|Date:25 Dec 1995||Occasion:Christmas||Place:Prashanti Nilayam|
Love seeks no return
Embodiments of Divine Love!
In this Creation, which is apparent, all matter and forms are attractive and pleasing. God pervades the entire universe; its very form is full of Love.
[Swami then sang a verse:]
God is the very form of Love;
There is connection between Love and Love.
So strengthen your Love,
And you can reach the state of non-duality.
Love exists for Love, and not for any return. Love is not mercenary. It does not involve give and take like business. Love finds joy in giving. Everything is Love. Love does not watch through the physical eye; it knows the heart. Love does not hear through the ears; it listens with peace. Love doesn't talk with words; it talks with compassion.
Love, compassion, mercy are synonyms. Love has many synonyms. Love originates from the heart. Love is immortal, eternal, blissful and nectarine. The heart full of such love is broad and vast. The rivers with various names become one when they merge with the ocean. They lose their entity, taste and form and become a part of the ocean. The river of Love also flows in many forms to meet the ocean of the heart, and takes its name and form. There is nothing in this world that cannot be achieved through Love; anything can be accomplished through Love.
Love that expects no return, that has no attributes and is unsullied, can bind God. Selfish and narrow minded love will bind you to the world. But man today has lost sight of the true, eternal Love and uses it for small and mean purposes. As a consequence, he is bound to the world and experiences unnecessary sorrow.
It is the prime duty of every man to understand the nature of this true Love. The one who truly recognizes the nature of Love can never be led astray.
Relations are not true Love; all the concepts which are attached to the word 'love' have nothing to do with it in the real sense. The love between mother and child, between husband and wife, are taken as love. They are not Love. They are relationships. They are finite, with a beginning and an end. But true and eternal Love has neither beginning nor end.
This Love exists before birth, during life and after death. That which exists in all times is Love. The love between mother and child is one that has emerged in between. Which mother loved a child before it was born? Which child loved its mother before its birth? The love between them takes shape only after the child's birth. So it is an attachment that has developed in the course of life. It is not Love.
Before the wedding, who is the husband? Who is the wife? The love between husband and wife begins only after a relationship is formed. This love has a definite beginning and end. So it cannot be termed as Love.
That Love which is true and eternal, and drenches man in perennial bliss, is Love in its truest sense. All thoughts must be full of Love. Each syllable must be soaked in Love. The vision must be of Love. This is divine Love.
Adversity on the path of Love
The one who is the recipient of such Love will not succumb to adversity. Man today reacts to praise and blame easily. Divine Love will not make one elated when praised or dejected when blamed. People may extol, criticize, blame or praise, but Divine Love remains the same. Divine Love treats pleasure and pain with equanimity. Such Love will meet many obstacles.
It is very difficult to know God, but easy to criticize Him. Man opts for the easy path and avoids the difficult path which leads to Truth.
Pleasure is an interval between two pains, and pain exists between two pleasures. Pain and pleasure take the same form. The end of pain is the beginning of pleasure. Love causes both pain and pleasure. This is called divine Love. Man, unable to understand this divine, ever new, ever fresh and fragrant Love, goes by ephemeral, transient, worldly love, and thereby wastes his life.
Christ made many attempts to demonstrate and propagate this infinite divine Love. Having lost his father at the tender age of ten, he sought the permission of his mother, and set out to begin his mission of serving the society. Bathing in the sacred waters of the river Jordan, he went to his Guru then and took three vows:
Christ determined to make the giving and sharing of Love his main objective in life. Such love was met with many obstacles and losses. Christ considered a true man to be the one who can face obstacles and move forward in Love.
Do not give in to losses and pain. Do not be carried away with pleasure. Face everything with equanimity.
Christ could never see suffering passively. In Jerusalem doves were sold and killed as an offering. Christ decried the violence committed towards the poor creatures. He began to undertake the holy task of stopping such violence and freeing the captive birds. Some men began to cast aspersions, slandered him and tried to punish him.
"Salutations to any living beings go toward God," say the Vedas. ("Sarva bhuta namaskaram; Keshavam prati gachate.") We think there is no meaning in saluting both the one who praises us and the one who criticizes us. Saluting the one who praises us is understandable, but what is the use of saluting the one who accuses us? We must have continuous relationship with accusations, because without them there is no beauty or value to praise. Without criticism, appreciation loses its meaning. That is why every word, every thought, has some obstacle or other. For the good, bad is a shadow. For pleasure, difficulty is a shadow. All opposites are interrelated. The pleasure and pain, the profit and loss, exist together. Christ went on pursuing his path in the face of many obstacles with strength and endurance. He gave His life for the service of men, for the principle of Love and propagation of Love.
