As I was coming to the Hall, many devotees greeted me with the words, "Happy Birthday"! They should wish for "happy birthdays" for those who are not happy. I do not need your birthday greetings. The Divine is perennially in bliss (nithyaanandham).
The Divine is ever blissful, confers supreme happiness on others, is the very embodiment of the highest wisdom, has transcended the opposites, is vast as space, is cloud-like in complexion, and has perfect features." [Sanskrit verse (shloka)]
Like the lightning in the heart of a cloud, wisdom should illumine your hearts. That wisdom will reveal the Divine in you.
Embodiments of Love! You have all come here at great expense and trouble. Make the utmost effort to understand the spiritual basis of the "I" principle. When you regard the "I" as the Self (Atma), you will be free from all suffering. In case troubles come, they will vanish like snow on a mountain. Why should you bother about these passing clouds? When you have realized Self-awareness (Atma-jnana), there will be no need for you to worry about anything.
Swami does not rejoice in the celebration of birthdays. Since all of you have come for this celebration, I am obliged to give you satisfaction. I have no wants. Whatever I do is for your sake. Recognize this truth. I have no dislike for anyone and no one dislikes me. All are mine and I belong to all. My benediction is "May all be happy". Everyone should adhere to the path of righteousness. All should manifest their spiritual essence and experience spiritual bliss. Till you realize that spiritual oneness, you have to perform devotional acts like bhajans, repetition of the name of God, and prayers.
Keep your association with anyone to the barest minimum. Genuine spiritual aspirants should be particularly careful in eschewing bad company. They should create an environment conducive to their spiritual progress and mental peace. That is the only thing Swami wants. Having come to Prashanthi Nilayam, all of you must become exemplary devotees. Outsiders must feel spontaneously how exemplary the behavior of Sai students and Sai devotees is. That reaction will do you more good than satisfying me.
I do not relish the celebration of my birthday or pompous decorations for the purpose. Such ostentation is not good for anyone. Adopt a practical attitude toward spiritual life.
With holy thoughts in you on this auspicious day, you must go out into the world and spread your sacred feelings among others. Don't confine your feelings to yourselves or retain them only during your stay here. Spread them wherever you go.
Today, thousands of people have gathered here. What has brought them together here? Love is the main cause. Without love, few of you would have come from such distant places (cheers). How does this love express itself? It is a process of give and take. You have to receive God's love, and you have to offer your love. But both are one and the same love. God's love is reflected in your bodies. That is the meaning of the Gita declaration: "A fragment of Mine is present in everyone in the cosmos."
Today, this body enters on its seventy-first year. This body is made up of the five elements and is essentially impermanent. Do not attach much importance to the body. Take to heart the Love principle that is being conveyed to you. My entire life is filled with love (cheers). I have never put anyone at any time to any kind of suffering. I have never done any harm to anyone. I have hated no one. I have no aversion to anybody. What is the reason? It is my love that is transforming others. I am now seventy-one. But no one can know what accounts for my condition. I may act as if I am angry on some occasions; however, the anger does not stem from the heart but is confined to the tongue. From head to foot, I am filled only with love. It is this love that has attracted the whole world.
I do not desire anything. I have three P's: Purity, Patience, and Perseverance. It is these three that have secured the world's regard. No invitations were issued to those who have gathered here. Swami's love alone attracted them all like a magnet. Some may ask why they are not attracted to Swami if that magnet is so powerful. The reason is that these people are like rusted iron, which no magnet can attract. Let them remove the rust and dust ,and they will be drawn to the magnet. Their hatred and desires, their envy and greed are the rust and dust that cover them. If you cleanse yourselves of these, wherever you are, you will be mine and I will be yours. The hapless and the forlorn, wherever they may be, are the concern of Sai. Promote sacred love in your hearts. That love will not only redeem your lives but will promote the well being of all around you.
You need not offer anything except your love. In Prashanthi Nilayam no offerings are permitted. Only love is allowed entry.
We celebrate birthday. What is this birthday? Whose birthday? We say my birthday. Who am I? You don't ask that question. You say my birthday because you identify yourself with the body. But later you say it is my stomach. If you say my stomach, then who are you? You say my senses, my mind, my intellect, then who am I? You are separate. This is my kerchief. When I say this, I am different from my kerchief. When you say my body, you and the body are different. Therefore, the body, mind, senses, intellect --all are instruments. But you are the master of all these. That is I. Make an effort to recognize that I.
