1008 Pearls of Sayings of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
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From 673 - 714
YOU must be careful about the food you take; the Jiva and Guhya are the two great foes of man. The cravings of hunger and sex drag you into perdition. Desist from catering to the tongue and its greed; do not be a victim of lust or taste. Have Sathvic food and eat it in Sathvic company. Be moderate in food and keep the senses strictly under control.
WHAT exactly is the aim and purpose of all the Shastras, the Bhagavatham, the Puranas, these discourses and the Harikathas? It is to tell man the truth about himself. There is no plot to mislead you. That is not the desires of the Sages who wrote down these annals and their own experiences. You know only the present and what is happening before your eyes. You do not know that the present is related to the past and is preparing the course of the future. It is like the headlines and titles of a film on the screen; as the letters gleam one after the other, you read them and pass on to the next that comes to view. Each new letter or word wipes out the one already before your eye, just as each birth wipes out the memory of the one already experienced.
PEOPLE who were charged with the social duty of reminding the masses of their heritage, have been rendered dispirited and mendicant. The Dharma laid down in the Vedas has to be experienced in order to be appreciated; it cannot be merely talked about in tall language. The use of the Vedas does not consist in mere recitation, though the reciters are doing a valuable service, presenting them in correct form and style of pronunciation. Vedas yield Ananda; Vedamatha is the Ananda Matha.
WHO am I? Every one of you has to know that this question has to worry you sooner or later. And everyone has to discover the answer. The senses, each specialising in one small field of cognition, are powerless to give the answer; they are at best very inadequate even in their own specialised provinces; there are sounds the ear cannot hear; there are colours the eye cannot take in and interpret to us; and tastes beyond the ken of the buds of the tongue. They are imperfect instruments for the study of the external World. How can they serve to teach us about the intangible, invisible, inner World of the self? The Vedantic vision alone can reveal to you: "Anoraniyam mahatho maheemyam", "the smaller than the smallest and bigger than the biggest".
DHARMA is the road for individual and social progress in this World and through this World to the next. It is external, basic and fundamental. The principles may not be altered or adjusted to suit personal whims or pressing problems that appear formidable to the eyes of some individuals or group of persons. It is like the mother who has to be accepted, not like the wife whom you can choose or discard.
IF you can inquire deeply and reason fearlessly, you can appreciate the Indian point of view that, instead of seeking a lower standard of Ananda by feeding the senses, one can get lasting Ananda by training the mind to be ever in the eyes of the Cosmic, the Universal, the Lord as it is called, when you impose a Name and a Form upon it, and enclose it in your consciousness. Why does man get Ananda when he contemplates the Cosmic and the Universal? Because he is the Cosmic, the Universal.
ALL hearts are His Property. It is all His Domain, But just as the Zamindar sits only on a clean spot, though the entire area may be his, the Lord will install himself only if the heart is cleansed. The Lord has said, "Mad bhaktha yathra Gaayanthe, thatra thishtaami Narada", "Where my devotees sing of Me, there I install Myself". I must tell you that you are luckier than men of previous generations. The accumulated merit of many previous births must have granted you this luck. You have got Me and it is your duty now to develop this relationship that you have achieved by sheer good fortune.
IN four or five year's time, you will see Yogis and Maharishis and Munis crowding here and you may not have such chances of asking Me questions and getting the answer, of approaching Me and directly speaking to Me. So, do not be like frogs around the Lotus, be like the bees. Plantains and mangoes are kept, while yet green, in straw or dried grass or in a closed room so that the heat may make them ripe and tasty. The meditation on God gives you too the right temperature to ripen yourselves and become sweet and tasty.
THERE are seven things that have to be fostered for the welfare of the World: the Cow, the Brahman-ward aspirant or the Brahmin, the Vedas, Chastity, Truth, Non-attachment and Dharma. All these are now fast declining and I have come to restore them in their pristine purity and strength. Do not think that this Sathya Sai Gita was composed by some Bhakta and that he reads it and explains it here. As he said, I am the inspirer and it is for your benefit that he has summarised My Teachings in this way. "Ekkam Sathyam Vimalam Achalam". It is said that the One Truth is pure and unshakable.
THERE are now thousands and thousands of educated institutions in the world. But, there is a great difference between the rest and those founded by Sathya Sai. The fundamental objectives of Sai institutions are humility, adherence to discipline and application of what is learned in daily life. If, what is learned is not put into practice, the student is like a cow that does not yield milk; a fruit lacking in taste, a book bereft of wisdom. It is not really man's task to stuff his head with transient knowledge and waste time in acquiring it. He should not engage in valueless activities and fritter away years of life. When man ruins himself , he descends to the level of the beast. When man uplifts himself, he ascends to the level of God.
