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Date: 27 Sep 2006 Occasion: Dasara Place: Prasanthi Nilayam

Give up selfishness and
strive for self-realisation
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba


The physical world as perceived by the
    naked eyes is considered as truth.
But it is only illusory.
Divinity is the only reality.
Unable to realise this truth,
    people are wasting their time.
(Telugu poem)

Embodiments of Love!

God is only one, now and forever. Not realising this truth, you are wasting your precious time thinking that all that you see in this objective world is true. No! None of these objects is real. Truth is eternal, beyond the three periods of time —past, present, and future. That is Divinity.

How foolish it is to think that the worldly vision, which is subject to change from time to time, is real. You are a student today. Tomorrow, you will become an officer in an organisation, and, after some years you will be a retired officer. Then, which is true? Is it the life as a student or as an officer or as a retired official? A boy and a girl wish to get married. Before their marriage, who is husband and who is wife? Once they are married, they are referred to as husband and wife. But how long does this relationship last? It is only temporary.

Thus, all that you see in this objective world and all the relationships between individuals are only temporary. They are never real and permanent. But Divinity is not like that. Divinity is what it is —yesterday, today, and tomorrow. It is Divinity always!

Not reposing your faith in such a true and eternal God, you are deluded into thinking that what you see in this objective world is true. Hence, first and foremost, try to recognise the eternal truth. Only when you have recognised the Truth are you deemed to have recognised everything else. All others are only transitory. The entire universe is subject to change. It is temporary and unreal. Today's mountain may be reduced to a mere hillock tomorrow. Today's rivulet may transform itself into a mighty river tomorrow.

The country of Bharat was once beautifully described as: "lofty mountains, large rivers, huge trees with many branches, which make it a beautiful country."

People today repose their faith in ephemeral and unreal world and forget God, who is the embodiment of truth. That is the root cause for all the sorrows and difficulties faced by humanity. You say you are encountering difficulties. From where did they come? Difficulties are the consequences of one's past deeds and thoughts.

Everything in this world is susceptible to change. It appears to be unchanging, but it is not true. God is the only changeless principle. We have therefore to install such a changeless and eternal God in the altar of our sacred hearts and offer our love to Him. Thereby, we can experience bliss. That is the foremost duty of a human being. What is human life, after all? Is it merely eating, drinking, sleeping, and dying ultimately? By doing so, how can the human life be termed as sacred?

Man, at the time of his birth, is very pure and sacred. As he grows old, gradually he loses his purity. This is not proper. A human being has always to maintain their purity.

Take, for example, My case. I was born. I grew up to be a boy, youth, and old person. But the childlike simplicity and purity are always there in Me. I am always like a child. As age advances, there might be several changes in the physical body. They are all at the physical level. It is only out of our delusion that we are exposed to the arishadvargas (the six enemies of desire, anger, greed, delusion, pride, and jealousy). As a result, we are unable to realise the Atma (Self).

It is said, Jantunam nara janma durlabham (Of all living beings, human birth is the rarest). Having attained such a rare birth as a human being, you have to strive for self-realisation. Do not waste our energies in worldly pursuits.

One who is a realised soul is the liberated person in the real sense. Such a person constantly contemplates upon the Atma. On the other hand, one who is constantly engaged in the pursuit of material comforts has their gaze fixed on the panchabhuthas (the five elements of earth, water, fire, air, and space), pancha koshas (five sheaths of the soul) and panchendriyas (five senses).

One who realises the truth that the physical body is ephemeral and the mind is like a mad monkey will develop an insight into the inner Self. The physical body is like a water bubble. People know about it, yet they lead their lives reposing their faith in such a physical body. As long as one has attachment to the physical body, one has to experience sorrows and difficulties and sin and merit.

The body is made up of five elements and
    is bound to perish sooner or later.
But the indweller has neither birth nor death.
The indweller has no attachment whatsoever and
    is the eternal witness.
(Telugu poem)

The dehi (Indweller) in the deha (physical body) is eternal. It is referred to as the Atma. We identify the physical body with certain names. For example, the name "Anil Kumar" is an identification for a particular form. Similarly, the name "Sathya Sai Baba" represents this physical body. It is not possible to identify the physical bodies, without names.

A human being lives in the world, donning a physical body that is ephemeral. All that we see in the objective world are the creation of our own mind. What we cannot see with our physical eyes is the truth. That is the Atma. Hence, when someone enquires, "Who are you?", you should reply, "I am the Atma.." You should not refer to the name given to your physical body.

