1008 Pearls of Sayings of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
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From 925 - 966
EVERYONE'S heart is Dharmakshetra where the battle between the forces of Good and Evil is fought. The whole country is Dharmakshetra. So, the mothers and children of this land must be devoted to Dharma, above all. The Gita begins with the words, Dharmakshetra, and ends with the words: "Sarva Dharmaan Parithajiya"; "Through Dharma, you have to transcend Dharma". That is why Kausalya exhorted Rama when He went into the forest: "May the Dharma, which you are upholding by this act, be your guardian when you are in the forest as an exile". And Rama upheld Dharma even under the most trying circumstances.
THIS World is His play; it is not an empty dream; it has purpose and use; it is the means by which one can discover God; see Him in the beauty, grandeur, the order and the majesty of Nature. These are shadows of His Glory and His splendour; that is why the Vedas have three Sections or Kandas; Karma, Upasana and Jnana. Karma leads to the consciousness of the ever-present, immanent, all powerful God. Upasana or adoration of that God lends to the knowledge that He is in all. When you experience that, there is no second, that is Jnana.
MY place is among you, with you and wherever work lies. That is why I moved among you and stood at your back. This is just to show you that, even in your own places, when you do Bhajan or some other type of adoration like serving children, the sick or the poor, I do not sit on a special seat, apart and distant. Do not believe I am on the pedestal that you offer Me. I am part of you, a partner and partaker in all your efforts, inspiring and instructing when you ask or need inspiration and instruction.
BY developing spiritual qualities, you will be promoting the resuscitation of this country and its culture. Look at the warning that the sacred texts offer! Somaka, the Asura, stole the Vedas! Ravana kidnapped Sita, Duryodhana grasped an empire; Kamsa slaughtered children; but not one of them realised their heart's desire that their names be exalted by history. Sentence of death awaits everyone, cutting off their pride and pomp. Some young persons feel that the work they have on hand gives them great pleasure but they do not pay heed to its future consequences. When you seek beneficial results, you have to involve yourselves in beneficial activity.
THERE are some who are attracted by various systems and methods like Hathayoga, Kriyayoga or Rajayoga, which claim to help people to realise the self. But I must tell you that none of these can make you realise God - I am saying this most emphatically. The Prema Yoga, Discipline of Love, alone can lead you to God. Those Yogas may calm the minds' agitation temporarily and may improve health and prolong life for a few more years - but that is all that they can do. What is the good you hope to achieve with that body in those extra years? If Love is absent, they weigh you down as life's big burdens.
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 health 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 scarce; 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 caravansari, during your pilgrimage, in this Karmashetra.
THE law of Karma is not an iron law. By dedication, by purification which invites benediction, its effects can be modified and its rigour mitigated. Do not despair; do not lose heart. When vices hold sway over your heart, it becomes foul and sooty. The flames of Kama, Krodha and Lobha char the heart. Grace is provided by the quenching of these flames. Grace confers Ananda, which Kama, Krodha and Lobha can never confer.
WHY is it that the World reveres Rama and revolts at Ravana? Rama is not its uncle's son or Ravana its step mother's child. It is the kinship of the spirit, your innate goodness, responding lovingly and adoringly to the goodness in Rama and reacting revoltingly to the wickedness of Ravana. It is not enough nor is it essential that you should utter the name of Rama loudly, respect it in the fullness of love and admiration. If you have no spirit of love in you, dig into your heart with external instruments like Raga, Stotra etc., and it will start to flow.
WE are today celebrating the Advent of Krishna. The Avatar (incarnation) in the Krishna. Form has a vast mystery enshrined in it. Brindavan (the forest of Brinda) is the tangled jungle of life. The cows tended by Lord Krishna in Brindavan are none other than the humans that are helpless without His care and guidance. Gokula (the herds of cows) is the name given in the Bhagavatham (book on the Glory of the Lord) to the region where Krishna tended the cows. "Go" means also the individual who is enclosed in the body. So, Gokula, is the region inhabited by man.
