Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Divine Discourse
Vijayadasami, Prasanthi Nilayam, 21 October 2007
Today is the festival of Vijayadasami. All people celebrate this festival with great joy and enthusiasm. However, for some people this day brought sorrow, for, it was on this day that Sai cast off His ‘old body’. The human bodies are, of course, merely material. Once a long-time devotee Lakshmibai approached Baba. Baba gave her two gold coins and told her, “Lakshmi, keep these two coins with you. Preserve them carefully.” The date of Baba’s departure from this mortal world was imprinted on the two coins. (Swami at this point created two gold coins with His Divine hands). Showing them to the devotees sitting in the Sai Kulwant Hall), Swami said, “Look, here are those two coins.” The two gold coins gifted by Shirdi Baba to Lakshmibai represent Sathya (Truth) and Dharma (Righteousness) that help the spiritual progress of human beings. Swami frequently exhorts the devotees, “Lead your life’s journey with the help of human values. Let your daily life be suffused with Sathya (truth), Dharma (righteousness), Santhi (peace) and Prema (love). Truth is atma. Dharma is the duty that we have to perform. Hence, discharge your dharma with truth. These two are in fact the sadhanas you have to undertake. These two only will protect you in every way. They alleviate all sorrows and difficulties. No human being, during the course of his or her life’s sojourn in this physical world, should give up Sathya and Dharma (truth and righteousness). Truth has to be experienced in one’s heart, while righteousness has to be reflected in one’s deeds. These two are enough. No other sadhanas are required. The names Rama, Krishna, Govinda or Narayana are only names ascribed to God; but Divinity has no particular name or form. Truth comes first and righteousness next. If righteousness follows truth, all sorrows and difficulties will be removed. There are millions of people living in this world. But, the Divinity present in all is only one. This has been described in the Gita as Mamaivamsho jivaloke jivabhuta sanathana (the eternal atma in all beings is a part of My Being). There may be any number of people, but they represent only the number. Only one Divinity is present in all of them. And, that Divinity is the only truth. You may call Divinity by any name – Rama, Krishna, Govinda, Allah or Jesus – but God is one and only one. Hence, realise the oneness of Divinity; contemplate on that truth; consider that truth as God and spread that truth to one and all. What we are expected to do is not giving alms or charity. Whatever activity we undertake, it must be suffused with truth. When people follow such a path, all will be happy. The entire universe represents only one truth. But, people express it in different ways. Ekam sath viprah bahudha vadanti (truth is one, but the wise refer to it by various names). Truth alone is permanent in this world; all other things are ephemeral like the passing clouds. Names and forms are not permanent. Truth alone is permanent. It is the changeless principle. Keeping such an eternal truth in your heart, whatever you do becomes Dharma.
Do not give undue importance to the body
I must tell you one thing in this context. There are many youths in this assembly. They should not take it amiss. In the name of modernism, many youths are taking to perverted ways of living these days. This permissiveness is not limited to a particular country or society. It has become a global phenomenon, irrespective of caste, community, religion or country. Right from the primary school children to boys studying in graduate and post-graduate courses are afflicted with this mental aberration.
Love is God. Whatever activity you undertake with love, it becomes a success. Unfortunately, today, the term ‘Love’ is highly misused and misplaced and often misunderstood as relating to the body. No, this is not true love. It is fleeting and ceases with the bodily relationship. True love is heart to heart. It is changeless.
The body is made up of five elements and is bound to perish sooner or later, but the indweller has neither birth nor death. The indweller has no attachment whatsoever and is the eternal witness. (Telugu poem)
The body is not permanent. Hence, do not give importance to the deha (physical body). The dehi (Indweller) is important. He alone is the embodiment of Truth. It is a serious mistake to ignore such an indweller. When you repose confidence in the Indweller and rely upon Him, He by himself will look after everything. We should never forget the dehi (Indweller), who is niramaya (free from all ailments).
When Shirdi Baba left His physical body, it was Vijayadasami day. During His last moments Baba told the people around Him, “Do not rely upon this physical body. It will fade away and whither out in a few minutes. Why do you treat such an ephemeral body as Truth? None should shed tears on this occasion. This is but natural in the case of physical body. Enjoy this physical body as long as it is alive. Thereafter, treat the passing away of this body as a dream.” The physical body will retain its shape for a short period after death. Hence, people around the body of Baba kept it as it is for sometime, with the hope that Baba might come back to life as it happened on an earlier occasion. Meanwhile, one of the devotees, Abdullah, came there and reminded them, “We are forgetting all that Baba had told us. Baba’s word is Truth. We have to follow it. Accordingly, we have to perform His obsequies, which is our duty.” Thus, all the devotees discussed among themselves what was needed to be done and came to a conclusion. They shifted the body to the Wada (a stone structure built by a devotee called Booty) and buried (Samadhi) it there. Thus, the bodies are impermanent however long a person might live. The physical body is subject to certain limits. This body as well as all other bodies are bound by certain limits.
Each body has its own limit. None can cross that limit. As the days progress, the limit approaches fast.
Embodiments of Love!
