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  New Year Discourse   Sankranti    Easwaramma Day    Guru Purnima  23 August   Onam   Krishna Janmashtami1   2  ( 6th September 2004)  15 Sep 04    Ganesh Chaturthi  (18-09-04)  17 October 2004   19 Oct Dasara  20 Oct Dasara   21 Oct Dasara  23 Oct Dasara   25 Oct     23 Nov   Christmas Discourse  26 Dec Hospital visit   Makara Sankranthi: January 14th, 2005:   Bheema Ratha Discourse 10th Feb.  24th February 2005 Shivaratri Morning     Shivaratri Evening   Discourse on Shivarathri - 9th March Morning   Divine Discourse on 16-03-2005    |Ugadi 2005|  |11 April|  |13 April| |Sri Rama Navami|  |Easwaramma Day 2005| |Buddha Purnima Divine Discourse 2005|




















Divine Love alone can save us from sorrows

Oh man! You struggle hard in life merely for the sake of filling your belly. You acquire myriad types of knowledge from various fields. Examine and enquire for yourself what great happiness you have achieved by spending all the time from dawn to dusk in acquiring worldly knowledge and earning wealth while forgetting God. (Telugu poem)

Embodiments of Love!
Hunger, thirst, pleasure and pain, are quite natural to man. One follows the other. Food is essential for man. But filling the belly is not the be all - and end - all of human existence. Man is born not for the sake of ahara (food) but to experience ananda (bliss). One who is oblivious to ananda and spends his time and energy in the pursuit of ahara will ultimately fritter away his life. The purpose of celebrating festivals is to experience bliss and not merely to partake of delicious food. No doubt the body requires food, but life is not meant for food alone. Unmindful of this truth, man is treading the path of unrighteousness for the sake of food and physical pleasures. The body is made up of five elements and is transitory. The Mind is a mere bundle of thoughts and desires. We should not be unduly attached to the body and the mind. We should strive to experience bliss.

Embodiments of Love!
Human body has emerged out of love. Hence, we should lead a life for divine love and not for food. But man has not understood this truth. He struggles hard from dawn to dusk for the sake of filling his belly. He is not utilising the gift of the body for the purpose it is assigned to. This body is a den of dirt, and prone to diseases; it is subject to change from time to time; how foolish it is to develop attachment to such an impermanent body and strive for its pleasures?

Embodiments of Love!
We should lead our lives in such a manner to redeem ourselves. We should love God and aspire only for Him. Your love should be directed only towards God, not for the body. Our speech, actions and the life-breath itself are meant to experience the Atma. Sometimes the body may be afflicted with ailments, but they are like passing clouds. Man is born to attain the eternal truth of the Atma. Life is meant for Atmaanveshana (quest for the Atma) and not for Annaanveshana (quest for food). Annaanveshana gives cause to physical ailments. They come and go like passing clouds. How foolish it is to be depressed about such ‘passing clouds’? We should never forget the truth that we are born to experience the eternal bliss of Atma.

Embodiments of Love!
You have come here all the way from Kerala to celebrate the holy festival of Onam and experience joy and bliss in the divine presence of Swami. We should not allow trivial matters to dampen the spirit of enthusiasm. We should march forward with courage and conviction, unmindful of any hurdles and inconveniences in the way. A few minutes ago, when all of you were blissfully immersed in the celebration, all of a sudden My nose started bleeding. I went inside, wiped the blood and came out cheerfully as if nothing had happened. How can we discontinue the celebration of a sacred festival of this kind on account of such trivial matters? We should not lose our self-confidence on such minor physical discomforts. They are transient in nature; you should not get distracted by them. Ailment and suffering are but natural to the physical body. Sometimes even the sun is covered by clouds. But can the clouds ever diminish the effulgence of the sun? No. Just as the sun is not affected by the clouds, you too should remain unaffected by ailment and suffering. When you develop such courage, conviction and determination, you will not be depressed or dejected by any suffering.

Embodiments of Love!
We should sanctify our time by performing sacred actions. This is the spiritual lesson we have to learn today. We can experience transcendental bliss only when we overcome the difficulties and suffering that come in our way. Never be afraid of difficulties; face them with courage. Only then humanness will blossom in you. Once you experience the bliss of the Atma, difficulties and suffering will no longer bother you.

Embodiments of Love!
Amidst the joyous celebration of the festival, My slight physical discomfiture has caused anxiety to you. You should never give scope for anxiety or worry. In order to allay your fears and anxiety and to give you joy I came back immediately. In this world, many difficulties come in our way. Truly speaking, they merely cause anxiety in you; they cannot harm you.

Onam is the most sacred festival of Kerala. You have to understand the significance and message of this festival and put it into practice. Onam is an occasion to share our joy with others. You cannot experience happiness without undergoing difficulties. Na Sukhat Labhate Sukham (one cannot derive happiness out of happiness). Happiness gains value in the face of difficulties. Even insurmountable difficulties will vanish like thin mist when you face them with courage and self-confidence. The problems may appear to be mountainous in nature, but you should not give scope for fear or anxiety in your mind. Mind is like a mad monkey. It easily gets swayed by difficulties. Hence, you should brush aside the difficulties that come in your way. Never allow them to get the upper hand. Mind is the veil of Maya (illusion) that stands as an obstacle in your path to spirituality. You should not become a slave of the mind; you should conquer the mind. Only then can you attain Divinity. But you are carried away by the vagaries of the mind which is nothing but Maya. You should ignore the dictates of the mind. We consider the mind to be the most important aspect of humankind. However, it can lead you to dangers and difficulties if you are carried away by its whims and fancies. Hence, do not submit yourself to the mind.

Embodiments of Love!
One who has control over the mind is a true Manishi (human). One who lacks control over the mind is no human at all. How can you call yourself a human being if you are fickle-minded and depressed over trivial problems? You should make efforts to overcome problems posed by the mind without being unduly worried about them. In this world, there is nothing greater than God’s love. Hence, we should transcend the mind that stands as an obstacle in the Godward path.

Embodiments of Love!
You are born out of love and sustained by love. You should sanctify your life by leading a life suffused with love. Treat love as the very basis of your life. You are not fit to be called a human being if you submit yourself to trivial problems. Even tiny ants are able to overcome obstacles that stand in their way. Problems are not limited to human beings alone; even birds, beasts and insects have problems.

Saint Thyagaraja sang, “Oh Rama, You pervade everything right from a Cheema (ant) to Brahma. You are in Siva and also in Kesava. Please take care of Me.” (Telugu poem)

The same divinity that is present in an ant is also present in man. Likewise, difficulties are also common for all. The suffering that an ant undergoes is similar to that of man. When such a tiny creature like an ant is able to withstand suffering, why is it that man is not able to do the same? He is influenced by his food and habits and thus has become a slave to his mind. That is the reason he is unable to withstand suffering. We should face the challenges of life with fortitude and brush aside the difficulties. Never be cowed down by difficulties. You can attain God only when you face difficulties with courage and overcome them.

Embodiments of Love!
You should not seek anything other than divine love. There is nothing superior to love in this world. You consider gold, silver, diamond, etc. as most valuable. In fact, all these so called valuable things are meant to delude man. We should not care for such worldly possessions. Instead, we should focus our mind on God. Perform your daily activities keeping God as your goal. Only then will your human birth find fulfilment. We should strive to attain the grace of God and not be deterred by difficulties and losses. When you have God on your side, you can achieve anything. All your difficulties and suffering will vanish in a trice. When such omnipotent Divinity is within us, why should we be worried about trivial matters? Love is the divine power that bestows on us the courage to overcome difficulties. Anything can be achieved with the power of love. We should be afraid of sin, and not difficulties. We have to develop Daiva Preeti, Papa Bheeti and Sangha Neeti (fear of sin, love of God and morality in society). Instead of developing fear of sin, we are enslaved by sin. Instead of seeking refuge in God, we are submitting ourselves to difficulties. Morality in society will lead to love of God which will in turn lead to fear of sin. Hence, we should uphold morality in society and dedicate ourselves to God.

Thyagaraja once prayed, “Oh! Lord, I am deeply concerned about the fear of sin. I am unable to surrender to your love. Please grant me the strength of conviction to bow down before your divine love. Please give me the strength to overcome the fear of difficulties.” What did we achieve in our life? What is the purpose of constant contemplation of God? One who is constantly contemplating on God should be able to keep himself away from sinful acts and develop love for God. There can be no greater fortune than having love for God. One must strive to achieve that great treasure. One should not be deterred by sorrows and difficulties in that Sadhana.

Embodiments of Love!
You have all gathered here to attain that great fortune of love for God. One should never be subdued by sorrows and difficulties. Sorrow and sin are obstacles in the path of spirituality. They are like the waves. When one gets into the water and attempts to swim, the surging waves must be pushed aside, so that one may move forward. Similarly, in the stream of life, if one wants to move forward, one has to push aside the surging waves of sorrow and sin. From a child to the adult, everyone has to strive to attain the love of God. This struggle for God’s love, moulds the personality of a human being. What is meant by personality? Does it mean height, weight and a strong body? No, it is a mistake to think so. Undeterred by the sorrows and difficulties, one has to march forward with courage and adventure to attain God’s love. That is the real meaning of personality. In fact, God has already granted such personality to every human being. Unfortunately, we fail to realise this truth. The word ‘Person’ implies a great Divine force that is granted by God to Man. Our ancestors called this Divine force as ‘Persona’. This is a great gift of God, granted to every individual. We are unable to safeguard this great treasure. These sorrows and difficulties are like passing clouds that come and go. Why should we be afraid of them? We have the eternal Divine principle immanent in our personality. Therefore, there is no need at all to be afraid of anything as long as we are constantly aware of our latent divinity. March forward with courage and conviction and achieve your life’s goal. It is only to instill this feeling of courage in you and reinforce your faith in God that you are subjected to face certain anxious moments.

Embodiments of Love!
I am aware that you are very anxious about the physical discomfort that Swami underwent, a few moments ago. You are very worried about this physical body. Understand and be convinced by the fact that a body is after all physical in nature. It is like a water bubble; the mind is like a mad monkey. You need not be afraid of this mad monkey. You should not worry about these passing clouds. They are like visitors who come and go. We have to be firmly established in the Atma Tattwa, which is nothing but Divinity. Develop full faith in the Atma Tattwa. That alone will protect you in every way.

Embodiments of Love!
God can do anything by His Divine will. Why should you fear when such all powerful God is always with you, in you, and around you? Develop such courage and conviction and march on. There cannot be a more powerful force than faith in God in this world.

Embodiments of Love!
All these children have gathered here to spend some sacred moments in the Divine presence of God. They are really fortunate. Their good fortune is the result of the merit acquired by their parents. Here is a small girl (pointing towards a girl). She participated in a group dance programme a short while ago. While doing so, she was constantly observing the steps made by other girls in the group. She developed so much concentration in this activity that she was constantly maintaining her steps in tune with the steps of other girls. (Swami created a gold chain and put it round her neck.)

