“Love is God. God is Love. Live in Love!”
“Love is my form.” Love indeed is God.
“Sridhara is all Love. Love alone is his divine form.”
How charming are these maxims! Their sweetness is indescribable. Bhagavan is
full of love, the very image of Love. He is indeed “Love on two feet!” as
someone put it. Swami’s every deed is “love in action.” In every discourse
he speaks about love.
All that is spoken with Love is Truth, all that is done with love is
Righteousness, all that is experienced is Peace. When thought, word, and
deed are filled with love, the result is indeed Non-violence. All values
spring only from Love.
Where jealousy and hatred, arrogance and egotism raise their head, there
love does not exist. Don’t we see this every day! Love is the first,
foremost, and divine gift God has granted us at birth. In course of time,
egotism, like thick smoke, envelopes us and blocks Love from our view. In
the meanwhile, as self-interest and selfishness accumulate, we are denied
even the taste of Love.
Swami says that Love paves the way to service, and that without love birth
as a human being is useless. He added that for devotees, Love is indeed an
ornament, even as lotuses are an ornament for a lake, and beautiful homes
with decorative pattern in the front yards for a village, Or else, they
become bare and barren, like deserts. It is the surging waves which lend
enchantment to the sea.
Baba declares, “There is only one religion, the religion of Love.”
h ṛdayamandu prēmanu panḍincukonucunna
vāḍe kraistavunḍu vāḍ e sikku
vāḍe haindavunḍu vāḍe muslimu kūḍa
vāḍe mānavunḍu vasudhalōna
This is how Baba has characterises the nature of Love: The whole world
depends on Love. If the stars do not fall down to the earth, and if the seas
do not overstep their bounds, it is Love that permeates and sustains the
entire course of creation.
ē prēma śakticē ī dharuṇī cakra
mirusu lēkunḍagā tirugucunḍu
ē prēma śakticē nella nakshatrālu
nēlarālaka minta nilaciyundu
ē prēma śakticē ī puḍami baḍaka
kadali rāyadu kāll u muducukoniye
ē prēma śakticē ī rēḍu lōkālu
gāli dēvudu suritīlu visare
ā mahāprēmaśaktiyē ātmaśakti
adbhuta mananta madvitīya magu śakti
ninḍiyunnadi brahmānḍa bhānḍamella
So, all branches of knowledge and all religions as well as their goals have
their basis in Love. Love is the foundation of Life.
sarvamatamula mūlamu samasta śāstramula sāramu
sārvamārgamula gamyamu samasta jīvula kīlakamu
prēmatattvamē adē jīvita saudhamunaku bhadramaina
punādi viśvakalyāṇamunaku vijñāna jyōti
Love is the centre, the breath of life. The lotus of the human heart blooms
as Love dawns. The greatest of Bhagavan Baba’s miraculous powers is Love.
Love brooks neither selfishness nor self-interest. Love is what fills a
large heart. It is because man’s true nature is Love, that he seeks Love at
any cost. It is through loving and being loved that he derives unparalleled
happiness. Being vital for fulfilling human relationships as well as
nearness to God, Love wards off any kind of sorrow, anxiety, or fear.
It is Love which
transforms Man into Mādhava (Divinity). Many there are the course of whose
lives changed thoroughly after a fortunate, brief contact with Swami.
Selfish and narrow minded people have taken to service as spiritual
practice. Sai’s love exercises such profound influence. Spiritual practice
truly is the extension of love beyond self and family to loving all equally.
Only then can we really undertake service. This is the meaning of Sai’s
maxim, “Love All, Serve All.”
If Bhagavan is the ocean of Love, we are little drops. Realising that we are
born not to die, but to achieve union with God, we should follow the yoga of
love. In this context, we need to recall Baba’s warning. He questions, “How
can a man love God, when he cannot love his fellow man?” There is a weakness
is lurking within us: finding the faults in others. There is no greater sin
than drawing attention to other people’s weaknesses. This fault finding
habit never elevates you. Further, it brings into the open, your nature
which, like mosquitoes and bed bugs, seeks to suck blood. But then we are
not mosquitoes and bed bugs, are we? Can’t we, like the honey bee, enjoy the
nectarine goodness in others? Love ever welcomes goodness. That is why Baba
tells us, “Seek your own faults and others’ merits.” Indeed all our worship,
meditation, etc., have failed to yield the promised good results because our
thought processes have taken the wrong turn.
