Thought for the Day - As written at Prasanthi Nilayam

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January 2005

January 1, 2005

Everyone expects the new year to confer peace, happiness and prosperity. But, this day too is like any other. The experience of pleasure or pain depends upon one's actions. Meritorious deeds will not confer misery, and sinful deeds cannot give happiness. One is bound to face the consequences of one's actions. But one treats pleasure and pain alike when one becomes the recipient of God's grace. God's grace destroys mountains of sins and confers peace.

January 2, 2005

The tree is a broad spread of leaf and flower, fruit and green. It is a fanned out system of trunk, branches and twigs. All this has grown out of one single tiny seed! Similarly, contemplate for a while on the magnificent multitude of life with all its rich variety; the strong and the weak, hunter and prey, distressed and delighted - all this infinite variety of created beings have come out of and have at their core, the seed of divinity. When you visualize this Immanent Divinity; you become humble, wise, and full of love.

January 3, 2005
The spark of Love in you has to be cherished and nourished; then, every being will be God, every act will be Divine and every reaction you get from the outside world will be charged with love and sweetened with that nectar. When you love the God in all beings, He responds with love. Love God, though tribulation may be your lot, love Him though you are refused and rebuked; for, it is only in the crucible of travail that the metal is purified and cleared of blemish.

January 4, 2005

Do not get attached to this evanescent body; utilize it as an instrument. Consider yourself as being separate from the body created out of the conjunction of the five elements. Know yourself to be the indestructible Atma. The body is the root cause of all grief and misery. Make the body obey your will. Contemplate on the truth that the body and the Atma are separate. This practice is indispensable for realizing the truth of one's Divinity.

January 5, 2005

Every act done with the consciousness of the body is bound to be egoistic. Selfless service can never be accomplished while being immersed in body consciousness. Consciousness of Deva (God) instead of Deha (body) will bring forth the splendour of Prema (Divine Love) from within the heart. With this idea as the inspiration and guide, man can achieve much good. We must cultivate the attitude that everything is as per God's will, that all is His Leela (Divine sport).

January 6, 2005

The sadhaka (spiritual aspirant) must be vigilant not to lose his temper on trivial and petty matters, for that will retard his progress. Anger must be sublimated by systematic effort. One must resist the impulse to enter into discussions and arguments, for this breeds a spirit of rivalry and leads one towards feelings of anger and vengeance. Anger is at the root of all wrong behaviour. Hence, cultivate love towards all beings and thus keep undesirable habits and tendencies at bay.

January 7, 2005

In the waking state and in the dream state, the triune of God, the individual and the world appear to be real. But, during the state of deep sleep, the mind is in abeyance and these three entities do not exist. This fact is within the experience of all. In the state of deep sleep, one is totally unaware of one's name, form, status etc. But, on waking, one realizes that the 'I', of which one is conscious in the waking state, was present during deep sleep too. The purpose of all spiritual disciplines is to discover the nature of the 'I' that is experienced in all the states of experience - waking, dream and deep sleep.

January 8, 2005

A 'Manishi' (ordinary man) gets transformed into a 'Maharishi' by engaging in selfless service. Truly speaking, the merit that can be obtained from service cannot be acquired even by the practice of rigorous austerities. Service brings human beings closer to each other and promotes affection and friendship. Without this feeling of friendship and love towards one's fellowmen, one cannot attain intimacy with the Lord. Install in your heart the feeling that the service you render to your fellowmen is service to God.

January 9, 2005

The pilgrim must traverse and overstep the vast wastelands of worldly desires, overcome the thick slushy overgrowths of anger and hate, and negotiate the cliffs of ego and malice so that he can relax on the lush green pastures of harmony and love. Having thus become master of his inner foes, he must rest in the silence of his own heart, with all the agitations of his inner realm stilled. When the seeker is fixed thus in the undisturbed calm of his deepest consciousness, the flame of awakening lights itself. At that moment, the seeker realizes that he is one with Universe, that he is the Indivisible Brahman.

January 10, 2005

The proof of rain is in the wetness of the ground. Likewise, the proof of true devotion is in the peace of mind that the aspirant has been able to attain - the peace that protects him against the onslaught of failures and disappointments, the stillness of mind which is not agitated by loss and dishonour or perturbed by anger, jealousy and other lower passions. Know that you are the embodiment of that peace. Whoever has the determination, discrimination, steadfastness and the earnestness to reach the goal will reach it.

