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Day Four:  12th August ATI RUDRA MAHA YAJNAM
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Yajna updates:  Day - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 
(9th - 20th August 06)

 Divine (4th day) DISCOURSE  


Download MP3: Sounds from todays' Ati Rudra Maha Yagnam - August 12th 2006....

12th August - 4th day of Yajna: Darshan News in brief - The 4th day of sacred yajna commenced at 5:20 am. At 7:25 am Swami arrived while the sacred vedic rituals with mantra chanting was in full swing, Swami surveyed the proceedings for few short minutes and then went inside the interview room. Today morning Swami went back to His abode at 9:50 am. In the evening Swami arrived at 3:25 pm. A couple of devotees addressed the assembled devotees at Sai Kulwant hall, after their speeches Swami gave prasadam of yet another discourse ( daily series of discourses) Details of the discourse will be published later today. After the Bhajans the sweet prasadam of apple fruit was distributed to the devotees present in Kulwant hall.


More updates: Posted on 13th August 2006 at 00:05 Hrs.IST.

Athi Rudra Maha Yajna: Day 4 Afternoon Session

Day four of the Yajna commenced at 5:30 a.m. and in fact the ritualistic proceedings
for the day from 3 to 11 is the same, that commence with Mangala Vadya, Aruna Parayana, Mahanyasa Parayana, Panchamrutha Abhishekam etc. Bhagawan came into the Sai Kulwant Hall at 7:20 a.m., as usual went for a full round granting coveted darshan before occupying the seat on the dais overseeing the day’s proceedings. He retired to Yajur Mandir at 9:30 a.m. and the Mangalaarathi was offered at 9:45 a.m. after completing various homas and abhishekas.

In the afternoon, Bhagawan came into the Hall at 3:35 p.m. just before the Yajna proceeding for the session was to finish. The speaker for the afternoon was Dr. Kashyap, Director, Aurobindo Kapali Shastri Institute of Vedic Culture, Bangalore who spoke on the subject of Rudra Mantras as an Internal Yajna. Dr. Kashyap, a doctorate from Harward University who has dedicated his life in expanding the significances of the Vedas is a recipient of prestigious awards such as Vedanga Vidhwan and Jnana Keerthi and has authored several commentaries on the Vedas. Himself an exponent in the propagation of Vedic Culture, Dr. Kashyap while giving various insights into the intricacies related to Vedic Knowledge, urged the devotees presented to take to read the original texts to take the road to Vedic Culture.

Mr. S.V.Giri, a distinguished civil servant who had taken voluntary retirement from the prestigious post of Central Vigilance Commissioner of India, and formerly Vice-Chancellor of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning was invited to share his thought to devotees. Mr. Giri’s speech was followed by Divine Discourse by Bhagawan.

 photos of today

 Photos of today: 4th day-12th August

Sayeeshwara Lingam worshipped with flowers


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August 12, 2006 - More update from today with Divine Discourse

Read:todays' Divine Discourse

By the Divine command, today's morning session was advanced by half an hour. The settings were the same, the dais, the pandal, the altars etc (as on the 10th Morning). The day opened with Mangala Vadyam belting out mellifluous music and spreading a feeling true to its name (Mangalam). The timetable was same as that of yesterday. The Aruna Parayanam began at 5:35 AM and towards its end at 5:45 AM the sunlight poured on through the dome as if to mark its attendance and have Darshan of the Lingam which stood with the vermillion and sandal paste across its forehead and the eye (which Swami Himself had materialized) in all beauty and consumed in the magnificence of Divinity.

The Aruna Parayanam was followed by the Mahanyasam Parayanam. This is Vedam chanting by the full group of rithwiks which surcharges the atmosphere, customary to the daily schedule of the Athi Rudra Maha Yagnam. The Mahanyasam was followed by the Panchamrutham Abhishekam at 6:10 AM. A series of Abhishekams are performed with honey, milk, curd and finally Panchamrutham. The Abhishekam (except for the Panchamrutham ) is done in a wonderful manner. A vessel with the contents of the abhishekam is suspended atop the lingam, it has a small opening at the bottom through which the milk, honey and water trickle and caress the Lingam, afterwards flowing down to be collected.

Around 6:50 the Rudrabhishekam began. Almost everyone in the Sai Kulwant Hall joined in the chants and the volume levels were quite high. But it is only in such occasions that such a high volume could render tranquility to the mind as one is tuned to the cosmic frequency.