Embodiments of Love!
I will be very happy, if all of you can become children once again. A child will never have the bad qualities of anger, passion, jealousy, conceit and ego. Jesus Christ was always appreciative of the quality of innocence in children. Once, he lifted a small child from the lap of her mother in the crowd and said “I like this small child very much; she has all the qualities of Divinity. She is pure, selfless and is in perfect bliss”. Children in general are Divine in nature. As they grow up they develop bad qualities like excessive desires, attachments, anger, jealousy, etc. Along with advancing in age, sorrows and difficulties will also increase. Therefore, one should strive for attaining control over one’s desires. That is ceiling on desires. If you can develop this control, you will come under the influence of Divine power. Otherwise, you will be deluded by the power of desires and get into that vortex from which you can never come out. A child like simplicity, purity and innocence, is the road to Divinity.

Embodiments of Love!
I wish you should become children at least for one minute a day. You should emulate those noble qualities, which are characteristic of children. Supposing you are troubled with desires, chase them away as unbecoming of your noble personality. Only then can you hold your head high. A few minutes ago, my nose was bleeding profusely. If I were to submit myself helplessly to this bodily ailment, it would have aggravated further. Therefore, I decided to defy this bodily discomfiture and stand erect with firmness, unmindful of what is going to happen to the body. I washed my face and came back to give My Discourse. After all, this body and the blood circulating therein are nourished and nurtured only by the food we supply. If we cannot control our own body, what is the purpose of our living? Wherever we are, we must keep the body in our control. Only then we become real human beings and can move closer to Divinity. The more you control your body and mind, the nearer you move to God.

In fact, love is the only quality that takes you nearer to God. There is nothing greater than love. It is a Divine attribute. Love is God. Live in Love. When you cultivate this noble quality, you deserve to be called a human being. This divine love is like the blood that circulates in every human being, nay, every living being. If we can cultivate this universal love, you can love not only every human being, but all living beings. Love is God and God is Love. Therefore, take every individual lovingly to your heart. Do not ever show anger or hatred towards anybody.

Embodiments of Love!
The quality of love that permeates every human being is one and the same. There are no differences whatsoever in this regard. When you cultivate such universal love, it becomes your very life-breath, which is dearer to God. Therefore, cultivate such pure, unsullied and selfless love. Love your neighbour’s child as your own child. All are embodiments of love. The message of this sacred festival Onam is love. This festival is observed to spread this message of love among all human beings. In fact, we are born to cultivate this sacred love and share it with others. If we fail in this endeavour, our whole life becomes a waste.

When my nose was bleeding a few minutes ago, some doctors advised me that I should take complete rest and not to go out to give a discourse. I asked them why? The doctors explained that if I go on talking, the bleeding may reoccur. Then I replied, “Ok! Let me see!” Thus I faced the problem squarely with courage and confidence. Thus, when we encounter a difficult situation, we should not feel sorry and dejected. We must face it with courage. Only then can we overcome the situation.

Embodiments of Love!
Whenever you encounter suffering either bodily or mentally, do not lose your cool. Do not get dejected. Instead, face the problem squarely and undertake activities that will instill a sense of courage and confidence in you. No doubt, situations do arise in life when we have to undergo sorrows and difficulties. When our loving parents depart from this world, we are in deep sorrow. Instead of losing our poise in such difficult situations, it is advisable to face the ordeal with courage, expressing gratitude to our parents for granting us the gift of this body.

Embodiments of Love!
I hope I am not causing inconvenience to you by speaking at length. It is only to instill courage in you that I am giving this long discourse. When I was suffering with a bleeding nose, all our children were anxiously waiting in the adjacent room in an anxious mood. I told them, “Do not feel worried. I will go out and administer a strong dose for this ailment. Such is My courage and confidence in facing difficult situations. In fact, this courage is My real strength. Come! Let us go!” The children collected all the blood-soaked towels and felt very distressed on seeing them. If those clothes are washed, the blood stains will vanish in no time. Likewise, only God's love can wash our sorrows off! Therefore, cultivate such divine love. All your sorrows and difficulties will be removed.

Bhagawan concluded His Discourse with the Bhajan, “Prema Mudhita Manase Kaho …”



Date: 23 August 2004 Occasion: Discourse
Place: Prasanthi Nilayam


Do Constant Namasmarana for Mental Peace

 Divine Discourse
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba


Oh man!
You struggle hard in life merely for the sake of filling your belly.
You acquire myriad types of knowledge from various fields.
Examine and enquire for yourself what great happiness you have achieved by
      spending all the time from dawn to dusk in acquiring worldly knowledge
      and earning wealth, while forgetting God.
[Telugu Poem]

Embodiments of Love!

Whether a pauper or a millionaire, one has to eat. But, having attained the sacred human birth, it is unseemly of man to spend his entire life merely for the sake of filling his belly. Why don't you spend a few minutes in the contemplation of God, instead of spending your entire life just to earn a living? There are of course a few people in this land of Bharat (India), who are sanctifying their time and their environment in the contemplation of God, but the vast majority are wasting their births in vain pursuits.

Embodiments of Love!

Not only in Srikakulam District but in many other places all over India, there are people who are struggling and straining to eke out their livelihood. In spite of all the effort, they are unable to attain peace, happiness, and comfort. Only those who are spending their time in the contemplation of God are able to experience peace and happiness. Those who forget God and spend all their time and energy in mundane pursuits are bound to suffer. Till this day, nobody has been able to enjoy mental peace and physical comfort in full measure.

The body is like a water bubble. It is nothing but a bag full of bones. Mind is like a mad monkey. It is a mistake to strive for the happiness of such a physical body and wavering mind. As long as one is alive, one should make efforts to keep the body healthy, so that one may not cause inconvenience to others. Many spend their entire life for the sake of physical comforts and pleasures. It is only a few who are not concerned with their mind and body, but are centred on eternal peace and happiness.

Human birth is meant to experience divinity and not to crave for fleeting pleasures. Human body is a divine gift, which is being put to improper use instead of its proper purpose of adoring God. Do not be under the mistaken notion that body is meant only for eating and enjoying physical pleasures. Certain duties have been assigned to man by performing which he will be able to experience happiness at the level of the body, mind, senses, and spirit.

One should enquire what the purpose of human birth is. The goal of human birth is to work for release from the cycle of birth and death. This body is a den of dirt and is prone to diseases; it is subject to change from time to time; it cannot cross the ocean of Samsara. The body should be used as an instrument to rise from the level of humanness to divinity. Human life is sanctified only when we experience divinity. There are many people who are making efforts in this direction. But only a few are able to realise the truth and achieve the goal. One may undertake any type of activities, but one should always aspire to attain peace of mind. Without peace of mind, whatever enterprise that man undertakes will only add to his restlessness.

Embodiments of Love!

You are really fortunate to have come here all the way from Srikakulam in spite of your financial constraints and various other difficulties. Swami is very well aware of your aspirations. You have come here to experience divine bliss. You were feeling sad that Swami has not spoken a word to you even after two days of your stay here. In fact, last night you were all praying intensely. In response to your sincere prayers, I have decided to address you this morning. It is not My intention to satisfy you with just a discourse. I am ready to extend all the help required to fulfil your aspirations. Many of you are facing problems due to shortage of water. Some of you do not have even proper food to eat. Food and water are very essential for everyone.

Do not give room to worry and anxiety. God is not stone-hearted. He will certainly take care of your needs. His heart is filled with compassion. Swami's concern for you is hundred times more intense than the concern you have for yourselves. You need not be worried at all. Develop the feeling that difficulties and suffering are for your own good. Even insurmountable difficulties will vanish like thin mist when you have firm conviction. Hence, do not be unduly perturbed about your problems. Difficulties come and go. Not only the poor, even a millionaire cannot escape from difficulties. Swami confers His blessings on you so that you will be relieved of your suffering soon.

You may consult the elders of your villages and take the help of those who are willing to cooperate with you. I will see to it that there is plenty of water available in your mountainous area. Do not be depressed or bogged down by difficulties. Having put on the vesture of the human body, one cannot escape from difficulties.

The physical body may undergo suffering, but you should make efforts to attain peace of mind. Mind is the basis for happiness for everyone. All physical comforts will be of little use without peace of mind. Only through contemplation of God can you attain peace of mind and not by any other means. Hence, chant the Name of God incessantly unmindful of the difficulties that come in your way. It is because of contemplation of God's Name that you have been able to experience peace in spite of the innumerable difficulties you faced. God is the refuge for the poor and the forlorn. He is always with them through all the vicissitudes of life. Do not think that God is in some distant land. God is by your side always. In fact, He is present in the inner recesses of your heart. Never think that God is away from you at any point of time. Neither friends nor relatives can come to your rescue. God is your sole refuge. He will protect you under all circumstances.

In spite of numerous difficulties, Bharatiyas (Indians) never swerved from the Godward path. If Bharat occupies a pivotal position among all nations, it is only because of Bharatiyas' one-pointed devotion to God. There are many affluent countries where people lead a luxurious life, but they are unable to attain peace of mind. It is the good fortune of Bharatiyas' that they are able to enjoy peace of mind. Their devotion to God is responsible for this. Since ancient times, the culture of Bharat has been protecting the Bharatiyas' in all respects. Its glory and grandeur defy all description.

One who has peace of mind will have moral strength. Hence, chant the Divine Name constantly. Yesterday, you went round the entire village singing the glory of God and entered the portals of Prasanthi Nilayam; you experienced peace of mind. It is not possible to experience peace by any other means. Hence, never forget God. Sanctify your time by chanting His Name. Contemplation of God should be man's constant endeavour.

There may be some jealous people who will try to dissuade you from chanting God's Name. They say, "What is the use of chanting God's Name? It will not help us to eke out our livelihood. We have to work hard for our survival. So, stop chanting God's Name." Do not pay heed to such narrow-minded people. Never forget GodÕs Name. You may not be aware; people all over the world in all villages are facing hardships. They are suffering from physical ailments and mental agitations. Only Bharatiyas' are able to enjoy peace of mind because of their devotion to God. There is no happiness greater than experiencing peace of mind.

Mental peace can be obtained only by constant contemplation of God.
This cannot be purchased from the market.
It is only by constant contemplation of God that mental worries can be overcome.
This is the experience of people all over the world.
Contemplation of God alone can bring about mental peace and happiness.
No other means can achieve this.
To be born is a worry, to be on the earth is a worry;
World is a cause of worry and death too;
Entire childhood is a worry and so is the old age;
Life is a worry, failure is a worry;
All actions and difficulties cause worry;
Even happiness too is a mysterious worry. [Telugu Poem]

Contemplation of God is the right royal path that will remove all types of worries. Therefore, do not try other means for achieving mental peace and get into trouble and worry. March on along the divine and glorious path. All the karmas (actions) in the spiritual field are meant to bring peace and happiness to us. They are not intended to trouble us. Mental peace can be achieved only by performing one's own duty, not by any other means. Karma brings about a result; and that result brings happiness and peace. Even when you are undergoing difficulties, always think that they are meant to bring you happiness. Every human being undergoes difficulties, only to enjoy happiness later. However, he does not realise this during the period of suffering. But, in course of time, when suffering ends and happy days arrive, he would realise the truth. Hence, always remember the truth that sorrows and difficulties are prelude to happy days ahead. In fact, real happiness comes out of suffering only.

Embodiments of Love!

Love is the only property that always grows --the more you spend, the more it grows; it never diminishes. Supposing you go up a hill and sing the glory of God; the Divine vibrations will reach a large area, and the people hearing the namasmarana, even from a distance, will feel very happy. Divine music can confer solace even to children and animals. By hearing namasankirtan, even the heart of a stone-hearted person will melt. We have heard of several instances in Indian history where great devotees of God, by their namasankirtan, could bring about complete transformation in die-hard criminals.

