|Date: 14 Jan 2003||Occasion: Sankranthi||Place: Prasanthi Nilayam|
The sun appears serene and peaceful.
The days have become shorter.
And the chill wind is blowing.
The fields are ripe with golden crops.
Marigold flowers are blossoming like garlands on the banks of rivers.
The farmers are rejoicing and singing.
The sweet festival of Sankranti has arrived,
filling our homes with the newly harvested grain.
The festival of Sankranti has arrived in all its beauty and splendour. The sports and cultural activities of our students --boys and girls-- have added grandeur and bliss to the festivity. This day is no ordinary day. It marks the beginning of the sacred Uttarayana (summer solstice). It confers on us plenty and prosperity and helps us to develop virtues and undertake sacred activities. In addition, this day happens to be the auspicious one of Mukkoti Ekadasi also. That is, the day on which the devas (gods) and asuras (demons) obtained the pot of divine ambrosia (amrita kalasa) after churning the ocean of milk.
Since man has filled his heart with worldly thoughts and feelings, he is not able to put into practice his innate divine qualities. Hiranyaksha, Hiranyakasipu, Duryodhana, and Kamsa were by no means ordinary. Though they were very strong in their body and mind, they became weak as they were immersed in worldly feelings. Man can conquer the entire world when his thoughts are noble. Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakasipu were great scientists. Hiranyakasipu could reach not only the moon but even the sun. In spite of all his power, he became weak because he was full of worldly feelings. Every individual is endowed with mighty power and intelligence. But one should not fill his heart with worldly feelings. Young men and women of today are the future leaders of the world. The prosperity of the nation depends on its youth. Hence, youth should develop virtues, noble thoughts and sterling character. One who has filled his heart with noble thoughts can accomplish any great task.
Students - Boys and Girls!
You have participated in the sports and cultural activities with all enthusiasm and gave joy to one and all. Virtues are of paramount importance to youth. Today, students are able to excel in various fields. But they are not making any effort to understand the fundamental principle by knowing which they would have known everything. In every man there are noble feelings springing forth from within. Every man is endowed with a mind which is most powerful. Such a mighty power is not present in any other kind of being. The mind is but a bundle of thoughts. One who has conquered the mind can achieve any mighty task. There is no power greater than the mind. Manah eva manushyanam karanam bandhamokshayoh (mind is responsible for both bondage and liberation of man). But today, man is unable to conquer the mind. Consequently, bliss eludes him.
Students - Boys and Girls!
You have to achieve purity of mind in the first instance. The Sports and Cultural Meet has come to an end. You should not consider sports as mere worldly and physical activities. They teach you many moral and spiritual principles. A true student is one who achieves excellence in the moral, social, and spiritual fields. One should not strive for physical strength and happiness only. One should strive hard for the control of the mind. One who becomes a slave to his mind is bound to become weak, however powerful one may be. So, you should make the mind your slave. The power of mind is matchless. It is from the mind that the most precious virtues originate. If wealth is lost, it can be earned again. If health is lost, it can be restored with the help of an efficient doctor. But if human values are lost, human life becomes a waste. Human values are the need of the hour. They cannot be acquired solely from sacred texts nor can they be passed on by learned preceptors. They originate from within. When we develop noble thoughts and follow the path of truth in our daily life, human values will blossom in us and protect us under all circumstances.
Embodiments of Love!
More than the worldly education, you should strive to uphold human values, for, all powers are latent in them. Truth is God. Righteousness is the very foundation of life. That is why the culture of Bharat (India) declared, Sathyaannasti paro dharma (there is no dharma greater than adherence to truth). Hence, you should be prepared to sacrifice your life to uphold these twin principles of truth and righteousness. You should not crave for worldly bahu mathi (prize). Man is facing a lot of hardship, as he is unable to control the one mathi (mind) he is endowed with. What will be his plight if he has bahu mathi (many minds)? He will become worse than a monkey. What you should aspire to attain is nija mathi (true mind), not bahumathi. Nija mathi is the pavitra sukti (sacred message) that originates in your heart. Mind is the source of all types of powers. Hence, you should make friendship with the mind. Once the mind becomes your friend, it redeems your life.
The culture of Bharat has prescribed nine paths of devotion: sravanam (listening), kirtanam (singing), Vishnusmaranam (contemplating on Vishnu), Padasevanam (serving His Lotus Feet), vandanam (salutation), archanam (worship), dasyam (servitude), sneham (friendship), and Atmanivedanam (Self-surrender). Self-surrender is possible only after developing friendship with God. Friendship leads to Self-surrender. So long as you do not develop friendship, all your talk of self-surrender cannot be translated into action. More than the action, God sees the feeling behind it. Hence, you should foster noble feelings.
