Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Divine Discourse
Eswaramma Day, Kodaikanal, 6 May 2005
When man is born out of his mother’s womb he has no garland of any kind around his neck. Neither of pearls, nor gold, nor a string of gems nor a necklace of topaz or of rubies or other precious gems can be seen even for a sample. There is, however, a garland around his neck, carrying the unbroken link of the effects of the good and bad deeds of his past lives strung together by Lord Brahma. (Telugu poem)
Embodiments of Love!
The love of the mother is nobler and supreme than the love of all the friends and relatives in the world. The power of love the mother is unparalleled. That is why we are calling the native country as Motherland. The country of Bharath is like our mother.
In this sacred land of ours, several types of energy have been developing since ancient times. Great and holy men like Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Vivekananda could acquire great spiritual power only due to the strength of their mothers’ blessings. The sacredness of a mother’s heart and the strength of her blessings are unparalleled. But, unfortunately people are unable to understand properly the love of a mother, not only in our country but in every country.
Revere your mother first
It is a great sin to ignore the mother endowed with such a divine power. It is only to remind the people of the nobility and sacredness of the mother that she has been given the foremost place in the spiritual field, by exhorting people to worship the mother first as God. It is said, “Mathrudevo bhava” (worship the mother as God); “Pithrudevo bhava” (worship the father as God); “Acharyadevo bhava” (worship the teacher as God); “Athithidevo bhava” (worship the guest as God). Thus the mother has been given the first place in that order. It is only when we uphold the honour and dignity of the mother that we will be entitled to be called true sons. The life of a person who could not win the love of his mother is a mere waste. Hence, we must first acquire the deservedness to win the love of the mother. No one can describe the love of a mother in words. It is only by the strength of a mother’s will that a son would come up well in life. Hence, one should respect and love one’s mother. She must be given the pride of place. It is only such people that can really lead the country. We may or may not worship other deities, but we must certainly worship our mother as God. We should never forget the love of our mother. The love of a mother is supreme. It is only by the love of the mother that divine feelings develop in the children. Where there is a mother of noble qualities, there will surely be all kinds of peace and prosperity. It is foolish to crave for the love of the people, ignoring the love of one’s own mother. One should, therefore, revere and respect the mother. One should try to experience the love of the mother.
The mother of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was a noble lady. Even in dire circumstances when she had no food and drink, she developed unflinching faith and devotion to God and spent her time engaging herself in cultivating noble thoughts and performing noble deeds, thereby earning God’s grace. It is only when one respects his mother and wins her love, that he can be called a human being in the real sense. There is no God greater than one’s mother in this world. Unfortunately, today people forget this truth and go to different places in search of God. Instead of craving for the unseen God, one should worship and serve the living divinity that is right in front of him. Several people undertake different activities like penance, pilgrimage to holy places, worship and other rituals in order to have the holy darshan of God, but they will be of no use. One cannot win the grace of God without first winning the love of his mother. The love of the mother flows as an undercurrent in every human being. You go through the history of any great person; it is obvious that they could reach such great heights in life only with the help of their mother’s love. When one leads his life in accordance with his mother’s noble thoughts, one will be relieved of all kinds of suffering. One may or may not respect any other person; but one must definitely respect one’s mother. One should dedicate his entire life to win the love of his mother. The mother’s love is always selfless. We must learn to cultivate such love. Wherever you go, whoever you may see, you can find that they have become prosperous only with the blessings of their mother’s love. If one cannot win the love of his mother, how can he hope to win the grace of God? Hence, first and foremost you must strive to win the love of your mother. You should not undertake any work that will hurt the feelings of your mother. The heart of a mother is very tender. Therefore, one should not hurt the feelings of the mother.
The culture of Bharat has laid great stress on the teaching “Mathrudevo bhava” (revere the mother as God) and “Pithrudevo bhava” (revere the father as God), more than all other aspects. A person who could win the love of his mother can win everything else. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa could earn such a great name for himself only because he could win the love of his mother. How many great people are there in the state of West Bengal? How many people of noble qualities, rich and educated are there? But, they could not succeed in life due to lack of faith in God. It was only Ramakrishna Paramahamsa who could lead an ideal life by loving his mother and obeying her commands, due to his implicit faith and devotion to his mother. He used to teach people that there is nothing greater and nobler in this world than mother’s love. The mother is God, verily. It is, therefore, not proper to hurt the feelings of a mother who is the embodiment of love. It is only when we develop love towards our mother, our life will become happy and prosperous. Hence, first and foremost, we must strive to win the love of our mother. Whatever the mother does is for our own good. We must develop such firm faith. You take the history of any great person in this world; he owes his greatness to his mother.
