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23 November 2005

80th Birthday

Prasanthi Nilayam


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Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Note: Discourses of Sri Sathya Sai Baba
on this SBOIwebsite/group are unedited, authentic & only
 sourced from the official Sai baba sites.

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 is zero;
Bereft of truth, righteousness, love and peace
the utility of the positions of power occupied is zero;
Bereft of truth, righteousness, love and peace
the result of all your good deeds is zero. (Telugu poem)

Embodiments of Love!
Human birth is meant to attain peace and not for occupying positions of authority. One may have all types of wealth and comforts but bereft of peace life itself has no meaning. There are many in this world who are well-to-do, highly educated and occupying positions of authority. But, in what way is society benefited by them? They have no time or inclination to wipe off the tears of the suffering humanity. How can we help the poor and the downtrodden? This should be the concern of the people in power. But, nobody seems to think on these lines. In the name of social work, people are actually indulging in ‘show-work’! They drive away the beggars who come to their doorstep begging for alms. Man should engage himself in acts of charity in order to experience peace.

You should understand the import of the term Manava in the first instance. What is the goal of a human being? Is it to strive for the fulfilment of one’s desires? Is it to come up in life in the worldly sense? Is it to enjoy sensual pleasures? Human life is a mixture of happiness and sorrow. It is not possible to experience one to the exclusion of the other. How can you expect to attain happiness and peace if you are not prepared to help your fellow human being? Everyone has to experience ups and downs in life, but they are like passing clouds. Difficulties are a part of life. None can escape them. Hence, one has to treat happiness and sorrow with equanimity. There is pleasure in pain and vice-versa. One should not be elated by pleasure nor depressed by pain. We have to develop the spirit of equanimity in order to progress in life. Samatwa (equality) is very essential for Samaja (society) to progress. Sukhadukhe samekruthwa labhalabhau jayajayau (one should maintain equipoise in happiness and sorrow, gain and loss, victory and defeat). But, man, in spite of enjoying all comforts and pleasures, is unable to bear even a small difficulty. He is disturbed and distressed by the slightest trouble.

If you ask a well-to-do person, whether he is happy, what will be his reply? He will say, “Sir, I have no dearth of money. My sons are well settled in life. My home is very well furnished with all types of comforts and conveniences. I have everything in life except peace of mind.” How can one attain peace of mind? It is possible only when one realises his innate divinity. Why are we not able to experience peace? Where does the mistake lie? We go on enquiring others, “Who are you”? But, we do not make an effort to enquire into ourselves, “Who am I”? There lies the mistake. Once we realise who we really are, we will be free from sorrows and difficulties forever. Hence, first and foremost we should make efforts to realise our true identity. What is the use of knowing everything without being aware of the Self?

Is it not a futile exercise to sow seeds when there are no rains? Even when there are rains, can you reap a harvest unless you have sown seeds? Both the positive and the negative are required for the electric current to flow. In the same manner, both self effort and divine grace are essential to achieve success in your endeavours.

Easwara Sarva Bhutanam (God is the indweller of all beings), Isavasyam idam sarvam (the entire universe is permeated by God) We must realise that we are born to experience our innate divinity and not merely to enjoy worldly pleasures. We have to take to the path of spirituality to experience our innate divinity. If we lack in spiritual outlook, we do not deserve to be called human beings. In fact, it amounts to betrayal of God. God does not expect you to worship Him. He expects you to lead an ideal and purposeful life.

Once sage Narada enquired Lord Vishnu as to what was the royal path to immortality. Then Lord Vishnu replied, “One should realise that I am present in all beings”. The spark of divinity is present in all. Man is not a mere mortal. He is essentially divine. Jiva (individualised soul) and Deva (God) coexist. The former is negative and the latter positive. Lord Vishnu told Narada, “I have to assume the form of a human in order to move among men and protect the world. I am present in everyone in the form of Atma. When man constantly contemplates on the principle of Atma, I manifest Myself.”

The same divine principle of Atma is present in all. One who realises this truth experiences the all-pervasive divinity. God is in you, with you, around you, above you and below you. However, you cannot realise this truth unless you give up negative feelings. God is everywhere. You have not to search for Him. Develop firm faith that He is in you. God has no specific form. He transcends all names and forms.

