DIVINE VANI-3

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101. Dasara Divine Discourse on 21-10-2004

CULTIVATE GOOD HABITS TO COMMAND RESPECT IN SOCIETY

Some people keep awake the whole night of Sivarathri by playing cards. Can this be called Jagarana (vigil)? If one abstains from food on account of quarrel with one’s wife, can it be called fasting? The fisherman goes on watching intently to trap the fish in the net. Can this be termed meditation? (Telugu poem)

Embodiments of Love!

Several people play cards throughout the night in order to keep themselves awake on the holy night of Sivarathri. Once I enquired of an officer, “How did you spend your time last night?” He immediately got up and answered, “Swami! I spent the time very happily.” I further enquired what sort of happiness he derived. He replied, “Yesterday was Sivarathri. I played cards throughout the night and enjoyed very much. I did not have even a wink of sleep.” I questioned him again, “How can you derive the fruit of holy Sivarathri by spending your time playing cards throughout the night?” The officer gave a wonderful reply, “Since I was busy playing cards throughout the night and was therefore free from all worries; I thought I was happily spending time last night.” You might have observed the fishermen laying their nets in the pond and waiting with single-pointed attention hoping for some fish to fall in the net. Can you call their intense gaze as concentration? Can it lead to Mukti (liberation)? The understanding of concentration and meditation by man today can be compared to the fisherman’s single-pointed effort to catch fish.

Another example: A person was heavily drunk and had lost his body-consciousness. Can you call it Thanmayattwa (total identification with divinity)? One more example; a person quarrelled with his wife and abstained from food. Can you say he was on a ritual fast? Some people resort to such acts of Thanmayattwa and concentration and live in a fool’s paradise. One can imagine as to what extent man has degenerated himself taking to bad ways and distortions! Did you ever analyse the nature of the human body? It consists of sweat, urine, excreta, bad odour, flesh and blood. It is prone to decay and death ultimately. Every second, only bad matter and bad odour are generated in the body. What is there to be proud of such a decaying body? One has to realise the true nature of such an evanescent human body and make the best use of it. Do you know why God has given us the human body? Is it for indulging in evil acts and wasting the precious life? No, no. The body is given to us so that man should strive to attain Divinity; not for misusing it. You should realise for yourself to what sacred purposes it is to be used. From the time one gets up from the bed till he goes to bed in the night, man’s time is spent in worldly pursuits. He does not have time to think of God even before he goes to bed.

The human body is a sacred instrument given by God and it has to be sanctified by contemplating on God at least one or two times a day. What kind of activities are to be undertaken so that man may derive happiness and joy? The most appropriate answer to this question would be that his senses should be engaged in constant contemplation of God. The eyes must always see good things. The ears must be engaged in hearing good things. The tongue must be made to speak always sweet and noble words. It should chant the divine name. Thus, every limb of the body must be put to proper use and sanctified.

Dear students!

Normally, I do not like to speak about My physical self. However, I am revealing certain aspects of My daily routine with the hope that they will serve as guidelines for you. I wake up four times during night. Usually I get up from bed at 12 hours at midnight, brush My teeth and also clean the tongue and mouth thoroughly. Again, I repeat the process at 1.30 a.m., 3 a.m. and 4.30 a.m. The boys who sleep in My room to attend to My needs during the night may find it inconvenient sometimes as their sleep is disturbed. However, I strictly adhere to this routine so that My tongue, mouth and teeth are always clean. I feel happy only when My tongue and mouth are clean. A clean tongue helps in maintaining purity of body and mind. You might have observed Me talking to a number of people, everyday. I will spend even 20 minutes instead of 10 minutes talking to those who keep a clean tongue and whose mouth does not emit bad odour. On the other hand, I do not talk to those with bad odour even for two minutes. During our sleep, bacteria get generated and they stick to our tongue and teeth on all sides of the mouth. They have to be removed by proper brushing of the teeth and a thorough cleaning of the tongue and mouth. Only then can we be healthy and happy. Apart from physical cleaning, our tongue must be engaged in speaking sacred and pure words. Following this principle, I am putting My tongue to proper use by engaging Myself in sacred activities. It is only after I clean My body properly, I come out of My chamber. By the time I come out of My room, a boy looking after the kitchen brings the ragi gruel. I partake of the gruel and feel very happy and energetic. Except this ragi gruel, I do not take any other item during early morning. I do not have breakfast. After taking the gruel, I once again clean my mouth. Then, I drink some fresh water and come down. Several people may be wondering as to what I have for My breakfast. Nothing; I have no taste for snacks at all! A glass of cool water is all that I like to have. Thereafter, I spend some time happily with devotees, giving darshan and talking to some; I also give interviews to selected people. I am always pure in body and mind. My words are pure, My thoughts are pure and My acts are pure and sacred.

One important aspect to be borne in mind by people who are called for interview. While I enter the interview room with such a pure and sacred body, I notice that some people sitting there in the group, are in the habit of smoking. Please be cautioned that I do not allow people smoking. I strongly disapprove the habit of smoking. Immediately I pick up such people and ask them to go out. The wife of a smoker may plead with Me, “Swami! He is my husband; if you send him out, what is there for me to represent to you?” I firmly reply, “Whether it is husband or son, whoever he may be, one should not enter My room with bad odour and the smell of cigarette. You tell him to go out, clean his mouth and come back. Then I shall speak to him.” Such people will go out immediately, clean themselves and come back in ten minutes. Then I speak to them endearingly. Several people try to cover the bad odour emanating from their body, by using some perfume. There is a small story in the puranas, which is relevant in this context. Goddess Parvati did great penance hoping to marry Lord Easwara. She tried all sorts of methods to entice Easwara, i.e., by putting on good dress, applying perfume, etc. But, Easwara did not yield to her wishes. Then, she sought the help of Manmatha (cupid) to wean Easwara to her side. Even then, Easwara did not budge an inch. On the contrary, he took Manmatha to task for trying to help Parvati. Immediately, Parvati realised her fault and regained her poise. She meditated on the Divine form of Lord Easwara which is Nitya (eternal), Suddha (unsullied), Buddha (enlightened), Mukta (liberated), Nirmala Swarupinam (embodiment of purity). She came back to her normal, natural and pure self. Easwara then turned His vision towards her and accepted her. They were married on an auspicious occasion with the consent of her parents.

A human being should always be natural and pure. He should not be artificial, wearing gaudy dress and applying perfumes and colours. This may be necessary to a certain extent. But, of what use is it to apply perfumes when the body is full of bad odour? My body always emits natural effulgence and divine fragrance, because I never entertain bad thoughts. “A sound mind in a sound body” is the principle I follow. In order to teach such good habits to others, I always maintain My body and mind in a pure and unsullied condition. Sometimes, I wake up the boy sleeping in my room at 12 hours at midnight and again at 1 a.m. This may cause some inconvenience to the boys. They may feel a little inconvenience during that particular moment, but soon forget the same and attend to Swami’s needs. Thus, the body must always be kept in a clean and fit condition, since it is a sacred instrument provided by God. Since I give utmost importance for cleanliness of the body, others would also like to emulate Me. By following My good habits and moving along with Me, people command respect in society.

Markandeya was a great devotee of Lord Easwara. But, he had a short span of 16 years of life. Like any other boy of his age, he used to spend a lot of time in play. He was very happy in the company of other boys, unaware of his impending death. When his parents realised that he would be completing 16 years shortly, they felt very sad that he was nearing his end. They were immersed in sorrow and started shedding tears. Markandeya enquired of his parents, “Why are you crying?” Realising the futility of concealing the information from their son any longer, they replied, “Son! Our relationship with your mortal body ends today. Lord Easwara granted you a short span of life of 16 years, which will come to an end today.” Markandeya felt very much disappointed since he spent all his time till then in play, in the company of other boys. Realising that he had still a few more minutes of time, he took bath and went to the temple of Easwara. There he started chanting the Divine name of Easwara with a pure tongue. Meanwhile, it was time for sunrise. Easwara and Parvati were discussing among themselves the impending death of Markendeya. Parvati enquired from Easwara, “Swami! Markandeya’s life is fast coming to an end. Why delay in saving his life? His parents are immersed in great sorrow.” Easwara then suggested that Parvati should enter the scene and play her role in prolonging the life of Markandeya. Parvati then lifted the child and made him to sit on her lap. Markandeya had the good fortune of sitting on the lap of the Divine Mother, which entitled him to win the grace of Lord Easwara. Easwara came there and blessed Markandeya that he shall be a chiranjeevi. Thus, he earned the grace of both the Divine Mother and Father. In the meantime, Markandeya’s parents arrived there to see what had happened to their son. Their joy knew no bounds when they found their son hale and healthy. They expressed their happiness thus: “Son! It is only due to your devotion and complete surrender to Lord Easwara that you are able to overcome death and earn the Divine grace for becoming a chiranjeevi. You protected yourself, we could not do anything in this regard.” God does not need anything from the devotee, except devotion and complete surrender. He expects from a devotee a sacred body, sacred words, sacred vision and selfless activity. When a devotee offers these things, God gives Himself up to that devotee. One’s body, mind and actions should always be pure, so that God is attracted towards him. It is not by the different forms of worship or other rituals that God’s grace can be obtained. Even the mother expects the child to cultivate a pure heart. Frequently, I recite the following poem to remind man of the futility of struggling for merely filling one’s belly:

Oh! Man! You struggle hard for the sake of filling your belly, you acquire many forms of knowledge in 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)

I always sanctify My time by engaging Myself in activities beneficial to the society. Right from My childhood, I cultivated Spartan habits and followed strict regimen. This I had already explained in a poem on an earlier occasion thus:

Get up early in the morning at the crowing of the cock,

Have a bath after your morning ablutions,

Wear a proper dress,

Eat properly and moderately,

Go to school and study diligently,

Earn a good name,

Don’t move out when it is raining,

And never go near the ditches,

Take part in games,

Run and play.

If you abide by all these rules

You will have both health and wealth. (Telugu poem)

In those days, people were not used to snacks. The cooked rice was soaked in buttermilk on the previous night and taken as breakfast next morning with a little salt.

Several boys keep their study tables very unorganised, with the books strewn all over. They make it clumsy and dirty. But, I used to keep my books always neat and tidy. Whatever I am relating today is based on My personal experience only.

In those days, very few boys were in a position to purchase new books when they were promoted to a higher class. Every four or five years, the textbooks were changed. I always used to keep My books neat. Hence, boys studying in the lower standard and promoted to the higher standard at the end of the academic year used to take My books. During a particular year, a poor boy approached Me and asked for My books. I advised him to go and have a bath in the Chitravathi river and then come. He did accordingly. Then, I showed My books to him. In those days there was high syllabus even for lower classes, like history, geography, civics, etc. On seeing My books, he commented, “Raju! you do not seem to have touched your books even once. They appear brand new.” The cost of My books totalled to twelve rupees, but the poor boy was not in a position to pay even that much. Then I told him “My dear! I am selected for the scout camp by our teacher. I have to purchase khaki dress and shoes. Besides, there are some other items of expenditure. I don’t have money to incur that expenditure. Nor I would like to ask My parents. What I need at the moment is five rupees. Therefore, pay Me five rupees and take away the books.” The boy felt very happy. He immediately paid the amount. In those days, currency notes were very rare. Therefore, he brought the entire amount in small coins packed in a piece of cloth. It was tied in an old cloth, which gave way unable to bear the weight of the coins. The coins were strewn all over the room, making a big sound. On hearing the sound, the lady of the house came there and enquired, “Where did you get all this money? Did you steal from my trunk?” So saying, she slapped Me. The poor boy standing there explained to her, “Mother! I gave those coins to Raju towards the cost of his books which I purchased from him.” She did not believe his words and took away the entire money. The next day all My classmates were going to Cuddapah for participating in the scout camp. I was studying in Kamalapuram, when this incident happened. I told My teacher that I would start the next morning and join the group there. Early in the morning I set out on My journey by walk. I walked a long distance and before I could join My colleagues, they had left for their breakfast. As for Myself, I did not have even a paisa in My pocket. What do I eat for My breakfast? I thought I would manage somehow without eating anything. I purposely avoided My classmates then, lest they may question Me whether I had breakfast. They were searching for Me. There was a masonry tank nearby in which water was stored for cleaning the cows and buffaloes. I was feeling very tired, hungry and thirsty, having walked all the way. But, I could not help. I washed My face with that dirty water and drank some. Then, I noticed that someone had left behind a packet of beedies (country cigarette) and a one anna coin on the tank there. The beedies were, of course, of no use to Me. Therefore, I threw them away. I took the one anna coin and converted it into four small coins (botlu or kanis). Four kanis in those days were equivalent to one anna. As I was returning, I noticed a person sitting on the roadside playing cards spread over a cloth and inviting passersby to bet on a particular card. He would offer double the amount, if we were able to win. No doubt, this was a sort of gambling, which I would advise everyone to refrain from. But, I was completely helpless at that time. I therefore put one coin on different cards. Every time, I was winning the bet and getting double the amount I invested. Thus, I played the game till I could make sixteen Annas (one rupee). Then I thought that was the end of the game and returned with the money already earned. Since I was feeling hungry, I purchased three dosas with one bottu. In those days dosas were available at the rate of one for a dammidi (1/3rd of a bottu). Thus, I managed with two bottus a day eating dosas. I joined the scout duty along with My friends. During night, I kept the bundle of coins under My head and slept on the sandy floor. Since I was very much tired, I was lost in sound sleep. Meanwhile, someone noticed the bundle under My head and took them away when I turned to the other side. When I woke up the next day, I noticed that the cloth bundles containing money were stolen away by somebody. I had no money to buy even one dosa. My classmates were very much dejected at My plight. They were in fact crying. They pleaded with me to eat at least one dosa, which they would buy for Me. But, I flatly refused. I told them that I was not hungry, since I did not like to avail Myself of others’ help. Especially, I did not wish to touch others’ money. So, I left that place.

