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text: Christmas

Where there is love, there is no room for hatred. Do not be envious of anyone. When this evil quality appears, love takes to flight. A pure heart is the abode of love. Where there is purity, there is unity. Unity leads to divinity.

Today, purity is absent. How, then, do you realize Divinity? You must offer everything to God without any desire. Dedicate your all to God. This was the teaching of Jesus. He considered everything as an offering to God.

When he was being nailed on the cross, people around were weeping. At that moment,an ethereal voice declared, "All are one, My dear Son! Be alike to everyone."

Jesus declared, "Death is the dress of life." Just as we change our clothes, so we change our bodies. The bodies are vestures (for the indwelling Spirit). Hence, bodies should be regarded as mere vestures. We should not worry about the body.

How many heed such sayings? You must learn to lead ideal lives. That is the right way to observe Christ's birthday. Few care to observe the ideals of the great teachers.

Christ was the victim of envious persons who were opposed to His teachings and who leveled accusations against Him. Devotees of God should not mind the criticisms of envious persons. All good people have to face such troubles. They should treat everything as meant for their good.

Divine Discourse: 25 December 1997

Develop love of God. All other forms of love are not love at all but only fleeting and impermanent attachments. Man's biggest folly is forgetting his Divinity. All should realize that they come from God. All are children of God. Everyone should seek to get nearer and nearer to God. That is spiritual practice (sadana). You must feel that God dwells in your heart ( hridayavasi). You must develop compassion in the heart, because without it, the heart is only a stone.

That is the message of Jesus: The message of love. Love is God. Live in love. Start the day with love. Spend the day with love. End the day with love. This is the way to God. Only the person who is filled with love will be dear to the Lord.

Today, devotees from many countries are here --Germany, Japan, and others. Whatever happiness you may have experienced here, you will have to go back to your countries when your money is exhausted or your visa expires. Your aim must be to acquire a permanent visa to stay here permanently. That is got by God's grace. You can get it through love and love alone. When you have that love, your proximity to God is ensured for ever.

Embodiments of Love! There is love in everyone of you. Develop that love. Share it with others. When you have this love there is no need for you to go in search of ashrams. Some foolish people hop from one ashram to another. This is sheer folly. There is no need to go anywhere. The Divine is in your heart. Adhere to one belief firmly. Don't change your faith from day to day. Follow one path with firm faith. That is the Love principle.

Divine Discourse: 25 December 1996

Christ determined to make the giving and sharing of love his main objective in life. Such love was met with many obstacles and losses. Christ considered a true man to be one who could face obstacles and move forward in love. Don't give in to losses and pain. Don't be carried away with pleasure. Face everything with equanimity.

Christ could never see suffering passively. In Jerusalem, doves were sold and killed as an offering. Christ decried the violence committed toward the poor creatures. He began to undertake the holy task of stopping such violence and freeing the captive birds. Some men began to cast aspersions, slandered him, and tried to punish him.

"Salutations to any living beings go toward God (Sarva bhuta namaskaram; Keshavam prati gachate)." say the Vedas. We think there is no meaning in saluting both the one who praises us and the one who criticizes us. Saluting the one who praises us is understandable, but what is the use of saluting the one who accuses us? We must have continuous relationship with accusations, because without them there is no beauty or value to praise. Without criticism, appreciation loses its meaning. That is why every word, every thought, has some obstacle or other. For the good, bad is a shadow. For pleasure, difficulty is a shadow. All opposites are interrelated. Pleasure and pain, profit and loss, exist together. Christ went on pursuing his path in the face of many obstacles with strength and endurance. He gave His life for the service of men, for the principle of love and propagation of love.

The season of Christmas is associated with Christmas Grandpa or Santa Claus. Tokovan was his original name. He was born in Turkey. He began his career as a priest and gradually began to attain spiritual heights. How did he become a spiritual giant? By the spirit of sacrifice. He used to give a chocolate a doll, or a gift to any child he met. All his life he kept on giving continuously. When Christmas was approaching, all the children used to run behind Santa Claus. He used to carry all the gifts in a bag and distribute to all the children. In what manner did he distribute them? He said, "Here is a token of God's love. Here is a token of God's love," and thus distributed them. Eventually he came to be called Christmas Grandpa, and his original name was forgotten.

The important message that I want to convey today, which Jesus also propagated, is one of love and compassion. So, boys and girls, on this holy and sacred day, when we celebrate the birthday of that holy personage, we must conduct ourselves in accordance with his message. It is easy to celebrate birthdays, but we must also keep in sight the purity and message of the person whose birthday we celebrate.

What are the ideals of Sai? Share Love, be united, consider all to be the children of God. Foster the brotherhood of man and fatherhood of God. When we accept and obey these, we can call ourselves devotees of Sai.

Divine Discourse: 25 December 1995

Today, we celebrate Christ's birthday. It is said that when Jesus was born in a manger, three kings were led by a star to Jesus's place of birth. ln fact, they were not kings but three shepherds. One of them, seeing the infant Jesus, observed, "This child will be a lover of God". A second one said, "No. God will love him." The third one said, "Verily He is God Himself" .

The true significance of these three statements is,

To love God is to be His Messenger.
To be loved by God is to be a son of God.
The final state is to be one with God.

