Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Divine Discourse
Discourse in Kannada, Silver Jubilee Celebrations of Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Institutions (Alike and Muddenahalli), Prasanthi Nilayam, 27 January 2004.
The sacred feet of the Lord are as vast as the cosmos, as pervasive as the sky. They reach even Patala Loka (lower world). His sacred crown lies beyond Bhrahmanda (cosmos). He is inaccessible, imperceptible and incomparable. (Kannada poem)
Embodiments of Love! Students, teachers and educators!
I find it difficult to deliver a speech in Kannada language. It requires regular practice. If you do an activity regularly, you become adept in it. I get a chance to speak in Kannada very rarely, not always. N. Kasturi stayed at Prasanthi Nilayam for about 30 years and he was always with Me. He made good use of this golden opportunity for Seva Sadhana. Kasturi was a well-known creative writer in Kannada. He was popularly known as “Kannada Kasturi.” He was very pure and sacred. Just by looking at his respectable personality one could make out the fragrance and sacredness of Kannada language. It is likely that I may make some mistakes here and there while speaking such an extremely fragrant language.
Pioneering efforts of Narayana Bhat
Narayana Bhat established two schools in Karnataka one at Alike in Dakshina Kannada district and another at Muddenahalli in Kolar district. Following Sathya Sai educational principles, he worked very hard for a long period of time to develop them into model schools (loud applause). In order to develop the schools, he had to take loan from various sources and also from a large number of his well-wishers. But he had to struggle hard to pay off the loan. He and his mother went to so many villages and towns and approached several persons for raising money. But the debts went on increasing and never showed any sign of coming down. On one occasion, Narayana Bhat approached Me and briefly explained how those outstanding debts were causing him a lot of worry. He prayed to Me, “Swami, Anyatha sharanam nasti, Twameva sharanam mama, Tasmat karunyabhavena…. (I have no other refuge except You. You are my saviour. Show mercy on me and protect me.) Swami, I beg and plead with You, please take over these two schools and put new life into them..” Then I said to him, “Narayana Bhat! Health and education are essential for all. I know that. But right now, don’t give them to Me. You look after them as long as you can.” I encouraged him to go ahead with his service activities. I blessed him and said, “Be happy. Carry on teaching spiritual truths.” Later on, Narayana Bhat worked with much more zeal and vigour. These institutions made rapid progress. They were hailed as model schools. He was indeed a beacon light for all spiritual-seekers and service-minded persons. Yad bhavam tad bhavathi (As is the feeling, so is the result). Soon many good teachers joined him. They were all men of character, intelligence and sacrifice. They renounced everything and stood by him steadfastly. Presently, all those dedicated teachers together are running the institutions very efficiently.
Noble ideals set by alike and Muddenahalli institutions
Narayana Bhat carried on his mission and worked tirelessly day in and day out. But his time was drawing near. This body goes with time. ‘Kalaya namah, Kala kalaya namah, Kaladarpa damanaya namah, Kalatheethaya namah, Kalaswarupaya namah, Kalaniyamitaya namah (salutations to time, to the one who is beyond time, to the one who has conquered time, to the one who transcends time, to the one who is the embodiment of time, and to the one who ordains time). Time is supreme. Everyone has to bow down to time. As time moved on, all of a sudden, Narayana Bhat met with a car accident in 1978. The accident proved fatal and he left his mortal coil at once. The organization lost its mother. It was orphaned. Then Gangadhara Bhat, Narayana Rao, Narasimha Murthy and others came to Me and said, “Swami, that day You made a promise that You would look after these institutions. Kindly take over these schools and protect us all.” They intensely prayed and pleaded with Me.
My intention is to give proper direction to the present educational system. I always encourage any good move in this direction. Vidya has an important role in the life of man. Life without vidya is useless. One has to learn real Vidya and share it with others to lead them on the righteous path. That is what I intend to do in the field of education. If I took Alike and Muddenahalli institutions, I had to bear the burden of those debts standing against them. It was not a meagre sum. It was ten lakh rupees of those days! But all the teachers were praying; “Swami, You are our Lord, You are our saviour. You have to save us.” My heart melted at their sincere prayer. Instantaneously, I took over those institutions and cleared all their outstanding debts once and for all.
