|Date: 25 Dec 2002||Occasion: Christmas||Place: Prasanthi Nilayam|
Abandon pride and all endear,
Shed anger and shed all care,
Restraint on hankering is the way to wealth,
Shunning greed is the royal road to joy.
Embodiments of Love!
In this world every object has got five aspects, namely, sath, chith, ananda, rupa, and nama (being, awareness, bliss, form, and name). Being, awareness, and bliss are the three permanent attributes of every jiva (individual). Name and form are transitory. Man has forgotten his true Self and is leading his life believing the name and form to be real and the ephemeral world to be eternal. God is beyond all attributes and feelings. It is rather strange that man attributes qualities and feelings to Him. It is most essential for every individual to know the infinite love, truth, and compassion of God. Though man is essentially divine, he is conducting himself like a demon as he has forgotten his innate divinity. Every man is endowed with the qualities of diksha (determination) and dakshata (dexterity). One who makes use of these virtues for noble causes alone is a true human being.
The cosmic power lies in the navel of God. Hence, He is known as Hiranyagarbha. Since He is full of divine effulgence and radiance, He is said to be the very personification of beauty and splendour (soundaryavanthudu and tejomayudu). The life of a human being is the noblest because he is endowed with the principle of Hiranyagarbha. God is also known as Prajapathi because He is the creator of the entire universe. In order to understand the principle of divinity, you have to understand the inner meaning and significance associated with each name of God. God has various names, and each of them has a profound inner meaning. That is why our ancients used to name their children by one or other of the names of God.
Today man is in search of God and is enquiring into the nature of divinity. When God is within, where is the need to search for Him? God is the embodiment of love. Truth is His very swarupa and swabhava (form and innate nature). Sathyannasti paro dharma (there is no dharma greater than adherence to truth). But today, man is unable to understand the meaning of truth. He considers untruth to be truth in order to satisfy his desires. Firstly, man should endeavour to understand his true nature which is sathyam, jnanam, and anantham (truth, knowledge, and infinitude). God has gifted man with the Vedas, Sastras, Puranas, and Itihasas to open his eyes to the truth that he is essentially divine. In this world every man is endowed with truth, righteousness, and love. He is the embodiment of sath, chith, and ananda. These attributes are verily divine. Sath is that which is changeless and eternal. Chith is Chaitanya (awareness). Atma is another term for God. Brahma is its synonym. It is present in every man in the form of Chaitanya. One who understands this principle of Chaitanya alone is a true human being. Sath-chith-ananda and sathyam-jnanam-anantham are different words, but they have the same meaning.
In this world, we find various schools of thought, like atheism, dualism, non-dualism, and qualified non-dualism. The divine name of Kesava is the most important of all. The essence of all philosophies is contained in this. It consists of three syllables, namely, Ka + esa + va, which represent the Divine Trinity of Brahma, Easwara, and Vishnu, respectively. Hence, Kesava symbolises the principles of creation (Brahma), sustenance (Vishnu), and dissolution (Easwara). Man can understand his true Self if he contemplates on the divine name of Kesava and understand its significance.
Our ancient sages undertook deep investigations and enquiry in order to understand Divinity. Ultimately, they declared to the world, Vedahametham purusham mahantham adityavarnam thamasah parasthath (I have visualised the supreme Being who shines with the effulgence of billion suns and who is beyond thamas --the darkness of ignorance). They exhorted man to make efforts to have the vision of Divinity. From then on, man started believing in God. But, with the passage of time, his faith started diminishing. He is subjected to grief because of his disbelief in God.
He who is known as Allah by Muslims,
As Jehovah by Christian aspirants,
As the Lotus-eyed Lord by the worshippers of Vishnu,
As Sambhu, by those who revere Siva,
In whatever way He is worshipped,
He gladly responds,
Grants the grace of fame and fortune,
And showers happiness and joy.
He is the One,
The Supreme Self.
Know Him as Paramatma.
God is one, He has many names. Different religions have come into existence, but all of them lead to the same divinity.
Religions are many, but goal is one
Clothes are many, but yarn is one.
Jewels are many, but gold is one.
Cows are many, but milk is one.
Beings are many, but breath is one.
Castes are many, but humanity is one.
Therefore, if everyone enquires into his true nature, he can experience
Jesus was a noble soul. He declared that he was the son of God, but he never said that he was God. When Jesus was born, three royal wise men from the east were guided by a star to a cowshed in Bethlehem where the baby Jesus lay in a manger. He was radiating divine effulgence. The first of them said, "This child will love God." The second said, "He will be loved by God." The third said, "He will love one and all. He is not different from God." The one who loves God is the messenger of God; the one whom God loves is the son of God; the one who understands the principle of unity becomes one with God. This is the inner meaning of the statements given in the Bible. The one you think you are; the one others think you are, and the one you really are. You should understand the import of these statements.
