1008 Pearls of Sayings of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
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From 379 - 420
WHAT can ten baths a day do to cleanse a person, when his mind is fouled by evil thoughts? What can the shaven head and the ochre clothes do to foster spirituality, when his mind is riddled by desires and wants? You may rotate a ball of sweets round the mouth but unless it is eaten, hunger will not be abated. So, develop sincere longings, cleanse the mind, purify the thoughts and put the precepts into practice.
SOME of you claim to be Saibhaktas, Ramabhaktas, and Krishnabhaktas. But unless you are perfect instruments in His hand, you do not deserve that name. For example, Bharata can call himself Ramabhakta. He lived with Rama-Nama in every breath; he suffered as much as Rama; he was as much as anchorite as his brother; so, he too become Shyama (dark-skinned) like Rama.
THE body has to be exercised to keep it trim as a tool for serving your fellowmen. The body has not been granted by God in order to be fed and well-clothed and to be paraded around in pride. Plunge into the problems of Society, take up the burden of the family and advance the interests of your country. Shine as examples of Loving Service.
MAN has in him vast resources of Power. When he does not utilise them while discharging his duties to himself and the Society which sustains him, he is only becoming a target for ridicule. When you are at the railway-station, waiting for the train, and then you come to know that it will arrive five hours late, how do you react? You fling abusive words at the train. When the coaches receive such treatment from you, then what treatment do you deserve for not fulfilling your duty and for disappointing the expectations that you have raised by your being a man!
WHEN you struggle to achieve paltry fame by devious means, remember who among the crores of your countrymen are honoured today and for what? Don't you see that only those who gave up, renounced, and sought the more difficult road of God realisation, instead of easier path of World realisation, are honoured everywhere?
THE Lord rushes towards the Bhakta faster than the Bhakta rushes towards Him. If you take one step towards Him, He takes a hundred steps towards you! He will be more than a mother or father. He will foster you from within you, as He has saved and fostered so many Saints who have placed faith in Him.
YOU must not be like a piece of blotting paper, absorbing all the passions and emotions, all the joys and grief that the actress Nature demonstrates during the stages of life. You must be a Lotus, unfolding its petals when the Sun rises in the sky, unaffected by the slush where it is born or even the water which sustains it!
FAITH in God is the secure foundation on which hope has to be built. The faith has to be stable and strong. The feeling that God will come to our rescue has to be vivid and vital, motivating and activating all that we do or speak or think. Service rendered to others in this spirit will be a great source of joy to you as well as to the recipient.
WOMEN are proverbially too individualistic! There is a popular belief born out of folklore, that three women cannot live in unison! There is a Telugu limerick, which says, "The world shivers before one woman. The ocean will dry up, if there are two! And if they are three, O, the stars will drop down at noon"! Why are women so characterized? A woman is extremely deficient in Sahana; by Sahana, I mean ability to bear defeat, fortitude, forbearance, patience and quiet, suffering with no thought of retaliation. That is why woman is said to be the weaker sex.
SILENCE, Cleanliness and Forbearance. In Silence the voice of God can be heard, not in the revelry of noise. Through Cleanliness, you earn purity. By Forbearance, you cultivate Love. You have come today to your own home. This is your home not Mine. My home is your heart. So do not try to have your lunch elsewhere but in your home where you get this day food consecrated by Me, the Prasad.
ONE should progress from this stage to the awareness of the Atma. Flowers fade and rot soon. The effect of offering flowers may not last long. What God loves more are the flowers blossoming on the tree of man's own life, fed and fostered by his own skill and sincerity. The are the flowers of his virtues grown in the garden of his heart.
IT is the duty of everyone to live in the awareness of Truth. He who lives on Earth must become Man at first. Then, he has to learn the way to God, and discover the delight of the Spirit. This is the "Raja Yoga" path that the Vedas teach. The Atma illumines all objects; it needs no other source of illumination to shine; it is the seer of the Universe.
NOWADAYS man has the habit of acting and talking according to his whims. There is no control exercised by conscience or moral sense or manners. For one who is so perverse, who is determined to go down to his doom, there is no need for counsel! Medicine is for the ill, not for the wholly healthy, or the wholly dead. Counsel is for those, who suffer from doubt, anxiety or agitation. This counsel is contained in the Shastras and the Sacred Texts.
GOD is seeking the pure heart that longs to reach Him. The World is reduced to a theatre by man, for devotion to God has become a histrionic performance. You find people weeping in their heart of hearts but laughing their lives away. We find people who laugh in their heart of hearts, but to all observers, weeping profusely over their fate. Worship is more for effect, a play acted with the pit in view; there is no sincerity.
MAN did not come here to sleep and eat; he has come to manifest, by disciplined processes, the Divine in him. That is why he is called "Vyakthi", he who makes "Vyaktha" (clear) the "Sakthi" that is in him, the Divine energy that motivates him. For this purpose, he has come endowed with the body and the intelligence needed to control it and divert it to useful channels of activity. You must achieve this by Dharma-Nishtha, and Karma-Nishtha, steady pursuit of Dharma and Karma, morality and good work.