OF the four Yugas, the present Kaliyuga is far more congenial than the previous three (Kritha, Thretha, and Dwapara) for the acquisition of wisdom and the cultivation of discrimination (Viveka), for we now have many simple paths available for liberating ourselves. The Scriptures say:, "No age is equal to the Kali Age. Just through Smarana and Chinthana we can reach the Goal". Smarana is the process of keeping the Lord ever in the memory; and Chinthana is the process of thinking of His glory all the time. Many people are scared because they believe that the Kali Age, in which we live, will witness the ultimate Deluge. Others call it the Kalpa Age, the Age of Conflict. This Age is the Golden Age for the seekers of God and for earning and learning Viveka.
PILES of books are plentiful in bazaars; schools abound; and there is no dearth of teachers. But wholesome learning and sincere teaching are not to be seen. It is for this reason that these spiritually oriented educational (Sai) institutions are being established to impart teaching in proper ways in order to preserve the hearts of students in pristine purity, stability and unselfishness; to develop them into workers dedicated to the progress of Bharath, intent on removing the anxiety and gloom that spread all over the land; and determined to revive the Glory of the Bharathiya Culture.
IF Divinity is absent, everything is devilry. So, teachers and students must have faith in God and boldly call on God. This will drive away the devilry that encompasses us. Of course, hesitation to address God is only superficial. During examinations, every student prays to the Almighty. When calamities happen, when loss is sustained, and when members of the family are struck by disease and are in mortal danger, people do pray to God. Why, then, yield to false pride and refuse to acknowledge God? This is sheer hypocrisy.
BHAKTI, to be effective, must be regularised through self-discipline; it should not be allowed to grow wild and untended. You rush forward to touch My feet or to prostrate before Me, ignoring the children, the aged and the sick, upon whom you fall when you press forward towards Me. Do not forget the Sai in those people, when you rush forward towards this Sai. The merit of all the hardship you underwent to see and hear this Sai is as good as canceled, when you inflict pain on the Sai who resides in them. That plus and this minus add up to zero. In your frenzy to offer homage, you should not forget others who have been waiting long for the chance; you must provide facilities for their dharsan.
TRANSMUTING humanity into Divinity is the task allotted to man. Word, thought and deed are instruments for this unavoidable destiny. By unremitting practice, this has to be achieved. The priest in the temple has to ring the bell with the left hand and wave the camphor flame with the right hand, an exercise in manual coordination which comes only as a result of practice. A new priest will use both hands and shake the camphor plate. Vemana has said that, while the serpent has poison in its fangs and the scorpion in its tail, man is capable of inflicting poison through his tongue, eyes, hand and mind. He has to overcome this acquired tendency and remind himself that he is "Amrithasya Puthra" (the Child of Immorality), conferring sweet nectar and not death-dealing poison.
IF your circumstances do not allow you to partake in this Sankeerthana, stay at home and sing the songs alone in the silent cave of your heart. Do not do so according to a fixed measure, so many times or so many songs at a sitting. The heart does not calculate in numbers; it confers contentment which is immeasurable. That contentment can arise only through faith. When the mind wavers, loyalty sits light; love disappears; and faction begins.
I HAVE come for the re-establishment of Dharma and so, I always insist on people observing Dharma in all walks of life. Dharma is the inner voice of God. It is the conscience that has shaped itself as a result of centuries of experience and generations of asceticism and austerity; it is the voice of history, warning you against the branch of its command.
FOR treading the Bhaktimarga, one needs not scholarship, nor wealth, nor riches, nor ascetic rigours. Tell me what was the lineage of Valmiki, the wealth of Kuchela, the scholarship of Sabari, the age of Prahalada, the status of Gajaraja and the attainments of Vidura? - Prema was all they had and it was all they needed. The Grace of the Lord is as the Ocean, vast and limitless. By your Sadhana, your Japam, Dhyanam and systematic cultivation of Virtue, this Grace is converted into clouds of Truth, and they rain on humanity as Prema Showers, which collect and flow as the flood of Ananda back again into the Ocean of the Lord's Grace.
YOU have come here to learn and practice detachment. Get wet in the rain, while engaged in serving others. It does not matter if death comes while serving; do not pause; if you are so determined, God will not allow it to approach you. You complain "Swami has not softened towards me". Well, melt His heart, yearn, show Him the warmth of a repentant heart and of a sympathetic heart anxious to alleviate distress. Through deep detachment the craving for sensual pleasure must disappear; that will cleanse the Chitha or consciousness. God will then be reflected clear and the Reality can be recognised. This results in Peace and Equanimity which is the highest bliss.
