Makara Sankranthi 2005
Your True Nature is Bliss – Realise It
The sun appears serene and peaceful. The days have become shorter. The
sweet festival of Sankranti has come filling our homes with the newly
harvested grain. (Bhagawan concluded His divine discourse with the
Bhajan, “Hari Bhajana Bina Sukha Santhi Nahin…”)
Sankranti is the most important of all festivals. Practically, every day
is a festival day for humanity. But, people out of their ignorance have
earmarked a few days as festival days and the rest as ordinary days.
Many celebrate this festival without actually knowing its significance.
On this day in this part of the world, people pay their respects to cows
and bulls. Bulls are decorated daintily with a variety of ornaments and
clothes and taken round the streets. They are called Gangireddhulu
(sacred bulls). Not merely this, a symbolic marriage is performed
between the cows and the bulls. The person who takes round the decorated
bull is called Gangireddudasu. He wears a special dress on this
occasion. The very sight of Gangireddudasu fascinates children. The
elder brother lovingly calls the younger brother to go along with him to
see the sacred bull and its master.
“Oh my dear brother, here comes the Gangireddudasu. Come, let us go and
see him. He wears a silver medallion and a waist belt. He carries a
decorated staff and wears special marks on his forehead. He brings with
him the richly caparisoned sacred cow and bull and performs their
marriage. Let us see the marriage ceremony and offer our gifts” (Telugu
He brings with him a cow and a bull and calls them Sita and Rama
respectively. They are trained in such a way that they respond to his
questions according to the movement of the stick in his hand. He asks
the cow, “Oh Sita! Do you like Rama?” As per the training given, the cow
shakes its head in disapproval. Then he asks the bull, “Oh Rama! Do you
like Sita?” The bull also answers in the negative. In this manner, both
of them disapprove initially and later on agree for the marriage. Then
the Gangireddudasu performs the symbolic marriage of Sita and Rama.
The festival of Sankranti bestows immense joy on even animals and birds.
It is a very important festival for farmers. This is the day he brings
home the newly harvested crop and enjoys the fruits of his hard labour.
Thus, right from a farmer to the king, everyone celebrates this festival
joyfully. Names may vary, but this festival is celebrated by one and all
irrespective of religion and nationality. It marks the beginning of the
sacred time of Uttarayana (sun’s movement towards North). It confers
bliss on one and all.
Everyone aspires to attain bliss. In fact, that is the very purpose of
human life. Life has no meaning if one cannot experience bliss. Bliss is
Nityanandam, Parama Sukhadam, Kevalam Jnanamurtim, Dwandwateetam, Gagana
Sadrisham, Tattwamasyadi Lakshyam, Ekam, Nityam, Vimalam, Achalam,
Sarvadhee Sakshibhutam, Bhavateetam, Trigunarahitam (God is the
embodiment of eternal bliss, He is wisdom absolute, the One without a
second, beyond the pair of opposites, expansive and pervasive like the
sky, the goal indicated by the mahavakya Tattwamasi, the eternal, pure,
unchanging, the witness of all functions of the intellect, beyond all
mental conditions and the three Gunas of Sattwa, Rajas and Thamas).
In accordance with the tradition, the newly married sons-in-law visit
their in-laws’ house to celebrate this festival.
As Sankranti is the festival of festivals,
Oh newly married bridegroom, visit your in-laws’ house,
Come, spend your time in fun and frolic with your brothers-in-law and
The entire household and the neighbourhood will welcome you with love
Even those who have not visited their in-laws’ house for a number of
years will be eager to go for Sankranti festival. The in-laws extend all
hospitality to the son-in-law and make efforts to please him. They even
go to the extent of borrowing money in order to give him new clothes and
serve him delicious food. The entire household spends their time
blissfully. But, today that spirit of Sankranti celebrations is not
noticed anywhere. The son-in-law instead of giving joy to his in-laws,
quarrels over petty matters with them.
Sankranti confers joy on human beings, birds and animals alike. Not only
Bharatiyas, even the people of other countries celebrate this festival,
but with different names. This is the season when cool winds blow and
the farmer brings home the harvested crop. He spends his time in a
relaxed manner free from all worries and anxieties. There is a saying in
Telugu: “One who is free from ‘Chintha’ (worry) will be able to sleep
peacefully even in a ‘Santha’ (market place).
