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Buddha Purnima Discourse
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Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
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"ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT BY RENOUNCING DESIRES"
[Released 22nd Augustl]
Buddha Poornima (127
All the names and forms are but the manifestations of the Supreme Being
who is Existence‑Knowledge‑Bliss Absolute and non‑dual. He is the
embodiment of Sathyam, Sivam, Sundaram (Truth, Goodness, Beauty).
Embodiments of Love!
On this sacred day of Buddha Purnima, we talk about Buddha and Purnima
(full moon). But we seldom enquire into Buddha’s teachings, his virtues
and the exemplary way in which he led his life.
King Suddhodhana and his wife Mayadevi performed many spiritual
austerities such as Japa, Tapa, Vratas and Yajnas for years together with
an aspiration to have a son. They also consulted many astrologers.
Suddhodhana had no peace of mind as the worry of not having an heir to the
throne haunted him day and night. At last their prayers were answered when
Mayadevi gave birth to a son at Lumbini. Unfortunately, Mayadevi died soon
after giving birth to her son who was named Siddhartha. Gautami, the
second wife of Suddhodhana, brought up the child with loving care like her
own son. That is the reason he was also called Gautam. The astrologers
predicted that Siddhartha would not rule the kingdom; he would leave the
kingdom and become a renunciant. The prediction of astrologers was always
ringing in the ears of Suddhodhana and caused him anxiety as he watched
his son grow. He took all precautions to see that his son did not step out
of the palace and get into the company of others lest he should be
influenced by them. Thus, he protected his son from the influence of
others for twenty long years.
Siddhartha’s Yearning for Ultimate Truth
One day, the parents of a girl came to Suddhodhana and expressed their
wish to give their daughter in marriage to his son Siddhartha. The name of
the girl was Yashodhara. Suddhodhana accepted their proposal and performed
the marriage of Siddhartha with Yashodhara. Owing to their loving
insistence, Siddhartha continued to stay with his parents in the palace
even after the marriage. One year after the marriage, he begot a son who
was named Rahul. Both the husband and wife spent their time happily with
In spite of all the comforts of the palace and happy married life,
Gautam’s mind became restless when he saw people afflicted with old age,
disease and death after he ventured out of the palace one day. One night,
there was a sudden transformation in his mind. As his wife was fast
asleep, he got up at midnight, caressed his son and left for the forest.
He had to undergo numerous hardships and difficulties in the forest. But
he faced all ordeals with forbearance and determination. His parents were
immersed in sorrow, unable to bear the pangs of separation from their son.
Though Siddhartha was also undergoing a lot of anguish, he marched on his
path of attaining self-realisation.
During the course of his journey, he once met a holy man. The holy man
told him that the cause of his anguish was actually within him, and it was
his anguish that was coming in the way of his self-realisation. So saying,
he gave him a talisman for protection and asked him to wear it around his
neck. (At this point of time, Bhagavan materialised that talisman and
showed it to the congregation amidst a thunderous applause). This was the
talisman given by the sage to Siddhartha. When Siddhartha put it around
his neck, all his anguish disappeared instantaneously. Till the last
moment of his earthly sojourn, Buddha had the talisman around his neck.
When he shed his mortal coil, the talisman disappeared.
Siddhartha started doing intense penance which went on for a long time. He
kept questioning himself, “Who am I? Am I the body? Am I the mind? Am I
the Buddhi (intellect)? Am I the Chitta (mind-stuff)?” He came to the
conclusion that he was none of these. Ultimately, he experienced the
truth, “I am I”.
Recognise the Unity of all Creation
The Vedas declare, Aham Brahmasmi (I am Brahman) and Tattwamasi (That Thou
Art). Even these two Vedic declarations state two things: I and Brahman,
That and Thou. True wisdom lies in seeing oneness. Advaita Darshanam
Jnanam (experience of non-dualism is true wisdom). It is a sign of
ignorance to see duality ignoring the underlying unity. Duality is not the
truth. In this manner, Buddha enquired deeply and ultimately got the
experience of “I am I”. That is true realisation. You may do penance for
many years, you may do meditation and perform many yogic practices. But
all these spiritual practices give only temporary satisfaction, not
everlasting bliss. Some people talk about meditation. Even Buddha
advocated the practice of meditation. What is that you have to meditate
upon? What is meant by meditation? Does it mean concentrating upon a
particular object? No, no. That is not meditation at all. To contemplate
upon the principle of “I am I” is true meditation. No other Sadhana
(spiritual practice) can match this.
