Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Divine Discourse
Ugadi, Prasanthi Nilayam, 9 April 2005
The creation emerges from truth and merges into truth,
Is there a place in the cosmos where truth does not exist?
Ponder this pure and unsullied truth with wonder and joy.
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. The indweller in the form of the Atma is verily God Himself. (Telugu poem)
The melodious songs and bhajans of the devotees from Hyderabad this morning was a joy for the ears and feast for the heart.
Divine love is the most precious thing in this world. No amount of extolling its virtues will exhaust its greatness as no living thing of this world can be devoid of the influence of love. Saint Thyagaraja sang:
“From an ant to the Brahman, in Siva or in Kesava, You do indwell in pure unsullied form of love, Oh! Rama, please be my protector too.” (Telugu poem)
What is the form of an ant and what is the form of Brahman? Brahman is infinite. On the other hand, ant is a tiny creature. From the physical point of view, there can be no comparison between the form of an ant and the form of Brahman. But from the spiritual point of view, Divinity is immanent in both.
Humanness shines when selfishness is given up
A hungry bear once went to an anthill and pleaded with an ant saying, “I am unable to bear the pangs of hunger. Please give me some food.” The ant could not control its laughter. It said, “How can a tiny creature like me alone provide food for you? I don’t have sufficient food to satisfy your hunger, wait, let me see what can be done.” It is natural for ants to store food for six months in their anthills. It went inside and with the help of its fellows brought out some of the food that had been stored. The bear wondered, “How could a tiny creature like an ant store so much food?” If one has the will and puts in the necessary effort, one can amass anything; it does not matter whether one is big or small. It is said, Jantunam nara janma durlabham (out of all living beings, human birth is the rarest). Ants, though tiny in form, are able to acquire food, share it with friends and also store for future. But, modern man, in spite of being endowed with intelligence, is frequently unable to earn his food even for a single day. Is it not a matter of shame? In this world, there is nothing superior to the human intelligence. But they are unable to make proper use of their intelligence. They conduct themselves in an unworthy manner because of their selfishness and self-interest. Humans do not lack anything in their life. There is everything at their disposal. They lack the discrimination to make proper use of the resources available. They are not able to give up their petty nature and rise to a higher level. There is a lesson to be learnt even from ants. When an ant bites one’s leg, one feels the irritation and immediately tries to kill it. But they are not making efforts to kill the evil qualities within themselves which are making their lives miserable.
Embodiments of Love!
In this vast world, no matter where you look, you cannot find any motive power more powerful and valuable than love. Deep-rooted selfishness and self-interest are making man’s intelligence perverted and leading him astray. When you give up selfishness, humanness will blossom in you and your latent powers will manifest. Your power of intelligence will become manifold.
Attain divinity by serving society
Embodiments of Love!
Nowadays students are reading a wide variety of books. But there is little use in studying a pustaka (book), if the mastaka (head) is filled with rubbish. Students are filling their heads with useless information and in the process are misusing their energy. There is no point in going through a number of textbooks over and over again. They cannot save you from the cycle of birth and death. You should acquire such knowledge, which will make you immortal. Present day students have become proficient in bookish knowledge. They have the intelligence to answer any question from the textbook. But they are not making efforts to translate their bookish knowledge into practical knowledge.
One may acquire a high academic qualification such as M.A. and B.A. and attain exalted position,
One may amass wealth, perform acts of charity and attain name and fame,
One may have physical strength and enjoy a long and healthy life,
One may be a great scholar studying and preaching the Vedas,
But none can equal a true devotee of the Lord.
The knowledge one acquires should be utilized for the benefit of society. We should utilize our wealth and knowledge not for selfish purposes, but for the welfare of others. God has given you the human body not merely to eat, sleep and enjoy worldly pleasures. Paropakarartham idam sariram (human body is meant to do good to others). The body is given to you so that you make proper use of your intelligence and power of discrimination and manifest your innate human values. Of what use is your education and intelligence if society is not benefited by them? Presently man is making new discoveries and inventions but till this day he has not really understood the purpose of human birth. What is the meaning of the word manava (human being)? ‘Ma’ means ajnana (ignorance), ‘Na’ means without, ‘Va’ means Varthinchuta (vrittih yasya sah - to conduct oneself). Hence, manava is one who conducts himself without ignorance. But these days we hardly find anyone leading a life of wisdom in consonance with the name manava. In spite of being endowed with a high degree of intelligence, man is frittering away his life in vain pursuits. Before undertaking any task, enquire whether it would befit the title of a human being. Accept everything as the Will of God. God has blessed man with intelligence, knowledge and wealth so that he will work for the welfare of others. But, man is acting contrary to God’s wish and thereby ruining himself. Animals like bulls and buffaloes render service to man in a number of ways. But man lacks the spirit of service that even animals possess. Without understanding the purpose of human birth, man is developing demonic qualities and leading a miserable life. Vyashti (individual) signifies humanness and Samashti (society) symbolises divinity. Hence, one can attain divinity only by serving society.
