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Date: 23 Feb 2006 Occasion: Place: Prasanthi Nilayam

Control of Senses is the Real Sadhana
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba


Embodiments of Love!

My blessings to you all. I am happy that you all have studied here right from the primary school stage up to the 12th standard and obtained good marks and earned good name for yourselves. No doubt, you were all well behaved with good character up to the primary school stage. But after you left the primary school you yourself can imagine what change has come about in you. As long as you were in the primary school, you had developed many good qualities like love, compassion, kindness and joy. You were all moving like brothers, with mutual love and affection. Your speech, your play, your songs were all full of sweetness. But the moment you joined the higher secondary school, the quality of purity in your thoughts, words, and deeds deteriorated. I am not saying that all the boys are like that. It is only a few boys who took to wrong ways and are spoiling their mind. You can judge for yourself how pure your mind is.

Humanness consists of five components: the gross body, mind, intellect, consciousness, and the senses. If a human being is to attain liberation, he has to cleanse his mind first. It is a serious mistake to desire for that which does not belong to them. Whenever the mind desires something, one has to enquire first whether the particular object belongs to one or someone else. When you know for sure that it belongs to someone else, you must be careful to divert your mind from that object. The mind has to be kept absolutely pure and sacred. Do not taint the mind with the impurities of conflict and agitation. You all have to develop such kind of jnana (wisdom) right from this early age.

Unfortunately, today you are all spoiling your life by cultivating desires for all and sundry things. This is madness and delusion. Whatever you do, you must do it with a sense of dedication and surrender to God. All the work you undertake must be carried out with this spirit. Sarva karma Bhagavad preetyartham (do all actions to please God). In fact, what you think to be yours is not yours. First and foremost, enquire into yourself, "Who am I?" The entire universe, right from the microcosm to the macrocosm, is permeated by Divinity. Sugar, sand, an ant, a mosquito or an elephant —all are Embodiments of Divinity. God assumes all these forms like the different characters in a drama. There is nothing in this universe that is not permeated by God. Everything in this universe is God. The entire creation is an Embodiment of Divinity. In fact, He dons all the characters in this cosmic drama. All dialogues and songs are His only. Yet, the characters He dons appear to be different. Hence, whatever we do, whatever we see and whatever we say, everything is God. One has to realise this truth and conduct oneself accordingly.

Unfortunately, today some people take to wrong ways due to the effect of bad qualities, bad practices, bad thoughts, and bad looks. Whomever you come across, treat them as Embodiments of Divinity. Whatever you say, it must reflect Divinity. When you conduct yourself in such a manner, that itself is mukti (liberation). One has to cleanse one's five senses. One should conduct oneself in such a manner that one neither hurts others nor is hurt by others. The words you make use of must be sacred. Do not covet others' property or develop a desire for it.

One has to cultivate faith in the unity of Divinity. Everything is divine. Unfortunately, some boys are not able to develop such universal outlook. They are languishing in a feeling of separateness. They distinguish between people as "mine" and "thine". The ancient history of India is replete with instances of the ill-effects of such divisive tendencies.

You all know about the history of Kauravas and Pandavas in the great epic Mahabharata. The Kauravas were one hundred in number and were the sons of King Dhritarashtra. The Pandavas were five in number. They were the sons of Pandu, the younger brother of King Dhritarashtra. There ensued a fierce battle between the Kauravas and the Pandavas. But who is at fault in this battle? In fact, Dhritarashtra and Pandu were the sons of the same father. They were brothers. Their kingdom was one. But their thoughts and aspirations were different. A malicious desire for annexing the entire kingdom for themselves on the part of the Kauravas resulted in evil thoughts and divisive tendencies.

Similarly, in the Ramayana there were two brothers, Vali and Sugriva. They were also brothers born to the same father. But some unfortunate and selfish interests on their part resulted in a fierce battle between the brothers. While Vali, the valiant king, was enjoying regal comforts in the city of Kishkindha, his younger brother, Sugriva, had to languish in the hills and forests.

There is no use doing japa (soft repetition of the name) and tapas (sacrifice) for months and years without giving up divisive tendencies. Such tapas converts itself into mere thamas (indolence, sloth). Several people give up their sadhana (spiritual exercises) in the middle with a sense of frustration and despair, thinking that God is not merciful enough to reveal Himself before them in spite of doing japa for long years. If you wish to have the vision of God, first and foremost you must develop a sense of oneness with God. In fact, your own mind is an Embodiment of Divinity.

People often question, "Where is God?" "Who is God?, etc." I would say, "Your mind is God." It is said, Mana eva manushyanam karanam bandhamokshayo (mind is the cause for bondage and liberation of man). Both bondage and liberation occur due to the mind only. Hence, mind is God. Similarly, the intellect is God, and so also the chittha (subconscious mind). It is a common sight to see people praising a person of sharp intellect as an intellectual. But, God alone is the true intellectual. We have to dedicate our chittha to God. Once, a great devotee sang, "Oh! God! Let me offer my worship to You with chittha suddhi (purity of consciousness)." Hence, you should all pray to God with purity of consciousness.

