|Date: 6 May, 2003||Occasion: Esvaramma Day||Place:Brindavan|
man emerges from the womb of his mother, one does not find any garland
round his neck.
There are no jewels made of pearls nor are there glittering gold ornaments.
There are no chains studded with precious stones like emeralds and diamonds.
There is no garland of flowers either.
But there is one garland round his neck.
Brahma strings together the consequences of his past deeds into a heavy garland
and puts it round his neck at the time of his birth.
Embodiments of Love!
Every individual has a mother. One who does not please his mother and become the recipient of her love is not a true son. In today's world, mothers who bring up their children with proper love and care are very rare. It is said, Deho Devalaya Proktho Jeevo Devah Sanathanah (the body is a temple and the indweller in the body is God). In every temple, we find a bell. But, the bell present in the temple of a human body is not visible outside. This bell is known as Anahati. It is not a bell that one can ring. However, it rings continuously on its own day in and day out as long as life remains in the human body. This is nothing but the human heart. When the bell stops ringing, the body becomes lifeless. Then, we call the body a Savam (corpse). When the bell is ringing, the body is considered to be Sivam (auspicious). The entire universe is the temple of God. In this temple of the universe, one can continuously hear the sound of the bell 'Om'. That is why God is described as Sabda Brahmamayi, Characharamayi, Jyotirmayi, Vangmayi, Nityanandamayi, Paratparamayi, Mayamayi and Sreemayi (the embodiment of sound, movable and immovable, light, speech, eternal bliss, transcendental, delusion and wealth). Today, instead of attuning ourselves to that sacred sound of Om, we are lending our ears to worldly talk and vain gossip. We are unable to listen to the divine voice of Akhanda Satchidananda Swarupa (God, the embodiment of existence, consciousness and bliss).
Once upon a time in the temple of Viswesvara in Kasi, the Pujari was offering Arati to the deity. Suddenly, a big gold plate fell from above. The Pujari was surprised and happily picked it up to have a closer look at it. There was an inscription on the plate which read as follows: "It should be given to the greatest devotee. One who does not chant the Divine Name is not qualified to get it." Then the Pujari thought to himself, "everyday, I am performing Sahasra Lingarchana and Abhishekam to the Lord. I am sanctifying my time by chanting the sacred Mantras from the four Vedas. Can there be a greater devotee than me?" When such ego and pride clouded his mind, the gold plate in his hand turned into an earthen plate. Feeling ashamed, he immediately kept it down and the earthen plate turned into gold again. From that day onwards, whoever visited the temple was asked to touch the plate to find out if he deserved to receive the gold plate. But it so happened that the plate would turn into an earthen one whenever somebody touched it. It continued for a few days. There was a devotee who always chanted the Name of God, but did not perform any other Sadhana like Japa, Thapa, Dhyana, etc. He had no desires. He had achieved Dama (sense control). One day he visited the temple. On being requested by the Pujari to touch the plate, he said, "Sir, I don't have any desires. Hence, I don't want to touch it." The Pujari requested him to touch the plate at least for his satisfaction. The devotee did not want to displease the Pujari and therefore he touched the plate. No sooner did he touch it than it started shining with added brilliance. People who were witness to this event surrounded him and started asking, "Oh noble soul! What is the method of worship you follow, what is the Sadhana you perform?" Then he replied, "I have not performed any Japa, Thapa, Yajna or Yaga. I only serve the poor. They are very dear to God."
by penance nor by pilgrimage nor by study of scriptures nor by Japa can
one cross the ocean of life.
One can achieve it only by serving the pious.
From then onwards, many rich people started visiting Kasi to see this devotee. Wherever there are rich people, it is but natural that the poor also gather begging for alms from the rich. This devotee was moved on seeing their pathetic condition and resolved to himself, "God loves the poor very much. That is why He has drawn so many of them to His abode. God will be pleased only when they are looked after well. That is what I love to do. I will be happy only when I am able to alleviate the suffering of these poor people and make them happy." From then on he continued to serve the poor and the needy with greater devotion and enthusiasm. This was an eye-opener for the rich who had gathered there.
