1008 Pearls of Sayings of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
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From 757 - 798
VOICE breeds disease. Bad thoughts and habits, bad company and bad food are hostile grounds where disease thrives. "Arogya" and "Ananda" go hand in hand. A sense of elation and exultation keeps the body free from ill health. Evil habits, in which men indulge, are the chief cause of disease in the physical as well as the mental state. Greed affects the mind; disappointment makes man depressed. Man can justify his existence as man only by the cultivation of virtues. Then he becomes a worthy candidate for Godhood.
ANYONE may blame you; but you should ignore all such blame and go forward in doing service without rancour. Service is your only duty. The Universe is a manifestation of God. So too is the individual. All these three are like Brahma, Vishnu, Maheswara - the Trinity. Actually, there are no three, they are one - it is the unified Godhead. Cherishing this thought of Oneness and serving the Society is true Adhyatmic or spiritual life.
YOU should take to "Sarvada, Sarvakaleshu Sarvatra Haricharithanam". It is just not sufficient holding a mala and doing Japa, once in the morning during Brahma Muhurtha time, once in the afternoon and once in the evening. All the twenty four hours you should be in the remembrance of God. You should all the time be striving to awaken the spirit within you and for its blossoming (Atma Vikas). This is the real purpose of life.
MAN has in him vast resources of power. When he does not utilise them while discharging his duties to himself and to the Society which sustains him, he is only becoming a target for ridicule. When you are on a railway station platform waiting for the train that is due, and when you come to know that it arrives five hours late, how do you react? You fling abusive words at the train. When the coaches receive from you such treatment, how much worse treatment you deserve for not fulfilling your duty and for disappointing the expectations that you have raised by your being a man? Utilise your skills and learning as consistently and as effectively as duty demands.
MOHAMMED preached monotheism and was driven out of Mecca. Jesus preached mercy and charity and he was charged with treason. Harischandra refused to give up his allegiance to Truth and was driven to such straits that he had to sell his wife and son as slaves. So, when you stick to the path of Truth and Righteousness, pain and poverty haunt you. But they are only clouds passing through the sky, hiding for a little while the splendour of the Sun.
THE motherland is not a mere lump of earth. When we desire its progress, we have to promote the progress of the people who dwell therein. The skill needed for resuscitating and reforming man are found only in students. The reforming process involves the removal in daily living of bad conduct and bad habits and the practice of good conduct and good deeds. A man's worth can be measured by his efforts to reform himself. This day, the Government has no authority to reform the people; and the people have no authority to reform the Government.
THE Pranava is the essence of all sustenance, the embodiment of Rasa; of the Earth, Water is the Rasa; of the water, Physic (Oshadi) is the Rasa; of the Physic, the Human Person is the Rasa; of the Human Person, the Word is the Rasa; of the Word RK is the Rasa; of the RK, Sama is the Rasa; of the Sama (Veda), OM is the Rasa. These eight Rasas, the Earth, Water, Physic, Person, Word, RK, Sama and OM lead to the ninth Ananda (Bliss). These are the Navaratnas, the nine Essences, the nine Sustainers; and Ananda is the goal which man is seeking, the aim of human life.
THE A of AUM is the Viswa; the U is Tejas; and the M is Praajna- this is another interpretation in the Scriptures. Viswa is the Walking; Tejas is the Dream; Prajna, the Deep Sleep stage. The Pranava Sadhana (the spiritual exercise of meditation on OM) is therefore very important for Seekers. The Vedas prescribe the repetition of the Pranava, while studying holy texts, reciting the Name of the Divine, carrying out daily duties and offering gifts.
YOU have a Kalpavruksha, ready to give you all that you want; you have the Lord, who protects and promotes all. The virtues of the people are treasures of the State; the Smarana of the Name of the Lord is the root of all virtues. Narada, who was afflicted with conceit that there was no other who had dedicated his very breath to the recital of the Name, was once humbled to find that a ryot, who managed to repeat the Name three times in the course of his overwhelming multitude of distressing preoccupation from cock-crow to dusk, was judged a great Bhakta.
JOY is your birth right; Shanti is your in-most nature. The Lord is your Staff and Support. Do not discard it; do not be led away from the path of faith by stories invented by malice and circulated by spite. Take up the Name of God, any of the in- numerable ones, any that appeals to you most and the Form appropriate to that Name and start repeating it, from now on. That is the Royal Road to ensure Joy and Peace, that will train you in the feeling of brotherhood and remove enmity towards fellow men.
