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Date: 2 July 2004 Occasion: Guru Purnima Place: Prasanthi Nilayam

The Form of God is Love
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Forbearance is the real beauty in this sacred land of Bharat.
Of all the rituals, adherence to truth is the greatest penance.
The most nectarous feeling in this country is the feeling of
      love toward one's mother. (Telugu Poem)

Embodiments of Love!

In this sacred land of Bharat (India), forbearance is the real beauty. The modern man has no idea of what forbearance is. He is not able to realise that forbearance is the real beauty in this sacred land. One bereft of forbearance is no human being at all. We should have sympathy and forbearance toward the poor and the physically challenged. But modern man shows disgust toward such unfortunate people. In fact, sahana (tolerance) is the most valuable and sacred mantra of the Bharatiyas (Indians). But man, out of his ignorance, has given up such a sacred mantra and is carried away by yantra and tantra.

The foremost quality expected of a devotee is forbearance. What is bhakti (devotion)? Several people are under the mistaken notion that worshipping some idols, observing certain vows and performing some rituals is bhakti. It is not as simple as that. The foremost duty of a devotee, especially of the Bharatiya, is observing the quality of forbearance in practice.

Adherence to truth is the real thapas (penance). Man, today, has forgotten this principle. Forbearance is a quality that inspires people to undertake noble deeds. This noble quality is to be taught to others as well, to enable them to imbibe it.

The nectarine feeling in this country is the feeling of love toward one's mother. Today, people overlook the most important duty to look upon every woman as one's own mother. There is nothing greater and sweeter than this motherly love in the world. One who has cultivated such noble feeling is most fortunate. It is not a quality that can be purchased or hired. This motherly feeling flows from the natural love that one has for one's own mother. The people of Bharat are forsaking such noble qualities and are trying to imitate and cultivate alien cultures and traditions today. In fact, they are running after alien culture with excessive enthusiasm, treating it as their very life breath.

Embodiments of Love!

You cannot find anything more sacred than love in the world. Today, you will find worldly and physical love everywhere. But, it is very difficult to find love suffused with Atmic bliss.

Embodiments of Love!

Love is not merely that which exists between two individuals at the physical level. True love is that which exists between two hearts. Bharatiyas today are neglecting such sacred and noble love. It is only the love toward God that has sustained and protected the people in this sacred land of Bharat since ancient times, just as the eye lid protects the eye. This divine love permeates the entire universe. Wherever you look, it is present. There is nothing in the world, except divine love. All other types of love are only mere passing infatuation. Real love emerges from the depth of one's heart. Cultivating such divine love and sharing it with others is most pleasing to Me. Today, you find worldly and physical love for achieving selfish ends everywhere. But, you cannot call it real love. Real love, which is sacred, divine, and selfless, has to spring from one's heart.

Embodiments of Love!

Cultivate and strengthen such divine love. When you cultivate such love, you will not be lacking in anything. It is only when you cultivate such noble love that you will be entitled to be called "Embodiments of love". God is omnipresent. Who is God? In fact, you are verily God. You must strive to attain that state. Though God is present everywhere, you should not forget the divinity immanent in you. Some people think that God exists separately in some distant place.

Prahlada, the child devotee of Lord Vishnu declared:

Never doubt that God is here and not there.
Wherever you search for Him,
He is there. (Telugu Poem)

This is the real culture of Bharat, which we are not able to perceive today. Everyone chants the name of God. But, where is God? In fact, you yourself are God. You and God are not separate. Man forgets the divinity latent in him and runs after trivial and mundane things.

Embodiments of Love!

Under all circumstances, do not give up love. Love is your greatest treasure. One who forgets this treasure is not a human being at all!

We love our father, mother, brothers, sisters, etc. All these relationships are but mere roles in the Divine Drama. You must try to apprehend true love. In fact, it is always in us. You need not search for it outside.

Unfortunately, today we are going after things that are not real and permanent. (Showing a flower) What is this? This is a flower. Everybody says so. But, the truth is, it is a manifestation of Divinity. There are several petals in it, which represent Divinity. If the petals are taken out one by one, it cannot be called a flower. Similarly, if there is no love in a human being, the human being cannot be called an "Embodiment of love".

The source and sustenance for the entire universe is love. This quality of love takes different shapes in different individuals, say between father, mother, brothers and sisters, but you refer to it all as love. All these individuals together constitute a family. It is not enough if you limit your love to the family members. The entire universe must live like a family. Whomever you see, offer your pranams (salutations). Say "Om Namaskar! Namaskar!" Can you come across a nobler feeling than this?