THE wise will not give place in their hearts to covetousness and possessiveness. They know that there is a "Kshetragna" who is the motivator of this "Kshetra"; "a knower of the field, who is the master of this field". Vyasa, who collected the Vedas, composed the aphorisms that demarcate the Divine Principle (the Brahmasatram) and wrote the Mahabharatha, reputed to be the fifth Veda, could still not win mental peace. Those were intellectual feats, flights of poetry and philosophy but not flowers that blossomed from authentic experience.
IDEALS must become higher and grander. Desires must become more and more selfless and sublime. Attachment must be transmuted into nobler and subtler emotions. The story will be gripping only when there is steady development towards the denouement. That is why one passes through the crucible of joy and grief and emerges all the purer and stronger for the experience. When a child's growth is stunted, it causes grief; when he starts to grow normally, it causes joy, when the growth is abnormal, it causes grief again.
THERE is none to question Me if I do not act; there is nothing I would lose if I do not engage in activity. Nor have I any great urge to be active. But yet, you see Me very active. The reason is, I must be doing something all the time, for your sake, as an example, as an inspiration, as a piece of training. Those who are leading must themselves follow; and those who command must themselves carry out what they expect others to do. I am engaged in activity so that you may learn to transmute every minute into a golden chance to enable you to move into Godhood.
MAN is endowed with many skills; he is offered many lives; he is shown many paths. The purpose of all these gifts is to develop in him the spirit of devotion and dedication and release him from the dual dribble of joy and grief. When man visualises the Universe as God, its capacity to confer the dual experience disappears; he knows the Truth and is calm. God is One and One only; "Ekam eve Adhivitiyam Brahma" (One only, without a second-Brahmam, which is the immanent principle). So one must endeavour to know God, who is Truth.
THE internal foes can be destroyed by the light of Jnana (the illumination that accompanies the Realization of the Reality). To acquire that illumination, one has to cultivate the spirit of impartial, steady, unfluctuating inquiry, based on the revelations made in the Vedas about the nature of man and God and the relation between the two. The Vedas have to be studied reverentially, for they give us the key to Jnana. The Veda is the Philosopher's stone that turns all metals into gold, all students into Sadhakas and all Sadhakas into Sages.
SEE how the insufferable heat of the Sun is controlled and modulated and reduced by your bodily mechanism to the congenial temperature of 98.4 degree F. So, you too should keep the destructive force of your elemental passions born out of the clamour of Sabdha, Sparsa, Rupa, Rasa and Gandha rigorously in check and bring it down to tolerable levels, yielding comfort and congenial living. You yourselves create the Maya of which you are the slave. Deny it the chance to lord over you and it will not harm you.
SHEER ignorance is the root cause for the disrespect that is being shown to Indian culture and the fascination exercised by the West. Do these people at least grasp the values of Western culture fully? No, only the fringe and the foppery are adopted. How can a person, who is unable to understand his own culture and heritage, understand the meaning and significance of an alien culture?
THE most fundamental teaching of the ancient culture of India is Love. For generations, the youth of this land have been exhorted, encouraged and taught, by precept and example, to love the poor, the helpless, the handicapped, the illiterate and the disabled, for the same spark of Divinity that is in us, is also equally evident and active in them. Education must endow man with this compassion and this spirit of service - intelligent, timely and full. That is to say, education must not only inform but also transform.
THE mind is like a boulder which the intellect
transforms into an image, as a sculptor does. If the intellect allows the senses
to dictate the design, the boulder will be shaped into a horrid idol. If,
however, the senses are sublimated by the spirit, the image wrought by the
intellect will be simply adorable. One must have the mind fully cooperating in
the spiritual discipline and not obstructing its progress at every step.
Liberation is the goal and the mind must help the pilgrim at every stage of his
journey. The Mind should not admit any activity that is contrary to Dharma or
injurious to spiritual progress.
IN order to live up to the high standards of morality which Indian culture exhorts, you must cultivate Love, non-violence, fortitude and equanimity. The last three guard and foster the first, Love, which you must cultivate. Many people have succeeded, with the help of the latter three qualities, to get their minds established in universal Love; but a large number of Sadhakas give up the ascent midway, because they lose confidence in their true selves. They do believe in God, who is the embodiment of Love and is their Real sustenance.
YOU must have heard some people say that no living person can be adored as God, even though the Sruthi declares: "Daivam Mansushya Roopom" (God is to be seen in the human form). Perhaps they can revere only a corpse. Not Sivam, but Savam, is what they wish to revere.
OM must be recited slowly and with deliberation. The sound must be like an aircraft, first approaching from a distance to the spot where you are and then flying away again into the distance (soft at first but gradually becoming louder and louder and then slowly relapsing into silence; this silence, after the experience being as significant as the Pranavas). "U" is the zenith, the Kailas, reached by the sound in its adoration. "A" is the initial nadir and "M" the final.