BECAUSE you have taken residence in this body, you cannot call the body "I". When you sit here in this Hall, you do not call the Hall "I". You know you are separate and that you are here only temporarily. When you go about in a tonga, you do not say that the tonga is you, do you? You do not take the tonga inside, when you step down from it on reaching home. So, you also have to drop this body when you reach "home".
PARAMATMA reveals its Glory in man; Prema appears in various forms, attaching itself to riches, parents, children, one's life mate or friends. All these are sparks of the same flame and the Love of the Universal is its highest expression. This Prema cannot be cultivated by reading essays, guide books, and made-easy lessons and learning the steps by note. It has to begin with yearning for the Light and an unbearable agony to escape from the Darkness as in the prayer "Thamasomaa Jyothir Gamaya". The yearning itself will draw the light. The Love will grow by itself and, by its own slow alchemy, turn you into God.
YOU must cultivate non-attachment towards Prakruthi and attachment to the Lord. I am reminded of the story of Sankara Bhatta. He was a great Sadhaka intent on Japa and Ahgama to such an extent that he was reduced to skin and bone. He worshipped Saraswathi or Vidya which is the key to open the doors of Mukti. Goddess Lakshmi saw his sad plight and was moved with great pity. She chided Saraswathi for denying Her votary even the common joys of life and she hid in his leaky hut to pour on him Her Grace. She offered him plenty, prosperity, fame and fortune. She derided Saraswathi for neglecting to award comfort and joy on Her hapless servant. But Sankara Bhatta turned a deaf ear to her allurements; he said politely but firmly, "No, Saraswathi has blessed me with the most precious wealth, the gift that liberates me. I do not crave your Grace. Please remove yourself from my presence".
JEWELS give Joy, not Gold. You can experience the Name, you can imbibe the Form; you can take them to heart and dwell upon them and fill yourself with the joy that they evoke. That is why Jayadeva, Gomanga, Ramakrishna and others wished to remain ants, tasting Sugar rather than becoming sugar itself. The Name is like the seed implanted in your heart; when the shower of His Grace falls upon it, it sprouts into a lovely tree. All trees that sprout from the Name are equally lovely and shady.
MANAVA can become Madhava by engaging himself in Madhava Karma; he can then discover his "Narayana - Tatwam". What is the use of doing only Manavakarma or even Danavakarma and claiming that man is divine? Virtue is the life-breath and character is the backbone. Without these, no meritorious act will fructify. A man without character is like a pot with many holes, useless for carrying water or for storing it. Renounce and win Peace.
HOW far have you progressed using the chance of these Discourses and the Dharsan and Sparsan? Bring something into your daily practice, as evidence of your having known the secret of higher life from Me. Show that you have greater brotherliness, speak less with more sweetness and self-control and that you can bear defeat as well as victory with calm resignation.
WHILE speaking of God, who is guarding you, I am reminded of a note that someone has sent Me from this gathering. The note wants Me to explain why I have not mentioned SAI BABA in any of my Discourses so far, though I bear the name as the Avatar of SAI BABA. Evidently, the writer of the note had in mind the people who engage themselves in publicity work of Rama, Krishna or SAI BABA.
FOOLISHNESS, egoism, and sheer ignorance are the causes of misery of man today. The eye, the ear and the tongue lead man to anxiety and malice instead of making him a messenger of Peace and Harmony. Intellect is the root of pride and envy. Vishnu is Jagannatha at Puri; at Kasi Siva is Visweswara; where then is any room for rivalry between those who worship at Puri and those who worship at Kasi? Vishnu is Gopal (protector of cows) and Siva is Pasupathi (master of cows). Still, the innate urge to fight comes up in the heart of man and he uses the name of the Lord as an excuse for provoking the fighting tendencies.
THE airplane has to land at a certain place to take those who have reserved the right to fly with the tickets they have purchased. So too the Lord has to come down so that those who have won the right to be liberated may be saved. Incidentally, others too will know of the Lord, of His grace and ways of winning it, of the joy of liberation. There are some who deny even today the possibility of air travel; they curse the contrivance. They cavil at it. Similarly, there are many who cavil at the Avatar who has come to save them.
YOUR minds are wayward like monkeys that skip and jump from bough to branch. Give them to Me. I can make them steady and harmless. When I say "Sit", they will sit; when I say "Stand", they stand. That is what Sankaracharya offered to do; he told Siva that he would hand over to him the monkey that was his mind to Him so that it might be tamed and used for his delight. But it must be a complete handing over with no reservations.
