Love!
Today, everybody is enthusiastic about New Year’s Day. Significantly, this New Year’s Day started on a Thursday. It is one’s foolishness to single out a particular day in a year and celebrate that day with great joy. For a true devotee, every day is a festival day. Therefore, it is essential that we consider every minute of every day as new and celebrate it with joy. In fact, every day is a New Year’s Day.
Everything in this objective world is impermanent and unreal. Hence, we have to contemplate upon the eternal truth and reality. We should not waste our time brooding over the past or anticipating the future. It is great foolishness to worry about the future or the past, forgetting the present. Only the present is real. The past is past, you cannot get it back, however much you may pray for it. The future is hidden in the womb of time. It is not possible to visualise it. Therefore, only the present is important. Unable to realise this truth, people are worried about the past and future.
The foremost activity that man should engage in is service to fellow human beings. Instead, people are wasting their precious time worrying about either the past or the future. Therefore, embodiments of love! You should always engage yourself in service to fellow human beings. There is no greater spiritual practice (sadhana) than such service.
Considering the nine paths of devotion, namely listening (sravanam), singing (kirtanam), contemplating on Vishnu (Vishnusmaranam), serving His Lotus Feet (Padasevanam), salutation (vandanam), worship (archanam), servitude (dasyam), friendship (sneham), and self-surrender (Atmanivedanam) as the only important means for salvation, people are engrossed in these activities. They totally forget the importance of service. Only the fruits of service will be eternal.
We must constantly engage ourselves in service to others. God has given us this body for that purpose only. This body is not meant to be engaged in mere eating and drinking and thus wasting our valuable time. We must realise the truth that God has given us this body for serving others and thus help others. There is nothing greater than service to humanity. Service to man is service to God. All great men have sanctified their life only by serving humanity. Therefore, you start serving humanity at least from now onward. Service is more important than bhajan and all other spiritual disciplines.
Embodiments of Love!
What, according to you, is service? You consider helping people in difficulties is service. No. It is not as simple as that. Your body should be constantly engaged in serving others. The human body consists of several limbs. All these limbs are meant to be engaged in serving the fellowmen and not for other activities. Unfortunately, we are forgetting this basic fact. Every limb in the human body has been granted by God for worshipping God through service (karmopasana). Karmopasana is the only means by which human life can be sanctified. We are building several temples. We are undertaking various spiritual exercises. But, all these spiritual exercises can give us only temporary satisfaction, not eternal joy. Our ancient rishis (sages) have been able to achieve eternal joy through a conscious effort.
Therefore, you must develop firm faith in the truth that nothing can provide eternal joy except service to humanity. Undertake service to the suffering humanity. Service is not merely confined to health services. Service encompasses every possible help to fellow human beings.
The ancient culture of Bharat (India) is still preserved in the villages, and not in towns and cities. In fact, our culture is defiled in all possible ways in the cities. Therefore, go to the villages, find out their necessities, and undertake such types of services that will alleviate their sufferings. Today, several people shift to the towns and cities in pursuit of comfort and luxuries. In the process, they end up in sorrows and difficulties. This is their own making. Na sukhat labhyathe sukham (happiness cannot be obtained out of happiness). Only through suffering can happiness be achieved.
You should undertake service. In fact, the hands are given to you to serve humanity. Hands that serve are holier than lips that pray. Therefore, undertake selfless service and attain glory. When you undertake good work, you enjoy peace in your life. Today, the boys who sang bhajans are former students of the Institute. They have undertaken several services to please Swami. God is not interested in worship and other sadhanas (spiritual disciplines). He is interested only in service. Hence, undertake service and more and more service. The best way to love God is to Love all and Serve all. God is interested only in love and service. If you can recognise the importance of these two sadhanas and conduct yourself accordingly, there can be no greater sadhana.
