1008 Pearls of Sayings of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
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YOU have the chance to see, experience and be sanctified by the incarnation of the Lord; this chance you have received as a result of the accumulation of merit in many previous lives. That merit has brought you here when I came down. For this chance, Rishis and Devas have prayed long in the past. Having won this chance, strive to taste the sweetness and achieve the Bliss of Merging without wasting even a single moment. The rays that emanate from Me are of three grades: the "Sthula", filling this Prashanthi Nilayam; the "Sukshma", pervading the Earth; and the "Karana", covering the entire Universe. The people who have the privilege of living in this Prashanthi Nilayam are indeed lucky, for they are nearest to the "Kiran" (rays). The "Sthulakirana" makes a man a "Sadhaka"; the "Sukshma" makes him a "Mahatma"; and "Karana” converts him into a "Paramahamsa".
I NEVER deviate from Truth. Since I recline on Truth, I am called Sathya Sai; Sayi (as Seshasayi) means reclining. The name is very appropriate, let me assure you. It is only those, who fail to follow My instructions and deviate from the path I lay down, that fail to get what I hold out before them. Follow My instructions and become soldiers in MY army; I will lead you on to victory. When someone asks you in great earnestness "where the Lord is to be found", do not try to dodge the question. Give them the answer that rises up to your tongue from your heart. Direct them. He is here in Prashanthi Nilayam. All Avatars teach, as the first step in the long road of "Sadhana", the giving up of attachment. In the Thretha Yuga, the Yoga-Vasistha taught the same rule. In the Dwapara Yuga, Krishna taught Arjuna to give up Vishaya-Vasana, attachment to the objective world. People utter with apparent faith, "Krishna, Krishna, Krishna", but they never give up "Thrishura" (Thirst) for worldly goods or fame. In each Yuga, you have the Avatar of the Lord come to redeem, review and rebuild. At the present time, Maha Shakti, Mayasakthi, and Yogasakthi have come all together in One Human Form. Your endeavor should be to draw near and earn Grace therefrom.
WHAT is the immortal part of man? Is it the wealth he has accumulated, the residences he has built, the physique he has developed, the wealth he has acquired and the family he has reared? No, all that he has done, developed or earned are destroyed, he has to leave them all to the ravages of time. He cannot take with him even a handful of earth, the earth he loved so much. If only the dead could take with them a handful each, the earth would have become so scarce that it should have been rationed by now! Discover the Immortal "I” and know that it is the spark of God in you; live in the companionship of that vast measureless Supreme and you will be rendered vast and measureless. Consider all objects that you collect here as given on "Trust" to be used in this caravanserai during your pilgrimage in this Karuna Kshetra.
UNLESS you brighten your vision with Love, you cannot see the Truth. Love helps you to see God in everyone and everyone as Divine. The Jagath is not false, it is not a trap; it is the splendour of God, His reflection. He reflected and the Jagath happened! It is His own substance, manifesting as multiplicity, as latent or potent energy-matter. When activity is in accordance with awareness that is befogged or belittled, dried up or deluded, there Dharma is decadent and the Avatar appears among men!
EVERY one must learn the secret of happiness, which consists in refusing to shed tears for anything less than God. You have won this human body, this human life, as the reward for many lives spend in acquiring merit. You have won this chance, this unique good fortune of being able to get Darshan of Sai. Plunging deep into the waters of this tumultuous ocean of Samsar, you have heroically emerged from its depths, with this rare Pearl in your hands - the Grace of Sai. Do not allow it to slip from your clasp and fall into the depths again. Hold firmly on to it. Pray that you may have it forever and be filled with the joy that it confers. This is the way by which you can render this life fruitful.
UTILISE the World as the means to an end; do not desire to stay in it. It is a caravanserai, where you can rest a while during your pilgrimage to the source. It is a bridge wide and strongly built. Can any pilgrim build a house there on for himself? The Cosmos is changing constantly. The minutes that are past cannot be retrieved, even if tempted by a billion rupees. The past is not ours any more; the present slips from our grasp; and the future is uncertain. You come naked into the world, you go out of it without informing the survivors of the address where you can be contacted. In spite of this, attachment grows and you cultivate bounds. This is the great illusion.
THE grace of God cannot be won through the gymnastics of reason, the contortions of Yoga or the denials of Asceticism. Love alone can win it; Love that needs no requital; Love that knows no bargaining; Love that is paid gladly as a tribute to the All Loving; and Love that is unwavering. Love alone can overcome obstacles, however many and mighty. There is no strength more effective than Purity, no bliss more satisfying than Love, no joy more restoring than Bhakti and no triumph more praiseworthy than Surrender.