Another incident happened during My childhood. Once My hand was swollen and it was giving Me a lot of pain. I did not reveal it to anybody. I tied a bandage Myself with a wet cloth. The next day, Seshama Raju’s (Swami’s elder brother) son died. He gave a telegram to Venkama Raju (Swami’s father). Venkama Raju immediately rushed to see Seshama Raju. The Griham Abbayi (Venkama Raju) started from Puttaparthi and reached Bukkapatnam, and from there to Kamalapuram. By the time he reached Seshama Raju’s house, all in the family was immersed in sorrow over the death of his son. I too had to pretend to be sorrowful, since I was beyond sorrow and joy. The Griham Abbayi enquired from Me, why I was having a bandage on My forearm. I tried to explain away very casually as if nothing had happened. I told him there was a slight pain in the joint and therefore I put the arm in bandage. There was a lady belonging to the Vysya community in the neighbouring house, who used to make her living by preparing dosas and selling them.

She tried to reason with Griham Abbayi, saying, “What! Venkama Raju! I know you are sufficiently well-off so as to get Raju educated at your place. Why should you put him to so much trouble by keeping him under the care of his elder brother at such a distant place? You do not know how much the boy is suffering here. He has to fetch drinking water from a distant place carrying two big pitchers with the help of a Kavadi on his shoulders, daily.” Thus, she narrated several incidents where I had to undergo physical strain and suffering. Griham Abbayi was deeply moved on hearing My plight and immediately called me and said, “My dear son! You start immediately and come along with me. Let us go back to Puttaparthi.” All the family members loved Me. He therefore, lamented, “I never beat you till date. You are undergoing so much suffering here.” I tried to console him by saying, “No, No. What these people say is not true. No one here is putting Me to any trouble at all! If I come away with you now, there will be none to help in the domestic chores here. It is not proper for you to take Me away from this place right now. You may go and I will follow you later at an appropriate time.” Thus, I never revealed the fact that the pain in My arm was due to the injuries inflicted on Me in Seshama Raju’s house. I never had the habit of complaining against elders. I always tried to protect the dignity and honour of the family.

In those days, I was struggling very much due to paucity of funds for My education. Often times I had to manage with empty pockets. In the same village, there used to be a businessman by name Kotte Subbanna. He used to run a provision shop in which some Ayurvedic medicines were also sold. Once, a new Ayurvedic medicine by name “Bala Bhaskara” was put up for sale in his shop. It was a new and very efficacious medicine. It could fetch him a good profit if popularised. He, therefore, requested Me to shoulder the responsibility of making propaganda for this new medicine. I agreed to his request, but asked for some more information about the medicine. Then I composed a song about the efficacy of the medicine and gathered a few children of My age to go round the nearby villages with placards in their hands and singing the song composed by Me. I led the team of boys. The song ran as follows:

There it is! There it is! Oh, children! come, come!

There is the medicine Bala Bhaskara;

Be it an upset stomach or a swollen leg;

Be it a joint pain or flatulence;

Be it any ailment, known or unknown;

Take this Bala Bhaskara for an instant cure!

If you wish to know where it is available,

There is the shop of Kotte Subbanna;

It is in that shop that you can pick it up.

Come here boys! come here!

It is an excellent tonic

Prepared by the famous physician Gopalacharya himself,

Come here boys! come here! (Telugu song)

By the time we completed our propaganda tour of the nearby villages, all the stock of medicines in Subbanna’s shop was exhausted. He felt very happy. Then he called Me and expressed his happiness saying, “My dear Raju! Due to your efforts, all the stock of medicines in my shop was sold out in no time. I am grateful to you.”

When Griham Abbayi requested Me to follow him to Puttaparthi, I told him that I could not go with him since Seshama Raju’s family was in a sorrowful state due to the loss of their son. “It is not proper for Me to leave them at this juncture. You please go to Puttaparthi. Later, I will join you, I said.” Griham Abbayi shed tears of joy for My sense of responsibility and noble feelings. He said, “Dear son! I had never come across small children explaining such noble thoughts to elders. How noble and great are your qualities! You are teaching me such great things. How sweet and wise your words are! Your nobility alone will protect you.” Saying thus, he left for Puttaparthi. However, ever since he reached Puttaparthi, he used to send messages daily requesting Me to go over there. He was remembering all those complaints made to him by our Vysya neighbour about My difficult life in Kamalapuram and was feeling very sorry for My plight. Meanwhile, a few more days passed. I had to sit for My examinations as well. So, I thought it would not be wise to get back to Puttaparthi at this juncture without attending the examinations. Moreover, I had My friends to be taken care of in the examinations.

We three were friends – Ramesh Suresh and Myself. We sat on the same bench in our classroom. Ramesh and Suresh used to sit on either side of Me. They were dull in education. I told them, “I will write the answer for the questions on your answer books. You just sit silently in the examination hall.”

All the three of us went into the examination hall. Our roll numbers were quite afar from one another. Therefore, we had to sit at different places in the examination hall. There was no chance at all for us to communicate with each other. My friends were very unhappy and dejected. I conceived a plan to help them. First of all, I finished writing My answer sheets within no time. Then I took additional sheets and wrote the answers for the questions for both Ramesh and Suresh, in their own handwriting. Then, I kept all the three answer sheets on the table of the examiner. The result of our examination was announced on the third day. In those days, the examination results were announced soon after the examination; not like the present day when it takes months together to announce the results. All the three of us passed in 1st class. Whatever answers were there in My answer sheets, the same were found in the answer sheets of the other two boys as well. But, none could accuse us of copying, since our roll numbers were very different and our seats distant from each other. Mine was number 6, whereas another boy’s was 108. The third boy’s roll number was still far. However, our teacher Mahboob Khan realised that I helped the other boys to perform well in the examinations. But he did not reveal that news to anyone. While we were coming out of the classroom, the teachers followed us and congratulated us for securing first class in the examination. They shed tears of joy. Thus, I made everyone including my teachers and classmates happy and returned to Puttaparthi. My friends Ramesh and Suresh expressed their wish to accompany Me to Puttaparthi. They, in fact, insisted on following Me. I advised them that, they could join Me if they so wished, but they had to leave Me in Puttaparthi and get back to their places. I used to advise, guide and correct My fellow students during My stay in the school. Never did I waste My time in the school. I always endeavoured to sanctify it. I used to talk sweetly and softly with everyone.

By the time I reached Puttaparthi, people could notice that a strange ailment had taken over Me. I used to talk something to Myself. People around Me thought that I was mad. Several people offered several suggestions to get Me cured of this strange disease. At the end, all people unanimously decided that I should be taken to a Bhootha Vaidya (witch doctor) for curing Me of an alleged possession by a demon. That sorcerer got My hair shaven off and inflicted two deep cuts on My scalp in the form of an X. Then he poured lime juice on the bleeding cuts. It gave Me great pain and an unbearable burning sensation. But, I did not give vent to My feelings and silently suffered all this torture. In fact, I was laughing at his foolish treatment. Then, he decided to put Me to more suffering. He brought Kalikam (a sort of poisonous substance) and put it in My eyes. Thus, he put Me to several kinds of torture. Venkamma (Swami’s elder sister) who accompanied Me to this sorcerer’s place could not bear to see Me undergoing this suffering. She therefore ran to Griham Abbayi and pleaded with him, “Father! You don’t put Sathya to this inhuman treatment. This man is inflicting great pain and injury on the boy. Enough of torture you take him away immediately to Puttaparthi.” I was brought back to Puttaparthi. From then on, I underwent occasional bouts of a “strange ailment”. On Thursdays, I used to answer some questions and enquiries of people in the name of Baba. Ever since that sorcerer shaved off My hair and put two deep cuts on My scalp, till today I did not have a haircut. Some people think that I trim My hair. No, never. My hair grows naturally. I am having this type of hairstyle for the last 70 years. The ensuing birthday is My 79th birthday. Till today, I did not suffer from any disease. My teeth and eyesight are intact. Till a few years ago, those accompanying Me were, in fact, running to catch up with Me. I can still walk very fast, but the doctors put a condition that I should not. The reason being that I was operated sometime ago when I had a fall on the floor. They put a steel rod joining My hipbone and put sutures over it. That is why I was advised against My walking fast. Nevertheless, I have been able to attend to My daily routine. I do not give up any item of My daily activities. I am giving interviews to visitors. I am moving along the Darshan lines, giving Darshan to devotees. There is absolutely no hindrance to My daily activities. I have already spoken so long. There is a lot more to speak, if I wish. I have been maintaining My body all these years in a perfect shape. It is possible that I might have caused some trouble to some people in the process. But, they do not mind. They do service to Me, even though I dissuade them.

Today is Durgashtami day. Tomorrow and day after are Mahanavami and Vijayadasami festivals. I have a lot of work to do. I have to talk to the Purohits (priests) conducting the Yajna. Besides, there are other important matters to be attended to. After finishing My work, I will again talk to you. Did I not tell you that students are My property? I care so much for them. If they are happy, I will also be happy. I have a piece of advice to you. Never give up Namasmarama. Do constant Namasmarana wherever you are.

(Bhagawan concluded His Discourse with the Bhajan, “Hari Bhajana Bina …”)

102. Dasara Divine Discourse on 20-10-2004

WHO ARE YOU? I AM I

Peace has become extinct

Truth has become scarce

Mind is the cause for both

Oh! Valiant sons of Bharat! Listen! (Telugu poem)

Embodiments of Love!

Bharatiya does not mean a person born in the country of Bharat alone. The culture of Bharat is the mother. The country of Bharat is the father. Bharatiya is one who has faith in and lives under the care of these parents. Several noble souls have taken birth in Bharat, followed the great culture of this country and set examples to others. Sri Sankaracharya is one such great personality who spread the culture of Bharat throughout the length and breadth of the country and earned eternal fame. Adi Sankara taught the philosophy of Advaita. Three centuries after him came Sri Ramanujacharya who advocated the Visishtadvaita system of philosophy which emphasised Bhakti (devotion) and Prapatthi (surrender) to God. Two centuries afterSriRamanujacharya, Sri Madhwacharya arrived on the scene and propagated the Dvaita system of philosophy emphasising the devotional path to the people vacillating between several systems of philosophy. However, the fundamental principle underlying all the three schools of philosophy is one and the same, that is, Atma Tattwa (Atmic principle).

The Advaita (non-dualistic) philosophy of Sri Sankaracharya advocates the oneness of Jiva (individual soul) and Brahman (cosmic soul). The Visishtadvaita philosophy of Sri Ramanujacharya presupposes that Jiva and Brahman are different. Sri Madhwacharya explained that there are, in fact, three concepts, namely, Dehatma Bhava (body consciousness), Jivatma Bhava (individualised form of God) and Paramatma Bhava (the universalised soul or the Supreme self). Nobody need hold on to a particular school of thought or deride the others. The question of adhering to a particular school of philosophy depends upon the mental frame work of the individual. Sri Sankaracharya emphasised that though the cloth is of different varieties, the thread underlying the cloth is one and the same. “The cloth is made of a number of threads woven together”, explained Sri Ramanujacharya. One has to recognise the underlying principle behind the three schools of philosophy, namely, the Advaita, the Visishtadvaita and the Dvaita,

Ornaments are many, gold is one;

colours of the cows are many, milk is one;

Beings are many, the Indweller is one;

Nationalities are many, humanness is one.

Adi Sankara had a short life span of 32 years. Though the philosophy advocated by Sri Sankaracharya, Sri Ramanujacharya and Sri Madhwacharya acquired different names, namely, Advaita, Visishtadvaita and Dvaita, the underlying nature of the three types is one, that is Atma Tattwa. The same can be explained with the example of gold forming the base for ornaments with different names and forms. Not realising the fundamental unity between the three schools of philosophy, people adhering to the different schools of philosophy derided one another which gave scope for a number of misconceptions in the world about the country of Bharat. In order to explain the truth Ekatma Sarva Bhutantaratma (one Atma dwells in all beings), Adi Sankara gave some examples. He took out an ornament and explained that the metal with which the ornament was made was gold, thus going into the fundamental principle. The same principle was explained in a different way by Sri Ramanujacharya who emphasised that though gold forms the basis for the ornament, since it has assumed the form of a chain, it should be termed as a gold chain. Sri Sankaracharya while advocating the Advaita philosophy quoted the Vedic dictum Ekameva Adviteeyam Brahma (God is one without a second). Sri Ramanujacharya, however, did not agree with this view. His viewpoint was how could there be a Prathibimba (image) without a Bimba (object). He thus explained the oneness of the object and the image, which he termed as Visishtadvaita (qualified non-dualism). Another example given in this context was the sugarcane juice. The juice is extracted from different varieties of sugarcane and a number of sweetmeats are made out of the juice. Though the juice is one, it has now assumed different forms. While Sri Sankaracharya emphasised the oneness of the sweet juice and the sugarcane, Sri Ramanujacharya dwelt upon the different forms the juice has assumed. Thus, ever since the times of the three great Acharyas till today, there are a number of arguments and counter arguments between the three schools of philosophy. But, present day students do not have faith in any of these three schools of philosophy. They just brush aside these systems as a figment of imagination. Sugar made out of the sugarcane juice is the main ingredient for making various sweets. The sugar is sweet. Similarly, Brahman is the source and sustenance for the entire universe. Wherever you see, you will find manifestation of the Divine (Brahman) in ever so many forms. The forms change and are illusory in nature. Brahman alone is the eternal, changeless principle. That is why Sri Sankaracharya has declared Brahma Sathyam Jagat Mithya (Brahman alone is real, the world is illusory). All the three great Acharyas, namely, Sri Sankaracharya, Sri Ramanujacharya and Sri Madhwacharya propagated the same principle, that is Atma Tattwa. The Upanishads declare that the entire universe is permeated by the same Atmic principle. That truth is contained in the Upanishadic dicta Ekatma Sarva Bhutantaratma (one Atma dwells in all beings), Easwarah Sarva Bhutanam (God is the Indweller of all beings) and Isavasyam Idam Sarvam (the entire universe is permeated by God). The rain, the water that flows into the river and the sand in the river that sustains it, all are one and only one. Everything is Brahman. Since every object in this universe is Brahman, nothing can be disregarded or ignored. This principle of Brahman is called “Divine” in the English language. But, many ignorant or cynical persons take it as “deep wine” and take to imbibing intoxicating substances. Disregarding such perversion, we have to realise that the sweetness underlying Divinity is one only. This oneness in the great culture of Bharat has been propagated since ancient times. In keeping with this great tradition, consider everyone, whether it is an ant or an animal or a human being, as verily Brahman. Some people may have a doubt in this context whether a human being and an animal can be equated. Yes, so far as the Atmic principle is concerned. However, the behavioural pattern of the animal is different from that of the human being. Considering this aspect, one may conclude that they are different but the underlying Jiva Tattwa is one and the same. On the basis of this Jiva Tattwa, you cannot differentiate at all between the living beings. Thus, Sarvam Brahmamayam Jagat (the entire universe is permeated by Brahman). This truth can be explained by a simple example. This is a white cloth and that is a saffron cloth. Though the colours are different, the cloth is one. The cloth may be of different colours and put to different uses, but the cloth is only one and the same. The cloth is the source. One has to recognise the oneness of the source. Once you recognise the source, all differences vanish in no time. Unfortunately, today, we are giving importance to the names and forms, forgetting the basis and source for all names and forms. As a result, we are undergoing innumerable difficulties and sorrows.

