Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Divine Discourse
Sri Sathya Sai Books And Publications Trust Office, Prasanthi Nilayam, 24 August 2007
All the former students who are working here are discharging their duties with steadfastness and devotion. It is because of their hard work that this Book Stall has made great progress. It is not enough if you merely bring out books; you should put into practice what is given in the books. You should understand and assimilate all the teachings that are contained in the books and practise them. Pustaka (book), mastaka (head) and hasta (hand) should be in harmony.
Reading without practicing is useless
What the world needs today is service. You should love everybody. Love All, Serve All.This is what you are supposed to do. Whatever work you may do, do it with the feeling that you are doing the work of God. There is no place in this world where God is not present. He is all-pervasive. Never doubt that God is here and not there. He is everywhere. God is in you, with you, above you, below you and around you. Whatever happens is only due to the Will of God, and not merely by your own efforts. (Bhagawan showing His handkerchief) Here you see a cloth. It may appear to be a cloth, but in reality it is not so; it is a bundle of threads. Further, the threads are made out of cotton. So, first cotton, next thread and then cloth. Similarly, you are not one person but three: the one you think you are, the one others think you are and the one you really are.
With regard to a book also, there are three persons involved in it: the one who writes it, the one who prints it and the one who reads it. Merely bringing out books is not important. It is more important that you should bring out good books which broaden the vision of the people in the wide world. We should not be narrowminded; we should develop broad feelings. We should publish books which are essential for everybody. Money is not important; morality is important. Money comes and goes, morality comes and grows. We should develop morality. Many books are written, many people read them, but it is all useless if nothing is put into practice. We should put into practice at least one principle given in the books we read. There may be many items of food in the plate, but our hunger is not satiated by merely repeating the names of those items. Take at least one item and eat it. A large number of books have been written on Swami. But, are you putting into practice even one principle contained in them? No. What is the use of reading books if you do not put anything into practice? If you read ten teachings in a book, put at least one of them into practice. Only then will you derive the necessary strength and capability from your reading.
Writers and publishers should have purity of heart
Our Rajan is putting in a lot of efforts to develop the Book Trust. He is doing much more than what is expected of a person of his age. Students are also cooperating, thereby creating a congenial environment which is conducive for the smooth functioning of the Trust. You may consider any workplace, good results are possible only through co-operation. What sort of co-operation is required? It should be a co-operation which is based on heart-to-heart relationship between each other. Not only that, you should know each other’s mind and develop perfect understanding.
All are one, be alike to everyone. All should work with unity. One may write the book, another may print it and yet another may sell it. But all should work in perfect harmony. When there is unity, there will be peace and harmony. How can you develop purity? Purity is not possible when there are negative feelings in your mind. First of all, there should be unity. Where there is unity, there will be purity. Where there is purity, divinity will manifest there. Therefore, first of all develop unity and purity. Then only can you attain divinity. Hence, you should all be united. What I see is not the pustaka (book) that you print; I see your mastaka (head). Rajan brings so many books and other publications to Me that are printed by the Trust. But these do not give Me any satisfaction. I see the purity of the heart of the person who has written the book. The taste of the food will be good if it is cooked in a clean vessel. Cleanliness of the vessel is very important. So is the purity of the heart. Therefore, make your heart pure and sacred.
Control your desires
Everything may change in the world, but the heart does not change. Here I am referring to the spiritual heart, not the physical heart. Spiritual heart signifies God. God has no specific form. He is referred to as atma which is present everywhere. But you cannot see it when it is clouded by your thoughts and desires. The moon is always present in the sky, but you will not be able to see it when it is covered by clouds. You cannot deny the presence of the moon just because it is covered by clouds. If you want to see the moon, you have to wait for some time. You will see it once the clouds move away. Chandrama manaso jataha chaksho suryo ajayata (the moon was born out of the mind and the sun out of the eyes of the Supreme Being). The atma is shining like moon in the sky of our heart. But sometimes, it is covered by the clouds of our thoughts and desires. In some seasons, you find thick clouds. When there are thick clouds, you are not able to see the moon. In the same manner, the atma is immanent in everyone. You are unable to see the atma because of the thick clouds of your thoughts and desires. So, you should control your desires. Less luggage more comfort makes travel a pleasure.