The meaning of wealth of character is indeed Love. The seed of love grows
spiritually into a tree whose fruits are Bliss. Love alone can confer on us
speech as sweet as honey, a glance as cool as moonlight, and a heart as soft
as butter. Only the hard-hearted spends his time in using harsh and cruel
words, imputing base motives, indulging in malicious actions, and dwelling
on vicious ideas. Food is not spoiled only when the brass container is
coated with tin. Otherwise the vessel gets tarnished. Similarly, when the
heart is coated with Love, everything becomes enjoyable. Tap water is pure
only when the tank water is also pure. Likewise, speech, thoughts, and
actions emanating from a heart filled with Love are pure, selfless, and
pious. From a spiritual perspective, we need to take to the path of Love
from the embodiment of Love, Bhagavan Baba, realise and experience it. When
Man, who is of divine origin, becomes a slave to envy, hatred, lust, anger,
and so on, to attachment and arrogance, the influence of pravṛtti becomes
evident. It is possible to overcome these through Love alone. Just as
moonlight helps us see the moon, we should Baba, the embodiment of Love only
with the lamp of Love.
Love in action is the basis for sacrifice and inspires Service. In a way,
sacrifice can be also ranked as synonymous with Love. Without sacrifice,
Love becomes only a variety of selfishness. We often see this phenomenon in
many people. Labelling themselves ‘spiritual,’ they crave pleasure and
wealth, and are not prepared to so much as step out of their home, spend a
penny, exert themselves in the least, or forgo any comfort, much less a
luxury. Poor fellows! That is only an illusion. That is why Baba reminds us
saying, na karmaṇ na prajayā dhanēna tyāgēnaikē amṛtatvamānaśuh. Divinity
is to be experienced only through sacrifice or renunciation.
Where there is Love of God, there is Fear of Sin also. Then, morality in
is firmly established. Love of God indeed is known also as
Devotion. Faith rooted in Love is the source of jnana, wisdom. Consider a
mirror. It is possible to look at the reflection only when the back of a
mirror is coated with a chemical. Similarly the mirror of the heart reflects
God, only when it is coated with Love. Even as heat melts wax, so does love
melt the heart. The truth of the dictum, brhamavit brahmaiva bhavati, “To
know Brahman is to become Brahman,” is realised only when God is
contemplated with Love. It is Love which made the radiant face of Moses
resemble that of Jesus. So too had Valmiki, the poet resembled Rama. This is
the secret of how in the middle of terrifying jungles, the loving hearts of
sages made wild animals mild.
Love is primordial, and emanated from hiraṇyagarbha, the cosmic egg.
Failing to recognise the value of Love, man is yielding to mundane desires.
Mixed with other metals, the value of gold diminishes. Similarly, Love of
God is defiled by its admixture with worldly desires. The experience of Love
confers Serenity. In spite of ups and downs, the Bliss emerging from that
Serenity is unmoved; it neither waxes nor wanes.
Bhagavan Baba, whose nature is Love, whose form is Peace, whose mark is
Truth, and whose action is Righteousness, is the ideal for mankind. The
message this incarnation proclaims is a steadfastness unmoved by malicious
gossip and scandal mongering, and an aversion to praise, flattery, and cheap
publicity. Such an elevated stature is possible only through Love. Swami’s
firmness, grandeur, and radiance express his Love. This is why leaders from
India and abroad bow down at his feet. Come what may, his resolve remains
unwavering, unyielding, and irresistible. As Swami is embedded in Truth,
nothing is impossible for him. He wills, and institutions, buildings, and
programmes of unmatched excellence arise under his direction and
supervision. Such is his stature.
Baba, the ocean of love, is indeed Truth. When, acknowledging the benefits
extended, the help rendered, the positions granted, and the numerous favours
received from him, we bow down and offer humble salutations, Bhagavan
responds, “Why? That is my duty.” Swami says, “Love knows no hatred.” All
there is, is One, True, and Indivisible; there is no other.”
Īśvarassarvabhūtānām. Being the embodiment of Love, Swami is the indweller
of all beings.
As Bhagavan Baba puts it, “From tip to toe, there is no selfishness in
Swami.” Whatever he does, instructs, or causes to be done, it is because of
his unceasing shower of selfless Love alone, and nothing else. Swami
remarks, “Love gives and forgives. Self gets and forgets.” Love is a giver,
never a receiver. Swami’s hand goes on giving without fatigue or a break. We
do not have words to describe his munificence in giving away food and
clothing, and his shower of Love. Giving is such a joy to him. His Love is
so boundless that he once observed, “For the Drinking Water Supply Project,
I am ready, if necessary, to give up even Prasanthi Nilayam.” Addressing the
students on another occasion, Swami made these startling remarks, “For your
sake I am prepared to give you anything and everything. I will never
hesitate to give away even myself.” He has such hopes about the youth.
