Thought for the Day - As written at Prasanthi Nilayam
Thought for the Day Archive
Daily Sai news -
October 1, 2004
What is devotion? It is not merely offering several types of worship or
going on pilgrimages. Unalloyed and true love for love's sake alone
constitutes devotion. True devotion is the love flowing from a pure heart
unpolluted by selfish motives. Love cannot co-exist with ego and pomp.
Love is the intimate bond of relationship between the devotee and the
Lord. Love is the royal path that can take you to the highest state of the
October 2, 2004
Enduring bliss can be got only by overcoming trials and tribulations. Gold
cannot be made into an attractive jewel without being subjected to the
process of melting in a crucible and being beaten into the required shape.
When I address all of you as Bangaru (gold), I consider you as precious
beings. But only by going through the vicissitudes of life with
forbearance can you become attractive jewels. You should not allow
yourselves to be overwhelmed by difficulties. Develop self-confidence and
have firm faith in God. With unshakeable faith, dedicate yourselves to the
service of your fellowmen and lead exemplary lives.
October 3, 2004
Listen carefully and ruminate over whatever you have heard. Put into
practice whatever you have absorbed. This is the meaning of the
Upanishadic injunction: Shravanam (listening), Mananam (contemplation) and
Nidhidhyaasanam (practice). Just as there is no meaning in preparing
delicious food unless it is consumed and digested, it is useless to listen
to discourses unless you put into practice what you have learnt. Only then
can the bliss of learning be experienced.
October 4, 2004
Mind is responsible for one's bondage as well as liberation. If man
follows the dictates of the mind, he becomes worse than an animal and
ultimately ruins his life. His life will be sanctified only when he
follows the dictates of Buddhi (intellect). He who goes by the vagaries of
the mind cannot attain true happiness. So, first and foremost, man should
make his mind steady and sacred. Before undertaking any activity, he
should discriminate whether it is good or bad, right or wrong.
October 5, 2004
Man commits a great sin by forgetting his divinity. He fails to recognize
his true nature, considers himself a distinct individual and fills his
mind with desires and hatred. We should not look upon human existence as
something pitiful or weak and powerless. Man is the embodiment of
Sath-Chith-Ananda (Being-awareness-bliss). The Divine in him is always
radiating light and bliss. But, due to the barrier of bad thoughts, he is
unable to experience this bliss.
October 6, 2004
Kshama (forbearance and forgiveness) is the greatest power of a human
being. Only a person who is filled with Kshama is endowed with sacred
love. If one loses this quality, he becomes demonic. This virtue cannot be
learnt from text books or acquired from preceptors, it has to be
cultivated by oneself in times of difficulties that one is forced to meet.
When confronted with problems, one should not get upset and become victims
of depression. You are embodiments of strength, not weakness. Therefore,
in times of despair, cultivate the attitude of forbearance and be ready to
forgive and forget.
October 7, 2004
Calamity, danger and death cannot be avoided for all time; they are
inevitable factors of life; you have to learn to live bravely with them.
This can be accomplished only by uninterrupted prayer and not by spurts of
worship actuated by fear. Purify your hearts, your thoughts, feelings,
emotions, speech and strengthen your nobler impulses. Then no panic can
unnerve you; nothing can shake your equanimity and peace.
October 8, 2004
You must have watched a bird sitting on a branch that is swaying in the
wind. It is unafraid, because it places more confidence in its wings than
on the branch. It knows that at any moment, it can take to its wings and
leave that uncertain perch. The branch is Prakriti (world) and the wings
are the Anugraha (grace) of the Lord. Rely upon the grace of the Lord and
you will not come to any harm. But, if you trust Prakriti and rely
entirely upon the protection it gives, you are likely to fall.
October 9, 2004
Using spiritual practices, discard the attachment to individuality and
sense pleasures. Welcome the aspiration to expand the heart into the
Universal. Do not cloud your minds with base desires, transitory hungers
and thirsts that need but morsels or mouthfuls to be satiated. Yearn for
the enthronement of your Soul as the unquestioned Monarch of the Universe.