You can experience immense happiness if you reduce the luggage of your desires which overshadow your happiness. When you reduce your desires, everything will become good for you. This is referred to as vairagya (renunciation) in vedanta. What is meant by vairagya? It means reducing your desires. Do not go on increasing your desires day by day. As our body grows old, our life-span goes on decreasing with every passing day. Hence, it will be very beneficial for us if we reduce our desires. You can be always happy when you reduce your desires. You may read any number of books and listen to all kinds of sacred texts. But first and foremost, you have to reduce your desires. Only then can you derive benefit from them. Everyone has desires, but some are necessary and some are not. When we wake up in the morning, what is it that we do? We get up from the bed with a lot of desires.
Oh man! You struggle hard in life merely for the sake of filling your belly. You acquire myriad types of knowledge from various fields. Examine and enquire for yourself what great happiness have you achieved by spending all the time from dawn to dusk in acquiring worldly knowledge and earning wealth while forgetting God. (Telugu poem)
Develop steady devotion
Whatever you may do will be a mere waste if you forget God. Keep God as your highest goal. God is not present in a far off land. He is present everywhere. People may say anything, you may face any number of difficulties, but you should never forget God. Only when you have such pure, steady and unwavering devotion can you be called a true devotee. You cannot call yourself a devotee if you have wavering and unsteady devotion. Your devotion should be full and total like an ocean which is ever full and does not diminish at all. On the one hand, its water keeps evaporating and on the other, rivers keep pouring water into it with the result it always maintains its fullness. Make your heart like an ocean. Do not allow it to be disturbed by the waves of your desires. Any number of waves may arise, but the ocean maintains its pristine state. Hence, keep your heart always pure, steady and selfless.
Our Rajan is straining hard to bring about changes in the publication of books. He brought out many good books on 80th Birthday. Do your work without any expectation. Whatever you do, do it as an offering to God. Sarva karma bhagavad preetyartham (do all actions to please God). That is true devotion. Do not observe differences such as, “This is my work, that is Swami’s work and that work pertains to Mandir or public.” All work is God’s work. One who writes the book, one who prints it and one who reads it, all are one. Never entertain any feelings of difference. You can develop steady devotion only when you do not observe differences. Your devotion should always be steady. Devotion that is wavering is of no use. What happens when you have a wavering mind? Your entire life becomes unstable. Do not give room to unsteadiness of your mind. Desires and thoughts may arise. But we should use our power of discrimination to determine, “Is it good or bad? Is it right or wrong?” When you know that something is right, follow it; never leave it. Your discrimination is like a signal. Never ignore this signal. When your inner self tells you that something is right, you should follow it scrupulously, irrespective of what others say. Let people talk whatever they want, but we should remain steady in our mind. Greatness does not lie in bringing out books; understand the essence contained in them. Essence is of prime importance. There can be no book without matter. Similarly, there can be no matter without subject. What type of subjects should you select? You should select such subjects which are related to the heart. Ignoring those subjects will amount to ignoring the voice of the heart.
Writers should write good books which are beneficial for readers. We should not print substandard books which create debasing worldly desires in readers. What is the fate of such books? Nobody reads them. Eternal truths should form the subject of books, which get imprinted on the hearts of readers. We should perform actions without deviating from the path of Sathya (truth) and Dharma (righteousness). Sathya and Dharma are not different from each other. Sathyannasti paro Dharma (There is no Dharma greater than adherence to Truth). Sathya and Dharma are one and the same. Without Dharma, there cannot be Sathya and without Sathya, there cannot be Dharma. They are interdependent and are like mirror images of each other. We can achieve anything when we follow Sathya and Dharma. When we make Sathya and Dharma as our goal, we will certainly achieve the object of our life. Today it is not possible to explain this subject in detail due to time constraint. I wanted to tell you something related to publication of books only. What type of books should you publish? You should publish only good books. You have listened to many discourses and read many books. Treasure all that you have heard in your heart and try to put them into practice.