THE World itself is a great teacher, a constant guide and inspiration. That is the reason why man is surrounded and sustained by the world. Every bird, every animal, every tree, mountain and star and each tiny worm has a lesson for man, if he has but the will and the thirst to learn. These make the World a veritable University for man; it is a Gurukul where he is a pupil from birth to death.
THE Linga is the Form of God, emerging from the "Nirakara" to "Sakara". Other "Akaras" (Forms) are all subsumed in the Linga Form. "Prakrithi" or the Objective World is the base; it signifies that the Lord is established in that manifestation of His, which is the concrete presentation of His play, His potentiality and His power, His Sakthi. That is why the Lord is described as Shiva, Shakthi, Atmaka and Swarupam, the Supreme to which Shiva and Shakthi belong, the latent and the patent.
IF you do not feel the call at the sight of human distress, disease or deviation from the right, how can you muster the determination and dedication necessary to serve the unseen, inscrutable, mysterious God? When you do not love man, your heart will not love God. Despising brother man, you cannot, at the same time, worship God. If you do, God will not accept that hypocrisy. God is resident in every heart; so, if you serve any one, that service reaches the God within him: it brings to you the Grace of God.
THE heart that does not melt at the sight of persons caught in the coils of ignorance, disease or deprivation, has to be labeled demonic; to call it bestial is an insult to the beasts. Give up egoism, sensualism and greed; fill your hearts with renunciation, belief in the glory of the Atma (Self) and Love. That is the means by which you can make yourselves efficient Seva Dal Workers.
THE pollution of character that is spreading in the cities is fast invading the villages also. The villages should not yield to the temptation of imitation and invite catastrophe on themselves. They must appreciate the ancient Indian ideals of simplicity and sincerity, service and spiritual oriented living. You must curb greed, anger, envy and pride, and live in amity and the spirit of brotherhood. Then India will be happy and prosperous. Each one must carry out the duties of his role in a worshipful attitude.
LIFE has been bestowed not for just eating and digesting and roaming and reclining, but for a far greater purpose - the realisation of Divinity in us, in all that exists around us and even beyond all things that strike our senses. To waste such a life in vain pursuits and in a mere sense of pleasures is not the sign of an intelligent person. Deserve the Grace of God by helping the weak and poor, the diseased and the disabled, the distressed and the downtrodden.
SHIVA is worshipped with the three-leafed bilva,
for He is immanent in the three Worlds, in the three phases of Time and in the
three attributes of Nature. He removes the three types of grief; He has no basis
outside Him; He is the source of Bliss; He is the embodiment of the sweetness
and efficacy of nectar. Since every being is Shiva Swarupa (for without Siva, it
is mere "Sava"-Corpse), man has to live up to that Divine status.
FAITH has to be cultivated, first and foremost. It has to be nurtured in Love. Love is fostered by Shanti (equanimity). Shanti can be gotten only when there is full reliance on God and complete surrender to the Divine Will. If one loses wealth, he may regain it by some means or other. If he loses health, some doctor might prescribe a tonic to win it back. If one loses status and authority he may, by sheer luck, gain them back. If Virtue is lost, it is lost forever; nothing can restore the pristine purity. So one has to be ever vigilant and should never slacken.
THE greatest of the virtues is Love. Love is the basis of Character. You may have all other desirable things in plenty; but if you have no character, that is to say Virtue, which is all strung on Love, you cannot have genuine Peace. Money comes and... goes! But morality? It comes and grows! Morality has to be grown in the heart by feeding it with Love; then only we can have justice, security, law and order. If Love declines among the people, nations will weaken and mankind will perish.
THIS created Universe has two aspects. One is impermanence (Antiyam). The second one is unhappiness (Asutham). In the Gita, Krishna has said "Anityam Asukham Lokan Imam Papya Bhajaswa Maam", nothing in this World can give happiness that is, true and lasting happiness. Mistaking this World as "All" and forgetting the Atman, which alone is eternal and is the only refuge, is the greatest folly of man.
TODAY, man is pinning all his hopes on this slippery World and is madly running after amassing and hoarding wealth. Of course, material needs are to be taken care of, but within limits, and not at the cost of spiritual values. Money and mansions are not the only wealth. Hoard the wealth of the Spirit. Character is wealth. Good conduct is wealth. Spiritual wisdom is wealth.
DEVOTE your body, mind and senses to the service of others. "Paropakarartham Idam Sariram", it is said. This body is intended to do only good and service to others. The body is not gifted to you so that you hate and nurture jealousy against others and live selfishly, worse than an animal. You should devote this precious gift of the body in selfless and loving service always.
ANY one may blame you, but you should ignore all such blame and go forward in doing service without rancour. Serving is your sole duty. The Universe is a manifestation of God. So also is the individual. All these three are like Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara, the Trinity. Actually there are no three; they are one; it is Unified Godhead. Cherishing this thought of Oneness and serving Society is true Adyatmic or Spiritual life.
