Sai Baba Speaks of
The Life and Message of the
From Extracts of Speeches/Writings of
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
An offering to Interfaith
Love and Understanding from
Sathya Sai Central Council of Malaysia
The Sai movement is a
multi-religious, spiritual organization dedicated to
promoting the highest Human Values, service to fellow man
and the promotion of Interfaith harmony.
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai
Baba has urged all to follow sincerely their own religion
and to respect all religions. The World symbol of the Sai
Organization contains the symbols of the 5 great ancient
religions of the World viz Islam, Christianity, Buddhism,
Zorastrianism and Hinduism. In the West, where Judaism
prevails he has allowed the symbols of the Jewish religion
to be used.
This Catholicity of Baba's
teachings is reflected not just in symbols but in the
speeches and writings He has conveyed to the World from the
time he started his mission at the age of fourteen. Through
the years he has commented on and revealed fascinating
aspects of the exemplary lives and the inner significance of
the teachings of the great religious leaders of the World.
We dedicate this
publication to the Wesak day celebration of the Interfaith
movement in Malaysia and present some of the comments that
Baba has made on the life and teachings of "The BUDDHA".
We offer this as a humble
token of love to all our Buddhist brothers and sisters and
to all who love and respect The Buddha - for his teachings
and His great contribution to Mankind.
My grateful thanks to all
my Sai brothers and sisters who gleaned through numerous
speeches and writings by Baba and others who have worked to
make this offering possible.
Buddham Saranam Gacchami
Sangham Saranam Gacchami
Dharmam Saranam Gacchami
OM SAI RAM
Sathya Sal Central Council of Malaysia
The Holy Ones of the World
Students! Embodiments of
the Divine Atma! And, supporters and promoters of education!
This Kali Yuga offers more facilities for liberations than
any previous one. For, mankind is much cleverer now; there
are educational institutions even in the farthest corners of
every land. But, it is a pity, peace of mind has become very
rare among men. Why has peace remained out of reach. In
spite of the plethora of gadgets and contrivances that offer
man comfort and pleasure?
The fault lies in human
conduct which runs along evil lines. When man thinks, speaks
and acts along virtuous lines, his conscience will be clean
and he will have inner peace. Knowledge is power, it is
said; but virtue is peace. The world reveres even today
great men and women who have lived exemplary lives of
virtue. Jesus, Muhammad, Zoroaster, Buddha, Sankaracharya,
Madhwacharya, Ramanujacharya and others were able to command
the loyalty and adoration of people, solely on account of
the purity of their conduct and actions. They have become
immortal residents in the hearts of mankind. Scholarship
cannot confer this high historic ascendancy. Mastery of
books may help you to expound or exhibit your dialectical
skill. But, what really is the width and depth of your
experience? And, just examine how conceited you have become!
Man must saturate his daily life in truthful speech,
virtuous acts, and holy thoughts.
There were other seers too
who laid down paths towards the same goal. They announced
that the universe belongs to God and man should not desire
to accumulate or appropriate any portion of the Divine
Treasure. They advised that the sapling of devotion must be
protected from the pests of sloth, doubt, and fanaticism by
the cultivation of valour and vigilance.
Of the major religions, I
may mention one, namely, Buddhism. Buddha was so agonised by
the suffering that haunts the life of man, that he
investigated the behaviour of the mind and intellect of man
and discovered remedial disciplines. He analysed the
vagaries of the mind which lead man into the whirlpools of
desire; he analysed the ways of reason, too, and spotted the
areas where prejudice takes root; above all, he preached
surrender to dharma, to compassion and to Buddha (the
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai
Baba has often talked of the teachings of all the great
religions and especially during the major festivals he draws
the inner significance of the teachings of the great
spiritual Lights of the world!
This booklet is a
compilation of some of Baba's comments on the Buddha and his
- SAI RAM -
The Transforming Power of Love
Love will not submit to the
forces of envy or hatred however powerful they maybe. Love
will prevail over them. Once when Buddha was travelling, he
was confronted by a demoness with a sword in hand. "Oh
Buddha! Your Love must submit today to my envy. Your life
will end today." Buddha answered her, with a smile: "I will
not submit to envy or hatred. I am not affected by praise or
blame or ridicule. I love even you who bear such ill will
towards me." When the demoness heard these words, she turned
into a dove and vanished.
