1008 Pearls of Sayings of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
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MOVE forward towards the light and the shadow falls behind; you move away from it and you have to follow your own shadow. Go every moment one step nearer to the Lord and then Maya, the shadow will fall back and will not delude you at all. Be steady; be resolved. Do not commit a fault or take a false step and then repent! Have the "thaapam" (the deliberation, the decision and the discipline) first, that is better than "Paschaath Thaapam" (regret for the mistakes made).
THE Universe is seen; it can be learnt about, it can be experienced and enjoyed. But God is unseen. He has to be inferred through His handiwork. So too, society to which social service is rendered, cannot be seen as such. We can contact only individuals. But through the individual you infer the immanence of the Divine. All are actors on the world stage in His play. Every atom is surcharged with His power, His might, His Glory. Every being is surcharged with His Bliss, His Beauty, His Goodness.
DO not compare the various manifestations of the Divine and pronounce judgment, declaring that Rama is greater than Krishna or Siva superior to Vishnu. This line of thought is poisonous and harmful to the devout aspirant. You do not know your own self, but yet, how dare you pronounce judgment on personalities and powers you have never experienced or understood. Rama is as unknown to you as Christ and so it is best to keep silent, and revere both with equal ardour. For all are manifestations of the same Divine Effulgence.
THE airplane runs on wheels for some length on the ground before it takes off into the air. You may ask "Why wheels for the airplane?" so too, when you reach a certain height in spiritual Sadhana, rules and regulations can be folded up, as the pilot folds up the wheels when up in the air. While serving others through the Samithi, do not forget to do some Sadhana for your own advancement. Paraseva (service of others) is the negative Pole. Atma - Seva (service to oneself) is the positive Pole, and when they meet, the flash of Ananda (Bliss) emanates. Bliss obliterates all worries, all fears, and all anxiety. March on to that Consummation, through Sadhana and Seva. These are my Blessings to each of you.
THE Purusha Suktah of the Vedas says "Sahasra Seersha Purushah, Sahaeraakshah, Sahasrapad", The supreme Sovereign Person has a thousand heads, a thousand eyes and a thousand feet. The heads, eyes and feet of the thousands who gather here, are my heads, My Eyes, and My Feet. Nurse them respect them, attend to their needs - you have done your japam dhyanam and puja! The mantra says "Sarva Deva Namaskaraha Kesavam Prathi, Gachachathi"; the homage that you pay all to the Gods flow towards the one only, Kesava. I would elaborate it further and give you this new mantra; "Sarva Jeeva Namaskaraha Kesavam Prathi Gachchathi"; The reverence, the Service that you offer to every single being (Jeeva) flows automatically to the One, namely Kesava.
GOD is to be recognised in all that exists, all that is charming or suffering, blooming or drooping. He is Intelligence in the insect, Faithfulness in the dog, latent Energy in the rock! Vivekananda announced at Chicago that Hinduism uncovered the upadhi (Scabbard) and sought the inner core of the Divine in all things, animate and inanimate. A gentleman may wear morning dress, evening dress, dinner coat or luncheon slacks; he is the same inside all these dresses, isn't he?
THE Vedas are for the Glorification of the Gods, "Devaanam sthuthy antham", in the Kaliyuga, one is asked to rely more on Namasmarana for Liberation. Why is it considered enough for the people of this Age? For other sadhanas are fraught with difficulties. They need rigorous discipline and much preliminary effort. Again, there is another advantage in Namasmarana; as soon as the Name is uttered, the owner of the Name comes into view. When you think of the Form, the Name may not always accompany; you may not be able to identify. There may be more than One Name and you may be confused, but take the Name and the Form automatically appears before the mental eye.
THE true Guru is not a human Preceptor. It is the Cosmos itself, Prakrithi, Creation, the World around us. Life must have an ideal before it, it must proceed towards a goal, it must be a constant march. Life has as its sole purpose: man becoming Divine, the transformation of the man. We profess to be the God we really are. "Gu" in the word Guru indicates the qualities of Gunatheetha, that is unaffected by attributes and attitudes, not associated with any one particular characteristic, and "Ru" means rupa-rahitha, that is not limited to any form but pervasive in all forms. In this context, the Universe and all its components are to be looked upon as one's Preceptors and lessons learnt from each.