Suppose you are digging a pit; the soil in that is taken out and stacked by its side becomes a mound. You need not feel anxious that the pit is becoming deeper and deeper. The soil that is dug out of the pit and the soil that is piled up next to the pit are the same. Similarly, along with the difficulties you undergo, you will experience happiness also in abundant measure. When you fill in the soil that is piled up (namely happiness) in the pit of sorrows and difficulties, you will attain a state of equanimity. This is what you have to realise today. You need not feel sorry, Oh! I have fallen into this pit of sorrows and difficulties. How can I come out of this? How am I to bear this? Oh! The soil of happiness stacked next to the pit of suffering may be filled into the pit. You will attain a state of equanimity. You have to do this sadhana.

Embodiments of Love!

You have come here with love-filled hearts,
    undergoing lot of difficulties and physical strain.
It is your love and devotion to Swami that brought you here.
Go back to your places with the same intensity of love and devotion.
Continue to enjoy the moments of joy and happiness you experienced
    in the presence of Swami.
Pleasure and pain, good and bad co-exist, none can separate them.
You cannot find pleasure or pain, good or bad to the exclusion of the other.
Pleasure results when difficulties fructify. [Telugu Poem]

Thus, happiness and sorrow come to teach us equanimity.

Embodiments of Love!

Love is the only wealth that can never diminish. That is the property of God. Therefore, cultivate pure and selfless love. God's love will always follow you wherever you are and will protect you at all times. Do not ever consider that money alone is your property. In fact, love is your real wealth. The wealth of Love always grows (expands), never diminishes. Those who realise the Paramatma will be able to understand this truth better. My heart is overflowing with love and joy on account of the namasankirtan you have done yesterday in the streets of Puttaparthi. Continue this namasankirtan wherever you are throughout your life. Especially when your spirits are down with sorrow, sing the glory of God full-throated. Never feel diffident to sing the glory of God, thinking that others may make fun of you. Irrespective of what others may think or say against you, continue this sacred activity of namasankirtan. Only then will you be charged with Divine power.

Embodiments of Love!

I am very happy that you are all gathered here. I always wish joy, happiness, comfort, and peace for all of you. Today, 8000 devotees from your place have come here to share the happiness of Swami's Divine Presence. All of you, please go to the canteen and partake of Swami's Prasadam happily. Swami's Prasadam will become akshaya (never diminishing) and will remove all your sorrows and difficulties. Everything that is granted by Swami is suffused with love. Whatever is granted by Bhagawan is always free. God will never succumb to monetary considerations. Wherever any service activity is associated with money, it is tainted. The entire property of Swami consists of Love only. Such Divine love must become your very life-breath. All your past karmas will become extinct, if only you cultivate that pure love.

All of you go to the canteen and have food, as Swami's Prasadam. Thereafter, you can go to your respective villages, happily.

Embodiments of Love!

Having come here from such a long distance, fill your hearts with love. Some time ago, there was a singer by name Saluru Rajeswara Rao. He used to visit Swami, regularly. He remained absorbed so much in music that he would sing while walking in the streets, unmindful of what others thought of him. Today, his son has come here to sing some devotional songs in the Divine presence of Swami. These devotional songs fill the hearts of people with overwhelming joy.

The late Rajeswara Rao used to sing a particular song on Sri Krishna melodiously, "Challagaalilo Yamunathatipy Shyama Sundaruni Murali" (Shyama Sundara is melodiously playing His flute on the banks of the Yamuna, while the cool breeze is blowing). His voice as well as his feelings were sweet.

Both Rajeswara Rao and another devotee Adi Naryana used to come here regularly. They were the people who composed the "Sai Charita" and sang those songs melodiously. They may be anywhere; the lives of such pure-hearted devotees are sanctified. Those, who sell their God-given talents and make a wholly living out of it can never be truly happy. Rajeswara Rao and Adi Narayana never made business out of their musical talents. They always sang to their heart's content, with love and devotion. The glory of such devotees, whether dead or alive, will remain forever.

There was another well known devotee by name Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao. He also underwent many difficulties. But, he was always devoted to God. Whenever he was in difficult situation, he used to sing, "Oh! God! Won't You pull me out of these difficulties?" Even when he was sick and was hospitalised, he used to sing lying in the hospital bed, "Oh! Lord! How long have I to suffer this agony! Won't you relieve me of this pain?"

Once I went to the hospital to see him. I consoled him saying, "My dear Ghantasala! Never think of these difficulties and suffering. These things happen to test your faith in God. You will come out successful in this test, by constant namasmarana."

A devotee like him who is constantly engaged in namasmarana under all circumstances, will become immortal. Namasmarana is the only property that lasts forever. Therefore, you also undertake this sadhana (spiritual activity) as a lifelong activity. Whether your voice is good or not, continue to sing the glory of God by constant namasmarana at least in your heart. Thereby, you will acquire merit that will protect you throughout your life. If you do this sadhana, God will always be with you, in you, around you.

Whenever you take food, do namasmarana before partaking of the food. By doing so, the food will be sanctified and will become Prasadam. (gift) of God. Your heart also will be purified. That is why, our ancestors prayed thus before partaking of food:

Brahmarpanam Brahma Havir
Brahmagnou Brahmanahutam
Brahmaiva Thena Ganthavyam
Brahma Karma Samadhina.

When you pray in this manner before you partake of your food, God immediately responds thus:

Aham Vaishvanaro Bhutva
Praninam Dehamasrita
Pranapana Samayukta
Pachamyannam Chaturvidham.


(My dear! I am present in you in the form of Vaishvanara,
       digesting the food which you partake of.)

The prayer thus made invokes an immediate response from God. That is reaction, reflection and resound. Therefore, constantly engage yourself in namasmarana, which will confer Bliss on you.

Bhagawan concluded His Discourse with the bhajan, "Hari Bhajan Bina Sukha Santhi Nahin".


Date: 02 July 2004 Occasion: Guru Purnima
Place: Prasanthi Nilayam


The Form of God is Love

 Divine Discourse
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba


Forbearance is the real beauty in this sacred land of Bharat.
Of all the rituals, adherence to truth is the greatest penance.
The most nectarous feeling in this country is the feeling of
      love toward one's mother. (Telugu Poem)

Embodiments of Love!

In this sacred land of Bharat (India), forbearance is the real beauty. The modern man has no idea of what forbearance is. He is not able to realise that forbearance is the real beauty in this sacred land. One bereft of forbearance is no human being at all. We should have sympathy and forbearance toward the poor and the physically challenged. But modern man shows disgust toward such unfortunate people. In fact, sahana (tolerance) is the most valuable and sacred mantra of the Bharatiyas (Indians). But man, out of his ignorance, has given up such a sacred mantra and is carried away by yantra and tantra.

The foremost quality expected of a devotee is forbearance. What is bhakti (devotion)? Several people are under the mistaken notion that worshipping some idols, observing certain vows and performing some rituals is bhakti. It is not as simple as that. The foremost duty of a devotee, especially of the Bharatiya, is observing the quality of forbearance in practice.

Adherence to truth is the real thapas (penance). Man, today, has forgotten this principle. Forbearance is a quality that inspires people to undertake noble deeds. This noble quality is to be taught to others as well, to enable them to imbibe it.

The nectarine feeling in this country is the feeling of love toward one's mother. Today, people overlook the most important duty to look upon every woman as one's own mother. There is nothing greater and sweeter than this motherly love in the world. One who has cultivated such noble feeling is most fortunate. It is not a quality that can be purchased or hired. This motherly feeling flows from the natural love that one has for one's own mother. The people of Bharat are forsaking such noble qualities and are trying to imitate and cultivate alien cultures and traditions today. In fact, they are running after alien culture with excessive enthusiasm, treating it as their very life breath.

Embodiments of Love!


You cannot find anything more sacred than love in the world. Today, you will find worldly and physical love everywhere. But, it is very difficult to find love suffused with Atmic bliss.

Embodiments of Love!


Love is not merely that which exists between two individuals at the physical level. True love is that which exists between two hearts. Bharatiyas today are neglecting such sacred and noble love. It is only the love toward God that has sustained and protected the people in this sacred land of Bharat since ancient times, just as the eye lid protects the eye. This divine love permeates the entire universe. Wherever you look, it is present. There is nothing in the world, except divine love. All other types of love are only mere passing infatuation. Real love emerges from the depth of one's heart. Cultivating such divine love and sharing it with others is most pleasing to Me. Today, you find worldly and physical love for achieving selfish ends everywhere. But, you cannot call it real love. Real love, which is sacred, divine, and selfless, has to spring from one's heart.

Embodiments of Love!


Cultivate and strengthen such divine love. When you cultivate such love, you will not be lacking in anything. It is only when you cultivate such noble love that you will be entitled to be called "Embodiments of love". God is omnipresent. Who is God? In fact, you are verily God. You must strive to attain that state. Though God is present everywhere, you should not forget the divinity immanent in you. Some people think that God exists separately in some distant place.

Prahlada, the child devotee of Lord Vishnu declared:

Never doubt that God is here and not there.
Wherever you search for Him,
He is there. (Telugu Poem)

This is the real culture of Bharat, which we are not able to perceive today. Everyone chants the name of God. But, where is God? In fact, you yourself are God. You and God are not separate. Man forgets the divinity latent in him and runs after trivial and mundane things.

Embodiments of Love!


Under all circumstances, do not give up love. Love is your greatest treasure. One who forgets this treasure is not a human being at all!

We love our father, mother, brothers, sisters, etc. All these relationships are but mere roles in the Divine Drama. You must try to apprehend true love. In fact, it is always in us. You need not search for it outside.

Unfortunately, today we are going after things that are not real and permanent. (Showing a flower) What is this? This is a flower. Everybody says so. But, the truth is, it is a manifestation of Divinity. There are several petals in it, which represent Divinity. If the petals are taken out one by one, it cannot be called a flower. Similarly, if there is no love in a human being, the human being cannot be called an "Embodiment of love".

The source and sustenance for the entire universe is love. This quality of love takes different shapes in different individuals, say between father, mother, brothers and sisters, but you refer to it all as love. All these individuals together constitute a family. It is not enough if you limit your love to the family members. The entire universe must live like a family. Whomever you see, offer your pranams (salutations). Say "Om Namaskar! Namaskar!" Can you come across a nobler feeling than this?

All the forms you come across in this world are embodiments of Divinity. There is nothing in this universe that is not divine. You consider the different objects in the universe as mere objects. No! No! Consider them as "Embodiments of Divinity". Unfortunately, today we have become foolish and are searching for God in some distant corner. Wherever you see, there is God. Therefore, it is the noblest feeling to consider everything in the universe as "Embodiments of Divinity". The universe is but a form of God! God is manifest in all forms. Consider such an omnipresent divinity as God. Do not give credence to the outward form of any object, but firmly believe in the divine power that is immanent in that object. We are not experiencing anything other than Divinity in our day-to-day activities. For example, we are thirsty. Thirst is a fire manifest as divinity. We quench our thirst by drinking water, which is another manifestation of the divine.

