1008 Pearls of Sayings of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
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MUSIC, a vehicle of Peace, is universally popular. Men, women and children of all lands are amenable to its subtle influence. Even animals and plants are susceptible to music. The Lord has said, "Madbhakthash yathra gaayanthe, thathra thishtaami Naarad": "Where My devotees sing, there I seat Myself".
PEOPLE of all ages, of all states of health and wealth, of various levels of learning and intelligence come to Prasanthi Nilayam. This Prasanthi Nilayam is also the refuge for all who have no other place to go to. Do not treat any one as an alien. Remember all have Me as their guardian and support. Have no anger, malice, envy or pride against or before anyone. Be full of humility; have faith in human goodness.
PREMA is the motive power in Karmayoga. It is the very breath of Bhaktiyoga. It is universal and infinite in Jnana; it sees the Lord everywhere and in everything, when Vairagya has been achieved. The Bhagavata is saturated with the sweetness of Prema.
VEDANTA is like the roar of the lion; it gives courage and enterprise; it makes a man hero, it does not whine or howl or cry; it drives cowardice away, instills the highest types of self-confidence; it is the strongest armour against the arrows of take; it acts like a waterproof medium against the hail storms on sensual pleasure; it is a curtain keeping out the mosquitoes of worry, which would otherwise rob you of sleep. With a Vedanta- saturated heart, you are a rock on the shore, unaffected by the waves of temptation. Vedanta challenges your spirit of adventure and your own reality.
THE spiritual laws that the sages of India have discovered and laid down will never be overruled. They stand valid forever. Further research can only strengthen and confirm their authenticity, as further facts only render the diamond more brilliant. Bharath has contributed to the World the priceless gem of Truth; "Iswarah Darvabhutaanaam Hrddese, Arjuna, Thishtati". God is the resident motivator of all beings. Until this fact is realised by the individual he will be tainted by traces of anger, pride and hate, for he sees others as distinct and different.
ALL Religions teach one basic discipline - the removal of the blemish of egoism from the mind, of running after little joys. Every Religion teaches man to fill his being with the Glory of God, and evict the pettiness of conceit. It trains him in methods of detachment and discrimination, so that he may aim high and attain liberation. Believe that all hearts are motivated by the one and Only God; that all faiths glorify the One and the Only God; that all names, in all languages, and all Forms men can conceive, denote the One and Only God.
IF you have the capacity to draw the Lord to yourself, He will Himself come to you and be with you. Be like the flute - a hollow reed - straight, light, with no substance to hinder His breath. Then He will come and pick you up from the ground. He will breathe Divine music through you, playing upon you with a delicate touch. He will stick the flute into His sash. He will press His lips on it. In His hand, the Infinitesimal will be transmuted into the Infinite, the OM will be transformed into the gama.
THE Dharma that is the heritage of India is the stuff of life for all men. It is the backbone of morality and well-being. It is the nectar which can confer Immortality. Others may, in their ignorance, laugh at Indians for taking a stone to be God. But what they do is to realise even the stone as God. It is transformed into God, an act which is a grand victory. The highest energies of man in this land are used for conquering death, while in other countries they are misused in the diabolic attempt to make weapons of mass destruction.
DO not attach yourself too much to this body or to the things that bring comfort to it. You earn three friends in this life: the first is the riches you accumulate which refuse to come with you when you move out of this life. The second, Kith and kin, accompany your body to the burial ground or cremation ghat. The third, the merit and demerit that you have earned, accompany you to the last.
YOU complain that God is invisible, but the fault is yours not to recognise God in all His various manifestations. You are yourself "a manifestation of God". But you do not know it; you call yourself a sinner, a worm born in sin, wallowing in sin, essentially wicked. But let someone who takes you at your word call you "Hello, Sinner", you resent it. Why? Because your real nature is purity, peace, and joy.
MAN must earn his birthright, namely "Shanti". "Ashanti" is for him an unnatural state. His real nature is "Shanti". To recover his heritage of "Shanti", man tries various methods: accumulation of riches, maintenance of health, mastery of knowledge and cultivation of the arts. But these are not fundamental. Three basic wants still remain after all these methods have been tried: the need for Reality; for Light; and for Immortality. It is only when "Sath", "Jyothi" and "Amrutham" are won that "Shanti" will be established.