Be Messengers of Love
Every man is a messenger. Every man is sent by God as a messenger. The messenger is one who gives the message of God to men. But today there are few messengers who spread the gospel of God. There are messengers of Lord Yama (the god of death), who spread contradictory messages and create chaos. Man should be a saint (avadhuta), but not the messenger of the god of death (Yama dhuta). Today, in the name of God, man causes harm to others. This violates the nature of human qualities. We are not able to understand individuality well. The day that social and moral codes are followed, individuality will blossom. The day value is given to integrity, human personality will be revealed.
Vyakti is the individual who expresses or manifests inherent divinity. Divinity exists latent, hidden in every man and every being. Therefore, every man must make the effort of spreading the word of God. Everyone must determine to propagate the message of God and spread peace and security to all. There is no better path than this.
When the principle of Love is fostered in our hearts, we will have no doubts and will be able to spread the message of Love. The one without Love has doubts. Doubts cause confusion and make one adopt the wrong path. God's message is unsullied, pure, eternal, selfless and unchanging.
At the time of Jesus' birth, three Arabian kings gathered. One of the kings looked at the Christ child and said, "He will be one who will love God." The second king said, "God Himself will love this child." The third king said, "This child and God are one." The one who loves God is the Messenger of God. The one who is worthy of God's Love is the Son of God. The one who understands the unity and non-dualism of the divine principle, and derives bliss from it, verily personifies the truth, "Father and Son are one."
So, first and foremost, foster love for God and become the messengers of God. If you call yourself "Messenger of God," but conduct your life contrary to God's message, the message has no meaning. Such persons are not messengers, but "missing-ers", meaning they have lost their divinity.
You should resolve to spread the voice of God. God's gospel is always good, related to the well being of all mankind, imbued with compassion and righteousness, and is in accordance with morality and integrity. Instead of propagating and spreading such a sacred voice of God, we fall prey to, and also spread, injustice, unrighteousness, untruth and evil conduct. The most important act is to spread the message of Love.
Where there is Love, there is no scope for hatred. Today, because of the absence of Love, hatred has entered and established itself in the heart of man. There is no unity among men. How can you partake of happiness without unity? If there is no joy, how can you attain divinity? It is impossible. Only through Love can you accomplish anything. So every individual must consider himself to be the messenger of God. This messengership must be applied in the right way. We should lead lives free of selfishness. You may think that it is a difficult task, but in truth there is nothing easier than this. It is selfishness that leads to suffering, frustration and despair, and that robs man of his spirit. Thus it is selfishness that exposes man to danger. Selfless Love gives no scope for the entry of bad qualities. So we must plunge into the path of Love, and love for the sake of Love, and offer ourselves to Love.
But in this path of Love, our first hindrance will be our friends and relatives. Eventually the whole world will turn against us. Let anyone turn against us; there is no greater life than Love. Love is Life. One without Love is a lifeless corpse. In place of worldly affections, we must develop divine Love. So we must let the Love gush from the depths of our hearts. We should propagate such Love.
Nature reveals divinity
We may not understand God, but we know that every man has five elements. There is nothing in the world that is not made of these five elements: earth (bhumi), water (jalam), fire (agni), air (vayu) and space (or "ether", akasha). These five elements are forms of God. In what manner does God reside in each of these elements?
In nature, God is in the form of awareness (chaitanya), which is why the whole creation functions. In water, the second element, God exists as consciousness (prajnaanam). An unconscious person can be revived by sprinkling water on him and making him drink it. In fire, God is present as the waking state ("jagrat swarupam"). The Vedas teach you to be careful always (tasmat jagrtaha). In air, God is present in the form of life (prana). In space, God exists in the form of the primeval sound (aum). Thus we see that every element reveals a facet of divinity.
We also experience God's presence in every being as the soul force behind the five sheaths (of pure consciousness), the five senses and life breaths (pranas).