Adi Sankara has explained the Advaitic principle beautifully in his famous Bhaja Govindam song thus:

Bhaja Govindam, Bhaja Govindam

Govindam Bhaja Moodha Mathe

Samprapthe Sannihithe Kale

Nahi Nahi Rakshati Dukrun Karane.

(Oh foolish man, chant the name of Govinda, the rules of grammar will not come to your rescue when the end approaches.)

If the end approaches, nothing can save you except the Divine Name. Therefore, chant the Divine Name. Thus, Sri Sankaracharya exhorted, awakened and taught the world.

Further explaining the sorrows and difficulties faced by man in his life’s sojourn in this objective world and the need to seek refuge in the Divine grace, Sri Sankaracharya composed the following stanza:

Punarapi Jananam Punarapi Maranam

Punarapi Janani Jathare Sayanam

Iha Samsare Bahu Dustare

Kripayapare Pahi Murare.

(Oh Lord! I am caught up in this cycle of birth and death time and again; I am experiencing the agony of staying in the mother’s womb. It is very difficult to cross this ocean of worldly life. Please take me across this ocean and grant me liberation.)

One has to analyse, in this context, as to what is it that is subject to birth and death again and again. The Deha (body) undergoes this cycle of birth and death, but the Atma is eternal. As long as the Atma remains in the body as the Indweller, there will be consciousness in the body. The moment the Atma leaves the body, it becomes jada (inert). This phenomenon is called death. Unable to realise this truth, man subjects himself to sorrow. Birth and death are only for the outer form, not for the Atma. A short story in this context. There was once a philospher-son, who was learning Vedas. By the time he completed his Vedic learning, his mother completed forty years of life. She left her mortal body in her 40th year. The son was deeply immersed in sorrow. Then, his guru called him and tried to counsel him explaining, “Whom do you consider as your mother? The body? No, this is not your mother. You are wailing over a dead body which your mother has left. In fact, the body is right before you. Why should you have to weep? The Chaitanya Shakti (power of consciousness) has left the body. It means that Chaitanya Shakti represents your father and mother, not the forms and attachments to those forms. No doubt, it is true that relationship does exist with the physical form for sometime. But, thereafter the body ceases to exist. When you realise the truth, you will understand the futility of the relationship with the physical body”. The objects may be different, but the source and sustenance for the objects is only one. The same source assumes different names and forms. One should not develop dependence on the names and forms, which are subject to change. This simple truth based on the Mooladhara Tattwa has been explained by different people in different ways as high sounding philosophy. This has given scope to some misconceptions to a certain extent. In fact, the underlying principle behind the Advaita philosophy of Sri Sankaracharya and Visishtadvaita philosophy of Sri Ramanujacharya is one and the same.

Embodiments of Love! Students!

Today, we are taking very lightly such a great and noble philosophy. Sri Sankaracharya’s Philosophy is profound in nature and explains the great truth in simple and beautiful poetry. Any amount of explanation will be insufficient to bring out the underlying philosophy in full measure. Sri Sankaracharya has written a great commentary (bhashya) on Bhagavad Gita also. In his commentary on Gita, Adi Sankara has explained that there is Advaita in Dvaita and Dvaita in Advaita. Further, the Visishtadvaita contains both Advaita and Dvaita concepts as well. All the three schools of philosophy, therefore lead to the same goal and their underlying meaning is Brahma Sathyam Jaganmithya(Brahman alone is the truth and the world is illusory). The whole world appears as containing innumerable names and forms. One should not be enmeshed with these names and forms. It is only when the names and forms are set aside and the underlying source is identified that it is possible to recognise the truth. And that truth is Tattwamasi (That Thou Art). That is Prajnanam Brahma (constant integrated awareness is Brahman). That awareness is Ayam Atma Brahma (This Self is Brahman). When you analyse the Mahavakya Tattwamasi, it will lead you to the awareness “I am That” and “That I am”. When you are able to realise this truth, you will find that the principle “I” underlies everything in the universe as the principle of unity. We have to recognise that “I” principle which is universal. It is a futile exercise to get into arguments and counter-arguments over this matter and waste one’s time. The only aspect you have to realise is “I am Brahman”. When somebody questions you who you are, the proper answer would be “I am I”, “I am the word, I am the form and I am the name”. This “I” represents and explains everything. When somebody questions who you are, do not reply by quoting your name. The name represents the name given to the body. You are not the body. Hence reply “I am I”. Everyone should strive to attain that state of unity.

The Vedantic concepts lead to endless arguments and counter-arguments. Do not enter into them. Always be under the awareness “I am I”. This “I” principle is beyond names and forms. It represents Brahma Tattwa, which is one without a second entity.

When somebody enquires who you are, you reply, “I am I.” Similarly, when you enquire somebody who he is, his reply would be “I am I.” Thus all are “I am I.” It is only when you think “I am not I” that there will be several questions.

Dear students!

You have to finally make a firm resolve “I am I.” You should not identify yourself with the body and say, “I am a child”, “I am a young man”, “I am an old man”, etc. These differences relate to the age factor. What is the next stage after old age? Nobody knows. But, “I” principle exists in the child, youth and old age. This is the fundamental and changeless principle. Therefore, when somebody enquires who you are, you reply, “I am I.” If he is unable to understand this principle, do not bother; you hold on to your principle. It is only when you develop such firm conviction that you will be able to achieve anything in life. The philosophical concepts can be explained in ever so many ways. They contain several meanings.

On the 20th October 1940, I made a declaration for the first time revealing my true identity thus:

Know that I am Sai in reality,

Cast off your worldly relationships,

Give up your efforts to restrain Me,

The worldly attachments can no longer bind Me,

None, however great he may be, can hold Me. (Telugu poem)

Since I made this declaration on the 20th October, people celebrate this day in a big way. We should not give too much importance to the dates and try to celebrate them as birthday, Avatar Declaration Day, etc. Once Rukmini, the consort of Lord Krishna invited Him to her palace saying, “Swami! Today is my birthday. Please come for dinner.” Sathyabhama, another consort of Krishna who was present on that occasion was angry. She argued, “If today is your birthday, this is also the day on which I entered into the in-laws’ house. Krishna tied the nuptial knot round my neck on this day. Therefore, He should visit my house only, on this day.” Thus, the day turned out to be a day of quarrel between the two consorts. Lord Krishna, however was prepared for visiting both the houses. He does not differentiate between them. Thus, one has to recognise the principle of unity in Divinity.

103. Dasara Divine Discourse on 19-10-2004

Obey the Divine Command with total Faith

Everyone has to face the consequences of one’s own Karma. Who has made the bats to hang from the branches of a tree with their heads downwards? It is their fate. Likewise, nobody can escape from the consequences of Karma. (Telugu Poem)

Students!

Karma (destiny) has neither feet nor eyes nor mouth. But, man cannot escape from it. That is why our ancients declared that one cannot escape the consequences of one’s own actions. Karma does not conform to your likes and dislikes. Something happens not merely because of your desire and similarly something is not averted because you do not desire it. Karma follows its own course. Your thoughts and desires cause the illusion that things happen because of your will.

The world is full of mystery and wonder. It is nothing but a manifestation of the five elements. It undergoes changes with the passage of time. Likewise, the physical body which is also made up of five elements is subject to changes. Only the Indweller is permanent.

Embodiments of Love!

It is not possible for anybody to go against the Will of God. The ways of God are beyond the grasp of human understanding. God can make things appear which do not exist in reality. Likewise, what appears to the eye may vanish in a trice by God’s Will. How can anybody understand such mysterious happenings? It is not possible for anybody to protect the physical body for ever. It remains so long as it is destined to be. Once its purpose is served, the body will perish. Nobody has any control over death. It is decided at the time of birth itself. The date of departure is written on the body when it comes into the world. It is not possible for man to comprehend the way the universe functions. Each person’s experience is unique. How is it that the bat hangs from the branch of a tree with its head downwards? Nobody can explain this phenomenon. Who is responsible for such wonders and mysteries that we witness in this world? What each one has to do, when, where and how, all is predestined. Man has no control over it. Everything happens according to Divine Will and His command. It is the primary duty of man to obey the Divine command implicitly. Everything in this world, visible or imperceptible happens according to Divine Will. One need not pay heed to what others say when it comes to obeying God’s command. You have to obey the divine command in letter and spirit without adding any commas and full stops by yourself. Unfortunately, today nobody is making any effort to understand the mysteries of God’s creation. Scientists boast of having unravelled the mysteries of creation, but they do not have true experience of the reality behind the phenomena. Each and every activity that takes place in this universe is full of wonder. When you observe carefully you will be able to perceive the unseen hand of God at work.

Embodiments of Love!

One should obey the divine command with total faith and without any disputation pro and contra. Markandeya was born as the result of a boon granted by Easwara to his parents. Easwara asked his parents whether they wanted a virtuous son with a short life-span or a son not so virtuous but who would live long. The parents opted for a virtuous son. Accordingly, Markandeya was born. He was one of good thought, good behaviour and good conduct. Easwara informed his parents that he would live only for sixteen years. Nevertheless, the parents were overjoyed as they had been blessed with a virtuous son. Years rolled by and Markandeya entered his sixteenth year. Remembering the words of Easwara, his parents became grief-stricken. His mother would often shed tears thinking of the imminent death of her son. Markandeya could not understand the cause of her grief and wondered why she was shedding tears. One day, he found his parents steeped in sorrow. On enquiry, they revealed that his death was imminent as per the Divine Will and that was the cause of their sorrow. Markandeya felt sorry that Easwara’s Will was not revealed to him till then because of which he had wasted the precious time allotted to him. He did not want to waste time any longer. He had an early bath, went to the temple of Easwara and started chanting the sacred Siva Panchakshari Mantra,Namah Sivaya, with all sincerity and devotion. He lost himself in the contemplation of Easwara. He did not expect any reward for his prayers. He considered it as his primary duty to contemplate on God. The following day was supposed to be the last day of his earthly sojourn. Hence, he remained in the temple. As he had not returned home, His parents went to the temple and sat at its entrance. They were shedding tears thinking of the impending end of Markandeya’s life. As willed by the Lord, Markandeya left his mortal coil the moment he completed his sixteenth year. His parents were in a sea of sorrow. As Markandeya left his mortal body in the external world, his Jiva (soul) reached Lord Siva in the divine world. The Lord was immensely pleased with the sincere devotion of Markandeya. He said, “Markandeya! Today marks the completion of your sixteenth year. You have come to Me in a happy frame of mind. You have bowed down to My Will with implicit faith and obedience. I am pleased with your devotion.” As Easwara was speaking to Markandeya in this manner, Mother Parvati intervened and said, “Oh Lord! Why don’t You send him back to his parents as he has obeyed Your command implicitly.” Easwara wanted Parvati also to accompany Him. Together they infused life into the body of Markandeya. The parents’ joy knew no bounds when they noticed some movement in Markandeya’s body. He got up and said, “My dear mother and father, Lord Easwara and Mother Parvati have brought me back to life. I will stay with you as long as you want me. Let us entertain noble thoughts and undertake good deeds. I will discharge my duties as your son and give you happiness.” Accompanying his parents, Markandeya went home. The people of the village were struck with wonder when they came to know that Markandeya was brought back to life by Lord Easwara and Mother Parvati. Markandeya narrated to them in detail all that had happened in the divine world.

God responds to the prayers of devotees and comes to their rescue only when they have purity of heart. One with a pure heart can even alter the Sankalpa of God. The story of Markandeya bears ample testimony to this. Markandeya had no desires. He made sacred use of the time granted to him. It is the primary duty of devotees to cultivate noble thoughts and perform sacred actions. Markandeya remained a Chiranjeevi (immortal), served his parents and gave them immense happiness. In the normal course, God’s Will cannot be altered. But, sometimes God does change His Sankalpa in answer to the prayers of a devotee who is sincere and pure at heart. The devotee has the power to change the Will of God. Devotion does not mean mere vocal expression of prayers; one should have purity of heart.

Adi Sankara was born in Kerala during the 7th century A.D. and propagated the essence of all scriptures to mankind. But he left his body at an early age of 32 years. Ramanujacharya was born in 11th century A.D. and propagated the efficacy of the Divine Name. That was the time when devotion to God was on the decline. It was because of Ramanujacharya’s teachings that people developed devotion and a sense of surrender to God. Madhwacharya was born during 13th century A.D. and propagated the principle of Dvaitha (Dualism). Even He taught that the Jiva (individual soul) and Deva (universal soul) are not different from each other in essence. However, the underlying principle in all the three systems of philosophy as propagated by Adi Sankara, Ramanujacharya and Madhwacharya is one and the same. The same principle of Atma is present in all beings. It is referred to as Easwaratwa (divinity). The divine incarnations such as Rama and Krishna can be recognised by their Divine forms. Every incarnation has a particular form. But Easwaratwa has no form. It represents the principle of truth that is present in all beings. It is responsible for Srushti, Sthiti and Laya (creation, sustenance and dissolution).