DO not cloud your mind with cheap desires, transitory hungers, and thirsts that need but morsels or mouthfuls. Yearn for the enthronement of your soul as the unquestioned monarch of the Universe, when you merge in the Universal. Celebrate your triumph over the foes within that hamper your march to victory. Acquire Me as your Charioteer. I shall lead you to that consummation. Earn that unfailing Grace by your sincerity, simplicity, and "Sadhana".
YOU have two eyes in your Consciousness, namely, "Sathya" and "Ahimsa". They are the guides which will take you to the goal, the two lights, the Sun and the Moon of the inner firmament. If you want to know the way in which you have to observe "Sathya" or Truth in speech, look into the Gita. It tells you that the best speech is "anudvegakarm Vaakyam". (Speech that does not create pain or anger or grief to others).
RELY on the Lord and accept whatever is your lot. He is in you, with you. He knows best what to give and when. He is full of Prema. That is My uniqueness: Prema. Prema is the special gift I bring, the special medium through which My Grace operates. That is the basis of all My acts. God is said to reside in everything. Yes. He resides as Prema. Devoid of Prema, the World becomes a cauldron of misery.
BEFORE pointing to the faults of others, examine yourselves and assure yourselves that you are free from faults. That alone gives you the right; but the wonder is that you discover faults in others only when you have faults in you. Once you rid yourselves of faults, all are pure and good. Whatever you touch becomes gold. That is the Divine Alchemy of Love, Divine Love, Universal Love, and Love for Love's own sake.
TO have faith you must dive deep into the inner mystery of the Avatars, like Rama or Krishna, and not lose your way in the tangle of the outer events and emotional conflicts, the external adventures and activities. Do not take Rama as a brother, son and husband, entangled in the personal calamity of having his wife kidnapped and heroically rescuing her. You can be moved into the adoration only by diving into the cool depths of the inner mystery. This process was specially discovered by the Sages of the inner mystery. It was specially discovered by the Sages of India, and so, India rose to the status of the whole World.
SINCE I move about with you, eat like you, and talk with you, you are deluded into the belief that this is but an instance of common humanity. Be warned against this mistake. I am also deluding you by My singing with you, talking with you and engaging Myself in activities with you. But any moment, My Divinity may be revealed to you. You have to be ready, prepared for that moment. Since Divinity is enveloped by humanness, you must endeavour to overcome "Maya" (Delusion) that hides it from your eyes.
YOU can hear adoration to Sathya Sai's Name reverberating throughout the World, even while this Body is existing - not at some future date, but when It is with you and before you. And again, you can witness very soon, the restoration of "Sanathana Dharma", to its genuine and natural status; the "Dharma" laid down in the Vedas for the good of all the peoples of the World. The revival of Vedic Dharma is the Sai Sankalpa (the resolve that Sai has), not only drawing people towards Me, attracting them by the manifestation of My "Shakti" (Power) and "Samarthya" (Capacity). This is not a "Brahmathathwa" (phenomenon of delusion). This phenomenon will sustain Truth, it will uproot untruth, and in that victory, make all of you exult in ecstasy. This is the Sai Sankalpa.
MAN is ill; but he is resorting to remedies that cannot cure. Diagnose yourself. Discover the root cause; apply the proper remedy; that is the way of the wise. Do not run after quacks or pseudo panaceas. Sow the seeds of Prema, after preparing the soil of you heart, and removing the weeds. Let them grow, watered by Faith and yield the blossoms of "Sahana" (fortitude); later you are assured of the fruit, "Shanti". This is the task; this is the duty; and this has to be the vow.
WHEN a Namavali extols Shiva, the next one will have to be on Krishna, the next on Rama and so on. A person whose favourite form is Rama or Shiva will feel neglected if, out of inadvertence, you stick to only one form. Let the atmosphere of Bhajan be free from competitive conceit and fanaticism. This is My advice.
YOU are only actors on the stage before the footlights. The Director, who knows the Play, who assigns the roles, who gives the cues, who calls you in and puts you on, is behind the curtain. You are a puppet; He holds the strings. If He must be seen, you have to be His "Sakhaa" (friend) or "Bandhu" (kinsman). Merely being an onlooker will not entitle you to approach Him and be in His holy company. Cultivate His friendship or kinship by the attitude of Love and Dedicated Service.
TO realise the One, the Universal Absolute, which personalizes itself into God and creation, there is no discipline more valuable and more effective than Seva. All the 1008 Names of the 1000-faced Society connote only the One God that plays in those 1000 roles. The One appears as if it is enshrined in the 1000 bodies. This is the Truth you have to realise and cherish as the most precious in life.
