Thought for the Day - As written at Prasanthi Nilayam

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March 2004

March 1, 2004

Bhakthi (Devotion to God) is like a king who has two attendants called wisdom and detachment. Bhakthi must be built upon the foundation of wisdom; it must blossom in to detachment from the world. Prema (Love) gives rise to Daya (Compassion), Vairagya (detachment) and induces Dama (Self-Control) and finally leads us along the path of Dharma (Righteousness).

March 2, 2004

If you are not moved at the sight of human distress, disease or injustice, how can you muster the determination and dedication necessary to serve the unseen, inscrutable mysterious God? When you do not love man, your heart will not love God. Despising your fellowman, you cannot, at the same time, worship God; if you do, God will not accept that hypocrisy. God is the resident in every heart; so if you serve anyone, that service reaches the God within him: it brings to you the grace of God.

March 3, 2004

There is no meaning in worshipping God as Sathyaswaroopa (the embodiment of Truth) and not adhering to truth in daily life. Dharma (righteousness) is born out of Truth. Dharma emanates from the heart and promotes self-satisfaction. It is an expression of Self-Consciousness. Have faith in the promptings of this Divine Consciousness. No one should act against the dictates of his conscience as it is evil to do so. True worship consists in doing what is right as dictated by your conscience. Divorce between thought and speech is ungodly. There should be complete harmony between one's thought, word and deed.

March 4, 2004

Devotion to the Lord is only a form of discipline to reach the goal. The seeker should not stop with the acquisition of devotion. He should not pay so much attention to the love he has towards the Lord, but more to the love and grace that the Lord bestows on him. He must be always eager to find out which behaviour of his, what acts of his will be most pleasing to the Lord, will fill the Lord with happiness. Inquire about that, yearn for that, do things that will secure that objective - be engaged in acts conducive to gain it, that is real Bhakthi (Devotion).

March 5, 2004

Perform all acts with as much love as you would offer God. In truth, you eat for the satisfaction of the 'I' in you and dress up to please the self-same 'I'. You love others for the sake of the 'I' and others love you for pleasing the 'I'. And who is this 'I' that is persistently inherent in everyone? It is God Himself. "Iswarah Sarva Bhoothanam" (the Lord resides in the heart of every being) declares the Bhagavad Gita. He is the Atman in every being. That is why I say that you are not one but three - the one you think you are: the body, the one others think you are: the mind, while the one you really are: the Atman or the soul.

March 6, 2004

Do not be weighed down by the feelings that the humans are weak and subject to delusions and ignorance. It is not easy to be born a human being. If nevertheless, one does not realise his true nature and imagines that God is in the external world, it is the mark of utter ignorance. Hence, without wasting time, engage yourselves in duties and embark on the journey towards God-realisation.

March 7, 2004

There are four kinds of worship. The first kind of worship is undertaken whenever one is in distress, but God is forgotten after relief is obtained. The second kind of worship is carried on by the worshipper seeking the good things of life from the deity he worships, without depending on others. The third type of worshipper offers worship for the sake of others, praying for the welfare of all and holding on to the belief that his welfare is bound up with the welfare of all. The fourth kind, which is the highest form of worship, is worship done in a spirit of complete surrender to the Divine and dedicating all actions to the service of the Divine.

March 8, 2004

Strive to move away from untruth towards Truth; attempt to acquire the knowledge of yourself and of the origin of all selves and thus shed your fundamental ignorance. Move away from the thoughts and anxieties about this body which is subject to decay and death, and become aware of the immortal soul which you really are.

March 9, 2004

True love does not change from moment to moment. Only the love that is unchanging and always shines brightly in the heart is true love. It is unaffected by joy or sorrow, praise or blame. That love is true devotion. The proof of the rain is in the wetness of the ground. Likewise the proof of true devotion lies in the peace of mind that the aspirant has been able to attain; the peace that protects him against the onslaught of failures, the peace in which he remains unruffled by loss and dishonour.

