Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Divine Discourse
Easwaramma Day, Brindavan (Whitefield), 6 May 2006
When man emerges from the womb of his mother, one does not find any garland around 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. But there is one garland around his neck. Brahma strings together the consequences of his past deeds into a heavy garland and puts it around his neck at the time of his birth. (Telugu poem)
Embodiments of Love!
What we have to understand today is that we are born with a garland of karma around our neck. Brahma strings together every single action of ours, be it good or bad, to make this heavy garland. Hence, before performing any action, we have to enquire whether it is good or bad.
Make sacred use of your senses
There is always a reward for our good deeds, whether we aspire for it or not. Likewise, we cannot escape from the dangerous consequences arising out of our seeing, thinking, hearing, talking and doing all that is bad.
Do you know the purpose for which
The eyes are given to you?
Is it to look at anything and everything
That you come across?
No, no, you are endowed with eyes
So that you may attain the vision of the
The Lord of Kailasa.
Do you know the purpose for which
The mind is given to you?
Is it to wander in the lanes and bylanes?
No, no, the mind is given to you
To experience bliss by contemplating on
The beautiful form and name of God.
In this manner, you have to enquire what is good and what is bad and act accordingly. No one can escape from the consequences of his actions. Everyone born in this world has to experience both good and bad. Some noble souls understand this truth, experience the bliss of treasuring in their mind all that is good and ignore all that is bad. Sometimes your vision is polluted by seeing bad things and bad people. In such a situation, you should at once exercise caution and remind yourself that eyes are given to you to have the vision of noble souls and not to look at all sorts of people around you. Some people indulge in evil talk and criticise others. It is the worst of sins to criticise others. Instead of criticising others, criticise your own evil qualities. How can you acquire merit when you criticise others? You will earn only sin.
The world has acquired the name prapancha as it is the manifestation of the panchabhutas (five elements). Man today is misusing them. He thinks it is quite natural for him to exploit them to his maximum advantage. But it is most unnatural and unsacred. It may seem to be good and natural for the time being but later on he will be faced with insurmountable difficulties. These five elements are present in every human being in the form of the senses of sabda, sparsha, rupa, rasa and gandha (sound, touch, form, taste and smell). Your life will be redeemed only when you make proper use of the five senses and the five elements. Never use your senses in an unsacred manner. Today people are interested in seeing wrong things. They are all ears when someone indulges in vain gossip and evil talk. Never lend your ears to evil talk and get carried away by it. God has blessed you with two eyes and two ears so that you may see His beautiful form and hear His sweet and sacred name. It is only when you adhere to these principles can you lead the life of a true human being. Human birth is highly sacred. Jantunam nara janma durlabham (out of all living beings, human birth is the rarest). It has been called rare and precious because you can perform sacred deeds in it. But, if you do not sanctify your five senses and make proper use of the five elements, your life as a human being becomes unsacred and meaningless. Of what use is such a life? It is, in fact, a living death. Hence, it is very essential for boys and girls as also for elders to follow the right path and make proper use of the five senses.
Human life is highly sacred. What is the meaning of the term manava (human being)? Ma – maya (delusion), na – without, va – varthinchuta (to conduct oneself). Hence, true humanness lies in transcending maya and following the righteous path. Man is not new to this world. He is ancient and has been here many times before. It is unfortunate that he is yet to understand the true significance of human life in spite of passing through a number of human births. He spends his entire life in eating, drinking, sleeping and enjoying worldly pleasures. Is this the purpose of life? Even the birds, beasts and animals do the same. Then, on what basis can man consider himself to be superior to animals? If you fight with your fellow beings and hurt them, then your behaviour is no better than that of wild animals. It cannot be called human behaviour. Do not hold others responsible for your suffering and point an accusing finger at them.
Students should follow noble ideals of Indian culture
Embodiments of Love!
When you are born from your mother’s womb, you are free from delusion. But as you grow up, you are overcome by delusion. Your desires also grow in number. You should exercise control over your desires. In fact, there should be a limit for everything in life. But man today is conducting himself without any restraint. World today has provided man with many modern means of comfort in life. No doubt, they have made his life easy and comfortable, but at the same time these very things are leading him on the unsacred and sinful path. You are aware that having a cell phone has become an obsession with modern youth. Even the government is encouraging the use of cell phone as it is considered to be the most convenient way of communication. But no one is enquiring into the negative impact it has on the students. Once you have a cell phone, you can talk to anyone, anything, anywhere and at any time. When youth are given such freedom, they are bound to misuse it and ruin themselves. Even innocent youth are lured on the wrong path by the use of cell phones. If you do not put the students on the right path and do not inculcate virtues in them, these gadgets and means of comfort will certainly spoil their minds, and they will commit grave mistakes. It will take quite some time for them to rectify their mistakes and walk on the Godward path.
