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Makara Sankranti day Divine Discourse
click on the above photo to see Sankranti day pictures from Prasanthi Nilayam
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" REPOSE FAITH IN YOUR CONSCIENCE"
[Released on 18th Jan.]
The sun appears serene and
peaceful. The days have become shorter, and the cool wind is
blowing. The fields are ripe with golden crops. Marigold flowers are
blossoming like garlands of pearls on the banks of rivers. The
farmers are rejoicing and singing. The sweet festival of Sankranti
has come in the month of Pushya (a month in Indian calendar),
filling our homes with the newly harvested grain. (Telugu poem)
God willed that the Sankranti festival shall bring all prosperity to
the people and they shall not feel any inconvenience in the matter
of food and other needs. The farmers, having brought home the
produce after harvesting it, will be happily taking rest in their
homes. Even the agricultural workers will be free, for, the
harvesting season will be over by then. Having worked hard day and
night in the fields for some months, they will be now enjoying the
comfort of a home, by God’s grace. Whatever God does, it is for the
good of the people! For, they are all His ‘Amsa’ (parts) only!
Mamaivamsho Jivaloke Jivabhuta Sanathana (the eternal Atma in all
beings is a part of My Being), said Lord Krishna in the
Bhagavadgita. Not only human beings, even animals, birds and insects
are the embodiments of God! However, all people do not realise this
truth. Saint Thyagaraja sang in one of his immortal kirtanas,
cheemalo Brahmalo Siva Kesavaadulalo prema meera velasi unde birudhu
vahinchina Rama nannu brovara (Oh Rama! In Your pure and unsullied
form of love, You indwell all beings from an ant to Brahma as also
in Siva and Kesava. Please be my protector too). Unable to realise
this truth, people kill the ant that crawls on their bodies. The
same people worship the ant if it appears as an embodiment of
Divinity. Thus, the feelings make all the difference.
During this season, the sun appears to be gentle and soothing during
daytime. The days are shorter and the nights are long. During the
nights, the moonlight is cool and comfortable. Having worked hard
during daytime, people will have comfortable sleep during nights.
The human body needs rest. Hence, every human being should have
adequate rest. As the saying goes, “Sleep a while after lunch.” One
should take a nap at least for a short period after lunch. However,
one should not keep himself awake for long during nights. One should
have sound sleep during night.
Everything is God’s will. The entire universe is created by God.
Nothing in this world will move without God’s will.Not even a blade
of grass will move without divine Will, People who do not realise
this truth, get carried away by their pride of intelligence and
discrimination. But no one however great one may be knows what lies
ahead for them in future.
Who is a “HINDU”? The letters in the word HINDU stand for:
H – Humility, I – Individuality, N – Nationality, D – Devotion, U -
Wherever there is unity, there will be Divinity. It is only Divinity
that can unite the world. You should not try to break the world into
pieces saying ‘this is my India’, this is my Japan’, ‘this is my
Germany’, etc. The divinity called ‘I’ in all human beings is only
one! There is only one race, that is human race. Humanness is very
sacred, holy and divine. The word ‘Manava’ (human being) means very
sacred. The festival of Sankranti reminds you of this truth and
awakens you to this reality. During this holy period of Makara
Samkramana, people especially the village folk, enjoy by
participating in several kinds of rural games and play. As a matter
of fact, this is a festival season for the animals too! Some people
in the villages bring together the gangireddu (a decorated bull) and
a cow naming them as Rama and Sita and perform their marriage
symbolically, in the hope that their marriage shall bring forth
peace and welfare to the world. The cowherd gives proper training to
the bull and the cow in advance. He asks the cow “Amma! Is Rama
beautiful?”, the cow shakes its head in disapproval of the
suggestion. Then, the gangireddudasu with the stick in his hand
tries to counsel the cow “Amma! Rama is blackish blue in colour. Yet
he is very good. He is a great king. He is mighty and prosperous.”