Mother embodies sacrifice
Students of the present time are unable to win their mothers’ love. The mother can undergo any great ordeal, she is even prepared to undertake hard labour to earn a few rupees to bring up her children and educate them. What a great sacrilege it is to forget the love of such a noble mother! It is only a person who could win the love of his mother that can earn God’s love as well. We are not born from the earth or the sky; we are born from the womb of our mother. It is possible that differences may arise between a mother and a son, at times.
But, the mother does not hate her son on that count and forsake him. There may be sons who hate their mothers, but there are no mothers who hate their sons. The mother will always aspire for the welfare of her son. Even if they go to the court in a matter of dispute, the mother will say “He is my son and I am his mother”. They cannot refer to each other in any other manner. The mother will always strive for the safety, health and welfare of her children. Man, today, is undergoing several difficulties on account of ignoring the love of such a noble mother. If you strive to win the love of your mother, you can win the love of all other people. The love of your mother will always be with you, constantly guarding and guiding you in all your endeavours. Unfortunately people are not able to realise this truth. They think, “it is enough to provide a few morsels of food to that old lady”. They are so narrow-minded and selfish. It is a great mistake to think that their responsibility will end by providing some food to their mothers. The mother should always be held in high esteem and served. She must be made to feel happy and contented.
The one-pointed filial devotion of Pundarika
Pundarika was a great devotee of Lord Panduranga. He always held the view that service to the parents was of paramount importance. One day, he was serving his parents by massaging their feet. In order to test his love towards his parents, Lord Panduraga appeared before him. But, Pundarika did not want to be distracted from his duty and continued to serve his parents. Then Lord Panduranga enquired of him, “My dear son! I appeared before you to give you My darshan; but you are not looking at Me. Whom are you serving with such single-minded devotion?” Pundarika replied that he was serving his parents. Then, Lord Panduranga queried, “Is not God greater than the parents? Won’t you have My darshan at least for one second?” But, Pundarika was not disturbed. He replied, “My parents are living divinities for me. I cannot have your darshan, unless I put my parents to sleep. If you wish to give me your darshan, you stand there on this brick till then.”
So saying, he pushed a brick towards Lord Panduranga. The Lord then commended his love and devotion towards his parents and declared “The world will always remain safe and prosperous if all people cultivate such love and devotion towards their parents. May such noble sons like you proliferate in this world.” From then on, great and noble ideas of sacrifice and detachment began to develop in Pundarika. He spent his time happily serving his parents and winning their love.
Lifelong lesson from a noble mother
Putlibai was the mother of Mahatma Gandhi. She continued to observe a vow right from her early days. She never used to take her food in the afternoon, without hearing the singing of the cuckoo bird. Gandhi was a child then. One day, it was already 3 o’ clock in the afternoon and his mother did not take her food, since the cuckoo did not sing. Gandhi could not bear to see his mother being hungry. He, therefore, thought of a plan. He went behind their house and imitated the call of a cuckoo. Then he went into the house and pleaded with his mother, “Mother! The cuckoo sang. You can now take your food”. His mother, however, could realise that her son was lying. She grew very angry. She caught hold of him and slapped on his cheek twice. She could not contain her anger and anguish. She chided him saying, “it is my misfortune to have given birth to a liar like you”. Gandhi then repented for his mischievous act and begged his mother to forgive him. He also took a vow that he would never speak a lie thereafter in his life. Thus, mothers of old times used to teach their children good behaviour and put them in the right path. Such ideal mothers are very rare in present times in the world. The present-day mothers would always think, “My son should get good marks and ranks in the examination. He should acquire high degrees and earn lakhs of rupees. He should rise to a high position in his career.” There are hundreds of such mothers now-a-days. But, there is not even a single mother who teaches her son “My dear son! You pray to God daily. Never forget God.” That is the reason why the country of Bharat is facing innumerable diffi culties. The Bharatiyas of yester years always used to pray daily. “Oh! Rama! Krishna! Govinda!” They used to chant the divine name incessantly. But, things have changed. Now, there is no such contemplation on the divine name. On the other hand worldly desires have proliferated. The culture of Bharath always exhorts the people, “Sathyam vada” (speak the truth) and “Dharmam chara” (follow righteousness). Unfortunately, today people act contrary to such noble ideals. They are distorting those ideals as “Sathyam vadha” (kill the truth) and “Dharmam chera” (Imprison righteousness).