Thus all five elements in the universe, the five senses, five sheaths, and the five vital breaths in the body are all manifestations of divinity. Today, we are misusing our senses. This is an act of grave sin. All the senses are pure, sacred, and selfless. The senses have no distinction of caste, creed, religion, nationality, etc. Keeping such noble qualities in our own self, we are searching for Divinity in the outside world. What a great pity! What do you think the human values are? They are nothing but divine qualities. God has no attributes separately. Divinity itself is the sole attribute. We are deluded to see the attributeless Divinity as God with attributes.

Embodiments of Love!


Whatever I speak, it is only love. I do not know any other word. There is no other quality greater than love. Hence, we have to love that quality of love, which is God.

The different ways by which we describe God such as Nirgunam, Niranjanam, Sanathana Niketanam, Nitya, Shuddha, Buddha, Mukta, Nirmala Swarupinam (God is attributeless, pure, final abode, eternal, unsullied, enlightened, free and embodiment of sacredness) are only for our satisfaction. They cannot, however, describe God in full. In fact, God is beyond description. The only word by which we can describe God is "love". Nothing better can describe Him.

Embodiments of Love!


You are all the "Embodiments of love". Your form is love. God's form is also love.

I am very much distressed to see those physically challenged children seated on the tricycles. They are, in fact, "Embodiments of Divinity". To look down upon those divine children with contempt is a great sin. In fact, there are no lowly people in the world at all! That low thinking is in us only. It cannot be attributed to God. God has only one attribute, which is love. That is His form.

When someone converses with Me lovingly, My joy knows no bounds. If people employ empty rhetoric without love to describe My qualities, I am not at all pleased or impressed. Talk to Me with a loving heart. Pray to Me with a love-filled heart. Whatever you pray for with a loving heart, I will readily respond. You call Me "Sai" with love; I will readily respond saying "Oyi". Any amount of prayer devoid of love cannot move Me. If you call Me with love, I will respond immediately, wherever I am. There is nothing greater than love. Therefore, if you wish to have the darshan of God and experience Him, pray to Him lovingly. You may have any amount of wealth and virtues, but they are no match to the quality of love. The sweetness inherent in the word prema (Divine Love) is not to be found anywhere else in the world. The more you cultivate and practise it, the sweeter will be your personality. Therefore, cultivate love as the foremost quality in you.

Love is your sole refuge wherever you may be,
in a forest, in the sky, in a city or a village,
on the top of a mountain or in the middle of deep sea.
(Telugu Poem)

Love is not confined to any particular place or residence; it is universal. Therefore, cultivate such universal love. Such a universal love cannot be purchased with any amount of money. It can only be attained with a heart filled with intense love. Man has, therefore, to cultivate such pure and selfless love. In order to cultivate such pure love, bhakti (devotion) is prescribed as a means. Bhakti is not somewhere in some distant corner. prema (love) is bhakti (devotion). Devotion without love is deep ocean. And how is that ocean? It is full of salt water, whereas devotion with love is like sweet water. Love is a nectarous feeling. Love is verily bliss. Love is a wonderful feeling. It is unfathomable. Therefore, such a nectarous, sweet, blissful and unfathomable love, you should never give up.

Embodiments of Love!

Instead of making hollow claims of bhakti, keep prema as your goal to be attained. There is nothing greater than this sadhana (spiritual practice). There is nothing that can liberate you easily than pure and selfless love. There are four words: mukti (liberation), bhakti (devotion), rakti (attachment) and anurakti (attachment or love toward God). But, love is the undercurrent in all these things. On this auspicious occasion of Guru Purnima, love is the most valuable gift I hand over to you. This is my most precious gift to you. Devoid of love, whatever other gifts I may give, they will be of no use. My love is pure, sacred and most precious. You also cultivate such love.

Bhagavan concluded His Discourse with the bhajan, "Prema Mudita Manase Kaho"/



Date: 06 May 2003 Occasion:    Easwaramma Day Place: Brindavan

Love and respect your parents and sanctify your life

Divine Discourse
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

When man comes out of the mother's womb, he does not bring any money with him.
Money does not follow him either when he departs from the world.
Even a millionaire has to partake of salt and rice.
He cannot swallow gold to satiate his hunger.
One may feel proud of his wealth, but he cannot take even a single pie
with him when he leaves the world.
Just as man enjoys the honey collected by the bees, the wealth one amasses
may ultimately fall in the hands of either donga (thief) or dora (king).
(Telugu Poem)

When man emerges from the womb of his mother,
one does not find any garland round his neck.
There are no jewels made of pearls
nor are there glittering gold ornaments.
There are no chains studded with precious stones
like emeralds and diamonds.
There is no garland of flowers either.
But there is one garland round his neck.
Brahma strings together the consequences of his
past deeds into a heavy garland and
puts it round his neck at the time of his birth.
(Telugu Poem)

Embodiments of Love!

Every individual has a mother. One who does not please his mother and become the recipient of her love is not a true son. In today's world, mothers who bring up their children with proper love and care are very rare. It is said, Deho devalaya proktho jeevo devah sanathanah (the body is a temple and the indweller in the body is God). In every temple, we find a bell. But, the bell present in the temple of a human body is not visible outside. This bell is known as anahati. It is not a bell that one can ring. However, it rings continuously on its own day in and day out as long as life remains in the human body. This is nothing but the human heart. When the bell stops ringing, the body becomes lifeless. Then, we call the body a savam (corpse). When the bell is ringing, the body is considered to be sivam (auspicious).

The entire universe is the temple of God. In this temple of the universe, one can continuously hear the sound of the bell Om. That is why God is described as Sabda Brahmamayi, Characharamayi, Jyotirmayi, Vangmayi, Nityanandamayi, Paratparamayi, Mayamayi, and Sreemayi (the embodiment of sound, movable and immovable, light, speech, eternal bliss, transcendental, delusion, and wealth). Today, instead of attuning ourselves to that sacred sound of Om, we are lending our ears to worldly talk and vain gossip. We are unable to listen to the divine voice of Akhanda Satchidananda Swarupa (God, the embodiment of existence, consciousness and bliss).

Once upon a time in the temple of Visweswara in Kasi, the Pujari was offering Arati to the deity. Suddenly, a big gold plate fell from above. The Pujari was surprised and happily picked it up to have a closer look at it. There was an inscription on the plate, which read as follows: "It should be given to the greatest devotee. One who does not chant the Divine Name is not qualified to get it." Then the Pujari thought to himself, "everyday, I am performing Sahasra Lingarchana and Abhishekam to the Lord. I am sanctifying my time by chanting the sacred mantras from the four Vedas. Can there be a greater devotee than me?" When such ego and pride clouded his mind, the gold plate

From that day onward, whoever visited the temple was asked to touch the plate to find out if he deserved to receive the gold plate. But it so happened that the plate would turn into an earthen one whenever somebody touched it. It continued for a few days.

There was a devotee who always chanted the Name of God, but did not perform any other sadhana (spiritual exercises) like japa (soft repetition of the name), thapa, dhyana (meditation), etc. He had no desires. He had achieved dama (sense control). One day he visited the temple. On being requested by the Pujari to touch the plate, he said, "Sir, I don't have any desires. Hence, I don't want to touch it."

The Pujari requested him to touch the plate at least for his satisfaction. The devotee did not want to displease the Pujari and therefore he touched the plate. No sooner did he touch it than it started shining with added brilliance. People who were witness to this event surrounded him and started asking, "Oh noble soul! What is the method of worship you follow, what is the sadhana you perform?" Then he replied, "I have not performed any japa, thapa, yajna or yaga (sacrifices or rituals). I only serve the poor. They are very dear to God."

Neither by penance nor by pilgrimage nor by study of
scriptures nor by Japa can one cross the ocean of life.
One can achieve it only by serving the pious.
(Sanskrit Verse)

From then onward, many rich people started visiting Kasi to see this devotee. Wherever there are rich people, it is but natural that the poor also gather begging for alms from the rich. This devotee was moved on seeing their pathetic condition and resolved to himself, "God loves the poor very much. That is why He has drawn so many of them to His abode. God will be pleased only when they are looked after well. That is what I love to do. I will be happy only when I am able to alleviate the suffering of these poor people and make them happy." From then on, he continued to serve the poor and the needy with greater devotion and enthusiasm. This was an eye-opener for the rich who had gathered there.

Even a millionaire has to partake of salt and rice. He cannot swallow gold to satiate his hunger. One may feel proud of his wealth, but he cannot take even a single pie with him when he leaves the world. Such being the case, why should one struggle to amass wealth? Instead, it is better one strives to attain divine grace. When you contemplate on God all the time continuously with single-minded devotion, He will take care of all your needs. This was what the devotee taught to all those who had assembled there.

The money we accumulate will not follow us. To whom will it go ultimately? Nobody knows. It is not possible to take even a paisa with us. You have to undertake righteous deeds and earn merit so as to deserve divine grace. When you are born out of your mother's womb, you do not find any garland round your neck. But there is one garland surely. Brahma strings together the consequences of all your past deeds, be they good or bad, into a heavy garland and puts it round your neck. Nobody can come into the world without that garland of karma. But man forgets this truth and always craves for pleasures and comforts. How long can the worldly pleasures last?

Ma Kuru Dhana Jana Yauvana Garvam,
Harathi Nimeshath Kalah Sarvam

Do not be proud of your wealth, progeny and youth;
the tide of time may destroy them in a moment.

People feel proud of their youth and wealth. But they are momentary. Realising this truth, we have to accumulate the wealth of divine grace.

After imparting such sacred teaching to the people around him, the devotee started coming out of the temple. As he stepped out, the gold plate also followed him. Along with the plate, all the coins started rolling behind him. Then the beggars started going behind him asking for the money. The devotee said, "My dear ones, what is the use of asking me God is the guardian of all. He is the richest of all. Hence, pray to Him." As he was moving away, many coins started falling from the gold plate. The beggars collected those coins.

The devotee went into a state of bliss and closed his eyes. He had the vision of Lord Visweswara. He prayed, "Oh Lord Visweswara, You are the master of the whole universe. Can't You take care of these poor people? Please shower Your grace on them."

To pray for the welfare of all with selfless love is the noblest prayer. The devotee had no trace of selfishness in him. He prayed for others with selfless love. Hence, God was pleased with him. You should always pray in a selfless manner. Only such a prayer will melt God's heart. There is no point in praying to God with worldly objectives. God, who is the embodiment of love resides in our hridaya (heart). Hridaya is known as anahati. It is the bell that rings continuously. God residing in our heart keeps it ringing. We should listen to the sound of that bell.

Our scriptures have prescribed nine paths of devotion

Sravanam (listening),
Kirtanam (singing),
Vishnusmaranam (contemplating on Vishnu),
Padasevanam (serving His Lotus Feet),
Vandanam (salutation),
Archanam (worship),
Dasyam (servitude),
Sneham (friendship),
Atmanivedanam (self-surrender).
Self-surrender is the true offering that you have to make to God. He is not interested in the worldly offerings you make. What you have to offer to God is the same heart that He has given you.

O God, I offer the heart which You have given me.
What else can I offer at Your Lotus Feet?
Please accept my salutations.
(Telugu Poem)

God is not interested in the wealth you have earned or accumulated. He has no dearth of wealth. He is Vishnu Swarupa. When goddess of wealth Lakshmi herself resides on His chest, what is it that you can offer Him? The Pakshi Vahana (Lord Vishnu who has Garuda as His vehicle) has goddess Lakshmi on His chest. Why should He ask for bhiksha (alms) from others? Hence, you don't need to give anything to God. The sacred heart that He has given you should be given back to Him.