From then onwards, I used to visit Muddenahalli while travelling between Prasanthi Nilayam and Brindavan. I would talk to those dear children and enthuse them. Darshanam papa nashanam, Sparshanam karma vimochanam, Sambhashanam sankata nashanam (sight of the Lord destroys all sins, His touch frees from Karmic consequences, conversation with Him destroys all sufferings). Thus, I gave them Darshan, Sparshan and Sambhashan. The teachers too felt encouraged and happy. Being free from all worries and problems, the teachers worked with relaxed mind and brought the institutions to this level. Now the institutions do not have the burden of debt. The schools have made a considerable progress attracting the attention of the world. The teachers are very good. They recognize the good qualities in each other and adopt them in their lives and thereby raise their moral and spiritual levels. They do not get into bad and demeaning company. You are judged by the company you keep. Tell me your company, I shall tell you what you are. Association plays crucial role in one’s spiritual life. Teachers should always relish the company of the good and thereby work for the growth of the institution. The teachers of Alike and Muddenahalli are doing it. They are developing the inner strength of the schools. The schools have been showing excellent progress. They have now reached college stage. They have already won a lot of fame. People call them Sathya Sai Loka Seva Colleges. They will become full-fledged colleges in a few years. To reach the same standard, the remaining institutions of the Sai Organisation will have to put in a lot of effort.
The day-scholars in these institutions come from distant places. Some students walk some distance and then catch a bus and reach the schools. The heads of the schools and teachers cooperate with each other and help each other to make good progress and march towards perfection. The students there have a high moral and spiritual standard. Students should totally avoid bad company. You should always associate with the good. You should always join the group of students who are good in their speech, behaviour and actions. By doing so, you will reach the height of eminence. In Treta Yuga, Lakshmana closely observed Hanuman and reported to Rama: “Swami, Hanuman is virtuous and mighty. He serves Sugriva very competently. It is Sugriva’s good fortune to have the satsanga of Hanuman. The company of Hanuman will help Sugriva and remove all his sufferings.” In the same way, students should become good by associating themselves with good company. Going to Muddenahalli is what I always like. In the past, I frequently went there and saw those children and guided the teachers with timely advice. But the times have changed. Under these changed circumstances, I cannot go there so easily as I was doing in the past. Now hundreds of vehicles follow Me. It is very difficult to provide even a minimum hospitality to so many people. Why should I put those teachers to trouble unnecessarily? That is why I have reduced the number of these visits.
Dedication and devotion of Gangadhara Bhat
Let us talk about Alike now. Alike was also handed over to Me along with Muddenahalli school. It is not near but far from here. It is not possible to personally go there quite often. That does not mean that I don’t like to go there. They have been praying for My going to Alike for so many years. Especially on one particular occasion, Gangadhara Bhat pressed Me so much that I had no option but to yield to his intense prayers. He, in fact, said, “Swami, we are getting old. Once at least You should come to our village. You are our Redeemer. You have to grant us salvation.” He prostrated and intensely prayed to Me. I finally yielded to his feelings and emotions. At once I rented a helicopter and went there. You must know why I had to hurry to Alike. Gangadhara Bhat’s prayer came straight from his heart.
Even now, except Gangadhara Bhat, there is no one who can shoulder that great responsibility and lead the institution towards progress. That is why I said to him, “Gangadhara Bhat, you must stay there only. You remain there as My reflection. For every action, there is a reflection, reaction and resound. You have to conduct yourself in such a way that your words should reflect My views. You must have a feeling that the places you go about are the ones Swami has already trodden. While carrying out your duty, do it with a feeling that it is in fact Swami personally doing it. You must not leave the institution.” After I told him firmly, Gangadhara Bhat took up the assignment as per Swami’s command and marched along by putting his heart and soul in all the duties he performed. Right now both the institutions are making good progress. Seeing them itself gives Me great pleasure and happiness. Now they are developing at a quick pace. What you saw there yesterday, you will not see it now. Growth is rapid there. It has become possible because of the efforts of the dedicated teachers.
Understand the real meaning of educare
Our schools and colleges (Prasanthi Nilayam, Brindavan, Anantapur) have also shown considerable progress. As the growth is inward, it is not possible for all to recognize it. This inner growth is educare. Educare brings out our latent sacred values. Values are not to be taught but manifested. Mere accumulation of information from various books is not educare; it is education. Educare is the blossoming of the Divine Lotus in our heart. Educare enables us to be not just receptors but vibrators and radiators of values to all creation. Values are to be translated into action. That means, both precept and practice are equally important. How to put the principles of educare into practice? Many modern boys and girls have no knowledge about these principles. It is absolutely necessary that every student should know all about educare and its importance. The latent powers in each student have to be brought out. These powers must play their part in all his activities as reflection, reaction and resound. Thus, the process of education has to work in such a way as to transform the students into reflections of their latent powers. They are to be moulded properly and shaped beautifully. Our institutions bring out ideal students and present them to the world.
Sathyannasti paro dharma. (There is no Dharma greater than adherence to truth). “You shall not tell anything but truth. What has happened should be reported truthfully. What all you have done, you should say it exactly.” This is what most people say and believe when they give the meaning of truth. But this is only one dimension of the vast interpretation of truth. Similarly, you must understand that Educare has much deeper meaning. In fact, Sathya (truth) is educare; Dharma (righteousness) is educare. It is truth and righteousness which protected India from all dangers. Sathya and Dharma do not come from outside. All that comes from outside is not permanent. Today it comes, tomorrow it goes. But what comes out from one’s heart is permanent. Educare comes from the heart and it has to go to other hearts only.