As the New Year begins, people make ever so many resolutions.
Years roll on, and not one is implemented. Remorse and regrets follow, and
the earlier routine continues. Newspaper headlines highlight the crazy
pranks, reckless screams, and violent orgies of that
midnight, and the subsequent casualties of drunkards and accidents. It is by
reference to the calendar that we arrive at the New Year and celebrate it.
But seconds become, minutes, minutes, hours, then days, months, and so on.
So, the basic unit of the year is the second or minute.
Every second is new, like every minute. We need not
wait for the year to come to a close if we wish to reform or transform
ourselves. This is the sage counsel of Sai.
One should view every second as the Grace of the divine, and conduct oneself
accordingly. With Love as the guiding principle, it is possible to make our
lives ideal, irrespective of the number of programmes undertaken, plans
contemplated, speeches delivered, and other commitments and avocations. The
New Year resolve should be an attempt to sanctify our bodies and our time
with the message of Love. First of all, one should begin with implementing
Baba’s divine directive, “Start the day with Love, Spend the day with Love,
Fill the day with Love, and end the day with Love.” Swami’s words alone are
the guiding lights of our life. They are the lamps illuminating the path,
and the path itself as well. The one and only way to experience divinity
Bhagavan Baba gave us is, “Love Al, Serve All.” Therefore, as the New Year
begins what we must resolve, remember and practice, not try to ( Swami
points out, “ ‘Try, Try, Try,’ leads to ‘dry,)’ are Swami’s divine
“Past is beyond recovery,” “Future is uncertain,” “Past is history,” “Future
is mystery.” Then, what is left is, “Live in the present.” Let us
recapitulate Swami’s elegant description of ‘duty.’ As the past is the
foundation of the present, and as the results of today are enjoyed tomorrow,
Swami points out that the present is not any ordinary present, but
omnipresent. Living in the present is true spirituality. When recalling the
past, someone laments over it, Swami says to him, “Past is past.” Let us not
waste time in unnecessary talk. Let us entertain thoughts of divinity, and
thereby sanctify time. “Time waste,” observes Swami, “is life waste.” Let us
undertake service and give the god given body a purpose and a meaning. Our
hopes and resolutions should be oriented this way.
Following the Christian era, we treat the first of January as the beginning
of the New Year. But, different regions of India celebrate the New Year
based on the phase of the moon, the month, or the constellation. As we use
in everyday life the Christian calendar, it is but proper, relevant, and
instructive to reflect however briefly on Christ’s teachings. Baba once
remarked, “You need not do any service to me. I myself am coming to you and
serving you. Always I will be reflecting on projects to be undertaken to
promote the welfare of society.” Consider the words of Lord Jesus on the
Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and
they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so
among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the
Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his
life a ransom for many. (Matthew, 20:25-28)
Bhagavan Baba is extremely fond of the pupils of the Primary School, their
talk, their games, and their singing. Their innocence, purity, openness, and
wholehearted love attract Swami so much. As Sri Kasturi once pointed out,
“Won’t it be wonderful if right now we could become little children enrolled
in the Sri Sathya Sai Primary School!” Divinity is only another name for
simplicity and spontaneous love. This is what draws us close to God. Now let
us ponder over the following words of Lord Jesus:
And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as
little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever
therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in
the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my
name receiveth me (Matthew, 18: 2-5).
Those of us who have read Sai Saccaritra are familiar with the way Shirdi
Sai taught a lesson to a rich man. On another occasion, when someone asked
Shirdi Sai for brahmajñana, he replied, “First, look to the money in your
pocket.” Sathya Sai observed, “Money comes and goes. Morality comes and
grows.” Dharma is greater than wealth. When a young man who had kept the
commandments came seeking “eternal life,” Lord Jesus counselled him in this
The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up:
what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell
that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in
heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he
went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. (Matthew, 19:20-21)
Let us make a beginning in this New Year with some degree of detachment. Has
not Veda proclaimed, na karmaṇā na prajayā dhanēna tyāgēnaikē am
ṛtatvamānaśuh? Bhagavan Baba says, “God does not accept partnership. Your
heart is not a double sofa set. It is a single chair.” This idea is
elaborated in his poem:
talli kante migula daivambe daggara
sannihituḍ u cāla tanḍri kanna
attI daivamunu vīda abbunu pāpambu
satyamaina bāta sāyi māta
When one of the Pharisees, a lawyer, thought to trick Lord Jesus with the
question, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said
unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all
thy soul, and with all thy mind. (Matthew, 22: 36-37). It is in this spirit
that Baba once commented, “God is your best friend.” This is why devotees
extol Baba with the song, mātā pitā bandhu tum hō
(You are our mother, father, kinsman). May we hope to love God
For every little act of ours, we look for lots of publicity and recognition.
