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Embodiments of Divine Love,

The karma marga (path of action) is a beautiful flower, the bhakti marga (path of devotion) is the raw fruit; the jnana marga (path of wisdom) is the fully ripened fruit. Children of Bharat (India), please listen. If you do not first have the flower (dedicated action to God), you will not have a fruit (devotion to God); and you also will not attain the fully ripened fruit (knowledge and experience of the Atma). The flower is the basis, that is, karma (action) is the basis for jnana (wisdom).

In this world which is full of karma, to be born as a woman is very fortunate. Ignorant men think that they are superior to women. Ladies have pride (self-respect), wealth (noble and virtuous qualities), sweet talk, education, intelligence, strength (fortitude) and patience. Not only in India but in foreign countries, there are men who do not understand this, but think women are weaker and not capable of doing important work. Men think that they are physically strong and only they are capable of important work, due to their ignorance. If the home, community or country have respect it is due to women. We describe our country as the Motherland; no one calls it the Fatherland. No one asks what is your language? Rather, they ask, what is your mother-tongue? No one asks you what is your father-tongue? (laughter). The communities' reputation depends on the women. Everyone in this world says, "This is my motherland and this is my mother-tongue."

If a man wishes to perform any dharmic action or any big ceremony, he should always discuss first with the women in the home. If he wishes to complete a work successfully, he needs the cooperation of the wife. If he does not discuss with her before doing, it will not be successful. Though the husband may be bad, the wife should be able to give him good advice. She would be like a minister capable of giving good advice. What about Mandodari? Due to her good advice, Ravana was able to live for such a long time with all his sins. She said, "You may be a strong one, educated, intelligent and wealthy, but if Seeta would curse you once, you would immediately become ashes. Therefore, you should understand the nature of feminine power." If a man wishes to perform a yagna (sacrificial rite), his wife must sit with him. Even if he wishes to do charity, the wife should be by his side. The truthful Harischandra knows nothing other than Truth. When he gave his kingdom to Viswamitra, his wife Chandramathi, was with him. If she wouldn't have been there, he could not have done it. A woman is equal-to a man's heart, and she is half of him. Because she is the one who brings respect to the home, she is named Grahalakshmi. Men are able to earn money, but the person who brings the good reputation to the family is the woman. The one who cooks and serves the food in the home is the woman, .isn't it? Because she takes good care of everything and maintains the reputation of the home, she is also called "Kirthi." Wealth consists of good health, good qualities happiness, purity and cleanliness, not only currency notes. Because she has all of these good qualities, she is known as "Grahalakshmi." Women have the ability to speak sweetly and soothingly, and in thus doing, they maintain their own and the family's respect. Only these days one may see the wife and husband together walking and talking, but the wife does not interfere when the husband entertains another man in the visitor's room. Only a lady can maintain this type of respect.

Buddhi (intellectual discrimination) is another quality (energy) of women. When the husband leaves in the morning and returns full of worries, the one who speaks soothingly and sweetly and comforts him is the woman. That is why she is called "dharma pathini." Women are more intelligent than men. Women are able to concentrate and do work better than men. Men use their discriminative ability only to do their jobs, but women can discriminate and deal with any work according to the situation. For example: Men and women both drive scooters and cars. But go and ask the police department who gets involved in accidents (clapping). When ladies drive there are not often accidents. What is the reason? It is due to their concentration (clapping). Due to their intelligence, they do not hurt others and themselves by causing accidents. Go and ask any university. Mainly it is the girls who score first class and first rank. For Bhagavan, men and women are the same, but if you really "see," this is the true situation (laughing and clapping). Women at all times use their discriminatory power to discover what is good and what is bad.

When a man desires to give his daughter in marriage, he will look at the future bride groom's education and profession, but the mother will always find out what type of family he belongs to and the family background and reputation. It is the woman who always worries about the future. A man is always in a hurry and then later he regrets. Haste makes waste; waste makes hurry. So don't be in a hurry. A man always shows his strength in his hands, while women have their strength in their hearts. When a man arrives home tired, his wife refreshes him with her pleasant words like giving an injection of glucose (clapping). Many men know this but they will not admit it (laughing and clapping). A man prospers in life due to the support of women. Only a woman can understand all the aspects of a situation, but men will have only a superficial understanding. Though many foreigners invaded our country and tried to destroy the culture, the culture is still alive due to women.

It is only the women who are always peaceful. Although some women quarrel, most of them are quiet. The relatives may give problems, the son-in-law or daughter-in-law may cause problems but women don't say anything. Rather, they keep it within themselves and suffer, because they do not want to tarnish the name and respect of the family. Ladies have seven qualities, but since people do not understand this, the country is in its present predicament. Men have three qualities. One is that they work and earn money. Due to this they become proud and egoistic. Ladies also go out to work but they don't have this kind of ego. A few of them do have ego. The strength of man depends on the housewife's cheerful words.