IT is all God, an expression of His Majesty! Derive joy from the springs of joy within you and without you; advance, do not stand still or recede. Every minute must mark a step forward. Rejoice that it is given to you to recognise God in all and welcome all chances to sing His Glory, to hear His chronicle, to share His presence with others. God has His Hands in all handiwork, His Feet on all altitudes His Eyes beyond all horizons, His Face before every face. That is what the Bhagavad Githa declares, you who read the Githa can vouch for the accuracy of that statement, if only you have faith in it and live in its light.
THE sages have laid down three categories which comprise the knowable world; God, Nature and the I (Iswara Prakrithi and Jiva). God, when seen through the mirror of Nature, appears as I. Remove the mirror, there is only God, the image merges in the Original. Man is but the Image of God. Even Nature is but an appearance of God; the reality is He alone. The Principle of Appearance that deludes as multiple manifestation is Maya. It is not external to God; it is inherent in God, just as all Powers are inherent in Him.
GOD, the Eternal Absolute is pictured, praised and adored as temporarily apparent and is adored in limited regions as Rama, Krishna, Vishnu, Eswara, etc. These are not basic fundamental expressions of His Nature. These are only Forms assumed for certain purposes, like conferring peace on earth, re-establishing the norms of justice and strengthening the ideal of faith in the Supreme. The fixed and fundamental Attributes are Sathyam, Jnanam, Anantham. This is the swarupa of Brahmam.
THE Lord is now worshipped by offering Him all things that you crave for; by treating Him with all the honour you like to have yourself. The idol is bathed and washed, bedecked with jewels, fed and fanned, surrounded with fragrance, etc. since these are things you desire. But the Lord is pleased only when you do things the Lord desires! How else can you win the Grace? How else than by nursing and nourishing, scouring and saving His Children? How else than by helping them to realise Him as their Lord and guarding and cultivating Faith in Him, through your own straight and sincere living?
CLEANSE the heart by listening to spiritual discourses seeking the Company and comradeship of the righteous, the simple, the sincere, the seekers and by cultivating goodness of character and sweetness of disposition. Fill your hearts with the sweet, fragrant waters of Prema (Love). Then every act of yours, every word of yours (which are like the water drawn from the tank through the taps - tongue, hand, brain etc.) will be sweet and fragrant. If the tank is filled with pollution, how can the word be helpful, the thought beneficial, or the deed commendable?
SOME people are afraid of cynical criticism by unbelievers and therefore reluctant to move out in groups along the streets in the early morning hours singing the Glory of God. When you have the embodiment of fearlessness installed in your heart, why should the slightest tremor of fear affect you? If others do not join for fear of derision or ridicule, move out alone singing the Name. You came into this world alone with no companion, didn't you! During the years of life you collected all this kith and kin, you gathered wife and children, friends and acquaintances, which attached themselves to you. When you return to the Realm from which you came, you enter the portals alone, with no one to keep you company. So too, let it be with the journey called Nagarsankirtan. Come into street alone, collect kith and kin, if they come to you, move with them unconcerned and unaffected; revel in your own sweet solitude and finally enter your home in the satisfaction that your job is well done.
GOD likes such pure souls who come gladly to merge in Him. Some people say, "Oh, it is the Dasara Festival and lakhs and lakhs of people throng there. And they pour lakhs and lakhs of rupees there". Well, what they give is Alakshyam, not Lakshyam! My hand stretches out for receiving only when a pure heart full of Prema is offered; on all other occasions, He gives, never takes. Let the People with poison in their hearts, barren of Love and Service, feel shame, and resolve to cleanse themselves from now on.
IT was announced that I was born like Janaka, as the result of some Karmasesha! I have no sesha or Karma as already mentioned in the Githa. The Mahasakthi puts on the cloak of Mayasakthi in order to fulfill the purpose of contacting and protecting mankind. I have no desire and so, no binding Karma. It is only you have the desire, aim and wish that drag you along various paths. For Me, your Ananda is My Food, your elation is the swing on which I sit, your activity is My Playground.