It is the 70th birthday of this body. You have to know one important thing. Swami does not need anything. He does not expect any dress. Swami belongs to you. Swami is not separate from you. You are not separate from Swami. That is the intimate relation between Swami and you.
Right from this day our organization should expand and spread all over the world. We should forget individual differences and keep in view the welfare of society. The welfare of society is our welfare. Let it be in any village, region, or country, we should participate in all activities.
Embodiments of love!
Participants from 175 countries have assembled here today. So many have congregated. What work are we doing now? We have to inquire clearly. Our quality lies in our work. There are bound to be poor people in your respective countries. They are God in the form of poor people (the daridra Narayanas). You serve that God (Narayana). What is the use of serving God, who has everything (Sriman Narayan)? God has so many servants to serve Him. You don't need to serve Him. There are the poor and the needy, who are the embodiments of God. Serve them.
We should not hate any religion. The followers of all religions should behave like brothers and sisters. You practice such an ideal and give happiness to Swami. Many foreigners said, '"Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday" in the morning. Swami is always happy. Swami does not need your happiness. You be happy. Happiness is union with God. If you want to be happy, join God. Then you can be happy.
You should follow a new path right from this day. You should spend a happy time in unity, coordination, and integration. You should experience divinity in all. That is true bliss. It is not happiness if it is from comforts and conveniences. They are just passing clouds, coming and going. You should achieve the bliss that neither comes nor goes. Love is the only path to reach that goal of bliss.
Embodiments of Love! You deem this day as the sixty-ninth birthday of Swami. I have no desire to celebrate such birthdays. As I was coming, I was greeted by many wishing me "Happy Birthday". I am always happy. Why should anyone wish me "Happy Birthday"? Be happy yourselves. Your happiness is my Happiness.
Today, as an offering to Swami, give up meat eating, consuming liquor, and smoking. By renouncing these three, you will benefit yourselves as well as society and the nation. If you wish to carry out Swami's aim, renounce from this moment itself these three bad practices. Don't put it off to tomorrow. Take the resolve from this moment. Expecting that you will carry out Swami's wish and thereby promote the well being of your family and the nation, I bless all of you.
Why do have so many lakhs of people gathered here today? There must be some compelling reason for it. You must be seeking something that you have not found in your native place. There would be no need for you to incur all this expenditure if you could find what you wanted in your own place. Here, there is Divine Love. It is this powerful magnet of divine Love that has been attracting all the iron filings in the form of human beings. Not a single invitation was sent to anyone. No one was asked to come. What drew all the people here is the power of divine Love, the bonds uniting hearts. At the root of all this is purity. Where there is purity, there love grows. When purity and love come together, there is bliss ( ananda). Whatever work we do, whatever sacrifices we perform, they are not of much use in the absence of love.
In the case of earlier Avatars, their fame grew only long after their passing. In the case of the present Avatar, in His own life-time, a university, a big hospital, an airport, and many other things have been established for the benefit of the villagers, and many more will follow in the years ahead. Many people have doubts as to how all these are being accomplished. The advent (of this Avatar) took place 64 years ago. All these years, this hand has not been stretched at any time to seek anything from anyone. I have not asked anyone. I will never ask anyone, and there will never be an occasion for it. How then are these things happening? For any good work, there is no impediment in India (Bharath). When you want to do any good work wholeheartedly, money flows in torrents. The narrow-minded who undertake any work will never be satisfied. They cannot understand the actions of those who are large-hearted and broad-minded.
Embodiments of divine Love! I don't expect anything from you. Just develop love within you. Regard all mankind with fraternal feelings. Recognize all as the children of God. Bear no ill will or hatred toward anyone. Don't hurt anyone's feelings. Only such a large-hearted attitude will confer on you limitless bliss. If you are celebrating Swami's birthday, this is all that I desire from you. Have unity among yourselves. Strive to revive and promote the glory of India (Bharath).
When I decide on a project, the wherewithal for accomplishing it has to be spontaneously available without any fund-raising campaign. My will has the power to concretize my plan. I willed that a College must rise in Puttaparthi; the Rajmatha of Nawanagar built it. In order to feed it with properly trained boys, I willed a higher secondary school; Bozzani from America asked that he be given the chance to build it. I thought that at this place, education on Sai lines must be available to children from the primary stage itself. Craxi, the brother of the prime minister of Italy, offered to build the school. At Bangalore, when I decided on a plan for a college and hostel, Mrs. Elsie Cowan asked for the privilege of completing it. Such is the might of my Will (Sankalpa).
