Thought for the Day - As written at Prasanthi Nilayam
Thought for the Day Archive
01 April 2003
True sacrifice consists in sharing with others, one's wealth, strength and
other qualities, which have been derived from society. Man becomes
immortal by the spirit of sacrifice and not by deeds, nor by procreation
or by wealth. Man should therefore make an effort to make his life
meaningful by sacrificing personal comforts for the sake of society and
his fellow beings.
02 April 2003
The Ugadi celebration is an annual reminder of man's obligations to
express his gratitude to the Divine for all the benefits received from
God. We hail the new year as Samvatsara because it signifies the
omnipresence of the Divine. Samvatsara does not merely mean a year. Every
moment is a Samvatsara, because without seconds, minutes, etc. there
cannot be a year. If the year is to be sanctified, every moment is to be
sanctified. Every second constitutes a year. It is not the new year that
matters. Every new second is significant. Hence, you should fill every
moment with sacred thoughts, pure feelings and pure actions. Every moment
you should try to get rid of bad thoughts and fill the mind with good
03 April 2003
When you hear of a theft in your neighbourhood, you become extra cautious
and every night you lock each door carefully. But when a death occurs next
door, why is it that you do not examine whether you are equipped to meet
it when it happens to you?! Why do you engage yourself in distractions
like building houses, purchasing shares, going on picnics, contesting
elections? Why don't you engage yourself in the service of the world?
04 April 2003
Man can realise his mission on earth only when he knows himself as Divine
and when he views all others as Divine. And man has to worship God in the
form of man. God appears before him as a blind beggar, an idiot, a leper,
a child, a despot, an old man, a criminal, or a madman. You must look
behind those veils for the Divine embodiment of Love, Power and Wisdom,
the Sai and worship Him through Seva.
05 April 2003
Every life is filled with action. But together with activities associated
with self-interest, every man should also take part in social service for
the well-being of society. Man has been endowed with the human body for
rendering service to others. Work done for the welfare of the world is
true penance (Tapas), while work done for selfish purpose is useless (Tamas).
06 April 2003
Through Seva you realise that all beings are waves in the Ocean of
Divinity. No other Sadhana can bring you into incessant contemplation of
the Oneness of all living beings. You feel another's pain as your own; you
share another's success as your own. To see everyone else as yourself and
yourself in everyone, that is the core of the Sadhana of Seva. Again, Seva
makes the Ego languish. It makes you humble before the suffering of
others, and when you rush to render help you do not calculate how high or
low his social or economic status is.The hardest heart is slowly softened
into the softness of butter, by the opportunity that the Seva Dal offers.
Seva is prescribed as one among the Nine steps towards Realization.
07 April 2003
Man is endowed with the equipment of senses, reason, feelings, passions
and detachment, so that he may keep away from the enticement of pleasures
and spend his life in helping, serving, sustaining and saving his
fellowmen. He has to live in Seva, not Bhoga (enjoyment).
08 April 2003
Clamour for food is being heard everywhere, though if each one worked
hard, the problem would not arise at all. We talk of stomachs to be
filled,but each stomach arrives in the world with two hands. Those hands,
if they are kept idle or unskilled, cannot fulfill their assignment of
finding food for the stomach. Work hard - that is the message. And share
the gain with others. The harder you work, the greater you gain, the more
you can share. Work hard and, more important still, work together with
others in loving kinship.
09 April 2003
If you cannot pray for the total welfare of the community around you in
whom God lives, how is it possible for you to worship an invisible God?
The first thing you have to do is look after the welfare of the living
community around you. If the individual is deluded into believing that he
is serving others, then woe be to him, for there is no 'other' at all. All
are One; one man's sorrow is everyone's sorrow. The fundamental flaw is
the ignorance of man. If only he were wise, he would have known that all
individuals are waves on the surface of the Ocean of the Self.
10 April 2003
Hanuman was ordered to discover the whereabouts of Sita and he obeyed
implicitly, without questioning, and succeeded. He did not calculate the
dangers of the journey and hesitate; and he did not feel proud that he was
chosen for this important task. The name Ramadootha, Messenger and Servant
of Rama that he earned thereby, has made him immortal. You must earn the
name Sai Ramadootha. Have fortitude and self-control; use good and sweet
words, and examine each act of yours on the touchstone of My preference.
Above all, develop faith in the ideals of Rama. The Rama-Era will come
into existence from the moment we give up ostentation, develop faith in
the Self and lead a godly life.