March 10, 2004

If you cannot help another, at least avoid doing him harm or causing him pain. That itself is a great service. What right have you to find fault with another or talk evil of him? When you say that nothing ever happens without His will, why get annoyed or angry? Your duty is to cleanse yourself and engage in your own inner purification. That endeavour will bring you the co-operation of all good men and you will find strength and joy welling up within.

March 11, 2004

God is the echo of the hills, the flutter of the leaves, the whisper of men, the babble of children and the 'Om' that is wafted everywhere. He is the giver of all gifts, the Providence bestowing us all that we need. God is present in all places; but to recognise Him, saints have had to prescribe a thousand methods. He is in everyone, yet He evades discovery by all but a few.

March 12, 2004

Do not hope to gain Grace by looking down upon mankind and looking up at Sai. Remember, that your dress, behaviour and appearance will reveal your character and attitude towards others. Always have sweet, soft words on your tongue; cast your eyes only on holy sights. Wear clean, simple clothes and do not imitate those who are fascinated by the latest fashion in dress and style. Swami always advises you to "Follow the Master", the Conscience within you, which is the Voice of God.

March 13, 2004

Service is God. Why has God endowed man with a body, a mind and an intellect? Feel with the mind, plan with the intelligence and use the body to serve those who are in need of service. Offer that act of service to God; worship Him with that flower. Put into daily practice the ideals that Swami has been propagating and make them known all over the world, by standing forth as living examples of those great ideals.

March 14, 2004

Discipline trains you to put up with disappointments; you should realise that the path of life has both ups and downs, that every rose has its thorn. But, nowadays, people want roses without thorns. When this does not happen, they turn wild and start blaming everybody. Man's attitude towards God should not be based on the fulfillment or non-fulfillment of his petty desires. You must believe that whatever happens to you is for your own good.

March 15, 2004

There are different modes of devotion: that which foolishly weeps for Me when I am not physically present; that which surrenders with wild abandon and that which is steady and strong, ever attached to My will. I accept all these forms of devotion. The choice between the one and the other is not yours for it is I who rule your feelings, modifying them. If you try to go where I do not want you to go, I will stop you; you can do nothing apart from My Will. Be assured of that, this is the highest devotion.

March 16, 2004

Diamond and gold are only materials; man has made them precious by attaching value to them. In fact, man is really the most valuable being on earth. That is why it is said, "Janthunaam Narajanma durlabham". It has been secured as a reward for many lives of meritorious activity. It is valued as a boat which can help us cross the ocean of 'Samsara' or mundane existence. In spite of this, man desecrates himself by running after trivial pleasures.

March 17, 2004

Man can acquire the sweetness of Jnana (wisdom) by keeping himself in Sathsang (good company) or by remaining in a solitary place and practising Dhyanam (meditation). But, by whatever means one resorts to, the sweetness of Jnana cannot come from outside, it must come from within. It is the result of transformation of the inner nature by defeating the inner foes of lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride and jealousy.

March 18, 2004

It is no mean achievement to get the name of the Lord on our lips during our last moments. It needs practice of many years based on deep-seated faith and a strong character, without hatred, greed and pride; for the thought of God can survive only in a pure heart. But we never know which moment may turn out to be our last one. Therefore, one must always keep chanting God's name and cultivate good qualities.

March 19, 2004

One of the first principles of right living is: practise silence. For the voice of God can be heard in the region of your heart only when the tongue is stilled and storms of the mind are calmed. There will be no temptation for others to shout when you talk to them in whispers. Set the level of the tone as low as possible, yet audible enough for the people you are speaking to. Conserve sound, since it is a manifestation of God.

March 20, 2004

One flower cannot make a garland, many flowers must be strung together to make one. So you must equip yourselves with strong bodies, sacred ideals and selfless intentions in order to serve your country. Any high ideal can be achieved, provided there is co-operation and discipline along with a sense of sacrifice and determination to succeed.

March 21, 2004

Ugadi marks the beginning of a new era or year. On this day, dedicate your life anew to the spiritual discipline of Namasmarana (remembrance of God's name). Give up all habits that interfere with the constant remembrance of God. The scriptures prescribe Namasmarana and Seva (service) as the primary spiritual disciplines in this Kali Yuga to attain the goal of union with God.

