|Date:14 Jan 1995||Occasion:Sankranthi||Place:Prashanti Nilayam|
Prema and the Triple Purity
Embodiments of Divine Love!
He who recognizes that the Atma in him and in all beings is one and the same dwells in the constant presence of God, whether he is a householder or a renunciant, whether he is alone or in a crowd. Everyone has to recognize the divinity that is inherent in all human beings.
The sage Narada declared: "Love is the embodiment of ambrosia (Prema amritasya swarupah). In the mundane world, man considers the four Purushaarthas (the four goals of life) as the means to Liberation (Moksha). This is not correct. Dharma (Righteousness), ; Artha (material wealth), Kama (the satisfaction of desires) and Moksha (Liberation) which are considered the four aims of human existence, are not all. There is a fifth aim for mankind which transcends even Liberation (Moksha). This is Parama Prema (Supreme love). This Love Principle is Divine. Love and God are not distinct from each other. God is love and love is God. It is only when the truth of this Love Principle is understood that the meaning of human existence can be realized.
[Swami then sang this poem]
The Sai Lord is the embodiment of Love,
Who taught the Love Principle,
Proclaimed the equality of all beings,
And revealed the preciousness of humanness.
In a home where three persons live, if they have harmony amongst them and cooperate with each other, verily that home is heaven itself, where divine bliss reigns. If, on the contrary, the three persons lack harmony and adjustment, dislike each other and behave as enemies, there can be no hell worse than that.
PURITY IN THOUGHT, WORD AND DEED
Heaven and hell are dependent on the conduct of people. The body is a home wherein reside three entities called mind (manas), speech (vaak), and limbs, (organs of action). True humanness consists in the unity of thought word and deed. In Vedantic parlance, this unity was easy described as "Trikarana Suddhi" (triple purity). True liberation (moksha) consists in giving expression in words to the thoughts which arise in the mind and to practice what one says. The ancients considered this triple unity as a form of yoga. "Manas ekam, vachas ekam, karmanyekam mahaatmaanam" (Those whose mind, words and deeds are in complete accord are high-souled beings). "Manas anyath vachas anyath karmanyanath duraathmaanam" (The wicked are those whose thoughts differ from their words and actions). Hence every person should strive to achieve unity in thought, word and deed. That is the hallmark of humanness.
This profound truth is proclaimed by the Vedantic pronouncement that the body is a temple in which the eternal Atma is the Indweller. The Veda is dualistic. Vedanta is monistic (Advaita). The essence of Vedanta is the triune unity of thought word and deed. In this unity, true bliss can be experienced. It will also demonstrate the spiritual basis of divinity.
PRECEPT AND PRACTICE
There are today countless numbers of scholars who expound the Vedanta and they have numerous listeners. The outcome of all this is precious little. This is because there is no practice of the teachings of Vedanta. All study of Vedanta is of no avail if the precepts are not practiced.
People have to find out what are the easy methods of putting into practice the precepts of Vedanta. The easiest way is to cultivate harmony in thought, word and deed.
Can the world's darkness be dispelled
By talking about the glory of light?
Can a diseased man's afflictions be
Relieved by praising panaceas?
Can a destitute's poverty be relieved by
Listening to the greatness of wealth?
Can a starving man's hunger be appeased
By descriptions of delicacies?
Rather than listening to a ton of precept, it is better to practice one ounce of teaching.
SELFLESS SERVICE THE MEANS
What we have to practice today is something very easy and very subtle. The spirit of service is the royal path to be followed. How is this spirit of service to be cultivated? The Gita lays stress on the word Suhrid (friend). Who is a true friend? Can he be utterly selfless? Will he help you without expecting any return? Whether it be one's mother, husband, wife or son, they love you for their own selfish reasons. A totally selfless friend cannot be found in the world. It is hard to find anyone who renders service totally without self-interest. God alone is totally selfless as friend and benefactor. God has been described as Suhrid - a friend who is your alter ego. God seeks no reward of any kind. There is no trace of self-interest in Him. God alone can be utterly selfless and loving, expecting nothing in return.
THE ROYAL ROAD
If you ask a friend where he is residing, he will give a certain address. But this address relates only to the residence of the body. But the true residence of one is his Atma (the Self). This Atma is the embodiment of Love. Therefore, you have to dwell in Love and live in Love. You must dedicate your life to that love. If you devote your life to the pursuit of impermanent things, you will only get ephemeral things. You must seek what is lasting and permanent. What is it? When you take to the royal road of following God's injunction, you will realize all your desires.