Those who hate others are
ultimately consumed by their own hatred. Those filled with
envy ultimately meet their end in it. Richard, a character
in one of Shakespeare's plays, was filled with envy and
could not bear to see any one superior or better looking
than himself. In the end, he was a victim of his own envy
and died miserably. Similar examples can be found in the
Indian epics. Bhasmasura, who got a boon from Siva that any
one on whom he placed his palm should be reduced ashes, was
himself reduced to ashes when he placed his palm over his
FAITH AND CONFIDENCE
In the pursuit of the good
and godly life, one may encounter many difficulties and
disturbances. Many doubts and questions crop up. It is only
when these difficulties are faced squarely and the troubles
are borne with patience and fortitude that we can understand
the true nature of Reality. You should not allow yourselves
to be overwhelmed in any way by difficulties and sorrows,
doubts and disappointments. You must have faith. Have
confidence in yourself and strive to understand well the
nature of God's love. To secure that love is the sacred goal
of human life. The transforming power of Love is boundless.
St. Paul, who was originally an inveterate critic of Jesus,
was transformed by Christ's love into the greatest apostle
Another example: During
Buddha's time, there was a very cruel and wicked man known
as Angulimala. Like Ratnakara, he was also engaged in
waylaying travellers, robbing them of their wealth, and
cutting off their thumbs to use them as a necklace round his
neck. The Buddha was able to reform even such a cruel man
and turn him into a spiritual seeker.
The Sadhaka must adhere to
Sathwa ideal, a serene balanced equanimity. His inborn
nature and social nurture might help him in this, but he
must consciously and steadily cultivate this perseverance to
attain purity of thought, word and deed. It is wrong to
attribute the ups and downs in one's life to the will of
God; they are due to the cultivation of neglect of this
quality of perseverance.
Expansive Love, purity of
intention and an eagerness to sacrifice - these three are
the criteria for Sathwic quality. They are the chief limbs
of the spiritual body which require attention. Mental health
and spiritual wellbeing depend on these limbs. The
assertion, "I take refuge in Buddha" must be based on an
illumined intellect. "I take refuge in Sangha" must
therefore urge the Sadhaka to utilise the intellect as an
instrument for the service of society or sangha. When the
third statement, "I take refuge in Dharma" is made, it
directs the Sadhaka to utilise it for strengthening and
promoting righteousness, morality and virtue. The path of
Love is the path of Dharma. Love results in enthusiastic
service. Who deserves Love most? Nothing on earth deserves
pure Love more than God, and if one is aware of God in man,
embodiments of Divinity.
Everyone has passed through
numberless lives in the past, lives spent in utter
selfishness. So, egoistic impulses enslave him very
drastically even now, preventing unselfish Love from
sprouting and spreading. God seeks in man Love and Law. Love
has to be regulated by Law. Without Law, Love cannot expand.
It will be narrow and crooked. They are the negative and
Love implies understanding
and consequently, sympathy and compassion. These confer
Ananda. But man is lacking in Love and so in Ananda also.
When men form conflicting groups and plot to destroy each
other, how can joy and peace reside in him? Ancient myths
speak of wars of extermination between Gods and demons and
between men and rakshasas. But history today has to record
wars between rakshasas who call themselves men.
Buddha and The Maharaja
Buddha was once asked: "Who
is the richest man in the world?" Buddha replied: "He who
has much satisfaction (with what he has) is the richest
man." To the question, "Who is the poorest man?" Buddha
replied: "He who has many desires."
A Maharaja, who was
listening to Buddha's sermons on contentment and
renunciation, wished to earn the approbation of Buddha.
Buddha used to keep with
him always a rattle-drum. His disciples once asked him:
"Master! Why are you always keeping this rattle-drum by your
side?" Buddha replied: "I shall play on this drum the day a
person who has made the greatest sacrifice approaches me."
Everyone was eager to know who this person would be. Such
persons are often the forgotten men of history.
Wishing to attain this
distinction, the Maharaja loaded his elephant with
condiserable treasure and went to Buddha. He hoped to offer
the treasure to Buddha and earn his praise.
On the way, an old woman
greeted the Maharaja and pleaded: "I am hungry. Will you
give me some food?" The Maharaja took out pomegranate fruit
from his palaquin and gave it to her. The old woman came to
Buddha with the fruit.
By then, the Maharaja had
come to Buddha and was eagerly waiting to see when Buddha
would sound the rattle-drum. For a long time Buddha did not
use it. The Maharaja stayed on.
