Thought For The Day

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 October 31: Is it the body that derives joy from looking at a thing of beauty, or is it the Atma (soul)? What is it that relishes the good food that is consumed - the body or the spirit? What is it that enjoys fragrance or is moved by beautiful music? On enquiry, it will be found that it is the Atma that is the enjoyer, and not the physical body. The body by itself is gross and incapable of experiencing joy. It must be realized that the spirit transcends the mind and the intellect, and pervades the entire cosmos. The spirit is the basis for the cognition of the external world and experiencing the inner world.


October 30:Man suffers from numerous ills because he has not understood the purpose of life. The first thing he has to realize is that God is one, by whatever name and in whatever form the Divine is worshipped. The One chose to become the many. The Vedas declare, "God is one; the wise hail Him by many names". It is the imagination of the observers which accounts for the apparent multiplicity of the Divine. The sun is only one, but its reflection appears in many vessels. Likewise, God is present in the hearts of different beings in varied forms and natures.


October 29: Every being in the world has a name and form. But the Divinity within has no name or form. The individual with name and form is filled with egoism and possessiveness. These qualities are the cause of one's pleasure and pain, happiness and sorrow. Hence, everyone must strive to curb these two tendencies. The knowledge of the Supreme Self is associated with total freedom from Ahamkara (egoism). Those who have no taint of ego in them are totally free from the consequences of actions, regardless of the actions they perform.



October 28:The body must be regarded as the basis for spiritual activity. The body is not meant merely to be pampered and kept in comfort. Our mental abilities and talents should not be used only for worldly achievements. Only by seeking Jnana (spiritual wisdom) can man rise above the level of the animal. The animal is concerned only with the present. Man alone can realize that the present is the product of the past and that the future will be determined by what he does in the present. Only if you act rightly in the present can the future be good. This requires steadfastness and determination to adhere to the path of righteousness whatever may be the difficulties.

October 27: Some persons consider small defects in others as serious shortcomings and criticize them, while they ignore even great drawbacks in themselves. The right attitude is to magnify your own shortcomings, while considering other's lacunae as being of no consequence. With this attitude, you will be able to realize the Divine. Human love is selfish, while Divine love is spiritual and selfless; it is pure love. The ancients described the Divine as eternal, immortal, pure and unsullied. In order to experience the love of God, you should give up petty-mindedness and selfishness and expand your love.


October 26: Man does not become fully human until he progresses on the spiritual path. Body, mind and spirit - these three together constitute the man. An animal is concerned primarily with looking after its bodily needs. Man is a superior being, since he has been bestowed with a mind. Cultivation of the spirit will elevate him to the Divine. The body, mind and spirit are intertwined and interdependent. Mind and body have to subserve the spirit in achieving awareness of the Divine Atma.

October 25: The mind is subject to unsteadiness because of desires. Desires arise due to the impressions received by the senses from outside. The only way to avoid these external impressions is to turn the senses inwards. To effect this change in the use of the senses, the power of discrimination derived from the intellect should be employed. The intellect should be used to determine what impressions should be kept out and what should be let in. The intellect should determine what kind of company we should keep, what kind of food we should eat, what are desirable practices and what are undesirable. It is by the right use of their intellectual judgement that the ancient sages achieved spiritual eminence.

October 24:
The teacher is like a water storage tank. If there is clean and good water in the tank, good water will flow through the taps. Students are like the taps and will prove to be good only when the teachers are good. Teachers should have lofty ideals so that these can be reflected in their students, who are the future citizens and leaders. Teachers should first practise what they want to teach to the students. They should have a feeling of Thyaga (sacrifice) for the sake of the well-being of the nation, so that the students too will cultivate a similar ideal. Before they try to correct the students, the teachers should first correct themselves.

October 23:
Youngsters take great pains to acquire degrees for securing good jobs. But they hardly take any trouble to develop their character and personality. Good conduct and character are the most essential requisites for a man. They are the basis for spiritual life. If the spiritual aspect is neglected, man becomes an artificial, mechanical being with no genuine human quality in him. Many people today do not understand what is meant by spirituality. It is the knowledge of Divinity, which is the man's true nature. Spirituality reveals the basic principle that is immanent in everything and sustains the entire Cosmos.


October 22: The one effective way to conquer all sources of physical and mental disease and debility is awareness of one's Atmic Reality. That will bring about an upsurge of Love and Light, for, when one recognizes that he is the Atma, he cognizes the same Atma in all; he shares the joy and grief of all. When one yearns for the happiness and prosperity of all mankind, one is blessed with the wisdom and strength to mark out the way and lead men towards it. He sees God in everyone and every act of his will be a pure, sincere and sacred offering to God.

October 21:
When a sculptor transforms a piece of rock into a beautiful idol to be worshipped in a shrine, what was inert and worthless became sacred. In the same manner, everything which is petty and worldly should be transformed in course of time into something sacred and divine. That is the real transformation that every man must aspire for.

