|Date: 22 July2002||Occasion: International Seva Conference||Place: Prasanthi Nilayam|
Embodiments of Love!
The one who realises that the same Atma that dwells in him is in all other living beings will experience and enjoy divine proximity always. He may be a renunciant or a householder or a celibate or one who is attached to the world; one who realises the Atmic principle leads his life with the firm conviction that daiva sannidhi (divine proximity) is his pennidhi (greatest wealth).
What is the primary duty of man? He should make efforts to understand the teaching of the Gita,
Sarvatah panipadam tat sarvathokshi siromukham,
sarvatah sruthimalloke sarvamavruthya thishthati
With hands, feet, eyes, heads, mouth, and ears pervading everything,
He permeates the entire universe.
You should realise the truth that the principle of Atma that is present in all beings is one and the same. Since man is unable to understand his true nature, he is facing all kinds of problems in life. He is deluded by the thinking that he is the body. Consequently, he is forgetting his true Self and is wasting his time and energy.
Today man gives topmost priority to his individual progress. Then he turns his attention toward society. Lastly, he enters the path of spirituality. This is a grave mistake. It is because of this that he is unable to realise the truth and faces hardships.
What is the message of SAI?
"S" stands for Spirituality,
"A" for Association, and
"I" for Individual.
It means that you must give first priority to spirituality, next to society (association) ,and only lastly to individual interest. But today, man follows the reverse order, i.e. he holds his individual interest above his social responsibilities and gives last priority to spirituality. Consequently, he is distancing himself from God. In this manner, he is wasting his time. Time is precious. In fact, time is God.
In the first instance, man should take to the path of spirituality and then serve society, understanding the principle of unity. Only then will there be progress at the individual level. On the other hand, if you concentrate on the individual level in the first instance, you will never be able to understand the spiritual aspect.
Personages like Hiranyaksha, Hiranyakasipu, and Kamsa were centred on their individual interests, ignoring wholly the spiritual aspect. Physically and intellectually they were mighty. Hiranyakasipu was a great scientist. But what is the use of scientific knowledge that cannot give you everlasting bliss? Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakasipu filled their hearts with negative feelings. They entertained worldly desires, which are ephemeral and negative in nature. The modern scientists have reached the moon, but Hiranyakasipu and Hiranyaksha could even reach the Sun. In spite of their mighty powers and scientific knowledge, they met their doom because of their materialistic attitude. They could not experience divinity.
Likewise, man is also putting his powers and knowledge to misuse. He is not focusing his attention on his real goal. Maanava (human being) is endowed with immense power. That is why the Upanishads exhort man thus: Uthistatha, jagratha, prapya varanibodhata (arise, awake, stop not till you obtain full understanding).
O Simpleton, wake up from this slumber of ignorance.
Turn your vision towards the effulgence of prajnana.
Get rid of the thamasic quality; give up worldly desires.
Understand the ephemeral nature of the world.
Hiranyakasipu and Hiranyaksha had all powers at their command; yet, they could not attain Divine proximity. They investigated the mysteries of creation and could even alter the planetary positions. But they could not understand even a small fraction of the principle of divinity. But Hiranyakasipu's son, young Prahlada, had realised the divine principle. Once, Hiranyakasipu asked Prahlada what he had learnt from his preceptors. Prahlada replied, "The teachers have taught me many things. I have learnt about the four objectives of life, dharma, artha, kama, and moksha (righteousness, wealth, desire, liberation). In fact, Oh father! I have learnt the very essence of education."
Hiranyakasipu was overjoyed to hear all these. He said, "Oh son! Let me have the pleasure of listening to what you have learnt from your teachers."
Prahlada said, "I have realised the truth that God is all-pervasive. Wherever I look, I find Him there."
Hiranyakasipu became furious on hearing this. He pushed him from his lap and roared, "You said that your teachers have taught you many things. Is this what you have learnt? There are many things to be learnt regarding artha and kama (wealth and desire) which are very important for us. But you have ignored them and are talking about God. Where is God?"
Prahlada very calmly replied,
Father, never doubt that God is here and is not there.