You must remember, however, that these desires only bind you the more you cherish them. The bonds get reduced when desires are reduced. There must be a limit to desires.
Similarly there must be restraint in developing attachments. There is grief when a person dies in a family. Is death the cause of grief? No. It is the attachment to the dead person that is the cause of grief. The process of getting rid of attachment has been described in Vedantic parlance as vairagya. Gradually attachments should be eliminated. In the journey of life the less luggage you carry the greater the comfort you experience.
It may be asked : how is it possible to reduce attachments and desires in worldly life? The answer is : Carry on your business or other activities in a spirit of dedication to the Divine. All actions should be done with the conviction they are dedicated to the Lord. This is an easy path to follow. Consider all actions as actions performed by the power of the Divine, whether it be seeing or hearing or speaking or doing. Without the power of the Divine, can the eyes see or the ears hear?
THE DIVINE SOURCE
The primary requisite for Man to realize the divine potency in him is the source of all the faculties and talents in him. This is true whether one is an atheist, a theist or an agnostic. No one in the world can get on without this energy. It may be called by different names. Names are not important. The energy is one. It is this divine energy which directs mankind on the right path. Men should strive to recognize the Presence of the Divine even in small things.
In his speech earlier today Anil Kumar spoke about the Sai Organizations. The Sai Organizations are carrying on their activities with devotion and dedication. But they do not try to find out what should be the ideal to be achieved. "Are you engaged in this work for your satisfaction or for the satisfaction of Divine?" This is the question they should ask of themselves.
In this context an incident from the Bible may be recalled. Once a devotee went to Jesus and asked him: Oh Lord! What is the power by which one can protect Oneself ? Jesus replied: "Son! When you love GOD, that power itself will protect you." In the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna asked Krishna, "What should one do to earn the love of the Lord?" The Lord replied: "You simpleton! You imagine you are loving GOD. The truth is GOD is seeking a true devotee."
Crores of people all over the world are in quest of God. But where are they searching for Him? In my view, the very idea of a quest for God is mistaken. There is no need for you to search for God. God is omnipresent. He is everywhere. Devotees imagine they are searching for GOD. This is not true. It is God who is in search of devotees. "Where is the devotee to be found who is pure in thought, word and deed?" God is searching for such a devotee.
You need not search for God. God is nearer to you than your mother and father. You yourself are divine. How can you go in search of yourself? This is the mistake you commit. When everything is permeated by the Divine, who is the searcher of the Divine? It is because the world has lacked men who could proclaim this Vedantic truth with authentic experience that it has sunk to such degrading levels.
LOVE ALL : SERVE ALL
lt is needless to search for GOD. Verily you are the Divine. Strive to realize this truth. There is a simple and easy way. Have the faith that every human being is an embodiment of the Divine. Love everyone. Serve all. The best way to love God is to love all, serve all.
You must love everyone because God is in everyone. Every human being is a manifestation of God. On the cosmic stage every man identifies himself with the form and name given to him. But he does not realize what is his true form and name.
Last night you witnessed the film in which Anjalidevi acted the role of Sakkubai. ln the film she appeared as Sakkubai and not Anjalidevi. But both are one and the same person. God takes on a human form and appears as a human being. But when the human being recognizes his basic divine nature he becomes the Divine. As long as one thinks he is a mere human, he remains a human. But when he considers himself as Divine with deep conviction, he will be transformed into the Divine.
GOD AND THE COSMOS
Hence, thoughts and feelings determine what you are. Change your thoughts. If you give up your world outlook and view the world from the spiritual point of view, the world (Viswam) and the Divine Vishnu) will become one. Therefore, change your viewpoint. Instead of altering his vision (drishti) man wants to change creation (Srishti). No one can change creation. It is one's vision that has to be changed.
If you wish to experience oneness, you have to see the cosmos through the glass of spiritual oneness (Ekaatma-bhaava). Otherwise, the world will appear as a bewildering multiplicity because you will be seeing it through the glasses of the three Gunas - Satva, Rajas, Thamas. Put aside these three glasses. Wear the glass of Ekaatmabhaava, the feeling of unity in Spirit. Love is one. The Supreme is One though the wise call it by many names.
