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1008 Pearls of Sayings of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
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THE Sanyasi has to declare his death and perform obsequies for himself and bury his past. He destroys all that binds him to the rest and to his past, his history and his name. He avoids any reminder of his erstwhile adventure and the pursuit of sensory joy. He flees from his friends and foes, his habits, and habiliments, his hobbies and prejudices. But we find men who have taken the vow of Sanyas still clinging to their long established practices and habits. Instead they must completely break with the past. That is why in the Gita, Karma Sanyasa and not any other types of Sanyas is prescribed.


GURU Nanak said that without faith in God, man is blind; Without it, you are a moving corpse - your life might be as grand, beautiful, and rich as the Taj Mahal but remember, the Taj is but a tomb! Whatever the method of worship and whichever the Name or Form, it is faith that matters; it is that which gives life and energy for higher things.


I LIKE the Puja that is done not for the sake of the individual but for the sake of humanity. By all means, do Puja in order to promote the happiness and peace of living beings. Develop that love for men everywhere. That is My Mission too, My Resolution, My Sankalpa, and My Deeksha - the planting of Love in every human heart.


IT becomes essential to cleanse the mind through regular Sadhana, to tune the little will to the infinite will of God, so that it becomes merged in His Glory. Scholarship or skill, however deep and varied, have no cleansing power. They only add the alloys of pride and competition. Learned men are not necessarily good, nor are men with spiritual powers over nature above pride, envy and greed. Sathya, Dharma, Shanti and Prema are the hallmarks of a purified heart, where God is enshrined and is manifest.


INSTEAD of transforming his heart, his home, his village, his state, and this World into a Prashanthi Nilayam, the abode of the peace that passes understanding; man has made the World an arena for the wild passions of anger, hate and greed. Instead of making the senses (which are, after all, very poor guides and informants) his servants, he has made them his masters; he has become a slave of external beauty, evanescent melody, exterior softness, tickling taste and fragile fragrance. He spends all his energies and the fruits of all his toil in the satisfaction of the trivial demands of these untamed underlings.


INDIVIDUAL efforts and Divine Grace are both interdependent, without effort there will be no conferment of grace. Without Grace, there can be no taste in the effort. To win that Grace, you need only have faith and virtue. You need not praise Him in order to win His Favour.


THE character of the children must be made strong and pure. Give them all the confidence and courage they need to become good, honest, and self-reliant children. It is not enough if they learn something by which they can make a living. The manner of living is more important than the standard of living. The children must also have reverence towards their religion, their culture, their educational attainments and their country. They must learn well their mother tongue, so that they can appreciate the great poetical works and epics written by the Seers of their land. This will give them valuable guidance in the stormy days ahead.


LEARN to share with others their grief and their joy, do not get jealous when others are happier or when others win prizes or credits in examinations. Emulate their industry, pray for a higher share of intelligence or a sharper memory, but do not give room in your hearts to envy and malice. Envy is a deadly poison, it will contaminate character, ruin health, and rob you of peace. Be Anasuyas, unaffected by envy, and you can subdue the Gods of creation, Protection and Destruction. Like a pest that destroys growing crops, envy enters slyly and spreads quickly. So even in small matters, be vigilant to ensure that you do not fall a prey to envy.


THE six enemies of man are eating into his vitals, embedded in his own inner consciousness. They are the demons to be killed. They are Lust (Kama), Anger (Krodha), Greed (Lobha), Attachment (Moha), Pride (Mada) and Malice (Matsarya). They reduce man to the level of a demon. They have to be overpowered and transmuted by the supreme alchemy of the Divine urge. Then the nine nights of struggle will become a new type of night, devoted to the purification of the mind and the illumination of the soul, the night described in the Gita as "the Day of the Worldly". What is clear and attractive to the ordinary man is uninteresting and unknown to the Worldly man. This is the nature of the topsy-turvy world.


THE selfishness fouling your love is veiling divinity from your vision. What is the reason for the selfishness which is veiling divinity from us? It is simply our attachment to the body; It is the weakness of our mind and our enslavement to our senses.


USE the eyes to watch wholesome things, the feet to proceed to the Home of God, the hands to serve the embodiments of God moving around you as men and the tongue to soothe pain, praise virtue, and glorify God. Do not use your eye to vulgarise your brain and your feet to stand in queue for deleterious movie-shows.