WE have hospitals and dispensaries and clinics in every street now because disease has its hold in every family, in every home. Even little children wear glasses, young people dye their hair, many wear dentures. The reason is, the atmosphere in the modern home is filled with artificiality, anxiety, envy, discontent, empty boasting, vain pomp, extravagance, falsehood, and hypocrisy. How can anyone, growing up in this corrosive atmosphere, be free from illness? If the home is filled with the clean fragrance of contentment and peace, all its occupants will be happy and healthy.
THE Patient must drink the drug himself. There is no vicarious cure. The balm must he applied where the pain is. The cause of the illness and the misery is in your mental vision, for you are many when there is only one. You say "My God", "Their God", "Your God Baba", as if there are many Gods existing to help you quarrel and fight among yourselves. Ask the Lord for the removal of your earthly troubles. There is no mistake in that. It is much better than asking other men and losing self-respect and honour.
ATMA is the Ocean, Prakriti is just a wave of that vast ageless, boundless Ocean, and the Jivi is just a drop of that wave. You cannot give up the wave or the sea, you can only merge the Name and Form of the drop, Once you enter the depths of the Sea, it is all calm, it is all peace, agitation, noise confusion - all are only on the outer layers. So also in the innermost recesses of the heart, there is a reservoir of Santhi where you must take refuge.
THE doctors can serve the poor by treating them without insisting on payment: give the poor all the attention and care that you lavish on the rich paying patients. Do it for the sake of God; feel that it is the Puja you are offering Him. The lawyers can help those, who for want of a skilled advocate have to go undefended or have to suffer at the hands of unscrupulous men. Do not publish these acts of sympathy, do them spontaneously without fanfare. That is more precious than demonstrating your service with the help of headlines and photographs. These reduce the worth of the deeds of compassion. You must be uncomfortable when those around you are unhappy; when you ease their discomfort, you are making them happy and making yourself happy, isn't it?
TAMASO maa Jyothirgamaya, is the Prayer, Egoism is thamas; sharanagathi is Jyothi. There is an easy way to illumine the inner Consciousness and the outer behaviour with the Light of God. Put the Lamp of the Name of the Lord, the illumining flame, on the tongue! That is the doorstep, that Light will drive out the darkness from both, inside and outside. Have it ever burning clear and bright. You will soon reach remarkable height and enjoy happiness; the like of which you cannot get by sticking to the senses.
SIVARATHRI is a very auspicious day for all. It is the fourteenth day of the Lunar fortnight, when the moon is waning and the sun is in the sign of Aquarius. The festival is however related to the moon, rather than the sun. That is the reason why it is called "Sivarathri", the night of Siva, unlike other nights, this particular night is the night of consecration or dedication of illumination. On this night, there is just a minute part more to be conquered and that can be done by keeping vigil and dwelling on the Glory of God. The Vigil that is prescribed is symbolic of the eternal vigil one has to observe, while the rite of fasting is symbolic of diverting the senses of the pleasures they crave for. The night-long bhajan is significant of the lifelong consciousness of the Divine Presence that every one should cultivate.
THE Lord is closest to you. He is the mother, father, teacher, friend, guide and guardian. Call on Him and He responds immediately. From dawn to dusk spend every minute in His company. That is the reason why I have directed that every Sathya Sai organisation must arrange for Nagarasankirthanam in the pre-dawn Brahma-muhurtam. It is a mission of Love and all will welcome it. It is a great act of social service to waken people with the Name of God. It is purifying Pilgrimage, casting off the foul fumes of anger and hate that infest the atmosphere.
THERE was once a wicked commentator who said that this direction removes the need to discriminate between the right and wrong! He must have been the same person who said, "The Lord says in the Githa that He will be pleased if even a leaf, a flower, a fruit or a little water is offered to Him". Well, this hookah contains all four, the tobacco leaf, the red flower, denoted by the cinders, the shell of the coconut, fruit, and water through which the smoke bubble bubbles! Impertinence and irrelevance cannot hide irreverence from the eyes of God.