Due to the effect of the Kali Age, people are not prepared to offer their heart to God which He has given them. They are offering the wealth they have accumulated. How can you make such a low and mean offering? You should offer your heart to God. That is called Anahata Dharma. This is the true treasure that we have to safeguard always.

Embodiments of Love!

Due to the effect of Kali Age, devotion and detachment have also become artificial. People are trying to please others, but not God. You have to undertake activities that are pleasing to God. If you go by your own likes and dislikes, how can God be pleased with you? What God likes the most is Anahata Prema. Your hridaya (heart) should overflow with love, sacrifice, and bliss. You may make any number of offerings, but if you do not offer your hridaya to God, He will not accept them. He may pretend to have accepted those offerings, but He will throw them away. You should offer Him that which pleases Him. That is hridaya, which is called Anahati. It is the centre of love and bliss. In fact, it is the basis of everything. If you do not offer such a sacred heart to God, what is the use of other offerings? God is not interested in such artificial offerings. If you come across poor people, give them what they require. If they are shivering in the cold, give them a blanket. You should give them what they need, but not what would you like to give them.

In those days (Swami's school days), when we returned from the Bukkapatnam school in the evenings, mother Easwaramma would lovingly enquire as to what happened in the school that day. She had no formal education at all. One day the children told her, "Mother, today a teacher by name Kondappa made our Sathya stand upon the bench." They started criticising him.

Mother Easwaramma intervened and said, "Children, you should not talk ill of your teacher. No teacher would punish his student without a proper reason. Our Sathya might have committed some mistake." Then she asked Me, "Sathya, what is the mistake You committed?"

I told her the facts as they happened. Kondappa ordered, "Whoever has written the notes should place it on his table. Others should stand upon the bench." I had not written the notes. That was My mistake. Hence, I stood upon the bench. I also said something which was more than necessary. I said, "Sir, can all those boys who have taken down the notes answer your questions? Though I have not written the notes, I can answer any question that you may ask."

Kondappa thought that I was egotistic and ordered Me to stand upon the bench for three periods. I obeyed him and stood upon the bench. Meanwhile, the other teacher, Mahboob Khan, came to the class. He was a Mohammaden and a noble person. He was pained to see Me standing on the bench. He asked, "Kondappa, why have you made this boy stand upon the bench?"

"He has not taken down the notes, hence the punishment", said Kondappa.

Mahboob Khan defended Me saying, "So what if He has not taken down the notes? He can answer all your questions, and that is enough. Ask Him to sit down."

But Kondappa insisted that I should be punished as I had disobeyed his command. The bell rang and Kondappa had to go to another class. But he was unable to get up from the chair. Initially he thought that his dhoti had got entangled to a nail in the chair. But that was not the case. He was stuck to the chair! When he tried to get up from the chair, the chair also came along with him.

Then Mahboob Khan said, "Kondappa, He is not an ordinary boy. He is one of great divine powers. You have punished Him without a proper reason. At least now, ask Him to sit down."

Kondappa realised his mistake and told Me to sit down. Immediately, he could get up from the chair.

When all this was narrated to mother Easwaramma, she said, "Dear Sathya, you should not punish your own guru (teacher)."

I said, "I did not punish him; in fact, he punished himself."

She imparted a sacred teaching to the children, saying, "My dear ones, you are going to school to study. Whatever you learn, put it to proper use. Only then will you be called truly educated and earn the appellation Sakshara. If you do not make proper use of your education, you become a rakshasa (demon). Make efforts to earn the title of Sakshara."

Then she told Me, "Sathya! At any time and under any circumstances, do not cultivate hatred toward anybody. Love all and You will be loved by all."

In fact, there is no trace of hatred or enmity in Me at any time. I love all. That is why everyone loves Me. If we do not love others, how can we expect others to love us? Give love and receive love. It is not a one-way traffic. You should give and take.

In this manner, mother Easwaramma taught the children many sacred ideals. One need not have any formal education in order to impart such sacred teachings. There are many who are highly educated, but what is the use? They do not put their knowledge to proper use. Having received many sacred teachings, you should practise at least one of them. You perform worship and sing bhajans with devotion. It is enough if you practise and experience at least one word of the bhajans you sing. For example, you extol God as 'Premaswarupa' (embodiment of love). Accordingly, you should develop love and share it with others. Only then can you understand and experience divinity.

Mother Easwaramma used to impart many noble teachings to the devotees when they gathered around her. I had given her a small room in Prasanthi Nilayam. Many ladies would go there and plead with her, "Mother, we have been here for a long time. Please tell Swami to grant us an interview." She would tell them, "My dear, Swami may look small to our eyes, but He does not listen to anyone. He will not act on recommendations. He will give you what you deserve. You should try to understand the divine principle of Swami." In this manner, she would give proper guidance to the devotees.

One day she told Me, "Sathya! Your name and fame have spread far and wide. The whole world is coming to You. Please bestow peace on the world with Your Sankalpa (Will)."

I told her, "It is not that I have to make a Sankalpa for world peace. Each one has to attain peace by himself, because man by nature is the embodiment of peace. He is the embodiment of truth. He is the embodiment of love." You have to manifest your love. You have to experience peace within. You have to follow the path of truth. Sathyam Vada, Dharmam Chara (speak truth and practise righteousness). You can achieve anything when you follow this principle.

Since ancient times, there have been many noble mothers who have guided their children on the right path. The future of the nation rests in the hands of mothers. That is why one calls one's own country as motherland. Bharat (India) is the birthplace of many noble mothers. Our ancient culture has accorded first place to the mother. Father comes only next. Even on invitation cards we write Smt. and Sri. The husband may be highly educated and occupying a position of authority. He may be the president of the nation. Yet, we cannot write Sri and Srimati while sending an invitation. Srimati has to come first. Since ancient times, women are treated with great reverence and respect in Bharat. This land of Bharat is highly sacred. But unfortunately, people have lost love for their motherland.

He is a true human being who loves his mother and becomes the recipient of his mother's love. One who cannot earn his mother's love is verily a demon. Hence, respect and revere you mother. Experience and enjoy your mother's love. Dedicate your life for the happiness of the mother. You may acquire any number of degrees; you may undertake any number of sacred activities; but all of them will prove futile if you do not please your mother. There is none superior to the mother in this world. The Veda has accorded the place of highest prominence to the mother when it declared, Matru Devo Bhava, Pitru Devo Bhava, Acharya Devo Bhava, Atithi Devo Bhava (revere your mother, father, preceptor, and guest as God). There may be a son in this world who does not love his mother, but there cannot be a mother who does not love her son. There may be differences of opinion between them, but the motherly love will never diminish.

Embodiments of Love!

It is your foremost duty to love your mother. As soon as you wake up in the morning, the first thing you should do is to touch your mother's feet and offer your salutations. Such a noble practice will protect you always and bestow on you all types of wealth.

Students, Boys and Girls!

You are going to be fathers and mothers in future. You will be loved and respected by your children only when you love and respect your parents now. You are bound to face the reaction, resound, and reflection of your actions. When you respect your parents, there will be rich rewards for you in the future.

Today we are celebrating Easwaramma Day. I want to tell you an incident that speaks of her immense compassion and love for children. In those days, students from various States and countries attended Summer Classes. Gokak, who used to conduct the classes, was a strict disciplinarian. He was a man of great character and sacrifice. He was a great academician too. He was conducting the classes in an exemplary manner. One day, the students were having lunch in the dining hall. One of the boys got up and went outside before others could finish their meals. Gokak, who watched this through the window, called him and chided him for his act of indiscipline. "When your fellow students are having their food, you should not get up in the middle even though you have completed your meals. It amounts to insulting them." Saying so, Gokak suspended him from the classes. The boy was in tears, but Gokak was not moved.

The boy came to mother Easwaramma's room, fell at her feet and started crying. He told her about the harsh punishment meted out to him by Gokak. He pleaded with her to come to his rescue. Easwaramma consoled him and sent him away. She was sitting on the steps where Gokak would pass by. After a while Gokak came there. She offered her Namaskar to him and he reciprocated the same most reverentially. Then she said, "When I did Namaskar to you, you reciprocated the same. In the same manner, if you punish others, you will be punished in return. The boy out of his innocence has done a mistake. Please forgive him and allow him to attend the classes."

Then Gokak replied, "Mother, if I forgive him, it would set a bad precedent for others. Anyway, I will forgive him only for your sake." In this manner, she would go out of her way to help and provide comfort and solace to others.

You are bound to face the consequences of your actions. If you talk to others in a harsh manner, it will come back to you as resound. If you hit others, it will come back to you as reflection. Hence, do not hurt others. Do good, be good, see good, and speak good. Then, you will be blessed with rich rewards. Though mother Easwaramma had no formal education, she conducted herself in an exemplary manner. She was one of profound wisdom. The teaching that mother Easwaramma imparted remained etched in the heart of Gokak. Later on when he came as Vice Chancellor to Puttaparthi, he used to recollect her words of wisdom. He would remember her everyday. He would say, "I see Easwaramma in my dream quite often. I follow her advice implicitly."

We should not criticise others. We should not hurt others or make fun of them. We should love all. This is what mother Easwaramma taught everybody. Do your duty sincerely. Then, you will certainly progress in life. Whoever he may be, follow the sacred teachings of our elders. People attribute certain teachings to Rama, Krishna, and so on and so forth. It does not matter whether it is Rama or Krishna; enquire what, why, when, where, and under what circumstances they had given those teachings. You should remember the context in which those teachings were imparted and act accordingly. When you obey the command of elders and divine personalities, you will certainly attain exalted position in life.

Many students do not pay heed to the words of their mother. It is a grave mistake. Mothers speak from their heart wishing the welfare of their children. You should understand their feelings and give due respect to their words.

Embodiments of Love! Boys and Girls

Obey the commands of your parents. You will certainly be blessed with all types of education and strength. You do not need to make any special efforts to acquire them. Discharge your duty sincerely. Never disregard the words of your parents. Follow them with love and sanctify your life. Wishing that you give happiness to your parents and thereby set an ideal to your children, I bless you all and bring My discourse to a close.

(Bhagawan concluded His Discourse with the bhajan "Sathyam Jnanam Anantham Brahma").



Date: 12 January 2004 Occasion: Sankranti festival
Place : Prasanthi Nilayam 

                                     sacred Discourse by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

The sun shines serene and gentle. The brief daylight is softly wafting the cool wind. 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 ripened chilies are coloring fields with vestments of bright red. The sweet festival of Sankranti has come, filling our homes with the freshly harvested grains of cereals and pulses.
(Telugu Poem)

Of all the festivals, the imminent Sankranti is the most important. It is the day on which the farmers bring home the harvested crop, feed the poor and, rejoice. On this day, the Vedic scholars get up during the sacred Brahmamuhurtha time and chant the Vedic Mantras, purifying the hearts of one and all. This festival has a special significance even for the householders. They invite their newly married sons in-law to their house, present them with new clothes and the entire house abounds with joy. In this context, there is a folk song in Telugu:

As Sankranti is the festival of festivals,
Oh newly married bridegroom, visit your in-laws' house,
Come spend your time in fun and frolic with your brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law,
The entire household and the neighborhood will honor you with love and affection.