In fact, He is present wherever you search for Him.
Hiranyakasipu's ego was pricked. "How dare this young fellow try to teach me a lesson?", he thought to himself. "If God is all-pervasive, can you show Him in this pillar?", he challenged Prahlada.
"Yes, I can", pat came the answer. Such was his faith and devotion. Hiranyakasipu at once hit the pillar with a mace, and lo! God emerged from it!
What is the inner meaning of this incident? Man can have the vision of God only when he breaks the shackles of body attachment. Today, man is immersed in ignorance in spite of his learning.
You can make God appear before you when you have unwavering faith and devotion coupled with a steady and pure heart. Here is an example. You curdle the milk and extract butter out of it, and then heat it to get ghee (clarified butter). If there is water content in the butter, it will emit some foul smell as you heat it. The smell will gradually diminish as you continue to heat it. As long as there is water in the butter, you cannot escape from the foul smell. The water has to completely evaporate.
Butter represents the individual nature. The evil tendencies in you can be compared to foul smell. When you make efforts to melt "butter" completely, the "foul smell" will gradually subside. When man performs sadhana, the foul smell of evil propensities emanate from him during the process. He should continue with his sadhana and overcome those evil tendencies. As he performs sadhana more and more, all evil tendencies in him will evaporate like water. Ultimately, his sadhana will yield the desired result ,just like pure ghee is obtained on heating butter.
Every man is endowed with body, mind, intellect, and chittha (inner instrument). On being questioned by Hiranyakasipu, Prahlada replied,"Father, I am neither the body nor the mind nor the intellect nor the inner instrument. I am the embodiment of Atma."
One will remain like pure butter if one gets rid of ego, does not develop attachment to the body, and does not get deluded by the vagaries of the mind. If the butter is not free from the water of worldly desires, it will start emitting foul smell. As long as there are worldly desires in the mind, one cannot escape from the foul smell. This was the fate of Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakasipu.
Even today, there are many who do bhajans and give lectures on spiritual matters, but they are unable to get rid of the foul smell of worldly desires. Until and unless they give up the worldly desires, they cannot attain the state of purity. They are accustomed to a materialistic life. They do bhajans, meditation, etc. with a view to fulfil their worldly aspirations. They can be compared to butter mixed up with water. In the spiritual path, one should not give scope to the foul smell of worldly desires. Some people call themselves devotees but are turning wicked because of their desires. Can such people be called devotees? No. No. If they are really devotees, how could they emit bad odour? Their body, mind, intellect, and also their actions are tainted with impurity. Devotees!
Firstly, you should enquire into the reason for the foul smell that is emanating from you. Your mind should remain steady and unwavering through the vicissitudes of life. You should have strong faith. Only then can you lead a peaceful life.
Prahlada was subjected to various kinds of punishment, but his faith remained as steady as a rock. His love for God never diminished a bit. He considered love for God as his very life-breath.
But devotees today stand in stark contrast to Prahlada. Their faith is so shaky that their mind is disturbed by the slightest trouble. They start entertaining doubts and lose their faith altogether. Losing viswasa (faith) amounts to losing swasa (life breath) itself. Come what may, one should continue their sadhana with unflinching faith. This is the sign of true devotion. Devotion does not constitute merely singing of bhajans, performing rituals, and chanting the Ddvine Name.
You should firmly install divinity in your heart. You should take care that worldly desires find no place in your mind. Burn to ashes all desires completely in the fire of wisdom. Even if a trace of worldliness is left in you, it will multiply manifold and lead you astray. In order to free yourself from bad deeds and bad habits, make sure that you do not have even a shred of desire in you. But due to the impact of Kali Age, even devotees are filling their hearts with desires. Desires can be compared to foul-smelling pigs. One cannot stand the stink of a pig even when it is at a distance. Such being the case, how is it that man is giving room to so many "pigs" in his heart?
Embodiments of Love!