Embodiments of Love!
You may be highly educated and intelligent, yet there is so much you can learn from ants, birds and animals. These lessons of life cannot be taught in the classroom. Even teachers are not making efforts to understand the principle of divinity within. Education is not meant to merely eke out a livelihood. You have to share your knowledge with others, give joy to one and all and thereby rise to the level of the Divine. Samatwa (equal-mindedness) is the hallmark of a true human being. Manavatwa without samatwa cannot attain divyatwa (divinity). Hence, develop samatwa in the first instance. Divine power is latent in every human being. But man is becoming weak as he is unable to realize his latent divine power. In order to manifest the divine power, one should cultivate sacred feelings. Manavatwa has not come into existence in the recent past, it has been there since ages. Human being is born from the womb of the mother, but humanness has originated from divinity and has been present at all times. There is divinity in every human being. As he is unable to recognize his innate divinity, man is forgetting his very human nature itself. What is the use of being human only in form but not in practice? Human birth will find fulfilment only when we practice human qualities. All the sacred texts such as Upanishads and Sastras are meant to show mankind the path of redemption. Man should manifest his latent divinity by following their teachings. The sacred texts will bring out the hidden treasures of divinity from within. That is why Bhagawan has introduced Educare programme in the educational institutions. Education is related to worldly knowledge. It can be acquired by going through books, whereas educare is meant to externalize the latent divinity in man. Education has temporary benefits, whereas educare bestows everlasting happiness. One cannot become great by mere acquisition of education. One should practice educare and manifest the latent values.
Strive for transformation
Embodiments of Love!
Educare is the need of the hour. Only through educare can you realize divinity which is present in every atom and every cell of your body. In fact, you are seeing divinity every moment but are unable to recognize this truth. You can call yourself educated only when you recognize divinity which is all-pervasive. Secular knowledge is related to education which can be acquired from outside. It is mere bookish knowledge, whereas educare cannot be acquired from books. No benefit accrues by gathering information from books. What is required is transformation and it is possible only through educare. Acquisition of information which cannot lead to transformation is a mere waste of time. But man has developed a taste for such information which is but a waste. Man’s intelligence, knowledge and power are all the gifts of God. They have to be nourished and made proper use of, through educare. Truly, God has endowed man with immense potential. That is love. It is beyond all description and measure. There is no greater power than this. But man is giving up such power without realizing its value. He is under the mistaken notion that love means physical and worldly relationship. True love lies in unification of two hearts. People utter this word repeatedly without actually knowing its meaning. Love does not hurt anybody. It always helps. Hence, consider love as your true wealth. There is no property greater than love in this world. You are misusing the God-given gift of love by diverting it on worldly matters and sensual pleasures. Your foremost duty is to make proper use of love by following the dictum, Help Ever, Hurt Never. There is no greater Dharma than this.
Embodiments of Love!
Love is your only true and eternal property. But, you are diverting it on mean and worldly pursuits. It should be treasured in your heart and utilized for sacred purposes. You may share it with any number of people, it will never diminish. You are unable to understand and experience love in its true spirit. Love is the life-breath of every being. In order to understand love, you have to dive deep into the ocean of love. Love cannot be understood from a superficial level, you have to immerse yourself completely in love. Worldly love is such that you can just taste it and give it up, but once you taste divine love, you will never give it up. Love is God, God is love. Hence, you cannot separate love from God. Live in love. That is the only way you can understand love and experience God.
Embodiments of Love!
It may be easy to give lectures on love, but it is diffi cult to understand it. Make every effort to experience love. If you understand the nature of your love, you will under stand the love of others. Love is in you, with you and around you. Once you understand love, you will become the very embodiment of love.
The more you understand the principle of love, the nobler you will become. Once you understand the principle of love and put it into practice, others will also try to emulate you.