At 7:32 AM, the Rudra Himself made His entry. Swami took his usual lap around amplifying the ambience that already held everyone in an exalted state of existence. The secret behind the Athi Rudra Maha Yagnam, magnitude mammothian, the source of every chant of the Rudram, the Infinite! The source, as relentless as the ocean's waves and as countless as the twinkling stars.

As Swami stepped out of the car, the greeting was splendorous. The Nadaswaram and Mangala Vadyam, played with all might and power. Swami came to the fore and sat on His chair (7:42AM) and personally monitored the proceedings. He called out to one of the members of the Prashanti Vedam group and asked,
Swami: What is the meaning of "Namaha"?
Boy: "Not me!!!" Swami!
Swami: Does that mean that the one who is performing the yagnam is not Me?
Boy: Swami, God is the doer of everything; therefore You are the doer Swami.

Swami then called out to the "Birthday boys", blessed them and continued to monitor the proceedings. It is to note that before the eighth iteration of the Rudra Parayanam, all the ragas of music were offered at the feet of Saieeshwara. The various combinations of the seven swaras (the ragas) are nothing but the manifestation of the Divine and therefore goes back to Him. Swami is the best patron of music and clearly an example of that was seen last evening.

Around, 8:15AM Swami called out for Prasadam to be distributed. Swami took keen interest in what the Prasadam was and showed a sign of approval when it was shown to him. Swami called out to one of the dance boys and enquired about the programme and costumes of the team. The boy very expressively (the wonderful dancer that he is) explained to Swami lucidly with the help of gesticulations.

The Rithwiks during the course of the chanting reiterated the fact that the Yagnam is performed for the good of humanity and to remove all the Doshas. Swami has also emphasized repeatedly in his last two discourses that this is for Loka Kalyanam. At around 8:45AM Swami retired to the interview room.

Swami came out at around 9:15 AM, exactly in time for the Rudra Homam. Swami sat through the homam, watching the golden flames that breathed life as ghee offered from a golden vessel with a wooden stick and the "samiths" (small wooden sticks) were poured and cast into the altars. He then went back to the Yajur Mandiram at around 9:45 AM when the Sai Gayatri homam was being performed. The morning's programme concluded on that note with a Mangala Aarathi to the Lingam.

In the afternoon, Swami arrived in the car at 3:28pm. He went from the ladies' side to the gents' side and gave darshan to all the people gathered in the Kulwant hall. After arriving at the interview room, He got down and walked all the way to the stage. With Swami's permission Sri Vinay Kumar introduced the speaker of the day, Dr. Kashyap, Director of the Aurobindo Kapali Sastry Institute of Vedic Culture.

Dr. Kashyap spoke on the Rudra mantras as the means for inner yagna. He spoke on Rudra as the god who moves the world. This scholar with a degree from the Harvard University quoted from the yajur veda on the significance of Namakam and Chamakam. Rudra, he opined, is described as "Manyu" which means the intense power of the mind. All the hymns that we chant are to channelize this power to attain the goal of life. In the Chamakam we ask God to confer everything upon us because this life is meant to achieve perfection in all spheres. But in all this we must realize that we are not the doers but the instrument alone. There is a lot in common between the Veda and the Upanishad said the scholar. In the word yagna, ya means, to strive and gna means knowledge. Yagna means to strive for knowledge said the erudite speaker. The scholar exhorted the audience to take to vedic learning. He then concluded and as he was leaving the stage Swami called him close and very graciously spoke to him before he materialized vibhuti for him. Then Swami himself very considerately packed the holy-ash in a paper before handing it to him.

Swami then asked Sri S V Giri (former vice chancellor SSSIHL) to speak. Sri Giri said that the purpose of the yagnam was to internalize knowledge. From thought, we reap action leading on to habit and then to tendency and thereupon to character and destiny. He quoted some paragraphs of the rudram the essence of which was to sacrifice hate at the altar. He noted that this yagnam is far powerful than just Ati Rudra Yagnam because nearly hundred nay thousand voices chant the rudram along with the priests. He said that Swami's projects are all exemplars and so was this yagnam. This must be taken as a standard and implemented elsewhere. With Swami, money is not a consideration. Swami gives free education from KG to PG. The learned speaker then recounted the story of Sankara and the Chandala before he spoke on how this yagnam could be implemented like the gramaseva in all the states.