Modern students are highly intelligent. Their intelligence should be properly channelised. They should be made aware of what is important for them in life. That is the type of education we have to give them. But, due to the impact of western culture, students are being given such education that has no relevance to their life. Under the influence of western culture, they are developing limitless desires, unnecessary relationships and are crossing the limits of propriety. Indian culture is highly sacred and noble. It has demonstrated high ideals for the rest of the world to emulate. Unfortunately, the Bharatiyas have forgotten their own culture and have become slaves to western culture. The difference that should be observed between men and women with regard to their conduct is totally forgotten. The history of Bharat is replete with examples of women who have demonstrated great ideals. Since time immemorial, the culture of Bharat has stood as a beacon light, showing the path of redemption to the people of the world. But these days, leaders themselves are unaware of our glorious culture. Bharat is the birthplace of men and women of great virtues who made great sacrifices to uphold this ancient culture. This is the land ruled by the noble king Harishchandra who considered truth as his very life-breath. This is the land that gave birth to Sita who proved her chastity by coming out of blazing fire unscathed. People today have forgotten the ideals as exemplified by noble and virtuous women like Droupadi, Savitri and Damayanti who proved that women were in no way inferior to men in terms of courage, determination and power. Hence, one should never look down upon women. They are endowed with infinite divine power.
Forbearance is the real beauty,
In this Sacred land of Bharat.
The nectarous feeling in this country,
Is the feeling of Love towards one’s mother.
There is no love greater than mother’s love in this world. It is imbued with immense power. But such a sacred principle of mother’s love is being neglected today. Mothers are being treated like servants. When parents grow old, they should be looked after with love and care. Instead they are being sent to old age homes. One who ill-treats his parents is bound to suffer a similar fate at the hands of his children. Yad bhavam tad bhavati (as is the feeling, so is the result). Whatever actions you do, they will come back to you as reaction, reflection and resound. Love your mother. Then you will be loved by all. As is the seed, so is the sapling. Hence, first and foremost, develop sacred and selfless love. When people share their love with each other, the whole world will be replete with love. But do not taint your love by selfishness and self-interest.
Love is the foremost quality of a human being
Everything in this world is subject to change except truth. There is none in this world who can change truth. Humanness is sustained by the twin principles of love and truth. Both are essential for humanness to blossom. People have to open their eyes and recognise this fact. But they have become narrow-minded today. They should develop broad-mindedness and strive for the welfare of society and the nation at large. Bulbs may vary in size and shape but the electric current passing through them is one and the same. The physical bodies are like bulbs and the atmic power is the current that illumines them. Here you find a number of bulbs illuminating this place. When you put off the main switch, the light goes out from all the bulbs. Likewise, when the divine principle is withdrawn, all beings will become lifeless. The same truth is declared by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita: Mamaivamsho jivaloke jivabhuta sanathana (the eternal atma in all beings is a part of My Being). The same divine spark is present in all. When God says that you are a part of His Being, should you not cultivate divine qualities? Should you not behave like a divine being? Everyone born in this world is an aspect of divinity. Considering each being as divine, offer your salutations to him. There is nothing wrong in doing so. If you want to be respected by others, first of all you should respect them. You should love everyone. Only then will your life become a shining example for others to emulate.
Human life is highly sacred. The principle of love immanent in man is infinite. None can describe the power of love. It is impossible. But worldly love has limitations. It diminishes with the passage of time. Take, for instance, the case of a newly married couple. In the first week of the marriage, the husband cannot bear separation from his wife even for a moment. If the husband happens to notice a thorn on the way, he at once pulls her aside with great anxiety, lest the thorn should prick her foot. A month after the marriage, he merely cautions his wife if he notices a thorn. Six months after the marriage, if a similar situation arises, he shouts at his wife, “Don’t you have eyes? Can’t you see the thorn?” Worldly love undergoes change in this manner. Due to the influence of modern times, the situation has become such that married couples resort even to divorce. But in olden days, people were not so fickleminded. Their love for each other was steady right from the beginning till the end.
Steady and changeless love is true atmaprema (divine love). Worldly love is only dehaprema (physical love). It is tainted by desires and body attachment. Love with desires is like a passing cloud. Divine love alone is eternal. Why do you give up such an eternal love and crave for physical and momentary love? Even the elders and parents are not able to guide the children on the right path. In fact, the elders themselves are under the influence of modern times more than the youngsters. The elders cannot set ideals to the youth and the youth do not strive for transformation. The Vedas say: Matru devo bhava, Pitru devo bhava, Acharya Devo bhava, Atithi devo bhava (revere your mother, father, preceptor and guest as God). But these days we do not find such respect and love among children towards their parents. In this way, they are losing their humanness even. Man is endowed with a pure intellect and a sense of discrimination. One who makes proper use of his intellect is a true human being. It is a sign of foolishness to be carried away by the tide of time in the name of modernism.