When you merge in the Universal, celebrate your triumph over the inner
foes that hampered your march to victory. Acquire Me as your charioteer
and I shall lead you to that consummation. Earn that unfailing grace by
your sincerity, simplicity and sadhana (spiritual practice).
October 10, 2004
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 time while undertaking spiritual practices. The Atma itself will
sustain the sadhakas (spiritual aspirants) and give them strength and
October 11, 2004
The study of scriptures is of little avail if genuine love of God does not
flow spontaneously from the heart. It is only through such love that the
Divine can be realized. Love and sacrifice are the two greatest qualities
in life. It is on the basis of these qualities that our ancients dealt
with the problems of society, so that the individual, the family, the
community and the nation could pursue the path of Dharma (righteousness).
October 12, 2004
We should give up all differences based on one's birth and position in
life and chant the Lord's name with intense love and devotion. First the
name should melt the devotee's heart, only then can it melt God's heart
and draw His grace upon the devotee. God does not care for how long and in
what ways you have practised Sadhana (spiritual practise). What He wants
is sincere, whole-hearted and intense love for Him.
October 13, 2004
One should never doubt one's capacity to undertake a particular task. If
one has faith in oneself, one can accomplish anything. Vedanta (Vedic
philosophy) declares that a person who doubts himself can never realize
the Atma (spirit). If one tells oneself that one does not have a
particular skill or attribute, then that will psychologically affect him
or her in a negative manner. Develop the courage that one can accomplish
anything, then one will be able to do so. The real devotee is one who
makes an effort to develop confidence in the self. Whatever one
undertakes, one should do it with a divine and sacred feeling.
October 14, 2004
Divine Love does not originate from the firmament. It does not grow from
the earth. It has no birth and death. It is all-pervading. It emerges from
the heart when the knots of ignorance are broken. One may describe in
various terms, the state of mind of the devotees filled with love of the
Lord, but not the nature of Divine Love. It is a priceless gem that can be
obtained only from God, who is the very embodiment of love.
October 15, 2004
Freedom is independence from externals. One who is in need of the help of
another person, thing or condition is a slave thereof. Perfect freedom is
not given to any man on earth, because the very meaning of mortal life is
relationship with and dependence on another. The lesser the number of
wants, the greater is the freedom. Hence, perfect freedom is absolute
October 16, 2004
Brahman (Divinity) cannot be seen through the eyes, for Brahman is that
which enables the eyes to see and the ears to hear. It can be known only
through tapas (penance in the form of intense yearning in a cleansed mind
and concentrated thought). No other means can help. Everything in the
universe originates from Brahman, exists in Brahman and unfolds through
Brahman and merges in Brahman. Discover it yourself through tapas.
October 17, 2004
The real meaning of the word 'culture' lies in giving up bad thoughts and
bad actions, and cultivating sacred thoughts and noble deeds. Culture
expresses itself as discipline; it must be evident in every aspect of
life. One must live a purposeful life. By doing so, one can attain
Divinity. Otherwise, life is rendered wild and wasteful. The senses and
the mind have to be controlled and regulated so that one can win the
battle of life. Self control is sense control and mind control.
October 18, 2004
Everyone born 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
October 19, 2004
To get rid of the demonic qualities, man has to embark on the enquiry:
"Who am I?" Scriptural scholarship is of no avail in this enquiry.
Atmananda (the Bliss of the Self) can be realized only by recognising that
the same spirit dwells in all beings. This realization can be obtained
only by spiritual enquiry. Reciting the shlokas (hymns) of the scriptures
will not rid man of his sorrow. The transformation must take place within.
October 20, 2004
Though God has come down in human form to help mankind, it is really
tragic that people do not strive to benefit from Him. They do not have the
good sense to follow the ideals of the Avatar (Divine Incarnation). One
cannot sit back and expect the Avatar to confer peace and joy on him or
her. Avatar comes to warn, to guide, to awaken, to lay down the path and
shed the light of love on mankind. But man has to listen, learn and obey
with hope and faith.