MAN comes into the World, burdened with Maya and its instrument, the Mind. The Mind expresses itself through Attraction and Repulsion, Raga and Dwesha, Affection and Hatred towards the external World. Raga is Rajasic in its effect and it can be used for one's uplift as Narada used it to fix attention on the Lord. Dwesha is Thamasic as Durvasa expressed it in his dealings with Ambarisha and others. Without Raga and Dwesha, the Mind cannot function at all. If these two are removed, there can be no mind and no Maya; and you get fixed in Jnana.
THE study of the Vedas is the highest type of learning since it leads to the conquest of Death. All other studies deal with the means of living or the surroundings which you have to live; they deal with earning and spending, deriving a little pleasure by this trick, escaping a little grief by that trick. The Vedas show the path to the Realm of Eternal Bliss, where there is no Birth or Death. People learn details about China, Russia and America; they know about the volcanoes of the Pacific or the islands of the Arctic regions; but they do not know an iota about the features of their own inner realms.
THE Karma Kanda is the biggest part of the Vedas, because Karma or sanctified activity is the means by which the tree blossoms and the fruit matures and grows. The Upasana Kanda deals with Upasana, the method by which the fruit ripens. The Jnana Kanda describes Jnana, the process by which the fruit fills itself with sweetness. The first stage takes the longest time. Also, it comprises the largest portion, the second and the third are quicker by comparison. And so they are shorter. The third stage can be accomplished, even apart from the tree, by keeping in a warm place amidst straw or a hot room.
MAN can acquire the sweetness of Jnana by keeping himself in Sathsang or even by remaining in a solitary place by himself with Dhyana, for example. But, by whatever means, the sweetness (Jnana) cannot be injected from outside; it must grow from within. It is the transformation of the inner nature won by a struggle with the inner foes.
JUST think of this for a while. You are in this body, in this receptacle, in order to realise the God you really are. This body is the cocoon you have spun round yourselves by means of your impulses and desires. Use it while it lasts, to grow wings so that you can escape from it. You came into this world crying, announcing your grief at being thrust into it, grief for having lost hold of God. Having come with grief, decide not to go with it from here. Get rid of it in this life.
BECOME entitled to the honoured title of Bhakta. My glory is spread daily through those who call themselves My Bhaktas. Your virtue, your self-control, your detachment, your faith and your steadfastness are the signs by which people read of My Glory. Not that I want any such prop. But it just happens that in this World, where men estimate others indirectly rather than directly. Let me tell you, such Bhaktas are very rare. That is the reason why I do not address you as "Bhaktulara". You can lay claim to that name only when you have placed yourself in My hands fully, completely, and with no trace of ego kept back to cater to your vanity.
ALL ills are traceable to faulty living. And what is that traceable to? The ignorance of one's real Nature, ignorance so deep-rooted that it affects thoughts, words and deeds. The drug that can cure it is presented under different Names: Jnana; Karma; Upasana; and Bhakti. They are all the same in potency and curative power. The difference lies only in the method of administration: either as a mixture or as a tablet or by injection.
THIS Nilayam should not be treated with scant reverence. Make the best use of your stay here. Do not treat this chance lightly. You come, spending lots of money and you have put yourselves to much trouble to reach here. But you do not bloom as fragrant offerings at the Lord's feet by learning the Sadhana path. The senses have to be curbed into obedient servants of the Sprit. For example, I insist on silence. Talk less. Talk low when you must talk. Do not thrust your sorrows, your needs, and your problems into the ears of those who come here with their own bundles of such things.
IN this Prasanthinilayam, there are certain limits laid down, certain modes of spending time usefully recommended by Me. All who come here, whether longtime residents or new arrivals, have to observe them. You have seen Me, stayed here, and heard the Discourses. Let me ask: What is the gain? Are you going back unchanged, unaffected? Dogs do not chew sugarcane; they seek a bone instead. Ill-fated mortals recoil, when the talk is about God, Goodness, Sadhana, and Saakshathkara. But you must pull yourselves away from slums and bylanes and travel on the highway to God. Dwell always on the Glory of God then you will shine in that Glory. Adhere to Truth. That is the surest means of removing fear from your heart. Prema can grow only in the heart that is watered by Truth.
THE Shastras warn you of false steps. They console you in times of stress and they strengthen you in distress. They give correct interpretations of moral dilemmas. They prescribe the dress, the food, the manner of speech, the methods of social conduct, the mode of mutual behaviour and the lines of onward march. They are the conscience of Society.
THE whole World knows what sacred ideals inspire the Sathya Sai Organizations. It is true that a big bag of rice might contain a few grains of sand. Any human organization is bound to have a few black sheep. But that will not affect the Organization as long as it is true to its principles. The kind of service and sacrifice the Sathya Sai Organizations are rendering is colossal. The basis for all is the Love that prevails among the members. From ancient times, the Upanishadic prayer said "Sahanaa Vavathu; Sahanaa Bhunaktu" (May He protect us all; may He nourish us all.) The spirit of Oneness proclaimed in these Manthras is operative today only in the Sathya Sai Organization.