Having been born as a human being you should strive for the welfare of the society. You are a member of the society and your welfare depends on the welfare of the society. Hence, undertake activities which are beneficial to the society.

Embodiments of Love!
Do not identify yourself with the body. You are the embodiments of the Atma.

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. (Telugu poem)

Can anyone say “My Atma is dead”? The physical body perishes with the passage of time but the Atma is eternal. One can see the reflection of the sun in a well, in a water tank, in the river and also in the ocean. Without water, there can be no reflection. Each human being can be compared to a flow in which the reflection of the same Atma is seen. The sun is one, but appears as though there exists a separate sun for each country. When it is daytime in India, it is night-time in America and vice-versa. The sun may appear at different times in different countries, but it is one and the same. We cannot call it as Indian sun, American sun so on and so forth. Similarly, God is one. Truth is one. Love is one. Live in love. When you adhere to the twin principles of truth and love, you will experience the manifestation of divinity in everything.

Who is God? In fact, you yourself are God. Hence, everyone should develop the firm conviction, “I am God”. When you develop such firm conviction, there will be no room for ego and hatred. You are God and your fellow human being is also God. Develop such principle of oneness and equality. When you harm others, you actually harm yourself. Victory and loss are a part of the game of life. One should not criticise or blame the other. When someone meets with failure in his endeavour, empathise with him. When you do not identify yourself with others, differences are bound to crop up.

Who are you? You think you are the body. But, you are neither the body nor the mind. The human body is like a water bubble. How can you identify yourself with such an ephemeral body? You may say “I am the mind”. Mind is nothing but a bundle of desires. One day or the other you have to give up all desires. Hence, do not identify yourself with the mind. Today’s man has limitless desires. His mind wavers from moment to moment and hence is called a monkey mind. Do not allow your mind to behave like a monkey. You belong to mankind and hence keep your mind always steady. Constantly remind yourself that you are a human being. Daivam manusha rupena (God is in the form of human). Give up body consciousness and live in the constant awareness that you are God.

We construct temples to consecrate idols and worship them. Where does the idol come from? It is your own creation. You offer worship to the man-made idols but you are not prepared to worship the God in man. There is no point in merely worshipping idols if you do not realise your innate divinity. Everyone must respect and revere the principle of the Atma within. Consider Atmaviswasa (faith in the Self) as your very life-breath. Faith in the idols is temporary. When you go to Tirupathi, you worship God in the form of Lord Venkateswara. You extol Him saying, “Lord Venkateswara is our family deity”. When you make a pilgrimage to Brindavan, you worship God in the form of Krishna. In Ayodhya, you worship Him in the form of Lord Rama. Depending on the place and circumstances, different names and forms have been attributed to God. But, in reality Lord Venkateswara, Krishna, Rama, Sai Baba, all are one and the same. Call Him by any name, He will respond. He has no differences. You should not be deluded by differences in name and form. Develop firm faith in the oneness of the Atma. “Religions are many but the goal is one”.

Embodiments of Love!
Having come here after spending a lot of money and putting up with inconveniences, you should make proper use of your stay here. Ask yourself, whether you have spent your time in a purposeful manner. What is the use of coming here if you do not practise Swami’s teachings? Develop unwavering faith in the oneness of divinity. Only then can you experience peace. So long as you do not contemplate on the oneness of God, your mind will continue to play its tricks.

You may criticise someone as a bad person today and extol him as a good person tomorrow. Good and bad are your own thinking. Your mind is the cause for both. In reality, man is always good by nature. Human life is highly sacred. That is why it is said, Daivam manusha rupena. Do not belittle yourself thinking that you are a mere mortal. You are verily God Himself. The very fact that you portray God in a human form and worship Him proves that human being is essentially divine. Do not attach undue importance to names and forms. Understand the inherent principle of divinity.

What is the use of taking birth as a human being if you conduct yourself like an animal? You need not give up everything and become a Sannyasi. See God in man. God is all-pervasive. You cannot say that God is confined to a particular place. There is no place where God does not exist.

Sarvatah panipadam tat sarvathokshi siromukham, sarvatah sruthimalloke sarvamavruthya tishthati (with hands, feet, eyes, head, mouth and ears pervading everything, He permeates the entire universe).