Until recently in the United Kingdom the Prime Minister was a woman. Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister of India for 12 years. In Sri Lanka the Prime Minister and President are women (mother and daughter). In the world today wherever male Prime Ministers are in position there are problems and troubles. If a man completes five years of his term as a Prime Minister it would be surprising; yet Indira Gandhi could complete more than 10 years as a Prime Minister. Women have immense courage to lead and protect their countries.

In the field of devotion women are the first to enter the spiritual path, and then men slowly follow. In spiritual pursuits women are generally ahead. Men may have wisdom but devotion is prominent in women. Without devotion to God, one is nowhere.

In the court of the Maharaja (king), men can reach only as far as the entrance hall, whereas women can go up to the private quarters. Men have no right to enter here. What does the antapuram refer to here? Antapuram means the Atma within, which only women can reach due to their devotion and sacrifice. Women have attained liberation through devotion. One should never consider women to be weak, but should show equal respect for both men and women.

In the Ramayana, Rama, because He was born to Kausalya, could be called God. Due to the tender care of Sita, Lava and Kush (the twin sons), became very great. This greatness was due only to the mother's influence. Even in the world today the father earns money whereas the mother cautions and nurtures the children , keeping in view their education and behaviour. All over the world it is women who are powerful. There is nothing that they cannot achieve through using their inner power.

The entire world is a ladies' college. The drama of life is staged here. Spiritually speaking all are female. In a girls college when a drama is being enacted the king, servants, ministers etc., are all women; though the role is that of a king, servant or minister, they are all women only. Food, sleep and fear are common to both men and women; both eat, cry and have desires. Brindavan (the place where Lord Krishna was raised and also the entire universe which belongs to all of creation) belongs to all. Govinda, Krishna or the Lord belongs to all. In order to show the qualities and capacities of women, Krishna enacted the following drama: At the main gate to Brindavan, Krishna said to the watchman, "See that no woman enters into Brindavan." One day when Radha came to the gate she was refused entry by the watchman. When she told him that Brindavan belongs to all, he replied that women were not permitted entry. She asked him what he was and he replied that he was a man. Radha challenged him by saying that there is no man; all are women only. God is the only male; all the created ones are Prakriti or children of the earth.

Arjuna (devotee of Lord Krishna in the epic Bhagavad Geetha) had many titles. Dhanajaya was the title which meant "holding the weapon" (of courage). But in the battle-field while he was in the chariot, when he dropped his bow and lost his courage, Krishna said "Stand up and fight. Know that in every age fate is strong, justice will win and selfishness will die." Though Dhritarashtra had one hundred sons, there was not even one alive to do his obituary rites. What a destiny! So Krishna encouraged Arjuna to live up to his destiny and not to lose courage.

The world symbolizes womanhood. Therefore, one's country is called the "Motherland" and the earth is termed "Mother Earth"; all bodies have been born from the earth. For everyone mother is important; the motherly feelings which are supreme always ensure the welfare of a country.

Once Sage Vishwamitra went to Dasaratha to request help in the ritual that he was performing. Vishwamitra told him that though he had the power to kill demons he could not use it, as in a sacred ritual there should be no violence. As the chief priest, he requested Dasaratha to send his two sons, Rama and Lakshmana to safeguard the yajna (ritual sacrifice). Vishwamitra told the king that his two sons were highly Divine, that they always prayed to the Mother Goddess first and to the father afterward. Vishwamitra payed respect to his Mother first, father next and then preceptor. Why this order? Only the mother gives birth and most often the mother is alert and awake when father sleeps; if a child suffers from fever the mother will not eat. Such sacred Love is found in a mother. The father has only 75% of Love while the mother has 90%. The progress of the entire world depends on the women; women are not for the kitchen alone.

Today both men and women go to work, earn salaries and keep a cook, a driver and servants. The salaries to these staff may be more than their earnings but if the woman remains at home she would be able to take care of these matters. The husband encourages the wife to go to work. The wife's salary may be 2000 rupees but the servants' salaries and expenses come to 3000 rupees. This is like eating more pickle rather than the meal (laughter). The expense becomes more than the income. Since she goes to work the entire family is disturbed. Listen to this point carefully.

The Bhagavad Geetha refers to three aspects of purity: the vessel, the process of cooking and the cook (all need to be pure and clean). It is very important that the cook should be a pure, clean person not only outwardly but inwardly as well. From ancient times we have said the food prayer, " Brahmarpanam Brahmahavir" to offer the food to God so it would become prasad (blessed food). So the purity of the transformed food was ensured through prayer. Nowadays the husband and wife fight on the dining table. One reason for all these disturbances is the impurity of the cook who is mainly concerned with his salary.