So long as you have the dualistic feeling of ‘you and I’, you cannot
experience unity. Buddha recognised the principle of unity and based his
life on this truth. Under the direction of many yogis, he had performed
various kinds of meditation and penance, but ultimately he found them to
be a mere waste of time as none of these could lead him to the ultimate
experience of oneness. He regretted having wasted his time in such a
manner. One should find fulfiment in life by making proper use of time.
This is the primary duty of man.
Embodiments of Love!
Many people perform different types of spiritual practices such as Japa
and Dhyana without recognising the principle of unity. The tongue utters
the name of Rama but there is void in the heart. This is just waste of
time. Instead of wasting your time in such a manner, undertake social
service, seeing God in everyone. That is true spiritual practice.
Recognise the innate divinity of all beings.
In creation, there appear to be two entities, you and I. But you and I are
in reality one. Vyashti (individual) is a part of Samashti (society), and
Samashti is a part of Srishti (creation) which emerges from Parameshti
(God). This Parameshti is Parabrahma Tattwa (principle of Brahman). That
is the fundamental basis of the entire creation. In this way, you have to
recognise the unity of all creation. Only then can you attain Parameshti
or the principle of Brahman. Everyone has to repeatedly remind himself, “I
am Parameshti, I am Parameshti.” All are the embodiments of the Atma and
all are sustained by the Atma. Buddha experienced the unity of all
creation. There was total transformation in him once he attained the
vision of Ekatma (oneness of the Atma). He realised that all worldly
relations like mother, father, wife, children were false. He transcended
body consciousness. That is why he earned the appellation Buddha
(enlightened one). Man should use his Buddhi (intelligence) to understand
this principle of unity. Buddhi is of two types. The Buddhi that sees
diversity in unity is worldly intelligence. Man should develop Adhyatmic
Buddhi (spiritual intelligence) in order to realise the underlying unity
of all creation. It gives you the experience of the Atmic principle which
is the same in the entire creation. Buddha attained the vision of the
Atma. After this experience, he went on teaching that there existed only
one divine principle in the world.
Buddham Saranam Gachchhami,
Sangham Saranam Gachchhami,
Dhammam Saranam Gachchhami.
Buddha taught that the principle of unity of the Atma was the only true
principle in the world. One who realised it by using his spiritual
intelligence was true Buddha, he said. Other than the Atma nothing existed
in this world.
In this transient and ephemeral world, there is one thing that is true and
eternal. That is divinity. That is what everyone should aspire to attain.
Sathyam Saranam Gachchhami (I take refuge in truth). Ekam Saranam
Gachchhami (I take refuge in the principle of oneness). Everything is the
manifestation of divinity in this world; there is no second entity other
than divinity. It is the divine principle that governs the entire world.
Having realised this truth, Buddha, along with his disciples, went from
village to village to propagate it. He never felt the need to take rest.
He thought that it was his duty to share this supreme knowledge with his
fellowmen. Even his father Suddhodhana came to him. He also recognised
this truth and was transformed. What did Buddha teach? Buddha taught that
everyone was endowed with the same principle of divinity. Ekam Sath Viprah
Bahudha Vadanti (truth is one, but the wise refer to it by various names).
The same message was conveyed by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavadgita when He
said that all beings were His own reflection, and no one was different
from Him. Buddha had to undergo great hardships to realise this truth.
Many noble souls who were the contemporaries of Buddha acknowledged the
greatness of Buddha. They said that Buddha had experienced the truth which
they were unable to realise. As he gave up all desires, Buddha became an
epitome of total renunciation. There was nothing in him except love. He
considered love as his very life-breath. Bereft of love, the world would
turn into a void.
Try to Understand the Profundity of Buddha’s Teachings
When you offer your salutations to someone, understand that you are
saluting your own self. That someone is none other than your own
reflection. See others just as you see your own reflection in the mirror.
This is the message conveyed by the Mahavakya (profound statement), Aham
Brahmasmi. Names and forms may be different, but all beings are part and
parcel of the same divine principle. You may call this a handkerchief. You
may call this a robe. But both are made out of cotton. Likewise, divinity
is the underlying principle in the apparent multiplicity of this world.