After he had finished, Swami called him and told him to speak for some more time. He continued by congratulating the Karnataka youth for the wonderful work they had done in organizing this Yagnam. The speaker then exhorted the youth to take to such noble activity before he wound up at 4:30pm.

At 4:30pm Swami signaled for the discourse table to be brought.
The discourse for the afternoon was as follows:

Deham Paanchabhoutikam
Deham koolaka......

The body is constituted of the five elements. It is bound to collapse one day. It is the indweller who is permanent. He has no bondage or liberation, no life nor death. He is eternal. That indweller is verily god.

This body is like a 'godrej' safe that is used to safeguard the treasures of Sathya(truth), Dharma(righteousness), Shanti(peace), Prema(love). Many affluent people come to Swami and pray, "Swami I have everything in life but I don't have peace". True peace lies in giving up desire. There is no peace for one with desires. Today man has so many ambitions. True sacrifice is in giving up these ambitions.

Sathya Dharma Shanti Premalu lekunna...
Without the values of Sathya, Dharma, Shanti and Prema all the knowledge acquired is a void. Without these values, all the meritorious actions sum up to a null and all the positions that one attains, the rewards therein sum to a zero.

These values are the foundation for life. What is the use of the safe (body) if it does not treasure valuables (values)? The body bereft of these values is a water bubble or an empty box which no one desires. It is our responsibility to safeguard these jewels. What is this jewel; Sathyam (truth). Truth is valuable and changeless. One can never be free from truth. Though we know truth as the principle, we try to keep away from it. We must realize that we can never escape from the reality that is truth. Next is Dharma (righteousness), which is the foundation for life. There is no Dharma greater than the practice of truth. Without the foundation of Dharma the walls of life wouldn't stand. There are two Dharmas namely: Bhoutika(worldly) and Adhyatmika(spiritual). The worldly Dharma is in motion(changes) and the spiritual Dharma is constant and changeless. If the foundation were to move, the walls would collapse. Dharma is the path that is to be followed. Then comes Shanti(peace). It is the light of life. When there is no Shanti in life man gropes in darkness and faces risk and danger. Prema(love) can be compared to brilliance. This love cannot be described. Take for example this story of love between a mother and her son. When there was a war in Rangoon(Burma) a mother and her son managed to escape and came all the way to Madras. Here the mother begged for food to feed her son. The son noticed that his mother was getting thin and emaciated. Upon enquiry he understood that all the food that his mother gathered from begging was just enough for him and she had no food left to eat. Realizing his folly the son set out to beg for food giving rest to his mother. In the process he too became thin and weak. On one such round of begging he happened to come to a house where the master of the house was sitting in an easy chair in the verandah. Standing at the doorstep he called out, "Bhavati bhikshaan dehi, (O noble one give me food) I am hungry". The master of the house noting that the boy was weak from hunger went inside and got for him a plate of rice and sambar(thick soup). The boy would have none of it and collapsed on the floor saying something in a meek voice. When the person put his ear to his lips he heard the boy whisper, "First give this to my mother". He then passed away. When his body was taken to his mother she too passed away learning what had happened. In this manner both of them died in their love for each other. This was the love that existed in the ancient times. But today such love is on the decline, instead there is only Swartham(selfishness). Love is life and there must exist intimate love between the mother and child. Even a monkey exhibits so much love for its little one that it keeps it close to itself and moves about. Such is the love that must be treasured in the safe of the body. When there is this love peace will manifest itself. This peace is not of the pieces but true peace. Then comes Ahimsa(non-violence). Ahimsa is the greatest of Dharma. Buddha gave up his family, kingdom and all other comforts for non-violence.

These five values are the five life principles (pancha pranas). There exist only five and not six of them. All the activities (yagnas, yagas, tapas and so on) that man undertakes, it is to safeguard these five values. He who has treasured these five values, has his life redeemed. Even if one of these is missing, his life is in vain. One must lead a life of truth and grow in Dharma. These values can be compared to life wherein Truth is the foundation, Dharma the walls, Prema is the roof and the life within is one of Shanti. Today these values are missing. Whatever the riches man may acquire, without these values he has no roof over his head. He is always drenched by rain and exposed to the sun. Today it is the Dharma of money. Even old people crave for money. This money leads to desires and thus the Kaliyuga has become Kalahayuga (one of conflict).