THE GREATEST SACRIFICE
The old woman approached
Buddha staggering on her legs, and offered to him the
pomegranate fruit. Buddha took it and immediately sounded
the little drum.
The Maharaja asked Buddha:
"I offered so much wealth to you. You did not sound the
drum. But you rattled it after receiving a small fruit. Is
this a great sacrifice?"
Buddha replied: "Maharaja!
In sacrifice, it is not quantity that counts, it is the
quality of sacrifice that matters. It is natural for a
Maharaja to offer gold. But what great sacrifice is made
when a hungry old woman offers the pomegranate fruit to the
Guru despite her hunger. She did not care even for her life
and gave the fruit. What greater sacrifice can there be? It
is not sacrifice to offer what is superfluous for you. True
sacrifice means giving up that which is most dear to you,
that which you value most."
Buddha - Saga of Dharma
The Lord was referred to as
Dharma by the Vedas and as Vijnana by Buddha. For in those
days, no one liked the word 'Veda', as in the times of the
Asura called Somaka, when those who followed the Vedas
desisted from calling them 'Veda'; While in mortal dread,
such behaviour is passable. Yet, the Buddha was full of
reverence to the Vedas; he was ever infused with God. The
Buddha is often spoken of as an atheist, a Nasthika! Well,
if the Buddha is a Nasthika, who then is the Asthika, the
theist? The entire life of the Buddha is a saga of Dharma.
Sankara is criticised by some people as opposed to the path
of Dharma and Karma. But Sankara opposed only the Dharma and
Karma which have fulfilment of Desire in view. He was indeed
the Great Teacher who taught the path of Dharma and Karma,
of endeavour impelled by the understanding of the basic
The adherence of Sankara to
Dharma and Karma based on Truth, the faith of the Buddha in
the essentials of the Vedas can be appreciated only by those
who have the higher vision. Without that, one will be led
astray in the interpretation. In order to climb a great
height, a ladder as tall as the height is needed, is it not?
Whoever subdues his egoism,
conquers his selfish desires, destroys his bestial feelings
and impulses and gives up the natural tendency to regard the
body as the self, he is surely on the path of Dharma: he
knows that the goal of Dharma is the merging of the wave in
the sea, the merging of the self in the Over-self.
What Buddha Taught
Once Buddha set out to seek
alms. He was approaching a village where there were a number
of devotees of Buddha. At that time, some wicked persons
confronted him on the way and abused Buddha in various ways.
Buddha sat on a rock nearby without proceeding with his
journey. He addressed his traducers: "Dear children, what is
the pleasure you derive from abusing me?" Without giving the
reasons, they continued abusing him in worse terms. Buddha
sat down saying, "If abusing me gives you pleasure, enjoy
yourselves." Exhausted by their abuse, they were preparing
to leave. At that time, Buddha told them, "I stayed here all
the time because if I had gone to the village, my devotees
there would not have spared you, if you had indulged in all
this abuse before them. It is to save you from this calamity
that I had put up with all your abuse, given you a free rein
and stayed here."
"If we want to please
others, we have to do many things and even spend a lot of
money. I am happy that today without incurring any expense
or taking any trouble I could give so much pleasure to all
of you! What a fine day for me!" exclaimed Buddha. "You have
derived joy from abusing me. So, I am the cause of your joy.
I have given you satisfaction thereby. To bring comfort and
happiness to people, many build choultries, dig wells, or do
other charitable acts. But without undertaking any of these
acts, I have been able to give great satisfaction to these
evil-minded men. This is a great achievement, indeed,"
Buddha also brought home to
them another lesson. He asked one of them: "Child! A beggar
comes to your house asking for alms: 'Blessed mother, give
me food!' You bring some food. If the beggar says, 'This is
not the alms I asked for, and I will not accept it,' what
will you do?" The man replied: "I will keep back the
offering." Buddha said: "In the same manner, you attempted
to offer me the alms (biksha) of your abuse. I did not
accept it. To whom does it belong? It remains with you. So,
you have only abused yourself, not me," said Buddha.
If a registered letter is
addressed to some one, who declines to receive it, the
postal department will deliver it back to the sender.
Similarly, if you criticise someone or hate somebody, if the
other person remains unaffected and unperturbed, your
criticism and hatred come back to you. Jealousy and hatred
do more harm to those who entertain these feeling than to
those towards whom these are expressed.
