Divine Discourse on Makara Sankranthi, 14, Jan 2009
Money comes and
goes; but morality comes and grows
Bharat is the motherland of many noble souls who earned great
name and fame in all the continents of the world. This is the land of valorous
people who vanquished the foreign rulers in the battlefield and attained
independence. This is the land that excelled in music, literature, and other fine
arts. Having been born in this great land of Bharat, oh boys and girls! It is your
sacred duty to protect its rich cultural heritage.
Dear students! Be prepared to uphold the honour and glory of this country of Bharat!
You are sure to come out victorious in this effort.
Today, people are able to achieve great progress in secular and scientific fields,
but they are unable to march forward in the field of spirituality. One has to
progress in spirituality more than in other fields. People used to give great
importance to progress in the spiritual arena in the ancient times. In fact, it used
to be the goal of their life. However, there is a decline in the spiritual outlook
of people in recent times.
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14th Jan 09: Celebrating Makara Sankranthi
(Pongal, Lohri ) with Lord Also read Excerpts from Divine Discourse
In these days a lot of effort is made to achieve progress in secular, physical, and
worldly matters. Whatever achievements made in these areas are only temporary and
transitory; they are not permanent. While people are able to make giant strides in
secular areas all over the world, there is decline in the importance given to
spiritual and moral progress. This tendency is in sharp contrast to the culture of
Bharat in ancient times.
This land of Bharat has given birth to many noble women like Savitri, who brought
her dead husband back to life; Chandramati, who extinguished wild fire with the
power of truth; Sita, who proved her chastity by coming out of blazing fire
unscathed; and Damayanti, who reduced an evil-minded hunter to ashes with the power
of her chastity. This land of piety and nobility attained plenty and prosperity and
became the teacher of all the nations of the world because of such women of
Savitri, a great woman of chastity, brought her deceased husband back to life by the
power of her chastity. Such women brought great name and fame to the country of
Bharat. Can you find parallels to her anywhere in this world? No doubt, whoever is
born must die, but is there a woman in any country in the world who could bring her
dead husband back to life, except in Bharat? The whole world is falling to abysmal
depth due to transgression of the righteous path, lack of character, and bad
Once Arjuna was narrating to King Dharmaraja a few strange incidents he observed
while going on a tour of the Kingdom. A farmer reported to Arjuna, “Swami! Yesterday
I left the implements in the field itself after ploughing, since it was getting
dark. Today when I went to the field to pick up those implements, they were not to
be found there.”
On another occasion, he noticed some ladies locking their houses and going out. On
enquiry they informed him, “Swami! We wanted to go out on some work, and unless we
lock our houses, our belongings won’t be safe.”
This was stunning news to Arjuna, since no house in the kingdom used to be locked in
those days, unlike in present times, and people were able to move very freely
without any worry. Later, when King Dharmaraja himself went on a stroll, he observed
a lady talking to a man in public standing in the middle of the road. Such type of
behaviour went against the custom prevailing in the country.
Dharmaraja was taken aback at these developments and felt that the age of Kali had
begun. He therefore decided that it was time that the Pandavas leave for their
heavenly abode. Ladies and gents engaging themselves in conversation in full view of
the public was a taboo in those days.
Bharat is a land where noble thoughts and feelings are cultivated right from
childhood. In fact, Bharat is the spiritual teacher for the entire world. Even now,
you will find that Bharatiyas do not go astray in their behaviour, as it is
happening in some other countries in the world. They are decent and courteous in
their behaviour, at least in public. Even an aged son dare not talk to his mother
standing in front of her.
In the earlier days of Swami’s Avatarhood, the Raja of Venkatagiri used to visit
Puttaparthi. He used to bring the heir apparent and his other son along with him.
Before their departure, the sons used to take the blessings of their mother, who
used to sit behind a screen and stretch her legs for her sons to offer their
obeisance to her. Such were their noble feelings and exemplary character.
Today, you will find boys and girls moving together even in public places. If
someone makes enquiries, they reply that so and so was their classmate. Such acts in
the old days were considered as highly improper. In fact, the term “classmate”
itself is a wrong expression. Do not use the word “classmate”. Say, “a fellow
student in the class”.
The rules of conduct in the earlier times were very strict. The situation has
changed now. Boys and girls visit each other’s houses without any inhibition and
even dine together. This is highly improper. Before doing such things, one has to
ask oneself, “Am I a human being or an animal or a beast?” Animals have animal
qualities, but you are a human being. Hence, you should possess human qualities. You
say you are a human being. Therefore you have to ask yourself, “Do I possess human
What are those human qualities? Never hurt anyone. Do not speak harsh words against
any individual. Have compassion and a charitable disposition. Only such a person can
be said to be a human being.