This body is the safe which is useless without the treasures. What is the use of such a life bereft of values? Even animals lead such a life. Man today has excess desires. If he has five buildings he is not satisfied and wants ten more when just one is enough. This desire makes man cheat his fellowmen. We must control our desires for less luggage gives more comfort and makes travel a pleasure. Swami does not desire anything. He has no house of His own. He stays in whatever is provided by his devotees. We must decrease desires but increase our love for God. When we have love for God, all our desires are taken care of. You have listened to many learned people and you must put into practice what they have said.

(Swami then pointed to the senior students and research scholars sitting in the front). These boys are highly qualified: many of them doing research having completed their MA, MSc and MBA. They are capable of drawing a salary of one to two lakhs a month. But they do not want any of that. They want to do work that is worship and perform duty that is god. Boys should have strong faith instead of desires. When one has desires he ends up in ruin. These desires in the form of responsibilities are a burden and encumber the progress of man. He initially has two legs which then become four when he acquires a wife. Then he gets six legs with the arrival of a child. Ironically his speed decreases, more the number of legs. The message of Dakshina moorthy is to reduce ones' desires. Why is Dakshina moorthy always smiling? It is because He has no responsibilities. With one child a person can have enough difficulty (Swami mentioned the story of the mother and child from Rangoon). Both of them died out of love for one another. We may die but we must not give up that love. We must lead a life to acquire a good name. There is no use in getting a great name. Even a millionaire must eat only rice and not gold.

We must not limit our love to our family but express our love for all. Be selfless. A fish is better than a selfish person. A fish moves about effortlessly because it has no responsibilities or burden. But man today carries these responsibilities till his death. This load puts a low profile onto him. We must reduce these desires and increase the love for God. God is there to shoulder our responsibilities. Though we know that, we worry unnecessarily. Once we offer everything to God, we can lead a peaceful life. We may forget anything in life but we must never forget God. This is Swami's message for today.

With this Swami sat down. He then sang the song "Bhaja Govindam". Swami then indicated for prasadam in the form of apples to be distributed.
After that Swami instructed the bhajan-boys to start bhajans and the evening was filled with melodious devotional singing. Many of the singers began their bhajans with aalaps (solo singing with lot of variety by the lead singer prior to the bhajan). Swami at the end of seven bhajans asked for the arathi and with the head priest offering arathi to Swami and the lingam, accompanied by the nadaswaram, the conches, the gong and the entire Sai Kulwant hall singing in unison, Swami retired at 6:00pm. - Prashanthi Bulletin RADIO SAI.ORG



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)

The body is like an iron safe which encases the precious jewel of the Atma and values like Sathya, Dharma, Santhi and Prema. If there are no jewels inside, what is the value of the iron safe? It has value only when there are jewels in it. Sathya is one of the most important and precious jewels. Dharma is another valuable jewel like a diamond. Peace is essential for every human being. Even when a millionaire comes to Swami, he tells, “Swami I have everything, but I have no peace.” There can be no happiness in life without peace. Only a person who imbibes the qualities of Sathya, Dharma, Santhi and Prema can lead a life of detachment and renunciation. Who is a true renunciant? One who renounces the fruits of his desires and actions can be called a true renunciant. There lies true peace. So long as one has desires, one cannot have true peace.

Bereft of truth, righteousness, love and peace,

the value of all your education is zero;

Bereft of truth, righteousness, love and peace,

the sanctity of all your acts of charity and kindness is zero;

Bereft of truth, righteousness, love and peace,

the utility of all your positions or power is zero;

Bereft of truth, righteousness, love and peace

the result of all your good deeds is zero.

These four values are the very foundation of man’s life.

(Telugu poem)

The precious jewels of Sathya, Dharma, Santhi and Prema are there in every human being. It is the duty of every human being to safeguard these jewels. Without these values, the body is like an empty iron safe which has no value. What is truth? Truth is that which does not change over time and is eternal. Everyone knows about Truth. Yet, people try to keep away from truth. Man resorts to untruth in order to escape from difficulties. Sathyannasti paro Dharmah (There is no Dharma greater than adherence to truth). What is Dharma? Dharma truly is the very foundation of the mansion of life. You may build a multi-storeyed building, but without the foundation, it will not last long. So, Dharma is the very basis of man’s life. Dharma is of two types: Laukik (worldly) and Adhyatmic (spiritual). Laukik Dharma is subject to change, but spiritual Dharma is eternal. When the foundation is weak, the walls of the mansion will collapse in a short time. Dharma is therefore the true path for everyone to follow. Prema (love) is the roof of this mansion and Santhi (peace) is life. Man cannot live in a house without a roof. Unfortunately, nowadays Sathya, Dharma, Santhi and Prema seems to have completely disappeared. Today even a wealthy person lacks the spirit of sacrifice. The life of such a person is like a roofless house that will be exposed to the sun and rain. Therefore, it is necessary to have a proper roof.