Thereupon the cow nods its head in approval. It seems to indicate,
“Yes, I like Rama.” The children in the village watch the gangireddu
play very enthusiastically. They invite their friends and relatives
to witness this play, thus:
“Oh my dear brother, here comes the Gangireddudasu. Come, let us go
and see him. He wears a silver medallion and a waist belt. He
carries a decorated staff and wears special marks on his forehead.
He brings with him richly caparisoned sacred cow and bull and
performs their marriage. Let us see the marriage ceremony and offer
our gifts.” (Telugu Song)
Thus, the village folk will be tastefully decorating their cattle
and playing with them. Sankranti is a festival that gives joy to the
birds too. They will be perching in large numbers on the temples and
minarets, chirping and singing. They thus teach a lesson in unity
and joy to the human beings of all regions and religions in the
world. Sadly, several people nowadays have no faith in the religion.
Religion sets a great ideal for the human beings to follow.
There are several students studying in Sri Sathya Sai Educational
Institutions. They have no differences of religion at all! In fact,
one who believes in such differences is not a human being. There is
only one religion - the religion of love. A real human being is one,
who follows such a religion. We must cultivate the goodness in all
religions. There is a lot to learn from the birds, beasts and
insects. Religion means love. Today, we do not at all find such
religion of love. Devoid of love, there can be no relationship with
anybody. Hence, we must follow the religion of love. No one thinks
of such religion of love in the modern age. Our ancestors did
recognise the true meaning of religion and followed it in letter and
spirit. They took their elders as an ideal in this regard. Even now
if you enquire some children, “who told you this?”, they reply “my
grandmother told me; my grandfather told me”, etc. One should never
disregard the advice of elders. When you follow their advice,
everything will turn out to be good for you. Unfortunately, no one
listens to the good words of elders these days. However, they listen
to all sorts of movie songs played in a tape recorder. They imitate
those songs. Whatever tune is played in the tape recorder, they try
to imitate that tune. Man today is not living like a human being. He
is turning out to be a mere gramophone record or a tape recorder. We
should never disregard the words of elders. Man today does not
listen to the sound advice of the elders and acts contrary to the
nature of a human being. People do not listen to good things, and
indulge in all unnecessary and unwarranted activities. The festival
of Sankranti is meant to remind man about the sanctity of humanness.
It is said, Easwara Sarva Bhutanam (God is the indweller of all
beings). Hence, every human being, nay, every living being is an
amsa (part) of God! But, there seems to be a flaw in your own
behaviour. What is the reason? You throw to winds the sacred
feelings and allow your mind to run after all and sundry things.
That is how your behaviour is tainted. You are now in your prime of
youth. Your body, mind and intellect are strong and secure in this
age. Hence, you have to make proper use of your capability to live
up to your sacred feelings. Sankranti is not to be considered as a
mere festival like any others. The festival of Sankranti brings
great joy to one and all. Even a poor man will arrange to make
payasam (sweet pudding) in his house and partake of it happily. The
festival of Sankranti will bring joy in ever so many ways. It is not
limited to song and play. It expands one’s heart with joy. It is a
festival of unity; that unity develops purity resulting in divinity
in human beings. Hence, people must cultivate unity and purity in
the first instance. What is purity? Our vision must be sacred; our
words must be soft and sweet and our ears must listen to only good
things. Our nose should smell only divine fragrance. Thus, all the
senses in our body must be put to proper use.