SWAMI AND DEVOTEES
The Divine has to proclaim this unity when GOD comes in human form and lives and moves among human beings. The Divine has no likes or dislikes. He has no distinction of "mine" and "thine." He is beyond praise or censure. How then should the Divine (in human form) conduct Himself? Everyone should understand this. Many bemoan the fact that Swami does not speak to them despite their frequent visits. "Is Swami angry with us?" they ask. These are not mental aberrations. They are due to total ignorance. Such questions arise in their minds only when they have not understood Swami's real nature. I have no antipathy towards anyone. I do not hate anyone. All are mine. And I belong to everybody. But in dealing with devotees, I have to behave like a doctor who prescribes a specific diet for each patient. For instance there is a patient suffering from diabetes. He should not consume sweets. If a devotee feels, "I enjoy sweets, why should the Sai Mother prohibit me from eating sweets?", the answer is that it is for his own good. If Swami did not have the patient's well-being in view, He would let him suffer by giving him sweets. It is out of love for the devotee that the Sai Mother denies sweets to him. Swami adopts these different regimens in the interest of curing the devotees' ailments.
STUDENTS AND SWAMI
There are others with a different kind of grievance. For instance, the students often complain that Swami does not talk to them because He is angry with them. I have no anger towards anyone. Whether you believe it or not, I do not know what anger means. But, occasionally I appear as if I am very angry. This is unavoidable because without such assumed behaviour on my part, the students will not heed my words. I tell them to behave in a certain way. Some students heed my words and try to act up to them. Some others go against my injunctions. ln such a situation, I have to ensure respect for my words. Of what use is it to speak to those who attach no value to my words? I don't intend to devalue my words.
Truth is the life of the plighted word. My words bear the imprint of truth. I cannot depart from truth. I don't speak to those who attach no value to my words. This should be realized by those who complain that Swami does not talk to them. When people heed my words, I am ready to help them in every way and confer happiness on them. I do nothing for my own sake. This is my truth.
FOR YOUR SAKE
The Super-Specialty Hospital has been built at the cost of many crores. Was it for my sake? Similarly, the University has been established by spending crores of rupees. For whose sake? This magnificent hall (attached to the Mandir) has been erected to protect devotees from heat and rain. Am I sleeping in this hall? Everything I do is for your sake. l am surprised that you do not recognize this. Can devotees be so lacking in intelligence? There is no trace of selfishness in me anywhere. I have no fear of any sort. Only the guilty man is racked by fear. I have done no wrong to anybody and so I have no fear. But I am subservient to devotees.
Not realizing this truth some people imagine that Swami is angry or ill-disposed towards them. Get rid of such mistaken feelings. Be convinced that whatever Swami tells you is for your own good and act up to it. I gain nothing by your good behaviour. I don't lose anything by your misconduct. Because I love you I do not want you to suffer from the consequences of your misconduct.
UNDERSTAND GOD'S LOVE
Turning to God's love, let me make it clear that 99 percent of devotees do not understand what this (Prema) means: This love is construed in a worldly sense. This leads them astray. The attachment between husband and wife, mother and child, between friends, between kith and kin, all are loosely described as Prema, but these attachments are the result of temporary relationships and are by their nature transient. Prema is Trikaalabaadhyam. Love is that which lasts through all the three categories of time - the past, the present and the future. Such love can exist only between God and the devotee and cannot apply to any other kind of relationship.
It is not easy for you to comprehend the true nature of God's love. You are aware only of worldly attachments which are subject to ups and downs. What is liable to such changes cannot be called love. True love is unchanging. It is Divine. Love is God. Live in love.
Embark on this path of love. You are liable to feel elated over trivial pleasures or depressed over petty losses. God's love is permanent and unvarying. Try to understand that love. How is it to be done? By cultivating the feeling that whatever happens to you, whether pleasant or unpleasant, is for your own good. When you have that conviction, the value of God's love for you goes up.
SPREAD GOD'S NAME
Most people feel the boundless joy of God's love as long as they are in the presence of Swami. But this feeling evaporates once they are in the environment of the outside world. You must see that the same sacred environment exists wherever you may be by carrying your devotion wherever you go and spreading the Divine message to every nook and corner of the country. Chant the name of the Lord wherever you are, in the village, in the street, in every home and in your speech and songs. This is the way to ensure that your love of GOD remains unshaken and unabated.