It is love that sustains man’s life. Right from the time of birth, a child loves its mother and the mother loves the child. It is difficult to describe in words the depth of the love between a mother and child.

During the II World War for the liberation of Rangoon from the Japanese, many people died due to bombing. A mother and her son somehow managed to reach by foot a village near Chennai, having lost all their near and dear ones. They had no shelter or food to eat. They therefore took shelter under a tree. The mother would go begging for alms from house to house, give most of it to her son and partake of whatever little was left. When she did not get enough, she would give the entire quantity of food to her son and would herself go without food. Consequently, she became weak day by day. One day the son, unable to see her suffering, told her, “Mother, from today, you take rest and I will fetch food for both of us.” From that day, he would go begging from house to house, give most of it to his mother and partake of whatever little was left. Sometimes, he would lie to his mother that he had already taken his food. Consequently, he too became very weak. The son had no strength to look after his mother nor did the mother have any strength to protect her son.

One day, he stood in front of the house of an officer and begged for alms. The officer was relaxing in an easy-chair in the verandah reading a newspaper. He took pity on the boy, went inside and brought some food on a plantain leaf. He told him to sit and eat it there itself. But the boy said that he would take it home. The officer said, “I don’t think you are really hungry, otherwise why should you take it home?” When the officer was uttering these harsh words, the boy felt giddy and fell down. The officer heard him mumble the words, “First to my mother, to my mother…” in a faint voice. Saying so, he breathed his last. When this sad news reached the mother, she was immersed in grief. Unable to bear the grief of the tragic death of her dear son, the mother also breathed her last. Both the mother and her son sacrificed their lives out of love for each other. This was the depth of love between the mother and child in those days. Today, due to selfishness, there is a decline in love even between the mother and the child! A life without love is not worth living. Love is life. The mother should love her son and the children should love their mother. In this manner, the mutual love between a mother and her children should grow. Even a monkey carries its offspring wherever it goes. Love is a necessity. This precious jewel of love is present in the iron safe of the body. Where there is love, there is peace. Where there is peace, there is non-violence. Contentment is peace.

Buddha renounced his kingdom, left his wife and child and propagated the principle of non-violence. He propagated the ideal, “Ahimsa Paramo Dharmah” (Ahimsa is the highest Dharma). We should develop Sathya, Dharma, Santhi, Prema and Ahimsa which are the five life-breaths of man. One can be called a human being only if one has these five values. Man should undertake all such activities which can foster the five values in him. Yajnas, Yagas, Japa, Tapa, etc., are meant only to develop these values in man. One who possesses these five values is a man of merit and his life is redeemed. One’s life is a waste, if he lacks even one of them. First of all, man should lead a life of truth and follow the path of Dharma to achieve progress on the path of spirituality.

Embodiments of Love!

Today wherever we go, we find only craze for money. Even old people who are nearing the end of their life are crazy after money. Today, man’s desires are multiplying. The age in which we live is not Kali Yuga but Kalaha Yuga (age of conflict). Money is the root cause of all this. We give too much importance to the body which is like an iron safe. Instead we should give more importance to the precious jewels of human values within. Without these jewels, the iron safe has little value. Values should be the prime concern of human life. Without values, human life does not serve any purpose. Birds and animals have love in them, but they have no desires. They are contented when their hunger is satiated. But man is not like that. He wants everything. Even if he owns five buildings, he wants ten more. Why does he require so many houses? Is one house not enough for him to live comfortably? But, he wants many residences. He is deceived by his own limitless desires. Today man’s desires are excessive. He has to reduce his desires. Less luggage more comfort make travel a pleasure. We are doing a lot of work for others without any expectation. I don’t own even a single house. Wherever I go, I stay in the houses of the devotees. People should reduce their desires in the same manner. Once you control your desires, you can live in peace. But, never reduce your love for God. Develop more and more love for God. When you have love for God, you will have everything.

Embodiments of Love!

