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Date: 25 Dec 2004 Occasion: Christmas Place: Prasanthi Nilayam

Love and sincere prayers bring success in your life
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

How is it that the sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening
       with utmost regularity every day?
How is it that the stars twinkle beautifully in the sky at night and
       hide themselves during the day?
How is it that the wind blows incessantly and sustains the living
       beings without taking rest even for a moment?
How is it that the rivers flow perennially making gurgling sounds?
(Telugu poem)

The word jagat (world) means that which is born, sustained, and ultimately dissolved. God, who is responsible for the creation, sustenance, and dissolution of the world, has no specific form. He pervades the entire world in the form of the five elements, namely, ether, wind, fire, water, and earth. There is no place or person where these five elements are not present. The same truth is proclaimed by the Bhagavad Gita: Sarvatah panipadam Tat sarvathokshi siromukham, sarvatah sruthimalloke sarvamavruthya tishthati (with hands, feet, eyes, head, mouth and ears pervading everything, He permeates the entire universe). There is no place where God does not exist. How can anyone comprehend or explain the principle of such an all-pervasive divinity?

People attribute various names and forms to God. They celebrate the birthdays of their chosen divine forms, worship them, and derive joy thereby. But it is not possible for anyone to fathom fully the nature of divinity. However, no one can afford to ignore this fact. When the child is separated from the womb of the mother, it starts crying. What is the reason for this? The moment you put a drop of honey or milk on its tongue, the child stops crying. From this we can say that everyone is born with hunger and thirst. What type of hunger is that? Is it worldly or spiritual? It is difficult to judge who is born with what type of hunger. However, hunger is common for all. Food is essential to satisfy one's hunger. It is the duty of every individual to strive for sustenance for himself and also share it with others.

God has neither birth nor death. He is beyond all names, forms and attributes.

God is eternal without birth or death.
He has no beginning, middle, or end.
He is omnipresent and is the eternal witness.

(Telugu Poem)

How can anyone give a specific name to God, who is all powerful and all-pervasive? The earth absorbs rainwater and supplies it to the crop. As a result, we reap the harvest. Thus, mother earth sustains our life by providing our sustenance. Water is very essential for our survival. One may live without food for a few days, but no one can live without water. Water is the gift of God. It can be acquired only through prayer and not by any other means. People in many places perform worship and offer special prayers to invoke divine grace for water. Pauper or millionaire, everyone must pray to God, for He is the one who gives us food and water. Man cannot create food and water by himself. He does not even know what type of food is essential to lead a healthy life. He should make efforts to understand this.

Whatever God does is for the welfare of the world. You must understand that world is the very form of God. The creator and the creation are not different from each other. One should not worship God for the fulfilment of worldly desires. One should pray to God to attain Him. He showers His grace on the devotee and gives the devotee everything they require. He alone knows what is good for the creation. Everything needed is provided by Him when the time is ripe. Without any overt effort from you, He gives you what you deserve. It is not the quality of a true devotee to feel disappointed and blame God if desires are not fulfilled. It is the duty of devotees to find ways and means to earn divine grace and make efforts to attain Him.

No one can comprehend the ways of God. In this context, Saint Thyagaraja sang a verse:

Not even a blade of grass will move without divine Will.
Right from an ant to Brahman, God pervades everything,
Some people do not understand this and take pride in their intelligence.
But no one, however mighty, knows what is going to happen in the next moment.

(Telugu poem)

Nobody can understand or explain divine plans. God alone knows His plans, and only He can reveal them. No one can predict when God will shower His grace on an individual. Only God knows the answers to the questions like who, when, where, why, and how. If one forgets God and gets carried away by ego and a sense of doership, one will not meet with success in one's endeavours. Anything can be achieved through prayer. There is nothing greater than prayer. Hence, everyone must necessarily offer their prayers to God. However, one should not pray for worldly gains. "Oh God! I want your love and nothing else." This should be your constant prayer. Once you become the recipient of God's love, you can conquer the entire world.

You may undertake any task, but do not pray to God for the fulfilment of the task undertaken. Instead, leave everything to His Will. Have full faith that He will do what is good for you. Pray to Him, "Oh God, please take care of our needs every moment of our life." When you discharge your duties surrendering everything to God's Will, you will certainly achieve success in your tasks. But Swami's Will takes shape without any prompting or planning at the appropriate time. Whatever Swami requires arrives unasked.

However, Swami would like to make one more thing clear. As things come to us unasked, we utilise them for the benefit of others, too. Swami does not want anything at all! Swami's only purpose is that, having come here, you should make best use of this opportunity and lead your lives in a happy and sacred manner. You need not give anything for Myself. Swami is always ready to fufil your desires. But before you express your desire, you should enquire yourself whether you really deserve it.

Any mighty task can be accomplished by prayer. Hence, pray to God silently. Do not pray for the fulfilment of your petty desires. Give up all desires and pray to God wholeheartedly with love. You will certainly find fulfilment in life. You can understand and experience divinity only through love. Some people complain, "Swami, God is not coming to our rescue in spite of our incessant prayers." I tell them, "The mistake lies in your prayer and not in God." If your prayers are sincere, they will certainly be answered. There is nothing that God cannot accomplish.

The stories of the Lord are most wonderful and sacred in all the three worlds.
They are like sickles that cut the creepers of worldly bondage.
They are most ennobling and elevating.
They confer bliss on the sages and seers doing penance in forests.

(Telugu poem)

Today, we are celebrating the sacred festival of Christmas. We should celebrate it in the true spirit without entertaining petty desires. Jesus was the son of God. While he was being crucified, he said, "Oh father, let thy Will be done."

When you surrender yourself to God's Will, he will take care of you. Do not develop superiority complex. Give up ego and pomp. Pray silently and sincerely. If your prayers are not answered, you can certainly question Me. God is not confined to a place somewhere in a distant corner. He always resides in your heart. He can accomplish anything. He is ever ready to perform any task, be it big or small for the sake of His devotees. All are His children. Hence, He will certainly answer our prayers.

Jesus taught, "All are children of God." When you have such firm conviction, you can accomplish any task. You need not go through voluminous books. Fill your heart with love and leave everything to His Will. You will certainly achieve success in your endeavours.

Embodiments of Love!

Love is the quintessence of Swami's discourses. His love is power. There is nothing greater than love. When you develop love, you can face the challenges of life with ease and emerge victorious. God will always be with you, in you, and around you and will take care of you. Any mighty task can be accomplished through prayer. However, your prayers should be sincere. There should be unity of thought, word, and deed. Develop firm faith that Swami is in you and that He always listens to your prayers. If you think that Swami is outside, how will your prayers reach Him?

Embodiments of Love!

It is only love that will help you to achieve success in your life. Hence, develop love. That is the true prayer that God expects from you.

Bhagawan concluded His Discourse with the bhajan, "Prema Mudita Manase Kaho".