1008 Pearls of Sayings of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
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THE fire of sorrow and joy burns when the fuel of Vaasanas is fed into the furnace of the mind. Take away the fuel and the fire dies out. Take away the Vaasanas, the force of the impulses, promptings and urges and you become your own master. This is done in Yoga by various physiological and psychological exercises. But Bhakti is the easier means for this end. Naamasmarana is enough: it is said that the name Sitarama sufficed in the Thretha Yuga; the name Radha-Shama sufficed in the Dwapara Yuga; and in the Kali Yuga, I tell you, all Names have that capacity.
PRAKRUTHI is Dhara, Earth and Creation. Think of it always. Long for it. Pine for Dhara, Dhara, Dhara and you find you are pining for Radha, Radha. So, Radha is the Becoming and Krishna is the Being; the desire of Being becomes the longing of the Becoming for the Being - this is the Radha-Krishna relationship, which has been sung by seers and poets, calumniated and caricatured by ignorant critics, appreciated and apprehended by aspirants, and analyzed and realised by sincere scholars of spiritual lore.
WELCOME all the blows of fate, all the misfortunes and miseries, as gold welcomes the crucible, the hammer and the anvil in order to get shaped into a jewel; or as the cane welcomes the chopper, the crusher, the boiler, the pan, the sprayer and the dryer, so that its sweetness may be preserved and used as sugar by all. The Pandavas never demurred when disasters fell thick upon them. They were happy that they helped them to remember Krishna and call upon Him. Bhishma was in tears on the arrow-bed, when he was about to pass away. Arjuna asked Him "why" and he replied, "I am shedding tears because the miseries undergone by the Pandavas pass through my mind". Then he said, this is done in order to teach the Kaliyug a lesson; never to seek power, position or pelf but to submit to the will of God in a completely resigned way, so that you may be ever happy and unmoved.
THE Gita speaks of Bhakti, Jnana, Karma, as Yogas. By Yoga is meant what Patanjali intended it to mean "Chiththa Krishthi Nirodha", that is to say, "the stifling of the agitations of the consciousness". Vishnu is the supreme example of this calm, for He is "Saanthakaaram bhujaga Sayanam", the very picture of peaceful calm, though reclining on a thousand-hooded snake; the snake being the symbol of the objective World with its poisonous fangs. Being in the World but not of it, not bound by it, that is the secret.
THE Individual is Arjuna, the Universal, which inspires him, is Krishna: Led by the Universal, the Individual has to oppose the attractions and delusion of the Manifested, the Maya, and the Prakruthi, that is, the Kaurava hordes. The battle depicted in the Epic is the inner battle, between the temporary and the eternal, the particular and the universal, the sensual and the super-sensual, the seen and the seer. The Atma is described as a streak of lightning in the blue cloud. It is a Gita (streak in Telugu). Discover the Gita, then the purpose of Gita study is fulfilled.
WHEN Dharmaraja, the eldest of the Five Pandavas came to know - after the death of Karna which they effected successfully - that Karna was his brother, his agony knew no bounds; he was struck disconsolate and was torn by despair. If only he had known the truth, all that grief could have been avoided. So too, until you know that all are altars where the name God is installed and all are moved and motivated by the Grace of the self-same God, you are afflicted by hate and pride; once you know it and experience it, you are full of Love and reverence to all.
WHEN Krishna leapt down from His Chariot with the wheel-weapon in His hand to slay Bhishma, Arjuna jumped down with Him and holding both His Feet he prayed, "Oh Lord, you have given word that you will not wield any weapon. Let it not be said that you broke your word to save me from Bhishma, I am prepared to die". That was the measure of his Bhakti. Bhishma too had equal Bhakti. He did not step forward to fight the new challenge nor did he question the Lord. He stood silent drinking in the charm of the Lord and filling himself with the vision of the magnificence of the Lord. That was the measure of the dedication to His will.