The child was brought up by mother, Mary, and his father was working as a carpenter. It was the time of a festival in Jerusalem, and the child Jesus was taken there along with his parents. They lost the child in the crowd and could not find him anywhere. Mother Mary naturally was very much worried. Finally, they went to the temple to pray. To their astonishment, they found young Jesus coming out of the temple. All the while, the child had been in the temple, listening to the holy discourse of the Rabbi (Jewish Priest) of the temple. The anxious mother took hold of her child and started asking him several questions as to what he was doing all the while. The child replied, "Mother, why were you afraid? All the while I was in the hands of God. I have been listening to the words of God expounded by the Rabbi in the temple." Thus, the child was God-minded from a very young age.
After some time, father Joseph passed away. Mary told her son, "Now that your father passed away; you should continue your father's profession, so that we may earn our livelihood." But the boy was not inclined to continue in his father's profession. The mother was also not interested to oppose the natural inclinations of young Jesus. One day, young Jesus went to a lonely hill top. The mother was very much worried, nay, depressed due to the absence of her son. Jesus was sitting and meditating on God all the while. After some time, he returned. As he was returning, he ran into a group of worried men on the coast of the sea of Galilee. When young Jesus asked them the cause of their worry, they said that they were fishermen and that for quite some time past, they were not able to catch any fish in their nets. Jesus said, "Follow me; are there any waters that do not have fish?" He took them along with him in their boats to the middle of the sea and asked them to cast their nets at a particular spot. To their utter astonishment and great joy, the fishermen found that their nets were full with fish. This event created a lot of faith in the minds of the fishermen. Therefore, faith is indispensable for humanity.
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.
Jesus could instill such great faith in those people. One of those fisherman was named by Jesus as Peter. He developed intense love and faith toward Jesus. From then on, the fisherman regularly used to take Jesus out on their fishing expeditions, and, after their return in the evening, Jesus used to expound spiritual matters to them. When Peter's father passed away, his mother was filled with sorrow, but Jesus consoled her by telling, "Death is but a dress of life. Wherefore do you shed tears? Death is like changing one's dress. Therefore, stop grieving. These physical bodies come and go. Therefore, do not waste your thought on these ephemeral things. The indweller who lives inside this body is the true divinity."
"The body is made up of five elements and
is bound to perish sooner or later,
but the indweller has neither birth nor death.
He has no attachment whatsoever.
Truly speaking, the indweller is verily God Himself,
who is in the form of the Atma."
In this manner, Jesus preached and instilled confidence in the people around him. Thus, the fishermen community was spending its time happily in the company of Jesus. At that time, one Mathew, who was a tax collector for the Romans, used to visit them on official work and, during his visits, he also used to listen to Jesus and take notes of his teachings. Finally, he became a disciple of Jesus.
After a while, Jesus started facing obstacles and opposition to his preachings. Anyone donning a physical body cannot escape such vicissitudes of life. Without hardships man cannot exist. Death follows birth, and, with the same certainty, misery follows happiness. Sukhadukhe samekruthwa labhalabhau jayajayau (one should remain equal-minded in happiness and sorrow, gain and loss, victory and defeat). Pleasure is an interval between two pains. Human life is for the purpose of investigating the supreme reality and not merely for eating, drinking, and procreation. Every human being must make an effort to know his inner nature and understand his true identity. Jesus was preaching such sacred truth, so he became very popular among his contemporaries. Becoming popular in the world automatically begets jealousy, and envy. Jealousy, pomposity, and egoism are evil traits, which will ultimately lead to ruin. None will pardon people with such traits.
You should not rebuke or ridicule others. Humanness will blossom in man only when he develops equal-mindedness. Today, man is subjected to untold suffering because he lacks human values. That which has the innate capability to burn is called fire. In the same manner, only the one with human values is a human being. One bereft of human values is not a human being at all. You may be highly educated and occupying an exalted position, but if you lack human values, you will be considered inhuman. Hence, drive away evil qualities in the first instance.
Today, the Messengers of Sathya Sai (old students' association of
Anantapur Campus for girls) are celebrating their anniversary. They
should not give scope to evil tendencies like asuya (jealousy), krodha
(anger), and dwesha (hatred). Their members who are working in overseas
countries are leading exemplary lives.
Today, youheard the speeches
made by our former students from Japan and America. Their thoughts and
feelings are noble. Their speech is full of sweetness. The girl from
Japan who spoke earlier is the holder of a Ph.D. degree. They are highly
qualified, yet they conduct themselves with humility and obedience.
Their devotion and surrender is worthy of emulation. What is the use of
high academic qualifications and doctorate degrees if one does not give
up wicked traits like jealousy and carrying tales against others? I
really detest such behaviour.