HIN means "Hinsa" (Violence) and "du" means "dura" (distant); so HINDU means a person who is devoid of violence, who loves and sympathizes, who helps and serves - not one who hides and hits, harms and draws blood. The same sky is over everyone's head; the same earth supports everyone's feet; the same air enters everyone's lungs! The same God brought all forth, brings up all and brings about the end of this earthly career. Why then this inhuman role of foe and fanatic; of fight and feud?
I AM the embodiment of Love; Love is My Instrument. There is no creature without Love; the lowest loves itself at least. And its "self is God". So, there are no atheists, though some might dislike Him or refuse Him, as malarial patients dislike sweets or diabetic patients refuse to have anything to do with sweet! Those who preen themselves, as atheists will one day, when their illness is gone, relish God and revere Him.
STRUGGLE to realise the Atma, to visualise God; even failure in this struggle is nobler than success in other worldly attempts. The buffalo has horns; the elephant has tusks, but what a difference? To live in the body, with the body, for the body is the life of a worm; to live in the body with God is good, for God is the life of man. The dull, activity-hating Tamasic persons have ego and their love is limited to their kith and kin. The Rajasic, active, passionate persons seek to earn power and prestige and love those who will contribute to these. But the Satwic, the pure, the good and equanimity-filled love all as embodiments of God and engage themselves in humble service.
THERE are three types of approaches towards the Lord; the Eagle type, which swoops down on the target with a greedy swiftness and suddenness which, by its very impact, fails to secure the object coveted; the Monkey type, which flits hither and thither, from one to another, unable to decide which is tasty; and the Ant type which moves steadily, though slowly towards the object which it has decided is desirable. The ant does not hit the fruit hard and makes it fall away; it does not pluck all the fruits it seeks; it appropriates just as much as it can assimilate and no more. Do not fritter away the time allotted to you for sojourning on the earth in foolish foppery and fanciful foibles, which always keep you outdoors. When are you to walk indoors into the warmth and quiet of your own interior? Retire into solitude and silence now and then; experience the joy derivable only from them.
WHAT is the sanctity of Shivaratri? Your answer, "Linga emerges from Swami's Udara (abdomen)". "Today is the fourteenth day of the dark of the month, when the moon is all but invisible, just a minute fraction remains visible to man. The mind is the source of all the entangling desires and emotions. The mind is, therefore, almost powerless this day; if only this night is spent in vigil and in the presence of the Divine, it can be fully conquered and man can realise his freedom. Vigilance this night is to be secured by "Sadhana", this is by means of "Bhajan" or the reading of sacred texts.
RAMA, Krishna and Sai Baba appear different because of the dress each has donned, but it is the self same Entity, believe Me. Do not be misled into error and loss. The time will soon come when this huge building or even vaster ones will be too small for the gatherings of those who are called to this place. The sky itself will have to be the roof of the Auditorium of the future. I will have to forego the car and even the airplane when I move from place to place, for the crowds pressing around them will be too huge; I will have to move across the sky; yes that too will happen, believe Me.
SEE all as Narayana Swarupa and worship all with Prema. You can understand even My nature only when you wear the glasses of Holiness. Holy things can be cognised only by the Holy Seeker. You get what you search for; you see what your eyes crave for. The doctor is found where patients gather; the surgeon stays in the operation ward; so too, the Lord is ever with the suffering and struggling. Whenever people cry out in agony "Oh God", there God will be.
YOU very often condemn the mind as a monkey; but take it from Me, it is far worse. The monkey leaps from one branch to another; but the mind leaps from the heights of the Himalayas to the depths of the sea, from today to tens of years ago. Tame it by the process of Naamasmarana. Make it as Ramdas did into a Bhadrachalam, a stable and steady mountain. That is the task I assign to you. Make your heart an Ayodhya by means of Ramanama; Ayodya means a city that can never lie captured by force. That is your real nature: Ayodhya; Badrachala. Forget this and you are lost. Install Rama in your heart; and then no outer force can harm you.
THINGS are not so important; the transcendental truth of things is of value. You must visualise the spiritual in the material, the gold in the jewels, the Divine in the diversity of character and conduct and seek to know the Atma. All are equal in birth and in death. Differences arise only during the interval. The Emperor and the beggar are both born naked; they sleep equally silently; they bow out without even leaving their new address. Then how can their reality be different? There can be no doubt on this score. All are basically the same.