Recently, Vice Chancellors of 25 famous universities of India came to our Institute to take part in a Seminar on Value Education. They were all very eager to know about educare. They also wanted to know the workable method for introducing it into their curriculum. “Vidyannasti parodharma.” (There is no Dharma greater than Vidya). Therefore, one has to acquire real Vidya. Heart is the source of real vidya. Mere accumulation of information is not vidya. Vidya is eternal bliss. Real vidya is educare. But head is the source of education. Educare starts from the source of the heart and comes out through buddhi (intellect) whereas education is merely bookish knowledge emerging from the mind. Educare is Buddhigrahyamateendriyam (Educare transcends the senses and can be grasped only by the intellect).
Saturate all your actions with love
Whatever activities you do, love should be their foundation. There is no Prana (life) without love. Life without love is of no use at all. Education system should be so transformed as to develop love principle in one’s heart. Sathya (truth) and Dharma (righteousness) are the reflections of Prema (love). They give you the much desired Prasanthi (supreme peace). If love springs out from your heart, it is enough. It will give you salvation. In Dwapara Yuga, Gopikas said to Krishna, “Lord! Kindly pour down the nectar of love on our barren hearts. Sow the seeds of love. May the flood of love flow from our hearts!”(Kannada poem) They earnestly prayed to Krishna to fulfil their heart’s yearnings. If the world is to prosper, the rain of love should pour on it. The sacred land of Bharat has been laying great emphasis on the importance of devotion and surrender since ancient times. It has set lofty ideals for mankind in all spheres of life.
Every being has love in his heart. If we do not have love, we are not human. Love is with us from our birth. We have got this body because of the merits of our previous births. The body becomes sacred only if it is saturated with love. So, you must cultivate love principle.
Then your life becomes holy. You must cultivate love towards all beings regardless of what they are or what they do. It is natural for children to show love towards their parents. But it is important that they should be so moulded that they develop love for the entire mankind. Love comprises all aspects of Vidya.
The knowledge that the students acquire in schools and colleges is only information-oriented. Mere bookish knowledge is not of great importance. Expansion of love is very important. Your thoughts have to be purified. Only pure hearts comprehend God. Intellectual reasoning does not help you to realise God. Pure thought is another name for pure life. Love is God. God has no form except love. I wish that you all install love principle in the deep recesses of your heart.
Love is your Prana (life). It is enough if you have love. Love redeems all. Love wards off all suffering, hardships, pains and agonies. Love is nectarous in form. “Srunvantu viswe amrutasya putrah” (Oh, the children of immortality! Listen). You are amritaputra, not anritaputra (sons of untruth). Do not weaken yourself by considering yourself as sons of untruth. Feel that you are amritaputra. Then the tree of love will grow in your heart and give you the fruit of atmic bliss.
Do not be attached to the body. Get rid of body attachment. You have to realise the atmic principle. Immerse yourself in the ocean of atmic consciousness.
As long as you have body attachment, you will not understand the atmic principle. You have to do selfinquiry “Who am I? From where have I come? Whither am I going? How long will I be here?” The entire spiritual inquiry begins with these questions. When you feel that you are the Atma, you start contemplating on the atmic principle. “What is Atma, what is Atma?”, you think seriously about it. By making such an inquiry, you will understand the atmic principle.
All objects have both name and form. But the atma has no name or form. If you understand the atmic principle, you will understand the Paramatma principle. That is parama thripti (supreme satisfaction), parama asha (supreme hope), parama gamya (supreme goal), parama sathya (supreme truth). In order to realise amruttwa (immortality), you have to become the embodiment of love. You have to radiate love. You have to treat everyone as your brother and sister. Whether others talk to you or not, you have to consider them as your own brother. If you are able to put it into practice in all walks of life, love will grow in your heart. You may have some enemies. You think that they hate you. Don’t consider them as your enemies. Don’t hate them. Instead whenever you happen to meet them talk to them lovingly and ask, “How are you, brother?” Then their feeling of enmity will suffer defeat in an instant. Their extreme dislike towards you will vanish and love will spring forth from their heart. Naturally, you will become friends. When love occupies your heart, jealousy, hatred, etc., cannot enter it. You will get absolute peace. People say, “We want peace, we want peace.” Peace does not fall from heaven. It has to come from love. Love is the royal path to realise God.
What is the purpose of your birth as a human being? It is not just eating, loitering and merry-making. You must understand that you are born to realise the love principle. If love blossoms in your heart, you yourself will become Paramatma (God). You need not look for God here and there. He is in you. He is in the form of love. There is no escape from dualism as long as man does not recognize his inherent divinity. You should expand your love. Live in love.