Sathya (truth), dharma (righteousness), santhi (peace), prema (love), and ahimsa
(nonviolence) are the five qualities a human being should possess. Giving a go-bye
to sathya and dharma, people pray for santhi. Is it possible? Can anyone get peace
outside? Peace is a state of mind that is very much inside one’s own self. It
emanates from one’s heart. People are now searching for peace in the outside world.
There is reaction, reflection, and resound for everything in the world. Only when
you develop the quality of hatred in yourself will you see hatred in others. Even
when no one causes any harm to you, you try to hurt others. Whatever you do to
others, surely you will experience the result of that action. Whatever you hear or
experience is all due to the reaction, reflection, and resound of your own actions
and feelings. Others are not responsible for it.
You forget this simple truth and lament, “so and so is accusing me; so and so is
causing pain to me; so and so is hurting me”, etc. No one is responsible for either
your good or your bad actions. Neither is it God’s creation, for God is nirgunam,
niranjanam, sanathana niketanam, nitya, shuddha, buddha, mukta, nirmala swarupinam
(God is attributeless, unsullied, final abode, eternal, pure, enlightened, free, and
embodiment of sacredness).
You go on fighting with others and try to hurt them. Then you are not a human being
at all! Always help others, never hurt anyone. “Help Ever, Hurt Never.” It is said,
Paropakara punyaya, papaya parapeedanam (one attains merit by serving others and
commits sin by hurting them), Sarva jiva namaskaram Kesavam pratigachchhati
(whomever you salute, it reaches God), and Sarva jiva tiraskaram Kesavam
pratigachchhati (whomever you criticise, it reaches God).
You think you are accusing someone or making fun of someone. It is all your
illusion. In fact, you are accusing yourself and making fun of yourself in the
process. Everything has reaction, reflection, and resound. You yourself are
responsible for either good or bad. If you wish to enjoy good things in life, do
good to others in the first instance.
Today’s education is information-oriented. It is bookish knowledge. It is not real
education. It is not this type of education that you should pursue. You have to
Educare manifests in one’s own heart. Education relates to gathering information by
reading several books and storing them in your brain. Whatever you remember out of
that knowledge, you will reproduce in your examinations and acquire degrees; that
you call education. That is not real education.
You have to follow your inner voice. That is real education. In the recent sports
day, you played many games, displayed beautiful gymnastic skills, and sang several
songs. All these activities relate to the body, which is the result of your past
karmas (actions). However, do not repose absolute confidence in the physical body.
The body is given to you for discharging your duty as a human being. Do not misuse
It is the responsibility of teachers, headmistress, principals, vice chancellors,
and chancellors to teach the students the value and purpose of human birth.
Your duty is to follow your conscience. Your conscience helps you manifest noble
qualities. But you do not pay heed to the voice of your conscience and go against
the human values. Hence, never ignore your conscience. Your conscience is your most
You do not have to do japa (soft repetition of the name of God), tapa (penance,
severe austerities), dhyana (meditation), or yoga. You will achieve a lot of
progress in your sadhana (spiritual practices) if only you listen to your inner
voice. Whatever comes from the depth of your heart will do good for you. Whatever
goes against the dictates of your conscience is worldly, whereas inner voice or
conscience is spiritual. “Help Ever; Hurt Never,” is the cardinal principle of
spirituality. Whoever follows the inner voice will always be safe. Never go against
that inner voice. That is true spirituality.
Spirituality does not mean just conforming to worship and meditation. These
practices have degenerated into several undesirable activities these days. The
underlying principle and the purpose of these sadhanas are totally forgotten.
It is said, Manasyekam vachasyekam, karmanyekam mahatmanam (Those whose thoughts,
words, and deeds are in perfect harmony are noble ones). Unless there is perfect
accord between your thoughts, words, and deeds, you are not a human being at all!
You get very angry against someone and slap them. But think for a moment; it is a
great sin to hurt others. In the process, you are hurting not your enemy but God,
verily! All are divine. Hence, never hurt anyone. It is natural to help those who
help you, but you should be able to help even those who harm you. There is nothing
great in helping those who have helped you. The noble ones are those who help even
those who have harmed them.
It is only Sai in this world who helps even those who try to harm Him, ignoring
their faults. I never mind the harm done to Me by others. We must always be calm,
serene, and peaceful under all circumstances. If only you maintain the quality of
peace, you can achieve anything in life. Wherever you see in the outside world, it
is only pieces and pieces! Do not hurt the feelings of others, come what may.