Wherever you are, develop divine feelings and a steady mind. Sarvam Vishnumayam jagat (Divinity pervades the entire universe), Sarvam khalvidam Brahma (verily all this is Brahman). God is not confined to a particular place. He is with you, in you, around you. Just as the eyelid protects the eye, He protects you always. How is it that you have lost faith in such divine power? Having attained human birth, you are supposed to develop human values. On the contrary, you have lost them. Consequently, you have become weak in body and mind. You may secure high marks in your examinations. At the same time, you should also take care that you do not get any adverse remarks. Today students are going abroad in pursuit of education and wealth. One can acquire the true wealth of values only when one searches the recesses of one's heart. True wealth and prosperity are present in our heart and not outside. Hence, students should turn their mind inward and develop values. Only then will they have the strength and capacity to emancipate the nation.
For the past one week, I have been observing the enormous amount of hard work you have put in to make this Sports Meet a grand success. You strove hard, even forgoing your food and sleep. Here, people have to understand the difference in the sports activities of our students and the students elsewhere. The students outside have only one goal in their mind, i.e. to win a prize or a medal, whereas our students only aim is to please Swami. How can you please Swami? First of all, you have to develop virtues. You should have unwavering mind and a steady vision. You should have firm faith that God is all-pervasive. With faith in God, any mighty task can be accomplished.
Where there is faith, there is love;
Where there is love, there is truth;
Where there is truth, there is peace;
Where there is peace, there is bliss;
Where there is bliss, there is God.
Faith is the seed and bliss is the fruit. When a seed is sown, it gradually grows into a huge tree and yields flowers and fruits. In the same manner, when man sows the seed of a sacred thought in the field of his heart, it grows into a gigantic tree of spiritual power and confers the fruits of peace and bliss. Everyone aspires for peace. It cannot be acquired from outside. Peace originates from faith within. But modern man does not have strong faith. He just pretends to have faith. Today, there are very few true devotees; most others are merely pretending. When you have steady mind, your faith will also be steady.
If you want to experience eternal bliss, you should have a strong and unwavering faith. People have no idea what faith actually means. They say, we believe in God, we love God, but in reality they do not understand the spirit behind the terms love and faith. True love has righteousness as the undercurrent. It originates from the heart and confers bliss. Love is related to the heart, not to an object or an individual. Love is like the air that wafts around in the firmament of human heart. It is around you and sustains you. This is the nature of true love. The synonym of love is dharma. Love is the main goal of our life. That is our way of life. When you fill your heart with love, you will become all-powerful. Even mighty personalities like Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakasipu will be no match to you. All other powers pale in comparison to the power of love.
The culture of Bharat (India) has laid great emphasis on the principle of love. It demonstrates the underlying unity in diversity. Names and forms may be different but the inherent divinity is only one. Man is the repository of all powers. He is one of courage, valour, and majesty (dheera, veera, and gambhira). Hanuman is extolled as santhudu, gunavantudu, and balavantudu (one of peace, virtue, and strength). The divine name of Rama was the basis for all his accomplishments. He could cross the mighty ocean because of his love and faith toward Rama.
Today is also the most auspicious day of Mukkoti Ekadasi. It is also called as Vaikuntha
Ekadasi. The great warrior of Mahabharata war, Bhishma laid down his arms after fighting a heroic
battle and lay on the bed of arrows for 56 days. His body was pierced all over with arrows. As he
lay on the bed of arrows, his body rested on the arrows, but his head was sagging down for want of
support. Meanwhile, the Pandavas along with Droupadi went there to see Bhishma. They were
greatly moved on seeing the condition of Bhishma.
Bhishma said, "I have done my duty in the
Kurukshetra war. The body is given to us to protect truth and righteousness. It is dedicated for the
welfare of the country. Of what use is it if we do not perform our duty? I have done my duty and I
do not regret for the present condition of my body. But, Oh! Arjuna! The arrows shot by you during
the war struck only my body. They, however, did not affect my head. Hence, as I lay on this bed of
arrows, my head is without a support and is hanging. You gave me a bed, but without a pillow. Please
provide a pillow also for me, so that I can comfortably lie down on this bed of arrows."
Arjuna was deeply moved by Bhishma's words. His heart melted. He enquired
from Bhishma what he should do to provide comfort to him. Bhishma requested
Arjuna to shoot two arrows into the earth into an X position and then place
his head on them. Arjuna did accordingly. Thereafter, Bhishma further requested
Arjuna, "Oh! Arjuna! I am the son of Ganga. I, therefore, acquired the name
of 'Gangeya'. I am now in the last moment of my life's journey. Please, therefore,
provide the Ganga water and help me to merge in my mother, Ganga."
Arjuna was a great warrior and all-powerful.
He earned many titles: Arjuna (the pure one), Phalguna (the one born under the star Phalguna),
Paarthah (scion of the Prithu clan), Kireeti (crowned one), Swetavaahanah (rider of a milk-white
horse), Beebhatsu (eliminator of disgust), Vijayah (embodiment of victory), Krishnah (swarthy
one), Savyasaachi (ambidextrous), Dhananjayah (winner of wealth). He shot an arrow into the
earth. Immediately, water gushed forth from the earth like a spring and fell into the mouth of
Bhishma was very happy that Arjuna could fulfil his last desire. He expressed his gratitude
thus: "Oh! Arjuna! There are several people in this world who help others in different ways. But
there is none to help one to return to his mother. Today, you helped me to reach my mother. You
provided great joy to me with the help of your dhanus (bow)." So saying, he blessed the Pandavas
that they would win the Mahabharata war.