Just as the mind, intellect, and chittha (subconscious mind) are the Embodiments of Divinity, so also are the senses. Hence, one should not taint one's senses with the arishadvargas (the six inner enemies of lust, anger, greed, delusion, pride, and jealousy). Kama signifies desires, which you can divert toward God —pray that you want only God and none else. You love God alone. Such love only will be sanctified. To love people on the basis of their name and form cannot be termed real love. That is only worldly love. When you love God, everything will be added unto you. All your desires must be God-oriented. Every desire of yours must be to please God. Suppose you love someone; do not treat him as a mere mortal. On the other hand, you must be able to visualise the Divinity in them.

There is no object other than the panchabhuthas (the five elements of air, water, earth, fire, and ether) in this universe. You will not find a sixth element, however much you try and explore. For example, this hand consists of five fingers. There is no sixth finger. In case someone has a sixth finger, he will be taken to the doctor for removing it by surgery. Similarly, we all have five senses.

What is mukti (liberation)? Liberation is control of the senses. Unless one controls one's senses, liberation is not possible. It is foolish to think that God is somewhere in a distant place. Strictly speaking, who is God? The panchabhuthas are Embodiments of Divinity.

It is only the senses that bring us good or bad. Hence, controlling the senses should be your top priority. You often express your inability thinking, "Swami! Is it possible for us?" I am emphatically saying that it is possible, provided you make an effort with firm determination. When you are able to please God and obtain His grace, sense control is not a big task for you. The senses are very trivial things. Unless you are able to control the senses, you do not deserve to be called a human being.

It is said, Jantunam nara janma durlabham (of all living beings, human birth is the rarest). To be born as a human being is a rare gift of God. Having obtained this rare gift, strive to achieve sense control. Even if you succumb to the wishes of even one of these five senses, you will stoop down to the level of an animal.

It is said, Daivam manusha rupena (God is in the form of a human being). Having attained such a rare and sacred birth of a human being, how foolish it is to say that you cannot control your senses! One who succumbs to the wishes of the senses is a rakshasa (demon), verily! In fact, such a person is worse than a rakshasa. One has to evolve oneself into a noble human being.

You may be fond of your wife and children. But on that basis, you cannot denigrate others. You should not entertain a feeling that so and so is mine and others are different. All are Embodiments of Divinity! All are children of God. There is such an intimate relationship between people in this world. Whatever object you come across in this world, it belongs to God only. It does not belong to any particular individual. In every object, every being, Divinity is immanent. Divinity is present in every grain of sand and every particle of sugar.

It is said, Viswam Vishnu swarupam (the entire universe is the Embodiment of Lord Vishnu). The whole universe comes under one family. Hence, one has to cultivate such universal love. That is real Atmic Love. Only when you cultivate such love do you deserve to be called a human being. Only then can you visualise the Atma Tattwa (Atmic Principle). Devoid of love, if you go on cultivating evil qualities like anger, hatred, jealousy, and a feeling of difference between one another, you will be worse than animals. Beasts and animals fight among themselves. If you also fight like them, what difference is there between you and the animals? In fact, anger and hatred are not the qualities of a human being.

The feeling of difference originates in human beings when one considers oneself as different from God. Where there is a feeling of difference, there hatred raises its head. Whatever activity you undertake, it must be done in a spirit of dedication to God. We extol Lord Easwara as Hiranya Garbhaya Namah (I offer my Pranam to the golden-wombed Lord). He is the embodiment of gold. Here, gold signifies immutability. You are all golden children. But you forget your real nature and associate yourself with dust and rust. Hence, great souls have to take birth in this world now and then to cleanse you and make you realise your innate Divinity. However, when some great soul embarks upon such a mission, some people doubt the effort saying, "It is all his foolishness. Can earth become gold? Can sand become sugar?"

Modern man is full of doubts and doubts! What could be the reason for these doubts? Only when one thinks that one is separate from God do doubts arise.

It is a well known fact that a vessel filled to the brim will be steady. Similarly, God is omniscient, so He is steady always. Many people who come here have several experiences.

(Swami called a student onto the dais). I am aware of the past, present, and future of every individual, irrespective of caste, religion, and place of birth. Some people who come here may think, "Perhaps Swami does not know who I am." But there is nothing that I do not know. Even though I know everything, I pretend I do not know.

(Pointing to a student) The parents and brothers and sisters of this boy visited Prasanthi Nilayam sometime ago. I called all of them for an interview and promised to the father, "My dear! The mother of these children may not survive for long. In fact, she may breathe her last even before you reach your village. Don't worry. I will take up the responsibility of all your children."

