Forget the Harm Done by Others
Do Not Forget God; Forget the Harm Done to You, and Forget the Good You Have Done
Do Good to Those Who Have Harmed
You Will Have to Take Birth Again if You Expect Something in Return for the Good You Have Done
Do Not Forget God, Do Not Put Faith in the World, and Do Not Be Afraid
Ingratitude Is a Great Sin - Be Grateful to Those Who Have Helped You
Whatever things we do with this body, we are leading to a rebirth of this body. Any actions, good or bad, can be compared to seeds. In order not to sow such seeds, we should do all actions without desire. All actions should be done in and only for the pleasure of God. If you sweep a place, think that you are doing that for cleaning the heart, the shrine of God. When you help or harm others, think that you are doing it to yourselves. Then you will never let yourself harm anyone else.
The Two Eternal Truths
You must forget two things. Firstly, you must forget whatever help you have given to others. Secondly, you must forget whatever harm others have done to you. Because, when you remember the harm done by others to you, you always plan to take revenge. When you do not remember this, you will not do any harm. If you remember the help rendered by you to someone, you will be looking forward to the reward. On the contrary, there are two things that you must always remember. One is that God is One, and the other, that death is inevitable. In whatever manner you may look at them, these two are the eternal truths.
If you do not want to go to a marriage, you can cancel the engagement. Similarly, if you do not want to go to a cinema, you can postpone it until the next day. But the last journey, the journey to your death, can be neither cancelled nor postponed. We make preparations when we want to go for a marriage or a cinema. What preparations are we making for the final journey?1
Make All Your Actions Conform to Righteousness
There are three things that must be done in life. You should try to do good to those that have done harm to you. You must forget the harm done by others and also the good you have done to others. So you should forget what needs to be forgotten and remember those things that require being remembered. What are the things you have to remember? The good that others have done to you. You must remember the good that has been done to you as something sacred. You must express your gratitude to them. Make all your actions conform to righteousness. Whatever actions you do remembering God will be sanctified thereby.
See no evil; see what is good.
Hear no evil; hear what is good.
Speak no evil; speak what is good.
Think no evil; think what is good.
Do no evil; do what is good.
This is the way to God.
Practise Two, Give Up Two
You must have heard elders say some warning words. Practise two, give up two. The two things to be given up are all remembrance of (1) the evil that others do to you and (2) of the good that you do to others. The two things to be practised are (1) belief that death is certain and inevitable and (2) that God exists and yields to prayer and purity. But, usually, men do not forget the evil that others do or the good that is done by them; they forget the fact of death and the fact of the existence of God. If you seek profit in every act, of what use is it? Bank deposits, buildings, degrees, titles, and riches all have to be left behind. As soon as the last breath is drawn, the body becomes a thing of bad omen; it is moved out of the house one has built and loved.3
Think of Three Essential Things
From morning till night, you must think of the three essential things, namely: do not forget God, do not believe in the world, and do not be afraid of death. These three things are essential in your life. You must forget any harm done to you by others. So also, you must forget any good you may do to others. If you keep on thinking in your mind the harm done to you by others, you will in return attempt to harm them. To harm them in return is a sin. You should not undertake to commit such a sin.
By forgetting the good that you may have done to others, you will not be expecting them to do good to you in return. If you are expecting to get something in return and do not get it, you will have to take birth again. You should strive not to participate in transactions connected with the cycle of birth and death. Unfortunately, today, several people take the spiritual path as if it is a path of business. I am hoping that you will not do such a thing. You will recognise the truth and make your lives fruitful and purposeful.4
Implant Three Ideals in the Heart
Do not try to find fault with others; search, rather, for your own. I direct you to implant three ideals in your hearts: (1) do not forget God; (2) do not put faith in the world you see around you; it is changing every second and does not last; and (3) do not be afraid. You are the imperishable Atma that knows no fear. I want you also to banish two ideas from your hearts: (1) forget the harm that anyone has done to you, and (2) forget the good that you have done to others. Above all, develop love. Love all religions and all nations. Recognise and accept all religions as paths leading men to the same destination. All of them teach love and compassion, humility, and forbearance. I bless all of you and ask you to promote love, sympathy, and compassion towards all beings; God is present in every one of them, and it is your duty to revere God in each of them.5
How to Attain Liberation?
A Muslim should become a true Muslim; a Christian should become a true Christian, and a Hindu should become a true Hindu. You should have full faith in your religion and lead an ideal life. That is true devotion, true liberation. To attain liberation, practice the following principles. Forget all the harm done to you by others and the help you have given to others. Then you will have peace in your heart. If someone has done harm to you, do not be revengeful. If someone has hurt your feelings, in order to alleviate your suffering, the best way is to forget and forgive.
Forgiveness is very important. It is truth, it is righteousness, it is non-violence, it is happiness, it is heaven itself. This forgiveness is everything in all the worlds. So cultivate this sacred quality of forgiveness. This is possible only by developing love for God.6
Ingratitude Is a Great Sin
When you walk on the road, your shadow may fall on bad patches like drains, garbage, etc., but you are not affected by it. You should proceed unmindful of the path of the shadow. So also, you must follow your heart with good feelings, unmindful of obstacles that may appear to come in the way. You should practise truth. You should be grateful to a person that came to your rescue in times of crisis. You should not forget the help given by others.7
Ingratitude is a great sin, which brings in its wake a host of troubles. To forget what one owes to others for his position and prosperity is to forfeit the grace of the Divine. He is as good as dead. You have to be grateful to those who have helped you to achieve position, power, wealth, and prominence. By forgetting the good done by others, the ungrateful person is setting at nought the highest human values and strutting about as a vainglorious creature. Eschewing ostentation and self conceit, cultivate selfless love towards all. There must be a limit to one’s self-interest. Selfishness carried to extremes leads to disaster. Excessive selfishness can cause loss of friendship and honour and ultimately result in utter ruin. Reverence for one’s parents is a sacred obligation.8
1. Summer Showers in Brindavan 1972, Chapter 15: The Perishable and the Imperishable.
2. Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 31, Chapter 24: The Essence of Buddha’s Teachings.
3. Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 6, Chapter 44: Which Is Real? This or That?
4. Summer Showers in Brindavan 1977, Chapter 27: Do Not Forget God; Do Not Believe in the World; Do Not Fear Death.
5. Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 11, Chapter 40: The Toughest Armour.
6. Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 31, Chapter 29: Subjugate Your Ego.
7. Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 31, Chapter 12: Man, Truth, Love, and God.
8. Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 24, Chapter 3: Goodness Is Godliness.