January 11, 2005

Sports and games must not be considered as mere worldly activity. They teach us many moral and spiritual principles. A true student is one who achieves excellence in physical, mental and spiritual fields. One should not strive for physical strength and happiness alone. One should strive hard for the control of the mind. One who becomes a slave to the mind is bound to become weak, however powerful one may be physically. The power of the mind is matchless. It is from the mind that the most precious virtues originate. If human values are lost, life becomes worthless. Values can neither be acquired by mere study of sacred texts nor can they be passed on by learned preceptors. They originate from within. When we develop noble thoughts and follow the path of truth in our daily life, human values will blossom in us and protect us under all circumstances.

January 12, 2005

The river strives, yearns and struggles to merge with the sea from which it has come. It has that consummation ever in its consciousness. It attempts to make itself pure and pellucid so that it may be welcomed by its source. It overcomes every obstacle of terrain in order to journey successfully towards its goal. Man too must utilize all the physical, mental, intellectual and moral endowments that God has granted him so that he may journey to the goal of Realization.

January 13, 2005

What God loves most are the flowers that blossom on the tree of man's own life, fed and fostered by his own skill and sincerity. They are the flowers of virtues grown in the garden of his heart. Of these, the virtue of non-violence is most important. It involves much more than abstaining from harming living beings. One should desist from causing pain to any living being, not only in deed, but also in word and thought. One should not entertain any idea of hurting or humiliating another.

January 14, 2005

Makara Sankranthi marks the movement of the Sun from the southern horizon to the northern horizon. This northward movement of the Sun has immense spiritual significance. The north is symbolised by Himaachala. Hima means snow. It is pure, untainted and soothingly cool. All these endow it with the quality of Prashanthi (perfect peace). Achala means that which is steady and unshakeable. Himaachala does not refer to the physical Himalayan mountains. It represents that which is cool, peaceful and steady. From this day the Sun is said to move towards such a state. The Sun symbolises the vision of man. The northward movement of the Sun is a call to human beings to turn their vision towards that which is cool, peaceful and unchanging, i.e. towards the divinity within.

January 15, 2005

Love is inherent in man, but like a seed that has to be nourished by water, love in man has to be fostered by dedicated service. Love is a sacred quality. Love is like nectar. A man who has tasted the sweetness of Divine Love will not desire anything else in the world. Life must be a constant manifestation of love. Nowadays, love is expressed in a constricted, selfish manner. It needs to be expressed in the form of service to society. Thereby love becomes a reciprocal, ever-widening experience.

January 16, 2005

Let the petty wishes for which you now approach God be fulfilled or not, let the plans for promotion and progress which you place before God be realised or not; these are not so important after all. The primary aim should be to become masters of yourselves, to hold intimate and constant communion with the Divine that is in you as well as in the Universe of which you are a part. Develop this attitude and welcome disappointments, for they toughen you and test your fortitude.

January 17, 2005

Service in all its forms is primarily a spiritual discipline. Without the inspiration given by that attitude, the urge to serve is bound to ebb and grow dry, or it may meander into pride and pomp. Just reflect for a moment: Are you serving God? Or, is God serving through you? When you offer milk to a hungry child, or a blanket to a shivering brother on the pavement, you are but placing a gift of God in a repository of the Divine Principle. God serves and He allows you to claim that you have served! Without His will, not even a blade of grass can quiver. Fill every moment with gratitude to the Giver and Recipient of all gifts.

January 18, 2005

When an individual seeks fulfillment outside himself, he fails; if he seeks it within himself, he is successful in obtaining it. The divine principle within us is always accessible and always responsive. Pain is felt only as long as attachment or aversion to outer forms remains. Ultimate relief from pain can come only by the effacement of the ego, by the elimination of that which reacts to one thing as pain and to another as pleasure, and whose memory and conditioning sustains the recognition of the dualities of joy and grief.

January 19, 2005

The Lord created everything in the universe, but kept nothing for Himself. Every creature has been given complete freedom to enjoy anything one desires. But there is one limitation. For every action there is a corresponding reaction. You are free to act as you please, subject to this rule. If you misuse the freedom given to you and indulge in wrongful deeds, the consequences too are bound to be bad. These results are not caused by God. The Lord does not inflict harm on anyone. Everything that happens is the consequence of one's own thoughts and actions.

January 20, 2005

If you earn the Grace of the Lord, even the decrees of destiny can be overcome. There are certain drugs that come with expiry dates, beyond which the drug loses its efficacy. The drug may still be sealed in the bottle but it will no longer be effective after that date. Similarly, the Lord's Grace can make decrees of destiny inoperable. Just as you do not feel the severe pain in your body when the doctor administers an injection of morphine, the Grace of God allows you to endure difficulties without having to undergo the suffering.