ONE poet has sung, "Oh, Krishna, Oh, Gopala, do not count on your being kind to me, being moved by my appeals for mercy. Don't I know that you killed with your own hands your maternal uncle? You killed the very nurse who came endearingly to you in order to feed you at her breast! With no iota of compassion towards the father of your dearest devotees, you tortured him and killed him while the son, Prahlada was looking on! You approached Bali as if for alms, and when he gladly placed all he had at your feet, you trampled on his head and pressed him into the nether regions! How can a heart that has no tenderness melt at my misery"? Yes, the Lord is above all attachments, He has no favorites or foes.
BY THE example of your lives, you have to restore confidence among the people in the higher values of life. Do not neglect the great lessons embedded in Sanathana Dharma, which have sustained countless generations in this land for many centuries. "May all the Worlds be happy", this is the goal towards which Sanathana Dharma is leading us. Welcome within the fold of your Love, all men without distinction or race or religion, colour or class. Have the picture of the Happy, Love filled human community in your heart. That will give you enough encouragement in your mission.
ISSA Vassyam Idam Sarvam; "All this is enveloped by God". All this is soaked in God; saturated with God. Everything is the substance of God. We are on the Earth; around it revolves the moon. Both, the Earth and the Moon are illumined by the Sun. Dependent on the Sun, planets like Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and Saturn dutifully move along the orbits at different speeds. Their Satellites also belong to the Solar family. Whenever we lift our eyes up to the sky at night, we notice Stars beyond numbers. And in the Milky Way, we see thick masses of Star Clusters. In space, there are more than ten thousand crores of Stars, and regarding the Galaxies in the Milky Way and elsewhere, we have more than ten crores. Without being lost in numbers, we must ponder over the mystery of the Unity and Harmony of this Cosmic projection.
IT IS not possible to consider Creation and the Creator, Nature and God as different or separate. Can we see that waves are separate from the sea? They are of the sea, with the sea, and from the sea. Man too is of God, with and from God. The bubble is born in water, stays in water and is lost in water. The Cosmos too is a bubble born in the Absolute, exists as the Absolute and merges in the Absolute or Paramatma. Nara (the human) is the bubble. God (Narayana) is the sea. Recognise this truth, as the bubble cannot be conceived without positing water. The Cosmos, this World, cannot be conceived without God.
GOOD men are the targets for maligning by the small. Have your own errors and evils hidden so that you can tackle them in solitude; do not inflict them on others. Wrestle with them and overwhelm them in the silence of Sadhana. Deal with others only beneficially and in joyful cooperation. Look at Lord Siva. The poison, which will ruin the World ruthlessly, has been contained in His throat! The Moon that can shower cool, calm comfort is worn by Him on His head for all the Worlds to benefit from! That is a lesson for you. Why render others miserable, because you are too weak to suppress the bandits your heart has welcomed?
I KNOW there are many of you who argue and discuss how and in what manner these structures came to be built so grandly. If you have known Me through and through there will be no such argument at all. You will know that this is but an insignificant product of My power. I have done this only as an example; unless those who lead are themselves active and earnest to bend and bear the burden, all those who are encouraged to follow will lose heart and miss the way. Religious leaders have a great responsibility in this respect. People fly high, only to cast their eyes on a wider circle, searching for sustenance as vultures do! The eye belies what the wings proclaim.
WHEN you have filled your heart with sympathy for the distressed, the Lord will shower His Grace. Draupadi had earned the Grace through her devotion and virtues. Sita, too, had stuck to the highest ideals of life in spite of her severe sufferings. She was kept as a prisoner by her abductor. When Hanuman offered to cross the ocean with her on his shoulders and take her safe to her Lord Rama, she replied that she would not allow herself to be abducted back from the custody of Ravana since that would deprive Rama of the chance to punish him for his crime and retrieve her. Quite in consonance with Dharma.