Truly speaking, man is very fortunate, but he is haunted by the misfortune of worldly desires. He is unable to earn the deservedness to get closer to God. He goes through many books and gives lectures, but what is the use? His actions do not match his words. He tries to deceive others with his speeches. In fact, he is deceiving himself. It is enough if he practises at least a fraction of what he preaches. His heart is filled with untruth. His deeds are unrighteous. Hence, he is unable to experience peace. Distance yourself from untruth and unrighteousness. The Vedas exhort man, Sathyam vada, dharmam chara (speak the truth, practise righteousness). Truth is God. If you forget truth, who can protect you?
Embodiments of Love!
You may be performing a number of spiritual practices, but do not feel proud of them. First, purify your heart. Do not give scope for the foul smell of worldly desires. Fill your heart with the fragrance of virtues. Do not pay heed to the words of wicked people whose only job is to poison the minds of others. You do not get much benefit by merely reading books or listening to discourses. First of all, develop sraddha (steadfastness) and bhakthi (devotion) in you. Sraddhavan labhate jnanam (with faith, wisdom is won).
Embodiments of Love!
What is the sadhana (spiritual discipline) that you are supposed to undertake? Make your hearts pure. Thiruthonda Alwar once said, "If one lacks purity of heart, one does not even deserve to chant the divine Name of Rama." What is the use of chanting the divine Name with a polluted mind?
Today the world is afflicted with all types of pollution. Man's thoughts, words, and deeds are also polluted. How can such a person develop devotion? Today people are wearing the mask of bhakthi (devotion) and trying to cheat others. Do not deceive others. Help ever, hurt never. This is the essence of the eighteen Puranas. Deceiving others amounts to deceiving yourself.
In the world, the so-called devotees have increased in number. Now I feel the time is ripe to tell you a few important things. The feelings that spring in your heart must be as pure as the waters of the Ganga (Ganges river) where it springs. Words do not suffice; what is needed is action. There should be unity of thought, word, and deed. He is a wicked person whose thoughts, words, and deeds are at variance. The proper study of mankind is man. Today we find unity of thought, word, and deed only in acts of untruth, unrighteousness, and violence. Man, who is supposed to have noble thoughts and perform meritorious deeds, is doing just the opposite.
Some people are doing business in the name of Sai. They are cheating others, pretending to be devotees of Sai. I do not approve of such behaviour. They are not devotees at all. They are going to different parts of the country and also abroad to make money in the name of Sai. It is a big crime. I do not ask for even a single paisa from others. I never approve of such business. Whoever it may be, if somebody approaches you with such a crass motive, tell him to get out at once. Do not allow business to enter the field of spirituality.
One may do what one likes for the maintenance of one's family, but nobody should do business using Sai's name. But unfortunately, such activity is on the increase. In many villages, we find people misusing the name of Sai for their selfish gains. This is happening even in many other countries like America, England, Japan, Germany, Singapore, and Malaysia. Do not associate yourself with such wicked people. Keep your hearts pure and sacred. Otherwise, you are equal to a living corpse. Such people should not be respected. Better that you perform their obituary rites! You should pray to God with sacred feelings. When you entertain worldly desires, you will be moving away from divinity.
Embodiments of Love!
You are coming here with all devotion and sincerity. Do not get deceived by people who do business in the name of devotion. In many places, we find people indulging in such mean practices. Maintain safe distance from them.
Tyaja durjana samsargam;
bhaja sadhu samagamam;
kuru punyam ahorathram
Run away from bad company,
join good company, and
perform meritorious deeds day and night.
You may even live in the company of snakes, but syou hould not tolerate the company of such evil-minded people. We are undertaking so many social welfare activities, but I have never asked anybody even for a paisa. You are all aware of this. I do not involve Myself in money matters. But people today consider money as God. How can such people be called devotees? I told you earlier about this.
I have started a service programme to look after children who do not have parents. One lakh rupees would be deposited in their name, which will take care of their needs. I have not asked anybody for any help in this regard. But today some people are collecting money saying that they would donate the amount to Swami for this purpose. Some others are proclaiming that they have taken up the responsibility of looking after the children. Can there be a worse sin than this? All such people are betrayers of God. Better they beg in the streets than use My name to collect money.