The name given to your physical body is the one that is given to it by your parents. The whole world calls you by this name only. It is not the name that is important. Both name and form are temporary and unreal. As long as you live in this world, they are relevant. The moment you depart from this world, none cares for them.

For example, a millionaire has plenty of money and is, in fact, rolling in wealth. His end is nearing. He is undergoing great suffering. All his relatives surrounding him are restless. In fact, they are weeping. Exactly in that moment, wisdom dawns on him. He is reminded of Adi Sankara's verse:

Punarapi jananam punarapi maranam,
Punarapi janani jathare sayanam.

Oh Lord!
I am caught up in this cycle of birth and death.
Time and again, I experience the agony of
    being in the mother's womb.

He has realised the fact that all his relatives and friends care for him as long as he was alive. He felt very sorry for his pitiable state and wailed, "My dear ones! All that I have earned during my life has been handed over to you. Even the palatial buildings and big mansions that I have built have been handed over to you. My bank deposits have also been given away to you. Yet, you do not care to think about me and are worried about your own future."

True. People are worried only about wealth and property as long as they live in this world. They do not think at all about what will happen to the life principle after their death. As long as there is life-force in the body, people are deluded to think, "It is my body, my mind, etc."

You are now sitting in this hall. As soon as you get up and take two steps, you do not know what will happen to you. Once you depart from this world, who is related to whom? Who are your friends and relatives? No relationships at all! Hence, the physical body should not be given too much importance.

Purify the body by undertaking good deeds. Since people develop many kinds of relationship with the external world, they are afflicted with several impurities. Only when such impurities are cleared to a certain extent will one keep good health.

For example, there were rains a few days ago. Because of the rains, the water was polluted. Several people who drank the polluted water became sick. In many places, people suffered due to their ill-health.

Today, the food we eat, the water we drink, and even the air we breathe are all polluted. Hence, this widespread pollution has to be controlled at least to a certain extent by undertaking sacred activities. That is why the nine forms of devotion have been prescribed as sadhana (spiritual exercises): sravanam (listening), kirtanam (singing), Vishnusmaranam (contemplating on Vishnu), padasevanam (serving His Lotus Feet), vandanam (salutation), archanam (worship), dasyam (servitude), sneham (friendship), and Atmanivedanam (self-surrender).

One has to adopt any one of these sadhanas for pollution control. Humanness is not confined merely to jivatwa (life force); it is associated with Daivatwa (Divinity). Every human being, in fact every living being, is an embodiment of Divinity verily! Even the insects and bacteria!

What sadhana is a human being expected to undertake? Sadhana does not mean mere physical exercise. It is an enquiry into Truth at the level of the mind and intellect. What is Truth? Is it the body or the mind or the intellect? No, none of these. The mind is a mad monkey. It is fickle in nature. If you follow such a fickle mind, you cannot reach your true destination. It has to be discarded one day or the other. However, food and recreation are necessary to a certain extent to protect the body. Even that food has to be pure and sathwic. If you thus carry on your activities and lead a sacred life, what more sadhana is required?

Whatever activities you may undertake, you must constantly contemplate on the "Soham" mantra, which reminds you of your innate divinity with each inhaling and exhaling process. The same principle has been explained in the mahavakya (great aphorism), "Aham Brahmasmi" (I am Brahma) in the Vedas. From the time you get up from your bed till you go to sleep, you must constantly remind yourself that you are verily Brahman and not merely a human being made up of the five elements.

You must develop the faith that God is your mother, father, and everything else and that He alone is your sustainer and refuge. After all, who gave you your mother? Is it not God? Everything in this world is by God's grace only. If you forget God and concentrate on other thoughts, you will lose everything in life. If you constantly contemplate on God, all worldly thoughts will leave you. Hence, cultivate godly thoughts with love. Prema muditha manase kaho Rama Rama Ram (Sing the sweet name of Rama with your heart filled with love). Love is God. God is love.

Devoid of this love, there is no mother, no father, no brother, no wife. Everything is suffused with love. It is only for our convenience, for our pleasure, and for our own selfish purposes that we develop worldly relationships. Hence, give up selfishness and strive for self-realisation. You must enquire into yourself, "Who am I? Body, mind, intellect, chittha (consciousness), or ahamkara (ego)?" You are none of these. You are yourself. "I am I." Recognise this truth.

You are all pursuing education and acquiring academic degrees like BA, BCom, MBA. How many people are there with such degrees! What service do they render to society? They are all concerned with their own career and earning. They do not at all help others. All this worldly education is for making one's own living. That is not the purpose of education.