SANATHANA Dharma is bound to overcome today's rampant materialism, for it can harmonize the secular and the spiritual into a single way of life. It can bring into closer kinship both man and God. It is based on the Divine which is the reality of the Self. So, it is not limited to one country, one individual, one period or one set. It has a variety of procedures, points of view, disciplines and guidelines, in accordance with the special features of the region, the age, and the environment.
THE human body is the home of countless microbes and other parasitic beings. No one can be free from these disease-inducing causes. But one can easily overcome this sorrow by developing feelings of compassion towards all beings, and by thoughts which thrive on and spread Love. Illness, both physical and mental, is a reaction on the body caused by the poison in the mind. An uncontaminated mind alone can ensure continuous health.
MAN struggles variously to attain Ananda. Ananda is the height of happiness, the embodiment of joy. It is sought in three different ways, according to the innate quality of the seeker - the Sathwick, the Rajasik and the Thamasik. The Sathwik path is poison in the early stages and nectar while coming to fruition. It involves firm control and regulation of the senses of cognition and action. This will be very hard to accomplish. But as one progresses in practice, the joy increases and bliss is attained. How can such a goal be secured, without undergoing hardship?
THE Scripture says: "Happiness cannot be won through happiness (Na Sukaad Labhyathe Sukham). Happiness can be won only through misery". Pleasure is but an interval between two pains. To achieve the Sathwik happiness that is positive and permanent, man must perforce take on trials and tribulations, loss and gain.
TECHNOLOGY must be dedicated to the promotion of high ideals, those which are cherished in Bharathiya culture. For without the background of the culture, educated people are easily turned into slaves of other cultures. Those who belong to a country have to proceed along the special circumstances and resources of the country. Of course, one must love all mankind; all are children of God. One must not emphasize the differences between Nations or between castes and creeds. Cultivate Universal heartfelt Love.
MAN must withstand both praise and blame, success and failure, pleasure and pain, like the Meru Mountain Peak. He must strive to be steadfast and unmoved. Once you collect desires, you become their slave; you will find no end to them. When they are attained, others assail you and still leave you discontented. Be aware of your innate Divinity and show these recurring desires their due place. The Atma in you is unaffected by desire, defeat or victory. They are passing clouds.
SENSE-Control will guard you against a host of evils. Do not believe that because you are equipped with the senses nothing harmful can happen. Through their free exercises, you may have your car registered in your name and be driving it yourself, but, if you do not apply the brakes in a timely manner, accidents are bound to be your lot. Your body can be compared to a car. Your eyes are like the lights. Your stomach, the petrol tank; your mouth, the horn; your mind the steering wheel; Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksh, the wheels; the air within the tires is faith; and intelligence or Buddhi, the switch.
FAITH is the basis of every act. You do not run away from the barber because he is armed with a sharp razor. You place faith in him and allow him to cut your hair, quietly submitting to his idiosyncrasies. You give away costly clothes to the dhobi since you have the faith that he will return them washed and ironed. You have faith in the driver of your car and in the engineer who built your house. So too, believe in the inner Motivator, the Atman within, the voice of God.
THE awareness of the Atman or the Divine in man can neither be gifted to another nor be accepted from another. It is all the time hidden behind the veil of ignorance. When the false image disappears, the Truth shines in all its Glory. It is like the Sun behind the passing cloud. Your duty is to draw this veil and let the Sun of Awareness shine forth and illumine your thoughts, words and deeds.
ACTIVE participation in Society, in a spirit of dedication and surrender, conceiving all acts as worship and all men as the embodiments of the Supreme, is a more beneficial form of Sadhana. For there is no spot where He is not, no object which is not He. For, as the Sruthi declares, He willed that He becomes all this. Worship, adoration, and pilgrimage cannot be the end-all. The goal is the realization of "I am He; He is I". That alone can fill the heart with Bliss.
IT has been proclaimed that God is one, and that He is known and can be known through various Names and forms. It has been declared that God is installed in the heart of every being. Look at the emblem of the Sathya Sai Organization. It tells you that the Hindu, the Muslim, the Parsee, the Buddhist and the Christian are all adoring the same God for the same consummation. The mind of man has to be a garden of many coloured flowers, a Nandavanam. Krishna will certainly delight in dancing there and playing on the enchanting Flute in the bowers of the garden.
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