THOUGH the World has become a very small globe as a result of fast means of communication and transport, man has not yet learnt the art of living together in close proximity as brothers and as children of the One God. The closer men are brought, the larger the differences that appear. Thus, the little World is now riddled with problems of conflicting cultures, competing creeds and contesting ambitions. The sorrows of one State spread fast into all its neighbouring ones and infect the whole world. The World has become one vast battlefield.


MOST of you are leading a double or triple life: Yogam in the morning; Bhogam the rest of the day; and Rogam at night. You seek Ananda outside you and suffer from the ulcer of desire inside you. You utter one thing with the tongue and carry out the opposite with the hand. You claim to be the seekers of Jnana but you are attached to the delusion that you have cultivated. You have a ticket for Calcutta but you are traveling in the train headed for Bombay. With the body, which is your ticket and Vigna and Vairagya your luggage, you are traveling not in the train which goes God ward but in the train leading to Prakruthi. This is a pity.


THE Atma has an eternal festival. It is Anandaswarupa. It is beyond time and so does not calculate the passage of time. Let me ask, how can man celebrate a festival when he is afflicted by Dehabhranthi, Manabhranthi, Indriyabhranthi, and Lokabhranthi? He believes the falsehoods that are called the body, the senses, the mind and the world. He pursues them and tastes joy and grief, and when a certain number of years have passed, he celebrates a festival.


INDIA is the Moolasharam of Sathya, Santhi and Prema and she has been holding forth these ideals and emphasising their practice since centuries. Bharath means the land that has "rathi" or attachment to "bha" or Bhagavan; it means that the people here are God-loving, not so much God-fearing. If you love God, you have to love Man also. This teaching, that Sathya is the basis of Dharma which lays down individual and social duties and obligations, and that Sathya is also the root of Prema and Shanti, is the unique feature of Bharath. Sathya is enough, no other God needs to be worshipped.


THE task now is to install Dharma in every heart, to shed light on every road, through the revival of Vedanta. The World is like a famished person waiting for a feast; it is like the parched land waiting for rain. I have seen and felt the atmosphere of this land surcharged with discontent and dishonesty. I have seen it from Kanyakumari to the Himalayas: that is the reason why thousands, like you seek Dharsan, Sparsan and Sambhasan. I am only surprised that thousands are denying themselves that chance.


IT is best you stay away from companions who drag you to such distractions that weaken and worry you; spend a few minutes every morning and evening in the silence of your own home, spend them with the highest of all powers that you know of; be in His Elevating and Inspiring Company; worship Him mentally; offer unto Him all the work you do; and you will come out of the silence, nobler and more heroic than when you went in.


JUST consider - do you come out of the cinema more peaceful, more heroic, purer and nobler than when you went in? No, your passions are aroused, your animal impulses are catered to and your lower nature is fed. Nothing else can give one that rich reward which Silence and Prayer and Communion with the Master can give, not even a decent bank account, nor a string of degrees, nor the muscles of a prize fighter.


LIVE upon the Ananda that you derive when you sing the Name and glorify the Form of the Lord That is My Food and My daily sustenance. So, I have no need to talk to you; it is sufficient if I sit here and draw in the Ananda that you feel when you do Bhajan.


THERE are certain dire possibilities which I want all social workers to guard against. First cleanse your own minds and then start advising others. Earn mental peace and strength for yourself and then try to secure them for others. Learn the secret of lasting happiness yourself and then endeavour to make others happy. Seek the real limb not the artificial limb. Get the doctor who will assure "hereafter you will not fall ill" and not the doctor who gives some relief only for the present attack.


THE greatest instrument by which success can be ensured for all your efforts is Bhakti. That will give health, wealth and prosperity too, for it will eliminate hatred and faction and give more power to your elbow when you plough the land. A man with Bhakti will do every act as worship of the Lord and so the act will be done better and more efficiently, without any maligning or insincerity. It will also win the Grace of the Lord, and so, a Bhakta will be able to raise more crops and enjoy greater health and mental happiness.


WE light many candles with the flame of a single candle. But remember only a burning candle can light other candles. An unlit candle cannot light other unlit candles. Only one who has earned wisdom can enlighten others who are in ignorance. One who is himself unillumined cannot illumine others dwelling in the darkness, Maya. One must light his own lamp from the universal light of love and thence forward he can transmit illumination to all who seek and strive. All lamps shine alike since they are all sparks of the Param-Jyothi the Universal Luminosity, that is God.