You need not have to spend a lot of money in service. Sanctify your life by undertaking loving service. Today, the old students of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning have brought a cheque for Rs. 48 lakhs to present to Swami as a token of their love and service. This amount has been saved by them from their salaries, by undergoing lot of difficulties. But to whom should the amount belong, really? This amount is meant to be utilised for service in the villages. It is for serving the poorest of the poor. Therefore, I told them, “My dear ones! Deposit the money in the bank and undertake the service activities with the interest accrued on the amount.”
Money is of no help in developing good qualities. Sacrifice alone can develop noble qualities. It is only in sacrifice, there is real yoga. That is why it is said, Thyagenaike amrutatthwamanasu (it is only by sacrifice that man can attain immortality). Today, however, people want bhoga (enjoy material comforts). By such bhoga, only roga (disease) will be contracted. They cannot attain yoga. Hence, you try to attain yoga by thyaga (sacrifice). Only then can you attain eternal joy.
Embodiments of Love!
There is no use contemplating on God without making sacrifice. By contemplating on God, you may perhaps derive some mental satisfaction. But that is of no use. Therefore, develop firm faith in the truth that every living being is permeated by God and act accordingly. God lives in every living being and experiences bliss. The Upanishads declare, Easwarah sarva bhutanam (God is the indweller of all beings) and Isavasyam idam sarvam (the entire universe is permeated by God). Do not be under the impression that God is confined to some temple or a structure somewhere. It is said Deho Devalaya proktho jivo Devah sanathanah (the body is a temple and the Indweller is God). The real temple for God is the body itself.
God is installed in the temple of our heart. That is why it is given the name hridaya. Hrid + daya = hridaya. Only when you cultivate compassion in your heart can it be called hridaya. Therefore, cultivate the quality of compassion. Any service you undertake with a compassionate heart becomes sanctified. Consider every human being as a living divinity. God is present everywhere. Forgetting such an omnipresent divinity, we are hankering after petty and trivial bodily pleasures. The fact, however, is that we can never attain real happiness with the body. This body has several limitations. With such a body, you can never attain limitless ananda (bliss).
The body is made up of five elements and is bound to perish sooner or later,
But the Indweller has neither birth nor death.
The Indweller has no attachment whatsoever and is the eternal witness.
You must be able to recognise such a divine Atma. Today, we are worshipping idols and pictures, thinking that God is somewhere in the outside world. But God is very much present in the human being. That is why our ancient rishis (sages) have proclaimed, Daivam manusha rupena (God incarnates in the form of a human being). Of what use is it to worship the unseen God while at the same time causing suffering to the living beings around us? Every human being that you come across is an embodiment of divinity. No purpose will be served by worshipping the idols and pictures, forgetting the living gods in front of us.
Therefore, give less importance to such indirect methods of worshipping God. Consider the human being standing in front of you as an embodiment of divinity. Even if you come across your worst enemy, say, ‘hello’ to him lovingly. Address him as brother. Then, he will also respond by saying, ‘hello brother’. On the other hand, if you hate him and start scolding him, he will reciprocate the same thing to you. Respect every individual and you will be respected.
Man, today, expects others to respect him; but he will not respect others. If you do not respect others, how can you expect others to respect you? Manava (human being) means an individual deserving respect. Since you are born as a human being, give respect and take respect. This is the quality you have to cultivate today. When you respect others, others will also respect you. When you offer your salutations (pranams) to somebody, to whom does it go actually? You are not merely offering salutations to the physical body consisting of the five elements. It reaches, in fact, the Indweller in that human body, who is none other than God.
It cannot cross the ocean of Samsara.
It is nothing but a structure of bones.
Do not be under the delusion that body is permanent.
Instead, take refuge at the Divine Lotus Feet. (Telugu Poem)
What can you achieve by relying on such a body? It is only sin that you accumulate. You should sustain the body for the purpose of serving others. You have taken upon this human body only for the purpose of serving your fellow human beings. Develop firm conviction in that truth.