Everyone should make efforts to overcome worries and enjoy everlasting
happiness. This is the message of Sankranti. People may interpret it in
their own way, but few understand its true significance. Amongst the
variety of festivals, the womenfolk accord a special place to this
festival. The happiness that one enjoys during this season is unique.
Man makes varied efforts to experience happiness. You can find few in
this world who do not want to be happy. But one must understand that
happiness cannot be acquired from outside. It originates from the heart.
Heart is the source of bliss. The happiness we enjoy in the external
world is only a reaction, reflection and resound of the happiness
within. Very few are to understand this truth. The apparent joy that one
experiences today is artificial and temporary. Only the happiness that
springs from the heart is permanent.
Behave so as not to cause hindrance to anyone. Festivals are meant to
experience happiness and share it with others. Happiness cannot be
purchased in a market nor can it be acquired by worldly means. It should
manifest from within. It is not the nature of Bharatiyas to hurt the
feelings of others for their own pleasure. One should respect others’
feelings and act appropriately. One should share his happiness with his
fellowmen. You should welcome the arrival of the bounteous month of
Pushya and celebrate Sankranti in the true spirit by manifesting your
inner joy and sharing it with others. The word ‘Kranti’ means change. It
signifies a change from misery to happiness, from restlessness to peace
and from pain to pleasure. Sankranti bestows joy on everyone equally.
That is why everyone eagerly awaits the arrival of Sankranti with
enthusiasm. Even birds and animals are happy with the arrival of
Sankranti. When the farmer brings home the harvested grain, birds
partake of them and express their joy by chirping merrily. The
neighbours congratulate the farmer for the rich harvest he reaped as a
result of his hard labour.
It is most essential that you understand the significance of every
festival and celebrate them in the true spirit. As we do not go deep
into their significance, we are unable to enjoy true happiness. One
should be prepared to sacrifice his body to have the experience of
eternal bliss. Body is a combination of five elements and the mind is
merely a bundle of thoughts. One should neither be attached to the body
nor follow the vagaries of the mind. Drive away the evil qualities of
Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Mada and Matsarya (desire, anger, greed,
infatuation, pride and jealousy) and manifest your inner peace and
bliss. Instead of developing peace and bliss, man is destroying them. He
is giving scope to unrest even in trivial matters. Neither Asanthi
(unrest) nor Prasanthi (supreme peace) are acquired from outside. People
say, “I want peace.” Where is peace? Is it present outside? If peace
were to be found outside, people would have bought it by spending any
amount of money. But outside, we find only pieces! The real peace is
Whether you boil it hard or dilute it with water, milk remains white.
White symbolises purity. In the constant manner of milk, your heart
should always remain pure, bright and peaceful in spite of trials and
tribulations. We should subdue sorrow, keep the evil qualities of anger,
hatred and jealousy under check and manifest our innate bliss. When your
desires are not fulfilled, you become angry. Hence, desires are the root
cause of anger and they should be controlled in the first instance.
Embodiments of Love!
Everlasting bliss is the goal of everyone. You should derive happiness
even from what seem to be troubles. One need not search for happiness
elsewhere. It is always with you and in you. You are unable to
experience it as you have not understood the true meaning of happiness.
You are under the illusion that happiness lies in money, wealth and
material comforts. Once you have the taste of true happiness, you will
not crave for worldly possessions. True happiness springs forth from the
depths of one’s heart. When milk is boiled in a vessel, its level starts
rising gradually. The milk level subsides when you sprinkle a few drops
of water over it. It is because of its association with water that milk
loses its value. Likewise, man loses his value when he associates
himself with bad company. One will always be blissful if one is in good
company. Before making friendship with an individual, one should enquire
into his character.
You may or may not be aware; I am always in a state of bliss. I have no
worries or difficulties whatsoever. Some people ask, “Swami, do you have
any worries?” I do not know what worry is. I have never experienced it.
I am always blissful. You should always think of bliss. Then you will
see bliss everywhere. The experience of bliss is sweeter than sugar,
tastier than curd, sweeter indeed than honey. People feel sad when they
are faced with difficulties and at the bereavement of their near and
dear ones. But at no point of time do I feel sorry about such
happenings. They come and go like passing clouds. Happiness and sorrow
follow one another. When you contemplate on bliss, there will be no
scope for sorrow.