The chosen mother’s gesture
Once Easwaramma came to Me and requested, “Swami! Several poor mothers have come here along with their children. They have no food to eat. Kindly bless them.” Then I rendered them proper help and thus fulfilled Easwaramma’s wish. On another day, she came to Me and expressed her anguish thus: “Swami! Small children of five years’ age are daily walking to Bukkapatnam and back for attending their school. How can they study after walking such a long distance daily?” Then, I called their parents and advised them: “These tiny tots can learn more from their mothers than from their teachers in a school. Instead of sending these small children to such a long distance for education, you first teach them what little you know. You teach them at least two or three alphabets which you know”. Later, I established a school in Puttaparthi and fulfilled the wish of Eswaramma.
Mothers of old times were patriotic and prayerful
The mothers of those days, though they were innocent and illiterate, never gave up praying to God. Love God. There is no use wasting your time in worldly matters. We should never try to imitate others. We must try to develop faith in the Truth that manifests from our own heart. It is not good to develop hatred towards other castes and religions. One should develop faith in one’s own religion and follow it diligently.
Once, when this body was a student, some political leaders approached Me and requested, “Raju! We understand that you write good poetry. We have arranged a meeting where a number of our people are expected to participate. We request you to please write a good song that can inspire our people.” Those were the days of the Second World War. Adolf Hitler was marching forward to conquer various countries in Europe. He was trying to march into Russia. India was then under the control of Britishers. Taking the situation into account, I wrote a small playlet. In it, I kept a rubber doll in a cradle and sang the following song rocking the cradle gently:
Don’t cry my child, don’t cry
If you cry, you will not be called the valorous son of Bharat…
Did you cry because the murderer Hitler Invaded the immortal Russia?
The Red Army and the brave Stalin
Are there to crush Hitler; don’t cry
Why do you cry my child, why do you cry?
Do you cry because our people lack in unity… All the people will unite and fight For our freedom; don’t cry.
India will certainly attain freedom
Don’t cry my child, don’t cry…
The mothers of those days used to sing such inspiring patriotic songs and teach their children good things. They used to mould their character to make them as heroes of the country. There used to be no place at all for untruth in their talk. By their truthful words, they used to train their children in the path of truth.
Once, the village of Puttaparthi was affected by infectious diseases like cholera and plague. Several people died on account of these diseases. Then, I warned the children in the village that these diseases would spread through polluted water and impure food and therefore they should take proper care in this regard.
I exhorted them, “Purify the water and then drink. You eat only clean and wholesome food, though in small quantities. Not only that, keep your mouth always fresh and clean. Several diseases will affect you due to unclean mouth. It is not good for you to eat anything that you come across, when you feel hungry. Whether it is for keeping good health or happiness, God’s grace is important. Hence, always pray to God.” Happiness can be attained only through constant contemplation on God; nothing else. It is not something that can be attained by external objects. It can only spring from one’s own heart. In order that we may attain good health and happiness, we must constantly contemplate on God and thereby sanctify our time.
It is only the parents who led ideal lives that nourished and nurtured our country of Bharath, since ancient times. Unfortunately, today you do not find sons who obey their parents. The youth of today brush aside their parents’ words as insane talk and ignore them. This is not correct. They are not insane words; they are verily truthful words spoken from the depth of their hearts. God will certainly hear the prayers said with purity of consciousness and shower His Grace on such people. Hence, one should always pray to God in whichever form one likes and sanctify one’s life by the grace of God. Since ancient times, the women of Bharat offered such prayers to God, in all sincerity and devotion. That is the reason why the country of Bharat could attain great heights.
Help children learn healthy habits
Embodiments of love!
If you wish that you or the children to be born to you must be sacred, constantly contemplate on God. It is only when the parents lead a good and noble life, their children will be good and noble. Hence, the parents must be good, in the first instance. Unfortunately, today the parents are unable to set an example to their children, with the result, the children are taking to bad ways. Such sacred teachings have become extinct in the country of Bharath, today. The mothers in ancient India used to teach good things and good habits to their children thus:
Get up early in the morning at the crowing of the cock,
Have a bath after your morning ablutions, Wear a proper dress. Eat properly and moderately.
Go to school and study diligently.
Earn a good name. Don’t move out when it is raining, And never go near the ditches. Take part in games, Run and play.
If you abide by all these rules, You will have both health and wealth.