THE Gita is His Command; how can you earn the Master's Grace if you do not carry out the Master's commands. If the son says, "Leave me to myself, I need no instructions from you"; how can he expect the father to give him a share of the property? The Gita also helps you to recognise the incarnations of God. Usually, when the Lord appears with Form, man is pestered by doubts and he actually loses the precious chance. He asks himself and all those whom he meets "Is it true?"; "Can it be true?"; and before his doubts are removed, he deserts the quest and wanders into the wilderness. Of course, steady enquiry is essential! Do not be led by others; awaken your own reason; amass your own experience; and decide for yourself your own path.
NOTHING that is experienced will go to waste. It will shape the course of events. It will change attitudes and habits. It will purify and clarify situations and outlooks. That is why I want you to read the Gita; it is like learning Eatha (Swimming) - this learning of the Gita. Eatha saves you from drowning. Gita saves you from drowning in the treacherous flood of worldly desires. The Gita is the real purpose for which the Avatar of Krishna was undertaken.
TO condemn all is unjust, untrue, and unkind. Take My own instance. I never exult when I am extolled, nor shrink when I am reviled. Few have realised My purpose and significance: but I am not worried when things that are not in Me are attributed to Me. Why should I worry? When things that are in Me are mentioned, why should I exult? "Sayiki Sarvam Yes, Yes, Yes". For Sai, it is always S.S.S. If you say "Yes, you are the Lord", I am the Lord to you. If you say "No", I am "No" to you. I am "Ananda, Shantham, Dhanam", Bliss, Equanimity, and Courage. Take them as your "Atonathathwam" and you will not be wrong.
THE influence of the Divine is such that while you are contemplating it, all traces of envy and greed will disappear from the mind. The boy Krishna had entered a Gopi's house and was just standing beneath the pot of curds when she discovered Him. Krishna ran out into the street and the Gopi pursued Him and wanted to catch Him quickly, for she was so distressed that the boy was running in the hot sun. She never worried about the loss of curds or milk or butter, but the very thought of Krishna's tender feet walking over the hard stones in the sun was something she could not bear. The Prema that Krishna showered made everyone forget everything else. He too gave such disarming replies to the queries of the mother and the Gopis that no one could have anything but Prema towards Him. That is the characteristic of Avatars at all times.
DHARMA is the very habiliment of India, the dress that Bharathamatha wears to protect her, honour to reclaim her status to shelter herself against heat and cold and to set a standard to her sisters. When the wicked Kaurava princes seized hold of the sari that Draupadi wore and tried to inflict insult on her honour, Krishna rescued her and foiled the foul design. Dharmaraja sat as if he was unaware of his rights and duties. Bhima was involved in doubt concerning his obligations to his elder brother and his consort. Arjuna cared more for his own interests. Nakula and Sahadeva waited and weighed the pros and cons. But the Lord did not wait! His Grace knew no delay or doubt.
DHARMA, the very clothes that Bharathamatha has worn since centuries, which is the expression of her natural style, is now seized by wicked irreverent hands. They wish to dress her in unbecoming styles on their own initiative or frenzied dictates. So Krishna has to come again for resuming the eviction of the wicked. Krishna revealed the hollowness of the people who were confident of their capacity to dishonour Draupadi and the weakness of those entrusted with the task of protecting her. Now too, the Lord has to foil the attempts to undermine Dharma and to stand in support of those who are the traditional protectors and protagonists of Dharma.
YASODA one day was searching for Krishna who had strayed away. She thought He went to the house of Radha. Radha just closed her eyes and meditated on Krishna for a while and when she called "Krishna", Krishna was there. Then Yasoda shed tears of joy. She said, "I love Krishna as a mother. I have a sense of egoism in me that He is my son and that I must save Him from harm and seek to give Him guidance and protection. Your Prema is pure; it has no egoism promoting it".
REMEMBER always that it is easy to do what is pleasant; but it is difficult to be engaged in what is beneficial. Not all that is pleasant is profitable. Success comes to those who give up the path strewn with roses and brave the hammer blows and the sword-thrusts of the path fraught with danger. As a matter of fact, no road is strewn with rose petals. Life is a battlefield, a Dharmakshetra, where duties and desires are always in conflict. Smother the fiery fumes of Desire, Hatred and Anger that rise up in your hearts. It is sheer cowardice to yield to these enemies that turn you into beasts.