October 20:
Sai has come in order to achieve the Supreme task of uniting as one family all mankind, through the bond of brotherhood; of affirming and illumining the Atmic reality of each being in order to reveal the Divine, which is the basis on which the entire Cosmos rests; and of instructing all to recognize the common Divine heritage that binds man to man, so that man can rid himself of the animal in him and rise to the Divinity which is his goal. I am the embodiment of Love; Love is My instrument. Those who have recognized My Love and experienced that Love can assert that they have glimpsed My reality, for the path of Love is the royal road that leads mankind to Me.

October 19: Before undertaking any action, answers should be found for the five questions - who, when, where, what and how. People today act without concern for these considerations. Everyone must rely on his own judgement using his powers of observation and discretion. There is a divine power in every limb and organ of the body. This divine potency is called Angirasa. The name is derived from the fact that the Divine is present in every Anga (limb) as Rasa (life sustaining essence). There is no need to search for the Divine outside yourself. You are Divine. All your powers are Divine potencies.

October 18: God is the embodiment of love. If you wish to experience God, you have to fill yourselves with love. Through love alone can you experience the embodiment of love that is God. Man filled with jealousy and hatred is like a blind man who cannot see the sun however brightly it may shine. He cannot see God however near God may be. Blinded by ignorance, a man filled with jealousy and hatred cannot hope to see God, like a blind man groping for something that is near him. The man filled with good qualities like truth, love, absence of jealousy, ego and hatred, can see God without searching for Him. He becomes a Jnaani (a man of spiritual wisdom).

October 17: Despite aeons of evolution and considerable progress in scientific knowledge, man is not able to make significant progress towards the Divine because of absence of strenuous striving in the spiritual sphere. Without spiritual practice, reading religious books and listening to spiritual discourses have no value. Study of the Upanishads and Shaasthras (spiritual sciences) and reciting God's names may be good acts in themselves. But, if there is no love, which is the basis of all Sadhana (spiritual discipline), they are of no use. Love reinforces one's physical, mental and spiritual energies. Devotional acts without love are of no avail.

October 16: When work is undertaken with an egotistic attitude, impelled by selfish motives and inspired by hopes of self-advancement, it feeds greed and pride, envy and hatred. Then, it fosters the feeling of attachment to more and more profitable ventures. It promotes ingratitude to those who lent their hands and brains and to God Himself who endowed the person with the urge and the skill. "I did it", one says when the work succeeds; or "Others spoiled it" one says when it fails. Resentment, depression and despair follow when the work results in failure. The more deeply one is attached to the fruits, the more intense and painful is one's grief when one is disappointed. The only means, therefore, to escape from both pride and pain is to leave the result to the Will of God, while one is happy in the thought that one has done one's duty with all the dedication and care that one is capable of.

October 15: Love for the Divine is devotion. Devotion is not something tangible; it is an inner experience which springs from the heart. As you think, so you become. Hence, the heart must be filled with good feelings. The senses must be engaged in good actions. When the eyes are turned towards God, all creation appears Divine. When you wear the right kind of spectacles, you see everything clearly. But if the glasses are not correct, you get a distorted picture and your eyes are spoilt. Likewise, if your heart is filled with love of God, all your feelings are sanctified by that love. Other undesirable thoughts drop away. Devotees should pray to the Lord to come and reside in their pure and tranquil hearts. The devotee should look upon pain and pleasure alike as designed for his good. He will not then be affected by troubles. He will regard them as stages in the evolution of his consciousness.

October 14: Propagation of Dharma (righteousness) means to promote the practice of Dharma and not to spread knowledge about it. Only those who practice Dharma are qualified to propagate it. It is because Dharma and Sathya (truth) have not been propagated by persons practising them that they have been eclipsed. It is only when they are practised in daily life that their true nature and value will be realized. Though Dharma is present everywhere, it is covered by ignorance and pride, like fire that is covered by ashes or water by moss. These elements that hide the true nature of Dharma have to be removed so that it may be revealed to the world.

October 13: You have a bird in your hand, but you are wasting your time and energy conspiring to catch the bird hiding in the bush. The sounds that make you believe there is a bird in the bush are, you do not know, only the echoes of the notes from the throat of the bird in your own hand! The Guru reveals the Truth and makes you free from the trials and tribulations. In a flash, ignorance is dispelled and you are immersed in the bliss of Knowledge. Why ignore the 'existent' and crave for the 'non-existent'? It is the pursuit for the unreal that is the root of all the fear, the sorrow, the sickness of humanity.

October 12: Puja (ritual worship) and Yajna (sacrifice) are performed in order to remind you of the inner yajna which every one of you has to perform to save yourselves from fear, grief and anxiety. This is the yajna of offering in oblation, the egoistic desires and emotions, passions, impulses and acts into the flames of dedication and devotion. In fact, that is the real yajna, of which these are reflections and prompters. This yajna is only the visible symbolic representation of the underlying abstract Truth. Just as a child is taught to pronounce words by making it associate the sounds and the letterforms with pictures of the objects so named, through this kshara (temporary) symbol the Akshara thathwa (the Eternal Principle) is brought before the consciousness.