LISTEN to Me. When you wake up, feel that you are entering the stage to play the role assigned to you by the Lord; pray that you may act it well and earn His approbation. At night, when you retire to sleep, feel that you are entering the green-room after the scene, but with the dress of your role on; for perhaps the role is not yet over and you have not yet been permitted to take the dress off. Perhaps, you have to make another entrance the next morning. Do not worry about that. Place yourself fully at His Disposal; He knows; He has written the play and He knows how it will end and how it will go on; Yours is but to act and retire.
WHEN the mind of man is unattached to the ups and downs of life, but is able to maintain equanimity under all circumstances, then even physical health can be assured. The mental firmament must be like the sky, which bears no mark of the passage through it of birds or planes or clouds. Illness is caused more by malnutrition of the mind than of the body. Doctors speak of Vitamin deficiency; I will call it the deficiency of Vitamin G, and I will recommend the repetition of the Name of God, with accompanying contemplation of the glory and grace of God. That is the Vitamin G. That is the medicine; regulated life and habits are two thirds of the treatment, while the medicine is just one third only.
CARRY on your highest duty - following the four F's:
Face the Devil;
Fight to the End; and
Finish the Game.
Then you win My love in full measure. Love is My highest Miracle. Love can make you gather the affection of all mankind. Love will not tolerate any selfish aim or approach, Love is God. Live in Love. Then all is right; all can be well. Expand your heart so that it can encompass all. Do not narrow it down into an instrument of restricted one.
THE tongue is the armour of heart; it guards one's life. Loud talk, long talks, wild talk, and talk full of anger and hate; all these affect the health of man. They breed anger and hate in others; they wound; they excite; they enrage; they estrange. Why is silence said to be golden? The silent man has no enemies, though he may not have friends. He has the leisure and the chance to delve within himself and examine his own faults and failings. He has no more inclination to seek them (fault) in others. If your foot slips, you sustain a fracture; if your tongue slips, you fracture some one's faith or joy. That fracture can never be set right; that wound will fester forever. Therefore, use the tongue with great care. The softer you talk, the less you talk and the sweeter you talk, the better for you and the World.
BIRTH is the consequence of "Kama" (desire, lust); Death is the consequence of "Kala" (Time, the lapse of Time). The God of Desire (Kama) was reduced to ashes by Shiva; the God of Time is Kala or Yama. He was subdued by sin. So, one has to surrender to Siva (God) if one has to escape the consequences of these two frightfully fatal forces. If between "Kama" and "Kala" you take refuge in Rama, then you can escape the rigour. For Rama is the Atma who has no "Kama" and is unaffected by "Kala".
WHEN you seek to learn swimming, you will have to enter the water and struggle with the strokes. When Bhasma (Vibuthi) is given, doubt haunts some people whether Swami is wishing that the recipient should be a Saivite! It is a symbol of the indestructible basic substance, which every being is. All things become ash; but ash remains ash, however much you may burn it. It is also a sign of renunciation, of sacrifice and of "Jnana", which burns all "Karma" - consequently into ineffective ash. It is a sign of Iswara and I apply it on your brow to remind you that you too are Divine. It is a valuable "Upadesh" about your identity. It also reminds you that the body is liable any moment to be reduced into a handful of ash. Ash is a lesson in detachment and renunciation.
THE river of human life meanders along, through many a valley, leaps over many a cliff, loses itself in many a marsh and seeks to empty itself in the ocean of Divine Grace; though, what happens is that it falls into the undrinkable expanse of salt. The flood flows from the heights to the depths; only the flames of fire do ever rise from the depth to the heights. That is why we speak of "Jnanagni", the Fire of Wisdom of Realisation. Man suffers because he has developed hunger as vast as the sky, with a throat as narrow as a needle. His throat must become as vast as the earth; his heart must blossom wide through Shanti and Sahana; that is through equanimity and fortitude. Then the desire of man for full lasting undiluted "Ananda" can be attained.
LIFE on earth is as on the ocean, ever restless with the waves of joy and grief, of loss and gain, the swirling currents of desires and the whirlpools of passion, greed and hate. To cross the ocean, the only reliable raft is a heart filled with the Love of God and Man. Man is born for a high destiny, as the inheritor of a rich heritage. He should not fritter away his days in low pursuits and vulgar vanities. His destiny is to know the Truth, live in it and for it. The Truth alone can make man free and happy. If he is not prompted by this high purpose, life is a waste and a mere tossing on the waves, for the sea of life is never calm.
