Ugadi is the new year according to the Hindu lunar calendar (based on the position of the moon) and generally is in March or April, marking the first day of the month of Chaitra. This day is celebrated by cleaning homes, wearing new clothes, decorating homes with mango leaves and coconuts, and offering prayers to the family deity. Following are excerpts from a discourse given by Sathya Sai Baba on Ugadi day April 7, 1997:
Develop Good Thoughts and Do Good Deeds
We are celebrating this day as New Year Day. The new year is called Eashwara, which means one who is endowed with all forms of wealth. People greet the new year as if it is going to confer on them some new benefits. The good or evil, the gains or losses, the renown or infamy experienced by people are not the outcome of the passage of years. They are the consequences of their own actions. Samvathsara (the year) is one of the names of God. Because God is associated with time. He is also known as Kaalaathmaka (Time-spirit). Hence, we should not consider the Lord, who is the spirit of time, as likely to cause good or ill to us. Our actions, good or bad, bear fruits, according to their nature. There is no need to wait for a new year to bring new tidings. Every moment is new. Many are wondering what troubles and losses the new year will bring. For all our troubles and difficulties, the year is not responsible. Our conduct alone is responsible. If our actions are good the results will be good. Bad actions will lead to bad consequences. People think that good and bad are related to bad time. Not at all. Their thoughts are the cause. Hence, they should develop good thoughts and do good deeds. They should cherish good feelings and associate with good persons. People should realise the preciousness of time. Most of the time available is wasted by people. This is utterly wrong. Time should be used always for right purposes. That is the foremost duty of every man. Waste of time is waste of life. The Lord of Time protects those who take refuge in Him, even against the Lord of death. Kaala, Time, takes its revenge on those who misuse it. A nation's prosperity is dependent on how people make use of their time in the performance of good actions.
Lack of unity is the cause for present situation
Bharatiya (Indian) culture is based on two fundamental principles- "Speak the truth. Follow righteousness." The heart is the seer of righteousness. It should be filled with compassion. As the in-dweller in the heart is the same in all beings, people should cultivate the spirit of unity. Shivaraj Patil in his speech earlier pleaded for unity among the people. He also urged that in addition to unity and purity, there should be love. When unity, purity and love come together, oneness is experienced. What is the situation today? Where is unity to be seen? Today,nation is divided against nation. There are conflicts between states and within them. There are disputes over borders between states. When there are interstate disputes, how can there be unity in the nation as a whole? All are brothers; all belong to the human fraternity. There should be unity among all the people. All should strive to promote the reputation of the nation. No one can claim any right to a particular state. All have equal rights.
"The one Spirit is the Indweller in all beings." If this truth is recognised there will be no room for conflicts. Selfishness is at the root of all conflicts in the world. All are human beings. The caste of humanity. The religion of Love. The language of the heart. This unifying truth should be recognised. Everyone is constituted of the same five basic elements. Why, then, there should be differences between them?
Render Benefit to Society
All claim to be devotees. But if they are real devotees, why should there be differences amongst them? What is the source of these differences? What is the cause of envy? The truth is that people merely call themselves devotees. It is a delusion. They should examine whether they have the qualities of devotees. Everyone seeks to know what good he can derive from other individuals or from society. No one asks himself what good or benefit society derives from him. Start with rendering benefit to society. Everyone goes about trying to see what he can get from society. Today, thanks to the influence of the Kali Age, two kinds of diseases have grown. One is the insatiable thirst for wealth. In every city there is a mad rush for making money. Everyone is caught up in this craze for money. No doubt money is necessary, but only up to a limit to meet one's needs. Owing to excessive desire people lose all sense of proportion. Men turn into demons in the pursuit of wealth. It may be asked whether at least they make good use of their immense wealth. No, ultimately, the money may fall in the hands of robbers or others. What you get from society, give it back to society. That is the primary value to be cherished by every- one. The second malady is the thirst for power. The thirst for power and position is unquenchable. Afflicted with these two maladies man is converting the whole world into a madhouse.