Please, therefore, treat love as your foremost concern. Establish Truth in your heart firmly. Whatever activity you undertake, do it with dharma (righteousness). It is truth that sustains dharma and dharma in turn will protect truth. It is for this reason that Lakshmibai kept with her the two gold coins given to her by Baba. She felt, “These coins are given to me by Baba. These are gold coins. These coins are very valuable; more valuable than diamonds. There can be nothing greater than these coins. I do not need anything else. These two coins represent Sathya (truth) and Dharma (righteousness).”
Truth is your very breath
Truth and righteousness alone protect the world. We are undertaking several types of sadhanas in order that the world is protected. But, they are all pompous sadhanas only! You must install these two values in the heart and follow them at all times, day in and day out. Presently, you are just chanting these words by mouth. This is not enough. When you practise these values with all the sincerity at your command, you will achieve the desired results. There is no use repeating these words like a parrot. Even record player does such an exercise. One has to develop conviction in these values with all sincerity. Only then will they be imprinted in your heart forever. They always remain in you, with you. You have to put forth efforts to achieve such type of sadhana.
One day the daughter of Lakshmibai approached her and requested, “Mother, please hand over to me those two coins which Baba had given you sometime back.” But Lakshmibai refused, saying, “No, I cannot pass on these coins to you. They have to reach the same Person who gave them to me and none else. I have no authority to deliver them to you. They will reach Baba, the embodiment of Truth and Dharma.”
Stick to truth and righteousness always
You may chant any number of names; any number of mantras; you may perform any number of yajnas and yagas. But, what ultimately remain are sathya and dharma. Follow these two. You are not separate from Me. You are all My amsas! (parts), as declared in the Bhagavad Gita. Sathya and Dharma are following you since several births. Today, you are undertaking several sadhanas. In the end, they are all going waste. You chant the Ramanama saying, “Ram, Ram, Ram.” The japamala in your hand is rotating, but your mind is not turning towards Rama. It is only when your mind is fixed on the name you chant, your japa becomes fruitful. Whatever activity you undertake, let it be truthful. Adhere to Truth always and under all circumstances. In fact, Truth is your very life principle. It is your swasa (life breath). Devoid of truth and righteousness, any number of discourses, Upanishads, Gita chanting, reading of spiritual texts, etc., will become a futile exercise. They may be useful for passing your time. Such exercises cannot sanctify your life. Truth and righteousness are the two most important sadhanas that will liberate you from this mundane world. You should always remember that you are an amsa of God. You should realise your relationship with God. This is the only relationship that will last forever; you may belong to any country or religion. But do not entertain any differences on that basis. All religions teach the same truth and will lead to the same God. Not a single religion (Matham) is bad, provided your mathi (intellect) is good. Hence, you have to keep your intellect in good condition. You have to understand religion in its proper perspective. Your mind may be changing constantly, but the matham (religion) does not change. Hence, do not give scope for doubt in every aspect. Do not entertain any doubts. Keep only one thing in mind – truth and love. Truth is atma. What is the meaning of the word ‘Myself?’ It means atma. Follow your atma. That is your dharma. If you do this, you will not encounter any calamity. Everything will merge into this divine atma. Realise the Truth. Then your life will be sanctified.
Embodiments of Love!
May you all hold on to the two principles of Sathya (Truth) and Dharma (righteousness). Dharma does not mean charity. You have to follow the dictates of your conscience, which is based upon truth and righteousness. You are all embodiments of Truth! You are all embodiments of Sathya Sai! Remember this truth and march forward in your life’s journey. Often times you worry, “Swami did not talk even once during these Dasara days.” Today is Vijayadasami day. It was the day when Sai shed the old body. Today, Sai who has donned a new body is narrating to you incidents that happened while He was in the old body.
You should not join the bad company of friends. If you do so, you will also become bad. You must always move in good company. What is meant by good company? sathya and dharma. Hence, you should always move in the company of truth and righteousness.
If you hold on to these two values steadfastly, your life will go on happily and smoothly.
Very soon, the entire country will become one, shedding once for all, all divisive tendencies. In fact, the whole world will become one; shedding the differences of nation, religion, caste, etc., and all the people will experience Divinity. All people will move like brothers and sisters. You address each other as ‘brother’ and ‘sister’. You say ‘hello’ to one another. But, of what use it is if there is hollowness inside. You should always greet each other with a pleasant smile on your face. You should never exhibit your feelings with a wild laugh saying, ‘Ahaha …’ You should put on a sweet and soft smile on your face. That is the real laughter. If you make a loud noise while smiling, it amounts to insulting others. You are very fortunate to be here. I have explained the real meaning of the two gold coins gifted by Shirdi Sai Baba to Lakshmibai. Several people tried their best to snatch those coins from her. But, she did not oblige anyone. She returned them to Baba saying, “These coins belong to You. I am giving them back to You. Neither my children nor anyone else has anything to do with them.” The children are born. The relationship between a husband and wife comes only after marriage. If there is no bond of marriage, neither is there a wife nor a husband. If the husband and wife are not there, there is no scope at all for the child to be born. Thus, no one is related to the other. Each one is for himself or herself only! That is the message conveyed in the famous “Bhaja Govindam” song composed by Adi Sankara.