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Date: 13 May 2006 Occasion: Buddha Purnima Place: Prasanthi Nilayam

Attain enlightenment by renouncing desires
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba


All the names and forms are but the manifestations of the Supreme Being,
     who is Existence-Knowledge-Bliss
Absolute and non-dual.
He is the embodiment of sathyam, sivam, sundaram (truth, goodness, beauty).
(Sanskrit Verse)

Embodiments of Love!

On this sacred day of Buddha Purnima, we talk about Buddha and purnima (full moon). But we seldom enquire into Buddha's teachings, his virtue,s and the exemplary way in which he led his life.

King Suddhodhana and his wife Mayadevi performed many spiritual austerities such as japa (soft repetition of the name), tapa (austerities), vratas (vows), and yajnas (rituals) for years together with an aspiration to have a son. They also consulted many astrologers. Suddhodhana had no peace of mind, because the worry of not having an heir to the throne haunted him day and night. At last their prayers were answered when Mayadevi gave birth to a son at Lumbini.

Unfortunately, Mayadevi died soon after giving birth to her son who was named Siddhartha. Gautami, the second wife of Suddhodhana, brought up the child with loving care like her own son. That is why he was also called Gautam. The astrologers predicted that Siddhartha would not rule the kingdom; he would leave the kingdom and become a renunciant. The prediction of astrologers was always ringing in Suddhodhana's ears and caused him anxiety as he watched his son grow. He took all precautions to see that his son did not step out of the palace and get into the company of others, lest he should be influenced by them. Thus, he protected his son from the influence of others for twenty long years.

Siddhartha's yearning for Ultimate Truth

One day, the parents of a girl came to Suddhodhana and expressed their wish to give their daughter in marriage to his son Siddhartha. The name of the girl was Yashodhara. Suddhodhana accepted their proposal and performed the marriage of Siddhartha with Yashodhara. Owing to their loving insistence, Siddhartha continued to stay with his parents in the palace even after the marriage. One year after the marriage, he begot a son, who was named Rahul. Both the husband and wife spent their time happily with their son.

In spite of all the comforts of the palace and happy married life, Gautam's mind became restless when he saw people afflicted with old age, disease, and death after he ventured out of the palace one day. One night, there was a sudden transformation in his mind. While his wife was fast asleep, he got up at midnight, caressed his son, and left for the forest. He had to undergo numerous hardships and difficulties in the forest. But he faced all ordeals with forbearance and determination. His parents were immersed in sorrow, unable to bear the pangs of separation from their son. Though Siddhartha was also undergoing a lot of anguish, he marched on his path of attaining self-realisation.

During the course of his journey, he met a holy man. The holy man told him that the cause of his anguish was actually within him, and it was his anguish that was coming in the way of his self-realisation. So saying, he gave him a talisman for protection and asked him to wear it around his neck. (At this point of time, Bhagavan materialised that talisman and showed it to the congregation amidst a thunderous applause). This was the talisman given by the sage to Siddhartha. When Siddhartha put it around his neck, all his anguish disappeared instantaneously. Till the last moment of his earthly sojourn, Buddha had the talisman around his neck. When he shed his mortal coil, the talisman disappeared.

Siddhartha started doing intense penance, which went on for a long time. He kept questioning himself, "Who am I? Am I the body? Am I the mind? Am I the buddhi (intellect)? Am I the chitta (mind-stuff)?" He came to the conclusion that he was none of these. Ultimately, he experienced the truth, "I am I."

Recognise the unity of all Creation

The Vedas declare, Aham Brahmasmi (I am Brahman) and Tattwamasi (That Thou Art). Even these two Vedic declarations state two things: I and Brahman, That and Thou. True wisdom lies in seeing oneness. Advaita darshanam jnanam (Experience of non-dualism is true wisdom). It is a sign of ignorance to see duality ignoring the underlying unity. Duality is not the truth.

In this manner, Buddha enquired deeply and ultimately got the experience of "I am I." That is true realisation. You may do penance for many years, you may do meditation and perform many yogic practices. But all these spiritual practices give only temporary satisfaction, not everlasting bliss.

Some people talk about meditation. Even Buddha advocated the practice of meditation. What is that you have to meditate upon? What is meant by meditation? Does it mean concentrating upon a particular object? No, no. That is not meditation at all. To contemplate upon the principle of "I am I" is true meditation. No other sadhana (spiritual practice) can match this.