KRISHNA is slandered by ignorant, prejudice critics as "jaara" and "chora" and extolled by seekers and sages with the same appellations, "jaara” and "chora". He stole the hearts and the owners were glad of it. He shed light, awakened people and made those, whose hearts he stole, richer and happier. He destroyed all craving for sensual pleasure and sensual knowledge and filled the entire being with thoughts of the Divine. How then can He be referred to as "jaara" and "chora"? When the blind leads the blind in this way, both have to fall into the pit.
IN the Mahabharatha, the most noteworthy theme is Dharmasthapana. When the Pandavas were called into the forest, it was as if the Five Pranas of Dharma, the sustaining forces of Dharma, were exiled. Dharmaraja is the Prana of the Right Conduct, Bhima, of the protective Might of Dharma; Arjuna, of the Faith and Devotion needed as its Foundation, Nakula and Sahadeva, of the shraddha essential for the Practice of Dharma. When the Pandavas went to the forest, Hasthinapura was reduced to Astinapura, a city of bones, without flesh and blood.
KRISHNA was the Purushothama, Arjuna the Narrothama; It was a friendship between The Embodiment of the Highest and the Embodiment of the Best. Krishna was the Avataric Person. Arjuna was the anandic person; it was a coming together of the Avathramurthi and the Anandamurthi. Arjuna was often addressed by Krishna as Kurunandana. This name has a deep significance. "Kuru" means "act, activity, Karma"; Nandana means "happy, delighted". Kurunandana therefore means "he who is delighted while engaged in activity". Throughout the eighteen chapters of the Githa, Arjuna is alert and active, participating vigilantly in every turn of argument.
PRACTICE the constant presence of God and, learn to offer all your activities at the Feet of the Lord as an act of worship. Then they will be free from fault. Krishna advised Arjuna to enter the fight and, at the same time, told him not to have "hatred" towards "enemies". These may appear to be two irreconcilable attitudes, for war is rage (passion, attachment) and renunciation of hatred is Vairagya (absence of raga). Arjuna asked Krishna how he was to reconcile these two attitudes. Krishna said, "Maamnusmara yudhyacha" (keep Me ever in thy mind, and fight. Do not cultivate the egotistic feeling that it is you who is fighting. I am using you as My instrument).
THE Pandava brothers were highly fortunate. The eldest, Dharmaraja, rose to be the emperor. The second was the Indomitable Bhima, armed with the terrible mace. The third was Arjuna, son of the Lord of the Gods, Indra. The lord poured His Grace on Arjuna and deigned to serve him in battle as his charioteer! In spite of all these advantages, they were subjected to the severest tragedies in life. What is the lesson that their lives teach? No one can predict what calamity will overtake one and at what time. Every thing depends on the will of Providence; it all happens according to the Divine Plan.
THE question on the battlefield was not who was the Kin of whom, but who was right and who was wrong; fight for justice, fight for truth, fight for these as akshatriyu is in duty bound, and leave the result to the Dispenser of all. Krishna told Arjuna: "I am surprised that you should weep, for you are Gudakesa, the conqueror of sleep and ignorance. You do not kill, so don't be so conceited; nor do they die. They have many more things to do; and so they are real deathless". "The sentence of death has been already pronounced on their bodies by Me, and you have but to carry out My Orders", Krishna said.
KRISHNA felt that it was time to reveal His Truth and so He just showed all creation in His Mouth when His mother asked Him to show her His tongue, when she suspected He had eaten sand. He made even the longest rope too short to bind Him. It became the talk of the place and every one felt he had all the fourteen Worlds in Him! Avathars choose the time and the mode of announcement of their Advent and Their Glory. Even in this Avathara such miracles had to be done when I decided that the time was opportune for taking the people into My Secret.