Easwaratwa, which has no specific form is symbolised in the form of a Linga. It is usually placed on a horizontal base which is known as Panavatta. Do you know how it looks like? (At this, Bhagawan with a wave of His hand materialised a Linga with Panavatta.) Lord Easwara exhorted Markandeya and his parents to sanctify their time in the contemplation of God. He materialised a Linga like this and gave it to Markandeya’s parents. They sanctified their lives by worshipping the Linga. Linga represents the Atmic principle which is present in all. It is not possible for anyone to understand or estimate the divine power. The principle of Atma is changeless. It can assume any form in accordance with the feelings of devotees. Linga is not something which man has made for worship. It is the direct manifestation of Divinity (Sakshat-akara). This truth was very well understood by Markandeya and his father Mrukanda and hence they worshipped divinity in the form of a Linga.

Every living being comprises three aspects – Sthula, Sukshma and Karana (gross, subtle and causal). The physical form represents the gross aspect. The same principle of divinity is present in all the three levels. Without thread, there can be no cloth. Without silver, there can be no plate. Without clay, pot cannot be made. Likewise, without Brahma (Divinity), there can be no world. Without the creator, there can be no creation. The creator can be compared to thread and the creation to cloth. The creator is the embodiment of gross, subtle and causal aspects. When you contemplate on God, you should transcend the mind. By merely having threads, one cannot make cloth. They have to be interwoven. Likewise, self-effort and divine grace, both are essential in order to achieve the desired result.

Sukshma Sarira (subtle body) is the source from which our words and deeds originate. Our students are chanting the Vedas everyday. Each Mantra is attributed to a particular form of divinity. It is necessary that one knows all the Mantras. If one wants to purify his thoughts and understand his true Self, he should take Vedas as the basis. Unable to understand this truth, many students are behaving like thieves when it comes to chanting the Vedic Mantras. One who does something wrong and feigns ignorance is a thief. Likewise, one who has the ability to chant the Vedas but does not do so full-throated and wholeheartedly can also be called a thief. All students can chant the Vedas, but some of them are not joining others in chanting. They are not making proper use of whatever they have learnt. They are keeping to themselves all that they have learnt. I am observing the students as they chant the Vedas. Having learnt the Mantras, they are expected to chant them. But, some of them are keeping silent. In a way, they are resorting to vidya choratwam and daiva droham (theft of knowledge and betrayal of God). In this manner, the educated are becoming traitors and betrayers. Only those who chant wholeheartedly whatever they have learnt are eligible for Sakshatkara (God-realisation). When the students chant the Mantras, ladies sitting on the other side also join them. They have every right to chant the Vedas. None can deny them their right. They feel inspired to chant the Vedas when they see our students chant. There are many small children sitting here. Who has taught them the Vedas? They hear attentively while the senior students chant the Mantras and learn them by heart. However, there are some educated persons who sit by the side of Veda chanting boys and yet remain tight-lipped. I am observing them. What is the use of sitting with Veda group if they do not make efforts to learn and chant them? They are bigger thieves. They listen to Vedic chants but do not participate in them. One should listen and also chant the Mantras in order to experience divinity.

The Vedas are the very form of God. There are many Mantras to propitiate the Pancha Bhutas (five elements). The five elements are our very life-breath. They sustain our life. The world itself is a manifestation of the five elements. But people forget to express their gratitude to the five elements. What a sin it is! We fill our minds with unnecessary information and consequently fail to give due respect to the five elements. Everyone should necessarily learn the Vedas, contemplate on them and chant them wholeheartedly. There is no point in merely learning the Vedas if you do not chant them. There are some who chant the Mantras when they are here but forget them when they go outside. You may go anywhere but you should repeat the Mantras at least in your mind. You should never become a vidya drohi (one who does not do justice to the knowledge acquired). A vidya drohi will become Daiva drohi also and will ultimately miss the chance to become recipient of God’s grace.

Students may commit mistakes without their knowledge. But, once they realise their mistake they should not repeat it. Whatever Mantras you hear today, you should be able to chant them tomorrow. When all people chant the Mantras in unison and in perfect harmony, Brahman will manifest right in front of you. Our ancient sages and seers declared: Vedahametham Purusham Mahantham Adityavarnam Thamasa Parasthath (I have visualised that Supreme Being who shines with the effulgence of a billion suns and who is beyond Thamas – the darkness of ignorance). The sound of the Vedas is highly sacred. It is extolled as Sabda Brahmamayi, Characharamayi, Jyotirmayi,Vangmayi, Nityanandamayi, Paratparamayi, MayamayiandSreemayi (embodiment of sound, mobility and immobility, light, speech, eternal bliss, perfection, delusion and wealth). It is compulsory for everyone to learn the Vedas. If it is not possible, at least one should chant the Name of God. Whatever Vedic Mantras you learn, you should be able to chant them properly. Otherwise, you don’t need to learn them at all! I have seen many boys, who learn the Vedas here, but forget them when they go to Bangalore. They chant one or two Mantras to satisfy the elders who visit that place. It is not for publicity, but it is for your own benefit of experiencing bliss that you should chant the Vedas. The three aspects, namely, Karma, Upasana and Jnana (work, worship and wisdom) may be compared to chanting, practising and experiencing bliss. You should transcend Vijnanamaya Kosha (wisdom sheath) and enter Anandamaya Kosha (bliss sheath). Karma leads to Upasana which in turn leads to Jnana (wisdom). Once you attain Jnana, you will experience peace and bliss. Everything depends on Karma. You should not chant the Mantras in a mechanical way just because others are chanting. You should assimilate and digest them. Why do you eat food? Is it to preserve it in the stomach? No. The food partaken should be digested and the essence should be supplied to all parts of the body. In the same manner, you should understand and assimilate the Vedic knowledge and derive strength from it. It should be expressed in your thoughts, words and deeds. You should take part in the propagation of the Vedas and share your joy with others. People say God is all-pervasive. He is present everywhere in the form of five elements. Each element represents a form of divinity. All the five elements together constitute the form of the Atma. When you realise this truth, you will experience divine bliss.

Embodiments of Love! Students!

Whatever you have learnt here, share it with others. It is not enough if you share it with others, you too should put your knowledge into practice and derive benefit therefrom. We prepare many delicious items at home and serve them to the guests. Is it not necessary that we should also partake of them? Likewise, we should digest the Vedic knowledge we have acquired and also share it with others. All types of knowledge have originated from the Vedas. That is why the Veda is extolled as Sarva Vijnana Sampatti (the treasure chest of knowledge). But unfortunately, we are not making proper use of such a treasure. Share your knowledge to the extent you have acquired. Never forget what you have learnt. With sincere effort, you will certainly be able to attain Sakshatkara. How did Markandeya attain Sakshatkara? He repeated the Panchakshari Mantra forgetting himself. As a result, Lord Easwara appeared before him and showered His grace. Those of you who wish to have the vision of God should digest the Vedic wisdom you have acquired and share it with others.

104. Dasara Divine Discourse on 17-10-2004

Have Faith in God, the only True Friend

How is it that the sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening with utmost regularity everyday? How is it that the stars glitter beautifully in the sky at night and hide themselves during the day? How is it that the wind blows incessantly and sustains the living beings without taking rest even for a moment? How is it that the rivers make gurgling sounds as they flow perennially? (Telugu Poem)

The whole world, nay, even every individual is permeated by the Pancha Bhutas (five elements of earth, water, fire air and ether). What is Prapancha (world)? ‘Pra’ means vast and ‘Panchamu’ means permeated by the five elements. Therefore, Prapancha means the vast space, permeated by the five elements. Wherever you see, you will find the effulgence of the five elements enveloping the vast world.

Embodiments of Love!

God is the source and sustenance for all creation. No one can question why God acts in a particular fashion. He is the Supreme Lord of the Universe and He can act according to His Divine Will. The creation, sustenance and dissolution of the Universe are all His Will. But whatever He does is only for the good of the world. For example, one cannot find a place or time without air; though air is not visible, one can experience it. Every act in this world, the tiniest one, is happening as per the Divine Will. For instance, a particular act of God may bring you some inconvenience or sorrow. That is at your individual level. But, in God’s creation, there is nothing like sorrow. Whatever God does is for the welfare of humanity. Some people feel depressed and wail as to why God gave them troubles and sorrows. But, sorrows and difficulties are our own making. God does not differentiate or cause trouble to anyone. Sorrows and difficulties are only your feelings. Everything in God’s creation is meant to provide happiness and convenience to the living beings. That is what I have been repeatedly emphasising. Whether you are in sorrow or enjoying happiness, always think that everything is for your own good. One has to develop a firm conviction that whatever God does is for one’s own good and not for putting one to trouble. Unable to realise this truth, man experiences all sorts of difficulties and sorrows. This is not the correct attitude. One has to strive to recognise the truth underlying God’s creation. There are countless people in this world with various feelings. Also, there are several people striving to sharpen their intellect. But, there are very few who strive to cultivate noble qualities. Without cultivating noble qualities, what is the use of intelligence alone? All ancient Rishis had exhorted people to cultivate noble qualities. It is a great mistake to consider oneself as very intelligent and well educated, merely by acquiring high degrees. Mere intelligence and acquisition of high degrees in education are of no use. One has to cultivate noble qualities along with education and intelligence. Intelligence without noble qualities is undesirable.

Today is the first day of the Navaratri celebrations which are held for nine days (Nava Rathrulu). All festivals are meant to remind mankind that they should cultivate noble qualities by engaging themselves in activities beneficial to one’s own self and society. Whatever activity we undertake, we must analyse for ourselves whether our intention, and resolve to do the same are good, and whether we would be able to develop noble qualities by performing such an act. Due to the effect of Kali Yuga, man has been able to develop his intelligence in several areas by conscientious effort, but he is not making any effort to cultivate noble qualities. Man has lost confidence in himself. Though he is able to occupy high positions in worldly life with his intelligence, it is of no use without noble qualities. Therefore, the need of the hour is for man to deepen his Nammakam (faith). Faith is like the two eyes to a man. Devoid of faith, man is blind. It is only when he has faith in himself, can he have faith in God.

Some people declare “I have no faith in God”. This is a meaningless statement. If they have no faith in God, on whom else do they have faith? It is only when one develops faith in God that he can have faith in everything else. Therefore, one has to develop faith in God, in the first instance. With faith in God, one can achieve success in all his endeavours. One who has faith in God will be able to develop faith in every individual. Such a person will develop a firm conviction that God is immanent in every living being. The Upanishads declare Isavasyam Idam Sarvam (the entire universe is permeated by God) and Easwara Sarva Bhutanam (God is the indweller of all beings). God is immanent in every being as “Nammakammu” (faith). Therefore, one has to cultivate faith in God, as his first and foremost duty. All the Vedas, Upanishads and scriptures emphasise this as duty of a man.

Today, man has faith in everything in the objective world. For example, when a news item appears in the newspaper that so and so died in Russia under such and such circumstances, we believe that news without an iota of doubt. How did we believe that news? Who gave this news to us? It is only through the newspaper. We are able to believe the newspapers, but, we are unable to believe an experience born out of eternal truth and its practice in daily life. In order to develop firm faith in the eternal truth, we have to cultivate noble qualities. This is our foremost duty. By doing so, our faith in God also increases. Unfortunately, today we are setting aside our faith in God and believing in what others say. We thereby are entering the wrong path. We have to develop self-confidence first. Only then can we develop faith in every aspect of God’s creation.

Dear Students! Devotees!

What is of utmost importance today is to develop faith in God. Man develops ego, believing that he knows everything in this world. This ego is, in fact, a sign of ignorance. Without having faith in God if one says that he believes everything in this world, then such kind of faith is not based on solid foundation. Man today believes everything in this world, even that which he has not seen. But, he is not prepared to believe that which is right in front of his eyes, the manifestation of Divinity in ever so many ways. There is fire latent in the branches of a tree, which becomes patent when one branch rubs against the other and friction is generated. Can anyone deny the existence of fire in the branches of a tree? But, why is man unable to recognise this truth (Divinity)? It is because of his ego. Just as the fire born out of the branches of a tree destroys the tree itself, so also the ego born out of a human being destroys the very human being. Hence, man has to develop firm faith in the existence of God. Without this faith, man degenerates himself into a demon.

Students! Teachers! Patrons of education! You should understand the true meaning of education. Education does not mean mere acquisition of bookish knowledge.

Can you call all those who know how to read and write educated?

Can one be called educated merely by acquiring degrees?

How can you attain the eternal knowledge if you do not know your true Self? (Telugu Poem)

You should make efforts to know your true identity. All your education will prove futile if you do not know who you really are. When you are seated here, you listen to the discourses in rapt attention. But, once you leave this place, you forget everything. You will lose faith in what you have heard here. This is not expected of a human being. You should have total faith in the spiritual teachings, put them into practice and experience bliss.

Faith is the first and foremost quality that man inherits by birth. He develops faith in his mother in the first instance. His mother may scold or beat him, yet his faith in his mother remains firm. That is the greatness of the love of a mother. Man should develop as much faith in God as he has for his mother. But unfortunately, he lacks such firm faith in God. Everyone wants to have the direct vision of God. Who is God? Where is He? It can be said that the sun is the direct manifestation of God as he gives us light and sustains our life. The sun-god bestows his love on all in the form of light. If you do not have faith in the light of love, your life will be filled with darkness.

Once a disciple asked his Guru, “Where is God?” The Guru replied that He was everywhere and was present in all beings. The disciple expressed his doubt as to how it was possible for God to be present in all beings. The Guru asked him to bring ten vessels and fill them with water. The reflection of the sun could be seen in all of them. Likewise, God is present in all beings. Vessels may vary, but the sun’s reflection is one and the same in all. Hence, the sun is the Pratyaksha Paramatma (direct manifestation of Divinity). However, there can be no reflection without water. Our physical body can be compared to a vessel and the Vasanas (inborn tendencies) to water. If your thoughts and feelings are good, you can see the reflection of Divinity clearly. When your thoughts are impure and bad, you will not be able to see the reflection of Divinity. Mistake lies in your thoughts and not in the reflection. Likewise, you alone are responsible for your happiness or sorrow. Hence, cultivate noble and sacred feelings in the first instance. I often tell you that the physical body is like a water bubble and the mind is like a mad monkey. Therefore, do not repose your faith in the body or in the mind. You should have firm faith in your Self. It is from the Self that the body and the mind have originated.