All the forms you come across in this world are embodiments of Divinity. There is nothing in this universe that is not divine. You consider the different objects in the universe as mere objects. No! No! Consider them as "Embodiments of Divinity". Unfortunately, today we have become foolish and are searching for God in some distant corner. Wherever you see, there is God. Therefore, it is the noblest feeling to consider everything in the universe as "Embodiments of Divinity". The universe is but a form of God! God is manifest in all forms. Consider such an omnipresent divinity as God. Do not give credence to the outward form of any object, but firmly believe in the divine power that is immanent in that object. We are not experiencing anything other than Divinity in our day-to-day activities. For example, we are thirsty. Thirst is a fire manifest as divinity. We quench our thirst by drinking water, which is another manifestation of the divine.

Thus all five elements in the universe, the five senses, five sheaths, and the five vital breaths in the body are all manifestations of divinity. Today, we are misusing our senses. This is an act of grave sin. All the senses are pure, sacred, and selfless. The senses have no distinction of caste, creed, religion, nationality, etc. Keeping such noble qualities in our own self, we are searching for Divinity in the outside world. What a great pity! What do you think the human values are? They are nothing but divine qualities. God has no attributes separately. Divinity itself is the sole attribute. We are deluded to see the attributeless Divinity as God with attributes.

Embodiments of Love!

Whatever I speak, it is only love. I do not know any other word. There is no other quality greater than love. Hence, we have to love that quality of love, which is God.

The different ways by which we describe God such as Nirgunam, Niranjanam, Sanathana Niketanam, Nitya, Shuddha, Buddha, Mukta, Nirmala Swarupinam (God is attributeless, pure, final abode, eternal, unsullied, enlightened, free and embodiment of sacredness) are only for our satisfaction. They cannot, however, describe God in full. In fact, God is beyond description. The only word by which we can describe God is "love". Nothing better can describe Him.

Embodiments of Love!

You are all the "Embodiments of love". Your form is love. God's form is also love.

I am very much distressed to see those physically challenged children seated on the tricycles. They are, in fact, "Embodiments of Divinity". To look down upon those divine children with contempt is a great sin. In fact, there are no lowly people in the world at all! That low thinking is in us only. It cannot be attributed to God. God has only one attribute, which is love. That is His form.

When someone converses with Me lovingly, My joy knows no bounds. If people employ empty rhetoric without love to describe My qualities, I am not at all pleased or impressed. Talk to Me with a loving heart. Pray to Me with a love-filled heart. Whatever you pray for with a loving heart, I will readily respond. You call Me "Sai" with love; I will readily respond saying "Oyi". Any amount of prayer devoid of love cannot move Me. If you call Me with love, I will respond immediately, wherever I am. There is nothing greater than love. Therefore, if you wish to have the darshan of God and experience Him, pray to Him lovingly. You may have any amount of wealth and virtues, but they are no match to the quality of love. The sweetness inherent in the word prema (Divine Love) is not to be found anywhere else in the world. The more you cultivate and practise it, the sweeter will be your personality. Therefore, cultivate love as the foremost quality in you.

Love is your sole refuge wherever you may be,
in a forest, in the sky, in a city or a village,
on the top of a mountain or in the middle of deep sea.
(Telugu Poem)

Love is not confined to any particular place or residence; it is universal. Therefore, cultivate such universal love. Such a universal love cannot be purchased with any amount of money. It can only be attained with a heart filled with intense love. Man has, therefore, to cultivate such pure and selfless love. In order to cultivate such pure love, bhakti (devotion) is prescribed as a means. Bhakti is not somewhere in some distant corner. prema (love) is bhakti (devotion). Devotion without love is deep ocean. And how is that ocean? It is full of salt water, whereas devotion with love is like sweet water. Love is a nectarous feeling. Love is verily bliss. Love is a wonderful feeling. It is unfathomable. Therefore, such a nectarous, sweet, blissful and unfathomable love, you should never give up.

Embodiments of Love!

Instead of making hollow claims of bhakti, keep prema as your goal to be attained. There is nothing greater than this sadhana (spiritual practice). There is nothing that can liberate you easily than pure and selfless love. There are four words: mukti (liberation), bhakti (devotion), rakti (attachment) and anurakti (attachment or love toward God). But, love is the undercurrent in all these things. On this auspicious occasion of Guru Purnima, love is the most valuable gift I hand over to you. This is my most precious gift to you. Devoid of love, whatever other gifts I may give, they will be of no use. My love is pure, sacred and most precious. You also cultivate such love.

Bhagavan concluded His Discourse with the bhajan, "Prema Mudita Manase Kaho"/