Buddha - The Awakened
Human life, which is so
precious, depends on breath, but man is prepared even to
give up his life in order to realise the goal which
captivates his mind. This spirit of renunciation must be
dutifully cultivated by students. But, neglecting this duty,
students are lost in turbulent confusion, because of the
deteriorating conditions in the country. They must realise
that courage and confidence can arise only by the awareness
of the Divinity latent in man.
Three qualities distinguish
man from other animals. They are sympathy, compassion and
renunciation. Today a famine has dried up these feelings in
the human heart. This tragic condition is generating
agitation and disturbance among both students and teachers.
Strikes have become normal routine events. The conviction
that money can achieve anything has grown in men's mind,
though it is impossible to promote peace and security
through the accumulation of money. Money can buy plenty of
food; it cannot buy appetite or hunger. Money can buy
medical care and medicines; but it cannot buy health and
immunity. Money can buy servants; it cannot buy goodwill. It
can buy comfort, but not happiness. It cannot help to
promote character or morality. This truth must be understood
by both students and teachers. For, teachers mould the
nation and students build nation, sound and strong. But only
a few students are intent on taking the nation along the
royal road and only a few teachers are holding high ideals
of love and services before the people.
Teachers have to be
life-long students, engaged not in mere study, but immersed
in practice too. Only a lamp that burns can light other
lamps. How can a flame that has long been out light other
wicks? Many teachers have now become dispirited and the
flame of their enthusiasm is spluttering. This is the result
mostly of the multiplication of desires. The great mission
of the teacher and its obligations are often ignored.
No one lives for himself
alone. He is involved with parents, kinsmen, friends, foes,
society, countrymen etc., in ever widening circles.
Buddhists declare, "I take refuge in the Buddha. I take
refuge in the Sangha. I take refuge in Dharma." The first is
the involvement with the reality in one's own individual
self. One must examine oneself whether he lives according to
his innate human reality, whether his mind is free from
polluting thoughts and feelings. Buddha is the symbol of the
awakened intellect. Is the intellect sharp enough for clear
discrimination? This must be one's question to oneself. For,
even an insane person asks for food when hungry. His
intellect is alert for limited purposes. But, it has to
serve far higher purposes for man. The second stage: refuge
in Sangha. Just as one yearns for and works towards securing
property, welfare and happiness for oneself, one must also
yearn for and work towards securing these very things for
the sangha (society) to which one belongs. Without society
to guard and guide, the individual is lost, as a drop of oil
on an expanse of water. One's welfare is based on the
welfare of society. The welfare of a particular society is
based on the welfare of the country. The third stage: refuge
in Dharma. Dharma means the vesture of the Cosmos, that
which is its very nature, namely, Prema or Divine Love. When
one seeks refuge in Love that sustains and promotes
progress, the individual, the society and world become a
"Bhagawan Baba uses the
treasure chests of all religions to convey the immortal
messages of Life to all mankind. Even when talking about one
religious book or teaching He dips into the treasures of
other religions to convey the great truth. Here is an
example of how Baba used the life and messages of the Buddha
during one of His discourses on the Bhagavad Gita."
You might wonder, 'Why
would God ever pay attention to me? What could I possibly
offer to Him which He would gladly accept, when the entire
cosmos is already His? If even angels and divine beings
cannot see Him, how can I ever hope to behold His form?'
But, such selfdemeaning and belittling thoughts will not get
you very far; as long as you think this way, you will not be
able to gain the grace of the Lord and be fit to serve Him.
Give no room to such displays of weakness. You have to
establish the Lord in your heart and say to Him, 'Beloved
Lord! I know You are residing in all the universe, but You
are also here in my heart. With all my power I will keep You
here, firmly established within me. You are, it is true, the
biggest of the big; but You are also the smallest of the
small. In that small form, You are ever residing in my
heart.' If you have such a firm faith in yourself, and a
firm resolve to establish the Lord inalterably in your
heart, then you will surely attain Him.
Gautama Buddha with a firm
resolve and a lot of penance, was able to achieve the state
of Nirvana. One day after coming to know that Buddha was
begging for alms, his father sent word to Buddha, 'O my
child, your grandfather was a king, your father is a king,
and you are also a king. I have heard that you, a king,
coming from such a noble lineage, have been begging for your
food. There is no dearth of property or wealth in this
kingdom; there is no shortage of any luxury. You can have
anything you wish. I am suffering untold pain knowing that
you, who can enjoy all the luxuries and comforts of a king's
palace, have taken to begging, and that you are lying down
on hard ground living an uncomfortable beggars life. Please,
come back to the palace, I will welcome you and make all the
proper arrangements for your return. The kingdom itself will
Buddha who heard all these
things with total detachment, replied to the person who
brought the message, "Please, tell the King, 'Yes, my
grandfather was a king. My father is a king, and I too was
king. But now, I am a Sanyasin. I have renounced this world.