Faulty thinking binds man
Some people doubt that God is omnipresent and in all beings. "Why can we not see Him? What is the reason for this?" Those who pursue this doubt sincerely and steadfastly, who inquire into its reasons and investigate with a true heart, will certainly find their answers. We keep on doubting and thinking, but make no effort really to understand. If the food laid on your plate is to reach your stomach, you have to employ your hand and your mouth in the task of eating. So how can you expect to see God without making the slightest effort in that direction?
Water is present in oceans, rivers, lakes, ponds and wells. We can see the reflection of the sun in the water in any of these containers. The reflection of the sun in the river will be unsteady. This is because the water in the river is flowing. As the water, so the reflection. The water in the well is stagnant, hence the reflection of the sun is hazy. Where do you find a steady and clear image? Only where the water is pure and still will the reflection be steady and clear. Similarly, when our hearts are pure and selfless, we will be able to see God clearly.
When we have a wavering mind and wavering faith and unsteady vision, how can we expect to see God? As you think, so you become (Yad bhavam tad bhavati). A dirty mind will see a dirty reflection. A wavering mind will see a wavering reflection. Only steady faith will see God. Therefore the mind is the cause for everything. The Vedas declare, "The mind is responsible for the liberation and bondage of man." (Mana eva manushyanam karanam bandha mokshayo).
Qualities of mind
The mind is in three forms. The first is dull and bestial (tamoguna), the second is passionate (rajoguna) and the third is pure and pious (satwa guna).
The dull mind will hide the Truth and publicize falsehood. It continuously criticizes the good. It views the sacred as unholy. In tamoguna everything is opposite. It keeps poking fun at others, condemning others and hurting others. What a shame it is! What do we gain by looking at the faults of others? We only make our hearts impure.
If you think of sacredness, the mind becomes sacred; if you think of unsacred, unholy things, the mind becomes unsacred. As is your thought, so is your behavior. So we must correct this dull mind and instruct it not to see evil in others. Search for your own faults. Correct your own mistakes. Remove your faults, but never see faults in good people. Teach your own mind and then you can transcend tamoguna.
What is the nature of rajoguna? This mind imagines and creates its situations. It is not mindful of its own making. You can have the proof of this from your dreams. When you sleep, you create yourself in your dreams. You see yourself doing many actions. You feel as if you are fighting with others. You see others mistreating you. Where did these images come from? It is all the effect of your mind; it is the creation of your mind. You even create yourself in your dream. Hence there is no wakefulness in dream state. Mind creates thoughts. It is said that the mind is a bundle of thoughts ("sankalpa vikalpat makam manasa").
What is the quality of satwa guna? The satwic mind sees only good, even in those who are bad. To it, bad does not exist. Everything in this world created by God is good. God has created only good, not bad. Something becomes bad because of our vision. There is no bad thing in creation. The fault lies only in our vision. Creation is faultless. Such sacred thoughts must be developed. Then how do we deal with what is bad? Bad is a fault in vision (drishti dosham). If we wear red glasses, everything will appear red. If we wear blue glasses, everything will appear blue. Is the world colored blue or red? No. The color is only due to the spectacles we wear.
If you believe that this particular person hates you, you will feel hatred toward him. If you believe that he is your friend, you feel friendly towards him. Whatever he does, you will see good in him. But if your enemy does a good act, you will see only bad in it. What is the cause for this? It is the fault of your mind and your vision. Because of faulty outlook and thoughts, man has forgotten his inherent divinity and human quality, and is more demonic (danava).
Be fearless in doing good
There is no peace and security in this world. Every man is haunted by fear and delusion. If one does good, he is scared; if he does bad, he is scared. He is scared even if he does nothing. How can one live one's life in this manner? We must be fearless. We must come forward to do good. We should face and overcome obstacles. We should resist evil and accomplish good.
We should not be carried away by results. The man who desires and works for a return is a coolie (laborer). A laborer works only for his wages. We should not be mere laborers; we should be owners. The coolie knows only what is outside the house; he is not aware of what is inside the house. But the owner knows the valuables hidden in the iron safe. Coolies will be attracted to the cheap baskets and sieves and other articles. We should not be laborers; we should become masters. That is the true message.
All are sons of immortality. All beings are embodiments of divinity. God manifests through the five elements within you. You should realize this, then the right feelings will emerge in your heart. For everything, Love is essential. Life without Love is barren. In the ancient days Gopikas drowned themselves in the vast principle of Love.
[Swami then sang:]
In the barren land without love, sow the seeds of Love,
And then, with the force and emotion of Love,
Let there be a downpour of Love.