THE Anandam that will well up within you and the contemplation of Anandaswarupa will drive out all grief, all worry. Siva it seems laughed when He took a good look at the chariot that was provided for Him when He started out to slay the Thripura - Asuras, the Asuras of the three bodies; Sthula, Sukshma and Karana (the Gross, the Subtle and the Causal). Vishnu, the Charioteer, was mostly in yoganidra, the Stable Earth was the Chariot and the two wheels were the Sun and the Moon, two spheres which never revolved in Unison! That slaughter laid the Asuras low. There was no more need to proceed against the Asuras. How did the evil forces that dwelt in the three bodies die? They could not exist where there is Ananda; for they are products of grief. Develop Ananda; then evil impulses and tendencies will vanish, for they will not get any foothold in the heart.
THE human body has been secured as a reward of many lives of meritorious activity. Being valued as a boat which can help us cross the ocean of change, Samsara, it has to be tended with grateful reverence. The Bhaghavad Githa calls the body "Kshetra" which means a field. One can sow holiness or sin and gather a harvest commensurate with the particular quality. Choose the crop you need before you sow the seeds.
KSHETRA also means the entire earth. Another significant meaning of the word is "a holy place". We say "Kasi - Kshetra", "Prayaga - Kshetra", etc. to indicate those places are sacred. The body is also a kshetra since it is a temple where God is installed and worshipped through thoughts, words and deeds. The temple has to be cleaned and kept healthy and pure. Purity is to be preserved and promoted not by multiple baths or by avoiding contact with others "condemned as untouchable". You cannot be pure by the observance of the superficial taboo, "Don't touch".
THE body can be cleaned if washed with water. Speech can be cleaned if it is saturated in truth. Life can be purified if it is sanctified by Tapas, and the intellect can be cleared of blemish through Jnana. Above all, the conviction that you are not the body but only a resident of the body has to grow in you. If you identify yourself with the body you carry about with you, you are inviting sorrow and suffering to overwhelm you, instead of the joy and peace which are awaiting to bless you.
AVATARS manifested in the Krithika Yuga for preservation of Vedic tradition, in the Tretha Yuga for the protection of Dharma, and in the Dwvapara Yuga for the promulgation of the right of Property. In the Kritha Yuga the Avatar saved the Vedas from neglect, in the Tretha Yuga, He saved women from dishonour, and in the Dwapara Yuga He saved property from injustice. Now, in the fourth Age, the Kali Yuga, all three are in dire peril. The Vedas are ridiculed, women are tempted into unworthy lives, and property is condemned as theft! So, the Avatar has a threefold Task. Man has no purity in the heart, no sanctity in his emotions, no love in his deeds, no God in his prayers.
THE Earth is a caravanserai where men come and stay for the night and when dawn breaks, one by one they tramp their different ways. Kith Kin are the words we use for the attachment to the travelers cultivated in the caravanserai during the short term of acquaintance. Husband and wife are like two pieces of wood drifting down a flooded river; they float near each other for some time and when a current comes between them, they are parted. Each must move on to the sea at its own rate and in its own time. There is no need to grieve over their parting of the two, it is in the very nature of Nature that it should be so.
MAN must be Yoked to Samsara and broken; that is the training which will teach that the world is unreal; no amount of lectures will make you believe it is a snake unless you actually experience it. Touch fire and get the sensation of burning; there is nothing like it to teach you that fire is to be avoided. Unless you touch it, you will be aware only of its light. It is both light and heat; just as this world is both true and false; that is to say unreal.
COURAGE comes out of the grace of the Lord, it needs generations of learning and struggle. Meanwhile you must start with the first step, the cleansing of the mind and the cultivation of virtue. Even if you do not start with that step, at least do not laugh at those who do and discourage them. Do at least this much! Then, do not depend upon others for doing your work like attending to your personal wants. Do it yourself; that is real freedom. Again, never accept anything "free" from others; Pay it back in service or work. That will make you a self-respecting individual! Receiving a favour means getting bound to the giver. Grow with self-respect and dignity. That is the best service you can do to yourself.