What happiness do you derive with the body? In fact, nothing. Whatever pleasures you enjoy with the help of this human body, you will have to leave all those pleasures as well as the body itself in a trice one day or the other. Should you have to undergo so many trials and tribulations for the sake of these momentary pleasures? You have to respect the individualized soul (jiva) in the human body. That is the real service to God (Daiva seva). You have to dedicate your body to such service. If you do that, every minute of your life is fresh and new. Every day is a festival day. On the other hand, if you undertake service once in a year, that is not real service.
Your body (deha) is made up of five elements (mrinmaya). The divinity residing as Indweller therein is consciousness (chinmaya). Therefore, rely upon such a divinity and earn salvation.
You all know about Abraham Lincoln. He used to go to school in the company of wealthy boys, in his childhood. Those boys were wearing costly clothes and ornaments. Lincoln, however, had to go to school with worn-out clothes that were mended by his mother. One day, his friends made fun of his poor dress. He could not control himself. He went straight to his mother crying and told her, “Mother! I will not attend school hereafter. My classmates are making fun of me. They are looking down upon me as a poor boy unable to wear decent dress.”
The mother took him into her arms lovingly and consoled him saying, “My dear son! You need not have to feel sorry for such a trivial issue. All this is going to help you in your future life. You keep our family condition in view. Do not give credence to what others say. Lead a life of self-confidence and self-respect. Respect every individual and be respected by every individual.”
From that day onward, Lincoln put his mother’s advice into practice and started respecting everybody. He used to be courteous with even a cobbler saying “Sir! How sacred is your life! You are doing great service by stitching sandals for us so that our feet are protected from thorns.” Gradually, Abraham Lincoln could command respect from all people by his good behaviour. He earned a very good name for himself.
After some time, elections were held in America. He was persuaded by his friends and well-wishers to run for election. He expressed his inability saying, “I am a poor man. Who will vote for me? I do not want these positions and power.” Today, Indians are spending crores of rupees to contest elections, but refuse to part with even a rupee as alms to a beggar.
The good words taught by Lincoln’s mother made a lasting impression him. He started respecting every individual. He used to speak courteously with everybody. As a result he earned a very good name for himself. At last, he bowed to the wishes of his friends and well-wishers and ran for election. He scored a spectacular victory and was elected President of the United States of America. Then, he went to his mother and said, “Mother! I am able to rise to this exalted position and command the respect of the people of America because of your noble teachings those days.”
The mother is responsible for the children earning reputation and fame. If children wish to earn good name, they should obey the command of their mother. That is why the Veda has conferred the supreme position on the mother and father and declared Matru Devo bhava, pithru Devo bhava (Mother is God, Father is God). The mother is like the bodyl the father, the Atma. Hence, we have to respect our father and mother. Then, we can earn any amount of respect.
Abraham Lincoln could earn great name and fame and became the president of America only on account of his respect for his mother.
What do children earn today? Nothing. They simply waste the money earned by their parents. They bring bad name to their parents. This is not what children are expected to do. They should properly utilise the money given by their parents. In fact, every drop of your blood is the contribution of your parents. You owe your existence in this world to the love of your parents. Hence, whenever there is a need for blood donation, you should come forward to donate your blood. Thereby fulfil your obligation to your parents and society. Do not ever work for your selfish interests. In fact, selfishness and self-interest are the main causes degrading the human being. You might have heard about Winston Churchill, the former Prime Minister of England. He once declared, “man has conquered all, but not conquered himself.”
Children should cultivate good habits and qualities and reach good position in life. Thus, they should bring good name to their parents. You can earn good name not by money but by sterling character. No matter how wealthy, a person’s reputation will be tarnished if his character is not good. A wealthy person may be living in great mansions and enjoying the luxuries of life, but he will not have peace of mind and happiness. People crave to earn more and more money. But of what use is the money they earn? They waste all their money in worthless things. One has to utilise the money earned for undertaking good and beneficial activities for the society. One should conduct himself with good behaviour and good habits. Only then will one have real peace in life.