Students!

When you have faith in your Self, you will not experience difficulties and sorrows. Therefore, you should at least have faith in the teachings of elders and follow them implicitly. The sun-god is only one, but he appears separately in different parts of the world. When the sun rises in America, it is time of sunset in India. The Indians will say that the sun is setting and at the same time the Americans will say that the sun is rising. There is no question of argument here. Time may vary, but both are correct from their own points of view.

As part of Navaratri celebrations, people worship different forms of divinity. You should develop sacred feelings and experience divinity. What is the inner meaning of Navaratri celebrations? These nine nights represent nine planets. Each planet has its own significance. However, these planets are not outside, they are within. If your feelings are impure and unsacred, the result also will be the same. You are responsible for the good and bad you think and experience. They are not the products of outside world. They are the reaction, reflection and resound of your inner being. Man faces the vicissitudes of life as he is bound by these three. But he forgets these three and tries to search for solutions to his problems. He thinks he is highly intelligent. In fact, that is not true intelligence. He lacks faith in Divinity. That is the real cause of his suffering. God is one. Likewise human beings are one though Akara (forms) and Acharana (behaviour) may vary. But due to his narrow-mindedness, man is unable to understand this unity.

When you eat a mango, you cannot get the belch of a cucumber. Likewise, whatever you experience is the result of your own thoughts and feelings. No outside force is responsible for it. Do not be carried away by the external influences. Follow the sacred feelings that originate from your heart. Navaratri celebrations are symbolic of the nine forms of energy. What we have to cultivate during this Navaratri is the feeling of oneness. Though there are nine forms of energy, the underlying truth in all of them is one and the same. That is the principle of Atma. It is all-pervasive. It is present not only in human beings, but in all living beings.

If you are walking towards the West when the sun is rising in the East, your shadow will be moving ahead of you, much bigger than your size. As the sun rises gradually, your shadow becomes smaller. At noon when the sun is right above your head, the shadow will be right under your feet. Likewise, when you develop equanimity, your ego will be subdued just like the shadow under your feet. First and foremost, you have to give up ego to understand the oneness of the Atma. Ekam Sath Viprah Bahudha Vadanti (God is one but the wise refer to Him by various names). Ekam Eva Adviteeyam Brahma (God is one without a second). There is only unity everywhere; multiplicity is your own imagination. Mistake lies in your vision, not in the creation. We should make efforts to understand the underlying principle of oneness. Firstly, develop faith in yourself. See only goodness in others. If you see bad in others, it is the reflection of your own feelings. Develop Atmabhimana (love for the Self) and Atma Shakti (will power). Exercise self control. Only through self control, can you achieve self satisfaction. Visualise unity in multiplicity.

Embodiments of Love!

You are the Ekatma Swarupas (embodiments of one principle of Atma). You have only one heart, not two. If you have two hearts, you have to be admitted in the hospital. Likewise, there is only one Atma. That is the ultimate truth. Hence, develop the feeling of oneness. If you follow the path of truth, you will find the manifestation of truth everywhere. There is only one principle of love in you. But, you are dispersing it in diverse ways. You think that there are various forms of love. It is only your imagination.

Make efforts to understand the principle of spirituality. Have firm conviction that you are the embodiment of Atma and there is no second entity in this world. All worldly relationships such as mother, wife, children, etc., are of your own making. It is only a temporary relationship but not the reality. You should not get deluded by such worldly relationship. Develop firm faith in your ‘real nation’ i.e., the Atma. Do not believe in the world. Believe in yourself. Have firm conviction that God is everywhere. Sarvatah Panipadam Tat Sarvathokshi Siromukham, Sarvatah Sruthimalloke Sarvamavruthya Tishthati (with hands, feet, eyes, head, mouth and ears pervading everything, He permeates the entire universe). But, you see duality because of your mistaken identity and delusion.

Embodiments of Love!

Love is in you. It need not be acquired from outside. Worldly love is based on worldly relationship. Whomever you love, you love your own reflection. It is a mistake to think that you love someone else. You point to somebody and say, “He is my friend.” But in fact, God alone is your true friend. He will never betray you. Sometimes, you may doubt your true friend, but He will never doubt you or forsake you. Your feelings may change according to time and situation, but God is changeless. He always has the feeling of oneness. Once you consider God as your true friend, everyone will be friendly towards you. Truly speaking, you have no enemies. There is none other than you in this world. When there is no second person, how can there be an enemy? All are like passing clouds. But you think they are permanent and repose your faith in them. Consequently, you are unable to have faith in God who is pure and selfless. You are forgetting the Divine love and getting intoxicated with the ‘deep wine’ of worldly love.

Embodiments of Love!

If you want to know God, imbibe the principle of oneness. When you have the feeling of oneness, you can see the direct manifestation of God. The sages of Vedic times adored the sun as the direct manifestation of God as described in the Gayatri Mantra. Consider God as your mother, father, friend and everything.

Twameva Mathascha Pitha Twameva,

Twameva Bandhuscha Sakha Twameva,

Twameva Vidya Dravinam Twameva

Twameva Sarvam Mama Deva Deva

(He alone is the father and mother, friend and relation, wisdom and wealth to every individual).

But people have forgotten God and are craving for fleeting pleasures. Nothing is permanent in this world. All your worldly relations are temporary. Your life itself is temporary. Such being the case, how can you consider someone as your permanent friend? There is only one permanent friend; He is God. If you want to experience true love, have full faith in God. God’s love is steady. It never diminishes. You may undergo any amount of suffering, yet you belong to God. You are His and He is yours. No third person can come between you and God. It is only because of illusion that you think there is a third person. You say, “He is my classmate; he is my sportsmate.” But none of them can come to your rescue. You have to look after yourself. You should have faith in yourself. Only then can you realise the truth.

Embodiments of Love!

Never forget love. Love is the form of God. Love is God. Live in love. Only then can you understand the reality. Do not go by what others say. Follow your conscience. Never lose faith in God under any circumstances. Sometimes even your parents may try to dissuade you from taking to God-ward path. You should tell them that God means everything for you. He is your true friend. You love your mother because it is she who has given you birth and fostered you. You consider someone as your teacher because you learn your lessons from him. You treat so and so as your mother, father, teacher, etc., based on your relationship and experience. Truly speaking, all these relationships come and go just like moving pictures on a cinema screen. Do not be deluded by the pictures that appear on the screen. Have the picture of God imprinted on your heart. Develop strong conviction and consider Him as your sole refuge. Only then can you have the vision of God.

This morning a Russian lady came to Me. During the course of conversation, she said, “Swami, I have a friend.” When I asked as to who he was, she took out her wallet and showed a small photograph. Then I told her, “Mother, he is your husband, not your friend. Do not consider your husband as your friend or your friend as your husband.” She said, “Swami, this is what I have been doing all these years. Is it a mistake?” I said, “Yes, it is a mistake, it certainly IS a mistake.” Then I asked her as to when she had met him first. She said that she knew him for the last three years. I told her, “This type of relationship is temporary. God alone is your true friend. You may forget Him, but He will never forget you. He will be with you even after your death. Hence, treat God as your true friend. Ultimately, you will become one with Him.”

Embodiments of Love!

There are many in this world who do not understand what is true spirituality and thereby forget the reality. God alone is your true friend. That is the reality. He is your mother, father, Guru, etc. Develop such firm conviction. Then God will always take care of you. When you cultivate Ekatma Bhava, all divine qualities will manifest in you. You will be an ideal to the world. You will be free from suffering. You will have neither death nor any punishment. You will realise your true identity. If someone puts a question, “Who are you?”, say with firm conviction, “I am I.” Never identify yourself with the body. He who realises this truth is a blessed one. I will elaborate on this subject in the days to come.

Worldly Gurus undergo change with the passage of time. God alone is changeless and He alone is your true Guru. Have total faith in God. Develop faith day by day. Only then can you be called a true Manava (human being). Daivam Manusha Rupena (God incarnates in the form of a human being). Hence, consider yourself as divine. Declare with total conviction, “I am I.” When you lead your life with such a sacred feeling, divinity will certainly manifest in you. Never be under the mistaken notion that God is elsewhere. He is always in you. Your reflection is God’s reflection. Your reaction is His reaction. Everything is basically divine in nature. It is God who makes you play your role in this cosmic drama. It is He who makes you sing, dance, etc. He is the cosmic play director. You may call Him by any name. But He is only one.

Embodiments of Love!

If you want to attain God, develop Ekatma Bhava. You will certainly be able to see and experience Him, everywhere.

(Bhagawan concluded His Discourse with the Bhajan, “Prema Mudita Manase Kaho…”)

105. Ganesh Chaturthi Discourse

Obtain Divine Grace by obeying your Parents

The moon illumines the world at night and the sun during the day.

Righteousness illumines the three worlds, and a virtuous son illumines his entire lineage. (Telugu Poem)

Embodiments of Love!

A virtuous son is greater than even those who have acquired Jnana (knowledge), Vijnana (wisdom),Sujnana and Prajnana (constant integrated awareness). Lord Vinayaka is such a virtuous son. Every individual has a Guru. But, Vinayaka has no Guru at all. He is the Guru of Gurus and the leader of leaders. He is called by the name “Vinayaka” since He has no leader above Him and He is the leader for all.

Embodiments of Love!

Whenever a new task is undertaken, it is customary to perform Puja to Lord Vinayaka to invoke His blessings for the successful completion of the task. Even while starting a musical concert, the singers pray to Lord Vinayaka with the kirtan, “Vinayaka Nannu Brovara” (Oh! Lord Vinayaka! Please come to my help). It is only when you thus pray to Lord Vinayaka and seek His blessings, will all your task meet with success.

Lord Vinayaka has an elephant’s head and trunk. It denotes that Vinayaka can be compared to an elephant in intelligence, which always thinks twice before setting its foot forward. Similarly, it is only after intelligent discrimination that Vinayaka moves forward. The four letters in the word Ganapathi (ga, na, pa and ti) denote that Lord Vinayaka is full of Vijnana, Sujnana and Prajnana. People today forget the underlying meaning in the name ‘Ganapati’ and engage themselves in mere rituals. You may not perform any rituals, but, never give up worshipping Lord Vinayaka. Especially, it is the foremost duty of the students to come under the leadership of Vinayaka, who is a leader unto Himself. You would not find a parallel to Lord Vinayaka. When you take such a Lord as your ideal and pursue your studies, you will be able to master all branches of education. Vinayaka has a big tummy, which is full of Jnana (wisdom). That wisdom is His power. We should worship such a powerful Lord. No one can comprehend the true nature of Lord Vinayaka, fully.

Lord Vinayaka is the leader for one and all. He is the divine father and mother to everybody. In accordance with the prayer Twameva Matha cha Pitha Twameva, Twameva Bandhuscha Sakha Twameva, Twameva Vidya Dravinam Twameva (He alone is the father and mother, friend and relation, wisdom and wealth to every individual). No one else can be compared to Lord Vinayaka in terms of power and prowess in this world. The world is unable to recognise the true nature of such a divine leader. We are, today, prepared to accept the leadership of ordinary mortals. This is an unfortunate situation.

Today is the holy day commemorating the birth of Lord Vinayaka. In fact, He has no birth at all. He created the entire universe. All the Vedas are the result of the divine sankalpa of Lord Vinayaka. All forms of knowledge have originated from Vinayaka.

Embodiments of Love!

Lord Vinayaka does not know what anger is. He is the embodiment of love. Where there is love, bad qualities like anger, passion, conceit etc., cannot gain entry. You might have witnessed the facial features of Vinayaka. Did His face ever reflect anger? No. He will always be smiling. Vinayaka is omnipresent. People attribute a particular place as the birthplace of God and consider it as a Kshetra(a sacred place of pilgrimage). But, no single place can be ascribed as the birthplace of God. He isSwayambhu (Self-emergent). There is no specific place which can be ascribed as place of birth, place of upbringing, etc., for God. He is omnipresent. God will manifest in such a place where people get rid of their bad qualities and sincerely pray to Him with devotion. He is Gunatheetha (beyond attributes). He is Nirgunam, Niranjanam, Sanathanam, Niketanam, Nitya, Shuddha, Buddha, Mukta, Nirmala Swarupinam (God is attributeless, pure, final abode, eternal, unsullied, enlightened, free and embodiment of sacredness).

God appears to be angry at times. But, that is not real anger. In order to put the devotees on the right path, He pretends to be angry. If He does not pretend so, there is no chance for the devotees to change their behaviour. His pretending to be angry is just a drama. God has no trace of anger in Him. When we commit mistakes or tread the wrong path, we are afraid that God will be angry with us. But, God only pretends to be angry on such occasions so that you become aware of your own faults and deficiencies. For example, when Swami keeps Himself away from you, you feel very sad and think that Swami is not talking to you because He is angry with you. In fact, Swami does not know what anger is. He is the embodiment of love. He is full of love. However, on some rare occasions when He speaks harshly, it might be misconstrued that He is angry. This is quite natural even in our day-to-day life. When you call somebody, “Son! Please come here,” it sounds that you are calling him with love. But, if the same words are uttered with a raised voice (in an angry mood), it looks as though you are angry. Therefore, all these are variations in expression and nothing else. The same was the case with Sage Durvasa, whose expressions revealed anger and thus became synonymous for anger. But in fact, Sage Durvasa had no anger at all!

During the Mahabharata war, Aswatthama, the son of Dronacharya, took a terrible vow to annihilate all the Pandavas. Having come to know of this, Droupadi prayed to Krishna to save the Pandavas. The leelas of the Lord are not only wonderful but also mysterious. God enacts dramas and even changes the scenes in His play for the welfare and safety of His devotees. In this instance, the Lord saved the Pandavas with a delicate touch that He alone is capable of.