We cultivate paddy. However, we do not consume it in its raw form. We remove the husk covering the grain and transform it into rice. So long as there is husk, it is obliged to have ‘rebirth’. Our desires are like the husk covering the rice grain. We will be free from the cycle of birth and death once we give up all desires.

Paddy becomes suitable for consumption only after it undergoes the process of refinement and becomes rice. Rice is used for making various preparations such as Pulihora, Chitraannam, Chakkera Pongali, Paayasam, etc. Rice flour is used for preparing Idlis and Dosas. The names of these food items may vary, but the essential ingredient of rice is the same in all. Just as paddy is transformed into rice, our mind should also be purified through the process of refinement, termed as Samskara.

You are deluded because of your materialistic outlook. You have to change your vision. Do not expect God to change the creation. He has given you everything in its pristine form. But, you are polluting it because of your selfish desires. The mind is the root cause for all this. Hence, annihilate the mind and everything will be clear to you.

Embodiments of Love!
Your heart is pure and sacred but you are deluded by the clouds of desires. Just as the sun and the moon are not visible to us when they are covered by the clouds, we are unable to visualise our reality because of our desires.

Childhood passes in trivial play with other children
Youth passes in amorous sport
Middle age absorbs time and effort in amassing wealth
Come dotage, time crawls in futile longing for worldly desires, yet there is no time for contemplation of God.
Thus is wasted the precious human birth, deeply entangled in the net of Karma (Telugu poem)

Man feels proud of his youth and falls into the trap of Maya (delusion). As the end approaches he regrets for not having attained peace of mind in spite of enjoying all comforts and pleasures. Man passes through various stages in life such as childhood, youth, middle age and old age. However, there is no transformation in him with the advancement of age. Instead of trying to change the Srishti (creation), man should change his Drishti (outlook). We can see the reality only when we change our Drishti. There is nothing wrong with Srishti. God’s creation is perfect and none can alter it. In this creation God can make anything happen by His divine Will.

So long as one is endowed with physical strength and vigour, one may enjoy himself by participating in Aatalu and Paatalu (play and song). However, one should not indulge oneself in any activity beyond a certain limit. As the age advances, the physical body undergoes certain changes. All of you are aware what a great singer M.S. Subbulakshmi was. However, her voice refused to cooperate with her in the old age. When she mentioned this to Me, I told her that she had used her voice in excess and that was the reason for her predicament.

Your voice and vision are bound to change with the passage of time. You suffer from unrest and anxiety because you rely on your physical body. Instead, rely on the changeless and eternal principle of the Atma.

Man is ruining his life because of his habits. He should lead a life of righteousness. Do not give undue importance to food and drink. Consider character as your very life-breath. If you lack character, you will have to face innumerable difficulties in life.

Divinity is referred to as ‘Sath’, which means changeless and eternal principle. People of different religions call it by different names. The Muslims extol God saying, “Allah Ho Akbar”. They consider God as their sole refuge. Whether one is a Muslim or a Hindu, God is the only refuge for all! You should emphatically declare to yourself, “I want God”. You should get immersed in the divine, not in deep wine! Once you accept Rama as your God, you should spend your entire life in the contemplation of Rama. But, these days man has become fickle-minded. One day he keeps the picture of Lord Rama in his altar and starts worshipping Him by chanting His name; but, the very next day he replaces Rama’s picture with that of Krishna’s, if his wishes are not fulfilled.

Once there lived a devotee of Lord Shiva. He used to worship Shiva every day and chant the sacred Panchakshari Mantra “Om Namah Shivaya”. But, after some time he felt that Lord Shiva had not done him any favour. Hence he put aside Shiva’s picture in the almirah and kept Rama’s picture on the altar. Initially, he could experience some peace. However, his desires remained unfulfilled and he became restless. He kept Rama’s picture also in the same almirah and started worshipping Krishna, on the advice of his guru. He chanted the divine name “Gopala Krishna” incessantly. After some time, he felt that even Krishna had not done him any good. One day a lady devotee came to him and said, “What is the use of worshipping Rama and Krishna? Better you do Devi Puja (worship).” As per her advice, he kept a picture of Devi on the altar and started worshipping it. As the Puja was in progress, he noticed that the fragrance from the incense sticks was wafting towards the almirah where the pictures of other deities were kept. He therefore decided to remove those pictures from the almirah thinking that the incense sticks were meant for the goddess and that the other deities had no right to enjoy the fragrance. Immediately, the Divine Mother manifested herself before him and said, “Oh simpleton! You worshipped Shiva for a few days, and then you switched over to Rama and later on to Krishna. What is the guarantee that you will not discard My picture also tomorrow? This is not true devotion. You should contemplate on one name and one form till your last breath. You should remain unperturbed by difficulties and lead a spiritual life. Fill your heart with sacred feelings. Only then will your life be redeemed.” If you want to progress in life never forget the name of God. Do not divert your mind from one name to another. Let your mind be focused on one name and one form.