Unsullied fraternal love is the core of Ramayana
In the epic Ramayana, not only the four brothers, Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata, Satrughna, but also their wives played important roles. They demonstrated great ideals to the world. People extol only Rama and ignore the model conduct of the others. In fact, each of them was as great as Rama Himself. You might have heard of Sumitra, the mother of Lakshmana and Satrughna. People do not attach much importance to her role in the Ramayana. In fact, her name does not figure prominently in the epic. She was a paragon of virtues. Her name Sumitra itself signifies that she was a good friend to one and all. She shared her happiness with everyone. Kausalya and Kaikeyi had one son each, whereas Sumitra had two sons.
When we enquire into the reason, we can understand the mystery behind it. When Dasaratha performed the Putrakameshti Yaga, the Yajna Purusha appeared and handed over the vessel of sacred pudding to Vasishtha. Vasishtha gave the sacred pudding to Dasaratha who in turn distributed it equally between his three wives. Kausalya and Kaikeyi took their share of the pudding to their respective puja rooms. Each of them was happy thinking that her son would be the heir apparent to Ayodhya’s throne. But Sumitra had no such thoughts. She carried her bowl of pudding to the terrace and placed it on the parapet wall while drying her hair in the sun. Suddenly, an eagle swooped down and carried away the bowl of sacred pudding. She immediately ran down and informed Kausalya and Kaikeyi about what had happened. Kausalya and Kaikeyi came to the rescue of Sumitra and shared their sacred pudding with her.
Kaikeyi gave half of her share to Sumitra. Kausalya did the same. In due course, Kausalya gave birth to Rama, Kaikeyi to Bharata, and Sumitra to Lakshmana and Satrughna. The sons of Kausalya and Kaikeyi were happily playing in their cradles whereas Sumitra’s sons were crying all the time, day and night, without even taking food. Sumitra went to sage Vasishtha and told him about her predicament. Sage Vasishtha closed his eyes. His yogic vision enabled him to know the truth. He said to Sumitra,” As you partook of the sacred pudding given by Kausalya, you gave birth to Lakshmana who is an amsa (part) of Rama. Similarly, Satrughna is born out of the share of pudding given to you by Kaikeyi. So, he is a part of Bharata. Put Lakshmana by the side of Rama and Satrughna by the side of Bharata. Then they will rest peacefully.” Sumitra did as instructed by Vasishtha. The children became peaceful and stopped crying. Sumitra felt very happy at this and said to Kausalya and Kaikeyi, “Lakshmana and Satrughna are your gifts. My children will serve your children. Lakshmana will serve Rama and Satrughna will serve Bharata. It is my good fortune that my sons will serve their brothers.” This was the basis of the intimate relationship between Rama and Lakshmana, Bharata and Satrughna.
Sumitra used to experience ineffable bliss, since her two sons Lakshmana and Satrughna were always in the company of Rama and Bharata. She was never depressed by the separation of her children. No one knows why certain things happen and for what purpose. As the four sons of King Dasaratha were growing Lakshmana always used to accompany Rama and Satrughna would accompany Bharata. Both Lakshmana and Satrughna were mighty warriors. Without them, there could be no Ramayana at all! Lakshmana was born to serve Rama and Satrughna was born to serve Bharata. Lakshmana was the embodiment of Love. Similarly, Satrughna used to serve Bharata with all the power at his command. Thus, the four brothers Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Satrughna were inseparable. Hence, it is not correct to say that Rama was born to Kausalya, Bharata to Kaikeyi and Lakshmana and Satrughna to Sumitra. Though their mothers were different, they always used to move about in the company of one another. The four brothers Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Satrughna were parts of the same substance and facets of the same Divinity. Similarly, their mothers Kausalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi used to move always in the company of one another. There was no discord between them. The unity between the four brothers was in fact the sum and substance of the story of Ramayana. None can describe in full the glory of Ramayana. Each one attempted to describe the glory of Ramayana in his own unique style. With the result, a number of literary works on Ramayana have become available today. The human nature is not limited to the mere form. It consists of the body, mind, intellect, senses and, above all, the heart the seat of love. The Ramayana is a great story of intense interaction between these five aspects of human nature. It is not possible for anyone to fully describe the interplay of these factors in Ramayana, however much one may strive.