And I believe my real parents are Sanyasins, and that my
true ancestors are also Sanyasins. If you want me to come
back, you must first answer these questions: Do you have the
power to save me from death? Can you keep diseases away from
me and guarantee to keep me in sound health? Do you have the
capacity to prevent old age and senility from descending on
me? Do you have the power to free me from all these evils?
If you can give me the correct answers to these questions
then I will immediately come back to the palace."
Buddha saw that birth
was sorrowful, that life was sorrowful, and that the end was
also sorrowful. He replied to his father in the correct way.
After having seen all the sorrows of life and after having
watched so many people suffering, he could not continue to
wallow in ignorance and illusion; that would have been sheer
foolishness. Buddha's life serves as a lesson for you. In
the limited time given to you, you have to realize your true
nature. That is the real objective of human life. Your body
is composed of the five elements, and some day it is going
to perish. The indweller of your body is the only permanent
entity. When you inquire into truth, you will realize that
there is nothing like old age and there is nothing like
death for the indwelling Self. If you could understand that
this indweller, who is your own reality, is God, then you
will know the truth and enjoy infinite peace.
BHAGAVAD GITA DISCOURSES
"Make an effort to see the
same divine principle everywhere and in everything, until
you realize the ultimate truth, that only the Atma exists,
that only the Self is real."
Buddha taught the same
great truth, although he may not have made reference to Veda
or used Vedantic terms, nevertheless, he experienced and
demonstrated the essential spirit of Veda. First he said,
'Buddham, Sharanam Gacchami', meaning, 'I take refuge in the
Buddhi, my power of discrimination.' This deals with the
individual; it speaks of the limited personality. Gradually,
he added, 'Sangham Sharanam Gacchami', meaning, 'I take
refuge in the community, I take refuge in the society.' He
recognized that feelings associated with individual and
personal considerations are selfish and narrow, and cannot
take you very far.
You should not consider
this individual self as everything; it is only a drop in the
ocean. Along these lines, Krishna also commanded, "Arjuna,
expand your heart. Become broadminded. Include the entire
society within your scope." Society does not have any
particular form; it is made up of individuals. When a large
number of individuals join together they become a society.
Swami often say, 'Expansion is My life'. When you expand
individual life to infinity it becomes divinity; that is to
say, let individual life multiply and broaden and it will
eventually reach divinity. Therefore, Krishna told Arjuna,
"Live in the society; serve the society; and develop
The meaning of society in
one country may be different from that in another; and a
society or community called by one name may have nothing to
do with a society or community called by another name. So,
you will find that there are limits even for a society, and
that the society by itself will not take you all the way to
infinity. Therefore, Buddha added one more step, 'Dharmam
Sharanam Gacchami', meaning, 'I take refuge in Dharma, I
take shelter in truth and righteousness'. Dharma, as used
here, has a very broad connotation; it refers to the one who
supports the entire world. When you investigate the general
meaning of the word Dharma, you find that it relates to the
basic nature of a thing; its essential truth. The 'thing'
referred to here is the immortal Atma, the indwelling
divinity. Therefore, the deeper meaning of Dharma is found
in the true nature of divinity. To take refuge in Dharma is
to become one with the attributes of divinity. It has been
said that Maya is the body of God, but it is more correct to
say that Dharma is the body of God. It is His very form.
That is why Krishna announced, 'For establishing Dharma I
have come again and again.' Dharma reveals the broad nature
of divinity in all its glorious aspects.
In a life filled with
desires, the pleasures one seeks are inevitably followed by
grief and disappointments. All unrighteous actions lead to
sorrow. It was for this reason that Buddha emphasised the
need for discrimination. The first prayer, "Buddham Saranam
Gachami" is a call for cultivating wisdom and
discriminations - the Buddhi. But unless the power of
discrimination is used for doing right action for the good
of society it is of no use. Hence the second prayer,
"Sangham Saranam Gacchami" (I surrender myself to society).