Man is born out of Karma. Karma is the most important Dharma (duty)
of a human being:
Man is born in action, is sustained by action and ultimately merges
in action. Action is the cause for pleasure and pain. Truly
speaking, action is God for man. (Telugu poem)
Hence, we should continue to perform karma. What is karma? It is not
merely reading and participating in the games of football,
volleyball, etc. Even inhaling and exhaling are karma! There can be
no karma without these two. When you inhale your breath, the sound
of ‘so’ emerges. Similarly, when you exhale your breath, the sound
of ‘hum’ emerges. Thus, every act of inhaling and exhaling results
in the sound of ‘sohum’, meaning ‘I am that Divinity’. That
life-breath which is a great energy is the gift of God to a human
being. It is vital to the sustenance of a human being. It is not the
real nature of a human being to eat, drink and be merry. First and
foremost, wherever you go, people will observe your qualities. You
must conduct yourself in such a way that people will be able to say,
“Look! His behaviour is good. We feel very happy to talk to him. We
feel very happy by merely looking at him.” It is only your good
qualities that bring happiness and joy to you.” Man should make
proper use of his panchapranas (five vital airs), panchabhuthas
(five elements) and panchendriyas (five senses). The food we partake
must be sattwic. It is not good to take too much of chillies or
chilly powder. One should not hanker after ‘taste’. It will ‘waste’
our life. One should eat for the sake of satisfying one’s hunger,
without hankering for special taste or flavour.
There is no charity greater than feeding the hungry,
There are no greater gods than parents,
There is no greater gain than the company of the good. (Telugu poem)
There is nothing greater than truth. Truth is only one, not two. By
associating yourself with good people, you will also become good.
Who are real friends? It is only the good people who are real
friends to you. Tell me your company, I shall tell you what you are.
Hence, you must always join good company; talk to good people and
live with good people. Only then will you become a good person.
Otherwise, you will spoil yourself. Good friends shall always strive
to work for the good of each other and bring about a transformation
in each other. If for any reason your friend took to bad ways on any
occasion, of what use is your friendship if you do not try to bring
him back into good path? On the other hand, if you are taking to bad
ways, your friend should help you to come back to normal ways. Thus,
trying to help each other to tread the good path is the hallmark of
true friendship. However, friends in present time wish each other
‘hello’ and separate. Later, they say ‘goodbye’. Such attitude is
not good. Instead of saying, ‘goodbye’, you must become a good boy.
Thus, you must tread the path of truth in daily life. Only then will
you become an educated and courageous person in the real sense, with
a sense of discrimination. If you are a good person with a sense of
sacrifice, several people will follow you. If your behaviour is not
good, none will even look at your face. It is only people without
character who will be moving in your company. It will do no good for
your spiritual advancement.
You say, “so and so is my good friend”. But, for how long? Only for
some time. Later on, if that person does not pay attention to your
words or refuses to oblige your demands, you hate him. You will
become enemies. Indeed, you must be very careful in developing
friendship with others.
In every aspect of our life, our behaviour itself is a witness to
our interpersonal relationships. You reside in any place or go to
any country; but, keep up your good character. Respect all! Love
all! Hate none. Earn a good name for yourself. It is not the
academic degrees that bring greatness to us. How many Ph.D.’s are
not there in this world today? How many people who did I.A.S. are
not there in the country now? Has the world become better in any way
on account of these people? In fact, it is only because of the
so-called educated people the country is sliding down from its
eminence. Let us not be concerned with such so-called ‘great’
people. It is enough if people wish each other with a Namaskar and
enquire their welfare. That itself is greatness. One has to imbibe
humility and obedience, along with education. Only such a student is
the real student; you should not have even a trace of ego, pride,
pomp and such other bad qualities.
The student who did the role of Prahlada in yesterday’s play did
well. His voice was sweet. Also, his acting was exemplary.
Prahlada’s father Hiranyakasipu had to undergo punishment on account
of his hatred towards God. God donned the Narasimha Avatar and
killed him. When we lead a good and virtuous life, our end will also
be good. We will also earn a good name for ourselves. Right from our
birth till death, we must lead an exemplary life. However, people do
not listen to good words. They listen to only wrong advice and spoil
themselves. It is our common experience that while we travel in a
train or a bus, we come across a beggar singing the glory of
Ramanama beautifully. Our fellow travellers will be happily
listening to the song fully immersed in it. Finally, when the beggar
completes his song and begins to move away, people compliment him
saying, “You sang well and made us very happy.” They express their
gratitude to him by offering some charity. Thus, life can be really
meaningful when you make others happy.
You are all students gathered in this hall. You must share good
thoughts and words amongst you on such occasions as these. Good
thoughts, good words and good deeds are the qualities of Divinity.