IS the Universe real? Is it relatively unreal? This problem has been agitating man since ages in all lands. The realists and the idealists have argued on their explanations for centuries. The scientists or realists believe that the Universe is a conglomeration of atoms in varying patterns which have assumed manifold forms and names. But this is only partially true. The Vijnana Vedins (the spiritually oriented) point out to the Dhoatik Vedins (the materially oriented) that a firm base is essential for all these transformations to happen. The Universe must have a basic force or energy or phenomenon, as basic as clay is to the pot. That fundamental principle is, according to them, the Atman.


THE human body is a temple-chariot; the Atman is installed therein and is dragged by emotions, impulses, passions and urges, along the streets of desire. Success and failure, joy and grief, gain and loss are the dancers who accompany the procession of life. Here, too, many pour their attention only on the chariot, its height, its decoration and its progress. Many others are concerned with the dance of durabilities. The pain and pleasure due to that is part of the procession. Few pay attention to the Atman, the crown and consummation of human existence.


WHY is man so pathetically afflicted today with fear and anxiety? Are we to search for the reasons outside us or do they live within us? The reason lies in the false emphasis we have laid on things of the material world, ignoring things of the spirit. The body that man bears is essentially the receptacle of God. It is a temple where God is installed and where God is the Master. It does not deserve all the attention you now pay to fulfill its whims. It is equipped with very valuable instruments which can help you in the journey but which you seldom use.


MANY are affected by the problem of what caused the Cosmos. How did it come into being? They advance various theories and lay down many opposing hypotheses. But there is no need for seekers to beat about the bush so much. Just as a dream results when one is cut off from reality in a state of sleep, the Cosmos is a result of being cut off from Reality by Maya, in a state of ignorance. It is difficult to discover laws that explain or govern its infinite mysteries.


WE find individuals and groups trudging to Badrinath, Kedarnath, and Haridwar in search of peace and prosperity. They also go to Tirupathi and Kashi. Have they jettisoned even a few of their animal propensities? That is the test; that is the justification for the money and time they have spent and the troubles they have undergone. When the animal is conquered and Godhead is felt within reach, man can assert that all these pilgrimages are within him. He has no need to travel from temple to temple. And without achieving this victory, you have no right to claim that you are a devotee of Rama or Krishna or of another incarnation of the Lord.


GOOD deeds like Puja, Japam, Dhyanam, the observance of vow, etc., are "steps". Good thoughts like prayer for greater discrimination and more chances to help others, also help. Slowly and steadily cleanse the mind; sharpen the intellect, purify the senses, and win grace.


IT is because you feel the urge to use the body with which you have been endowed, and for this higher purpose you are here in Prasanthi Nilayam. The kinship among you and all of you with Me, is ageless; it is eternal; it is not based on a worldly relationship; it is based on the aspirations of the heart. It is Prasanthi Nilayam that is the abode of Supreme Bliss.


THE Lord is described in the Purusha Suktha as "thousand-headed". It does not mean that He has just a thousand heads, no more, no less. It means that "the thousands of heads" before Me now have just one heart, which gives life and energy to all, and that heart is the Lord. No one is separate from his neighbour, all are bound by the one life-blood that flows through the countless bodies. This is the special teaching of Sanathana Dharma, which the World needs.


THE Lord has endowed man with the body, and so, every limb and every sense is worthy of reverent attention. Each must be used for His Glory. The ear must exult when it gets a chance to hear the wonderful tales of God. The tongue must exult when it can praise Him. Or else, the tongue of man is as ineffective as that of frogs which croak day and night sitting on the marshy bank.


THE human body has been given to you for a grand purpose: realising the Lord within. If you have a fully equipped car in good running condition, would you keep it in the garage? The car is primarily for going on a journey, to get into it and go. Then only is it worthwhile to own. So too with the body, proceed and go forward to the goal. Learn how to use the faculties of the body, the senses, the intellect, and the mind for achieving the goal and march on.