I desire one thing from you. Develop brotherhood with all. Adopt right conduct always. Give up selfish activity. Welcome all chances to serve the illiterate and the poor.
As part of the sixtieth Birthday Celebrations, I am prescribing a test that you have to accept. When you undergo it and emerge victorious, you can be pronounced as real humans. The farmer ploughs the field, sows the seed, and watches the crop grow until the grain is harvested. The next process is winnowing. The light chaff is then carried away by the wind, and the hard grain stays. I shall start winnowing from now; the test will remove the chaff.
This year you have named My birthday the 'Golden Jubilee' of the Avatar (God incarnated on earth in human form), and you have gathered in vast numbers from all parts of the world. I am sure you have benefited from the spiritual company. I do not think of one particular date in the calendar as My birthday, for I consider the day when Divinity blossoms in your heart as My birthday in you. Therefore, each of you should individually celebrate such a day as My birthday. The day when you resolve to practice My advice, to follow My directives, to translate My message into acts of service, and to engage in spiritual discipline -- hat day is My birthday for you. The 23rd day of November, which you now honor as the day on which I was born, is just like any other day if you celebrate it in a routine, ritual fashion. Adore man; the adoration reaches Me. Neglect man; you neglect Me. Of what avail is it to worship the Lord and to suppress man, His counterpart? Love for God must be manifested as love for man, and love must express itself as service.
Through love alone --love acquired through spiritual discipline and shared with all as spiritual discipline-- can peace be attained, by the individual as well as by the nation. My Life is My Message and My Message is Love. That explains why you have gathered here in hundreds of thousands.
For the protection of the virtuous, for the destruction of the evil doers, and for establishing righteousness on a firm footing, I incarnate from age to age. Whenever disharmony (asanthi) overwhelms the world, the Lord will incarnate in human form to establish the modes of earning peace (prasanthi) and to reeducate the human community in the paths of peace. At the present time, strife and discord have robbed peace and unity from the family, the school, the society, the religions, the cities, and the state.
The arrival of the Lord is also anxiously awaited by saints and sages. Spiritual aspirants (sadhus) prayed, and I have come. My main tasks are to foster the Vedas (Hindu scriptures) and to foster devotees. Your virtue, your self-control, your detachment, your faith, your steadfastness --these are the signs by which people read my glory. You can lay claim to be a devotee only when you have placed yourself in my hands fully and completely, with no trace of ego. You can enjoy the bliss through the experience the Avatar confers. The Avatar behaves in a human way so that mankind can feel kinship, but He rises into his superhuman heights so that mankind can aspire to reach the heights and, through aspiration, actually reach him. Realizing the Lord within you as the motivator is the task for which He comes in human form.
Your worldly intelligence cannot fathom the ways of God. He cannot be recognized by mere cleverness of intelligence. You may benefit from God, but you cannot explain Him. Your explanations are merely guesses, attempts to cloak your ignorance in pompous expressions. Bring something into your daily practice as evidence of your having known the secret of higher life from me. Show that you have greater brotherliness. Speak with more sweetness and self control. Bear defeat as well as victory with calm resignation, I am always aware of the future and the past ,as well as the present ,of every one of you, so I am not so moved by mercy. Since I know the past, the background, the reaction is different. It is your consequence of evil deliberately done in the previous birth, so I allow your suffering to continue, often modified by some little compensation. I do not cause either joy or grief. You are the designer of both these chains that bind you. I am the embodiment of bliss (ananda-swarupa). Come, take bliss (ananda) from me, dwell on that bliss and be full of peace (santhi).
Many of you come to me with problems of health and mental worry of one sort or another. They are mere baits by which you have been brought here. The main purpose is that you may have grace and strengthen your faith in the Divine. But I call you to me and even grant worldly boons so that you may turn Godward. No Avatar has done like this before, going among the masses, counseling them, guiding them, consoling them, uplifting them, and directing them along the path of truth, righteousness, peace and love (sathya, dharma, santhi, and prema).
Cultivate nearness with me in the heart, and it will be rewarded. Then you too will acquire a fraction of that supreme love. This is a great chance. Be confident that you will be liberated. Know that you are saved. Many hesitate to believe that things will improve, that life will be happy for all and full of joy, and that the golden age will recur. Let me assure you that this Embodiment of righteoussness (Dharma-swarupa), this divine body, has not come in vain. It will succeed in averting the crisis that has come upon humanity.