It is also an occasion when the bullocks are decorated elaborately and taken to various houses in the village. The bullocks are worshipped and fed sumptuously as an expression of gratitude for all the hard work they do in the fields. Even the bovine members of the household are feted, a symbolic marriage is performed between a pair of bull and cow, naming them as Rama and Sita. They are taken along the streets and made to dance to the delight of everyone. In this manner, the festival of Sankranti bestows great joy and auspiciousness on farmers, householders, priests and children. Not only have the human beings, even the birds and animals rejoiced with the arrival of the sacred Sankranti festival. At sunset, it is a wonderful sight to see the birds flying back to their nests chatting merrily loudly in their own language Filling the air with a joyous hum. It is .in equally delightful sight to see the cows rushing back from the grazing fields to feed their young ones and the young ones craving for the caresses of heir mothers, mooing loudly to their mothers. Sankranti festival is so sweet and endearing to one and all. Cool winds, mellifluous bird songs and the sweet sugarcane crops herald the arrival of Sankranti. People celebrate his festival by distributing sweets and 'ice puddings. This festival drives away all disappointments and despair and fills our hearts with hope and enthusiasm. People get up early in the morning, have a sacred bath and worship their chosen deities such as Ganapati, Subrahmanya and Lord Easwara. The divine form of Lord Siva is described thus:

The Lord of Kailasa has manifested his Divine form with the crescent moon adorning his head, the cool water of the Ganga flowing between the matted locks, with his radiant eye in the middle of the Forehead and the purple neck gleaming like the sheen of a blackberry. He wears serpent bracelets and a snake belt, his entire body is smeared with Vibhuti, his forehead is adorned with a kumkum dot, his ruddy lips glow with the juice of the betel, diamond-studded gold earrings dangle from his ears and his whole swarthy body glows with divine effulgence
(Telugu Poem)

However, nowadays people are not celebrating Sankranti in its true spirit. Their celebration is confined to mere performance of rituals. They lack purity and sanctity. They are unable to enjoy the bliss of Sankranti because of hatred, jealousy and conflicts.

On this auspicious occasion of Sankranti, children aged 5 years are initiated into the process of learning with the chanting of sacred Vedic Mantras. Our ancient sages declared, Vedahametham Purusham Mahantham Adityavarnam Thamasah Parasthath (I have visualised the Supreme Being who shines with the effulgence of a billion suns and who is beyond Thamas - the darkness of ignorance). The Vedas have extolled the Supreme Being in manifold ways. The Rig Veda contains Mantras extolling God and His blissful form which attracts one and all.

People address their bullocks with names such as Ramudu, Bhimudu, etc. Similarly, cows are named after Sita, Gowri, Lakshmi, etc. The inner meaning of this is that even animals are treated with the same concern and care as human beings. They decorate the cows and bullocks with Saris and Dhotis and take them out in a procession.

These days even birds and animals lead their lives in accordance with their natural qualities. So, they are able to enjoy happiness. On the other hand, man has forgotten his true nature and is behaving like an animal. Consequently, he is leading a miserable life. Birds and animals are better than men in the sense they live in unity and harmony. But due to the impact of modern education, man has degenerated to the level of a beast. He has lost the virtues of honesty and integrity. Birds and animals have a reason and a season, but man has no reason or season. In every house and in every human endeavour, money is given utmost priority. People are ready to stoop down to any level for the sake of money. Animals are satisfied once their hunger is satiated, but man has no sense of satisfaction. The more he earns, the greedier he becomes.

When a dog, is sick, it does not eat food. If you have a pet dog, you might have observed this. Even if you pour milk into its mouth by force, it refuses to drink. It likes to remain on empty stomach. But man observes no such restraint with regard to diet when he is sick. He wants to take complete rest even if there is mild rise in his temperature. He covers himself from head to foot and lies down on his bed. However, he gives no rest to his stomach nor does he observe proper. diet restrictions even when he run high temperature. He likes to eat sweet like Mysorepak, Burfi, Gulab Jamoon, etc., which will only aggravate his sickness. Man is behaving like an animal and animals are behaving like humans! When a person misbehaves the elders reprimand him saying, "Why do you behave like an animal?" Due to the impact of modem education, man has lost morality and integrity and ha become worse than an animal. He is acquiring high academic qualification like B.A. and M.A. But what is the use. He is adding the letter 'D' (dirt qualities) to his qualification and becoming 'BAD' and 'MAD'. This type of perverted behaviour is unbecoming of a human being. Man should develop good thoughts, good qualities and good character. On the contrary, he is taking to wrong ways to earn money Money comes and goes, morality comes and grows. But man is selling morality in the market for the sake of money.

Embodiments of Love!

At least from this Sankranti day, make efforts to cultivate good qualities. Let there be a change in your behaviour for the better. The festivals of Bharatiyas are meant to impart sacred teachings and transform human behaviour. They are not meant to merely eat, drink and make merry. First of all, there should be transformation at the individual level. There should be unity in the family. In olden days, people used to live in joint families. The young couples would live with their parents, in-laws and other elders of the family in harmony. Whenever there was any difference of opinion between the couple, the elders in the family would give proper guidance and pacify them. The daughters-in-law would implicitly follow the advice of their in-laws. As a result, there never used to be any scope for conflicts in the family. But the modem trend is such that the daughter in-law does not want to live in the house of her in-laws. She wants the family to be divided. Because of such divisive mentality, conflicts in the family are on the rise. Consequently, Kali Yuga has become Kalaha Yuga (age of conflicts) and Kalmasha Yuga (age of pollution). People in those days talked always in a pleasing manner. They would welcome the guests wholeheartedly by exchanging pleasant feelings like "How are you? Please have your food with us, etc." More than the food, it was the warmth and affection of the host that appeased the hunger of the guest. But nowadays, even on a festival day, people do not like to entertain guests. When they find a guest entering their house, they greet him with the remark, "Please come, hope you have already had your lunch; please be seated." Man has become so narrow-minded that he does not want to offer even a morsel of food to the guests. Such being the sorry state of affairs, how can you expect the children to be ideal citizens? Due to the influence of parents, even children are becoming narrow-minded. Parents want them to acquire modern education and earn a lot of money. In order to get the children educated in expensive prestigious schools, even the mother has to take up a job. The children are left to the care of Ayas (female attendants). Consequently, the children are unable to experience the love of the mother. They shed tears when the Aya dies, but not when the mother passes away. The children should be brought up under the loving care of the mother. They should listen to her sacred teachings. Otherwise, how can they come up in life? Modern education cannot redeem man's life.

One may have acquired high academic qualifications such as B.A. and M.A. and attained name and fame,
One may have all the wealth and one may do acts of charity and earn merit and good reputation,
One may have all the physical strength and lead a long and healthy life,
One may be a Vipra (Brahmin) who teaches the Vedas and performs spiritual practices such as penance and meditation, But none of them can be equal to the devotee of the Lord.
(Telugu Poem)

What is this education? It is only leading to agitation. People are only acquiring degrees, but are not broadening their mind. True education is that which brings about transformation of the heart. There should be expansion of love. But, the present-day education system is leading to narrow-mindedness. People are highly egoistic of their academic qualifications. They have given up morality and integrity, the very essence

of Indian culture. Without the virtue of honesty, how can one attain Ananda (bliss)? How can education bereft of morality redeem your life? Today the students are going to countries like America, Japan, Germany, etc., as soon as they complete their studies. When the parents go all the way to spend their time with their children, they are asked to have their food in restaurants. Modem educated people are not so fortunate as to serve food to their parents with their own hands. They do not show gratitude to their parents who have brought them up with love and care. This is the worst sin. You should look after your parents well. You should take care of their needs in their advanced age and protect them with love and concern. Today, when parents become old, the children demand a share of their property. They are interested in property but not in developing a proper mind. They do not hesitate to go even to the Supreme Court to settle their property disputes. Instead, one should strive to attain the Supreme State by cultivating virtues. The more one is educated, the more virtuous one should become.

Dear Students!

Just now you have seen Me calling an American boy. This boy is studying in our Institution. Simultaneously, he is also learning Veda. In whichever portion of the Veda you question him, he will be able to chant the concerned Mantra beautifully. In fact, it is the good fortune of the parents to have such children. It is only because of such parents, children are able to cultivate good qualities. This boy's parents are living in America, yet they have admitted him in our Institute which is far away from their native place to enable him to learn good qualities and good behaviour. In fact, they have all the facilities available in America to educate their son there itself. But, they did not want to educate their son in America. They love our country and the noble qualities that the children imbibe here. Here the children learn education coupled with love. The children prostrate before their parents with respect and reverence. Such noble qualities have impressed these parents and therefore they have brought their son to pursue his education in our Institution.

Here is a small example. Once upon a time, there lived a Hindi Pundit who was reputed for' his literary skills. His two sons were studying in Allahabad, while he and his wife lived in a small town. One day he and his wife had to go by train on a visit to another town and they had to pass through Allahabad. He wrote to his sons to come and meet them at the station on that particular date.

The train halted at the station and the parents stood at the door of the carriage. They saw their sons hurrying towards them. The elder one touched the feet of both the parents before talking to them, while the younger son did not show such respect and reverence. The parents enquired about their health and studies. The elder son said, "We are fine here. Please take care of your health. Your happiness is our happiness." On the other hand, the younger son did not enquire about their health at all. He asked for more money. As the train was about to start, once again the elder one bent and touched the feet of his parents while the younger one just waved his hand. As the train was leaving the platform, the parents were watching their sons through the window. The elder one was offering his Namaskar till the end, whereas the younger son was keeping his hands in the pocket and looking somewhere with a callous attitude.

The mother became worried seeing the behavior of the younger son. She blamed her husband for the reckless behavior of the younger son. She said, "'You have kept him away from us for the sake of his education. He is behaving like an animal as there is no one to guide him properly." The father pacified her saying, "After all, he is young, he will learn and improve in course of time." But, the mother could not come to a compromise and said, "He is already doing his degree course, if not now when will he learn?" Unable to control her feelings, she shed tears. The mother's words proved to be true. In course of time the elder son, by virtue of his diligence and good behavior, attained a high position in society. He was very much respected for his manners and sense of courtesy. He prostrated before his parents and said, "It is because of your blessings that I have come up in life." The parents shed tears of joy and blessed him profusely, "Son, it is because of your virtues that you have attained an exalted position in life." What happened to the younger son? He could not fare well in the examinations and ultimately had to be contented with a clerical job. While the elder one received salutations from everyone, the younger son had to salute everyone. How can one who does not respect his parents be respected by others? Yad Bhavam Tad Bhavati (as is the feeling, so is the result). Our future depends upon our present behavior. In Western countries today, they give respect and take respect. But this quality is becoming extinct in our country. When you do not respect your own parents, even dogs would not care to look at you. Therefore, wherever you go, you should never forget to respect your parents. The Vedas in our country have also exhorted, Matru Devo Bhava, Pitru Devo Bhava, Acharya Devo Bhava, Atithi Devo Bhava (revere your mother, father, preceptor and guest as God). Thus, they promoted noble qualities by their exhortation. Whoever respects his parents and obeys their commands will certainly reach high positions in life. In fact, the festival of Sankranti exhorts us to. Cultivate such noble qualities. "Kranti' means transformation. Therefore, Sankranti is supposed to bring about a transformation in our lives. But, how are we reacting to this? Are we able to achieve transformation in our life? No. The purpose of our education is to remove the bad qualities and cultivate good qualities and good behaviour. This is what the festivals in India are meant for. But nobody realizes the inner meanings of these festivals.