God derives no benefit from this, as He has no desires. He wants nothing. lt is only for your own good. "Uddhareth Aatmanaa Aatmaanam" ("Elevate yourself by your own self-effort'). Failing to recognise this truth, many people imagine that Sai Baba is holding Akhanda bhajans and celebrating various festivals to glorify his name. They are utterly foolish persons. Sai Baba seeks nothing from anyone. You improve yourselves. Become better. Experience your bliss. Make your lives sublime. Utilise these festivals and devotional activities for this purpose.
SATHYAM, SIVAM, SUNDARAM
Embodiments of love. As love is verily your form, manifest it in every way. Share it with others. The Lord is the Indweller in the heart (Hridayavaasi).
Satchithaananda Roopam Advaitam
Sathyam Sivam Sundaram
The sustainer of all beings, Peace incarnate;
The bearer of all names, Sivam;
Embodiment of Sat-Chit-Ananda,
The One without a second
He is Truth, Goodness and Beauty.
The Greek philosopher Plato - who was the teacher of Aristotle, under whom Alexander studied - declared three things as fundamental verities: Truth, Goodness and Beauty. These are the same terms as "Sathyam, Sivam, Sundaram" used by the Indian sages to describe the Divine.
Thus in all religions and philosophies through the ages, these three have been declared as the forms of the Divine Atma. Truth is the form of the Divine. Love is the form of the Divine. Righteousness (Dharma) is the form of the Divine.
THE MOTHER AND THE MOTHERLAND
The first impulse that emanated from man was love (Prema). All other things came thereafter. Every child that is born develops immediately love for the mother. Every child tries to recognise at the outset the mother and the father. In the same manner every individual should recognise the land of his birth and his cultural heritage (Samskriti). One's nation and one's culture should be revered as one's parents. The nation is one's mother. One's culture is the father. This profound truth was proclaimed by Rama when he declared: "The mother and the Motherland are greater than Heaven Itself." Love the mother. Love your country's culture. These are the two primary duties of every man. They should be the main aims of life.
When people follow this path of truth and righteousness, love will sprout naturally in their hearts. All knowledge and scholarship are of no avail if there is no practice of virtue. Practice at least one of the teachings and experience joy.
Embodiments of love: Devotees from East and West Godavari, Guntur and Krishna districts rejoiced in the celebration of what they described as the Golden Jubilee of the Sai Movement. There is no need to seek a reason for experiencing joy. "Sarvadaa sarvakaaleshu sarvathra Harichinthanam" (Always, at all times and in all places contemplate on Hari. Make every moment a holy day. Invest every word with the power of a mantra (sacred formula). Sanctify the ground you tread on. Make this the mission of your life. Without wasting a single moment use all the time you can find to spread the message of the Lord's name to every nook and comer of India. Today we are witnessing corruption, violence, wickedness and malpractices everywhere. The basic reason for all these is selfishness. Insatiable desires are at the root of these evils. By chanting the Lord's name, desires can be reduced, while legitimate wishes get fulfilled.
Sakkubai prayed and yearned to go to Pandharpur for darshan of Panduranga. She endured all kinds of troubles and indignities and earned the Lord's grace. How can you get GOD's grace without undergoing trials? You know what severe processes gold goes through from the crucible onwards before an ornament is made. There can be no happiness without pain. When you desire the welfare of someone, you must be prepared to let him face the ordeals which are necessary before he can experience what is good for him. Pleasure and pain go together in this world. In the Gita the Lord says He is both the Kshetra (the body) - and the Kshetrajna (the Indwelling Knower).
What people have to learn today is to give up attachments to the things of the world and seek the love of GOD. When one cultivates the love of God, renouncing worldly things becomes as simple as leaving hold of a handkerchief. Clinging to property is difficult. Giving it up is easy, when people have understood the meaning of God's love.
Let people, wherever they may be, in villages or towns, cultivate faith in God, develop love and share it with one all. Then they will experience ineffable bliss. Liberation will not come though meditation or penance. Love is the only means. When you render service with love, it will become meditation, penance and all else. Love is the fifth "Purushaartha", the supreme goal of life. Love is also the panacea for all the ills that afflict society today. Hate is the cause of all ills. Hence hatred should be banished, as declared by the Gita.
Don't give room for any evil feelings in your heart, which is the seat of God. Dedicate your minds to God. In due course, you will merge in the Divine and become one with God.
[Bhagavan concluded His discourse with the bhajan: "Bhaja Govindam." Swami then addressed a few words to the devotees from Andhra Pradesh exhorting them to carry the message of Namasmarana to every place in Andhra Pradesh and make this their main task in life.]