What is this right action that must be done? That is
indicated by the third prayer: "Dharmam Saranam Gacchami" (I
take refuge in Dharma). To reach your goal, the royal road
is Dharma - Righteousness. It is only when these are
combined - Wisdom, Social Service and Righteousness - that
there is fulfillment in life.
BHAGAVAD GITA DISCOURSES
Equanimity of Mind
It is only when you can
demonstrate an ideal life, can you say that you have
justified having been born as a human being. On the other
hand, if you become a slave to your senses, you become a
slave to the whole world around you. Even if you live a
short life, lead a good and ideal life. A long life with
contaminated and impure thoughts is no good. It is very
necessary that you recognize that real education means
development of character.
You should make an attempt
to experience and enjoy the bliss that is contained in what
you have learnt. Our wealth is knowledge. Our prosperity
lies in the good qualities that are in us. Our riches are
our dharma. An individual who has got faith in God must put
his faith into practice. By believing in God and yet by
ignoring God's utterances and commands, you are
contradicting yourselves. Faith is not a cloak that is worn
outside for deceiving others. Such people are deceiving
These essence of education
is to recognize the truth. All branches of learning are like
the rivers. The spiritual learning is like the ocean. All
rivers go and merge into the ocean. When they merge in the
ocean, the rivers lose their individuality completely. Under
no circumstances should we give room to excitement, to ego
and to anger.
There is one little example
for this. In one village, there was a village head who did
not like Buddha. The moment he heard any words uttered by
Buddha, he used to get angry. He was always suffering from
uncontrolled anger. One day, he learnt the news that Buddha
was coming to that village with his disciples. Since he was
the head of the village, he issued a certain order. The
order was that when Buddha came asking for alms, no one
should give him alms and all should close their doors.
Following this order, all the people in the village closed
the doors of their respective houses when Buddha came. The
head of the village also closed the doors and was sitting in
the verandah outside the door.
Buddha was all-knowing and
he knew what was happening. With his disciples he came to
the very house in which the village head was living. Great
people will never be affected either by praise or blame.
Such people, having developed equal mindedness, will go
right in front of those who are suffering from jealousy and
ego. This village head, was suffering from such ignorance
and pride and Buddha went straight to him and asked for
alms. The village head, who was waiting for such an
opportunity, became even more excited. A person who is sick
will always want to take several medicines. Certain birds
will always be wanting to look at cool moonshine. Good
people will always want to help the bad people and to see
that the badness in them is removed and they are cleansed.
It is only one who has a disease and is sick, that wants a
doctor. A healthy man does not want a doctor. Similarly,
people who are suffering from the disease of disbelief can
be cured by good people.
With such noble ideas,
Buddha, along with his disciples, went to the house of the
village headman and said, "Bhavati, bhikshan dehi," I have
come to ask for alms. When he saw Buddha and the disciples
accompanying him, the headman became very angry. He
addressed Buddha and said, "You lazy man, you have collected
all these people in your company, and they become lazy. You
are taking them round because they do not want to work. Not
only you are ruining your own life, you are also ruining the
lives of your disciples. This is wrong." In that manner, he
abused Buddha and the disciples who came with him.
Buddha smiled at all this
and smiling, asked the head of the village, if he could
clarify a doubt for him. The headman said in a very loud
voice. "What is your doubt? Let me know." Buddha said, "I
have come to ask for alms from you. You have brought
something in order to give it to me. If I do not accept what
you wish to give to me, where will it go?" The village
headman laughingly replied, "What a big question have you
asked! If you do not wish to take what I have for you, I
will take it back myself". Buddha said that he was very
happy. "I have come here along with my disciples for taking
alms from you. You have brought abuse and you want to give
it to me as alms. But I have not accepted the bhiksha you
brought for me in the form of abuse. To whom will it go
back?" With this, the ego of that village headman subsided.
In this manner, great people and great saints go to several
persons and with a view to enlighten them, adopt different
When the Buddha sat under
the Bodhi Tree in Bodhgaya, after the illumination that
revealed to him the Four Noble Truths, gangs of disbelievers
gathered around him and poured ridicule and abuse on him.
His disciples were enraged; they prayed to the Buddha,
"Lord, give us leave; we shall beat this insolence and
ignorance out of these traducers". But, Buddha only smiled
at their anger. He said, "Dear Ones, know you not how much
joy they derive from this exercise? You derive joy
worshiping me. They derive joy pelting me with abuse. You
pour reverence; they pour ridicule, and receive equal
satisfaction. Control yourselves; do not hate any one, that
is the teaching. This is the ancient ordinance".