When the rivers of Love flow,
Krishna plays your melodious flute.
The flower, the fruit, everything is Love. When everything is full of Love, your life will be full of bliss. Even when you meet many obstacles, the vision of Love should not alter or change. Anil Kumar [simultaneous translator of the Discourse] is wearing glasses. The spectacles are in front of his eyes, but they assist his vision. Similarly, obstacles help our Love to grow. Do not be deluded by these obstacles. Why do we get deluded? If we think that glasses obstruct vision, they obstruct vision. Truly speaking, nothing can hinder or obstruct the vision of Love. So we should develop the vision of Love.
A small amount of true Love
There is nothing that cannot be accomplished through Love, but
Love should not be a business of give and take. You should not pray to
God for some gain.
[Swami then sang:]
Oh Lord, I return to You the heart which you have given me;
how else can I worship your lotus feet?
The Love within us has to be offered to God. It is not artificial or unnatural love; it should be heartfelt. Even a fraction of Love is priceless. God expects only quality and not quantity.
"Oh! I have attended so many bhajans; I have done so many good deeds and charitable acts." You keep totaling in this manner. Assess the feeling and the degree of Love with which the task has been done. God will look at the quality, not quantity. What is the value of barrels of donkey milk? A teaspoon of cow's milk is enough. A small amount of Love, if heartfelt and sincere, is enough to please God. God is not impressed by the amount of work that you do. Therefore first attain that attitude of Love.
The season of Christmas is associated with Christmas Grandpa or Santa Claus. Tokovan was his original name. He was born in Turkey. He began his career as a priest and gradually began to attain spiritual heights. How did he become a spiritual giant? By the spirit of sacrifice. He used to give a chocolate or a doll or a gift to any child he met. All his life he kept on giving continuously. When Christmas was approaching, all the children used to run behind Santa Claus. He used to carry all the gifts in a bag and distribute to all the children. In what manner did he distribute? He said, "Here is a token of God's Love. Here is a token of God's Love," and thus distributed them. Eventually he came to be called Christmas Grandpa, and his original name was forgotten.
Only Love is permanent
With the passage of time changes are introduced. I tell my children from time to time, "Earlier, when a child was born, he was called 'God Boy,' referring to the child as a messenger of God. As time passed, people began to say 'Good boy.' Then they reasoned that they didn't know if he is good or bad, so they omitted the 'O' in boy and began to say 'Good bye.' Then they omitted 'good' and said 'bye-bye.' So changes have led from 'God boy' to 'bye-bye.' It had a sacred origin, but ultimately was reduced to bye-bye.
All the things of the world are ultimately reduced to naught. Therefore the changeless thing is only one, and that is Love. The relationship between you and God alone is Love. Nothing else can be called Love. All other things that come in between are passing clouds and attachments.
There is no need to suffer at all. Simply because you bring up and bear responsibility for your near and dear, you develop attachment and undergo suffering. Otherwise, there is no scope for suffering. All relationships come in between and go. All are passing clouds.
Only one thing is permanent and that is divine Love. It connects heart to heart and Love to Love. So we must develop Love. Especially these days, due to loss of Love, the world has become callous and cruel. Where there is Love, there is no hatred. So all must live in unity and harmony. We should have affection and a feeling of oneness. Where there is unity, there is purity. When there is no unity and purity, then enmity grows.
You have only one heart; it is not a double sofa or a musical chair. There is only one place. Only Love can occupy the seat of your heart. The other things merely come and go. But we must do our duty. I do not ask you to forsake or give up anything. Discharge your duties. Do your work or business, but whatever you do, offer it to God. "All actions should be done in order to please God," say the Vedas. All actions which are performed with the body should be done with the feeling that the body is a temple and the indweller is the jiva or Self. This body is a moving temple. So don't think God is elsewhere. Wherever your body is, there is God. So all must recognize the truth that God is within them, without them, around them and everywhere.
Everything belongs to God
Our "Messengers of Sathya Sai" are doing a lot of service. In spite of being women, they undertake difficult tasks with a lot of courage, building houses, placing rafters, laying roofs, sweeping, whitewashing, etc. They conduct mass marriages and bear all the expenses. Old students come from various countries, like Australia, Germany, Japan etc. This is living proof of their sincere devotion.
Today they have come from far flung countries like America and Argentina, spending a lot of money. I said to the President of this organization, "Why do you spend so much money? Misuse of money is evil. It can be used to help the poor. A lakh of rupees spent in coming here can be used to help others."