Embodiments of Love! Students!

Your parents are struggling hard to feed you, educate you and bring you up in life. Even if they have to starve, they would somehow try to feed you and look after your welfare. They always struggle to keep you in good mood and good condition. They give you good food good clothing and good education. If you do not respect such parents, how do you expect to be respected by society?

You all know about Abraham Lincoln. He used to go to school in the company of wealthy boys, in his childhood. Those boys were wearing costly clothes and ornaments. Lincoln, however, had to go to school with worn out clothes that were mended by his mother. One day, his friends made fun of his poor dress. He could not control himself. He went straight to his mother crying and told her, "Mother! I will not attend school hereafter. My classmates are making fun of me. They are looking .down upon me as a poor boy unable to wear decent dress." Then, the mother took him into her arms lovingly and consoled him saying, "My dear son! You need not have to feel sorry for such a trivial issue. All this is going to help you in your future life. You must keep our family condition in view. Do not give attention to what others say. Lead a life of self-confidence and self-respect. Respect every individual and be respected by every individual." From that day onwards, Lincoln put his mother's advice into practice and started respecting everybody. Gradually, Abraham Lincoln could command respect from all people by his good behavior. He earned a very good name for himself. After sometime, elections were held in America. He was persuaded by his friends and well wishers to contest the elections. At last, he bowed to the wishes of his friends and well-wishers and contested the elections. He won the elections with a thumping margin and was elected President of the United States of America in due course of time. He attained such an exalted position because he implicitly followed the advice of his mother and respected everybody. Truly speaking, he did not have much money, but he had the wealth of virtues. He was happy at the prosperity of others. He was contented with what he had and did not crave for money and material possessions. Because of such noble qualities, he rose to become the President of America. During his tenure, he passed a decree for abolishing slavery of black Africans in America thereby putting an end to their inhuman suffering.

It is self-respect that protects man and takes him to an exalted position. You may be poor financially, but if you uphold your self-respect, you will be respected by all. Do not look down upon the poor. Respect them and treat them with love. That is the true human nature. Lincoln's mother inculcated such noble qualities in her son. That is why Lincoln considered his mother as God and revered her. Whoever inculcates sacred qualities in you is your God. He is not to be sought after somewhere else. When you develop self-respect, He will manifest right in front of you.

Dear Students!

You must respect your parents, whoever they may be and in whatever condition they may be. You must respect their words and obey their commands, without any reservation. Then only you will be able to command respect from society. All the great people in yester years did obey and respect their parents and set an example to the world. Do you know the underlying meaning of the ancient customs and traditions of Bharat? For example, they used to build big mansions with small doors. Do you know why? We think that these small doors were to prevent thieves from entering the houses and escaping with ease. No, that was not the reason. These doors were purposely kept low to enable the visitors to observe the custom of entering the houses with their heads bent in reverence to the inmates. Thus, every custom and tradition of Bharat was meant to promote mutual respect and goodwill among people. It was established with great care and wisdom. But, even the Bharatiyas have forgotten such noble traditions. Nowadays you will not find even a 'gadapa' (threshold) to the door frame of the main entrance to the house. They think that the threshold is an unnecessary hindrance to enter the house. No, it is not a hindrance at all! The ancient traditions and customs of Bharat are meant to promote humility, respect and reverence among people.

Dear Students!

You must learn and observe such great traditions and command the respect of people. You must bring joy to your parents, by your behavior. The parents must feel happy that their children are obeying them. It is enough if you earn such a good name. God's grace cannot be obtained by performing mere rituals like worship. However highly qualified you are it will only promote ego, but not humility and respect towards parents and elders. Therefore, you must cultivate the qualities of humility, respect and reverence. Then only you will become good citizens of the country. It is not necessary that you should become great. It is enough if you become good citizens. Name and fame come today, but may be lost tomorrow. But, the good name acquired will last forever. Therefore, earn a good name. We must earn the 'grace' of God. But, contrary to this, people are craving for the "grass' of worldly desires. Grass is something that is consumed by the cattle. You should not become cattle by developing a taste for grass. You must strive to earn God's grace and thus become good individuals.

Dear Students!

These are the sacred days of the festival of Sankranti. On this occasion, we must cultivate the quality of giving respect to others and taking respect. I am giving you a small example here. (Swami called the American boy, a student of Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School, and said), "This boy is securing first class not only in studies but also in the study of Vedas. He has given immense joy to his parents with his good behavior. His father is very happy that his son has earned a very good name and is appreciated by one and all." (Swami called his father to the dais and showered His blessings on him.) This boy's mother is working in our Primary School and spending her time blissfully. The boy's parents have earned the love and respect of all because of his exemplary behavior. In this manner, every one of you should strive to bring good name to your parents. Only then will your parents experience, the real joy of begetting you as their son. You may earn a lot of money and build big mansions, but they cannot bring you good name. They are temporary. Once you earn good reputation, it will remain with you forever. Bring good name to the institution in which you have studied. Observing your noble qualities, people should be able to recognize you as Sathya Sai students. You are aware that we are not charging even a paisa from our students. Further, I am also providing books and other facilities for the needy and deserving students. The students have immense love for Swami and Swami also showers His love and grace on them. Even while leaving their parents and coming here, they do not shed tears. But when I go to Brindavan and return to Puttaparthi, the students in Brindavan start shedding tears unable to bear the separation from Me. How did they acquire such intense love? It is Swami's love that is responsible for this. It is only the love that I disseminate to all. My property does not comprise mansions and palatial buildings. Love is My biggest property. I am giving My love and receiving your love in return. I often tell the students, "Give Me your love, I will give you whatever you want." That is why the students have such intense love for Me. Develop love more and more. Love your parents. Obey their command. Your lives will certainly be sanctified.

Think of God always. Wherever you are, in the forest or in the sky, in the village or in the city, on the hilltop or in the middle of the deep sea, love alone can come to your rescue. It is always with you, in you, around you, above you and below you.

Chaala Santhosham (very happy).

(Bhagawan concluded His Discourse with the Bhajan, "Hari Bhajan Bina Sukha Santhi Nahin ... ")


Date: 01 January 2004

Occasion: New Year

Place: Prasanthi Nilayam

Service to Man is Service to God

 Divine Discourse
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba


People can say that this is Brahman,
None can say, however, that this is not Brahman,
God only exists always,
The world is illusory, look!
(Telugu Poem)


Embodiments of Love!

Today, everybody is enthusiastic about New Year's Day. Significantly, this New Year's Day started on a Thursday. It is one's foolishness to single out a particular day in a year and celebrate that day with great joy. For a true devotee, every day is a festival day. Therefore, it is essential that we consider every minute of every day as new and celebrate it with joy. In fact, every day is a New Year's Day.

Everything in this objective world is impermanent and unreal. Hence, we have to contemplate upon the eternal truth and reality. We should not waste our time brooding over the past or anticipating the future. It is great foolishness to worry about the future or the past, forgetting the present. Only the present is real. The past is past, you cannot get it back, however, much you may pray for it. The future is hidden in the womb of time. It is not possible to visualise it. Therefore, only the present is important. Unable to realise this truth, people are worried about the past and future.

The foremost activity that man should engage in is service to fellow human beings. Instead, people are wasting their precious time worrying about either the past or the future. Therefore, embodiments of love! You should always engage yourself in service to fellow human beings. There is no greater sadhana than such service.

Considering the nine paths of devotion, namely sravanam (listening), kirtanam (singing), Vishnusmaranam (contemplating on Vishnu), Padasevanam (serving His Lotus Feet), vandanam (salutation), archanam (worship), dasyam (servitude), sneham (friendship), and Atmanivedanam (self-surrender) as the only important means for salvation, people are engrossed in these activities. They totally forget the importance of service. Only the fruits of service will be eternal. We must constantly engage ourselves in service to others. God has given us this body for that purpose only. This body is not meant to be engaged in mere eating and drinking and thus wasting our valuable time. We must realise the truth that God has given us this body for serving others and thus help others. There is nothing greater than service to humanity. Service to man is service to God. All great men have sanctified their life only by serving humanity. Therefore, you start serving humanity at least from now onward. Service is more important than bhajan and all other sadhanas (spiritual disciplines).

Embodiments of Love!

What, according to you, is service? You consider helping people in difficulties is service. No. It is not as simple as that. Your body should be constantly engaged in serving others. The human body consists of several limbs. All these limbs are meant to be engaged in serving the fellowmen and not for other activities. Unfortunately, we are forgetting this basic fact. Every limb in the human body has been granted by God for karmopasana (worshipping God through service). Karmopasana is the only means by which the human life can be sanctified. We are building several temples. We are undertaking various sadhanas. But, all these sadhanas can give us only temporary satisfaction, not eternal joy. Our ancient rishis (sages) have been able to achieve eternal joy through a conscious effort. Therefore, you must develop firm faith in the truth that nothing can provide eternal joy except service to humanity. Undertake service to the suffering humanity. Service is not merely confined to health services. Service encompasses every possible help to the fellow human beings.

The ancient culture of Bharat (India) is still preserved in the villages, and not in towns and cities. In fact, our culture is defiled in all possible ways in the cities. Therefore, go to the villages, find out their necessities, and undertake such types of services that will alleviate their sufferings. Today, several people shift to the towns and cities in pursuit of comfort and luxuries. In the process, they end up in sorrows and difficulties. This is their own making. Na sukhat labhyathe sukham (happiness cannot be obtained out of happiness). Only through suffering can happiness be achieved.

You should undertake service. In fact, the hands are given to you to serve humanity. Hands that serve are holier than lips that pray. Therefore, undertake selfless service and attain glory. When you undertake good work, you enjoy peace in your life. Today, the boys who sang bhajans are former students of the Institute. They have undertaken several services to please Swami. God is not interested in worship and other sadhanas (spiritual disciplines). He is interested only in service. Hence, undertake service and more and more service. The best way to love God is to Love all and Serve all. God is interested only in love and service. If you can recognise the importance of these two sadhanas and conduct yourself accordingly, there can be no greater sadhana.

You need not have to spend a lot of money in service. Sanctify your life by undertaking loving service. Today, the old students of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning have brought a cheque for Rs. 48 lakhs to present to Swami as a token of their love and service. This amount has been saved by them from their salaries, by undergoing lot of difficulties. But to whom should the amount belong, really? This amount is meant to be utilised for service in the villages. It is for serving the poorest of the poor. Therefore, I told them, "My dear ones! You deposit the money in the bank and undertake the service activities with the interest accrued on the amount." Money is of no help in developing good qualities. Sacrifice alone can develop noble qualities. It is only in sacrifice, there is real yoga. That is why it is said thyagenaike amrutatthwamanasu (it is only by sacrifice that man can attain immortality). Today, however, people want bhoga (enjoy material comforts). By such bhoga, only roga (disease) will be contracted. They cannot attain yoga. Hence, you try to attain yoga by thyaga (sacrifice). Only then can you attain eternal joy.