Both the elders as well as the children are not brushing their teeth properly, today. That is why all sorts of diseases are spreading from ourselves only. For both, good and bad, we only are responsible. They do not come of their own accord. When we cultivate sacred feelings in us, we will be rewarded with good results. If sacred feelings are to take root in us, we have to cultivate good habits.
“Better indeed is knowledge than mechanical practice. Better still is meditation. But, better than meditation is surrender of the fruit of all actions. For, such renunciation of the fruit of all actions would indeed result in liberation.” (Gita – Ch.12 – Sloka 12)
Right from early morning till we go to bed, if we are engaged in good activities, that itself will automatically become a practice. In fact, the country needs such youth. Who are youth? People generally think that boys and girls aged between 18 and 20 years constitute youth. This is not correct. It is only people with noble thoughts, who can be considered as youth. Hence, one must cultivate noble thoughts. As soon as you get up, your first action shall be chanting the divine name “Rama! Krishna! Govinda!” Again, before you go to bed, you must chant the divine name. When you do such chanting of the divine name, you will always have good thoughts. Unfortunately, today people totally forget chanting of the divine name. People think that they are highly educated and have high degrees, but they will not enable you to tread the right path. Education that will not develop enquiry into one’s own self is not education at all! It will only lead to agitation! Mere book reading does not constitute education. Book reading will contribute only to acquiring bookish knowledge. That is artificial knowledge. Real knowledge comes out of the heart. When the young men and women realise and propagate this Truth, the country will progress in all directions.
Always contemplate on the divine
Embodiments of Love!
Do not waste your time in reading voluminous books, thinking that such books will help you in acquiring great knowledge. One should read such books which will help in the contemplation on the divine name. Do not be satisfied with acquiring mere bookish knowledge. Such knowledge is only a superficial knowledge. What you need really is the knowledge of Self. Strive to acquire that knowledge. It manifests from within. It cannot be acquired from external sources. Is it not a fact that the more you dig in the river bed, the more the water that comes out of the sand! Similarly, the more you remove the bad thoughts in you, the more the sacred knowledge and sacred thoughts that manifest in you. Purity, Steadiness, Wisdom and such other noble qualities manifest only from one’s own heart. First and foremost you have to cultivate sacred and noble thoughts. But, you need not give credence to all such talk. You have to always tread the sacred path.
The mothers in the ancient times used to teach their children such sacred things. That is why the children of those days used to engage themselves in constant contemplation on God, with the result, the country was constantly protected by God. It is not the body that is important for us, it is the thought and the feelings. Several people question “Where is God?” I tell such people “My dear! I am God; you are also God”. This is the Truth. Why should we be afraid of speaking this Truth? God is omnipresent. All are embodiments of God! There is divinity in every human being. If not, we cannot live in this world. It is only because of our faith in God, we have been able to survive in this world till today. A small story to illustrate the point: There used to be a husband and wife in a village. The wife was constantly chanting the divine name “Rama! Krishna! Govinda!” and worshipping God daily. The husband, however, was not doing any worship or contemplation on God. But, he used to attend to his daily chores. The wife used to feel “Alas! My husband is not chanting the divine name at least once in a day”. One night, the husband could not get sleep and was turning this side and that side on the bed restlessly. At that time, he casually said “Rama!” His wife was overjoyed on hearing the divine name coming out of the mouth of her husband, though unintentionally. The next day, as soon as she got up from her bed, she collected all the rice available in the house, cooked it and fed the poor people, in jubilation. The husband who was observing this feeding of the poor, enquired her “What is the matter! You are cooking and feeding the poor today. What is the special occasion?” The wife replied. “Last night, I heard the divine name of ‘Rama!’ emerging from your mouth. My heart overflowed with joy on hearing the divine name from your mouth. Hence, this celebration”. On hearing his wife’s reply, the husband felt sorry and thought to himself “Alas! I have installed Rama in my heart and worshipped him there all the while. Has my Rama gone out from my heart today?” Several people do not give expression to their love and devotion to God. They keep their devotion to themselves. However, one day or the other it manifests outside.
Embodiments of Love!
Contemplate on the divine name, irrespective of the religion, caste, creed or sex. You can always chant the divine name of your liking. The mother of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa taught her son good things and shaped him into a great yogi. All the mothers should take her as an example and strive to put their children in the right path. If you constantly contemplate on and chant the divine name, that itself will purify your thoughts and feelings. Never forget the divine name. If you constantly contemplate on the divine name, your life will surely be sanctifi ed. Embodiments of Love! You, therefore, contemplate on the divine name constantly.
(Bhagawan concluded his divine discourse with the bhajan, “Rama Rama Rama Sita”.)