WHEN the righteous Pandavas were harassed by wicked Kauravas, the beauteous Krishna appeared and saved them. The lord can never design violence and blood shed. Love is His instrument, non-violence His Message. He achieves the correction of the evil-minded through education and example. But it may be asked, why did Kurukshetra happen? It was a surgical operation and therefore cannot be described as an act of violence. The Surgeon saves life through the beneficial use of His Knife.
CONSIDER the Name Krishna which the
Avathar bore; what a significant Name? Krishna is derived from the root "krish"
which means (1) to attract (2) to plough and cultivate and (3) the Divine
Principle beyond time, space and causation. Krishna, like all Avathars,
attracts not only seekers, Saints and Sages but the simple, the innocent and
the good. He draws also the curious, the critics, the Skeptics and those who
suffer from atheism. He draws them towards Himself by the irresistible charm
of His Person, by His invincible Look, His Voice, His Flute, His counsel and
His undaunted Heroism! He is ever in a State of Bliss, spreading Harmony,
Melody and beauty around Him; He sings everywhere in the peaceful Pasture
lands of Brindavan and in the blood soaked battle field of Kurukshetra.
THE Gita was Arjuna and Krishna, though Krishna supplemented it with Captious explanations of why and wherefore. Arjuna admitted that he was a profaner. He had to surrender to His Wait, so that there was no need for Krishna to argue with him. He was convinced of the correctness of His command. Still, in order that Arjuna might fight with a full heart, He gave him the reasons, which supported the course that He laid down for him. I too want you to know why I designed it so you should act in a particular manner, and I do not like you to behave in another manner.
BISHMA was a Bhakta and by winning the Lord's Grace he was clothed with more Majesty and splendour than any early emperor. What majesty has these scepter-holders? They cannot claim to have inner peace, inner joy, they know not the joy of sharing love with all. Bhishma surrendered to the Lord when He challenged him with the su-darsana (Vishnu), that is to say, when He offers su (good) dharsana (vision) one must be wise enough to surrender, give up all, that is what Bhishma did.
ARJUNA exclaimed Krishna as the Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient God, when the foe was defeated day after day. But when his son Abhimanyu was killed in the conflict he raved in the grief that Krishna had not guided him properly and guarded him efficiently. His mind wavered with every wind of fortune. To many the mind is the master of the intellect also. One must be vigilant and preserve the impartiality of instrument called Reason of Intellect. Clarify reason, then it will reveal God everywhere, even in you once you accept God as the core of the universe, and you have that strong and steady faith.
FILL every moment with energy enthusiasm and effort. The Epics teach you how to succeed in this. The Mahabharatha describes how and when every other of the hundred Kauravas died. The eldest Duryodhana was challenged by Bhima to meet him in a duel, when at last he fell on the ground; Bhima struck his head with his foot in order to add insult to injury. Duryodhana's pride was hurt, a Kshatriya, such as he, could not pass that insult by. He retorted even when he was dying. Do not exult that you have done some big heroic act by tramping on my head! In a few seconds dogs and vultures will be doing that act. It does not require a hero to plant his foot on a dying man. You dared not do this when I was capable of hitting back, you coward! That kind of awareness of one's potentialities and quick response to all happenings must be present in you too. Heroism gushed out even when he was passing away!
KRISHNA, whose advent you should celebrate, is not the cowherd boy who charmed the village folk with His flute, but Krishna the indefinable inscrutable Divine Principle that is born in the navel of the body (Mathura) as the product of Divine Energy (Devaki) that is then transported to the Mouth (Gokulam) and fostered by the Tongue (Yashoda) as its source of sweetness. Krishna is Yashoda gained the Visualization of the Atma that the repetition of the Name grants, the vision; you must foster that Krishna on your tongue. When He dances on it, the poison of tongue will be ejected completely, without harming anyone as happened when as a child He danced on the hoods of the serpent Kalinga.
PURITY of motive is the best guarantee that you will have Peace. An uneasy conscience is a tormenting compassion. Righteous action will have no bad effects, to disturb your sleep or health.
