Thought for the Day - As written at Prasanthi Nilayam

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May 2005

May 1, 2005

The bee will hover around the flower, humming and droning until it settles down to drink the nectar from it. Once it enters the flower and tastes the nectar, it will hover, hum and drone no more. It will have no extraneous thought to disturb its bliss. It will become so intoxicated with the bliss that it will not heed its own safety; for, when the petals close and the flower folds, it allows itself to be imprisoned inside the flower. Similarly, once the mind settles on the lotus feet of the embodiment of goodness and beauty, it can never crave anything except the nectar of the lotus feet.

May 2, 2005

When you seek to assuage the suffering of others, it is really your own suffering that you mitigate. When your fellowbeing is relieved of his pain, it is truly you who feel the relief. Service can be effective only when the feelings of 'I' and 'Mine' give place to 'God' and 'God's'. It is only when your attention is focussed on the body and its needs that egoism grows in strength. When you instead direct your attention to the Antaratma (Inner-self), which is God, you perceive the same God to be present in all and a flood of reverence fills you and sanctifies every act of yours.

May 3, 2005
The mind is the monarch and the senses the ministers. But, if the mind of man serves the senses, man will know no peace. Every sadhaka (spiritual aspirant) who aspires to achieve the expression and expansion of the Divine in him has to therefore earn mastery over the senses. That is the first step. The next one is the conquest of the mind, its elimination. The third is uprooting the Vasanas (innate tendencies), and the fourth, attainment of Jnana (spiritual wisdom). The mind is the trunk, the senses are the branches and the innate tendencies are the roots. All three have to be overcome and destroyed, so that the awareness of Reality can be gained.

May 4, 2005

The rich, the healthy, the strong, the powerful, the influential - all are equally afflicted with discontent, worry, fear and anxiety. They have no peace of mind. Shanti (Peace) comes from within; contentment is a mental condition. Do not feed the roots of attachment to worldly comforts more than is absolutely necessary. They lead only to anxiety and fear; they can never satisfy the innermost craving of man. Lead your mind on to the path of devotion and dedication; this is the true path to contentment and joy.

May 5, 2005

Be always saturated with Prema (Love); do not use vicious words against any one, for, words wound more fatally than even arrows. Speak softly and sweetly; sympathise with suffering and loss; try your best to apply the salve of the soothing word and timely succour. Do not damage the faith of anyone in virtue and divinity. Encourage others to have that faith by demonstrating in your own life that virtue is its own reward, that divinity is all-pervasive and all-powerful.

May 6, 2005

Motherhood is the most precious gift of God. Mothers are the makers of a nation's fortune or misfortune, for they shape the sinews of the soul. Those sinews are toughened by two lessons: fear of sin and regard for virtue. Both these qualities are based on faith being the inner motivator of all. If you want to know how advanced a nation is, study the mothers. As the mother, so the progress of the nation; as the mother, so the sweetness of the culture.

May 7, 2005

The Divine Spirit dwells in the temple of the body. The body must hence be kept pure and sacred. By bathing, the body can be purified externally; by speaking the truth, the tongue is purified. Through study and penance, the spirit is rendered pure. The intellect acquires purity through Jnana (spiritual wisdom). Thus, the body has to be made a shrine for the Divine by pure thoughts, pure deeds and by meditation. It is, therefore, the primary duty of man to ensure that the body does not indulge in wrongful practices, and fall prey to falsehood and unrighteousness. He should use the body to promote divine qualities and pursue the divine path.

May 8, 2005

Sacrifice is sweeter than enjoyment. Sacrifice should become the aim of life. Only through sacrifice can one attain peace. Sorrows do not flee from us as long as the mind is not at peace with itself. Agonies dwell forever within us. Without the tranquility of the soul any amount of wealth cannot be of any use. Surrendering the fruits of action with a dispassionate mind is alone eligible to be termed sacrifice.

May 9, 2005

Be ever immersed in the search for Truth; do not waste time in the multiplication and satisfaction of wants and desires. Satiation of one want only gives rise to further wants. Thus, the mind seeks to acquire various objects again and again. Do not yield to the vagaries of the mind. Turn back, even forcibly, from sensory attachments. Stick to the same place and schedule while undertaking spiritual practices. The Atma (Self) itself will sustain the sadhaka (spiritual aspirant) and give him strength and steadiness.