This morning, a few old students came to Me with a request. You all know C. Srinivas from Bangalore. He completed his education in our Institution and served as Warden of our Hostel for some time. He did not want to take up any job outside because he wanted to serve Swami. He always involves himself with such activities that will please Swami. He is looking after our hospital at Bangalore. He said, "Nowhere else are education and medical care of such high standards provided free of cost to all. You have given us free education and taken care of us with so much love and care. We want to express our gratitude to Swami by serving Him in our own humble way."
He brought a plan with him. He wants to establish schools in villages where there are no schools. He wanted Swami to commence the project today itself. I told him not to hurry. Youngsters today want to do things fast. That is not the right attitude. Start early, drive slowly, and reach safely. Hence, I told him to go slow.
But he said, "Swami, many of our old students are here. Is it not our duty to express gratitude to You for all that you have done to us?" He prayed that Swami should make an announcement in this regard.
I agreed. I will never say "no" to good deeds. Those who want to undertake such sacred tasks should take up the responsibility and discharge it diligently. Only then will the old students have sanctified their lives.
In Chennai (Madras) and Hyderabad, there are many of our old students who are eager to serve Swami. But in some circumstances, they have to obey the commands of elders. If the elders pursue the wrong path, the youngsters will also do the same. What to speak of the fate of our Organisations at Chennai and Hyderabad! I told them to select a suitable piece of land and that I would construct the building. But they lack such devotion and sincerity. They only pretend to have devotion and sincerity. Such insincere behaviour is not good for them. Many devotees there are put to inconvenience. The youngsters want to do many things. But what can they do without the support of elders? The elders neither take the initiative nor allow the youngsters to act on their own.
Bhagawan does not require any shrines. Bhagawan is not interested in real estate. All that Bhagawan wants is for you to serve society with bliss and without selfishness.
If the elders do not want to accept your suggestion, disregard it. That is their fate. You, the youth, make a sincere effort. Help the helpless. Feed the hungry. Do not go about seeking other people's help. If any help is needed, come to Me. Bhagawan shall provide without hesitation.
Do not collect a single paisa as donation. There are those who donate a hundred rupees and make a thousand rupees worth of self-glorification out of it. Bhagawan is not interested in such activities. When Bhagawan is standing by your side like a mountain, why should you seek any assistance from anybody?
Do not subserve anybody. They will merely preach high philosophy, which is vainglorious. It is not only in India that such a situation prevails. All over the world, it is the same. Whether you go to England, Japan, or Germany, it is the same sort of business that is going on. From everywhere, it is the same kind of news of such transactions; Bhagawan receives a lot of such information. I feel all this as nuisance. This is not the kind of information that Bhagawan wants to hear. What Bhagawan desires most is to hear that all are well and are enjoying happiness and bliss. Marketing with BhagawanÕs name is highly disgusting and distressful. There can be no commerce in matters of devotion. Even the salty ocean may yield drinkable water, but this kind of devotion is worthless.
It is already late. Bhagawan never solicits donations from anybody, nor He has agents for propagating His Message. I do not have any association whatsoever with these deceitful persons. Bhagawan needs no material wealth. The only need of Bhagawan is genuine love. Give love and take back love. That is the only exchange. With that love, fulfil your life. There is no devotion greater than love. Any little service performed with love is enough. If you give a glass of water to a thirsty person with genuine love, it is more than enough.
Almost 90 percent of the so-called devotees are, in fact, deceitful. Earlier, it was quite different: devotees were few, but they were genuine devotees. Nowadays, there are too many self-seeking cheats masquerading as devotees. First thing in the morning, they adorn their forehead with vibhuti (holy ash), wrap a scarf round their neck, and roam about freely in the guise of devotees. Even the stray dogs scrounging around for something to eat are better than such fake devotees!
Embodiments of Love!
Develop love in you. Bhagawan needs no temples or rest houses. The temple of your heart is more than enough. Bhagawan shall stay happily therein.
The news that I get from those so-called temples is highly distressing to Me. The amount of anguish that I undergo because of these is beyond your imagination.