Do Your Duty Sincerely
The desire for wealth and power is not wrong as such. Bur wealth and power should be used for right ends. Whatever position you occupy, see that it is used worthily. A cobbler stitching shoes is pursuing as worthily an occupation as a Prime Minister governing the country. Therefore, everyone has to do his duty properly. There is no high or low in these matters. To each person, his occupation is a matter of pride. Hence, do your duty sincerely. Everyone should be filled with this feeling. He should see that he does his job well without any lapse or defect. When everyone does his duty in this spirit the well-being of the whole world will be automatically ensured. People proclaim that they desire the well-being of one and all in the world, but they do nothing to promote it. They are concerned only about their own well-being. This is not the right attitude at all. This year goes by the name Eashwara. At least in this year everyone should cultivate the Eashwarabhaava (godly feeling) and live amicably with each other. Every-one should be filled with the feeling that the divine dwells in his heart--that the heart is divinity itself--that mind should be filled with godly thoughts as it symbolizes Vishnu. No mean thoughts should be allowed to enter the mind. The mind should not be allowed to go astray.
Service to Society is Service to God
The devotees are going from one ashram to another. Of what avail is it? The divine resides in your heart. Seek Him within you. God is omnipresent. God is in every one of you. All of you are divine. Do not harm anyone. Develop such qualities. Sage Vyaasa's ultimate advice was: "Help Ever; Hurt Never." It is disingenuous on the part of people to plead that in their busy preoccupations they have no time to think of God. Persons who waste their time watching TV or playing cards in clubs cannot pretend that they cannot spare a few moments for God. Make proper use of time. Time is Divine. Dedicate every activity to God. Seek to serve society and your fellow-beings. There is no need to worship inanimate idols and then ignore the needs of living beings around them. What kind of worship is it which ignores the needs of fellow human beings? God comes in human form. Human beings are divine.
God is the Only Constant Companion
While one is alive, one should engage himself in good deeds and lead a sacred and meaningful life. All relationships are confined to the living. God alone is the only unfailing kinsman throughout life and beyond it. He is the only constant companion wherever you may be. Realise that life is impermanent. Only your good deeds will protect you. Peace, truth and virtue have to be acquired only through your actions. Achieve proximity to God and then become one with God.
Pray for God's Love and Bliss
This is the New Year Day. Its name, Eashwara, holds the promise of all prosperity in the coming months. It is also associated with the heart which is the abode of the Eashwara (Divine). From today try to cleanse the heart of whatever impurities there may be in it. How is this to be done? First by meditating on God. Second, by service to society. By these two alone is purity of the heart achieved. If you secure the love of God, you can secure anything. There is love in you. Use it to win the love of God. Embodiments of love! Many pray to God all over the world. They pray for the realisation of worldly desires of one kind or another. This is not the right kind of prayer. You should pray to God for the grace of His love. That love is everlasting. It is infinite. God has another attribute. He is the embodiment of bliss. He is Sat-Chit-Ananda (Being-Awareness-Bliss). Pray to God to confer that bliss on you. God's bliss is boundless and everlasting. All mundane pleasures are transient and ephemeral. Only he is a true devotee who prays to God for His love and bliss. One who prays for other trivial things is no devotee at all. Worldly benefits come and go. They are not the things for which you should pray. Seek what is eternal. Pray for God's love and bliss. Seek to realise your divinity. Then you will experience the divine in the entire cosmos. You will experience the bliss that fills the universe. When you see the world with the eye of divine bliss, you will find bliss everywhere. If there is hatred in your vision, you will see hatred everywhere. Hence, change your vision. Look at the world with the vision of peace, love and compassion. Then the whole world will appear loving and peaceful. When your heart is filled with love, you will experience the divine in the entire cosmos. See the divine in everyone. Eschew hatred and ill-will. After years of devotion, many still lack a broad outlook and an all-encompassing love. Embodiments of love. Promote love in your hearts incessantly---the love that is immortal and infinite.
Sathya Sai Speaks Vol. 30, April 7, 1997