THE vision of the Virat, the Cosmic Form, is given to those who surrender their ego and take refuge in the Lord (as Arjuna did) and who imbibe with care the Gita sung by the Lord in the silence. God is Omnipresent. He is the inner Motivator of every particle in the Universe. To declare that He is amenable only to your style of worship and that He will answer only the Name that you have learnt to use, is to insult His Omniscience and His Glory. See Him in all; serve Him in all; revere Him in all. Pray, "Let the Whole World prosper; let all mankind be happy".
IMAGINE the Prema of the Gopis. One noon, Krishna stealthily entered the house of a cowherd and drank all the milk in the pot. The Gopi discovered Him and, when she admonished Him, Krishna took to His heels. When the Gopi saw Him running over the hard cobblestones of the street, she shed tears of contrition. "These Lotus feet must feel great pain", she wept. "Oh, what a great sinner I am", she wailed. Krishna will make the most wicked heart melt in repentance. He is Premaswarupa and Santhaswarupa and so He makes every heart sprout up to Prema and Shanthi.
VASUDEVASSARVAMIDAM does not mean that all this is just Krishna, the son of Vasudeva. It means that all this is God, by whatever Name He is known. So if you decry anyone, you are decrying God, which is His real core. If you become aware of the God in you and the God in all else, there is nothing to equal the peace and joy that you get.
LET Me tell you, without reforming conduct in daily behaviour and acts, "Ananda" will be beyond reach. I consider "Pravarthana", Practice, as essential. A man or an institution is to be judged by his integrity and whether acts are according to the principles proposed. The mind, the body and the word; all three must work in unison. By such disciplined Karma, the senses will be sublimated and Prasanthi won. Then out of this Prasanthi will arise Prakanthi or the great light. From that will emerge Paramjyothi, the Supra-splendour of illumination. That illumination will reveal Param-Atma, the Over-Soul, the Universal.
PRASANTHI Nilayam is holding forth and exemplifying the higher ideals in the material, ethical, economic, moral, spiritual, worldly and even political fields. There is no place here for anything contrary. This can be asserted without any possibility of contradiction. In spite of this, some ignorant individuals rely more on their guesses than on facts and indulge in spreading wrong conclusions. Let me tell them that if a single person in the whole world points out a wrong step in Prasanthi Nilayam, he shall be met with and be convinced that the Prasanthi Nilayam is eagerly bent upon the task of upholding and demonstrating high and holy ideals of achieving spiritual realisation. It does not seek those worldly riches, nor does it yearn for earning favours and fame.
IN Prasanthi Nilayam, no misuse or extravagance can ever happen. For any festival, either Sivarathri, Navarathri or the Birthday, many people imagine that lakhs of Rupees are spent here. For the Dasara celebration, all who have come served their best in the fullness of devotion that dwells in their hearts and so, not a Naya paise is spent for any purpose. The Rithuriks, who officiate at the Yagna and the lecturers who deliver discourses, all come and share in the joy out of Love and Faith. Their comforts are looked after by the members of the Seva Dal and the Sevasamithis and by the Volunteers who dedicate their strength and skills to make the Festivals a success. No paise is spent on any item.
TODAY, you find the Prasanthi Nilayam area clean and pleasing. What is the reason? How many sweepers have we employed? How many coolies are engaged, you may wonder? No, not one, Everyone cleans the place where he is staying and the adjacent area. Thus, cleanliness is ensured without any cost. It can be asserted that at no place in the World are resources put to such good use, with the least expense, as at Prasanthi Nilayam.
MAN has Truth as his nature, that is to say, you can rely on man's behaviour being always true; he will speak out only what he feels to be sincere; he will act according to his words. His thought, word and action will be consistent and complementary. If in any one case this concordance is absent, then the person is a man only in outer form. He is worse than a beast, for beasts are free from the burdens of thought and speech.