The children started crying. I told them, "Don't cry. Why fear when I am here? I will look after everything."

From that day onward, I have been looking after their welfare, as promised. The girls are all married. All the children have been provided with their requirements. None of them faced any difficulty. There is one boy among our band group. That boy is the youngest of all the brothers. He was very young when he came here along with his parents sometime ago. I called him and told him, "My dear! You don't need to worry about anything. I am your father, mother, and everything. I will look after you in every aspect."

Whenever he came here, I used to call him and talk to him, instilling a sense of security and confidence in him. Now, all the members of the family are happily living. This boy was very young then. Now, he has grown up. Thus, I have been showering My love and grace on one and all, whether I talk to them particularly or not.

What is My property? Love! Love! Love! I have no anger whatsoever on anyone, at any time. Only to correct an erring individual do I pretend to be angry. But I have no anger toward anyone. My entire body is suffused with pure love.

It is said, Easwara sarva bhutanam (God is the indweller of all beings). Who is Easwara? Easwara is not merely the one who is portrayed as wearing rudraksha garlands around His hands and serpents round His neck. It is only a form that is created for the common man to comprehend Divinity to some extent. The various names and forms like Easwara, Vishnu, Parvati, and Lakshmi were created to enable the common man to worship God in some form or the other. In fact, every human being is an Embodiment of Easwara. There is nothing in this world that is not permeated by Easwara. The Earth is Easwara. This handkerchief is also an embodiment of Easwara. All names and forms originated from Easwaratwa (the Easwara Principle).

In fact, only the one who has gained control over the five senses can comprehend Divinity.

Divinity is not limited to one name and form. People say they had the vision of Rama, Krishna, etc., but it is only their imagination! However, Divinity is only one and that has been named as Easwara. Unable to comprehend the Divinity, people ascribe several names and forms to it and get deluded.

Today, it is the devotees who change their chosen deities, frequently. But God does not change. God is one. He is permanent. Real sadhana (spiritual exercise) is gaining control over the five senses. One has to undertake such type of sadhana instead of engaging himself in japa (repetition of the name), japa(meditation), etc. For example, even if you are engaged in japa and japa closing your eyes, your "monkey mind" will be roaming about all the three worlds. People do not realise this truth and engage themselves in different types of sadhana. There is nothing but Divinity in this world. Whatever you see, whatever you hear, everything is permeated by Divinity.

Once the Pandavas were performing the Rajasuya Yajna. At the conclusion of the ritual, Sri Krishna was honoured by the Pandavas in the presence of all kings in the court. Sisupala could not bear seeing this honour bestowed on Sri Krishna. He reviled Lord Krishna in ever-so-many ways, criticising Him for various omissions and commissions. One of the points of his criticism was that Krishna stole the saris of women who were bathing in a lake. The Pandavas could not bear these insinuations heaped upon their dear Lord Krishna. They felt humiliated. Krishna then tried to reason with them saying, "He did so out of ignorance. I am beyond praise or scorn. I am the eternal witness to everything that goes on in this world. However, you should not respond to that criticism and start paying him in his own coin. Do not ever get attached to anyone deeply. If you lead a life of detachment thus, I will be with you constantly guarding you and guiding you."

Divinity never encourages differences among men. God is Love and Love is God. There are several thousands of people gathered in this Hall. However, the love that permeates every individual is only one. There may be differences in the names and forms of people and their relationships, but the Divinity permeating all people is one and the same. Hence, all should lead a life filled with love like brothers and sisters.

In educational institutions where the system of co-education is in vogue, the boys and girls should move like brothers and sisters. Nowhere should any difference on account of gender raise its head. When the children get into the higher secondary stage, these differences crop up. You should not give scope for such things. Whoever entertains such differences is sure to fail in the examination, the examination of "pure love".

There is nothing great in passing examinations in the worldly sense. Everyone can pass, provided one puts in a little effort. There is no use passing a worldly examination while at the same time failing in pure and unsullied love for a fellow human being who is none other than God. He who has passed the examination of divine love is the most successful person in life.

All are God's children. All are reflections of the Hiranyagarbha (cosmic womb, cosmic mind), which is present in the human body. Hence, from now onward, all of you should live like brothers and sisters with mutual love and affection. Then only do you deserve to be called ideal students. But I do not find in the present-day students such feeling of kinship. Instead they are cultivating differences such as, "I am different" and "You are different."

Do not, under any circumstances, cultivate anger and hatred. Anger should be controlled and hatred given up. Your safety and welfare lie in controlling anger. It is common knowledge that when the controls in a railway station are not functioning properly, the trains moving on the track derail. In such a situation, the controller in the railway station is held responsible. Similarly, the mind is the controller for all thoughts and feelings arising in us. Hence, if the mind is kept in control, the entire body comes under our control.