He went to Sage Durvasa. He was immensely delighted to receive Krishna. The sage asked, “Lord, what brought You to my humble ashram?” Krishna smiled and said, “I have a small job for you.” The sage was happy and said, “I am at Your service. You just have to command.” Krishna then said, “Good! Tonight, you have to save the Pandavas.” Durvasa was puzzled and asked, “Lord, it is You who protect everything in creation. Who am I to do that job?” Krishna replied, “That is a different matter. But for this job, you will be My instrument. I extend protection in many different ways. On this occasion, you have to do something specific as per My instructions.” Durvasa wanted to know what it was and Krishna continued, “Dig a pit, ask the Pandavas to hide themselves in it, cover it with planks, grass and mud, and then take your seat on the shelter so prepared. The enemies of the Pandavas may come and ask you about the whereabouts of the Pandavas. They may say, “You know the past, present and future. Please tell us where the Pandavas are hiding.” Durvasa intervened and said, “Lord, I cannot tell a lie.” Krishna countered, “Did I ask you to utter falsehood? I am Myself the Embodiment of Truth, and I will always ask you to speak only the truth. However, you are at liberty to change your voice suitably to achieve the desired result. I am sure you understand.” The sage nodded and smiled.

Some time later, after the Pandavas were hidden, Aswatthama came there, exactly as Krishna had foretold. Durvasa was sitting with his eyes closed. Bowing to the sage, Aswatthama enquired, in a most humble manner, about the whereabouts of the Pandavas. Durvasa slowly opened his eyes; which were like flame. Angrily he roared, “Yes, the Pandavas are here, right below me.” Aswatthama was frightened because the sage was well known for his bad temper and his propensity to curse those whom he is angry with. Promptly, he fled from the scene, and the Pandavas were duly saved. All Avatars employ such techniques, and Swami too does the same when required.

The sages and saints, yogis and jnanis for ages have been providing rakshana (protection) andsikshana (correction) and make people tread the right path. Sage Durvasa did the same thing. Ignorant people accuse him of being one of anger in spite of being a great tapasvin. But, those people who are able to understand the real intention behind his apparent anger realise the truth. God has no anger. In fact, one who has anger is not fit to be called God at all!

Once Mother Parvati and Easwara called Vinayaka and His younger brother Subrahmanya, and advised them to go round the world. They also told them that whoever came first would be given a phala (fruit) as reward. This competition was intended to demonstrate the greatness of Vinayaka to the world. The younger brother Subrahmanya immediately plunged into action. He mounted His vehicle, the peacock, to fly round the world. But, Vinayaka did not move and sat in His own place. Easwara then enquired, “My dear son! Why did You not start on Your journey round the world?” Vinayaka laughed at this question and replied “Oh! Father! I need not go anywhere. The fruit of all My journey round the world is right in front of me.” So saying, Vinayaka made a Pradakshina (circumambulation) round His father and mother (Lord Easwara and Mother Parvati) and sat down calmly. He claimed victory in the race. In the meanwhile, Subrahmanya came there, after completing His journey round the world. He was very much tired and reported to His father about His successful completion of the task. Lord Easwara then declared Vinayaka as the winner in the race and handed over the fruit to Him. The place where this episode took place is called Palani, in the State of Tamil Nadu.

The underlying meaning in this story is that the parents are the very embodiment of divinity and it is enough if one does pradakshina to them in reverence. That would be tantamount to the punya (merit) acquired by visiting all the holy shrines in the world. Without the parents, there can be no son at all! If children are to be virtuous, it is the parents who have to take care of them. The parents are responsible for the success of their children in all the endeavours.

It is common practice for students to visit temples during examination time and pray for success in the examinations. They offer coconuts in the temples with the pocket money given by their parents. These are all external practices, which have little to do with sincere devotion. If they really wish to achieve success in their endeavour, it is enough if they please their parents and obtain their blessings. If they are satisfied, you are sure to succeed. In order to drive home the point that children should strive to please and satisfy their parents first, Lord Easwara and Mother Parvati arranged this competition of going round the world for Lord Vinayaka and Lord Subrahmanya. If you want to obtain the grace of God, it is enough if you obey the command of your parents lovingly. There is no greater divinity than the parents who are present right in front of your eyes. They have struggled hard in several ways to bring you up to the present state. They made a lot of sacrifice, so that you may come up in life. No parent would ever like to displease his children. They appear to be angry sometimes and may even give some punishment, but that is only outward. In their heart of hearts, they have abundant love for you. Even if they pretend to be angry, it is for your own good. The stream of infinite love ever flows in their hearts. Here is a small example: When the child does some mischief, the mother gives a beating. But, how? The beating merely produces sound but does not cause any pain to the child. Her anger is borne out of love only. On certain occasions, they may show anger, but it is only temporary. It is never permanent. You may think that your parents are angry with you. But, that is your own misunderstanding; you may not be able to understand their love, which is lying dormant. Even if they show anger and say “chee” (an expression in Telugu to indicate one’s disapproval), it is only out of love. Students shall, therefore, try to understand the real nature of their parents.

In fact, one’s anger is his own enemy, and happiness, his heaven. One should always be happy. A person with anger and irritable temperament can never achieve anything. Vinayaka is one who always obeyed his parents’ command. That is why it is said that there is no leader above Him. Students sometimes ask for money from their parents to go to a cinema. When parents refuse, they think that the parents are angry. These are trivial issues. The parents, especially the mother, will be even ready to sacrifice her life, in order to save her children in times of danger. Unfortunately, today there are sons who even go to a court of law against their mothers. It is, therefore, essential that they change their attitude towards their parents and realise that they are verily embodiments of love.

Any number of diversions or silly thoughts may arise in children, but the parents’ love towards their children remains unwavering. There are several sons in the world who are angry with their parents, but relationship of the parents and their children is one of love only. Whatever differences that may arise between them are only temporary. The relationship between parents and their children is one of love, nothing else. Lord Vinayaka is the embodiment of love. He always showers love only. When He was acting as a scribe to write the Mahabharata to the dictation of Sage Vyasa, he displayed the same attitude of love. Since He was the embodiment of Love, Vyasa selected Him particularly to undertake the duty of a scribe. Throughout the period of writing the Mahabharata, Vinayaka displayed this quality of pure love. That is why you do not find even a single mistake in the Mahabharata. Since He was flawless, His word was also flawless. You do not find the bad qualities of anger, jealousy, envy or pride in Vinayaka. They are the qualities of a human being devoid of noble qualities.

Dear students!

From today onwards, you give up whatever little anger you have towards your parents and cultivate pure love towards them. Love begets love. Receive love from your parents in abundance and prosper in life.

Today is the festival of Vinayaka Chaturthi. It is a very important festival. There is a custom in some families to invite the newly married son-in-law for the festival. Therefore, do not hesitate to go to your in-law’s house to spend some time happily with them.

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 neighbourhood will honour you with love and affection. (Telugu song)

When a son-in-law visits his spouses parents’ house, the entire household gets into a festive mood. One is sure to feel happy and mentally relaxed. There are, however, some stone-hearted sons-in-law, who cultivate ill-feelings towards their in-laws and do not visit their house. Such ill-feelings are the result of food. As is the food, so is the head. The feelings of the heart reflect the thought in the head (mind). Therefore, we must take the right food. You should never take such food as would kindle the flames of anger and envy in you. Since ancient times, sages in India have observed strict diet regulations. They always made it a point to consume sattwic food, not rajasic food. By consumingrajasic food, anger is generated. On the other hand, if you consume thamasic food, you will feel sleepy even while you eat. Therefore, both rajasic and thamasic types of food must be avoided. Only sattwicfood must be taken. Excess of chillies, salt and sour items must be avoided in food. Before you take food, never forget to offer your prayers:

Brahmarpanam Brahma Havir

Brahmagnou Brahmanahutam

Brahmaiva Thena Ganthavyam

Brahma Karma Samadhina.

(Brahman is the ladle as well as the oblation. He is the sacrificial fire as also the sacrificer. And finally, Brahman is the goal of one who is engaged in the act of sacrifice.)

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

Aham Vaishvanaro Bhutva

Praninam Dehamasritah

Pranapana Samayukta

Pachamyannam Chaturvidham.

(I am present in all beings in the form of digestive fire. United with the Prana (exhalation) and Apana(inhalation), it is I who consume the four kinds of food.)

While taking food, you must always ensure that you take only such items which you can easily digest. Never consume food which you cannot digest. Just as you sit down happily for taking food, so also when you get up after taking your food, you must feel happy and light. Some people sit for food with a light stomach and get up with a heavy stomach after eating bellyful. This is not the proper method of taking food.

Always take light food. These are the habits you must cultivate at least from this auspicious day of Vinayaka Chaturthi. If you cultivate these good habits and qualities you can become as great as Lord Vinayaka.

(Bhagawan concluded His discourse with the Bhajan, “Prema Muditha Manase Kaho…”)

106. Divine Discourse on 15-09-04

Divine Discourse

Several noble souls have worshipped God in different ways – some by doing penance, some by charity, some even by sacrificing their lives. Some others dedicated their lives for teaching and propagating the sacred scriptures by touring the entire world. Nevertheless, they could not win God’s grace and love. Why? Samsara Sagaroththara Sajjana Sevanam Vina (one cannot cross the formidable ocean of Samsara, except by serving the noble souls). It is only by serving noble souls and great men that one can attain the power of penance. No sadhana other than selfless service will enable one to attain Divinity. The punya (merit) of our students is indeed great. They have been able to have the darshan, sparshan and sambashan of several noble souls and obtain their grace. In fact, several people in Bharat sanctified their lives by such darshan, sparshan and sambashan. (Referring to Sant Asaram Bapu, Swami said) He has taken a lot of trouble to come over here, all the way from Gujarat, to address our students. It is their good fortune. He has a kind and loving heart. His teachings are very essential for our students. In an age when faith and devotion have eroded and atheism has become the order of the day due to the effect of Kali, such teachings are very much necessary, especially for the students to keep them on the right track.

Dear Students!

You cannot get fulfilment in life by merely having darshan or sparshan or Sambashan of noble souls. You will attain peace and tranquility only when you have all the three. In order to sanctify human life, the Navavidha Bhakti (nine forms of devotion) are very essential. They are Sravanam (listening),Kirtanam (singing), Vishnusmaranam (contemplating on Vishnu), Padasevanam (serving His Lotus Feet), Vandanam (salutation), Archanam (worship), Dasyam (servitude), Sneham (friendship) andAtmanivedanam (self-surrender). Man can sanctify his life by sravanam, mananam andnidhidhyasanam (listening, recapitulation and contemplation). Today’s children are very intelligent. But, it is only when they put their intelligence to proper use, can they make their lives sanctified. And, spirituality is the only path that can make one’s life sanctified! Today’s students are, however, putting their intelligence to wrong use and are wasting their time engaging themselves in vain argumentation. God’s grace can be obtained only through love and by no other means. It is the only Raja Marga (royal path). Students should develop the faith that their lives will be sanctified by treading that royal path.

Dear Students!

Education is not mere reading of books. By reading books, we can only acquire bookish knowledge. Whatever knowledge has been acquired must be put into practice. If you want to earn God’s grace, love is the royal path. Man has been able to acquire several powers by love. It is by love alone can one win the minds of others. He can even gain control over nature. Spiritual sadhana can also become fruitful by love alone. The mind can never be controlled by bad qualities, bad thoughts and bad company. Human nature can be sanctified only by divine and selfless love. The only property and power that will never diminish in every human being is love. You may share it with any number of people, yet it does not diminish, but will continue to grow. The reference in this context is not to worldly love, but to transcendental love. We must love God in the same way as we love our own father and mother. It should be so natural and spontaneous. You cannot find a parallel to such love. Therefore, every individual, from the time he gets up from bed till he goes back to bed, must strive to make his life sanctified by love. You must love your fellow human beings, treating them as your friends. By cultivating such universal love, the whole world can be united as a single family. It is not possible by any other means. Therefore, develop such universal love.

Dear Students!

You are struggling a lot to acquire education. By this education, you may perhaps read some textbooks, appear for examinations, pass them and secure a degree. But, all this education is negative in character. You must acquire positive education which would bring out the latent qualities in you like divine love, peace, compassion, forbearance, etc. You must cultivate those qualities assiduously by constant practice. Several people of the older generation sanctified their lives by fostering such noble qualities. If human mind is to be transformed, it could be done only by love, nothing else. Mind…mind…mind. You know how it works. It is always changing and very powerful. It cannot be controlled by any power, except love.

Dear Students!

Dedicate your love only to God. There are people in the world who dedicated their love for different purposes, for example, for acquiring education, for acquiring proficiency in various arts, sports and games, for the sake of certain individuals, etc. Could they attain Divinity? No, No. You must realise the truth that it is only by constant contemplation of God with single-minded devotion that one can attain Divinity. Therefore, dear students! You realise the truth that God cannot be attained by any other science, except the science of love. God gives Himself to love easily. Hence, attain Divinity through love. There is no force greater than love in this world.

Everything in this world is a worry.

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)

If you are able to win the grace of God, all your worries will be removed. You may pursue worldly education; nothing wrong in that. But, you must be prepared to sacrifice your life even, for attaining Divine love, which is permanent, changeless and eternal. Several great and noble souls have travelled throughout the world and strove to uplift the world by their sacred teachings. What would have been the fate of the country of Bharat, if such great souls were not born! Every individual shall, therefore, strive to emulate the ideals of such great souls and elders. Whatever they say, must be taken as an authority of the scriptures. You may perhaps think that you are able to speak eloquently in English and therefore feel proud that you know everything. Pride and arrogance are most reprehensible qualities. They land you in abysmal depths. It is only by the quality of love does a human being becomes great.

Dear Students!

You should therefore, cultivate love and strive to attain the grace of God and sanctify your lives by humility, devotion and faith in God. Love is the sole refuge for a human being, which will take him to God. Several elders have reached their goal only through love. You follow their example. Never lose your wealth of love. Make love as your primary objective in your life. Love may appear to be very simple thing to you. But there is no force greater than love. Love is God, God is Love and therefore live in Love. That is what you have to learn.