Embodiments of Love!
There is love in each one of you, but you are directing it on worldly
relationships. You have not tasted true love. Love God wholeheartedly.
That is true love. People may come and people may go, but God neither
comes nor goes. He is always present. When you are engulfed in sorrow,
think of happiness. You will certainly experience happiness.
Bliss is very much immanent in the human being. Wherever we are,
whatever be the position we occupy, our essential nature is bliss.
People ask Me sometimes “Swami! did You ever experience sorrow?” I am
amused at this question. In fact, why should I experience sorrow? Should
I feel sorry about the body? Not necessary. This body is always healthy
and active. The nature of the human mind is fickle. The body is like a
water bubble; mind is like a mad monkey. Don’t follow the mind; don’t
rely on the body since it is like a water bubble. After all, why should
one feel sorry about the body and mind which are transient? In fact,
bliss is our essential nature which is permanent.
Embodiments of Love!
Cutivate love that will help you to experience bliss. “Start the day
with Love; fill the day with Love; end the day with Love – that is the
way to God.” If you can achieve this, you will not be disturbed by
sorrows and difficulties. The heart is the seat of bliss. True bliss
flows from a pure and loving heart. Try to experience such bliss. All
other forms of happiness are momentary.
Embodiments of Love!
Children are always happy and cheerful. They do not have any
inhibitions. When somebody smiles at them, they will also smile
innocently. They experience bliss that is the inherent nature of all
human beings. There is a difference between happiness and bliss. In
common parlance, “happiness” is momentary. It comes and goes. Bliss is
something that wells up from within. It emerges from the heart, as a
result of one’s union with God. If one feels separate from God, one
cannot experience bliss.
Embodiments of Love!
You have to experience such bliss in abundance in the days to come. Let
me remind you once again that neither age nor position nor for that
matter anything in this physical environment can bring about such bliss.
It is only a pure and loving heart that is the source of bliss. The holy
festival of Sankranti signifies change or transformation of the heart.
It is experiencing bliss arising out of the realisation of the
changeless, Eternal Principle. Divinity is the only principle that is
changeless. God is ever blissful. In fact, He is the Embodiment of
bliss. For example, this is a white cloth. It is only when this cloth is
dipped in or painted with colour, it acquires some colour. Similarly,
your essential nature is bliss. If you are experiencing sorrow, it is
because you have immersed yourself in sorrow. Wherever you are, you must
always be happy and blissful. For example, people wish me “Swami! Happy
Birthday!” I would like to ask one question in this context. Is there
real happiness in celebrating a birthday? I am always happy. Then, where
is the question of celebrating a particular day in a year as “Happy
Birthday”. This is only an expression in borrowed words. In fact, bliss
is our true nature. We camouflage our true nature with artificial
expressions and feel satisfied as though it is real bliss. This is not
the correct approach.
Embodiments of Love!
You are full of Love. In fact, your hearts are overflowing with Love.
But, you are preventing your love from flowing and expressing it
outwardly. Otherwise, love has no barriers and hurdles at all!
Constantly contemplate on God. Then you will always be happy –
physically, mentally and spiritually. Unfortunately, nowadays you are
losing such a divine quality of bliss due to various desires. If you can
keep these desires away from you, you will always be blissful. For
example, this is a white cloth. Whiteness is its nature. But it acquires
dirt because of constant usage. Similarly, your heart is always pure,
bright and blissful. But it gets polluted because of desires. Therefore,
cultivate Love and keep your heart always pure. Then you will be
blissful every moment of your life. But, you have forgotten your innate
nature of bliss and are always immersed in sorrow and unhappiness. When
someone enquires, “How are you?” you reply “so, so”. This is not the
correct way. We must reply, “I am happy”. It is possible that we may
encounter some ups and downs in life. But, they should not affect our
essential nature, which is bliss. Did you observe Me carefully? How
blissful I am! Not only now, I am always blissful and overflowing with
bliss. In fact, you can also experience such bliss in My presence.
However, if you approach Me with an evil mind, evil thoughts and
desires, you cannot experience this bliss. These are human weaknesses.