MAN must proceed ever towards "Balam" strength; he should not take to untruth, wickedness, and crookedness, all of which denote a fundamental fatal trait of cowardice, "Balaheenam". "Balaheenam" is born of accepting as true a lower image of yourself than what the facts warrant. You believe you are the husk. But really you are the kernel. That is the main mistake. All Sadhana must be directed to the removal of the husk and the revelation of the kernel. So long as you say "I am", there is bound to be fear, but once you say and feel "I am Brahmam", "Aham Brahmasmi," you get unconquerable strength.


I WANT that you all should build new houses for happy living and install the Lord therein. I do not mean houses of brick and mortar, but houses of good thoughts, good words, good deeds and good company, where you could live calm and collected. Invite Me for the Grahapravesam of such houses and I shall most readily agree. In fact, then the house is Mine already and I do not need even an invitation to come and enter it. These houses are for worldly comfort; that house is for spiritual joy. And My place of Residence is the pure aspiring heart.


YOU are going about with a temple where God is in the innermost shrine. The body is not a mass of flesh and bone. It is a medicine for Manthras-Manthras which save when they are meditated upon. It is a sacred instrument, earned after long ages of struggle, equipped with reason and emotion, capable of being used for deliverance from grief and evil. Honour it as such; keep it in good condition, so that it might serve that high purpose; maintain it even more carefully than these brick houses and always preserve the conviction that it is an instrument and nothing more. Use it for just the purpose for which it has been designed and given.


IT is urgent that every one should inquire into the true, the pure and the permanent; for there is at present a delusion about values. Even the leaders of people are hugging the false hypothesis that happiness can be had by means of wealth or health, housing or clothing, or the cultivation of skills in handicraft and manufacture. The bird sits upon the bough that sways in the storm, confident of its wings, not confident of the bough on which it sits. So, you too should feel strong because of the wings, the wings of Sraddha and Bhakti, not because of the bough of the objective World on which you have perched.


YOU know from the experience of the Cauvery floods, neither status nor castes nor wealth nor even health can help unless you know the simple art of swimming. Need I say that crossing the ocean of Samsar, reaching the other shore of the sea of Birth-Death, is similarly possible only for those who know the art of Spiritual Sadhana. Those who are trying to build the seaman community on a foundation of "Dhana", are building on sand; those who seek to build it on the rock of "Dharma", are the wise.


DHARMA Moolam Idam Jagath. Dharma is the root of this World. Obey it and you are happy. The evil man is a coward, haunted by fear. He has no peace within himself. Respect for the parents who started you in life and brought you into this World, together with the vast and varied treasure of experience, is the first lesson that Dharma teaches. Gratitude is the spring which feeds that respect. It is a quality that is fast disappearing in the World today. Respect for the teacher, for the elders and for the wise is on the decline. That is why Dharma is fast disappearing and losing its hold.


JUST as the body is the house you live in, the World is the body of God. An ant biting the little toe of your foot is able to draw your attention to the spot; and you react to the pain, making an effort to remove the tiny enemy. You must similarly feed the pain, misery or joy or elation whenever it is evinced in the entire land; you must make an effort to protect the land from the enemy, however remote the place may be where the enemy has presented himself. Be kin with all your kind. Expand your sympathies, serve others who stand in need, to the extent of your skill and resources. Do not fritter away your talents in profitless channels.


THE entire epic Ramayana hinges on two women and two passions. Manthara representing Krodha (anger, resentment and vengeance) and Surpanaka representing Kama (lustful passion). Manthara plotted to send Rama into exile and Surpanaka caused the abduction of Sita and the destruction of the Rakshasas as a consequence. The two women are insignificant characters in the story; but the roles they play are key-roles, for they sparked off, by means of the passions they represented, strong chapters of pain and grief. Krodha and Kama are more destructive than atom bombs; but when Rama is installed in the heart, they just fizzle out.


WELCOME the epic Ramayana as you welcome an efficacious drug; it can cure deep rooted illness of the mind, the disabilities of the inner senses, and the defects of the inner consciousness. It can clarify your vision and make you strong and steady on the path towards God.


SANTHAAKAARAM Bhujaga Sayanam is one of the ways in which the Divine is described. Bujaga is the cobra, the poisonous snake. Its visha (poison) is the symbol of the evil influences of vishaya (Worldly desires). The Lord is said to repose on the bhujaga, the evil filled multiplicity of the World. Yet, the description says: He is Saanthakaaram (in absolute peace, unruffled in the least). The Lord is unaffected, though He is immanent in the Universe. Man too must be in the World, but not of it.

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