OUR car is not meant to be kept as showpiece in a glass garage. It is meant for the roads, for taking you fast and safe to the place where you want to go. So too, your body must serve the purpose of your journey. Journey to where? Not, as it has been happening, to the cemetery. You have nobler things to do than merely die! You must know your own Reality before you die and merge in that Supreme Joy. Eat just enough to keep the body trim; use the body to discover this Reality, namely, God. Sanctify every moment of your sojourn here with pious deeds and sacred thoughts.
IT is to persuade you to engage in Naamasmarana that I am concluding My discourses with singing a few Namavalis. An Officer of the Indian Civil Service has to write on the slate, A, B, C and D and pronounce those letters, in order to teach his children the alphabet. When you find him doing so, you do not infer that he is himself learning the alphabet, do you? Therefore, do not be surprised if I sing Bhajan songs; I am but initiating you into this most efficacious Sadhana. Strengthen yourself, purify yourself, and educate yourself by this "Namasankeertan". Do it loudly and in company. Let those who join you listen and imbibe the nectar of the Name.
WHEN you call out in all sincerity, the response will certainly come. Give up all low desires and call from the anguished heart. Do not pray from the lips, as you do now, from the Puja room, which is but a corner of the kitchen. You worship the Lord with an eye on the dishes or cooking on the oven, with a nose inhaling hungrily the smells of the hot curries. “Vishavasana”, attachment to sensory objects, vitiates your thoughts of God. There is a vast gap between what you say and what you do; and between what you are capable of and what you accomplish.
FOOD received by foul means and clothing procured through ease and comfort are the main things in life. Do not think that ease and comfort are the main things in life. Disappointment, disease and distress are the lot of all, rich and poor, educated and uneducated, young and old. They are the common lot of all. Let not your pure, immaculate hearts be rendered dirty by false-hood and wrong. Do not soil your tongue using it for uttering dirty words. Utter the name of God; it acts like a spark, which can burn into ash a big hill of cotton! All evil thoughts, wicked plans and plots will disappear like fog before the Sun when the Name of God is remembered sincerely.
ONCE man is free from undue attachment to the body and its appurtenances, he is liberated also from the pulls of joy, grief, good, bad, pleasure, pain, etc. He is firmly established in equanimity, fortitude and undisturbed balance. There man discovers that the World is one in God; that all is Joy, Love and Bliss. He realizes that he himself is all this apparent World that all the multifarious manifestations are the fantasies of the Divine will, which is his own Reality. This expansion of one's individuality to cover the ends of the Universe is the highest leap of man. It gives supreme "Ananda", an experience for which sages and saints spent years of prayer and asceticism.
MAN has been enslaved by money. He lives a superficial, hollow, artificial life. This is indeed a great pity. Man should seek to possess only as much money as is most essential for his living. The quantity of riches one must earn can be compared to the shoes one wears; if too small, they cause pain; if too big, they are a hindrance to physical and mental comfort. When we have more, it breeds pride, sloth and contempt for others. In pursuit of money, man descends to the level of the beast. Money is of the nature of manure. Piled up in one place, it pollutes the air. Spread it wide; scatter it over fields; it rewards you with a bumper harvest. So too, when money is spent in all the four quarters for promoting good works, it yields contentment and happiness in plenty.
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 repeat it! Have the "Thaapam" (the deliberation, the decision, the discipline) first; that is better than "Paschaath Tapa" (regret for the mistake made).
GIVE something divine if you want the Divine. Prema, Shanti, Dharma and Sathya are Divine. Do not try to get it for a flower that fades, a fruit that rots, a leaf that dries and water that evaporate. There are some who write and speak as if they have known Me, all that is to be known of Me. I can only say this: they can never know Me and My nature, even if they are born and reborn a thousand times. To know Me, one has to be like Me, rise to this height. Can ants discover the depth of the Ocean?
IN this Kali age, the wicked have to be reformed and reconstructed through love and Compassion. That is why this Avatar has come unarmed. HE has come with the message of Love. The only weapon which can transform the vile and the vicious is the Name of the Lord uttered with Love. The Name is redolent with Divine Glory. So when it is turned over in the mind, it transmutes it into an instrument for liberation from delusion.