If there is
righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in character;
If there is beauty in character, there will be harmony in the home;
When there is harmony in the house, there will be order in the nation;
When there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the World.
So, be righteous; avoid all prejudices against others on the basis of caste, creed, colour, mode of worship, status, or degree of affluence. Do not look down upon any one; look upon all as Divine as you really are.
ALL Faiths are inter-related and mutually indebted to each other for the principles they teach and the disciplines they recommend. The Vedic Religion was the first in time; Buddhism, which appeared about 2500 years ago, was its son; Christianity, which was influenced much by the Orient, was its grandson. And Islam, which has the Prophets of Christianity as its base, was the great grandson. All have Love as the Fundamental Discipline of the Mind in order to chasten it and merge man with the Divine.
VINAYAKA is called the child of two mothers, Gowri and Ganga. You are the pet children of four mothers, each of you; Sathya, Dharma, Shanti and Prema. Do not ridicule them by your act. Honour them and be grateful to them. Do not claim "Anyaya" (Injustice), "Akrama" (Indiscipline), and “Asathya” (Falsehood and “Anachara” (Evil behaviour) as your mothers Instead, expand your heart, taking in all humanity into the circle of your kin, even the birds, beasts, worms, and insects, trees and plants. The Vedic Prayer asks that the aspirant's heart may be expanded "Brhathe Koromi" - I make myself Vast! The vastest is "Brahman" which comes from the same root, "brh", to enlarge.
I EAT as you do, move about as you do, talk in your Language and behave as you can recognise and understand, for YOUR sake - not for My sake! I turn you towards the Divine, winning your confidence, your love, your submission, by being among you, as one of yourselves, one whom you can see, listen to, speak to, touch and treat with reverence and devotion. My plan is to transmute you into Seekers of Truth (Sathya-anveshko). I am present everywhere at all times; My will must prevail over every obstacle; I am aware of the past, present and future of your innermost thoughts and carefully guarded secrets. I am "Sarvatharyami", "Sarva Shakti" and "Sarvajna". Nevertheless, I do not manifest these powers in any capricious manner or merely for display. For I am an example and an inspiration, whatever I do or omit to do. My Life is a commentary on My Message.
LOVE must be manifested as Service or Seva. Seva must take the form of food for the hungry, solace for the forlorn, consolation for the sick and the suffering. Jesus was himself out in such Seva. The heart full of compassion is the temple of God. Jesus pleaded at the sight of the poor. Jesus is worshipped but His teachings are neglected. Sai is being worshipped but His teachings are neglected. Everywhere pomp, pageantry, hollow exhibitionism and Lectures, Lectures and Lectures! No activity, no love, no seva. Heroes while lecturing are Zeros while putting what is said into practice. Develop Compassion. Live in Love. Be Good, Do Good and See Good. This is the way to God.
THE nature we have around us and with us is the vesture of God. We have evidence of His Beauty, Goodness, Wisdom and Power all around us; wherever we turn our eyes. But the art of recognising Him is strange to us and so we deny Him and live on in darkness. We have all around us, in the atmosphere, the music emanating from all the Broadcasting Stations of the World, but they do not assail your ear at any time. You are not aware of any Station; but, if you have a receiver and if you tune it to the correct wavelength, you can hear the matter broadcast from any Station; if you fail to tune it correctly, you will get instead of news only nuisance! So too, the Divine is everywhere above, around, below and beside, near as well as far. For cognising it, you require not a "Yantra" (machine) but a "Mantra" (mystical formula potent with a psychological undertone). Concentration of Dhyana is the fixing of the exact location of the Station in the Band; Love is the correct tuning in; realising the Reality and the Bliss it confers is the happy clear listening!
THE Divine is a wine that would intoxicate you. The nectar that the Name of the Lord is saturated in produces it. Taste it and you forget everything else; you are transformed. Man is, they say, a monkey that has lost its tail; well, he must lose many more attributes of the monkey before he is entitled to call himself Man. He must dedicate his thought, word and deed to God and surrender to His Will. Then only is this animal entitled to become a Man in whom the Divine is enshrined.