When there is transformation at the individual level, only then there can be transformation at the national level. The progress of a nation depends on the character of her men and women. But these days, the Bharatiyas have forgotten humanness and are trying to imitate the western culture. It is not the right thing to do. You have a culture of your own and they have theirs. Do not imitate the culture of others. Adhere to your culture and traditions. Do not change your culture to suit your whims and fancies.
Embodiments of Divine Atma! Embodiments of Love!
Love is the true human quality. Consider love as your very life-breath. One without love is no better than one without life. Considering love as the basis of your life, follow the path of truth. Then you will not only find fulfilment in life, you will also attain purity and ultimately divinity. Wherever you are, whatever may be the situation, never deviate from the path of love and truth. Do not try to distort truth in order to fulfil your desires. When you say, “I want this”, you give expression to your compulsive desire. You will have satisfaction in life if you accept whatever Nature has to offer you. On the other hand, if you transgress the laws of Nature to fulfil your desires, you will ruin yourself. Leave aside your likes and dislikes.
Fulfil noble desires of your mother
You are born from your mother’s womb. Hence, you should express your gratitude to her and bring her a good name. In a village, near the city of Kolkata, there lived a noble soul by name Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar with his mother. They were very poor. His mother used to do odd jobs to earn a meagre income. They did not even have proper food to eat. She would prepare one roti (bread), give half of it to her son, and she would eat the other half. Sometimes, she would starve giving to her son whatever little food she prepared. Vidyasagar used to study under streetlights at night as they could not afford to have even a lamp in their house. He worked hard day and night and passed his examinations. In the beginning, he secured a small job and the salary he earned was sufficient for both of them to lead a comfortable life. One day, his mother was going to a fair. Vidyasagar felt sorry to see her wearing an old Sari. He told her, “Mother, today being a festival day, all are wearing new clothes. Why don’t you also wear a new Sari?” He went to the bazaar and bought a white sari and requested his mother to wear it. But she told him, “Son! I have three desires. I will wear this new sari only after they are fulfilled.”
Gradually, Vidyasagar earned a promotion in his job and his salary also increased. One day, he approached his mother and requested her to express her desires. She said, “Son, the children of our village are going to the neighbouring town to attend school. I am pained to see children walking such long distances carrying a heavy load of books. So, please construct a small school in our village.” Accordingly, Vidyasagar established a school in the village. He asked her, “Mother, are you happy now?” She said, “Son, I have two more desires. I feel pained to see the women of our village trekking long distances to fetch water. I will be happy if you can get a well dug in our village.” Vidyasagar immediately got a well dug and fulfilled his mother’s desire. After some time, she told him, “Son, you have provided water to the village and also established a school for children. But it is the lack of medical facilities in our village that is troubling my mind. Please build a small hospital here.” As per her wish, he constructed a small hospital. She was highly satisfied. It was only then that she wore the new white sari bought by her son.
Gradually, Vidyasagar’s name and fame spread far and wide. People used to gather in thousands to listen to his speeches. (Bhagawan here narrated the incident how Vidyasagar carried the suitcase of an I.C.S. officer to the place of his lecture, teaching a lesson of selfreliance and humility to the officer.)
Vidyasagar fulfilled all the three desires of his mother. Sathya Sai also fulfilled the wishes of His mother (loud applause). One day, I found mother Easwaramma in a rather pensive mood and asked her the reason. She said, “Swami, I am pained to see small children of our village walking all the way to Bukkapatnam to attend school. Please construct a small school in our village.” Fulfilling her wish, I established a small school in Puttaparthi. After some time, she said, “Swami, people of our village are very poor. They cannot pay for the medical expenses to doctors in Bukkapatnam, where they are forced to go even for a minor ailment. Therefore, please build a small hospital in our village.” Accordingly, I got a small hospital built. Her third wish was to provide drinking water to the village. She pointed out that the women had to undergo great hardship to get water from the Chitravathi river which had almost dried up. To fulfil her desire, I provided drinking water not only to Puttaparthi but to other surrounding villages also. The small school that I established is now a big university. The small hospital that I constructed has become a super speciality hospital.
Mother Easwaramma shed tears of joy when she saw that her desires had been fulfilled in a grand manner. She led a life of happiness and contentment and breathed her last peacefully. It is the foremost duty of children to fulfil the wishes of their mother and make her happy. Serve others to the extent possible. You need not take up any service activity beyond your means and capacity. If you find your neighbours suffering, give them solace. Help them to the extent possible and make them happy. This is what I expect you to learn today. On the occasion of Easwaramma Day, I exhort all of you to practise these three principles of service, experience bliss and share it with all.