We must cultivate good qualities. When you stand in front of the sun
at sunrise, your shadow will be fifty feet long while you are
actually five feet tall. As the sun begins to rise in the sky, the
length of your shadow becomes shorter. When the sun positions itself
exactly above your head at noon, your shadow falls under your feet.
In the same way, when you begin your journey towards God and
gradually progress in the Godward path, the shadow of maya
(illusion) falls behind. On the other hand, if you go against God
and travel in the opposite direction, the shadow of maya will be in
front of you.
Embodiments of Love!
All our students are gold. What sort of gold? Pure 24 carat gold.
Wherever they go and in whichever activity they participate - in
sports, in education, in behaviour, in their talk and in every
activity, they are earning good name for themselves. It is only due
to this reason, I have seen people praising, “The students of Sri
Sathya Sai Educational Institution are exemplary in character”,
everywhere. If you just look at them, you will find Sai Baba
reflecting in their faces.
The Ati Rudra Yajna will commence on the 19th of this month in
Chennai. But, the people in Chennai are eagerly awaiting the arrival
of Swami’s students, not the Ati Rudra Yajna. They are looking
forward with a feeling, “We understand Sai Baba will be here to
participate in the Yajna along with His students. His students alone
are ideals for us.”
The sanctity of education is deteriorating due to the misuse of
scientific knowledge, today. The scientists are endeavouring to
change the laws of nature. If a tree were to bear fruit, it is being
given an injection. If a cow were to yield milk in more quantity, it
is fed tripe from other slaughtered animals. They think that by
feeding animal parts to the cow it will grow strong and yield more
quantity of milk. Even the water is polluted nowadays. It is that
polluted water that is responsible for all the diseases suffered by
man today. In whichever fruit you see, there are insects and
bacteria. The ‘figs’ used to be very good for consumption, earlier.
But, now there are bacteria and pollutants even in the figs. What is
the reason? Only the polluted water that is fed to the plant. People
have to clean and boil the water and then only drink it. We have
supplied drinking water from the Krishna river to the people of
Chennai by spending rupees 300 crores. I have seen small children
bathing in cesspools and drinking the same dirty water. I felt very
sorry for them. I have decided then itself, “I will not visit
Chennai till we supply pure drinking water to the people of
Chennai.” That was ten years ago. Now I have supplied drinking water
to them. I am now visiting Chennai in the backdrop of the children
drinking pure water and happily spending their time in play. We can
be healthy and happy only when we drink pure water and eat healthy
food. That is how you have to protect your health. However, I find
that some students are not partaking of good food. They are tempted
by all varieties of dishes. You please do not look for the taste.
You just decide for yourself whether the food you are eating is good
for your health or not. Only then will you be healthy and happy.
Study well. Do not waste time. Whenever you find time, read only
good books. Tread the good and Godward path and become good people.
It is only the students of Sathya Sai Educational Institutions that
can transform all the people in the world into good citizens. You be
good and make others good. Avoid evil qualities like kama(desire)
and krodha (anger).
Today, our children are going to present a play called “Sri Krishna
Rayabaram”. You all know that in the Mahabharata the evil Kauravas
troubled the Pandavas in many ways. However, the Pandavas were of
very good nature. Their mind was pure. They tried their best to do
good to the Kauravas. I will quote one small example to illustrate
how pure their minds are. The elderly Kunti, mother of the Pandavas
broke down and breathed her last on hearing the sad news of Lord
Krishna leaving His mortal coil. Dharmaraja, her eldest son who was
near her during her last moments kept her head on his lap. The four
brothers Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva surrounded him.
Dharmaraja then explained to his brothers “Dear ones! Lord Krishna
who protected us all the while has left for His heavenly abode. We
should not therefore remain in this world any more.” He then called
Bhima near him and told him to make arrangements for the funeral of
their mother. He also called Arjuna and told him to make
arrangements for the coronation ceremony of Parikshit as king.