The housewife cooks with purity. Even in royal families the queen herself served the members of the family. As is the feeling, so is the reaction. If the family is secure and happy, the society will also be happy; if the society is happy, then the entire state will be happy. So purity and happiness should begin with the individual.

Once in Hardwar there was a sixty-year old businessman who had no one to take care of his family while he was occupied in his business. He married a sixteen-year-old girl who was often very sad and weeping, missing her deceased mother. After their marriage, this businessman usually returned home late at night. Due to loneliness and grief she decided to end her life by jumping into the Ganges River. As it was the custom to feed people on the tenth day ceremony after a death, this businessman contributed sweets to the ashrams in Rishikesh in respect to his wife. That evening a certain renunciant sat in meditation. Normally he could meditate very well, but that evening in his meditation he was bothered by a sixteen-year-old girl crying. The next morning he asked his guru the reason for this disturbance. His guru replied that he must have been having impure thoughts. The renunciant replied that he was not. Then it was discovered that the cause of the disturbance was the eating of the sweets that had come from the businessman whose wife had committed suicide. Since that day this businessman stopped participating in feasts and became content with whatever he had. Thus before partaking food we should offer it to God for purification. You are God. Your heart is His altar; Love is His form; Bliss is His food. Many ask Baba where He gets His energy because He eats so little. I am Energy! Energy is the form of Divinity.

Women should not be looked upon as of little value. A house without the woman is like a forest. When a woman is present, it is "for rest." Give them all your respect, and care for their needs and comforts. If a woman sheds tears, prosperity will not remain in that home; so do not make women suffer. A woman stands for Love and devotion. From God's perspective or from the Atmic standpoint, there is no difference between a man and a woman as both are His creation. So surrender! God is your old friend, "old is gold" friend, whereas modem friends are friends today but they may say good-bye tomorrow. They may have motives and are friends only as long as you have money and such friendship changes from moment to moment. So Love such a God; to develop such devotion is the purpose of life.

Swami ended His Discourse by singing "Hey Shiva Shankara, Namami Shankar, Shiva Shankara Shamboo."

April 19, 1996 Kodaikanal

This Bharat (India) is the land of sanctity and chastity, which has given birth to such great women of exceptional character, who lent glory to Bharat as a nation of heroic women.

From ancient times, the presiding deity of Gayathri Mantra, Gayathri Devi, has been worshipped as the Mother of the Vedas, which are held as the most ancient and authoritative scriptures of wisdom. The Gayathri Mantra originated in this holy land. The glory of this mantra has spread all over the world. The people of Bharat have worshiped Gayathri in several ways and have redeemed their lives. Gayathri has been worshipped in four forms: (1) Sathyavathi (2) Angavathi (3) Anyavathi (4) Nidhanavathi. All four are equally sacred and elicit limitless the grace of the Divine. The world is symbolized by these four forms of Gayathri. That is why ithe world is described as nature (prakriti), a female form (sthree). We refer to our native country as the motherland.

The woman at home has been held in high esteem as the "goddess of prosperity of the home (grihalakshmi)". When her husband faces difficulties, the wife readily shares the burden and is prepared to do anything, undergo any suffering, or even sacrifice her life for the welfare of her husband and family. It is the woman of the home who is behind the home's good reputation. The woman is the embodiment of sacrifice. Though the male counterpart may also do sacrifice, it will be with a selfish tinge, while woman's sacrifice is absolutely selfless. Therefore, we should be proud of our women.

Women devotees in Sai Movement are participating in large numbers enthusiastically in service activities such as helping the women of weaker sections to learn some useful trades like tailoring, so that they can earn some money for the family and also spend their time usefully. If such activities are taken up all over the country, the country will prosper. This sacred work is typical of the culture of our ancient country. Women are the heirs of our ancient culture. Culture means refinement. Women are the torch-bearers of refinement, and they are toiling for the emancipation of the nation.

In order to teach the subtleties of the scriptural texts and encourage women to play their role in society, 19 November is fixed as Woman's (Mahila) Day. Dharma can be made to occupy its position in society and restored to its pristine glory only by women.

Divine Discourse: 19 April 1998


A married lady has many great titles like "righteous wife (dharma patni)", "goddess of the house (grihalakshmi), "lady of the house", and "equal partner of the husband (ardhaangi)". These titles have more value than socially recognized titles like "padma bhushan'"and "given by the Government (padma vibhushan)". A lady must look after the home first and then work outside, if necessary. A house without a mother is like an empty hall of a temple (choultry). A lady should be an ideal to her children, look after her husband, and then do outside work. She can study, get degrees, enter politics, or do any other work, but she should not neglect the home, which is the very foundation of her life. The husband and wife are equally responsible for establishing harmony in the home. But times have changed. Womanly ideals are not being practiced, and there are no ideal men and women today. That is why the world is in such a sorry state.