– Bhagawan concluded His Divine Discourse by singing the Bhajan, “Prema Muditha Manase Kaho”

107. Krishna Janmashtami Divine Discourse – 1

The Lord accepts only a Pure Heart

Oh Krishna! You don’t eat what I give You,

You don’t eat our home-food,

You go to the houses of the cowherds,

And eat butter stealthily,

You spoil Your good name, my dear! (Telugu poem)

Thus, mother Yashoda expressed her anguish one day, having been vexed by the complaints of the neighbours. She chided Him saying, “Oh Krishna! I have to face a lot of trouble on account of Your mischievous pranks. You don’t have taste for the food prepared in our house. You always like the items prepared in the neighbouring houses. How shall I manage with You?” True, people develop a taste for food in the neighbouring houses. A sweetmeat shop owner sitting in his own shop, all the while enjoying the sweet smell of the laddus, develops a taste for puffed rice from another shop.

Kashyapa, a great devotee of the Lord had completely surrendered himself at the Lotus Feet and was totally lost in divine bliss. One day, his wife, Aditi, approached him and advised him, “My dear! We do not have children. You have surrendered everything of yours to the Lord. Why don’t you pray to Him to bless us with a child?”

Emperor Bali, in Krita Yuga, performed many Yajnas. After completion of one hundred and seven Yajnas, he made arrangements for performing the one hundred and eighth Yajna known as Viswajit. As he was performing this Yajna, Lord Vishnu appeared before him as Vamana in the guise of a dwarfish Brahmin. Vamana asked for three paces of land in charity from Bali, which he was about to give. In the meanwhile, Emperor Bali’s preceptor Sukracharya came there and tried to dissuade Bali from giving this gift of charity. He advised Bali, “Please do not give anything in charity to this short Brahmin, much less the three paces of land. Do not underestimate Him. He is not an ordinary Brahmin. He is an Avatar of Vishnu. He is born to Sage Kashyapa, in fulfillment of the boon granted by Lord Vishnu to him.” But Emperor Bali did not pay heed to the advice of his preceptor. He asked Lord Vamana, “Sir, What can I do for you?” Vamana replied, “Oh King! I do not need anything. Just give Me three paces of land.” Sukracharya again pleaded with Bali, “Oh King! You consider this person as an ordinary Brahmin. No. No. He is capable of filling the entire universe. It is not wise on your part to grant his request.” But, Emperor Bali turned down his advice saying that he could not go back on his promise, as it was a great sin not to stand by one’s word.

In those days, people considered death preferable to going back on one’s word. But today in Kali Yuga, people make promises and break them at will. Emperor Bali was of pure heart. Once a promise was made, he fulfilled it, come what may!

He said, “I gave a word to this Brahmin boy. I am prepared to face any eventuality in fulfilling my promise. I will offer the fruits of all the Yajnas I have performed, including the one I am now performing to this Brahmin boy. So saying, he put the garland of the fruits of 108 Yajnas performed by him round the neck of Vamana and prostrated before Him. (As He said this, Swami created a necklace of 108 gold coins.)

Vamana covered the entire land given in charity by Bali under one foot. He grew in size and filled the entire universe with His second foot. There was no further space to put His third foot. Then Sukracharya said, “Oh emperor! You did not pay heed to my advice. You underestimated this Brahmin boy and got yourself tricked by His innocent looks.”

Vamana received the offering of Emperor Bali and praised his large-heartedness and blessed him. Vamana was short in stature, but he could fill the entire universe. Being an Avatar, He was Aprameya (beyond all limitations, indescribable and immeasurable). Human being have limitations, but not an Avatar.

The sunrise and sunset happen according to a predetermined Divine command. It happens regularly, uninterrupted. The sun, the moon and the stars follow a definite pattern of schedule. All the five elements in the universe discharge their duties regularly as ordained by the Lord. Even God Himself observes the rules that He lays down for all. Everything in God’s creation goes on according to a predetermined order and Divine command. Nothing in the universe, including the five elements, has an independent existence. But, unfortunately, man is unable to recognise this divine force that regulates the functioning of the universe. Scientists are making unstinted efforts to discover this divine force. The stars shining brightly in the sky at night are, however, not visible during daytime.

The sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening with utmost regularity everyday. The stars glitter beautifully in the sky at night and hide themselves during the day. The wind blows incessantly and sustains the living beings without taking rest even for a moment. The rivers make gurgling sounds as they flow perennially. (Telugu poem)

What could be the reason for this phenomenon? Scientists probed into this aspect and concluded that the stars were not visible during daytime because the sun was shining brilliantly in the sky during that period. Similarly, they tried to explain the divine force in ever so many ways.

The moment the umbilical cord is cut and the child is separated from the mother, it cries. Why? Nobody could explain and explore this secret. The moment a drop of milk or honey is put on the tongue of the newborn child, it sleeps happily. This means ever since a human being comes out of his mother’s womb, he struggles to satiate his hunger.

Oh man! You struggle hard to acquire various types of knowledge in order to fill your stomach. In spite of all your hard work and acquisition of knowledge, you are unable to experience everlasting happiness. Instead, why don’t you contemplate on the Lord and seek refuge in Him? He will certainly show you a way to overcome your misery. (Telugu poem)

Every human being thinks that he is born merely for filling his belly. He constantly struggles to acquire food.

There is another interesting phenomenon in nature. The branches of a tree rub against each other due to the wind and fire is born out of that friction between two pieces of wood. How does it happen? Though there is fire in the wood of a tree, it is not burnt away. Why? No scientist could ever discover this secret so far. There are several such inexplicable phenomena in nature. With a view to recognise and understand such phenomena, man is constantly engaged in the quest for Divinity. However, one need not search for God, who is omnipresent.

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)

Everything in this universe moves strictly according to the Divine Will and force. Man, of his own accord cannot achieve anything. The Divine force manifests itself in several ways in this universe, in the form of various types of energy. People think they are created by somebody. Strictly speaking, nobody has created them. They are natural phenomena that manifest out of Divine will. For example, when two pieces of stone are struck against each other, fire is born. It means, there is fire latent in the stone, but does not manifest outside. Thus, all the powers are latent in nature.

A few minutes ago, one boy spoke about Nanda and Yashoda, the foster parents of Lord Krishna. In those days, there was no electricity. People in the village used to go to the house of Nanda (since he was the chief of the village) and lighted their oil lamps from the lamp lit up in Nanda’s house. People were of the belief that they would attain plenty and prosperity if they lighted their oil lamps from the lamps lit in the houses of well-to-do-people. A newly married daughter-in-law by name Suguna arrived in that village. Her mother-in-law told her to go to the house of Nanda and get her lamp lighted from theirs. When Suguna went to the house of Nanda and lighted the lamp, she could visualise Krishna in that flame. On having this Divine vision, she lost her body consciousness. She fixed her gaze on that beautiful form of Lord Krishna and was lost in bliss. She could not even realise that her fingers were being burnt, having come into contact with the flame. She was in total bliss. In the meanwhile, other ladies from the neighbouring houses also came there to light their own lamps. They were wonderstruck on witnessing this scene. They could notice that Suguna was not moving away from the flame even though her fingers were being burnt. They then realised that she had the vision of Krishna in that flame. They sang a song describing this incident. (Swami sang a Telugu song, the meaning of the first few lines is as follows …)

It seems Suguna had a vision

Of Gopala in the house of Nanda

She saw Krishna in the flame!

On hearing this song, Yashoda came there literally running. She saw Suguna’s fingers getting burnt in the flame. While all the Gopis were dancing in ecstasy, Yashoda went near Suguna and pulled her hand away from the flame. She chided her saying “Oh! Suguna ! Did you not notice your fingers being burnt on coming into contact with the flame? Do you wish to bring a bad name to us that if anyone goes to Nanda’s house, their fingers will be burnt?” Suguna’s mother-in-law was by nature a short-tempered woman. On hearing about this incident, she came running to the house of Yashoda and made a big issue of this incident. She ordered her daughter-in-law not to go to the house of Nanda again in future, for getting the lamp lighted.

Several miracles happened in the house of Yashoda. After Krishna left for Mathura, the Gopis could not bear His separation and were pining for His Darshan. In such a moment of yearning, Krishna appeared in Gokul. However, neither Nanda nor Yashoda could see Him. All the Gopis gathered at the house of Nanda and prayed that they may be allowed to have Krishna’s darshan. They started complaining, “Nanda and Yashoda! you have kept Krishna away from us. Please tell us where he is.” But, Krishna did not make his appearance in public. He appeared to some Gopis individually in answer to their prayers.

A few minutes ago, a student of our University narrated an incident wherein Swami had appeared before him in answer to his prayers. No one else could see Swami. Then, the boy prayed again, “Swami! What is the use of giving Darshan to me alone? Please give Darshan to all the students; otherwise, they will not believe my words and make fun of me.” I replied, “Does not matter. Let people think whatever they wish to. This is your prapti (deservedness), only you deserve to see Me”. So saying, I disappeared.

Once, Yashoda reprimanded child Krishna saying, “Oh! My dear Krishna! You don’t eat the food I prepared for you. You go to the houses of the milkmaids and stealthily eat the butter stored in their houses. You are creating problems for me. Is it that the butter suffused with mother’s love does not taste good for you?” So saying, she tied Krishna to a mortar with a rope. It is everybody’s experience in the world that we do not like the food cooked in our own house. The items cooked in others’ houses will appear to be tasty. This is quite natural. However, Krishna did not steal the butter from others’ houses for its taste. There is an underlying message in this leela. Here, butter symbolises a pure heart. Wherever such a pure heart is available, Krishna takes it. Such a pure heart will be soft and sweet. The hearts of Gopis were ripened with devotion. They were pure, soft and sweet. Hence, Krishna had gone to their houses to steal their hearts.

Krishna is referred to as “chora” (thief). What does He steal? He steals the butter-like hearts of the Gopis, hearts which are pure, soft and sweet. If you address someone as chora (thief), he will be annoyed. But if you call Krishna as “chiththa chora” (stealer of the heart), He will enjoy this appellation. That is why, devotees sing in praise of the Lord most endearingly “Chiththa chora Yashoda Ke Bal! Navaneetha chora Gopal! Gopal, Gopal, Gopal! Govardhanadhara Gopal!” (“Oh! Yashoda’s little Krishna! Oh! Gopala! Stealer of butter! Oh! Gopala! Lifter of the Govardhana mountain!”). The song thus sung melodiously with bhava, raga and thala will be liked by everyone. Great Singer-saints like Thyagaraja made sweet offerings to God in the form of Kirtanas suffused with Bhava (feeling), Raga (tune) and Thala (beat) and won His grace. There is so much sweetness in such devotional songs. God’s grace can surely be obtained by such devotional singing. You cannot win the grace of God by empty rhetoric. It is only through devotional singing suffused with Bhava, Raga and Thala, that Divinity can be attained. God will be moved by such Sankirtan. Even the Vedas have extolled the efficacy of devotional singing. Even by chanting the Vedas, God cannot be attained. There are several hymns in praise of God in the Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharvana Veda . But, not even a single individual chanting those hymns could obtain Divine Darshan. However, when these hymns are set to tune and sung with devotion, they could experience Divine Love. That is why God is extolled as ‘ganalola’ and ‘ganapriya’. Therefore, you pray to God with devotional singing. You can easily win the grace of God. Some people may have a doubt, “We cannot sing well; we have not learnt the art of singing. How can we please God?” Do not worry. You may not have knowledge of music or a mellifluous voice. It does not matter. Sing the glory of God with intense love, in some tune which you know. That is enough to move the heart of God. What is music? It is not necessary to make a special effort to learn music. A simple song with intense love and yearning will move God. For example, you recite a poem, “Rama! Nannu Kaapadu” (Oh! Rama! Please protect me). There will be no sweetness in the poem. It is simply a literary rendering of your feelings. Similarly, if you make an appeal to God saying “Rama! Nannu Kaapadu”, it becomes an empty repetition of words. The same feeling, if it is expressed in a song set to a beautiful tune, “Rama …! Nannu Kaapadu…”, it will be so sweet and endearing to Divinity. There is so much sweetness in music. Therefore, if you want to attain God, you have to do it only with devotional singing.

You need not be disappointed if you have not learnt music. Why disappointment? If there is an appointment, there will be disappointment. Therefore, do not make an appointment, in the beginning itself. You sing the glory of God in your own way. That is the easiest way to attain God. The Divine bliss enjoyed by the gopis in Krishnavatar in Dwapara Yuga is unparalleled. Therefore, remember that Divine bliss and try to please God with your love and devotion.

In no Avatar devotees have merged in the Divine Love to such a great extent as in Krishna Avatar. Thousands of devotees have merged in Sri Krishna during His Avatar. Hence, if you want to merge in divinity, devotional singing is the only means. God is said to be ganapriya (pleased by devotional singing). Krishnavatar is the best example for this statement. One simple name ‘Krishna’ sung by a devotee is enough to move Him. The leelas, mahimas and the miraculous deeds performed by Lord Krishna during His Avatar are unparalleled.

Dear students! You are singing several bhajans. All of you are participating in the bhajans. But, each one is singing in his own way. This is not proper. If all of you sing in one voice and one tune with divine feeling, God will surely install Himself in your loving heart. Krishnavatar is the only Avatar that had granted darshan to different people in different ways, clarified their doubts about His divinity and merged them in His own Self. Krishnavatar is the only Avatar that made everyone happy and blissful by His sweet and loving words.

Embodiments of Love!

There is nothing superior to devotional singing. What a great joy and happiness you derive by singing the song “Nanduni Yinta Gopaludanta Deepaana Kanipinchenanta” (It seems Gopala has appeared in the flame in the house of Nanda). Therefore, sing such soulful songs with bhava, raga and thala to please God and obtain His grace. You may sing any number of bhajans and songs, but it is only when they are suffused with intense love, devotion and sweet and soft feeling (bhava) you will derive immense happiness and joy.

108. Krishna Janmashtami Divine Discourse – 2

God Protects those who Protect Sathya and Dharma

No visit to any pilgrim centre, no penance, no Yogic practice, no study of sacred texts nor charitable acts will help you in crossing over the ocean of Samsara, but the service rendered to the noble. (Sanskrit Sloka)

Embodiments of Love!