As long as you have the dualistic feeling of "you and I", you cannot experience unity. Buddha recognised the principle of unity and based his life on this truth. Under the direction of many yogis, he had performed various kinds of meditation and penance, but ultimately he found them to be a mere waste of time because none of these could lead him to the ultimate experience of oneness. He regretted having wasted his time in such a manner. One should find fulfiment in life by making proper use of time. This is the primary duty of man.

Embodiments of Love!

Many people perform different types of spiritual practices such as japa (soft repetition of the name) and dhyana (meditation) without recognising the principle of unity. The tongue utters the name of Rama, but there is void in the heart. This is just waste of time. Instead of wasting your time in such a manner, undertake social service, seeing God in everyone. That is true spiritual practice. Recognise the innate divinity of all beings.

In creation, there appear to be two entities, you and I. But you and I are in reality one. Vyashti (individual) is a part of samashti (society), and samashti is a part of srishti (creation), which emerges from Parameshti (God). This Parameshti is Parabrahma Tattwa (principle of Brahman). That is the fundamental basis of the entire creation.

In this way, you have to recognise the unity of all creation. Only then can you attain Parameshti or the principle of Brahman. Everyone has to repeatedly remind himself, "I am Parameshti, I am Parameshti." All are the embodiments of the Atma, and all are sustained by the Atma.

Buddha experienced the unity of all creation. There was total transformation in him once he attained the vision of Ekatma (oneness of the Atma). He realised that all worldly relations like mother, father, wife, and children were false. He transcended body consciousness. That is why he earned the appellation Buddha (enlightened one). Man should use his buddhi (intelligence) to understand this principle of unity.

Buddhi is of two types. The buddhi that sees diversity in unity is worldly intelligence. Man should develop adhyatmic buddhi (spiritual intelligence) in order to realise the underlying unity of all creation. It gives you the experience of the Atmic principle, which is the same in the entire creation. Buddha attained the vision of the Atma. After this experience, he went on teaching that there existed only one divine principle in the world.

Buddham Saranam Gachchhami,
Sangham Saranam Gachchhami,
Dhammam Saranam Gachchhami.

Buddha taught that the principle of unity of the Atma was the only true principle in the world. One who realised it by using his spiritual intelligence was true Buddha, he said. Other than the Atma, nothing existed in this world.

In this transient and ephemeral world, one thing is true and eternal. That is Divinity. That is what everyone should aspire to attain. Sathyam Saranam Gachchhami (I take refuge in truth). Ekam Saranam Gachchhami (I take refuge in the principle of oneness). Everything is the manifestation of divinity in this world; there is no second entity other than divinity. It is the divine principle that governs the entire world.

Having realised this truth, Buddha, along with his disciples, went from village to village to propagate it. He never felt the need to take rest. He thought that it was his duty to share this supreme knowledge with his fellowmen. Even his father, Suddhodhana, came to him. He also recognised this truth and was transformed.

What did Buddha teach? Buddha taught that everyone was endowed with the same principle of divinity. Ekam sath viprah bahudha vadanti (truth is one, but the wise refer to it by various names). The same message was conveyed by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavadgita when He said that all beings were His own reflection and no one was different from Him. Buddha had to undergo great hardships to realise this truth.

Many noble souls who were the contemporaries of Buddha acknowledged the greatness of Buddha. They said that Buddha had experienced the truth, which they were unable to realise. As he gave up all desires, Buddha became an epitome of total renunciation. There was nothing in him except love. He considered love as his very life-breath. Bereft of love, the world would turn into a void.

Try to understand the profundity of Buddha's teachings

When you offer your salutations to someone, understand that you are saluting your own self. That someone is none other than your own reflection. See others just as you see your own reflection in the mirror. This is the message conveyed by the mahavakya (profound statement), Aham Brahmasmi.

Names and forms may be different, but all beings are part and parcel of the same divine principle. You may call this a handkerchief. You may call this a robe. But both are made out of cotton. Likewise, Divinity is the underlying principle in the apparent multiplicity of this world. Many so-called scholars are preaching only multiplicity today. They claim to have mastered the scriptures and try to interpret them in their own way with their limited knowledge. Their interpretations do not correspond to the reality. They only add to confusion.

