|Date: 21 Nov 1985||Occasion: World Conference||Place: Prasanthi Nilayam|
We have here at the World Conference delegates from many counties, wedded to different cultures and traditions, languages and styles of dress, food etc. But, this variety should not hide from our vision, the unity of Divinity inherent in all of you. The world today is afflicted with formidable problems and fast-spreading fear--fear of war, of famine, and of demonic terrorists, problems of racial, religious and regional conflicts, of economic recuperation and survival, of student indiscipline, of credal clashes, of frenzy and fanaticism, of power-grabbing and extreme egoism. The only remedy for this creeping fear is an attitude of vairagyam (non-attachment).
When one is attached to the body-mind complex and the I-and-Mine limitation, fear is inescapable. The adhwaithic (non-dual) awareness, that what we witness is but a super-imposition of our own mind on Reality; it is the best cure; and service is the most effective sadhana (spiritual exercise). Our deeds reveal our motives; our motives design our habits; our habits decide our character; our character determines our destination.
Service should be rendered without egotism
Deeds are the very root of our fate. They sprout as birth, after death. The family and society into which one is born, lead us through their moral code and the journey ends when the goal is reached. Jaya and Vijaya, the door keepers of Vaikunta, the abode of God, fell into demonic careers in the world, as the result of an impertinent gesture against holy sages. Prahlada, though a demon by birth, attained the presence of God as a result of his total dedication to Divinity. The mind-stuff of the former two was polluted with the poison of egotism, while that of Prahlada was cleansed by surrender to His Will.
Service rendered without egotism, however small, can be highly beneficial. It must emanate from a tender heart that responds to every sob and groan and is ready to renounce and suffer gladly. One must have the eagerness to get involved with others to feel fullness thereby. One must cultivate forbearance and inner strength, in order to avoid resentment at criticism and ridicule while one is engaged in joyful service.
The scriptures speak of pancha pranas (five vital airs) that energise the functions of the human body. More vital than these are the five sustainers of the of inner health and strength, the upapranas -- sathya (truth), dharma (righeoussness), santhi (peace), prema (love), and ahimsa (nonviolence). Of these, prema is the basic element, the motivator of the other four.
Man is certainly the crown of creation, but, nevertheless, he is born weak and dependent. The culture and traditions of the society, family, country, and religion, that is to say, history, has its impact on his 1ife and thought. It moulds his individuality and endows him with loyalty and affinity, with a nationality. Thus, he grows not as an isolated being, but with the consciousness of the divinity in all, which culminates in the experience of unity.
Seva is the highest form of worship
The four purusharthas (life goals) --dharma (right means), artha (wealth), kama (desire), and moksha (release from bondage)-- have been laid down to teach man that he should earn artha through dharma and direct kama toward moksha. But man ignores dharma and moksha and struggles to direct kama towards artha. His sense of values has become topsy turvy; for example, he is delighted when the sun rises and happy when it sets, for he can work during day and rest at night. He does not realise that the sun is, with each passing day, shortening the time allotted to him for earthly existence. He does not remind himself that the earth is but a caravanserai and that he has to leave behind all that he claims to possess.
The wise ones use money, strength, intelligence, skills, aptitudes, and opportunities for helping others and making their lives happier. Thus, they win Divine Grace, for seva (selfless service) is the highest form of worship. There are millions who are hungry, desperate, and miserable. I am directing you to limit the intake of food to actual need, so that you can share it with the poor. Do not waste food. Do not fritter away money for harmful purposes; use it for helping others. Do not waste time and energy; allow others to benefit by your skills.
Though desires have not been curtailed sixty lakhs of rupees have been collected from the States in India, as an offering to Swami, ostensibly as the sum so saved. I accept only one offering from the World Love: sacred selfless Love, manifested as service, as brotherhood, as tenderness of heart, as compassion. Not this day, but all days in the past and for all days in the future, money does not attract me or affect me. My hand is for giving, not receiving. Therefore I am returning this amount to the State Presidents themselves, so that they may give back the money to the districts which have contributed it. Let them utilise it for some service activity under the supervision of a Special Committee and the guidance of the State President.
I am emphasising another point today. You are using the name Sai family while addressing devotees, and refer to yourselves as members of the Sai family. This is a narrow, restrictive expression. I have no limits or restriction. I am in all, for all. There can be no distinct Sai family. Whatever the Name and Form they address, Rama, Krishna, Sai etc. they all belong to me, to God. To assume that God responds to one Name only and can be adored in one Form only, is a sacrilege.
The Ten Directives
Cultivate love and cleanse your hearts with that Love. Spend that Love in service and that will make it grow. I am now giving you, members and workers of the organisations, ten directives for you to follow.
The Ten-Fold Path to Divinity
(For members of the Organisation and others)