She replied, "Swami, we do not value money. Sacrifice is important to us. We need to recharge the batteries of our heart. Money comes and goes, but morality comes and grows. So we come here to grow in morality. The money we earn is not ours. We are mere agents or caretakers of this money."
Every one should know this truth. You are all trustees of your money. You have no right over it. For example, there is a plethora of money in Reserve Bank of India, or State Bank of India or Canara Bank. Every bank has a Manager or Cashier, etc. All the money is under their control, but they do not have the right to even a paise. So, too, we are like cashiers for the money we earn, but we do not have any authority over it. Everything belongs to God. It should be used for Him.
We came to the Earth with empty hands and we leave with empty hands. No relative or friend comes with you at the time of death. They do not even ask where you are going. When you come to the Earth, you don't bring even a piece of cloth, and when you leave, you do not even leave behind an address. Each man is for himself in the final journey. Relationships exist only as long as you live. So we should have the same relationship with all.
Do not hate even "bad" people. Love all. Love even "bad" people and they will become "good." Saint Matthew was a tax collector and he did not have faith in Jesus. He criticized Jesus, but ultimately he became one of the prime disciples. So we must be prepared to love even people who harm us. Even if others hate us, we must love them. Follow this truth. Love all and God will love you.
When you love all, God will love you, and when God loves you, you will become the Son of God. Once you are the Son of God you have a right to His property. I and you are one. We should aspire for "I and you are one." But today I and you are "we" and not one. Develop the understanding that we and we are one. If you differentiate between mine and thine, how can you attain oneness? There should be unity between the two. Such a feeling of Love should be cultivated.
The girls of "Messengers of Sathya Sai" have rendered very good service. In fact they face many problems. They do not have independence. Soon after marriage they are in the hands of their in-laws and husband. They have to bow down their heads and obey them. They cannot act contrary to their wishes, but even under such circumstances they bring their husbands from foreign lands. That is the true seva. They transform even non-devotees into devotees. Why else would any husband send his wife from far off Argentina to Puttaparthi, spending lots of money? They too have developed broad mindedness.
But boys lead the lives of slaves in spite of being independent. They have no obstacles. No mother-in-law or father-in-law or parent can stand in between and obstruct them, yet they are not exercising their will. So they too should become independent.
What is freedom? Not roaming the bazaars as you like, nor living as you please. "Swatantra" or freedom is: "swa," which means Atma or Self, and "tantra" which means technique or means. You should proceed along the path of Atma. Develop the Atmic feeling. Develop broad, all encompassing feelings. That is true independence.
Today we are independent, but we are not able to accept our responsibilities along with rights. What is the use of independence if we have no unity. Independence without unity will have troubles of this nature. So unity is a must. People must move together in Love and affection. We must progress together. We must learn together and share our knowledge. Move together without conflict or disharmony. This togetherness should be experienced by all. When there is Love, this togetherness will grow.
Follow the sacred teachings
The important message which I want to convey today, which Jesus also propagated, is one of Love and compassion. So boys and girls, on this holy and sacred day, when we celebrate the birthday of that holy personage, we must conduct ourselves in accordance with his message. It is easy to celebrate birthdays, but we must also keep in sight the purity and message of the person whose birthday we celebrate.
We make much of Rama's birthday, but do we obey the command of our father as Rama did? Do we give up everything for the sake of truth? Rama, who was about to be crowned, renounced the kingdom without a backward glance and went into exile. Having every right to the kingdom, he did not desire it. Today, though, we have no right and we expect everything. How then can you call yourselves devotees of Rama? We must follow the ideals of Rama.
If you are devotees of Sai, what are the ideals of Sai? Share Love, be united, consider all to be the children of God. Foster the brotherhood of man and fatherhood of God. When we accept and obey these, we can call ourselves devotees of Sai.
Let anyone say anything; do not hate anybody. Believe that everything happens for one's own good. Don't hate anyone. Do not accuse or criticize anyone. Do not hurt anyone. Lead such a life. After a while, even they will know and appreciate you. The more you are criticized, the happier you should be.
Happiness will come in the same measure as your Love for God. The less you love God, the less your happiness. If you want immeasurable happiness, love God without measure. So lead your life in Love and give it up in Love.
[Swami concluded by singing Prema muditha manasa kaho, Rama Rama Ram]