You must render selfless service. The fruit of all actions must be sacrificed. Only a person who does this deserves to be called a yogi. A yogi is not one who merely sits under a tree and meditates, closing their eyes. Real sacrifice involves giving up your desires. One has to broaden his heart. One should not be narrow-minded. If one are inflicted with narrow-mindedness, the whole life will become narrow. Develop broad-mindedness. Cultivate broad heart. The reference to "heart" in this context is not to the physical heart. If the physical heart is enlarged, it needs surgery. Develop love. Only then can you be called a real human being.

Dear students!

You think Swami's discourses are very simple. But, the entire essence of the Vedas is contained in them. The essence of all the sastras (spiritual texts) is to be found in Swami's words.

Why should you be proud of your education? However high academic degrees a person may have acquired, a human being must always conduct themself with humility and obedience. Education with humility is the watchword. At the mental level, one must be desireless. Only then can one be called a human being.

Excessive desires lead to danger. Do not indulge in unnecessary desires. That will lead to waste of time. Time waste is life waste! Time is God, don't waste time. Even the little time at your disposal must be spent in contemplation on the Soham (I am God) mantra. Only then will your birth as a human being be sanctified.

If you go on wasting your time in reading newspapers, all that you acquire will only be useless. Nowadays, newspapers have degenerated into a nuisance. You find all sorts of unnecessary things in the newspapers. You might have seen several advertisements with obscene pictures in the newspapers daily. What sort of pictures are they? Fie on them! We don't like to go through such newspapers at all! These are not the stuff we have to read.

We have to visualise God, who is beyond name and form. God's name is sweeter than the sweetness of banana fruit and dates. Why are all these festivals being celebrated? Every festival is meant to remind us about God. People of all religions have festivals to celebrate.

All religions teach only good things.
Realising this truth, conduct yourself
    carefully with proper understanding.
If you have a discriminatory intellect,
    which religion is bad? Oh!
The brave son of Bharat (India), listen!
(Telugu poem)

Every religion preaches only good. Religion per se is not bad. Hence, respect people of all religions. Only is when your mind is distorted do you develop a bad opinion about a particular religion. Once you develop a discriminating intellect, you will realise that all religions lead to the same God.

Dear students!

Please do not waste time. Sanctify every minute of your life and thereby experience bliss. You are essentially the embodiment of bliss. Hence, always be happy and blissful. Do not crave unnecessary desires and feel depressed when they are not fulfilled.

Happiness is union with God. Always be happy and smiling. Even when you are faced with difficulties or during examination time, do not put up a "castor-oil face". Always be smiling. The more you feel enthusiastic and energetic, the more you will be happy. After all, what is there for you to worry about? Nothing, to My knowledge. A student who did not prepare well will be worried during examinations. If you have prepared well, then why worry? You will surely get good marks. Hence, read well, pass the examinations with distinction, and serve the country.

The festival that is being celebrated today is meant only to encourage you. The ten-day Dasara festival is meant to control your ten senses. The legend says that Goddess Chamundi killed the demon Mahisha during this Dasara festival. What is the inner meaning of this story? Do not under any circumstances associate yourself with demons. You are a human being and not a demon. How can there be friendship between a human being and a demon? A human being shall have relationship with another human being only.

Satsangatwe nissangatwam,
Nissangatwe nirmohatwam,
Nirmohatwe nischalatattwam,
Nischalatattwe jivanmukti.
(Sanskrit sloka)

Good company leads to detachment;
Detachment makes one free from delusion;
Freedom from delusion leads to steadiness of mind;
Steadiness of mind confers liberation.

Always be in good company. If you join bad company, you will also become bad. Hence, never make friendship with a bad person. The moment you come across such people, just say "goodbye" and move on.

You need not develop hatred toward them. Whomever you come across, consider them as embodiments of Divinity and salute them. Even when you come across people who hate you, offer your pranams (salutations) to them. Enquire, "How are you brother?" They will respond, "How are you brother?"

A human being is one with certain human values. What are those human values? Sathya (truth), dharma (righteousness), santhi (peace), prema (love), and ahimsa (nonviolence). They are all interrelated. Always speak truth, observe dharma. Be peaceful. Be happy and blissful. Conduct yourself with love in society.

Love is God, God is Love. Hence, live in love. Then only can you acquire true knowledge. That is wisdom.

Embodiments of Love!

I always address you as embodiments of love, because I am suffused with love. Love is My property. You all are heirs to that property. I will distribute that love to one and all. I do not hate anyone. I have no selfishness at all! My love is selfless love.

(Bhagawan concluded His discourse with the bhajan "Prema muditha manase kaho".)