With love, enthusiasm and sacred feelings,
you have established an organisation in the name of Sathya Sai for doing
service to humanity. No doubt, a lot of good work is being done; but
take care that the noble feelings do not degenerate into ill-feelings. I
do not attach much importance to the work. What is important to Me is
your qualities. Wherever you may be --whether in the forest or in the
sky, whether in the towns or in the villages, you must develop noble
qualities. Jealousy is a very bad quality. For people with jealousy,
life will not go smoothly. Jealousy, in fact, is a living death. Added to
this, if you have another bad quality of carrying tales, you are bound
to suffer. Why do you criticise others? Instead criticise your own bad
qualities. Remove your own ill-feelings and bad thoughts. You should not
attribute bad qualities to others and spread such slander.
In spite of
My repeated advice, there is no transformation in many people. I am
disgusted with their behaviour over the last five-six years. What is the
use of establishing organisations? You have Sathya Sai Seva Samithis and
Bhajan Mandalis. You are undertaking social service, conducting study
circles. But no purpose is served if such service is not backed by love
in the heart. Love is God. Live in love. Instead people are developing
hatred against one another. Such people deserve exemplary punishment,
for others are also getting spoiled on account of such wicked people. I
am prepared to give you anything, even My life, provided you get rid of
your evil qualities.
When you take the name of Sathya Sai, how nobly should the organisation function! How much respect should you command in society! Whoever establishes an organisation in the name of Sathya Sai must adhere to the principle of truth. Functioning under the banner of Sathya Sai, if you deviate from the path of truth, what purpose does it serve? It is only when you cultivate love and tread along the path of truth and morality that the organisation will develop and prosper. Therefore, at least from today, develop the qualities of truth, love, and morality. This is your first and foremost duty. It is not proper to undertake demonic activities in the name of divine organisation.
God is worshipped by several names, such as, Sathya Dharma Parayanaya Namah, Sathya Swarupaya Namah, Prema Swarupaya Namah, etc. There is a lot of meaning in these names. He is the embodiment of love. In fact, human beings themselves are embodiments of divine love. Love is their chief quality. Life has no meaning if you do not cultivate love. Carrying tales against somebody and backbiting are qualities to be condemned. In the past, women were free from evil traits. But now, even women are no exception to these diseases. What a shame! In My opinion, this is a distortion which is the result of modern education.
In spite of his education and intelligence,
a foolish man will not know his true Self and
a mean-minded person will not give up his wicked qualities.
Modern education leads only to argumentation,
not to total wisdom.
What is the use of acquiring worldly education if
it cannot lead you to immortality?
Acquire the knowledge that will make you immortal.
No purpose is served with an education coupled with evil qualities. What is important is not education, but good qualities, character, and conduct.
If you associate yourselves with people with evil propensities, you too will become evil. Tyaja durjana samsargam; bhaja sadhu samagamam; kuru punyam ahorathram (give up bad company; join good company, and perform meritorious deeds day and night). These three principles are most important for a human being. Karna was a great warrior in the Mahabharata. In fact, he even excelled Arjuna in this field. In spite of all this, why did he earn a bad name? It was because of his association with evil-minded people like Duryodhana and Dussasana. At last, he met with a miserable death in the battlefield. None of the great astras (certain weapons) he mastered could come to his rescue. Therefore, all your education will be of little use if your mind is not channeled in the right direction. Hence, Students --Boys and Girls! Cultivate noble qualities. There is no use acquiring wealth without virtues.
Excessive wealth gives rise to ego
which in turn paves way to many wicked qualities.
When wealth leaves you,
ego also evaporates, and
as a result the evil qualities disappear.
Greatness does not lie in acquiring wealth. Cultivation of noble qualities is of paramount importance. Talk less. For the more you indulge in loose talk, the more you are prone to bad qualities. There is no point in joining a service organisation if you do not cultivate virtues and transform your behaviour into a good one. Some people talk sweetly, but in their heart of heart, they are vicious. Such dichotomy will lead you nowhere. You must first develop softness and sweetness in your heart. It is said, Hrid + Daya = Hridaya. Your hridaya (heart) must be full of dhaya (compassion). You deserve to be called a manava (human) only when your heart is filled with love and compassion.
Jesus Christ developed such noble qualities. He gave protection to several poor and destitute people with a loving heart. In fact, several such people sought refuge in him. In the process, he had to face the wrath of several enemies. You should help people even if you have to undergo some difficulties. Never indulge in reviling others, for the same Atma is permeating every living being. If you abuse others, it amounts to abusing your own self. If you do not like them, keep yourself away from them, but never abuse them. Any amount of good work done by you will be of no use, if you do not give up bad qualities. If you cannot do good to others, at least speak good words. You cannot always oblige, but you can speak always obligingly. If you find someone suffering, try to help him. Today it is his turn, but tomorrow it could be yours. Always keep this in mind. Nobody can escape from pain and suffering. Always pray for the welfare of all. It is only in this context, the universal prayer of Loka samasta sukhino bhavantu (May all the people of the world be happy!) is addressed.