MAN cannot reap the full fruits of his life here below if he only gathers riches or collects popular votes, or loads his head with tons of tomes. He has to cultivate and practice virtues too. He has to adhere to Dharma. The Sruthis direct that man has to earn just enough for his upkeep by honest means and use the rest of his time and skill for the general good, Dharma-Artha. Earn Artha through Dharma. Then he will certainly have plenty of Divine Grace.
ONE gets the liberating Wisdom of the Reality through Grace, Prayer, or Prema. You cannot achieve the Goal through good works alone. In good, there is an extra "O", something that is a mere Zero; that is to say, the desire which prompts you, the fruit that entices you, the reputation that tantalizes you - these are all sheer zeros, a big 0. Leave it off and then we have God who is Zeroless, with no self intruding. That is to say, we have God. Desire plus Life is Man. Life minus Desire is God.
YOU have to busy yourselves with activity in order to use time and skill to the best advantage. That is your Duty and Duty is God. The dull and the inert will hesitate to be active for fear of exhaustion or failure or loss. The emotional, passionate individuals will plunge headlong and crave for quick results, and will be disappointed if they do not come in. The balanced persons will be active because it is their duty. They will not be agitated by anything - failure or success. The Godly will take up activity as a means of worshipping God; and they leave the result to God. They know that they are but instruments in the hands of God.
INTELLECT alone can direct man in the path of discrimination, between the true path and the false, the proper step and the improper. This is the reason why man has been praying since Ages through the Gayatri hymn; "Illumine me and prompt my intelligence so that I may walk aright".
MAN loses his status of humanness through acts that shame even the beasts. He does not strive towards revealing and manifesting his latent Divinity! That is not as big a failing as this sliding back into the animal from which he rose! If he keeps on with his human attributes and capacities, that will serve him well enough. A formidable list can be made of the inadequacies and defects of man but, the basic defect is greed; "Uncontrolled desire", always clamouring for more, as a result of the ceaseless prompting of the senses.
THE human body is a temple chariot; the Atma is installed therein; and it is dragged by emotions, impulses, passions and urges, along the streets of desire. Success and failure, joy and grief, gain and loss are the dancers who accompany this procession of Life. Here too, many pour their attention only on the chariot; its height, its decoration and its progress. Many others are concerned with the dance of duality and the pain-pleasure duet, that is part of the procession. Few pay attention to the Atma, the Crown and Consummation of human existence.
SAGES and Saints have known that the most noteworthy achievement of the senses of man is the glorification of the God within. "They are not eyes, they are but globules of glass, that do not earn a vision of God", says one. "They are not ears, they are but muscular protrusions that do not relish the praise of God" says another. Surdas condemns the hand that does not worship God and calls such hands "sticks of wood". The World and its attractions may appeal to your instincts and impulses but, God draws out your Love, as no worldly being can. Develop the inner vision and the habit of listening to the inner Voice; and you are assured of unshakable Peace and infinite Joy.
LIVE without hating others, condemning others and seeking faults in others. Vyasa, who wrote eighteen voluminous Puranas, summarised all the Puranas in one single line of a small couplet: "Doing good to others is the only meritorious act; doing evil is the most heinous sin". When you feel you cannot do good, at least desist from doing evil. That itself is meritorious service! Do not try to discover differences; discover unity. Creeds, castes and country of origin may differ; but the inner hunger is the same for all mankind.
CONSIDER the word "Nara", which denotes "man". Of these two syllables "ra" means decline, decay, destruction and death. "Na" means "without". Man or Nara has no decay, he is immortal as God, for he is God. It is pitiable that man is misled to believe that he is the decaying, daily dying physical frame. Whereas "Nara" means Man, "Narayana" is the name for God. Nara symbolises the five constituents of the Cosmos; the five Bhoothas (projections, elements), which emanated from God to form the Cosmos. The expression Narayana, which is used in the Scriptures, implies that Nara is Narayana.
THE spark of Love in you has to be cherished and fed, so that it may reach God. Then, every being will be God, every act will be Divine, every reaction you get from the outside world will be charged with Prema and sweetened with nectar. You love the God in all beings and the God in all beings responds with Love. Love God, though tribulation may be your lot. Love Him, though you are refused and rebuked. For it is only in the crucible of travail that the metal is purified and cleared of blemish. Adoration of God has to be through one name and one form; but, that should not limit your loyalty to that particular province only.