Divine Discourse: 19 November 1997


It is not my view that women should not get educated. They should have education. You may also take up jobs. But they should live up to the obligations and glory of womanhood. The first title given to a woman is the goddess of home (grihalakshmi). A woman is expected to confer all prosperity, honor, and good name on the home and the family. She is characterized as home-Lakshmi and not office-Lakshmi. Another title for a woman is the better half (ardhaangi). This means she is the better half of the husband and not a partner in his job. The third title is the mistress of the Home (illalu). She is the mistress in the house and not in the office. Dharmapathni is the fourth title conferred on a married woman. This implies that the home is the dwelling for all righteousness. The home is the birth place of all the rules of right conduct (dharmas) hallowed by usage from ancient times.

What we have to safeguard and protect today are truth and righteousness, and not the nation. When truth and righteousness are protected, they will protect the nation.

Hence, righteousness should be fostered in the home. A home is no trivial place. The home is the abode of dharma. which protects and safeguards the country. The home is the beacon that illumines and sustains the world. Women should realize that, regardless of their education or position, their foremost obligation is to protect the home.

Consider, for instance, this fact. There any number of women have tried to bring back their dead husbands or to venerate their memory. How many men have done likewise for their wives? Many hasten to acquire a second wife.

Wherever women are honored, there is prosperity and happiness. Women should never be slighted or treated with disrespect. A home in which the housewife sheds tears will be bereft of all prosperity. This is the ancient conception of the role of women in the home.

Divine Discourse: 19 November 1996


Man is the chosen one in this whole world teeming with millions and millions of creation. Woman is very superior in the whole creation including man. There are many examples to prove that woman is really superior. Is it not because of the boons granted to Kausalya in the form of giving birth to Divine that Rama became famous and worshiped as God? Is it not by Seethaa's fostering and rearing that the twins Kusa and Lava became so great? Again, Shivaji became great and valorous because of the upbringing of his mother, Jijabai. Gandhi gained reputation and fame because of encouragement from his mother Puthlibai. Several great sages (rishis), warriors, various heroes, and wicked people were also born from the womb of the mother. That mother is the very embodiment of nature (prakriti).

The Gayatri is the very source of all Vedas. Gayatri is the embodiment of woman (sthree). Veda is the mother. When we see all these things, we feel that the woman has got a very high place; her birth is something very great and virtuous. The woman has been praised by the Vedas throughout the past and the present. The woman has an exalted place in the various rituals of the ancient times like, vaidika pooja, vaidika upasana and vaidika aradhana.

The house becomes a forest when the woman is not there. Men have to think today that they should not make the women shed tears. They should respect and revere them. Then only will there be prosperity and happiness. Wherever the women shed tears, that house will go to ruin. Men have to carry on their lives by respecting and revering women to the extent possible. The woman with nine different powers is the very embodiment of Adhi Sakthi. Sabda Brahmamayi, Charaacharamayi, Jyotirmayi, Vaangmayi, Nithyanandamayi, Paraatparamayi, Maayaamayi, and Sreemayi are the names given to women. This principle is nectarine. So the woman has got the worthy name sthree.

Women have the strength of mind and the courage to fight for the country and bring about harmony and peace. So Valmiki ,who described women in many ways, said that women are the very embodiment of sweetness. What is the main reason for this sweetness? It is the quality of sacrifice in her that makes it sweet. The mother is prepared to go to any length and sacrifice for the sake of the children. She will sacrifice even her life to protect her children. This sense of sacrifice is there only in the women. The father will say it is alright when the children are suffering from some disease. The mother tries hard to protect them. The quality of sacrifice causes her to be known as the embodiment of sacrifice.

Mother is the very foundation of everything. A ma Amma is the very first word. Therefore, she is called mother-god (matrudevi). The four important sayings in the culture of Bharat (India) are "revere the mother as God (matru devo bhava)", "revere the father as God (pitru devo bhava)", "revere the guru as God (acharya devo bhava)", and "revere the guest as God (aathiti devo bhava)".  The mother gives birth to the children. She shows the father. Nobody has the authority to show the father. Only the mother has the authority to show the father. Then the father shows the guru. The guru leads the child to God. This is the ancient tradition and culture of Bharat (India).

We say that this world is full of discord. From where has this discord come? It has come from within. So every time we celebrate Ladies Day (sthree dina) on November 19, we should propagate this type of thought. Not only should good thoughts be propagated, but they should start right at the home. You should train the children with good thoughts. You have to remain peaceful even if the husband is wicked.

This is an auspicious day, dedicated for women. If women change, men will definitely change. Women should take to the right path. Then men will also take to the right path. Because the women can be a leader, she shares half the body of the man. She can change the men either today or tomorrow if she has good thoughts. So women should inculcate compassion, love, and sacrifice. There is no quality greater than sacrifice.

Divine Discourse: 19 November 1995