THE body is the ball filled with the air of Divinity; it is kicked in play by six players on the side (the six foes: Lust, Anger, Greed, Attachment, Pride and Hate); and six on the other (the six friends: Truth, Right, Peace, Love, Compassion and Fortitude); the goal-posts are on each side, and if the ball is hit so that it passes through them, they achieve "Dharmavidya" (Moral attainment) and victory. Or else, their kick results in an "out"! Learn to speak what you feel, act what you speak; do not allow them to be at cross-purposes. Man, with the feelings of a demon fuming with hate, engages in fighting, holds Peace Conferences and prides himself on his Plans for Peace! Transform the heart into a Tabernacle of Peace, then Conferences to deceive oneself and others become unnecessary. What can mere talk achieve?
DISCIPLINE trains you to put up with disappointments; you will know that the path of life has both ups and downs, that every rose has its thorn. Now, people want roses without thorns, life has to be one saga of sensual pleasure picnic all the time. When this does not happen, you turn wild and start blaming others. If each one cares for his own pleasures, how can Society progress? How can the weak survive? Mine, not thine, this sense of greed is the root of all-evil; this distinction is applied even to God! - My God, not yours! Your God, not mine!
GOODNESS, compassion, and tolerance: through these three paths, one can see the Divinity in one-self and others. Softness of heart is condemned by people today as weakness, cowardice, and want of intelligence. The heart has to be hardened, they say, against pity and charity. But that way lies war, destruction, and downfall. Love confers lasting happiness and peace. Sharing can reduce grief and multiply joy. Man is born to share, to serve, to give and not to grab. When you have faith in God as a precious truth in the altar of your heart, you will welcome, with equal alacrity, the blows and blossoms of fortune.
HAVING come to this place and availed yourselves of this opportunity to treasure in your hearts the things you have seen and heard, resolve to plunge into a practice of them. Your resolution and your practice must happen simultaneously. Have a master plan and start from tomorrow the execution of the program, drawn in consultation with others. This must happen in all countries. Do not think that only the Andhra State is Sai's. All are Sai's. All are one. We must endeavor by all means to realise and establish this Truth in this Kali Yuga. This is the message I am giving you today. I am fulfilling all your desires. So you must fulfill this one desire of Mine. I bless that you have long life, good health, Ananda, Peace and Prosperity; and that you will dedicate your physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual strength and skills for the service of the country and of all mankind.
THERE are some ignorant persons who laugh at "Bhajans" and other acts of worship and consider them a waste of valuable time. Those persons might laugh at your pouring bags of paddy seeds on a slushy field and condemn that act too as waste of valuable food-material. But you know that, for every bag of paddy-seed, Mother Earth will give back grain tenfold or even twenty fold, in a few weeks. Time spent in contemplation of God or adoration of the Divine is indeed well spent, for it rewards you with a rich harvest of mental peace and courage.
WHEN Jesus was emerging as the Supreme Principle of Divinity, he communicated some news to his followers. The statement of Christ is simple. (He, who sent me among you, will come again) and he pointed to a lamb. The lamb is merely a symbol, a sign. It stands for the voice BA-BA. The announcement was "The Advent of BABA". - "He will wear a robe of red, a blooded robe". He will be short, with a crown (of hair). The lamb is a sign and symbol of Love. Christ did not declare that he would come again, he said, "He, who made me, will come again". That BABA is the Baba; and Sai, the short curly hair crowned, red-robed Baba has come.
MANY believe that a pilgrimage to holy places is conductive to spiritual progress. They journey to Tirupathi, Rameswaram, Badrinath or Amarnath and pray for the removal of their mundane troubles. They vow to remove their hair if, through Divine intervention, they win a prize in the State Lotteries, as if God is in need of hair. This trick of bargaining is only cheating oneself in an attempt to cheat God. Do not pray to God for wealth or fame, positions of power or for the fruits of your actions. The genuine seeker will pray for nothing else but God.