THAT which is born has also to die; coming implies going; that which has no birth has no death either. The Atma has no birth, no death, nor can you say it spreads or grows or weakens. It has no history, that is all that can be said about it. It is ever Intelligence, ever Bliss. There is the urge to desire a thing that is named Ichcha Sakthi - but it too is a derivative of the Atma Sakthi, the Divine that is your core. Realise it as such and do not demean it by desiring deleterious objects. Desire, so sublimated, is the basis of Love, "Prema". It is the fruit of the tree of God-ward directed Ichcha Sakthi.
WHY attached false values to exterior symbols? Why develop prejudice for the reason that a man was born on the other side of a political boundary or calls on God in another language? God is the origin of all languages. Boundaries shift and are subject to revision, resettlement and change. These are man-made differences and should not interfere with God-ward activities. God has made the Universe as one single Home for one Single family. Each state is but an apartment in that mansion.
BAKTHI is defined as the means of discovering the Divine Reality within each being. Four steps are laid down in the scriptures to help man succeed in this effort; Discrimination between the Permanent and the Impermanent; withdrawal from the process of catering to the senses; Positive control of the feelings, thoughts, and pursuits; and incessant yearning for Liberation from all bonds. Bakthi is the urge which manifests as all four endeavours. Bhakthi is derived from "Bha" or Bhaghavan or God. It directs man to have God ever in mind and to cultivate love for God within him.
DEVOTION fosters the highest virtue; it is the most precious treasure, it is the truest path, the only way to God. Man must live in Bakthi; for Bakthi; through Bakthi. For Bakthi is Love of the purest and the noblest variety. Such love is the breath that sustains life that supports the Soul in the effort to merge in the super-soul. The years of life spent without the Light of Love are years of ruin, of dust and disease. One could as well be dead and decay forever.
THE Jivi has come to this birth in order to reveal the splendour of the spark of Godhead which it is. The body is the wick of the lamp, yearning for God is the ghee which feeds the flame. But like the rat which, attracted by the strong smelling cheap stuff inside the trap, neglects all other articles of food in the granary and falls prey to its foolishness. Man too neglects his real sustenance and wastes his life in pursuit of mortal riches.
YOU must dive deep into the sea to get the pearls. If you must realise the full fruit of this Avatar, dive deep and get immersed in Sai Baba. Halfheartedness, hesitation, doubt, cynicism, listening to tales, all are of no avail. Concentrated complete faith, that alone can bring victory. This is true of any worldly activity, is it not? Therefore, how much more true must it be in the spiritual field? But if you have already attached yourselves to some Name and Form, do not change it, do not choose another in place of the Prema Swarupam.
HAVE your mind fixed on one. Do not, now and then, allow clouds of doubt like "Is He Great?", "Is He God?" to dim your faith. Behold and Acknowledge the Glory that you have witnessed; proclaim the joy that you have experienced; confer the Grace that you have earned. For example, when people ask you whether you are going to Puttaparthi and whether you too are singing Bhajans, say, "yes" proudly, for there is no shame in walking on the right path.
THE only new thing is man's perverse behaviour, the directions in which he has been wasting his talents, misusing his capacity of playing false to his own nature. He has been forgetting the path prescribed in the Scriptures for the cultivation of his nature, therefore all this suffering and hence My advent.
YOU might have heard people talk about the miracles; My "making" this and "giving" that, My fulfilling all your wants, My curing your illnesses. But they are not so important as the Sathwa guna I appreciate, promote and instill. Of course, I confer on you these boons of health and prosperity but only so that you might, with greater enthusiasm and with less interruption, proceed with spiritual Sadhana. Bakthi leads to Sakthi and Sakthi will grant Yukthi. The Yukthi will help you to fix your Rakthi or attachment on the proper objects and your Bakthi thus promoted, finally results in Mukthi.
CRITICISING others and finding fault with them are both results of egoism.
Search your own faults instead. The faults you see in others are your own
faults instead. The faults you see in others are but reflections of your own
personality traits. Pay no heed to little worries; attach your mind to the
Lord and then you will be led to the Company of good men and your talents
will be transmuted.