Today you have listened to the talks given by the elders. All that you have heard, you should put into practice. Install the values of Sathya, Dharma, Santhi and Prema in your heart permanently. If you have peace and love, you can achieve anything in life. If you ask any of our students, you will find that none of them has any desires. All these boys are highly qualified. They have postgraduate degrees like M.A., MBA, M.Sc. and Ph.D. They have no desire to go to their home. If they go out, they can earn very high salary. An MBA boy can earn a salary of one to two lakhs per month. But they do not want to go. “What can money give us? Can it give us happiness?”, they ask. They want to work here. They consider work as worship and duty as God. They are highly duty- conscious. The students should have such strong faith. Wherever you see, you will find that people who are full of desires. What do they achieve by having too many desires? Ultimately, they ruin their life. So, it is necessary for us to control our desires. With heavy luggage on your head, how far can you walk? Reduce your luggage to make the journey of your life more comfortable. As a bachelor, how happy and carefree you are. When you get a wife, you have virtually four feet. When you want to go out, you will be worried that your wife is alone at home. After a year, you will have a son. Now you six feet instead of four. As the number of feet increases, you will become more and slow. Thus, the pace of your life’s journey is slowed down.

Embodiments of Love!

Treasure the love in your heart. Love all. But do not unduly burden yourself with too many responsibilities. This will add to your worries and difficulties. Our teachers know pretty well what these difficulties are. You can lead a happy life if only you reduce your burden. Then there will be less scope for difficulties and suffering. Dakshinamurthy also gave the message of sacrifice to drive home this truth. Dakshinamurthy imparted his teachings through silence. He always had a smiling countenance. The reason was he had no worries and responsibilities. (Here Swami reminded the story of the mother and son who gave up their life out of love for each other and emphasised that we should not give up love even if we have to give up our body.) Death is certain some day or other. We may keep the body fit for now, but we have to drop it one day. We should earn a good name even at the cost of our life. Consider earning a good name as your very life-breath. Good name will remain even if the person departs from this world. Therefore, you should earn a good name in society. There is no point in earning a great name, but you should have a good name. A millionaire may be considered great, but he also eats grains and cereals in his food and not gold. So long as you are alive, you have to depend upon food to nourish your body. At the same time, reduce your body attachment. Share your love with everyone. Do not limit your love to your family only and lead a selfish life. Even a fish is better than a selfish person. A fish moves freely and happily in water and leads a comfortable life. On the other hand, man has burdened himself with too many responsibilities and attachments. Because of this heavy load, he has sunk so low. Therefore, you should reduce your burden and spend more and more time in the contemplation of God. When you develop love for Paramatma (God), you can experience happiness in Prakriti (Nature).

Duty is God. Work is worship . Follow these twin principles in life. Do not put undue burden of responsibilities on yourself. God is there to shoulder the responsibility of everyone (loud applause). Where is the cause for worry, when God is there to take care of us? We keep on worrying because our understanding of this truth is only theoretical. We should not be like that. Once we offer everything to God, we should be free from worries. You can experience peace only when you are free from worries. You may perform any number of Yajnas and Yagas and undertake any number of spiritual practices, but all these are useless if the underlying meaning is not understood. You may forget anything in this world, but never forget God. Keep your mind always focused on God. This is My message for you today (loud prolonged applause).

Bhagawan concluded His Discourse with the song, “Bhaja Govindam, Bhaja Govindam, Moodha Mathe …”





Loving Sai Ram and greetings from Prashanti Nilayam. We are sure you all know about the special Yajna, soon to be performed in Prashanti, a Yajna that has never been performed before here. News about the Yajna has been rapidly spreading, by word of mouth, via SanathanaSatarathi, via newspapers, and of course also via Radio Sai. Understandably there is much excitement and we have received many mails asking us many questions and asking us to do extensive coverage using all the tools at our disposal. We assure you that we would do all we can, via Radio Sai, via H2H and also via a special video documentary.

Now the forthcoming Yajna can be looked at in many ways, that is to say from a ritualistic point of view, from a purely spiritual point of view and also, from a practical point of view as well. In this Sunday Special, we shall focus primarily on the practical aspects, leaving the other aspects for later consideration via H2H, Radio Sai, etc.

You might wonder: “What’s all this about the practical aspect? Could there at all be such a thing?” Our answer is, “Yes of course.” We shall now proceed to explain what exactly we mean. As a prelude we would like to say that the forthcoming Yajna is basically an intense prayer to Lord Siva. God is Formless, without attributes and indeed nameless, but since abstract infinity is difficult to relate to for ordinary mortals, traditional folklore has given this Abstract Formless God many names, one of which is Siva.