May 10, 2005

Of all the gifts you receive from God, the greatest gift is Santosham (contentment). The opposite of Santosham is sorrow, which is the fruit of desire that arouses hope and almost always results in disappointment or despair. One desire engenders another and proliferates into a hundred, even when it is fulfilled. It knows no justification and has no end. So, Santosham is the supreme blessing of the Lord, who, in His infinite Love, puts an end to that unquenchable thirst. No wealth or worldly attainment can equal it in efficacy; Santosham is the culmination of desire in full contentment and sacred satiety.

May 11, 2005

The greatest single cause for misery in the world today is envy. When one is happy and contented, others envy him and strive to ruin his peace of mind. When anyone is acclaimed as great, malice moves others to invent calumny in order to tarnish his reputation. This is the way of the world. This is the tragedy of ignorance and selfishness - they force men to take the wrong path and suffer calamity. Take the right path; be happy and make others happy. Then your name will last even after the body disintegrates.

May 12, 2005

Happiness is union with God. There is no place without God. Whatever you do, you should feel that it is God's work. God is acting through your body. He is thinking through your mind. He is working through your hands. If you work with this feeling, there is no chance for the ego to arise. The body is lifeless, just matter. The mind is a bundle of desires. It is just imagination. You are not the body; you are not the mind; you are the Atma (soul).

May 13, 2005

Your child gives you great joy by its play and prattle; but when it interferes with your work or teases you when you are otherwise engaged, you get very angry at it. It is a source of joy as well as grief. There is nothing that can give unmixed joy; even if there is, when it is lost, it brings about sorrow. This is in the very nature of things; so try to correct the very source of joy and sorrow - the mind; control it and train it to see the real nature of the objective world, which attracts and repels you by turns. That is the real fruit of spiritual study.

May 14, 2005

Man extols God as omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent, but ignores His presence in himself. Many venture to describe the attributes of God and proclaim Him to be such and such, but these are mere guesses and a reflection of their own predilections and preferences. Who can affirm anything about God? Each one can acquire from the vast expanse of the ocean only as much as can be contained in the vessel one carries to its shore. From that quantity, they can grasp but little of that immensity.

May 15, 2005

People suffer because they have all kinds of unreasonable desires and they pine to fulfill them and fail. They attach too much value to the objective world. It is only when attachment increases that you suffer pain and grief. If you look upon everything with the wisdom derived from inner vision, then attachment will slide away and you will see everything with greater clarity and with a glory suffused with Divine splendour.

May 16, 2005

When thoughts emanate from a mind purified by love, they will result in Dharma (Righteousness). When Love becomes part of your experience, thought and action you get Shanti (Peace). When you comprehend Love clearly, Ahimsa (non-violence) will result automatically. So Love is the unseen undercurrent binding all four human values. It can be summarised thus: Love in thought is Truth; Love as feeling is Peace; Love in action is Righteousness and Love with understanding is Non-violence. Love is the common denominator for all these values. It is the form of God, for God is love.

May 17, 2005

God is the sole sustainer of human life, its basis, structure and consummation. Money cannot help man to cultivate godliness and merge in God. Scholarship too is equally powerless. The Upanishads proclaim that release from the cycle of birth and death cannot be achieved through action, or progeny, or by the accumulation of riches. It can be gained only through Thyaga (renunciation). It is a pity that this warning is not heeded and man is engaged in mere grabbing and grasping. As a result, he suffers from more and more bonds that get tighter and tighter. The best means to escape from this fate is to take refuge in the company of the good and godly, and journey along the path pointed out by them.

May 18, 2005

Man is born with a great thirst and a deep hunger for bliss. He knows that happiness is within his reach, but he does not know where to search. Deep within, he knows that he is heir to the kingdom of Bliss, but he knows not how to lay claim to his heritage. Something in him revolts when he is condemned to die, to suffer and to hate. His heart whispers to him that he is the child of Immortality and Bliss. But, man ignores these promptings, and like one who exchanges diamonds for dirt, runs in search of meaner pleasures and sordid comforts.

May 19, 2005

One's actions decide one's destiny. It is of no avail to blame others for one's misfortune and misery. Nor is it correct to blame God as being partial or cruel. When one plants the seed of a bitter fruit, one can only expect a bitter fruit to grow. God is only a witness to the chain of causes and consequences. The way to escape this predicament is by dedicating every act to God in a spirit of detachment.