Manah eva manushyanam karanam bandhamokshayo (mind is the cause for bondage and liberation of man). The mind wavers because of the desires you entertain. Hence, you will attain peace only when you give up desires. Mere performance of acts of charity will not confer nobility on you. Offer yourself to God with single-minded devotion. Only then can you attain peace and happiness. Control your desires. Control your thoughts. Then everything will come under your control.

Embodiments of Love!
You are endowed with the eternal principles of truth and love. Sathyannasti paro Dharma (There is no Dharma greater than adherence to truth) Consider Sathya as the basis of your life. Follow the path of Dharma. Only then will the principle of Love manifest in you. When you have love, you will be successful in all your endeavours.

Embodiments of Atma!
You are not the body which is bound to perish. You are the indweller which has neither birth nor death. It has no attachment whatsoever. You will attain immortality once you realise your true identity. You will be free from all worries and desires. You may ask “Is there anyone without worries and desires?” I am Myself the living example in this regard. I have absolutely no desires whatsoever. Everything is in My hand. I can give you whatever you ask for. However, do not crave for materialistic things from Me. They are transient like passing clouds. Ask for that which is eternal. The entire world is sustained by the twin principles of truth and love. They are present in everyone. I am the truth that is present in all. I am the love that is present in all. Truth and love are all-pervasive. However, you are not making efforts to experience truth and love.

Embodiments of Love!
Today you may be occupying positions of power, but how long can you remain in power? It is only temporary. Only divinity is everlasting. You have chosen the path of truth. Never deviate from it. Never forget the principle of truth you have experienced. You may forget anything in life but not truth and love. Truth is Bahirvahini (manifest flux) and love is Antarvahini (undercurrent). Both of them have to be protected and sustained. That is the duty of a human being. Bereft of truth and love one does not deserve to be called a human being at all!

Embodiments of Love!
Let your life be filled with love. Do not confine your love to your family and friends. Share it with one and all. Whomsoever you come across, consider everyone as the embodiment of divinity. Share your love with your fellow human being and become the recipient of his love. Follow the path of truth. I always teach the principles of truth and love. Congregations as this are meant only to exhort you to adhere to the path of truth and love. All of you have gathered here out of your love for Me. Having come here and listened to My message, you should practise truth and love in your daily life. Only that will make Me very happy. Let your love be not tainted with worldly feelings. Let it flow incessantly towards God. This was the ideal demonstrated by Radha. She was the kind of person who was always in the thought of Krishna and her name itself conveys her greatness and sacredness. If you start with ‘R’ you get ‘Radha’, if you start with ‘A’ you get ‘Adhar’ (basis), if you start with ‘D’ you get ‘Dhara’ (incessant flow), and if you start with ‘A’ you get ‘Aradh’ (worship). This means that the very basis of Radha’s life was incessant Aradhana (worship) of Lord Krishna. Radha symbolised Dhara (Prakriti or Nature). Krishna is Paramatma (God). Radha knew only Krishna and none else. She was totally immersed in the love of Krishna. It is because of such one-pointed devotion that she could attain liberation. One who aspires to attain liberation should follow the path of love as demonstrated by Radha.

Embodiments of Love!
I do not want to cause inconvenience to you by speaking at length. Hence, I bring My Discourse to a close. Consider whatever work you do as God’s work. See God everywhere. I will be happy when you develop such divine feelings. So many people have assembled here. I confer on you the sacred wealth of My love and bliss. May all of you lead a long, happy, healthy and peaceful life!

(Divine Discourse delivered on the occasion of 80th Birthday at Santhi Vedika in Hill View Stadium on 23rd November 2005)

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