11 April 2003
What are the inner meanings of the name Rama? The letter 'R' (symbolising
the fire) has the power to destroy all the sins committed by man. The
letter 'Aa' (symbolising the moon) has the powers of cooling the fevers
man suffers from and of conferring peace on him. 'Ma' represents the sun
that dispels the darkness of ignorance and confers the illumination of
wisdom. Hence, the word Rama, has the triple power of destroying sins,
conferring peace and dispelling ignorance. When you utter the word 'Ram',
you first open the mouth with the sound 'Ra'. All your sins go out when
your mouth is open. When you utter 'M' by closing the mouth, the entry is
barred against the sins that have gone out. Everyone should recognise the
sweetness, the sacredness, and the divinity enshrined in the name Rama.
12 April 2003
God will not ask you, when and where did you do service? He will ask with
what motive did you do it. You may boast of its quantity. But God seeks
quality, the quality of the heart, the purity of the mind, the holiness of
the motive. The Lord is pleased only when you do the things the Lord
desires. How else can you win His grace, but by nursing and nourishing His
children. You must not merely have the enthusiasm to serve, but also the
intelligence and the skill; only then can you be efficient and useful.
Enthusiasm without efficiency is often a source of loss and grief.
13 April 2003
You should believe that service is a path to God-realization. Service
activities have to be taken up not for the sake of Sathya Sai
Organization, nor for the sake of the society. They are purely for your
own sake in order to transform your own lives and redeem yourselves.
Service to man will help your divinity to blossom, for it will gladden
your heart and make you feel that life has been worthwhile. Service to man
is service to God, for God is in every man, every living being and in
every stone and stump.
14 April 2003
Life is a symphony of joy and sorrow, a mixture of pleasure and pain. Man
cannot decide for himself the difference between joy and sorrow. It is not
possible for us to have joy without sorrow or sorrow without joy. We must
develop the attitude that all sorrow leads to happiness and that all
happiness leads to sorrow because man cannot choose for himself only joy
or only sorrow. He must cultivate an attitude of synthesis of joy and
sorrow and develop equanimity. He should not be exhilarated by pleasure
and he should not be depressed by pain. Pleasure and pain always follow
each other and no one can separate one from the other. A synthesis of
these two can be obtained only through the spiritual path and not through
any other path.
15 April 2003
Seva brings out all that is great in man. It broadens the heart and widens
one's vision. It fills one with joy. It promotes unity. It proclaims the
truth of the spirit. It drives out all the evil qualities in man. It must
be regarded as a great spiritual discipline. You are born to serve, not to
dominate. Everyone in the world is a servant and not a master. All
relationships of husband and wife, mother and child, employer and the
employee are based on mutual service. The world is progressing because of
such mutual service. If the principle of service did not operate, the
world would come to a halt. It is only when man is filled with the spirit
of service that his divine nature is recalled. He then experiences the
peace the passeth all understanding.
16 April 2003
In a world torn by factions based on the flimsy ground of caste, creed and
colour, you have to prove that it is possible to have faith in Sai being
the motivator of every living being, and get inspiration for genuine
service from that faith. Service to Sai in the other person must be your
daily act of worship. Of all sadhanas, this is the most effective. Seek
out the slum dwellers, the poor, neglected dwellers in hamlets, and take
Love and Light to them in plenty. "God is the refuge of those who have no
place to rest", says a proverb. Go to places where you can find such
people, and carry the message of hope and strength into their hearts. Be
grateful to them when they welcome you and provide chances to serve them.
17 April 2003
The body has to be exercised to keep it trim as a tool for serving your
fellowmen. The body has not been granted by God in order to be fed and
well-clothed and to be paraded in pride. Plunge into the problems of
society, take up the burden of the family and advance the interests of
your country. Shine as examples of Loving Service.
18 April 2003
Love must be manifested as Service or Seva. Seva must take the form of
food for the hungry, solace for the forlorn, consolation for the sick and
the suffering. Jesus was himself involved in such Seva. The heart full of
compassion is the temple of God. Jesus is worshipped, but his teachings
are neglected. Sai is being worshipped but His teachings are neglected.
Everywhere pomp, pageantry, hollow exhibitionism and lectures! No
activity, no love and Seva. Heroes while lecturing are zeros while putting
what is said into practice. Develop Compassion. Live in Love. Be Good, Do
Good and See Good. This is the way to God.
19 April 2003
What is the immortal part of man? Is it the wealth he has accumulated, the
residences he has built, the physique he has developed, the wealth he has
acquired and the family he has reared? No. All that he has done, developed
or earned are destroyed. He has to leave them all to the ravages of time.
He cannot take with him even a handful of earth; if he could, the earth
would have become so scarce that it should have been rationed by now!