Many so-called scholars are preaching only multiplicity today. They claim
to have mastered the scriptures and try to interpret them in their own way
with their limited knowledge. Their interpretations do not correspond to
the reality. They only add to confusion.
Buddha taught that we should not have anger, we should not find others’
faults, we should not harm others, because all are the embodiments of
pure, eternal principle of the Atma. Have compassion towards the poor and
help them to the extent possible. You think those who do not have food to
eat are poor people. You cannot call someone poor just because he does not
have money or food to eat. Truly speaking, nobody is poor. All are rich,
not poor. Those whom you consider as poor may not have money, but all are
endowed with the wealth of Hridaya (heart). Understand and respect this
underlying principle of unity and divinity in all and experience bliss. Do
not have such narrow considerations as so and so is your friend, so and so
is your enemy, so and so is your relation, etc. All are one, be alike to
everyone. That is your primary duty. This is the most important teaching
of Buddha. But people do not enquire into the teachings of Buddha and do
not understand the sacredness of his heart. They only talk about his
story. Truly speaking, Buddha is not just one individual. All of you are
Buddhas. You will see unity everywhere once you understand this truth.
There is unity in the apparent multiplicity. When you are surrounded by
many mirrors, you see a number of your reflections. Reflections are many
but the person is one. Reactions, reflections, and resounds are many but
the reality is one. When I am speaking here, My voice is heard through
each and every loudspeaker in this hall. In the same manner, there exists
the principle of unity in our hearts which we have to recognise. Man’s
life finds fulfilment only when his mind experiences the principle of
unity. There is no point in bringing about unity among people without
uniting their minds. Manah Eva Manushyanam Karanam Bandhamokshayo (mind is
the cause for bondage and liberation of man). You see someone and say he
is a bad person; you see another person and call him good. But, in
reality, good and bad are present in your mind and not in the people
around you. You call this handkerchief white and this microphone black.
The difference in colour is perceived by your eyes, but essentially black
and white are one and the same. Everyone should make efforts to visualise
unity in diversity. Only then can one experience divinity.
The principles taught by Buddha have profound significance, but people are
not trying to understand them. You might have observed that Buddha had
curly hair on his head. One lock of hair was entwined with the other.
There is an underlying message of unity in this. He had only one feeling
in his heart, the feeling of love. He taught, Dharmam Saranam Gachchhami
(I take refuge in righteousness), Premam Saranam Gachchhami (I take refuge
in love). Bereft of love, humanness has no existence. We should love all,
irrespective of the fact whether one is a pauper or a rich man. Money
should not be the criterion to share your love with your fellowmen. Money
is not important. Money comes and goes, morality comes and grows. Do not
hurt others. Help Ever, Hurt Never. Only then can you attain the state of
Buddha. There is little use in giving lengthy lectures if you do not
realise the principle of unity in divinity. You may call God by any name
such as Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Sai, etc., but all of them embody the same
divine principle. Keep the flower of oneness in the altar of your heart
and let its fragrance spread everywhere. Spiritual practices such as Japa
and Tapa will not yield the desired result unless you recognise the
principle of unity. Many people count the beads of the rosary. But, what
is the use of rotating the rosary if the mind also keeps going round the
world? Understand that the mind is most important. You should have a
steady mind. Only then will your life be redeemed. What is the use if your
mind hovers around on each and every object like flies which hover on dirt
as well as Laddus?
Do not allow your mind to vacillate between good and bad, unity and
multiplicity. Focus it on all that is good and realise the principle of
unity. That is the royal road which will lead you to the experience of
truth. On the other hand, if you allow your mind to follow the crooked
path, it will not lead you anywhere.
Embodiments of Love!
The same divine principle of love is present in all of you. When you take
to the path of love, you will become Buddha yourself. Today is Buddha
Purnima. Purnima means full moon. The underlying message of Buddha Purnima
is that the mind should shine with total purity like full moon. It should
unite with its source, i.e., the Atma which is pure and effulgent. There
is no darkness on the full moon night. On this auspicious day of Buddha
Purnima, we should attain full purity of the mind.
(That is full, this is full. When the full is taken out of the full, what
remains is again the full.) We have to recognise this truth.
Embodiments of Love!
It gives Me great joy to see that all of you have gathered here today. You
are united with each other with the bond of love. Love is only one; it is
not different in you, Me and others. You have unified your love with that
of Swami. Love is one. Live in love.
(Bhagavan concluded His Discourse with the Bhajan, Prema Mudita Manase