THREE disciplines are essential to become aware of Divinity in all and in the Avatar; no activity should be taken up with individual aggrandizement in view; intellect and emotion must be directed to the revelation of the Resident of the Heart, Atma; and every act should be done sincerely, with Love, with no yearning for acquiring personal profit, fame or benefit. Above all, listen to the voice of God within. As soon as one contemplates a wrong act, the voice warns, protests and advises giving up. It pictures the shame that has to be suffered, the punishment that has to be faced and the disgrace that it entails.
IF God is implanted in the heart, you will see God everywhere, even in the objective World. "Sarvam Brahmamayam" is a fact. Resolve this day to engage only in virtuous deeds, good thoughts, and good company. Let your mind dwell on elevating thoughts. Do not waste a single moment of your time talking in idle gossip, vain boasting or demeaning recreations.
THE journey into the inner consciousness, to calm the storms that rage, is more important than the journey to the Moon or Mars. The latter may be more spectacular, but the former is the more beneficial. Life without goodness, good thoughts, good actions and good words is like the sky in the night without the moon or stars. It is like a wheel without a hub or spokes! No one can push a boulder away while standing on it; you cannot be free from anxiety while all the entrances through which it sneaks in are open. Stop catering to the senses and feeding the desires that haunts you.
THE ceremony of Brahmopadesam is Upanayanam, because the word means, "taking near", taking the young aspirant near Brahman, that is to say, and introducing him to Brahmajnana, the path of Brahma. It is one of the Samskara, that is rites, which reconstruct the personality, reform the mind, purify it and rebuild it. It makes the person receiving it a "Dwija", twice born! The boy is born first into the World; now he is born into the Sadhaka World. He becomes a Brahmachari, a person who walks towards Brahma.
SEE God in every being and then true "Sneha" will blossom. This type of true "Sneha" can come only when you follow the advice of Krishna. "Adveshta sarva bhoothanam maitrah karuna evacha Nirmano nirahamkaarah Sama dukher Sukha Kshami": "He who has no trace of hatred towards any creature, who is friendly and compassionate towards all, who is free from the bondage of "I" and "mine", who takes pain and pleasure as equally welcome and who is forbearing in spite of provocation". Grow these qualities in you, for they are the signs of true "Sneha". It is only when you are proceeding on the God ward journey along the nine stages of Bhakti that you can attain this Divine ideal of true friendship.
MOHAMMED, who sought to establish the primacy of the One Formless Absolute, had a large share of persecution, defamation and privation. Jesus, who attempted to rebuild mankind on the basis of Love, was crucified by little men who feared that their tiny tower of hate and greed would be toppled by his teaching. Harischandra, who had resolved never to waver from Truth, was subjected to ordeal after ordeal, each more terrifying than the previous one. Those who seek to know God must steel themselves to bear insult, injury and torture with a smile.
UGADHI: THE word "Ugadhi" means: the day of the Inauguration of the "Yuga or Age". On this day dedicate your life anew to the spiritual discipline, giving up all habits that interfere with the constant remembrance of God. Nature puts on a neat garb of green, but man alone continues with his old prejudices, out-worn habits and moth-eaten principles, which tarnish and demean him. The spiritual discipline prescribed by the Scriptures for the Krita (Yuga) Age is Dhyana; for the Thretha Yuga it is Dharma; for the Dwapara Yuga it is Archana or Ritual worship; and for the Kali Yuga it is Naamasmarana and Seva. With the constant remembrance of God, worship the Lord, leaving the result to the All-powerful, All knowing and All Merciful. The New Panchangam reveals the position of the Sun, Moon and Stars. Saint Thyagaraja sang that Rama's Grace could counteract the evil effect of Stars. Expand yourself. Take in all. Grow in Love. That is the new dress you have to wear and shine on this day.
I AM showing you by My example. You must fill every moment with useful beneficial activity. You talk among yourselves, "Oh Swami is having his rest hour; Swami is sleeping", but I have never craved, for a minute's rest or sleep or relief. Shall I tell you at what time I feel restful, relieved and content? When I know that you are all earning supreme Bliss through detachment and spiritual discipline; not until then. I am ever engaged in some activity or other for your benefit. Things that I could get done, I do not entrust to others; I do them myself, so that they may learn self-reliance and get experience thereby.
YAMA or the God of death is described as dragging his victims to his abode by means of the rope or "Paasa". Well, He has no rope-factory there, for supplying him with the rope he needs. You manufacture the rope yourself and have it ready around your neck; he has only to take hold of the rope and pull you along! It is a three-stranded rope, the strands being "Ahamkara" (Egoism); "Vishayavasana" (sense-attachment); and "Kama" (Desire).
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