Even a millionaire has to partake of salt and rice. He cannot swallow gold to satiate his hunger. One may feel proud of his wealth, but he cannot take even a single pie with him when he leaves the world. Such being the case, why should one struggle to amass wealth? Instead, it is better one strives to attain divine grace. When you contemplate on God all the time continuously with single-minded devotion, He will take care of all your needs. This was what the devotee taught to all those who had assembled there. The money we accumulate will not follow us. To whom will it go ultimately? Nobody knows. It is not possible to take even a paisa with us. You have to undertake righteous deeds and earn merit so as to deserve divine grace. When you are born out of your mother's womb, you do not find any garland round your neck. But there is one garland surely. Brahma strings together the consequences of all your past deeds, be they good or bad, into a heavy garland and puts it round your neck. Nobody can come into the world without that garland of Karma. But man forgets this truth and always craves for pleasures and comforts. How long can the worldly pleasures last?
Kuru Dhana Jana Yauvana Garvam,
Harathi Nimeshath Kalah Sarvam
not be proud of your wealth, progeny and youth;
The tide of time may destroy them in a moment.
Young people feel proud of their youth and wealth. But they are momentary. Realising this truth, we have to accumulate the wealth of divine grace. After imparting such sacred teaching to the people around him, the devotee started coming out of the temple. As he stepped out, the gold plate too followed him. Along with the plate, all the coins started rolling behind him. Then the beggars started going behind him asking for the money. The devotee said, "My dear ones, what is the use of asking me God is the guardian of all. He is the richest of all. Hence, pray to Him." As he was moving away, many coins started falling from the gold plate. The beggars collected those coins. The devotee went into a state of bliss and closed his eyes. He had the vision of Lord Visvesvara. He prayed, "Oh Lord Visvesvara, You are the master of the whole universe. Can't You take care of these poor people? Please shower Your grace on them." To pray for the welfare of all with selfless love is the noblest prayer. The devotee had no trace of selfishness in him. He prayed for others with selfless love. Hence, God was pleased with him. You should always pray in a selfless manner. Only such a prayer will melt God's heart. There is no point in praying to God with worldly objectives. God, who is the embodiment of love resides in our Hridaya (heart). Hridaya is known as Anahati. It is the bell that rings continuously. God residing in our heart keeps it ringing. We should listen to the sound of that bell.
Our scriptures have prescribed nine paths of devotion: Sravanam (listening), Kirtanam (singing), Vishnusmaranam (contemplating on Vishnu), Padasevanam (serving His Lotus Feet), Vandanam (salutation), Archanam (worship), Dasyam (servitude), Sneham (friendship), Atmanivedanam (Self-surrender).
Self-surrender is the true offering that you have to make to God. He is not interested in the worldly offerings you make. What you have to offer to God is the same heart that He has given you.
I offer the heart which You have given me.
What else can I offer at Your Lotus Feet?
Please accept my salutations.
God is not interested in the wealth you have earned or accumulated. He has no dearth of wealth. He is Vishnu Swarupa. When goddess of wealth Lakshmi herself resides on His chest, what is it that you can offer Him? The Pakshi Vahana (Lord Vishnu who has Garuda as His vehicle) has goddess Lakshmi on His chest. Why should He ask for Bhiksha (alms) from others? Hence, you don't need to give anything to God. The sacred heart that He has given you should be given back to Him. Due to the effect of Kali Age, people are not prepared to offer their heart to God which He has given them. They are offering the wealth they have accumulated. How can you make such a low and mean offering? You should offer your heart to God. That is called Anahata Dharma. This is the true treasure that we have to safeguard always.
Embodiments of Love!
Due to the effect of Kali Age, devotion and detachment have also become artificial. People are trying to please others, but not God. You have to undertake activities that are pleasing to God. If you go by your own likes and dislikes, how can God be pleased with you? What God likes the most is Anahata Prema. Your Hridaya should overflow with love, sacrifice and bliss. You may make any number of offerings, but if you do not offer your Hridaya to God, He will not accept them. He may pretend to have accepted those offerings, but He will throw them away. You should offer Him that which pleases Him. That is Hridaya which is called Anahati. It is the centre of love and bliss. In fact, it is the basis of everything. If you do not offer such a sacred heart to God, what is the use of other offerings? God is not interested in such artificial offerings. If you come across poor people, give them what they require. If they are shivering in the cold, give them a blanket. You should give them what they need, but not what would you like to give them.