THE Dominion of God is without horizon. It envelops space and goes even beyond it. So do not allow the needs of worship or puja to put blinkers on your eyes. Do not have other names or other forms of the same Supra-Cosmic Magnificence, the Purushottama. For hate breeds fear. Hate is the seedbed of anxiety, scandal, and falsehood. It drains your mind of peace. You may have light without oil, fire without smoke, breeze without a bearer fanning you, a chilliness in the air of your room in the sizzling heat of summer. Unless you are at peace with yourselves and with those around you, your pulse will be quick and your blood will be racing in rage and rancour. Love alone can alleviate anxiety and allay fear.
PREMA, when you cultivate it, will remove the weeds of anger and malice. It will blossom into peace and calm. My teaching is Prema. My message is Prema. My activity is Prema; and My way of living is Prema. There is nothing more precious than Love within human grasp.
BHARATH is the birthplace of the Vedas and of the Shastras, Epics and Puranas that have elaborated the principles enunciated therein for the education of the common man. It is the nursery of music and other fine arts, inspired by the noble passion of consecrating human skills for adoring the Divine and communicating the super sensuous. It is the stuff and sustenance of the mystic and the ascetic, the intellectual and the dynamic adorer of God. It is the field where the Science of Yoga was cultivated and systematized.
WHO is Baba? Who am I? And the answer is: I am the reflected image of Baba. Baba is the original of which I am the reflection. That is the relationship. That is the bond, whether you know it or not. Whether the image is distorted or correct, you do "Dhyana" morning and evening; you do "Japam", you engage yourself in "Sravanam", "Kirtanam", "Padasevanam", "Vandanam", "Dasyam", "Archanam", "Sakhyam" and "Atmanivedanam" - all for realising that you are but an image to become a clean, clear image of the Lord; so clean and clear that you merge in Him.
ENDURANCE, with joyful resignation of the ups and downs of life, is the royal road to Peace. Everyone craves "Sukha" and "Shanti"; but there is no one to instruct Youth how to win them. The Ramayana and the Mahabharatha are reservoirs of Knowledge for the seekers of Peace. They are replete with examples and precepts which are inspiring and timely. By taking the teachings to heart, Purity can be attained. The pure heart directed towards God and reflecting His image is indeed Heaven, Vaikunta, or Kailasa.
LIVING under the impression that you are the body and you are destroyed with the death of the body is an illusion which is basically undesirable. Another illusion is that happiness consists in accumulating money, knowledge, comforts, or reputation. Trying to be happy through such accumulation is like getting into the Madras bus and hoping to reach Bangalore. What is happiness? It is the state of mind which is, by fortune, good or bad. By systematic education, the mind can attain the state. If activity is done as worship, then the mind can attain the state. If activity is done as worship, then the mind will be steady and free from anxiety.
THE word Hindu means those who keep away from the path of violence, away from inflicting injury on others, Hin (Hinsa - Injury; Violence); du (dura-away, distant) The Shastras declare that the essence of all the 18 Puranas, so highly revered in India, is: Merit is when you do good to another; Sin is when you do evil to another. When you are fixed in this path, you will welcome all Faiths and Religions as kith and kin. All Faiths attempt to train man along the path. Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jews, Parsis, all aspire to win the same illumination, through the cleansing of the mind by means of good work.
WHEN a tree first shoots forth from the seed, it comes up with a stem and two incipient leaves! But later, when it grows, the trunk is one, and the branches are many! Each branch may be thick enough to be called a trunk but, one should not forget that the roots send food as sap through one single trunk. God, the same God, feeds the spiritual hunger of all nations and all faiths, through the common sustenance of truth, virtue, humility and sacrifice.
BRAHMA'S lotus is not the stalk that grows in mud and rises above the waters to catch the rays of the sun and blossom but, the many petalled lotus of the Heart, each petal being the direction in which a particular tendency attracts the individual. The Bull on which Siva is said to ride is not the animal called by that name but, the symbol of Dharma or Righteousness which has the four legs; "Sathya", "Dharma", "Shanthi" and "Prema". Gopala did not graze cattle but, protected and fed "Jivis", known also as "Go". In the study of the Veda, you should look for the meaning which satisfies the head.
THIS Nilayam is "Prasanthi Nilayam". It is the abode of the highest form of Shanti - Prasanthi. In fact, you are, each one of you, the Nilayam of Prasanthi. That is why, I very often address you as "Shanti Swarupulaara". My object is to remind you that your real nature is Shanti, equanimity, peace, unruffledness and non-attachment. You cannot draw out from within you that which is not there. Therefore, Shanthi must be deep down, at the very core of your being.
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