SHANTI has detachment as the basic quality. The sea, which likes to gather and possess, lies low; the cloud, that likes to renounce and give, is high up in the sky. Shanti endows man with an unruffled mind and steady vision. The Prayer for Shanti is usually repeated thrice: "OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti", since peace is prayed for in the physical, mental and spiritual planes. Man should not bring his blood to boil nor should he yield to fear.
MAN has been enslaved by money. He lives a superficial, hollow and artificial life. This is indeed a great pity. Man should seek to possess only as much money as is most essential for his living. The quantity of riches one must own can be compared to the shoes one wears; if too small, they cause pain; if too big, they are a hindrance while walking. Money too has to be with us only just enough for a life of physical and mental comfort. When we have more, it breeds pride, sloth and contempt for others.
THE world is becoming more and more deeply immersed in irreverence and cruelty. Codes of decent behaviour are being ignored and laughed at. The material is receiving greater attention than the moral and spiritual. Faith in the victory of Truth, Justice and Goodness is fast disappearing; the distinction between good and bad is seldom recognised.
JOY is a deceptive trap; grief is the real preceptor, teaching caution, circumspection, discrimination, detachment, awareness and vigilance. Death is not the merciless that he is made out to be; he is the friend and companion, the teacher, the kindly kinsman, who takes you into his fold and clothes you with the halo of remembrance. The heart of man has to be toughened, not hardened; it has to be made soft, not slithery; this can be achieved only by the blows of loss, grief and distress. It is God's way of shaping us in the Divine mould.
MAYA can be recognised and driven out only when the mind is purified by Prema and the avoidance of envy and hatred, born of egoism. No act done without Love can be commended; there are many who come here, thousands in fact, year after year, sharing in the Bhajans, listening to discourses, lectures. But, they are staying exactly where they were when they first arrived. Name without "Bhava" seldom reaches the mark. The name of the Lord must be recited with awe and wonder, humility and reverence.
THE Sages of this land had known the mine of Ananda that lies in every human heart and they had discovered methods of developing that mine and working on that gold. They said that if "Bhoomata" (Mother Earth), "Gomata" (Mother Cow), "Nijamata" (the Mother) and "Vedamata" (Mother Scripture) were revered and fostered and used as best as they could be, happiness is certain and liberation is assured.
YOU will doubtless agree when I say that Ananda is your greatest need. But you cannot order it from any shop. It has to be earned the hard way - doing good deeds, moving in good company, desisting from evil and keeping the mind attached to the Glory of God. Good and bad cannot be kept together in the same vessel; then the good also will turn bad. Night and light cannot coexist.
YOU are getting the great chance of partaking in a huge Sathsang from today. Thousands are coming to this place, prompted by a keen desire to see, hear and contact Divinity, and for those who have kindled desires, the chance to move about in the Sea of Spirit is indeed a sign of Grace. This is the benefit, as fairs and festivals are held in holy places, the wave of exhilaration, enthusiasm and exultation lifts men aloft into the rarefied air of Holy Beatitude.
ENDEAVOUR always to promote the joy and happiness of your fellow countrymen in this continent; be sharers in this joy and happiness. Bharath is so called, because the people of that country have "Rathi" (great attachment) to "Bha" (Bhagavan, the God). They are afraid of sin; they are eager to acquire "Jnana".
HAVE your Prema fixed on the Lord, whether your pretty wishes are fulfilled or not. Do not let the treasure slip on some silly excuse or other. When Sai Baba confers success after success on you, you are foremost in singing, "Sai Sankara, Sai Sankara", but when the shadow of disappointment falls on you, immediately you turn around and declare. "This Sai is not God".
PRACTICE renunciation from now on, that you may set out on the journey when the call comes, you don't know when . . Or at that moment, you will be in tears when you think of the house you have built, the property you have accumulated, the fame you have amassed and the titles you have won. Know that all this is for the fleeting moment; develop attachment for the Lord, who will be with you wherever you go. Only the years that you have lived with the Lord have to be counted as life, the rest are all out of count.
THE glory of Bharath, which has illumined for centuries the hearts of humanity, is awaiting the march of the Sai Movement through proper presentation and practical application by you, to have an even more brilliant future in the coming years. As the spark that causes the fire, as a driver in the engine drawing a long line of coaches along, as the designer and operator of a system of automatic lights, this Sai is here creating and fostering the World and all its various communities living and non living.
LEARN from childhood the recitation of the Name and Prayer and the Practice of Silence. Let children contemplate the beauties and the magnificence of God's Handiwork and be filled with mystery and awe. Do not count and calculate what the Puttaparthi Sai Baba gives. "I do not give in order to attract you to Me; I give only to fill you with Ananda. Showering Ananda, is My task. I do not want you to extol Me; I shall be satisfied if you rely on Me. The mysterious indescribable Superpower has come within reach. It will never engage Itself in any task without fruit".
YOU need not waste time in trying to discover Me and My nature. Understand what I teach not Who is the teacher, for I am beyond your intellect and your Shakti. You will understand Me only through My work. That is why sometimes, in order to reveal who I am, I Myself show you My "Visiting Card", something that you call a Miracle. Know the "Marma", or the mystery and carry out the "Karma", or the duty I assign you.
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