In those days (Swami's school days), when we returned from the Bukkapatnam school in the evenings, mother Easwaramma would lovingly enquire as to what happened in the school that day. She had no formal education at all. One day the children told her, "Mother, today a teacher by name Kondappa made our Sathya stand upon the bench." They started criticising him. Mother Easwaramma intervened and said, "Children, you should not talk ill of your teacher. No teacher would punish his student without a proper reason. Our Sathya might have committed some mistake." Then she asked Me, "Sathya, what is the mistake You committed?" I told her the facts as they happened. Kondappa ordered, "Whoever has written the notes should place it on his table. Others should stand upon the bench." I had not written the notes. That was My mistake. Hence, I stood upon the bench. I also said something which was more than necessary. I said, "Sir, can all those boys who have taken down the notes answer your questions? Though I have not written the notes, I can answer any question that you may ask." Kondappa thought that I was egoistic and ordered Me to stand upon the bench for three periods. I obeyed him and stood upon the bench.
Meanwhile, the other teacher Mahboob Khan came to the class. He was a Mohammaden and a noble person. He was pained to see Me standing on the bench. He asked, "Kondappa, why have you made this boy stand upon the bench?" "He has not taken down the notes, hence the punishment", said Kondappa. Mahboob Khan defended Me saying, "So what if He has not taken down the notes? He can answer all your questions, and that is enough. Ask Him to sit down." But Kondappa insisted that I should be punished as I had disobeyed his command. The bell rang and Kondappa had to go to another class. But he was unable to get up from the chair. Initially he thought that his dhoti had got entangled to a nail in the chair. But that was not the case. He was stuck to the chair! When he tried to get up from the chair, the chair also came along with him. Then Mahboob Khan said, "Kondappa, He is not an ordinary boy. He is one of great divine powers. You have punished Him without a proper reason. At least now, ask Him to sit down." Kondappa realised his mistake and told Me to sit down. Immediately, he could get up from the chair. When all this was narrated to mother Easwaramma, she said, "Dear Sathya, you should not punish your own Guru." I said, "I did not punish him; in fact, he punished himself." She imparted a sacred teaching to the children, saying, "My dear ones, you are going to school to study. Whatever you learn, put it to proper use. Only then will you be called truly educated and earn the appellation Sakshara. If you do not make proper use of your education, you become a Rakshasa (demon). Make efforts to earn the title of Sakshara." Then she told Me, "Sathya! At any time and under any circumstances, do not cultivate hatred towards anybody. Love all and You will be loved by all." In fact, there is no trace of hatred or enmity in Me at any time. I love all. That is why everyone loves Me. If we do not love others, how can we expect others to love us? Give love and receive love. It is not a one-way traffic. You should give and take. In this manner, mother Easwaramma taught the children many sacred ideals. One need not have any formal education in order to impart such sacred teachings. There are many who are highly educated, but what is the use? They do not put their knowledge to proper use. Having received many sacred teachings, you should practise at least one of them. You perform worship and sing Bhajans with devotion. It is enough if you practise and experience at least one word of the Bhajans you sing. For example, you extol God as 'Premaswarupa' (embodiment of love). Accordingly, you should develop love and share it with others. Only then can you understand and experience divinity.
Mother Easwaramma used to impart many noble teachings to the devotees when they gathered around her. I had given her a small room in Prasanthi Nilayam. Many ladies would go there and plead with her, "Mother, we have been here for a long time. Please tell Swami to grant us an interview." She would tell them, "My dear, Swami may look small to our eyes, but He does not listen to anyone. He will not act on recommendations. He will give you what you deserve. You should try to understand the divine principle of Swami." In this manner, she would give proper guidance to the devotees. One day she told Me, "Sathya! Your name and fame have spread far and wide. The whole world is coming to You. Please bestow peace on the world with Your Sankalpa (Will)." I told her, "It is not that I have to make a Sankalpa for world peace. Each one has to attain peace by himself, because man by nature is the embodiment of peace. He is the embodiment of truth. He is the embodiment of love." You have to manifest your love. You have to experience peace within. You have to follow the path of truth. Sathyam Vada, Dharmam Chara (speak truth and practise righteousness). You can achieve anything when you follow this principle.
Since ancient times, there have been many noble mothers who have guided their children on the right path. The future of the nation rests in the hands of mothers. That is why one calls one's own country as motherland. Bharat is the birthplace of many noble mothers. Our ancient culture has accorded first place to the mother. Father comes only next. Even on invitation cards we write Smt. and Sri. The husband may be highly educated and occupying a position of authority. He may be the president of the nation. Yet, we cannot write Sri and Srimati while sending an invitation. Srimati has to come first. Since ancient times, women are treated with great reverence and respect in Bharat. This land of Bharat is highly sacred. But unfortunately, people have lost love for their motherland.