You are all embodiments of pure gold. You are all golden children. Your words are sweet. Let your conduct also be sweet in comformity with your words. Wherever you go, as students of Sri Sathya Sai Educational Institutions, you must display exemplary conduct and behaviour. Merely because you wear white dress, you do not deserve to be called students of Sri Sathya Sai Educational Institutions. In keeping with your white dress, keep your mind pure and your heart sacred. Only then will you become ideal students. Swami will constantly be with such students, guarding and guiding them. I will give them everything. In fact, I am protecting several people in several ways; but no one has realised this point till today.

Your own Atma is Divinity. That is Easwara. One has to develop firm faith in that feeling. How can you be called a human being if you do not develop such faith?

Love is God; live in love. Your love should not be limited to an individual or some family members. You must share it with all. If only you develop such broad-mindedness, you can become a leader and set an ideal to others. (When Swami enquired of the students whether they had faith in Swami's words, all of them unanimously responded by saying loudly, "Yes Swami!").

It is not enough if you just pay lip service by saying "yes". The conviction must come from the depth of your heart. You commit a mistake and say "sorry". That is not enough. You should desist from repeating the same mistake.

Truth is the very life-breath for a human being. Truth is God. Do not speak untruth. If only you follow truth in your life steadfastly, you can achieve everything. Truth is like a shield that will protect you. Truth is your support. If you give up such a noble quality of truth and speak untruth, how can you be called a human being? You should never give scope for falsehood in your life.

God is the only leader for the entire universe. God is the only leader and judge. It is only God who can decide justice or injustice. You should not forget such an omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient God. Do not entertain feelings of difference like "mine" and "thine". Develop equal-mindedness. May all people live together happily and bring good name for themselves and the country.

(Bhagawan created a gold ring with a green stone embedded in it and presented it to the student standing in front of Him). Everyone should thus earn the grace of God. The green colour is a sign of peace and welfare. I wish that all of you should earn such peace, welfare, love, devotion, and grace of God. Only when you drive away the bad qualities in you will you be able to live in the divine Presence.

May you make proper use of the panchabhutas (the five elements of earth, water, fire, air, and ether). May you control your panchendriyas (five senses). Then God will be constantly with you guarding and guiding you.

Divinity cannot be attained merely by offering prayers and doing bhajans. Along with these sadhanas (spiritual exercises), you must also develop a pure heart and offer it to God. Let your mind, intellect, and chittha (subconscious mind) be constantly associated with God wherever you are and whatever work you are undertaking. Then your very mind, intellect, and chittha will be transformed into Divinity.

When God is present right in front of you in the form of panchabhutas, where is the need for searching for Him separately? There is no scope at all for such a feeling! It is a serious mistake to think that God is separate from the panchabhutas. Considering God as your everything and sole refuge, dedicate your senses to Him. This is an easy method to reach God. When you follow such an easy path, you will attain moksha (liberation). After all, what is moksha? Moha kshaya is moksha? (coming out of delusion is liberation). There is no use chanting "Ram, Ram, Ram" when your mind is full of moha (delusion).

Whatever work you undertake, do it with a sense of Bhagavad preetyartham (to please God). Whomever you come across, consider them as an Embodiment of God. Even the beggar standing in front of your door is an Embodiment of God. He may be a beggar from the point of view of the physical body. But he is really an Embodiment of Divinity from the Atmic sense. Whether one is a king or an emperor or a beggar, the same Divinity permeates every individual. May you dedicate your lives to win the love of God and His grace. Undertake every activity as an offering to God. Even your reading your textbooks can be done with such a sense of dedication to God. You will surely pass your examinations in 1st class. I am happy that you are all good boys. But one caution, you must exhibit the same good behaviour in your higher secondary school as in the primary school.

Let Me remind you that the teachers in the Higher Secondary School will not hesitate to punish you whenever necessary if you go wrong. They have nothing against anybody, but they are duty bound to put you on the right track. If a teacher shirks their responsibility and condones your bad behaviour without giving a punishment, then that teacher is a "guddi guru" (blind teacher). He cannot be called a guru in the real sense. The role of a headmaster in the school is also important. In fact, he is the "head" for all the teachers. Hence, he should oversee the work of all the teachers.

Education does not mean simply reading of books. One cannot become great by acquiring an academic degree. In fact, degrees are not great; Divine is great. Hence, develop such divine nature. Only then will your life become sanctified and your education meaningful. Your parents will also be happy. You might be aware that your parents have admitted you in Sri Sathya Sai Educational Institution with great hopes. You must not disappoint them. You must earn the praise of your father, mother, teacher, and God —all four. Make your life meaningful and sacred by good thoughts, feelings, practice, and behaviour.