We are strangers to doing anything without expectation of a return. Our
identification with the body and our concern with whatever is external make
us crave from society prestige, authority, status, position and other
worldly attractions. Actions and thoughts stemming from expectation of
rewards are totally unspiritual. That is why Baba wants us not to be
thinking of rewards of our actions, and focus on the manner of our actions.
Moreover, Baba says you should not undertake spiritual practices
in order to attract the attention of others. It is not people but the Lord
who should approve our spiritual practices. The proper mode of spiritual
practices is very unmistakably and forcefully brought out in this caution
from Lord Jesus, his observations immediately preceding the Lord’s Prayer.
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise
ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou
doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do
in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men.
Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let
not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in
secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee
openly (Matthew, 6:1-4).
Baba does not care for externals, but looks into our hearts. This is chiefly
what we should learn from Baba. He shuns publicity and seeks no recognition.
His infinite Love is only for Love’s sake. That is why he says, “Love to
Love, Heart to Heart.” Let us follow Bhagavan’s example and take up
activities without regard for rewards. Let us entreat the embodiment of
Forgiveness, our Compassionate Bhagavan, to bless us with plentiful
diligence and devotion in our spiritual practices.
May we welcome the New Year with Bhagavan Baba’s divine blessings!
In this context let us recall one of Swami’s instructions. In a recent
message on atmospheric pollution, he brought dwelt on how mankind is caught
in a vicious trap, the wide ranging pollution of nature, and referred to
pollution of the air, water, food, noise, soil, etc., and to greenhouse
gases, global warming, and ozone depletion. He also added appropriately
another factor, “mind pollution.” Notice how true it is!
There is no end to desires. As these can never be fulfilled, there follows
the eruption of blazing anger and diseases. This is why Swami says, “Less
luggage, more comfort. Make travel a pleasure.” Swami graphically portrays
the trends in contemporary society in the following poem.
In this situation, it is essential that we should place a ceiling on the
root of all sinful acts, viz., desires. Swami conveyed the need for a
ceiling on desires thirty years ago. All the disorder and brutality of today
spring from unlimited craving. By participating in service of society,
detachment arises and nurtures Love. Then we may lead our lives as human
It is clear that good deeds, the spirit of detachment, and a loving
disposition prevent and cure “mind pollution.” Swami says, “Don’t waste
Food. Don’t waste Water. Don’t waste Energy. Don’t waste Time. Don’t waste
Money.” Once Swami visited the College when I was in Brindavan. The day’s
programme was over. When he was about to leave in his car, He called me to
say, “Look here! Water is still running from the tap in your office. Go and
attend to it.” I benefited doubly by being warned at a distance of one
furlong from the College. For one thing, Swami’s omnipresence was again
brought home to me strikingly as I began to shiver. Moreover, I was taught a
lesson about my duty; I should not allow water to be wasted. Because Food is
Brahman, it should not be wasted. As the Telugu saying runs, “the current of
the river and the course of youth cannot be reversed, and this applies to
time as well. So, let us in New Year follow implicitly Bhagavan’s
instructions, and make our lives meaningful. Let us resolve to spend our
time purposefully, fruitfully, and piously. Only the day, dinam, spent
according to Swami’s instruction can be rightly called a day, and the rest
are but days of grief, taddinams, commemoration anniversaries.
Any number of years may come and many more may pass. By the Grace of God we
have been granted this human birth. We have our wish-fulfilling tree,
Bhagavan Baba. All our aim is to rejoice in darśan, sparśan, sambhāshaṇ
(vision of his form, touch of his feet, and conversing), and to be blessed
and nothing else. Once Swami out of love for a devotee created a ring and
himself put it on his finger. People all round him surrounded him and began
observing it steadily with immense joy. In a jocular vein swami commented,
“While I, the creator of the ring, am here before you, why are you watching
the ring intently?” Then everybody burst out laughing. Isn’t that a fact!
Isn’t it crazy on our part to exult over the creation, not the creator!
They say, nadīnām sāgarō gatih, the sea is the goal of all rivers. So too is
union with paramēśvara, the Supreme Lord, the goal of our lives. With folded
hands let us humbly pray to Bhagavan to grant everyone peace and prosperity,
bless our spiritual endeavours in the New Year!
(Translation: Padma and Ramesh Dutta Thippavajjala)
Source: SBOI - Prof.
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