Your heart should be transformed into Hiranyagarbha. It is only when you cultivate good feelings, can you become a good person. You need not be a great man, but you should aspire to become a good man. You must earn the love of one and all. One of the prayers addressed to God is Hiranyagarbhaya Namah. God is loved by everybody. He is always happy and blissful. He has no hatred toward anybody. Whatever He does is for your own good. Everyone must cultivate such divine love towards others. Always tread the path of truth and morality. A nation without morality is bound to degenerate and disintegrate. It is not enough if you have patriotism; along with it you should have morality too. Merely giving lectures on morality will not suffice; it must permeate every activity undertaken by you.
Embodiments of Love!
God is not moved simply by sweet words. You must translate those sweet words into action. You may be a great hero in giving lectures on a platform, but if you are a zero in putting them into action, it will be of no use. You must become heroes in practical life. That is what gives Me happiness. Jesus Christ and Mohammad were highly noble. How could they acquire such greatness and goodness? It was only by their good deeds. Therefore, you must acquire goodness along with greatness. In fact, goodness is greater than greatness. Several great souls took birth in this land of Bharat (India). Saint Thyagaraja, in one of his famous kirtans, sang, "Endaro mahanubhavulu, andariki vandanamulu" (there are several great souls, I prostrate before all of them). A great saint Thyagaraja himself, exhibited such humility. He was a great composer too. In one of his kirtans, he described the greatness of God thus:
You are beyond all description and human comprehension.
Is it possible to estimate Your glory and splendour?
I have been waiting for Your grace.
Oh Lord! Listen to my prayer and redeem me.
You are the one who brought back to life the dead son of Your preceptor.
You are the one who suppressed the serpent Kaliya,
freed Vasudeva and Devaki, and saved Droupadi from humiliation.
You fulfilled Kuchela's desires, You made ugly-looking Kubja beautiful.
You protected the Pandavas and saved the 16,000 Gopikas.
You are beyond all description and human comprehension.
Krishna, it is not possible for even Brahma to describe Your glory.
I have been praying for Your grace.
When sublime feelings spring forth from the depths of one's own heart, they express themselves as great devotional poetry.
Embodiments of Love!
Today, you do not find peace anywhere in the world. You see only pieces! In fact, people are breaking their heart into pieces. How then can peace be acquired? There is only one solution to this problem. Love God. Have faith in God. Surrender unto Him. Dedicate your whole life to God and carry on every activity of yours as an offering to Him. Let all your activities be helpful to others. Help ever, hurt never. You cannot say that you are leading a problem-free life. Who knows what is in store for you the next moment! If you wish to be always happy, pray for the welfare of others. This is the real sadhana (spiritual discipline). Spirituality does not mean simply doing bhajans and performing some acts of worship. Cultivate noble qualities. Always be helpful to others and earn a good name. Jesus earned such a good name by sacrificing his body on the cross. You also must be prepared for such a great sacrifice. If you give up thyaga (sacrifice) and indulge in bhoga (sensual pleasures), you will end up with roga (disease). In fact, thyaga is true yoga and bhoga is roga. Do not become a victim of roga. Develop thyaga and achieve yoga (union with God).
Whoever has acquired the quality of love will never be hated by others.
Even the wild animals will not harm you when you have love. The great
rishis (sages) of yore spent their lives peacefully in dense forests amidst wild
animals. The wild animals fought among themselves, but they did not
cause any harm to these rishis. What is the reason? The rishis possessed
one single weapon of love, which protected them from these wild animals.
In fact, these wild animals also used to love these great rishis.
man has to acquire is this great weapon of love. Love alone can protect
us, not atom bomb or hydrogen bomb. Consider My own example. I have one
and only weapon, that is love. Because of this, millions of people from
every nook and corner of the globe gather around Me. Did I ever send any
invitation to you? No. It is only My pure and unsullied love that draws
you here. In fact, My heart itself is a very powerful magnet. Because of
the power of love in that magnet, all these 'iron filings' are attracted
to this place. In order to be attracted by the magnet, the iron should
be free from rust and dust.
Some people think, "Swami calls Himself a powerful magnet, but He is unable to attract us." The fault lies in them only. Their hearts are rusted. They will be attracted by the magnet of Swami's love only when they cleanse their hearts. How can you remove the 'rust and dust' accumulated in the heart? Only by rubbing and polishing it with love. Be they Indians or foreigners, everybody has to purify their heart with love, and that love must be totally selfless. When you cultivate such selfless love, you can attract the whole world. Self is lovelessness and love is selflessness. Therefore, lead a life full of love.
Bhagawan concluded His Discourse with the bhajan, "Prema Mudita Manse Kaho".