Having given a name, form is the next thing that humans like to give and there is for sure a detailed description of Siva, what He wears, what He holds in His hand, what He rides, etc., etc. These descriptions are backed by elaborate explanations of what all these mean. All these have relevance of their own and quite useful in many ways, but we shall not get into all that here. There is only one aspect of this folklore we would like to draw upon for the present and that is the following story.

According to Hindu mythology, long time ago, the Devas and the Asuras [may be you could read it as the good guys and the bad guys!] decided to churn the Cosmic Ocean to bring out Amritha or nectar, that would confer Immortality. So they began this most demanding churn, the Devas on one side and the Asuras on the other. After a while, something emerged from the Cosmic Ocean but it was not the nectar that was sought for; instead, it was something deadly, a poison called Halahala. This unexpected turn of events had both parties worried, whereupon an intense prayer brought Lord Siva to the scene. And you know what Siva did? Being the Compassionate One, He collected the poison floating on the surface of the ocean in the palm of His hand and swallowed it in one gulp. At the same time, He did not allow the poison to go down to His stomach, freezing it as it were in the throat, which turned blue. Thus it is that Siva is also known as the Blue-throated One, or Neelakanta. The story goes on further but we have no need for the rest of the details; our interest stops with the appearance of Lord Siva and His swallowing the deadly poison.

OK, all that is the traditional folklore but is there any deeper significance to it? Yes there is and that is what we shall now turn to. You see, whenever people get together to do something collectively, the first thing that usually happens is that all the negativity locked up in the different individuals surfaces and impedes progress. The deadly poison Halahala symbolises this negativity. The question now arises: “How does one get rid of this negativity, so that the co-operative venture could proceed forward?” This is where the appearance of Lord Siva and His swallowing of Halahala enters the picture. Siva represents the ultimate in purity, and the symbolism of Siva swallowing the poison and all that means that the team members must give purity a chance to prevail and overcome negativity that tends to derail.

Let us now place us all this in today’s context. There are many dangers that humanity faces today, a major one being that due to violence, often extreme and on large scale too. Violence is born in the human mind and has always been there. In a sense this is not surprising since the human species has after all evolved from animals. However, what makes violence in humans so very dreadful is that today, thanks to technology, the scale on which violence can be inflicted and the awesome magnitude it is capable of, make it imperative to do all we can to get rid of violence.

All of us see everyday in the newspapers innumerable headlines about violence, conflict, war, terrorism etc., but one wonders how many appreciate how disastrous all this has been to mankind. A quick search in the net revealed to us that since World War II, about seventy to eighty million people have been killed due to war, genocide, conflict, terrorism and oppression by brutal regimes. This is a mind-boggling number. Just to give you a comparison, about 50 million died in World War II, including due to the atom bombs, holocaust, etc. Killing does not come free and in the year 2005, estimates show that the total military budget of all the governments in the world is about one trillion dollars! True, a lot of this expenditure goes towards salaries and pensions, but the fact remains that a sizable fraction of all military budgets is spent on acquiring deadly weapons. And this expenditure, by the way, does not include the huge amount spent in the arms bazaar by warlords, criminal gangs, terrorists, etc. And don’t forget the devastating trauma caused by violence.

People do not buy weapons to celebrate festivals; they use them to hurt and kill, and that is how so many die due to violence every year. For every one who dies about five to ten are injured and disabled badly; so many children become orphans, and so on. Sorry, but we have to mention this in order to stress how much the culture of violence has become deep-rooted in mankind. The strange thing is that while everyone is frightened to death about the atomic bomb, millions have been successfully killed without the use of a single A-bomb since World War II.

These days, many labour under the false impression that violence can be eliminated with tough action. One might temporarily be able to quell violence with more violence but in the long run, this is as stupid as treating acid wounds by pouring more acid on the wound. If one thinks carefully about all this, one would realise how powerful and pertinent are Swami’s teachings to today’s world.

Speaking about war and its futility, Swami once said:

Alongside the growth in scientific knowledge, ignorance is also growing. How else can we explain the fact that in five thousand years, there have been as many as fifteen thousand wars? Even now, men are not free from the fear of war. It is these wars that have progressively dehumanised mankind and eroded all human values. It is meaningless to aspire for peace in the streets and villages without peace in the home. These days, it has become a fashion to pray for peace. Keeping the atom bomb in the hand, people clamour for peace. Even by journeying to the moon, man cannot get peace. It is better to journey half an inch into the Heart than to travel thousands of miles to the moon!