May 20, 2005

Everyone must seek and discover the answer to the question, "Who am I?" The senses are powerless to give the answer; indeed they are limited in their own functioning - there are sounds the ear cannot hear, colours the eye cannot perceive and tastes beyond the ken of the tongue. They are imperfect instruments for the study of the external world. How then can they serve us in our enquiry into the intangible, inner world of the Self? Contemplate on the truth that the body and the Atma (Self) are separate. This practice is indispensable for realizing the truth of one's Divinity.

May 21, 2005

Why is man so pathetically afflicted today with fear and anxiety? Are we to search for the reasons outside us or do they lie within us? The reason lies in the false emphasis we have laid on things of the material world, ignoring matters of the spirit. The body that man bears is essentially a receptacle of God. It is a temple where God is installed, where God is the Master. Hence, it does not behove you to pander to its every whim. Instead, realise it to be a very valuable instrument in your Godward journey.

May 22, 2005

Man must always proceed towards 'Balam' (strength); he should not take to untruth, wickedness and crookedness, all of which denote the fundamental trait of cowardice. This cowardice is born out of accepting an inferior and false image of oneself. You believe that you are the husk, the outer covering. But, truly you are the kernel, the core. This false identification is the fundamental mistake. All Sadhana (spiritual effort) must be directed towards the removal of the husk and the revelation of the kernel. So long as you say 'I am so and so', there is bound to be fear, but once you say and feel 'I am Brahman', you get unconquerable strength.

May 23, 2005 - Buddha Purnima

Buddha's emphasis was entirely on purity in every aspect of daily life. Purity in vision, purity in thought, purity in speech and purity in action. He considered the spirit of sacrifice as the true yajna (sacred offering). Sacrifice is the means for attaining Nirvana, freedom from the bondage of mundane existence. Buddha was totally opposed to anyone being forced to lead a worldly life against his will. The Buddhist prayer must be properly understood. When the Buddhists say: "Buddham sharanam gachchaami, Dharmam sharanam gachchaami, Sangham sharanam gachchaami," the real meaning of the prayer is: You must divert your Buddhi (mind) towards Dharma (right conduct). And right conduct should be aimed at serving society. When this is done, society gets purified.

May 24, 2005

Man has in him vast resources of power. When he does not utilize them in discharging his duties to the society which sustains him, he becomes a target for ridicule. When a train arrives late, how do you react? You fling abusive words at the train. When those inanimate coaches receive such treatment, how much more rebuke do you deserve for not fulfilling your duties and obligations. Utilize your skills and learning as consistently and as effectively as duty demands.

May 25, 2005

You complain that God is invisible; but the fault truly lies with you, for you do not recognise God in all His manifestations. You are yourself a manifestation of God. But, you do not know it; you label yourself a sinner, wallowing in sin and wickedness. But let someone take you at your word and call you a sinner; you resent that. The reason is that your true nature is purity, peace and joy.

May 26, 2005

Before pointing out the faults of others, examine yourself and assure yourself that you are free from faults. That alone gives you the right to judge others. But the truth is that you discover faults in others only when you have defects in you. Once you rid yourself of these weaknesses, all creation appears to be pure and sacred. That is the alchemy of Divine, Universal Love, love for love's own sake.

May 27, 2005

Man is endowed with many skills; he is offered many lives and shown many paths. The purpose of all these gifts is to develop in him the spirit of devotion and release him from the duality of joy and grief. When man visualizes the universe as God, its capacity to confer the dual experience disappears; in its place, man finds peace and calm. God is One and One only, He is the immanent principle. Hence, one must endeavour to know God, who is Truth.

May 28, 2005

You are in this body, this receptacle, in order to realise your Divinity. This body is the cocoon you have spun around yourself by means of your impulses and desires. Use it while it lasts to grow wings so that you can escape from this snare. You came into this world crying, announcing your grief at being thrust into it, grief for having lost hold of God. Having come with grief, decide to get rid of it in this life itself.

May 29, 2005

Injury inflicted on any being is sacrilege and indeed self-injury. Love is transformed into poison if it is contaminated by hate. Love some, but do not hate the rest, for that hate will befoul the love and make it mortal. Love comes automatically to the realised soul; but, the sadhaka (spiritual aspirant) has to cultivate it by means of Seva (service) and enquiry into the unity of creation. Love does not flow from the tongue or the head, but from the Heart.

May 30, 2005

It is no mean achievement to get the name of the Lord on the lips during the last moments. It needs practice of many years based on deep-seated faith and a strong character, devoid of 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 constantly chant God's name and endeavour to cultivate good qualities.

May 31, 2005

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 at bay, 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.


Online source: Radio Sai Global