Once, Kausalya was engaged in some work. Meanwhile, Bharata came running and sat on the lap of Kausalya and started crying. Kausalya was a bit surprised about the reason for Bharata’s agony. She tried to console him and enquired as to what made him cry. Bharata replied that they were playing a ball game and each time Rama was purposely getting defeated in order to ensure the victory of other brothers. Thus, the unity, love and affection between the brothers were such that they always tried to please others. They used to experience supreme bliss in the company of one another. It was only Lakshmana who could understand fully the nature of Rama and it is only Satrughna who could understand fully the nature of Bharata.
The women in Ramayana were also exemplary in nature. When Rama was going to the forest to fulfil the wishes and command of his father, King Dasaratha, Sumitra asked Lakshmana to accompany Rama. Immediately, Lakshmana followed him. He experienced great joy in accompanying his elder brother Rama to the forest. Similarly, Satrughna also experienced great joy in the company of Bharata and accompanied him wherever he went. What does the name ‘Satrughna’ imply? It means the one who destroys the enemies. Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Satrughna were ideal brothers. It is not enough to merely extol their ideals, but we must also try to experience that great bond of love in our day-to-day lives and share it with others. The great epic Ramayana is not a mere story. It also explains and expounds the Atma Tattwa. One has to experience that Atma Tattwa with reaction, reflection and resound. The Ramayana Tattwa has to be understood properly and translated into our day-to-day lives.
Ramayana is more a story of human relationships
Embodiments of Love!
The Ramayana cannot be compared with other Puranic texts. It is not merely a great poetic work, but a great treatise on human relationships between parents and children, between brothers, husband and wife and the king and his subjects. It is only when we are able to understand the significance of Ramayana in this larger context, that the country will prosper with love and affection between the citizens. In a few years’ time, nay, very shortly, the whole world will realize the greatness of Ramayana and try to emulate the ideals set in Ramayana. Today, we find a wide variety of nations, religions and castes in the world. No. No. The situation will certainly change. Within a short span of time, the world will realise the truth:
There is only one religion, the Religion of Love.
There is only one caste, the Caste of Humanity.
There is only one God, He is Omnipresent.
The greatest truth propounded by Ramayana is the oneness among humanity. When there is such unity, there will be mutual love between people. When that mutual love between different people develops, the whole world can experience great joy and happiness. Thus, it is only Ramayana that can provide great joy to the entire humanity. Hence, let every individual chant the Divine Name “Rama! Rama! Rama!”
Urmila, the wife of Lakshmana was a good painter. She was painting a picture to be presented to Sri Rama on the occasion of His coronation. Exactly at that moment, Lakshmana entered her room. She wanted to get up and look who was the visitor. In the confusion, the paint got spilled over the unfinished painting. She felt very bad. “How come this painting got spoiled when actually I wanted to portray the beauty and majesty of Sri Rama on the occasion of His coronation and show it to the world”, she thought.
Urmila had a very compassionate heart. She always entertained noble thoughts. She did not feel sad even for a moment when her husband Lakshmana accompanied Rama to the forest. She was always contemplating on Sri Rama during His exile to the forest. Not only she, the wives of Bharata and Satrughna, (Mandavi and Srutakeerthi) were also engaged in constant contemplation of Sri Rama and praying for His return to Ayodhya. Thus, when they were in constant contemplation of Rama, their strength increased day by day. If you analyze the underlying meaning of every incident in the Ramayana, all of them point to only one principle the principle of unity; unity between the brothers, unity between their wives, etc. Even in times of calamity like when Lakshmana fell unconscious during the war with the rakshasas (demons) in Lanka, Rama did not lose heart; nor Sumitra, the mother of Lakshmana. She was always confident that no danger would ever befall Lakshmana, since he was in the service of Lord Rama. Thus, during the entire period of 14 years of Rama’s exile to the forest, all the brothers and their wives were always thinking and wishing for the well-being of Rama only; so, were their mothers. Such was the nobility of their hearts.
Embodiments of Love!
Any amount of narration of the greatness and nobility of the characters in the Ramayana will not suffice and do justice to the cause. The story of Ramayana cannot be fully described since it is “His Story”.
The stories of Lord Vishnu are amazing,
They purify the lives of the people in all the three worlds,
They are like the sickles that cut the creepers of worldly bondage,
They are like good friends who help you in times of need,
They are like shelters for the sages and seers doing penance in the forest.
It is therefore, very essential for every human being to emulate the ideals set by Lord Sri Rama in their day-to-day lives.
(Bhagawan concluded His discourse with the bhajan, “Rama Rama Rama Sita “.)