GOD gives an ear to the prayers that rise in all languages and even from the silence of the dumb. He has no trace of anger or worry. You too have no reason to develop anger and anxiety. When the teeth bite your tongue, do you get angry at them for hurting? Do you break the teeth that hurt it so? No, teeth and tongue are both yours. Similarly, he who hurts you and you are both limbs of the same body - God. Feel that Oneness and avoid hate. God is on the lookout for the inner vision. He blesses those whose hearts are so vast that they can take in all His children. How can He be pleased when you are so selfish and narrow minded that you send away His children from the doorstep of your heart?
WHAT has brought you all, in this vast number, from your homes and villages to this place?. It is the Love you have for Me, and the Love I have for you. The reason for your presence is not any force or authority or temptation to earn material profit or gain. Ponder over the things I have told you out of My Love. Try to cleanse your minds through repentance for the wrongs done or contemplated and, through a firm resolve to shape your lives anew according to the Divine Plan, by which each can stand revealed as fully Divine.
RAMA strove to uphold Sathya as the main plank of Dharma. Whatever the trial and however hard the travail, He did not give up Truth. Sathyam is Dharmam; Dharmam is Sathyam; the two are irrevocably intertwined. "Sathyam Vada; Dharmam Chara", say the Upanishads. Rama will be remembered as long as mountains raise their heads and the ocean exists because of this strict adherence to Sathya and Dharma. If He had argued "Why should I be bound by the word of my father?", He would not have earned this immortality. The Immortal had come in the Form of Rama to show the way to Immortality.
WHEN you travel towards God, obstacles have to be bypassed. Prahlada went against his father; Vibhishna went against his brother; Jamadagni had to harm his own mother; Meera could not obey her husband; because they stuck to the path of God and broke through all those who opposed them. Young men like you have the problem, I know, of being forced to marry against your will by parents who seek to hasten you into marital security. You have to win them over and get their approval as Sankara did when he wanted to enter the monastic order.
BELIEVE that All are God through Jnana, even then compassion compels you to love and serve. Believe that God is Master or Father and that you are His children or servants through Bhakti. Even then, His command is to wipe the tears, nourish the sick, and help the lame to climb over the stile through pity and sympathy. Believe through faith in Karma that God has to be adored through dedication. The highest form of adoration is by means of Seva done in Love.
RAMA is the personification of Viveka, the discriminating faculty of the intellect. Sita and Lakshmana are the higher levels of consciousness - Sujana and Prajnana. Rama puts an end to evil feelings and promotes good thoughts. Rama is the emperor of Ayodhya. That name means impregnable will. No enemy, that is to say, no demeaning feeling or thought can invade the heart when Rama is installed therein. Thyagaraja sang "Telisi Rama Chinthana Cheyeve Manasa", (Oh Mind, Meditate on Rama with the full knowledge of what He represents).
INDIA shone for centuries as the Karmabhoomi, where each activity of man was ennobled by a high purpose and sense of dedication. She was therefore acclaimed as Yogabhoomi, the land where the people yearned for atonement with God. She was revered as the Thyagabhoomi, where the ideal of the mendicant monk, the naked fakir and the simple monarch, counseled by the sage, was placed before the people through precept and example. At the present time, it is being forged into a Bhwyabhoomi, the land of skyscrapers, air conditioning and tinned foods and an undisciplined mass of humanity pulled from its roots and transplanted in other soils. This is an insult to our past and a defiance of history.
SRI Sathya Sai College is not founded, as some of you are guessing, to promote financial considerations, nor is it intended as an instrument for publicity. It will be an example of an inspiration, a beacon, a pioneer and a lesson for educators and for all those who have the future of humanity in their hearts. The usual answer to the question, "Why College education? Is it to help secure jobs? Why this college?" is, "It is to sweeten the hearts of the future mothers of this land with humility, faith and discrimination; and to light the path they tread towards truth and virtue".
YOUR car is not meant to be kept as a showpiece in a glass case. 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 and use the body to discover this Reality, namely, God. Sanctify every moment of your sojourn here with pious deeds and sacred thoughts.
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 while walking. Money too has to be with us only just enough for a life of 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 work, it yields contentment and happiness in plenty.
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