Do not do bad acts in the name of God. If you are unable to do good, at least keep quiet and stay out. There is no need for you to make all kinds of wild promises. Enjoy the bliss of divinity in silence and love.
Since people from all over the globe are assembled here, I have had to say these harsh words. Do not have any dealings with people who are doing commercial transactions in the name of Sai. Send them packing with a namaskar. If you need anything, ask Me. I have never deceived or let down anybody; nor will I ever do so. Untruth will not be uttered by Me. My wish is that no such undesirable act should be perpetrated on any of the genuine devotees.
Earlier, when I visited Mumbai, I used to find people doing bhajans and nagar sankirtan all over, unmindful of place or time, even including the airport. Today, you can hardly see anyone even chanting the Name in public anywhere. Of course, there are quite a few devotees. But they are shy of engaging in namasmarana (repetition of the divine Name). Earlier on, I have been traveling around various cities like Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad, etc. But these days, I have no inclination to go anywhere. All these places have become overcrowded with such wicked people. It is of foremost importance for us to get rid of them and encourage the godly-minded people.
God never abandons anybody. All are His. God does not make any unfair discrimination. It is only people who have feeling of hatred; God has no hatred in Him. God is pure embodiment of Divine love only. All of you try to acquire such love in your hearts.
Tomorrow, in the valedictory function, I shall tell you more about the dos and don'ts that you have to adopt in your activities. I am not interested in seeing this Hall packed to its capacity. I want only quality, not quantity. One teaspoonful of cow's milk is better than barrels of donkey's milk. It is enough if we have a handful of people with noble hearts.
The State Presidents and Trust Conveners should take necessary steps in the right direction, or it is better that they resign. We will ourselves take up the responsibility. The All India President of Sai Organisations should deal firmly with such people. He should relieve them of their responsibilities immediately. I am deeply anguished over the current state of affairs in our Organisation. Though this feeling has been there in Me for quite some time, I have been waiting for a suitable opportunity to express it. Since so many of you from various parts of the world have gathered here today, I felt this is the most opportune time to express My feelings.
Embodiments of Love!
Help ever, hurt never. Eschew evil tendencies. Being members of Sathya Sai Organisations, you should follow the path of truth, which is eternal. Some people pretend to be humble devotees as long as they are within the portals of Prasanthi Nilayam. Once they go out of its precincts, they get back to their old ways. Such evil traits should be burnt to ashes. Develop godly feelings in you. God is ever ready to fulfil your prayer. Never entertain doubts in this regard. God is always in you, with you, around you, above you, and below you. God will never be away from you. So, develop faith in God.
Embodiments of Love!
I have spoken to you in this manner only out of My immense love for you. Understand what has been conveyed to you and explain to your fellow devotees. Devotion has to be cultivated in a silent and sincere manner. Do not spoil your lives by resorting to untruthful ways. Sathyam bruyath (speak the truth). Truth is God. Hence, lead a truthful life and ultimately merge in truth.
Tomorrow, bring to Me all your doubts and I shall clarify them. First of all, keep away from bad company. I am not asking you to work for My sake. I do not want anything for Myself from you. I do all My work Myself. I do not seek others' help. If only I Will it, the whole world will help Me. So, you help yourself, serve the society and mould your lives into ideal ones.
Here Swami sang the bhajan, "Hari bhajan bina" and continued His discourse.
Embodiments of Love!
For the last four days, many devotees are very much worried that Swami is suffering because of the pain He has taken upon Himself. Understand that Swami has no pain at all, because He has taken it upon Himself out of His love. How can I have pain when I have alleviated the suffering of My devotee? However, there are certain rules and regulations to be observed in this regard. I have taken it from somebody. Hence, I have to put up with this for as many days as the person would suffer in the normal course. I have no difficulty whatsoever. If I were really suffering due to pain, would it be possible for Me to speak to you at this length? I have no suffering, it has dissolved in My love. All should be happy, blissful, and comfortable. This is what I desire. Do not be worried over this matter. I have no suffering. In fact, I am ready to accept all your sufferings. Be happy always.