HUMAN lives are now passing on and on, filth over filth, bent, broken, diseased, distressed and disheartened. To enrich their lives and to make the human heritage worthwhile, I have come, I am evincing all this enthusiasm to teach you the prayer attitude to Seva, for Love expresses itself as Seva, Love grows through Seva, and Love is begun in the womb of Seva. And God is Love. The Avatar is a Child to the children, a Boy to the Boys, a Man among men, a Woman among women, so that the Avatar's message might reach each heart and receive enthusiastic response as "Ananda". It is the compassion of the Avatar that prompts His every action.
HAVE no thorn of hate in your mind. Develop Prema towards all. Desire is a storm; Greed is a whirlpool; Pride is a precipice. Attachment is an avalanche; Egoism is a volcano. Keep these things away, so that you can do Japa or Dhyana; they do not disturb the Equanimity. Let Love be enthroned in your heart. Then there will be sunshine and a cool breeze and the gurgling waters of contentment feeding the roots of faith.
THE title "Sathyam Sivam Sundaram" is full of meaning. It speaks of HE, imminent in every one of you. Sathyam is the basic reality of you all; that is why you resent being called a liar. The real "you" is innocent, you will not accept an imputation that is false. The real "you" is joy, happiness, and auspiciousness. It is not Savam but Sivam; it is Subham, Nithyam, and Anandam. How then can you bear being called ugly? The Atma has got entangled in the body, which it does not like; it is weighed down by shame, when you identify it with the body and attribute to it the weaknesses and deficiencies of that physical vehicle.
I NEVER speak through another; I never possess another or use another as a vehicle of expression. I come direct, I come straight, I come, as I am to confer Peace and Joy. I do not accept from you flowers that fade, fruits that rot, coins that have no value beyond the national boundary. Give Me the Lotus that blooms in your Manasa-Sarovar, the clear, pellucid waters of the lake of your inner consciousness. Give Me the fruits of holiness and steady discipline. I am above all this worldly etiquette, which enjoins you to see elders with some fruit or flower in your hand. My World is the World of the Spirit; there, values are different. If you are happy with faith in God and fear of sin, that is enough "Service", enough "Kainkaryam" for Me. It pleases Me so much.
YOU must speak soft and sweet words to everyone. Do you like the voice of the crow? No, you drive the crow away when it starts to caw; its speech is harsh, it is too loud for your ears. You must have heard the Koel, the cuckoo, haven't you? That bird looks very much like the crow; it grows in the nest of the crow with the baby crows; the mother crow, along with her own kids, feeds it. But no one will throw a stone at a "Koel"; every one likes to hear its sweet voice. Speak soft and sweet; then every one will like you.
NO service is too low or mean; every emergency is immediately noticed and attended to. They need not be sorry that during those days they had no time to sit for Dhyana or do Japa or even to go out on Nagarsankirtan! Why? You can have the Name on the lips, when you sweep the streets or lift a corpse in the morgue or when you walk towards or away from the area of distress. People may dub you mad! But be elated that you are not affected by the insanity they suffer from!
THE mind plays many tricks with you, the chief of which is to foster the ego and hide the Prompter and the Power within. You must have heard of an Accountant in the Court of the King of Death, Chitragupta, by name. He maintains a Register of the good and the bad deeds done by each living being, and on death, he brings the book to the Court and strikes the balance between debit and credit. Yama, the king, then meets out the punishment that can expiate and educate. This Chitragupta has his Office in the mind of man, all the time, awake and alert. The word means the secret picture; what he does is to picture all the secrets from promptings that blossom into activity; he notes the warning signals as well as the occasions when those signals were ignored or wantonly disregarded. You must see that the warning of the Divine against the merely human or even the bestial inclination is heeded.
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