He is a true human being who loves his mother and becomes the recipient of his mother's love. One who cannot earn his mother's love is verily a demon. Hence, respect and revere you mother. Experience and enjoy your mother's love. Dedicate your life for the happiness of the mother. You may acquire any number of degrees; you may undertake any number of sacred activities; but all of them will prove futile if you do not please your mother. There is none superior to the mother in this world. The Veda has accorded the place of highest prominence to the mother when it declared, Matru Devo Bhava, Pitru Devo Bhava, Acharya Devo Bhava, Atithi Devo Bhava (revere your mother, father, preceptor and guest as God). There may be a son in this world who does not love his mother, but there cannot be a mother who does not love her son. There may be differences of opinion between them, but the motherly love will never diminish.
Embodiments of Love!
It is your foremost duty to love your mother. As soon as you wake up in the morning, the first thing you should do is to touch your mother's feet and offer your salutations. Such a noble practice will protect you always and bestow on you all types of wealth.
Students, Boys and Girls!
You are going to be fathers and mothers in future. You will be loved and respected by your children only when you love and respect your parents now. You are bound to face the reaction, resound and reflection of your actions. When you respect your parents, there will be rich rewards for you in the future.
Today we are celebrating Easwaramma Day. I want to tell you an incident that speaks of her immense compassion and love for children. In those days, students from various States and countries attended Summer Classes. Gokak, who used to conduct the classes, was a strict disciplinarian. He was a man of great character and sacrifice. He was a great academician too. He was conducting the classes in an exemplary manner. One day, the students were having lunch in the dining hall. One of the boys got up and went outside before others could finish their meals. Gokak, who watched this through the window, called him and chided him for his act of indiscipline. "When your fellow students are having their food, you should not get up in the middle even though you have completed your meals. It amounts to insulting them." Saying so, Gokak suspended him from the classes. The boy was in tears, but Gokak was not moved. The boy came to mother Easwaramma's room, fell at her feet and started crying. He told her about the harsh punishment meted out to him by Gokak. He pleaded with her to come to his rescue. Easwaramma consoled him and sent him away. She was sitting on the steps where Gokak would pass by. After a while Gokak came there. She offered her Namaskar to him and he reciprocated the same most reverentially. Then she said, "When I did Namaskar to you, you reciprocated the same. In the same manner, if you punish others, you will be punished in return. The boy out of his innocence has done a mistake. Please forgive him and allow him to attend the classes." Then Gokak replied, "Mother, if I forgive him, it would set a bad precedent for others. Anyway, I will forgive him only for your sake." In this manner, she would go out of her way to help and provide comfort and solace to others.
You are bound to face the consequences of your actions. If you talk to others in a harsh manner, it will come back to you as resound. If you hit others, it will come back to you as reflection. Hence, do not hurt others. Do good, be good, see good and speak good. Then, you will be blessed with rich rewards. Though mother Easwaramma had no formal education, she conducted herself in an exemplary manner. She was one of profound wisdom. The teaching that mother Easwaramma imparted remained etched in the heart of Gokak. Later on when he came as Vice Chancellor to Puttaparthi, he used to recollect her words of wisdom. He would remember her everyday. He would say, "I see Easwaramma in my dream quite often. I follow her advice implicitly."
We should not criticise others. We should not hurt others or make fun of them. We should love all. This is what mother Easwaramma taught everybody. Do your duty sincerely. Then, you will certainly progress in life. Whoever he may be, follow the sacred teachings of our elders. People attribute certain teachings to Rama, Krishna, and so on and so forth. It does not matter whether it is Rama or Krishna, enquire what, why, when, where and under what circumstances they had given those teachings. You should remember the context in which those teachings were imparted and act accordingly. When you obey the command of elders and divine personalities, you will certainly attain exalted position in life.
Many students do not pay heed to the words of their mother. It is a grave mistake. Mothers speak from their heart wishing the welfare of their children. You should understand their feelings and give due respect to their words.
Embodiments of Love! Boys and Girls
Obey the commands of your parents. You will certainly be blessed with all types of education and strength. You do not need to make any special efforts to acquire them. Discharge your duty sincerely. Never disregard the words of your parents. Follow them with love and sanctify your life. Wishing that you give happiness to your parents and thereby set an ideal to your children, I bless you all and bring My discourse to a close.
(Bhagavan concluded His Discourse with the Bhajan "Sathyam Jnanam Anantham Brahma…")