Discover the Immortal 'I' and know that it is the spark of God in you;
live in the companionship of that vast measureless Supreme and you will be
rendered vast and measureless. Consider all objects that you collect here
as given on trust to be used in this caravanserai, during your pilgrimage
in this Karunakshetra.
20 April 2003
Seva is the very essence of Bhakti, the very breath of the Bhakta, his
very nature. It springs from the actual experience of the Bhakta….. An
experience that convinces him that all beings are God's Children, that all
bodies are altars where God is installed, that all places are His
21 April 2003
Employ yourself usefully, earn, but do not possess the riches with fanatic
zeal. Be like a headmaster who, when he is transferred, goes to the new
place unconcerned and carefree, leaving behind him all the furniture and
equipment of the school, for he knows that he has only held them on trust
for some time. Your yearning to do Seva and your enthusiasm while doing
Seva are rescuing you from harm. God is the witness. God has no desire to
bless, no anger to induce Him to punish. You get blessed and punished as a
result of your own feelings.
22 April 2003
Through activity man attains purity of consciousness. Why strive for a
pure consciousness? If a well has muddy water, then its bottom cannot be
seen. Similarly, within man's heart, deep down in his consciousness, we
have the Atman. But it can be cognized only when the consciousness is
clarified. Your imagination, your inferences, your judgements and
prejudices, your passions and emotions plus egoistic desires muddy the
consciousness and make it opaque.
23 April 2003
To remove the chaos and violence prevailing in society, you have to become
Karmayogis and devote all your knowledge, ability and energies to the
transformation of society. It is not wealth that is important. Character
alone counts. Sensual pleasures (Bhoga) can only lead to (Roga), Sacrifice
(Thyaga) leads to Yoga (Communion with the Divine). Discipline is vital.
Avoid unnecessary talk and purposeless association with anyone.
24 April 2003
Look about for chances to relive, rescue or resuscitate. Train yourselves
that you may render help quickly and well. Seva is the most paying form of
austerity, the most satisfying, and the most pleasurable! It springs out
of love and it scatters love in profusion. It plants a seed on stone and
is delighted to see it sprout! Plant it with love and the seed will
discover love inside the stone and draw sustenance therefrom.
25 April 2003
It is the inner joy, the love that you radiate, that is important. Mere
sentiment and sympathy are of no use; they must be regulated by
intelligence. Shower cheer on the sad; soothe those who have lost the way;
close your eyes to the faults of others, but, keep them open to discover
your own. All these are hard jobs. Practice alone can make you perfect -
practice, not only in items of service, but in meditation on the Divine.
Prayer, worship and meditation will render you more and more efficient in
the field of service.
26 April 2003
The distressed, the poverty stricken and those who suffer have no one to
serve them. Go to such people and be their friend, their kith and kin and
their closest well wishers. Give them God in the form of food. Give them
God in the form of clothes. Give God in the form of peace to those who are
afflicted by anxiety. Give God in the form of medicine to those who are
suffering from ill-health. Give God in whatever form that assuages fear,
pain and sorrow. It is only after this is done that spirituality can soak
into the heart. If you act contrariwise, instead of spiritual feelings,
you will be promoting atheism.
27 April 2003
I recommend some items of service, like nursing the sick. Visit patients
in the hospitals, read nice storybooks sitting beside the patients, write
letters for them, and generally be kind and friendly to them in their
loneliness and pain. Go to the slum areas, move like lighted lamps full of
love and sympathy, and help the people there get things done which will
improve their health, add to their income and advance their education.
28 April 2003
Can one be happy by merely eating four good meals daily or by riding in
prestigious cars or by living in many-roomed air-conditioned bungalows?
No. Happiness consists in helping others. It is brought about by giving
up, not by hoarding. Catering to the senses makes man bestial. They will
drag him into dirt and disgrace.
29 April 2003
Wherever there is a vacuum in any heart, love flows into it and is glad
that it can fill the emptiness. It is never held back; it is offered in
abundance without guile or deceit. It does not wear the cloak of
falsehood, flattery or fear. The tendrils of love aspire to cling only to
the garments of God. It senses that God resides in His splendour in every
heart. To discover that seat of God is real devotion.
30 April 2003
As a child, man seeks toys to have fun and joy. As a boy he demands a
cycle for the same purpose. When he becomes a young man, he demands a car
to have fun and joy, a good position with a pretty girl as his wife. Then
in middle age, he learns to shoulder more responsibility. The Samskaras
(actions) of his previous birth have by now moulded his mind fully, his
ideas have become set, whether it be for good or evil. But, the desire for
ananda is as strong as ever. Now his quest for happiness follows different
paths depending upon three Gunas (influences) on his mind.
Online source: Radio Sai Global