March 22, 2004

Have no thorn of hate in your mind. Develop love towards all. Desire is a storm; greed is a whirlpool; pride is a precipice; attachment is an avalanche; egoism is a volcano. Keep these things away, so that you can enjoy undisturbed equanimity. Let Love be enthroned in your heart. Then there will be warm sunshine and cool breeze and the gurgling waters of contentment will feed the roots of faith in your heart.

March 23, 2004

I do not accept from you flowers that fade and fruits that rot. Give Me the lotus that blooms in your 'manasa sarovara', the clear and pure waters of the lake of your inner consciousness; give Me the fruits of holiness and steady discipline. It is enough if you have faith in God and fear of sin; that by itself is a great act of service.

March 24, 2004

Most people today have no idea of what is devotion and what is spiritual discipline. Different forms of worship, pilgrimages, meditation and the like, are equated with devotion. These are not the indices of devotion. They can at best confer some mental satisfaction. As long as you think God is somewhere outside you, you cannot qualify for the Divine Grace. The true mark of devotion is to recognise that God is within you, around you and everywhere. You must develop faith that you are yourself a manifestation of God.

March 25, 2004

You can adore God according to your own fancy and pleasure. He remains unchanged even when the names and forms by which you adore Him keep changing. The effectiveness does not lie in which name or form you worship, but with how much yearning and depth of feeling you adore Him in your heart. God will assume that very form which you pray to and fulfil your yearning; that is the indication of His grace and the boundless love He has for you.

March 26, 2004

Man is enslaved by money. He lives a superficial and artificial life. This is indeed a great pity. Man should seek to possess only as much money as is most essential for his living. The quantity of riches one must own can be compared to the shoes one wears; if too small, they cause pain; if too big, they are a hindrance while walking. Money too should be just enough for a life of physical and mental comfort. When we have more, it breeds pride, sloth and contempt for others.

March 27, 2004

Our devotion and prayer to God should not be for the sole purpose of obtaining something or fulfilling some desire of ours. It should be for the sake of getting the bliss of being close to the Lord and becoming one with Him. Do not ask for this or that from Him in return for prayers you offer or the sacrifices you make. Do not calculate returns or plan for the consequences. Act, because you have to and since it is your duty. Dedicate the deed as well as its consequences to Him. That is real devotion.

March 28, 2004

At one time we are joyous and at another time we are sorrowful. The same object which is a source of happiness turns out to be a source of agony with the passage of time. Therefore, joy and grief are only states of mind and the objects which are themselves subject to change cannot give us lasting happiness. Whatever is transient cannot be real. Knowing that the life of enjoyment is naturally inimical to serious spiritual effort, good people consider difficulties as stepping stones to a higher life.

March 29, 2004

God has four qualities and it is only when you cultivate them that can you understand Him. They are: Prema (Love), Soundarya (Beauty), Madhurya (Sweetness ) and Shobha (Splendour). Cultivation of Prema is enough to add unto you the other three. When you are immersed in the Love for the Divine immanent in all of creation, you perceive beauty everywhere and you experience acme of sweetness, your mind loses its separate identity and merges in the Universal Mind in all its splendour.

March 30, 2004

The Supreme Being came in the form of Rama to show the way to immortality. 'Ramo Vigrahavan Dharmah' meaning that Rama was Dharma personified. He was the Supreme embodiment of the virtues that one must cultivate so that one can lead an ideal life. Now you worship His form and repeat His name but ignore the ideals that He stood for. Without practising the discipline laid down by Rama to purify the mind, all worship becomes an empty ritual.

March 31, 2004

By Sadhana (spiritual exercises), you can correct your faults and bring forth your good qualities and thus ensure Shanti (peace) for yourselves, your society and country. Each one of you has the tremendous Shakti (power) of the Atma (soul) within you. Some are able to draw upon it, others just know it exists and some are unaware of the method of tapping it or even of its existence. It will come in time, through steady Sadhana.


Online source: Radio Sai Global