You would have read in sacred texts that Ravana was a master of four Vedas and six Sastras. Having learnt these sacred texts, was there any transformation in him? No. Instead of developing Daivatva (divine qualities), he developed Danavatva (demonic qualities). The ten heads of Ravana symbolised four Vedas and six Sastras. In the decisive battle, Rama severed Ravana’s heads since he did not put into practice the knowledge he had acquired. Mere learning of sacred texts and chanting of Vedas will not bring about any transformation. In order to drive home this message, Rama cut off with his arrows Ravana’s ten heads. It is only right at the end. Just before his spirit left his body did Ravana recognise his faults and repented for them and became sacred thereby. All that God preaches is for the benefit and welfare of humanity. Therefore, it is enough if one puts into practice at least one of the teachings of the Vedas. It should be a natural trait for everyone to put into practice the divine teachings.

In Prasanthi Nilayam, you find that even the Primary school children join the senior students in chanting Vedas. They know all Vedas, but they do not have the required knowledge to put them into practice. Mere recitation of the Vedas is of little use.

Only God exists everywhere and at all times. The world is but an illusion. The sacred teaching that God exists everywhere should be propagated to everyone. You find many Sadhakas (spiritual aspirants) chanting and teaching the Vedas. Consider this example: a cassette tape or a disc merely plays, but does not experience the melody. It would be fruitless if one does not practise what he preaches. So, one should recognise, understand and practice the sacred teachings. Lord Krishna put into practice what He propagated and also insisted that everyone should follow suit. You find many elders in the Mahabharata who were great scholars themselves, but, failed to put into practice the knowledge they acquired. The same is the position today. God has no preferences or no dislike whatsoever. All are equal for Him. But, He watches to see how much a person puts into practice what he has learnt. Many people study sacred texts, go on pilgrimage, perform penance, repeat God’s Name, but what is the use? Many ask Me for a Japamala (rosary). Is it to adorn your neck for publicity or is it for spiritual experience? One hand is enough for one who wants to practise this Sadhana. (At this point, Swami demonstrated with His hand as to how one should do Namasmarana.) The five fingers of the hand contain nine Aksharas (letters) which are further divided into twelve Brahmas and this makes up to hundred and eight beads of the rosary. Chanting the name of Rama nine times twelve will make up to one hundred and eight. This Sadhana requires neither a Japamala nor a fixed place. It can be done while walking or even while lying down till you go to sleep. When there are such easy and sacred paths, why should one go for strenuous Sadhanas foregoing sleep?

Droupadi is known for her chastity. She has protected her husbands in many ways. After the gruesome massacre of the young Pandava children, Arjuna tracked down Aswatthama, the perpetrator of the atrocity, and dragged him before Droupadi. Instead of cursing the evildoer and pronouncing punishment for him, she fell at the feet of Aswatthama, the son of her husbands’ most revered Guru, and said:

It is at the feet of your father, Dronacharya that my husbands have learnt all that they know. Being the son of Dronacharya, was it proper to kill my children. How could you have the heart to kill them who were unharmed, young, quietly asleep, were not having any grudge against you, and were not contemplating any harm to you? (Telugu poem)

When Droupadi was praying like this, Bhima could not bear to see this. Exploding in anger, Bhima roared:

This Droupadi is a stupid woman, for she pleads for this wretch’s freedom. She feels no anger against this murderer of her sons. (Telugu poem)

When Arjuna was about to kill Aswatthama, Droupadi fell at his feet and reasoned with him thus: “Arjuna! Will my sons be revived by killing Aswatthama? His mother too would experience the same kind of sorrow that I am undergoing at the loss of my sons. Having studied the Vedas and Sastras, how is it that you are not able to maintain your tranquillity?”

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)

Thus, Droupadi pleaded with Arjuna to forgive Aswatthama for his heinous act. Arjuna replied, “You are preventing me from keeping up my vow.” To this Droupadi said, “Tonsuring his head and removing the crown jewel from his head is equivalent to killing him.” Arjuna paid heed to Droupadi’s advice and as a token punishment shaved Aswatthama’s head, took his crown jewel and sent him away.

What is Papa (sin)? Hurting, abusing and killing others is sin. What is Punya (merit)? Helping others is merit. Therefore, one should not retaliate to an evil act with an evil act. Instead, one should be magnanimous in forgiving the offender. There are many such sacred teachings in the Mahabharata.

There are many such noble women like Droupadi. She stands as an ideal for all women. Why are we forgetting the teachings of such great women? Today, women are treated as mere puppets. But they are full of courage, valour, sacrifice, determination and righteousness. Have you ever cared to recognise the power latent in women? Men do not possess such valour and courage of women. It is because of such great women that our Bharatiya culture is held in high esteem. Otherwise, it would have declined long ago. Did you ever recognise the fact that women are endowed with such great powers as courage, valour, determination and righteousness? These qualities are not to be easily found in men. Why? Most of them are afflicted with the disease of anger, which is ruining them.

One with anger will not be successful in any of his endeavours. He will commit sins and will be derided by one and all. (Telugu poem)

It is possible that women may also succumb to anger and indulge in sinful deeds, now and then. Such people should be pardoned and encouraged to make amends, not denounced and condemned. The quality of patience and perseverance in women is great. In fact, it is the quality of equanimity in times of difficulty that was characteristic of the Droupadi, which saved the Pandavas. There are several such women even in present times also. The bad qualities of anger, passion, jealousy, envy and pride are more prominent in men. Women are able to control such evil qualities from overtaking them. Under the circumstances is it not our duty to encourage and honour such women who preserve and promote peace and harmony? On the contrary, women are belittled and slighted. No, no, this should not happen. Such women with noble qualities deserve to be encouraged and upheld.

A few days ago, you had witnessed a function in this Hall, where the glory of womanhood was highlighted. A playlet was put up in this Hall by Chethana, in which the greatness of mother Sita, as the ideal woman, was presented. Sita and Droupadi were great Pathivrathas (women of chastity). Such efforts to highlight the greatness of women need to be encouraged.

Sathya and Dharma (truth and righteousness) are the greatest characteristics of Indian culture. If these two are protected, the country can be saved from degeneration. If you want to protect your country, you need not join the army and fight a battle. If truth and righteousness that are inherent in you are protected, they themselves will protect the country. It is not great to kill the enemies in a war. First and foremost, protect truth and righteousness in you. The country will automatically be protected. Indian culture exhorts Sathyam Vada (speak truth) and Dharmam Chara (practise righteousness). When you do this with perseverance, you will become a great hero. When you protect Sathya and Dharma, God will, in turn, protect you. Instead of trying to worship God and obtain His grace, if you protect truth and righteousness, God will protect not only your country, but the whole world. Truth is your very life-breath. Righteousness is your armour. Therefore, protect truth; foster righteousness. That is enough. Truth and righteousness are inseparable. One cannot exist without the other.

They are the very life-breath for the universe. Droupadi was assiduously observing and propagating these two.

Sathya Dharmamu Santhi Premalatho

Nee nithya jeevana yathra saginchu.

(Oh man! Carry on your life’s journey with the help of Truth, Righteousness, Peace, and Love). You must hold on to these principles, come what may. God will always protect such people. History is replete with several examples wherein people held steadfastly to the principles of Sathya and Dharma, and were constantly protected by God. One such example is that of Pandavas and their chaste wife, Droupadi. You may argue, “Where is Sathya and Dharma in the present-day world? Whom are they protecting?” This is a totally wrong argument. If you protect Sathya and Dharma, they will, in turn, stand before you and protect you. They are the very embodiments of Divinity. Unfortunately, today, instead ofSathyam Vada (speak truth) and Dharmam Chara (practise righteousness), people are following the distorted version Sathyam Vadha (kill truth) and Dharmam Chara (imprison righteousness). This is utter perversion. You should lead your lives based on Sathya and Dharma and consider them as more important than your lives.

When Droupadi was pleading with Aswatthama who killed her sons, Bhima was furious with uncontrollable anger. He clenched his fist and proceeded towards Aswatthama to kill him. In that uncontrollable rage, he argued with Droupadi, “Are you mad? Why are you trying to save this man who mercilessly slit the throat of your five sons? I will break the head of this child-killer into pieces with my fist. Do not come in my way.” At that moment Droupadi fell at the feet of Bhima and pleaded with him to spare the life of Aswatthama. She prayed for regaining his composure. People around, who were witnessing this scene, were wonderstruck. They were wondering whether Droupadi was really mad! In fact, the world will be better if everyone is afflicted with such madness. Thus, when Droupadi pleaded with her husbands for saving the life of Aswatthama, he prayed for forgiveness. Droupadi was happy at the change of heart in Aswatthama and advised him, “Brother! You need not beg for my forgiveness. Instead, you pay your respect and do service to your mother. Do not drown her in sorrow. Never cause her anguish; take good care of her.” Even the loss of five sons did not make Droupadi shed tears of sorrow.

Several women come to me with a heavy heart and tell me “Swami! My husband’s death has caused me deep sorrow and anguish. How do I bear this calamity?” Then I would respond saying, “Oh! Your husband died? Very happy.” They feel very unhappy with My attitude and question Me, “What is this Swami? Are You so happy on hearing the news of my husband’s death?” What am I to say? I am always happy. I do not know what sorrow is. I always discharge My duty.

God is the only person who protects everybody. Therefore, pray to God always. Forgetting God and depending on the mercy of human beings! What madness! You must depend on God, for everything in your life. That is real Thapas (penance).

Since ancient times, women have been the very life-breath and foundation for Bharat. They are the very embodiment of truth and righteousness. How much respect and reverence we must show towards such noble women? On the contrary, there are several people today, who put them to untold suffering. Due to bad habits and bad company, people lose their sense of discrimination and torture the women. No woman should be put to mental and physical torture, whatever be their nature. They must be revered and respected and protected in all ways. Women in Bharat have always been held in high esteem. There are several chaste and noble women in Bharat and still Bharatiyas are undergoing difficulties. What is the reason? Whose fault is this? It is only because the Bharatiyas are not giving proper respect and place to women in society. The fault lies squarely on the men.

Forbearance is the real beauty in this sacred land of Bharat. Of all the rituals, adherence to truth is the greatest penance. (Telugu poem)

The truthful character of the women is really their Tapas (penance). Therefore, such noble women must be encouraged and honoured. If you can put this one great principle into practice, your life will be sanctified. Those who ill-treat their wives can never be happy and prosperous. If men cannot protect their women who are prepared to sacrifice even their lives for the sake of their husbands, what for is their existence? Women are really the presiding deities of their homes. Our primary duty is to protect them. Never let your women shed tears. If women shed tears, such homes will be ruined in no time. Women are ideals to the society. Never cause them distress.

Men should lead a life of truth and righteousness. Only then can they protect the country and become worthy of being called real men. Otherwise, how can they become heroic men? Several people go to temples. When they visit a temple, they must make a vow that they would respect and protect the women. Only then will they be protected. It is only when the women are safe, the whole world will be happy. Therefore, if you wish to protect Dharma in the world, you must first protect your Dharma towards women.

Embodiments of Love!

Imagine a situation wherein you are in the role of women and some men torture you. How miserable and helpless you would feel! Women are prepared to sacrifice even their lives for the sake of their husbands. But, men do not have such spirit of sacrifice. Men should also cultivate such a spirit of sacrifice, like women. Only then will you be fit to be called men. Otherwise, you will be men only in form, but lacking in masculinity. You consider women as Abala (weak). But, the truth is they are Sakthi Swarupas (embodiments of strength and power). Only, I know the plight of women who lost their husbands. It is our duty to protect such women. If you can discharge this duty properly, you will be happy throughout your life.

Embodiments of Love!

You must follow truth even in small matters. There are three letters “Sa”, “Tha” and “Ya” in the word “Sathya”. If you reverse the order, it will become “Ya” “Tha” and “Sa”. This means when you do Thapas with austerities like Yama (control of the inner senses) and Niyama (control of the outer senses), you will have the divine vision of Sathya Swarupa (Embodiment of Truth). You have to thus, recognise the inner meaning of every word and follow them meticulously.

King Janaka, a great renunciant king, used to propagate truth and righteousness to his subjects among his own example. His daughter, Sita, also led a pious life based on truth and righteousness. You are not studying the life history of such ideal women. Instead, you are reading trash. No. No. This is unbecoming of you. You should study the ancient history of Bharat, which is so sacred. The character and morality of women in Bharat are very sacred. You will become worthy of being called men only when you undertake to protect such great women. By mere sporting a moustache or growing a beard, will you become men? Moustache and beard are not the real signs of masculinity. You must protect ladies and uphold the dignity of the family. Only then can you become great heroes and men of character.

Embodiments of Love!

Consider women as embodiments of truth. Even if some minor faults are noticed in them, do not give credence to them. Respect and revere them. Do not use even a single word that would offend them. If they really wish, they can achieve any great task. You should be even prepared to lay down your lives for the sake of protecting and fostering women. At least from today, all of you should come forward to protect the honour and dignity of women in the world. Women also should undertake a vow to contribute their mite in this great task of protection of Sthri Dharma. As regards men, there is nothing great or new in trying to protect women. That is your duty. Her duty is to foster and maintain the entire family as a unit. If women are protected, they in turn will protect the entire world. Never belittle women and treat them as mere playthings. I hope all of you men will, at least in future, undertake to protect the dignity and honour of women and thereby protect your own dignity and honour. I conclude My discourse blessing you all.

(Bhagawan concluded His Discourse with the Bhajan, “Rama Rama Rama Sita …”)

109. Onam Discourse

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 forAtmaanveshana (quest for the Atma) and not for Annaanveshana (quest for food). Annaanveshanagives 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 …”

110. Divine Discourse on Gurupurnima

The Form of God is Love

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 towards one’s mother. (Telugu poem)

Embodiments of Love!

In this sacred land of Bharat, 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 towards the poor and the physically challenged. But the modern man shows disgust towards such unfortunate people. In fact, Sahana (tolerance) is the most valuable and sacred Mantra of the Bharatiyas. 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 Bharatiyas, 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 which 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 towards 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 culture sand 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 towards 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 for, 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, 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 which 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, he 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. Say “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 which 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 the 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 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. 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 towards 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…”

“HARI AUM TAT SAT”

…………………………………….Concluded with the divine blessings to all the Readers.

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