YOU must realise that the Divine current that flows and functions in every living being is the one Universal Entity. When you desire to enter the Mansion of God, you are confronted by two closed doors - the desire to praise yourself and the desire to defame others. The doors are bolted by envy; and there is also the huge lock of egoism preventing entry; so if you are earnest, you have to resort to the key of Prana (Love) and open the locks, then remove the bolt and throw the doors wide open.
THE day on which Jesus was born is a holy day. He announced himself as the Messenger of God. In fact, all humans are born as Messengers of God. The sole purpose of this human career is to propagate the Omnipresence of God, His Might and Glory. No one has incarnated for merely consuming food and catering to one's senses. Human life is much more precious than that. That is why the capacity to appreciate beauty, truth and goodness has been endowed only on man.
THE Brahmin, when born, is just a Sudra; birth does not entitle him to take up the study of this Mystery, even if the boy happens to be the son of a great Vedic scholar. It is only when he has been formally initiated by a special ceremony that he can start the study of Sacred Scriptures. The ceremony makes him a Brahmin; he is then born again into a sacred world of study and responsibility.
MY Prema towards the Veda is equaled only by My Prema towards Humanity. My mission, remember, is just fourfold; Vedaposhana, Vidwathposhana, Doarmarakshana and Baktharakshana. Spreading My Grace and My Power along these four directions, I establish Myself in the Centre.
WHAT profit is it for the children to know the length of the Mississippi River or the height of the Vesuvius? Why load them with information they may never require? On the other hand, give them the tonic to strengthen their spirit, the tonic of the Repetition of the Name of the Lord, the tonic of meditating on the Glory of God in the silence of the heart. Formerly, children were learning Rama Nama and the Aksharamala together: "Suddha Brahma Paraathpara Rama". They were taught to read and write. Now, they sing, "Ding dong bell, Pussy is in the well". This type of silly meaningless jargon is spreading everywhere like a poisonous infection, destroying the seeds of peace and joy.
LIVING becomes a glorious experience only when it is sweetened by Tolerance and Love. Willingness to compromise with others' ways of living and cooperation in common tasks make living happy and fruitful. Certain modes of behaviour have been laid down and proved beneficial by centuries of practice. These have to be observed with modifications to suit the conditions of today. We are developing in each department of life, but it is a pity that we are not developing the unique qualities of human beings. Develop the Atmic awareness, the consciousness of the Divine and the acquisition of Divine attributes. Expand love and understanding.
WITHOUT mastery over the inner instruments of emotion, no man can be deemed to be educated. The latent has to be cleansed so that the patent can flourish. Experience is essential for the confirmation of consolidation of what is learnt from books. We do not see any sign of this in the present educational system. There is no attempt to awaken the Divine in Man and awareness of the possibility of rising to the psychic plane.
EDUCATION must produce wisdom and moral character. It can be acquired only by hard living and spending days of toil, with no respite even for sleep. But present day education makes those who undergo it mere bonded-slaves to their senses. They do not know how to avoid this bondage, so they revel in envy, greed and egoism. What the country expects and demands from the educated person is, however, that he should set an example of honest labour and light the lamp of knowledge in every home.
SANKARA asserted that God is Formless and without Attributes and is best described as Supreme, Effulgence or Jyothi. He also said that the individual is not different from the Universal, that Jiva is Brahman itself, that the manifold nature is also Brahman itself and seen through a strange veil as a mixture of truth and falsehood, a peculiar make-believe called Maya or Avidya.
BRAHMAN is the cause and Prakruthi (Nature) the effect. Nature is the deluding manifestation of Brahman. It is what can be called Leelavibhuthi or an expression of Glory (Vibhuthi) done as more sport (Leela). When the Leela is perceived as apart from Brahman, it is a false and incomplete perception. The Leela is manifold, Brahman is all. To discover the One in the many is the purpose of human existence. Brahmam is eternal. It is the Nithyavibhuthi, the everlasting Splendour. It is named the Kingdom of God. Leelavibhuthi is Prakruthi or Maya or Avidya or Nature with deluding, deceptive diversities.
SPIRITUAL health is preserved and promoted by attention to three Gunas: Sathvika, Rajas, and Thamas. Health is preserved and promoted by attention to three humours: Vatha (wind) Pitha (bile) and Kapha (phlegm). Thri-dosha has to be avoided, that is to say, the three humours must not get vitiated or unbalanced. A healthy body is the best container for a healthy mind, illness makes the mind agitated and anxious. The material and the spiritual are the two pans in the balance. They have to be attended to, in equal measure, at least until a certain stage of progress is attained in spiritual development.
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