Some people cannot tolerate
glory in others; some are filled with the venom of envy;
some are demonic in nature and cannot tolerate holiness and
divinity; some are perverted by disappointment and cast the
blame on God; such people will indulge in abuse. If you
associate with such people and their followers, you will
only be contaminating your minds. Even ordinary men will
feel ashamed to cast aspersions on the great, but, these
expose themselves by their tactics as lower than the lowest.
You might say, we are the
ordinary kind; when the Form we adore is traduced how can we
bear it silently? Suppose some one sends you a letter by
registered post. When you sign and take it, you become aware
of its contents, though you may not accept the contents. If
you do not sign, the letter goes back to the person who sent
it and his purpose in making you aware of the contents is
defeated. So too, don't give ear to the abuse; keep cool and
uninterested; then, the foulness goes back to the sender,
and cannot affect you at all. It will affect him as a
resound, re-action. Instead of harming you, it will only
recoil on him.
SATHYA SAI SPEAKS
When a child dies, ask
youself the question. "Is it for my sake that he was born?"
He had his own destiny to fulfil, his own history to work
out. Gautama Buddha's father was so overcome with grief when
he saw his son with a begging bowl in the street that he
told him thus: "Everyone of my ancestors was a King; what
misfortune is this that a beggar was born in this line!"
Buddha replied: "Everyone of my ancestors had a beggar's
bowl; I know of no king in my line." The father and the son
walked different paths, travelled along different routes.
BABA'S "CHINNA KATHA"
Non-Violence - The Greatest
I have said many times that
you are really not one person but three persons: the one you
think you are, the one others think you are and the one you
really are. If you spend all your time in the aspect of what
you think you are, namely your body, how will you ever think
of God? We should gradually turn the external manifestation
of devotion to true inner devotion. Here, ahimsa has been
mentioned as the first flower in this worship. We generally
think that ahimsa means not causing harm to some living
being. Ahimsa is not just this. Even bad vision, or bad
hearing or bad talk is also himsa.
Ahimsa really means that
you should not cause harm to anyone through your vision,
hearing or talking. Buddha also said "Ahimsa paramo dharma"
(Non Violence is the Greatest Dharma). On the basis of what
Buddha said, Gandhi adopted this path.
SUMMER SHOWERS 1978
Nothing is Permanent
Why must you compete
and quarrel? Nothing in this world can last as such for
long. The Buddha diagnosed this correctly. He declared, "All
is sorrow; all is transient; all are but temporary
contraptions of ephemeral characteristics." Why should you
be as fatally fascinated by these finite things? Strive to
gain the eternal, the infinite, the universal. One day, you
have to give up the body you have fed and fostered. How long
can you keep all that you have earned and possessed with
pride? Trivial thoughts and desires award only sorrow; holy
thoughts and desires award divine peace. Therefore,
cultivate good and beneficial feelings and desires. Keep
away from bad company and bad thoughts. Realise the holy
purpose of life through pure thoughts and words and selfless
service to your fellow-beings.
The Advent of Buddhism
Buddhists were the very
first propagators of religion who undertook to spread their
faith by traveling over the world. That religion entered
all countries famed in those days as civilised. The monks
who ventured into those lands were tortured; hundreds were
killed by imperial decree. But, soon, good fortune smiled on
Buddhism. Buddhism taught that violence has to be eschewed.
Buddha was accepted as a God, as another Name for the One,
which has many names according to the Vedic dictum, "Ekam
sath, vapraah bahudhaa vadanthi". He was Indra, He was
Rudra. That was the unifying effect of the basic revelation
of the sages. May this declaration be ever in the memory of
We are today celebrating
Guru Poornima. What is the real Guru Poornima? Is it simply
the full moon day in the month of Aashaada? This is the
common view. But the great ones have given other meanings to
it. One meaning is that it was on this day Vyasa began
writing the Brahma Sutra. It was also on this day that the
Buddha attained enlightenment and taught his disciples "All
is sorrow; All is transient; All is void". For these
reasons, the day is known as Guru Poornima, Vyasa Poornima
or Buddha Poornima.
Sathya Sai Central Central Council of Malaysia
24, Jalan Abdullah
Off Jalan Bangsar
59000 Kuala Lumpur
First Print: August 1991
Reprinted: January 1994