You must, therefore, try to correct them.
You should never feel dejected. Supposing you fail in an examination
sometime, you should not feel dejected. Reconcile yourself that perhaps
you did not write the examination well and therefore you have failed.
But never get depressed and dejected that you have failed in the
examination. Similarly, you enquire into yourself the reason for your
sorrow. You will yourself realise that your own thoughts are responsible
for the present situation. Hence, correct them. You will be happy once
again. Sorrows and difficulties are like passing clouds. You should
never attach importance to them. You must always be happy and cheerful.
Peace and happiness are your qualities. In fact, your true nature is
Embodiments of Love!
Today is the holy festival of Sankranti. In fact, this year is
particularly important than the previous year. Last month several people
suffered untold misery and suffering on account of a Tsunami. It is only
man’s evil deeds that are responsible for such a calamity. I, therefore,
advise you not to indulge in wrong actions and evil deeds. It is
possible that more troubles may occur during this year, compared to last
year. However, we must move forward unmindful of those troubles. These
are all passing clouds and you need not be perturbed by these
occurrences. Be bold and courageous to face them. The calamity of
Tsunami that occurred last month was in fact, man-made. It was not
Divine Will at all! But, man feels that all such calamities are thrust
upon man by God. Never! God always provides happiness to man. He has no
anger or hatred. His nature is love. The question arises why these
sorrows and difficulties in the world? Strictly speaking, happiness will
not have any value without sorrow. Man cannot experience happiness
without undergoing some difficulty or the other. Both happiness and
sorrow are intertwined. One cannot exist without the other.
Pleasure and pain, good and bad co-exist, none can separate them. You
cannot find pleasure or pain, good or bad to the exclusion of the other.
Pleasure results when difficulties fructify.
God does not cause pain to any living being in His creation. All sorrows
and difficulties are man-made only. God is the protector of all living
beings. He provides peace and happiness to one and all. Lokah Samastah
Sukhino Bhavantu (May all the people of the world be happy). This is the
Will of God. How then can God cause sorrow to a human being? Unable to
understand His Divine Will, you accuse God of causing sorrow. If you can
fathom the Divine Will, you will realise that everything is for your
good only. We are all Embodiments of Bliss. Day-in and day-out you
experience that bliss and share it with others. Then only it will
Embodiments of Love!
This Sankranti is Prema Sankranti and Ananda Sankranti. Hence, welcome
this Sankranti festival. Welcome God who is the embodiment of Bliss. God
is not satisfied with the appellations like “Karunanidhi” (the treasure
house of Compassion) and “Premaswarupa” (Embodiment of Love). God is
always blissful. You should not pray to God to fulfil your umpteen
number of desires. Just pray “Oh! God! Share Your bliss with me. Make me
blissful!” Never deride God as “Nirdaya” (one without compassion).
Whatever God does is for our own good. Even the sorrows and difficulties
we experience are for our own good. They are preludes to happiness and
bliss. If you cultivate such positive outlook, you will always be
blissful. Share your happiness with all. Contrary to this, man today is
keeping happiness to himself and distributing sorrow to others. This is
not what we should do. “Suppress your sorrow and manifest inner joy” –
this is the spiritual sadhana one has to undertake. When you encounter
any difficulty or sorrow or restlessness – do not mind them at all.
Ignore them. You are always Embodiments of Bliss. If you constantly
contemplate on this reality, nothing will bother you.
Embodiments of Love!
May this festival of Sankranti, which is a symbol of change, bring about
a transformation in your heart and provide bliss to one and all, so that
you may always lead a happy, prosperous and cheerful life. In fact, the
very name of a human being is Anandamaya (full of bliss). Manavatva
(humanness) is meant for rising to the level of Daivatva (Divinity).
All your dramas and playlets that you have enacted here are good. If you
analyse properly, where does the bad lie? It lies in your mind. Do not
think bad and share your bad thoughts with others. Bliss is the real
food for a human being. One should always be hungry to partake of that
food of bliss. Let your faith in God be firm and unshakable. It is only
God’s Love that is eternal. If you can secure that Love, all other forms
of happiness will automatically come to you.
(Bhagawan concluded His divine discourse with the Bhajan, “Hari Bhajana
Bina Sukha Santhi Nahin…”)