October 11: In spite of his precious birth as a human being, man leads a life worse than that of animals. Man should get rid of Ahamkara (the feeling that he is the doer). As long as the ego is dominant, the Atmic consciousness will not develop. The egoist cannot recognise the Atma. It is egoism that is at the root of all man's troubles. It is a delusion based on the misconceived notion that the body is real and permanent. The truth is otherwise. From an early age, one should recognise the evanescence of the body and the senses and control the desires prompted by the sense organs. Desires are insatiable. The pursuit of wealth, power and position can only end in misery. Instead, one should take refuge in God and dedicate all actions to the Divine.

October 10: All are children of God. He is the sole Lord of mankind. People may seem to differ in their names and forms and in their beliefs and practices. But the source is the One alone. Recognition of this basic truth of oneness is Brahmajnana (Knowledge of the Absolute). This knowledge cannot be gained by merely studying the scriptures and holding metaphysical discussions. What has to be recognised is the truth that every being in the universe is an embodiment of the Supreme. Awareness of the unity that subsumes the diversity is the highest knowledge.

October 9: The Upanishads have declared that immortality can be experienced only through Thyaga (renunciation or sacrifice). This renunciation does not mean giving up hearth and home, kith and kin. It means giving up the transient and impermanent things of the world. This calls for discrimination between what is permanent and what is perishable. This kind of discrimination is absent among people today. Instead, they discriminate between what is convenient and what is unpleasant and choose the former. Discrimination should be exercised objectively to determine what is permanent and what is transient, what is good and what is bad. Only then can man discover the Sat-Chit-Ananda (Being-Awareness-Bliss) that is within him.

October 8: Man can achieve Shanti (Peace) only through Love. Shanti is the fruit of the tree of life without which the tree is a barren stump; it has no value or validity. The fruit is encased in a bitter skin so that the sweet juice may be preserved and guarded against marauders. One has to remove the skin before tasting the sweetness within. The thick rind is symbolic of the six evil qualities that enshroud the loving heart of man: lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride and hate. Those who can remove the rind and experience the sweetness within through rigorous and consistent discipline, attain everlasting peace that everyone aspires for.

October 7: God has four qualities and it is only when you develop them that you can understand Him. They are: Love, Beauty, Sweetness and Splendour. The cultivation of Love is enough to add unto you the other three. When you are full of Love for the Divine immanent in all creation, that stage is Beauty; when you are immersed in the sea of Universal Love, you reach the acme of Sweetness; when your mind loses its identity and merges with the Universal Mind, then there is Splendour indescribable.

October 6: The Vedas teach that man should adore and worship God in gratitude for His benedictions. The Bible teaches that he should pray for peace and practise charity. The Koran would have man show mercy to the suffering and to surrender his will to the Almighty. All religions have taught what is good, and everyone should lead a righteous life based on this knowledge. If the minds are pure, how can any religion be bad? All the religions are different paths leading to one and the same destination. All devotees should experience this truth and live up to it in their daily lives. They should lead righteous lives and thereby experience enduring bliss. Only then will their spiritual effort be fruitful. Listen to the words of the wise, purify your thoughts and concentrate your mind on God. God can be installed only in a pure heart. The aim of all Sadhana (spiritual practices) should be to purify the heart.

October 5: Of what use are wealth and position if one has no peace of mind? A quiet conscience is man's most precious possession. To achieve inner peace, desires have to be subdued and all thoughts should be centered on God. Engage yourselves in service activities in a spirit of dedication. True service consists in helping the poor and the forlorn in the society with humility and dedication. This is service to the Divine. Practise the saying - "Dil me Ram, Hath me Kaam." (Serve with you hands having installed God in the heart). Do not hanker after power and pelf.

October 4: 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.

October 3: It is always preferable to approach God for the fulfillment of one's wants, rather than cringe before men, who themselves are mere mortals. In his own silent way, God will transform the mind and turn it towards Sadhana (spiritual endeavour) and ensure a successful spiritual journey. He cannot allow his children to lose their way and suffer in the wilderness of the material world. When you approach God and seek his help and guidance, you have taken the first step to save yourself. You are then led to accept His will as your own. Thus, you achieve Shanti (Peace).

October 2: Man has been engaged in exploring the infinite, wonderful secrets of nature in this marvellous creation in all possible ways. But, due to the vagaries of his mind, intellect and ego, man has failed to understand the true, eternal and spiritual basis underlying everything in the Universe and has lost himself in the pursuit of the external phenomenal world as if it were the only reality. In the process, he has failed to realize his own true nature and has totally perverted his mind. The simple truth that everything is permeated by the One has been lost sight of.

October 1: Live in the constant contemplation of your kinship with others and with the Universe. Do good to others, treat all nature kindly, speak soft and sweet words, become like a child devoid of envy, hate and greed; when your love crosses the boundaries of your family or community and expands to those beyond, you have taken the first step to cross the threshold of Maya (delusion).


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