Buddha taught that we should not have anger, we should not find others' faults, and we should not harm others, because all are the embodiments of pure, eternal principle of the Atma.

Have compassion toward the poor and help them to the extent possible. You think those who do not have food to eat are poor people. You cannot call someone poor just because he does not have money or food to eat. Truly speaking, nobody is poor. All are rich, not poor. Those whom you consider as poor may not have money, but all are endowed with the wealth of hridaya (heart). Understand and respect this underlying principle of unity and Divinity in all and experience bliss.

Do not have such narrow considerations as so and so is your friend, so and so is your enemy, so and so is your relation, etc. All are one, be alike to everyone. That is your primary duty. This is the most important teaching of Buddha.

But people do not enquire into the teachings of Buddha and do not understand the sacredness of his heart. They only talk about his story. Truly speaking, Buddha is not just one individual. All of you are Buddhas. You will see unity everywhere once you understand this truth. There is unity in the apparent multiplicity.

When you are surrounded by many mirrors, you see a number of your reflections. Reflections are many but the person is one. Reactions, reflections, and resounds are many, but the reality is one. When I am speaking here, My voice is heard through each and every loudspeaker in this hall. In the same manner, there exists the principle of unity in our hearts, which we have to recognise.

Man's life finds fulfilment only when his mind experiences the principle of unity. There is no point in bringing about unity among people without uniting their minds. Manah eva manushyanam karanam bandhamokshayo (mind is the cause for bondage and liberation of man). You see someone and say he is a bad person; you see another person and call him good. But, in reality, good and bad are present in your mind and not in the people around you. You call this handkerchief white and this microphone black. The difference in colour is perceived by your eyes, but essentially black and white are one and the same. Everyone should make efforts to visualise unity in diversity. Only then can one experience divinity.

The principles taught by Buddha have profound significance, but people are not trying to understand them. You might have observed that Buddha had curly hair on his head. One lock of hair was entwined with the other. There is an underlying message of unity in this. He had only one feeling in his heart, the feeling of love. He taught, Dharmam saranam gachchhami (I take refuge in righteousness), Premam Ssaranam gachchhami (I take refuge in love).

Bereft of love, humanness has no existence. We should love all, irrespective of the fact whether one is a pauper or a rich man. Money should not be the criterion to share your love with your fellowmen. Money is not important. Money comes and goes, morality comes and grows. Do not hurt others. Help Ever, Hurt Never. Only then can you attain the state of Buddha.

There is little use in giving lengthy lectures if you do not realise the principle of unity in Divinity. You may call God by any name such as Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Sai, etc., but all of them embody the same divine principle. Keep the flower of oneness in the altar of your heart and let its fragrance spread everywhere.

Spiritual practices such as japa and tapa will not yield the desired result unless you recognise the principle of unity. Many people count the beads of the rosary. But what is the use of rotating the rosary if the mind also keeps going round the world? Understand that the mind is most important. You should have a steady mind. Only then will your life be redeemed. What is the use if your mind hovers around on each and every object like flies which hover on dirt as well as laddus (a kind of sweet)?

Do not allow your mind to vacillate between good and bad, unity and multiplicity. Focus it on all that is good and realise the principle of unity. That is the royal road that will lead you to the experience of truth. On the other hand, if you allow your mind to follow the crooked path, it will not lead you anywhere.

Embodiments of Love!

The same divine principle of love is present in all of you. When you take to the path of love, you will become Buddha yourself. Today is Buddha Purnima. Purnima means full moon. The underlying message of Buddha Purnima is that the mind should shine with total purity like the full moon. It should unite with its source, i.e. the Atma, which is pure and effulgent. There is no darkness on the full moon night. On this auspicious day of Buddha Purnima, we should attain full purity of the mind.

Poornamada Poornamidam,
Poornat Poornamudachyate,
PoornasyaPoornamadaya, Poornamevavashishyate.

That is full, this is full.
When the full is taken out of the full,
What remains is again the full.
We have to recognise this truth.

Embodiments of Love!

It gives Me great joy to see that all of you have gathered here today. You are united with each other with the bond of love. Love is only one; it is not different in you, Me, and others. You have unified your love with that of Swami. Love is one. Live in love.

(Bhagavan concluded His Discourse with the bhajan, "Prema Mudita Manase Kaho".)