Finally, he called the two younger brothers Nakula and Sahadeva to
his side and ordered them, “We have to begin our great march towards
the Himalayas. You go and make all arrangements for our journey.”
Thus, on one side he was arranging for the funeral of their mother
and on the other, the coronation of the grandson of his younger
brother as king to ensure the continuity of the dynasty. Can anyone
undertake such task in such a grievous situation? Thus, all
responsibilities were discharged at the same time, then and there.
The Pandavas embarked on their great march: Draupadi, Bhima, Arjuna,
Nakula and Sahadeva dropped down in the middle of the journey.
Dharmaraja continued his journey and first reached Naraka (hell). He
saw many people undergoing several kinds of punishment for their
sins, there. The moment Dharmaraja stepped into hell, they were
relieved of their suffering and felt very happy. Now, the question
arises as to why at all Dharmaraja had to go to hell in the first
He never spoke a lie during his entire life. However, during the
Mahabharata war he spoke the words, “Aswatthama hathah” (Aswatthama
died) loudly and then “kunjarah” (the elephant) softly, in order
that the mighty warrior Dronacharya dies on account of the shock of
the news. The words, “Aswatthama hatha kunjarah” meant the elephant
by name Aswatthama died. Unfortunately, the name of the son of
Dronacharya’s was also Aswatthama. In the din and commotion of the
war, Dronacharya could not hear the word “kunjarah” properly and
mistook the words of Dharmaraja as ‘Aswatthama died’. Unable to bear
the grief and shocked over the ‘death of his son Aswatthama’, he
threw away his bow and arrows in the battlefield. Thus, Dharmaraja
was indirectly responsible for the fall of Dronacharya by uttering
falsehood on one occasion. For expiating this sin, he had to spend
sometime in hell. Thereafter, he was taken to heaven. While
Dharmaraja was leaving for heaven, the people undergoing punishment
in the hell fell on his feet and prayed, “Sir! Please do not leave
us, you stay here itself and give us happiness. Dharmaraja then
replied, “My dear ones! I cannot but obey the command of God”, and
left for heaven. Wherever we are, if we do good, we will experience
good only. Good work begets good results only.
After passing your examinations in this Institution, you can pursue
higher studies elsewhere if you wish. But, along with academic
excellence, let your behaviour also set an example to others. Do not
indulge in falsehood, injustice and evil ways. Follow the path of
truth and become immortal. The Gitacharya declared, “Mamaivamso ...”
You should not forget this truth. You pursue any type of education
anywhere, with this awareness. (Bhagawan then enquired, “Am I giving
you any trouble?” The students replied in one voice, “No! Swami!”)
Making you all happy, working for your progress, striving to remove
all pain and suffering from you, making your parents also happy -
this is My job. Your happiness is My food. I need no other food.
That one type of food is sufficient for Me. Hence, may you all lead
a happy and blissful life always! You may encounter any number of
difficulties; keep them aside and march forward.
Today, some people are indulging in false propaganda saying, “Sai
Baba’s reputation is growing day by day. Sai Baba is converting all
foreigners as Hindus.” They are highly jealous of Me. Due to this
jealousy, they write all sorts of trash in the newspapers. We should
ignore such writings. We must have firm faith in our own conscience.
Whatever they may say, put it aside considering it as nonsense! I
have nothing to do with it! You repose faith in your conscience.
Whatever I do, it is for the good of all! If someone abuses you, you
take it as he is abusing only my body, not me. If they hurl abuses
against you openly, let them merge into thin air. On the other hand,
if they scold you silently, they do not reach you. Do not bother
about them. Keep your faith in God firmly. That should be your
God is immanent in every living being. The name and form may be
different. But, God is only one. He is present in one and all. You
are all embodiments of Divinity! Develop that feeling in you. Do not
cultivate the differences of high and low. All are one. Repose faith
in the principle of the fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man and
lead your lives happily.
I wish that all of you should come out in 1st class in your
examinations with good marks.
(Bhagawan concluded His discourse with the bhajan, “Hari Bhajana
bina sukha santhi nahi …”)