January 21, 2005

One who is engaged in the battle of life needs the armour of spirituality. With this invincible armour he can face any situation. If instead of donning this spiritual armour, he cloaks himself in ignorance, he will be haunted by fear and anxiety. As long as rice is covered by husk it cannot be consumed. Likewise, man cannot experience true bliss until he gets rid of the cloak of ignorance. Man must hence develop the quality of forbearance. Through forbearance and spiritual practices, gradually the shackles of tendencies resulting from past actions can be broken.

January 22, 2005

People complain of grief, sorrow and distress. These are but reactions to the loss of something that one already possesses, or the failure to gain something that is desired. Therefore, the only way to escape sorrow is to conquer the desire for the illusory. See the world as God. That vision will scotch desire. When one's desire is focused on God, success is assured and every step contributes to the achievement of Divine Bliss.

January 23, 2005

The Lord is present in every heart. The liberated person, who has had the vision of his Atma (Inner Self), will never be affected by sorrow; sorrow can never hold sway over him. The Atma is in the ant as well as in the elephant, in the tiniest atom as well as in the air around us. The seeker must seek within to find out the origins of the agitations of the mind. This process will itself rid the mind of its ceaseless activity that makes it doubt and argue, and stabilize the seeker in the omnipresent Universal Consciousness.

January 24, 2005

All relationships are incidental and temporary. Hence, one must perform one's duties in the world with detachment. Even when involved in worldly life, one has to recognise the relationships between mother and son, husband and wife, brother and sister etc., as being impermanent. Separation is inevitable sooner or later. But, between man and God there can never be any separation. Even if you forget God, He will not forget you. Therefore, develop faith in God and yearn for His Love.

January 25, 2005

The ego brings wave after wave of wants and wishes before your attention, and tempts you to attempt to satisfy them. This is a never-ending circle. So try to reduce your wants and expand the range of your love in order to be free from the coils of your ego. Living involves many confrontations, companionships, separations, conflicts and neglects. We have to give up both the types of contacts - the repugnant and the pleasant. Attach yourself to God and the delusion of the world will automatically fall off.

January 26, 2005

God's hands, feet, face, eyes etc., are compared to a lotus in the scriptures. What is its significance? The lotus plant is born in slush. Without slush and water, the lotus cannot survive even for a minute. Nevertheless, the lotus remains pure untouched by both the slush and the water. Similarly, man should try to remain untouched by the mire of Samskaras (past tendencies) or by the water of Samsara, the world in which he lives.

January 27, 2005

God's heart is said to be softer than butter. Yet, however soft the butter may be, it needs warmth to melt. Similarly, in order to melt the compassionate heart of the Lord, the devotee should develop the required warmth by his yearning and sadhana (spiritual discipline). He should have intense longing for His mercy and grace. When the child cries, will the mother tarry, assessing or analyzing the tune of the cry? Similarly, it is enough if you pray to God in all earnestness. That burning desire is the only sadhana that easily melts and moves the Lord's heart.

January 28, 2005

In all the efforts that you make, if you place your trust in a Higher Power, the work becomes easy. This reliance on the Lord, the source of all power, results out of one's intense devotion. When you travel by train, you only have to purchase the ticket, enter the right train and take a seat, leaving the rest to the engine. So too, put your trust in the Lord and carry on to the best of your ability. Have faith in the Lord and His Grace. Try to earn it using the intelligence and the discrimination He has endowed you with.

January 29, 2005

Surrender the ego, dedicate every moment and every act to Him who has assured mankind that He will ensure liberation from pain and evil. When asked where God is, people point towards the sky or to some far and distant region; no wonder then that He does not manifest Himself! Realize that He is in you, with you, behind you and all around you; and He can be seen and felt everywhere. Realize also that He is all-merciful, eager and anxious to fulfill your prayers, if they arise from a pure heart.

January 30, 2005

The joy you seek and the Self-realization you aim at are both within you. They cannot be found in the external world. This condition is similar to that of a person who begs for food on the street even though there are sweets and delicacies in his own home. You imagine that the world and its objects confer happiness on you. This is an illusion created by your mind. It is only when you follow the discriminating intellect that you will be able to enjoy true peace and joy.

January 31, 2005

The greatest sin man commits is to forget his Divinity. Failing to recognise his true nature, he considers himself as a separate individual and fills his mind with desire and hatred. We should not look upon human existence as something pitiful or weak and powerless. Man is the embodiment of the Divine; he is Being-Awareness-Bliss. The Divine in him is always radiating light and bliss. However, because of the veil of bad thoughts that covers his mind, he is unable to experience this bliss.


Online source: Radio Sai Global