Yes, politicians cannot secure peace; statesmen cannot bring peace and world bodies of various kinds cannot ensure peace. Peace will reign on earth only when man decides to go beyond the mind, peep into the Heart and listen to the Voce of God. It is to promote that feeling that the Ati Rudra Maha Yajna is being performed here in Prashanti Nilayam. By the way, perceptive military analysts in Western countries are beginning to realise that conventional wars getting replaced with asymmetric conflicts with one side having heavy military power and the other side resorting to innovative and deadly insurgency. And such conflicts, experts are slowly beginning to realise, cannot be won with weapons; an understanding of root causes is essential and a humanitarian approach is needed. So you see even hardcore militarists are beginning to have second thoughts and they need to be nudged with our efforts.

The Ati Rudra Maha Yajna, is an immensely Powerful Prayer for Peace. As Swami often says, Peace is something only God can grant. How do we become eligible for this peace? By praying fervently to the Almighty God. OK, we pray fervently, but is there any chance that God would respond? He would, provided we are on the same wavelength as Him. And what is His frequency? How do we tune to Him? The answer is simple; His wavelength is Purity!

So if we want Peace, we must try hard to become as pure as possible. What exactly does one mean by saying that one must become pure? Swami has answered that one; in fact, there are few questions He has not already given the answers to. Swami says that purity is achieved when there is harmony between thought, word and deed and all are aligned to God.

OK, you there and us here strive to achieve this Inner Purity or TrikaranaSuddhi as Swami describes it. What happens next? Swami has described that also. When an individual achieves Inner Peace, he or she starts radiating Peace; that is to say, people who come into contact with that person become calm and peaceful themselves and in this way, peace spreads. Swami puts it beautifully. He says Inner Peace is like the beauty of a flower. But then, adds Swami, the flower is not only beautiful to look at; it also radiates fragrance, and this fragrance can reach some distance even to a person who cannot directly see the flower. In the same way, concludes Bhagavan Baba, Inner Peace is Shanti; it makes the person be at peace with the world; but this Shanti also reaches out further like the fragrance of the flower, bringing peace in the neighbourhood, and that is Prashanti. In other words, Shanti and Prashanti go hand in hand. Swami Himself demonstrates this constantly. Bhagavan Baba is always at Peace and He also radiates Peace! Thus it is that people that come from New York , or Sydney or Timbuktu , always say, “It is so peaceful here!”

Let us pull all this together. The Ati Rudra Maha Yajna can undoubtedly be interpreted and understood in many different ways, but at the end of it all, the most important aspect it is that it is a Powerful Prayer for Peace. If Peace is really to descend on earth, and we do need Peace badly, then the poison in the human mind must be cleansed. All of us, wherever we are, can facilitate that process by trying to be in resonance with the spirit of the Yajna, that is to say, try, at least during this period, to practice Inner Purity, all the time praying fervently to Swami to help mankind to quell the prevailing negativity. We might also send personal prayers to Swami to help us individually to get rid of the negativity latent in us.

From the North Pole to the South Pole, there are devotees of Baba everywhere. If we all together unleash in a concerted manner the Divine power latent in us in the cause of world peace, surely we can make an impact. To highlight this, we end with an old Upanishadic story. Briefly, a young boy gets angry at the ocean and vows he would drain the ocean dry. He takes two leaves and uses them to collect water from the ocean and throw it on the beach. Someone walking on the beach asks this boy what he is trying to do. The boy explains. The man is stunned and asks, “Son, do you realise how the big ocean is? Do you really believe that you can drain the ocean?” The boy replies, “No, I don’t believe I can do it all by myself. But I am praying to God who is infinitely powerful. What can a finite ocean do before God?”

That might be just a story but it has a big message. If we all together take a step, will not Siva in human form do something to remove the poison? He has experience you know!

Before we end we would like to mention that Radio Sai, in a never-before attempted feature, is trying to do all it can to bring you everyday, the sacred sounds of the forthcoming Yajna. Don’t miss to tune in to the Divine vibrations!

Jai Sai Ram.

With Love and Regards,
"Heart2Heart" Team.





 courtesy: SAI.ORG layout:SBOI


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