Always treat your parents with love and respect. In fact, your parents are your
first teachers. Respect them. Any amount of your good work that inconveniences your
parents is of no avail. That cannot be considered good work at all. Though it may
appear to be yielding some benefits temporarily, the end result of all this work
will turn out to be very bad. Hence, ensure that you do not cause any inconvenience
or suffering to your parents. The more you inconvenience them, the more you will
With regard to charity, the more you give in charity to others, the more benefit you
will receive later. Therefore, try to help others, always. Do any kind of seva
(selfless service) that you are capable of. When you thus go on helping others, you
will be progressing in the path of truth.
As you travel in the path of truth, dharma will automatically follow. Where sathya
(truth) and dharma (righteousness) go together, santhi (peace) will reign there.
Then prema (love) will follow. Where there is love, there hatred cannot be. You will
not have enemies then. It is only when the spring of love gets dried up in your
heart that you will try to cause suffering to others. Hence, develop love for all.
Sathya, dharma, santhi, prema, and ahimsa are human qualities.
Today, there is rampant violence everywhere in the world. People are afraid to stay
alone even in their houses. Several changes are taking place all over the world.
Earlier, the United States of America was considered to be a super power and a
wealthy country, but now, all that glory is gone. As a result, people who were going
to their workplaces in cars earlier are now walking.
We think money and wealth can do anything. But money is not important; your mind is
important. If only you can control your mind, everything will turn out to be good
Whatever work you undertake, do it with a sense of dedication to God. Sarva karma
Bhagavad preetyartham (do all actions to please God). Always remind yourself that
God is the doer and you are just an instrument in the hands of God. You can achieve
anything in life only when there is the Will of God. Perform your duty and remain a
witness to all that goes in the world.
It is said, “Paropakarah punyaya papaya parapeedanam”. Always follow the principles
of “be good, do good, and see good.” Let your tongue speak only the truth. Let all
your deeds be helpful to others. Whoever undertakes service in society with such a
motto will always be happy.
Pride, jealousy, etc, are all bad qualities. They drive away good qualities. They do
harm to you as well as to society. Hence, be good and do good to others. If someone
is in a difficult situation, go all out to help them even at the cost of your own
work. This is the foremost duty of a human being. “Help Ever, Hurt Never” should be
your motto. It is enough if you remember these two commands always.
Do not cause harm even to your enemy. Hurt never. Do not cause even the slightest
inconvenience to others. This is true education.
You make your parents suffer in the house, come to the office and show your egoistic
power on your subordinates, and draw a huge salary for your so-called work and
responsibility. This is a great mistake. As you go up in your career and life, your
ego and jealousy must come down. Then only will you earn respect from one and all.
Always remember society and its welfare. You are a member of the society and
therefore you have a social responsibility. You owe your very existence to society.
Similarly, society is not separate from you. Individuals make a society. You and
society are inseparable and mutually dependent. Only when fellow members of the
society prosper will you also prosper.
You all have done well in your studies, getting good marks and securing ranks. You
brought good name to the Institution in the fields of education, sports, and
cultural activities. Yesterday, you witnessed a play on Bhakta Potana. He did not
feel bad, in spite of criticism and belittling from his brother-in-law Srinatha,
also a great poet. Since Potana was a great devotee of Rama and surrendered himself
totally to the Lord, Rama Himself composed the great epic Bhagavatam on his behalf.
Potana always believed that his poetry, his life, and even his very existence were
all the gift of Lord Rama. He was a true devotee.
When Potana was suffering from acute poverty and finding it very difficult to make
both ends meet, his brother-in-law advised him to dedicate his works to the King and
make a comfortable living with the money and jewellery gifted by the King. Potana
refused to do, so saying that he would take refuge only in Lord Rama. Instead, he
decided to live by cultivating his small piece of land.
One day, while Srinatha was going by the side of the fields in a palanquin, he saw
his brother-in-law Potana working in his field. He derisively passed a comment on
Potana, addressing him as “haalika!”, meaning, “Oh farmer! Are you Ok?”
Potana gave an apt reply saying, “how does it matter if I am a farmer? I feel it is
better and nobler to make a living by farming than dedicating my poetry to earthly
kings and living upon their charity. That gives me great satisfaction!”
The earth is the basis for all objects and activities in the world. Whoever reposes
his faith in the land will never undergo any difficulties. Hence, I advise students
to develop faith in their motherland and pursue their vocations in this great land
of Bharat itself, instead of dreaming to go to other countries like America and earn
lakhs and lakhs of rupees. Earn name and fame in your motherland itself.
Earning money is not something great. Even a beggar can earn a lot of money. “Money
comes and goes, but morality comes and grows.” Cultivate that morality. Whoever has
morality will never undergo any difficulty.