As Jesus said, "I and my Father are one." Thus. all persons are messengers of God. This means that they should divinise themselves. When can men call themselves sons of God? Recognize what pure actions are done by God, selflessly for the sake of all. There is no trace of self-interest in Him. Everything He does, says, or thinks is for the good of others. On the other hand, everything men do, speak ,or think is born out of selfishness. Men have become puppets in the hands of selfishness. Men can describe themselves as "sons of God" only when they are completely free from selfishness and become Godly. To call yourself the "son of God", you have to manifest the qualities of the Father.

Jesus exemplified the spirit of social service. The inspiration for this came from His mother, Mary. From His childhood, Mary taught Him such good qualities as truth, kindness, compassion, and justice. Jesus had learned His lessons from His mother and developed His spiritual faith. After they returned from Jerusalem, Jesus felt that service to His parents was His foremost duty, because He owed everything to them. ln this spirit, He used to assist His father in His carpentry work. Joseph passed away when Jesus was thirty. He sought His mother's permission to devote Himself to the service of the needy and the forlorn. After leaving home, Jesus had Himself baptized by John. Then for forty days Jesus observed severe austerities, without food and drink. At first, He considered Himself to be a "Messenger of God". After the penance, He realised He was the Son of God. He began His ministry with a group of fishermen as His first disciples. He taught them that they should first seek the Kingdom of Heaven. To enter that Kingdom, they had to cultivate loving hearts. Then, their hearts would become the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus further declared to them, "I and my Father are One".

Today, Christmas is celebrated in many countries. In every country, small groups of people go to their respective churches, listen to the sermon, and return to their homes. In some places people eat, drink, and make themselves merry. But nowhere in the world can you find Christmas being celebrated with the solemnity and holiness found in Prashanthi Nilayam. Here are gathered men and women from all countries. There are many denominations among Christians, and the members thereof celebrate Christmas in their separate ways. Only in Prasanthi Nilayam do Christians of all denominations and men and women of other faiths join to celebrate Christmas. All of them work in unison. Here is a concrete manifestation of the Brotherhood of Man and the Fatherhood of God.

Divine Discourse: 25 December 1994

Jesus taught that God is love. Instead of recognizing this basic truth, men are allowing hatred, envy, and other evil qualities to pollute their love. Man is gifted with the quality of love not to express it for selfish purposes but to direct it toward God. Jesus declared that there was nothing great about returning good for good. People should do good even to those who harm them.

It is not right to celebrate Christ's birthday by feasting, drinking, singing, and merry-making. The ideals taught by Jesus should be put into practice. That is the right way to celebrate his birthday. Whoever you adore, you must try to live up to his teachings. What kind of devotion is it when the devotee does not practice what he professes? It is pseudo-devotion.

Divine Discourse: 25 December 1988

Jesus. Their duty is to glorify the great message of Jesus. The most important message of Jesus is the establishment of "Peace on Earth and goodwill among men." Without peace, mankind cannot achieve progress in any sphere --material, spiritual ,or moral.

In the Treta Era (Yuga), Sri Ram came to establish the reign of truth and righteousness (sathya and dharma). In the Dwapara Yuga, Sri Krishna came with the mission to promote love and peace (prema and santhi). In the Kali Yuga (the present era), truth, righteousness, peace, and love are the purposes of the divine Mission. Hence, you must make these four the guiding principles of your life. When you adhere to these four principles, nonviolence (ahimsa) issues as a natural result. There is no use in merely invoking the name of Jesus and praying to Him without regard to His most vital message: "God is in everyone. Do not revile anyone. Do not cause harm to anyone." This was Jesus's greatest message.

Divine Discourse: 25 December 1985

Wealth without wisdom becomes an instrument of exploitation and tyranny. Wisdom without wealth becomes mere fantasy and a bundle of blueprint. Use makes them worthwhile; misuse makes them disastrous. It is like the knife: in the hands of maniac, it becomes an instrument for murder; in the hands of a surgeon, it becomes an instrument that saves a life!

Are you doing good with wealth? Are you benefiting others by means of wisdom? That is the test. This day, Christmas, when you celebrate Christ's birth, resolve to lead the lives of loving service to the weak, the helpless, the distressed, the disconsolate. Cultivate tolerance and forbearance, charity and magnanimity. Hold dear the ideals He laid down and practice them in your daily lives

There is one point that I cannot but bring to your special notice today. At the moment when Jesus was emerging in the Supreme Principle of Divinity, He communicated some news to his followers, which has been interpreted in a variety of ways by commentators and those who relish the piling of writings on writings and meanings upon meanings, until it all swells up into a huge mess.

The statement itself has been manipulated and tangled into a conundrum. The statement of Christ is simple.

He who sent me among you will come again!

and he pointed to a lamb. The lamb is merely a symbol, a sign. It stands for the voice --Ba-Ba; the announcement was the Advent of Baba. Christ declared that,

His Name will be Truth.

Sathya means Truth.

He will wear a robe of red, a bloodred robe.

[Here Baba pointed to the Robe He was wearing!] He will be short, with a crown (of hair). The lamb is the sign and symbol of love. Christ did not declare that he will come again, he said,

He who made me will come again.

That Ba-ba is this Baba, and Sai, the short, curly-hair-crowned red-robed Baba, is come. He is not only in this Form, but he is in every one of you, as the Dweller in the Heart. He is there, short, with a robe of the color of the blood that fills it.

Divine Discourse: 24 December 1972