Embodiments of Love!

There is no use contemplating on God without making sacrifice. By contemplating on God, you may perhaps derive some mental satisfaction. But that is of no use. Therefore, develop firm faith in the truth that every living being is permeated by God and act accordingly. God lives in every living being and experiences bliss. The Upanishads declare, Easwarah sarva bhutanam (God is the indweller of all beings) and Isavasyam idam sarvam (the entire universe is permeated by God). You should not be under the impression that God is confined to some temple or a structure somewhere. It is said Deho Devalaya proktho jivo Devah sanathanah (the body is a temple and the Indweller is God). The real temple for God is the body itself.

God is installed in the temple of our heart. That is why it is given the name of hridaya. Hrid + daya = hridaya. It is only when you cultivate compassion in your heart that it can be called hridaya. Therefore, cultivate the quality of compassion. Whatever service you undertake with a compassionate heart, it becomes sanctified. Consider every human being as a living divinity. God is present everywhere. Forgetting such an omnipresent divinity, we are hankering after petty and trivial bodily pleasures. The fact, however, is that we can never attain real happiness with the body. This body has several limitations. With such a body, you can never attain limitless ananda (bliss).

The body is made up of five elements and
    is bound to perish sooner or later,
    but the Indweller has neither birth nor death.
The Indweller has no attachment whatsoever and
    is the eternal witness.
Truly speaking, the Indweller,
    who is in the form of the Atma,
    is verily God Himself.
(Telugu Poem)

You must be able to recognise such a divine Atma. Today, we are worshipping idols and pictures, thinking that God is somewhere in the outside world. But God is very much present in the human being. That is why our ancient rishis (sages) have proclaimed, Daivam manusha rupena (God incarnates in the form of a human being). Of what use is it to worship unseen God while at the same time causing suffering to the living beings around us? Every human being that you come across is an embodiment of divinity. No purpose will be served by worshipping the idols and pictures, forgetting the living gods in front of us.

Therefore, give less importance to such indirect methods of worshipping God. Consider the human being standing in front of you as an embodiment of divinity. Even if you come across your worst enemy, say, 'hello' to him lovingly. Address him as brother. Then, he will also respond by saying, 'hello brother'. On the other hand, if you hate him and start scolding him, he will reciprocate the same thing to you. Respect every individual and you will be respected.

Man, today, expects others to respect him; but he will not respect others. If you do not respect others, how can you expect others to respect you? Manava (human being) means an individual deserving respect. Since you are born as a human being, give respect and take respect. This is the quality you have to cultivate today. When you respect others, others will also respect you. When you offer your pranams (salutations) to somebody, to whom does it go actually? You are not merely offering pranams to the physical body consisting of the five elements. It reaches, in fact, the Indweller in that human body, who is none other than God.

Now, what is the nature of this body?

This body is a den of dirt, and prone to diseases;
it is subject to change from time to time;
it cannot cross the ocean of Samsara.
It is nothing but a structure of bones.
Oh mind!
Do not be under the delusion that body is permanent.
Instead, take refuge at the Divine Lotus Feet.
(Telugu Poem)

What can you achieve by relying on such a body? It is only sin that you accumulate. You should sustain the body for the purpose of serving others. You have taken upon this human body only for the purpose of serving your fellow human beings. Develop firm conviction in that truth.

What happiness do you derive with the body? In fact, nothing. Whatever pleasures you enjoy with the help of this human body, you will have to leave all those pleasures as well as the body itself in a trice one day or the other. Should you have to undergo so many trials and tribulations for the sake of these momentary pleasures? You have to respect the jiva (individualized soul) in the human body. That is the real Daiva seva (service to God). You have to dedicate your body to such service. If you do that, every minute of your life is fresh and new. Every day is a festival day. On the other hand, if you undertake service once in a year, that is not real service.

Your deha (body) is mrinmaya (made up of five elements). The divinity residing as Indweller therein is chinmaya (consciousness). Therefore, rely upon such a divinity and earn salvation.

You all know about Abraham Lincoln. He used to go to school in the company of wealthy boys, in his childhood. Those boys were wearing costly clothes and ornaments. Lincoln, however, had to go to school with worn-out clothes that were mended by his mother. One day, his friends made fun of his poor dress. He could not control himself. He went straight to his mother crying and told her, "Mother! I will not attend school hereafter. My classmates are making fun of me. They are looking down upon me as a poor boy unable to wear decent dress."

Then, the mother took him into her arms lovingly and consoled him saying, "My dear son! You need not have to feel sorry for such a trivial issue. All this is going to help you in your future life. You keep our family condition in view. Do not give credence to what others say. Lead a life of self-confidence and self-respect. Respect every individual and be respected by every individual."

From that day onward, Lincoln put his mother's advice into practice and started respecting everybody. He used to be courteous with even a cobbler saying "Sir! How sacred is your life! You are doing great service by stitching sandals for us so that our feet are protected from thorns". Gradually, Abraham Lincoln could command respect from all people by his good behaviour. He earned a very good name for himself.

After sometime, elections were held in America. He was persuaded by his friends and well-wishers to run for election. He expressed his inability saying, "I am a poor man. Who will vote for me? I do not want these positions and power". Today, Indians are spending crores of rupees to contest elections, but refuse to part with even a rupee as alms to a beggar.

The good words taught by Lincoln's mother made a lasting impression on his mind. He started respecting every individual. He used to speak courteously with everybody. As a result he earned a very good name for himself. At last, he bowed to the wishes of his friends and well-wishers and ran for election. He scored a spectacular victory and was elected the President of the United States of America. Then, he went to his mother and said "Mother! I am able to rise to this exalted position and command the respect of the people of America because of your noble teachings those days."

It is the mother that is responsible for the children earning reputation and fame. If children wish to earn good name, they should obey the command of their mother. That is why, the Veda has conferred the supreme position on the mother and father and declared Matru Devo bhava, pithru Devo bhava ( Mother is God, Father is God). The mother is like the body and the father, the Atma. Hence, we have to respect our father and mother. Then, we can earn any amount of respect.

Abraham Lincoln could earn great name and fame and became the president of America only on account of his respect for his mother.

What do children earn today? Nothing. They simply waste the money earned by their parents. They bring bad name to their parents. This is not what children are expected to do. They should properly utilise the money given by their parents. In fact, every drop of your blood is the contribution of your parents. You owe your existence in this world to the love of your parents. Hence, whenever there is a need for blood donation, you should come forward to donate your blood. Thereby fulfil your obligation to your parents and society. Do not ever work for your selfish interests. In fact, selfishness and self-interest are the main causes degrading the human being. You might have heard about Winston Churchill, the former Prime Minister of England. He once declared "man has conquered all, but not conquered himself".

Children should cultivate good habits and good qualities and reach good position in life. Thus, they should bring good name to their parents. You can earn good name not by money but by sterling character. No matter how wealthy a person is, his reputation will be tarnished if his character is not good. A wealthy person may be living in great mansions and enjoying the luxuries of life, but he will not have peace of mind and happiness. People crave to earn more and more money. But of what use is the money they earn? They waste all their money in worthless things. One has to utilise the money earned for undertaking good and beneficial activities for the society. One should conduct himself with good behaviour and good habits. Only then will one have real peace in life.



Embodiments of Love!

Today, everyone is literally crying for Peace. But, what is this Peace? It is in you itself. You are most sacred souls. Love is within you. Peace is within you. Unfortunately, today you are losing the peace and happiness that is within you and craving to earn something in the outside world. You want to earn great wealth and build big mansions. Devoid of good qualities, all the wealth that you earn becomes mere waste. Therefore, cultivate good qualities. There can be no greater wealth in the world than good qualities. The more you spend the good qualities, the more you accumulate. They will never exhaust.

Embodiments of Divine Atma!

Prepare yourself for sacrifices. You will find eternal bliss only in sacrifice. One who does not make sacrifice will not find peace anywhere. People of every country in this world pray for peace chanting 'Santhi, Santhi, Santhi' But do they get peace? No. They are engulfed in disappointment and despair. Therefore, one should develop faith in the truth that the eternal Lord is always with us. How can you obtain peace by ignoring the Divinity immanent in you and worshipping some unseen God?

Embodiments of Love!

Share your education and wealth with your fellow human beings. In fact, God is the real owner of the wealth acquired by you. The money you earn belongs to God's Trust. God Himself is the President of the Trust. Keep your trust on God and make proper utilisation of your money. Do not hanker after money and other forms of wealth. Constantly contemplate on God. You need not go to the forest or caves in the hills in search of God. He is always with you. Develop that faith and win over demonic qualities. Today, wherever you see, demonic qualities and violence are rampant. People do not hesitate to acquire wealth by sinful ways. What ultimately comes along with you at the time of leaving the body is the sin or merit you have accumulated and not the wealth you have acquired. Share at least a morsel of food you eat, with others. Help yourself and help others. This is the greatest sadhana (spiritual discipline). In fact, it is so easy to practise. Leaving aside this sadhana sadhana and forgetting the noble quality of love, you are going in search of peace in the wide world. Is it not foolishness on your part?

Embodiments of Love!

Develop the quality of love. Do not hate anybody. Develop the faith that whatever happens is for your own good. Whenever you encounter any difficulty or suffering, you alone are responsible for it. Respect others. That alone will protect you. On the other hand, if you insult somebody, that alone will punish you. Pleasure and pain are the products of your own making. The merit or sin committed by you will follow you like a shadow.

Man today is giving sermons to others. But he himself is not following his precepts. What values such teachings will have? All this is mere deception. Whatever teachings you may read or listen to can never help you if you do not put them into practice. Help your fellow human beings at least in a small measure. That alone will help you. Do not blame others for the difficulties you face. Do not ever abuse others. Love all. Treat all people as your brothers and sisters. Cultivate the feeling of brotherhood of man and fatherhood of God.

Embodiments of Love!

The Bharatiyas (Indians) are really fortunate. They have all facilities. But the quality of love is missing in them. If only they cultivate love, none can excel them. Therefore, enhance your honour and prestige by cultivating the quality of love. Follow the twin principles of sathya (truth) and dharma (righteousness) with love. Love alone can protect you.

Embodiments of Love!

Why are you given hands? Is it for feeding the mouth? No, no. You have to sing the glory of God with your tongue. The hands are given to you for the purpose of keeping the beat in accordance with the tune. Bharatiyas are those who worship God with bhava (feeling), raga (tune) and thala (beat). The syllable 'Bha' also stands for bhakti (devotion), 'Ra' for raga (tune) and 'Tha' for thyaga (sacrifice). You have to sing the glory of the Lord combining these three aspects. They alone are the real Bharatiyas. Every individual born in the country of Bharat is sanctified. We do not need heaven. Let's participate in seva (service) while chanting the divine name. There can be no greater wealth than this. Why should we suffer when we have such a great wealth with us? Consider all your education and the service you undertake as God's work. The Gitacharya has given a clarion call, Sarvadharman Parithyajya Mamekam Saranam Vraja (surrender unto Me all your activities and seek refuge in Me alone). Hence, dedicate all your activities to God. Only then will you attain peace in every possible way.

Bhagawan concluded the discourse with the bhajan, "Prema Muditha Manase Kaho".





Bhagawan concluded the discourse with the bhajan, "Prema Muditha Manase Kaho".