October 21, 2004
If the eye does not help you to visualize God in everything you see, it is
far better to be blind. If your ears drag you towards filthy cacophony, it
is far better to be deaf. The senses should not be encouraged to plunge
you into sensual muck. They must serve your real interests and sublimate
your appetites. They must help you to dwell on God. All our thoughts are
influenced by what we see, hear or smell. We must try to control the sense
organs, especially the ears and the eyes.
October 22, 2004
The supreme end of education is to make man aware of the 'Universal
Immanent Impersonal'. This is the truth that is loudly proclaimed in the
Vedas. The ever-changing aspects of Nature may be a fine subject for
study, but the science of the Transcendent Principle that permeates the
universe, that is unchanging, eternal, ever full of peace and bliss, the
ultimate refuge of all for all time, that is the highest knowledge that
man must gain.
October 23, 2004
Joy and pleasure earned by karma (actions) are only temporary.
Nevertheless, one cannot and should not desist from karma. How then is one
to act? One should practise detachment and desirelessness towards the
results of karma. That is to say, one should treat all karmas as yajna
(sacrifice) performed for the glory of God and not for selfish ends, for
earning lasting merit and not for temporary benefits. The Nishkaama Karma
(desireless action) mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita is the real yajna.
Karma performed in that spirit will not cause either greed or grief; it
will fill you with a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment.
October 24, 2004
The right attitude of a devotee should be one of total surrender. As one
devotee declared: "I am offering to you the heart which you gave me. I
have nothing I can call my own, for everything belongs to you. I offer to
you what is yours. What else can I do?" As long as this spirit of
surrender is not developed, man will have to be born again and again. One
should offer one's heart to the Divine, and not be content with offering
just flowers and fruits.
October 25, 2004
Every object has a Swaroopam (its own form) and Swabhaavam (its own
nature). Man is completely unaware of his real nature, which is love and
compassion. He is so much immersed in selfishness that every activity he
undertakes is only for furthering his own interests and accumulating
possessions for himself. Even the love that man displays towards other
persons is with a selfish motive of gaining something out of them and not
for the other person's sake.
October 26, 2004
In the spiritual field, the sprouting of intense interest represents the
beginners stage. But interest alone is not enough. Efforts to realize the
spiritual objective have to be made. The aspirant has to recognise the
basic truths of the spiritual quest, and those truths have to be
practised. Only then, the fruit of knowledge in the form of realization of
the Divine can be secured. The pursuit of supreme knowledge calls for
devotion, and supreme bliss is its reward.
October 27, 2004
What is valuable in this world is not our position, education or learning,
but our conduct and behaviour based on spiritual values. Conduct and
behaviour determine the result that we get. Our conduct has to be
patterned on noble and lofty ideals. We should give up all that is narrow
and petty-minded, and broaden our outlook. True education is love, and
nothing but love. Without love, life is not worth living.
October 28, 2004
Spirituality today is associated with activities like attending religious
discourses, reciting hymns, counting beads and singing bhajans. This is
not true spirituality. Spirituality consists of two processes - getting
rid of the animal qualities and imbibing human qualities, and then,
progressing from humanness towards Divinity. Moksha (Liberation) does not
refer to any specific place or location, nor is it something that can be
obtained from a preceptor or any other person. To realize one's own true
self is liberation.
October 29, 2004
Today humanity is being racked by innumerable troubles and worries. No
administration or authority can solve these problems. God alone can save
mankind. Men have to develop faith in the Self and thereby acquire the
grace of the Divine. Humanity, as a whole, is in need of God's grace. To
receive this, every man has to fill his heart with love and render service
to his fellowmen, and thereby redeem his life.
October 30, 2004
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 is 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 31, 2004
Man is the embodiment of Sath-Chith-Ananda (Being-Awareness-Bliss). But he
is unable to recognise his true identity because egoism and
possessiveness, pomp and pride envelop man's true form of
Sath-Chith-Ananda. When he is able to get rid of attachment and hatred,
egoism and acquisitiveness, he will recognise his divine nature. The
Divine within is covered by these tendencies like ash over a burning
charcoal. When the ash is blown away, the fire will reveal itself.
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