Thus, if you wish to earn the blessings of elders, you must provide comfort and solace to them and win their hearts.
In the Sports and Cultural Meet held two days ago, our students participated in several sports and games and displayed their talent to please Swami. But this happiness and satisfaction must not be limited to sports. It should pervade every aspect of your life. Your entire life must run smoothly and happily.
Nityanandam, Parama Sukhadam, Kevalam Jnanamurtim,
Dwandwateetam, Gagana Sadrisham, Tattwamasyadi Lakshyam,
Ekam, Nityam, Vimalam, Achalam, Sarvadhee Sakshibhutam,
(God is the embodiment of eternal bliss, He is wisdom absolute,
the One without a second, beyond the pair of opposites,
expansive and pervasive like the sky,
goal indicated by the Mahavakya Tattwamasi (I am That), the eternal, pure, unchanging,
the witness of all functions of the intellect,
beyond all mental conditions and the three gunas (qualities)
of sattwa (purity), rajas (passion), and thamas (inertia, laziness)).
Every human being must lead a life full of joy. We have the body. We are performing several chores with the help of this body. But, that is not of much importance. There is a great Atmic principle in this body. We must strive to realise that principle. Every human being has a mind. But today, that mind is polluted. Wherever you see, pollution and pollution. The food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, and finally our behaviour itself --everything is polluted. Therefore, ensure that your mind is not polluted by bad thoughts. You must always have a positive mind, not a negative mind. You may undertake a great task, but it cannot succeed if it is undertaken with a negative mind. You must always have a positive mind to experience happiness. You should also share that happiness with others. That is the real nature of a human being. A human being is also called "manava". What is its underlying meaning? It means: he who conducts himself with peace and joy, without doing injustice to others. You must cultivate such noble feelings, free from pollution.
You have acquired great academic qualifications. Some of you have acquired more than two postgraduate degrees. This is really a great effort. But it is not enough. You must also acquire the degree of "amruta puthra" (son of immortality), since the Upanishads exhort Srunvanthu viswe amrutasya puthrah (Oh! The sons of immortality, listen!). The degree of "amruta puthra" is the real degree one has to acquire. We should not hanker after trivial titles.
Embodiments of Love!
Fill your hearts with love. Undertake divine activities. This is the type of education you have to pursue. No doubt, worldly education is also necessary. But, true education is that which teaches unity among all human beings. The main principle of Indian culture is to seek unity in diversity. It is not to divide unity into diversity. That is true culture. What is culture? It is not related to any particular religion. It is purely related to the heart. It is not a caste or a faith. It is fully associated with divinity.
Embodiments of Love!
You have provided great happiness to one and all with your display of talents in various events of sports and games. Keep up this happiness throughout your life. True love lies in realising the Ekatma Bhava. That is the real love which does not change with the passage of time. It is eternal. No doubt, you love Swami with all your heart. But that love should not be a fleeting love. You must always develop the feeling, "I belong to Swami and Swami belongs to me." Only then you will achieve oneness with Swami. That is the real sadhana (spiritual exercise). That is the true path.
The creation emerges from truth and merges into truth,
Is there a place where truth does not exist?
Visualise such pure and unsullied truth.
It is said, "Truth is God." You may belong to any country or religion, but truth is the same for one and all. There is nothing like American truth, Pakistan truth, etc. Truth is truth.
Embodiments of Love!
Lead a life full of truth. Lead the life of an eternal being. Lead an ideal life, which is an example to others to emulate. An education that teaches such a sadhana (spiritual exercise) is the true education. It is not to transform your brain into a book shelf. True happiness lies in your own heart. Realise it.
Embodiments of Love!
Wherever you are, in whatever circumstances you are placed in, do not ever forget God.
Sarvada sarva kaleshu sarvatra Hari chintanam (Everywhere, at all times, under all circumstances
contemplate on God). Devoid of God, you will become devils verily. You must live like embodiments of
Divine Atma, not devils.
The Upanishads declare, Srunvanthu viswe amrutasya puthrah (Oh! The sons of
immortality, listen!). You are "amruta puthras" (sons of immortality).
Live up to that name. Only then your life will
become fruitful and sanctified.
Whatever activity you undertake, dedicate it to God. All the powers in your body are the gifts of God. In fact, divinity pervades every inch, every cell and every atom of your body. If you waste such a divine power, it amounts to sacrilege. Dedicate your body, mind, and intellect, in fact, everything of yours, to God. The games you play should not be limited to one day. In fact, Life is a game; play it. Unity is divinity. Whatever you do, whatever you speak, whatever you think --in every aspect of your lif-- that unity must reflect. That is the true culture of the Bharatiyas (Indians). The essence of Bharatiya culture is: Sathyam vada, dharmam chara (speak truth, practise righteousness). I exhort you to cultivate these two principles throughout your life. With blessings, I conclude My discourse.
Bhagawan concluded His discourse with the bhajan, "Hari bhajana bina sukha santhi nahi".