Selfless service is real penance
At this juncture, I would like to say something more about Gangadhara Bhat. He was Narayana Bhat’s trusted follower and a dependable person. He was verily his right hand. Once Narayana Bhat said to him, “Gangadhara Bhat! Serve sincerely for the well-being of the institution. Whenever you run into difficulty, pray to Bhagawan Sathya Sai. Then He will personally take care of you all.” From that day onwards till today Gangadhara Bhat has fully depended on Swami. He has unshakeable faith in Swami. Swami is his Paramatma. He firmly believes that Sai Paramatma will lead him. He has such a feeling of surrender. He performs his duties with devotion and dedication. He is working sincerely for the progress of both Alike and Muddenahalli institutions. In fact, they have flourished under his honest leadership. I went to Alike two years ago (in 2002). I was wonderstruck on seeing the total transformation of Alike. When I went to Alike for the first time in 1979, there were only a few small buildings. Now Alike has become a town. That itself is not greatness. Its greatness lies in its inner strength. Mere buildings will not suffice. People construct expensive houses and tall buildings in towns and cities. They consider their houses as everything. They don’t have purity of heart. Their hearts brim with evil thoughts and evil schemes. Such men do not understand the love principle. Purity in thought, word and deed is a basic requisite for man.
Thus, Gangadhara Bhat has been running the organization braving all hardships and unpleasant situations. Once he said to Me, “Swami, it is not possible for me to manage all the affairs effectively. I am getting old. It requires both physical and mental strength. Swami, I request You earnestly to appoint any good person who will manage everything very well.” As a matter of fact, all are good in My view. No one is bad. People think that they are bad. That is all. It is their feeling only. Badness exists in our thoughts. As love is in everyone, all are good. I said to Gangadhara Bhat: “Don’t leave your post. You remain in the same position. Do not worry. I will always help you and lead you. I will look after everything.”
My words gave him courage and confidence. He has been continuing his work with enthusiasm. Where can he go if he relinquishes the post? He will have to go somewhere else and do Thapas (penance). What is penance? Simply spending time, doing nothing is not penance. Simply sitting at a place and reciting “Rama, Rama, Krishna, Krishna” is also not penance. Real penance lies in doing good work constantly, having good thoughts always and developing good qualities in oneself. Leaving one’s home, going to forest, doing shirshasana (standing on one’s head) and publicising, “I am doing penance”, is not at all penance. It is indeed false penance. Foster love in your heart; talk lovingly; do all work with love. Be in love. This is real penance. The teachers of Alike and Muddenahalli are doing real penance. (loud prolonged applause). This is how these schools produce students with purity of heart. I am happy to see all these students who have come here for the function. Today small children came to the dais and spoke beautifully. They gave a beautiful description of the Atma. Especially one high school boy spoke with heart full of love. What a sincere feeling he has! I am really delighted. That is real Vidya. I often tell the authorities of our Institute to give topmost priority to the boys of Alike and Muddenahalli while making selection for our colleges. Sometimes, these students may lag behind a little in Jagath Sathya (worldly knowledge). But they know Atma Sathya (atmic knowledge) very well. I am always telling everyone here not to leave them. Here, a little boy spoke with feeling of love. He expressed his love for Me in beautiful words. I am very much pleased.
It is what I want. I do not want that you come forward to offer the whole world to Me. I want your love. Give me your love. This is enough for Me. The seed of love should sprout in the field of your heart. Later on, it will grow into a kalpavriksha (wish-fulfilling tree). Then the world will flourish.
You have to follow the instructions of your parents. Mathru devo bhava, Pithru devo bhava (Revere your mother and father as God). You have come from your parents. Mother is the maker of your fortune. She is responsible for your progress. Don’t act against her wishes. Don’t oppose her words. Treat your mother with love. Then you will get your mother’s grace. Mother is Lokamatha (mother of the universe), Jaganmatha (mother of the world). Don’t think that she is related to your body only. She is the Jaganmatha who has come in the form of your mother. Gangadhara Bhat served his mother tenderly and lovingly. As a result of his sincere service to his mother, he got Swami. That is why Swami has kept him so near and dear. (loud applause)
Our Narasimha Murthy (now Warden, Brindavan) came to Prasanthi Nilayam and took charge as Warden. One day, he came to Me and said, “Swami, my mother is serious. She has cancer.” I asked him, “Foolish boy! You are telling me, mother is serious. Which mother? That is your body’s mother. Body’s mother is not permanent.
You take hold of the permanent mother, eternal mother.” After some days, he came to Me again and said, “Swami, mother passed away.” I comforted Narasimha Murthy and said, “Narasimha Murthy, stay here itself. Don’t leave Puttaparthi. This is your birthplace. Swami is your mother. I will look after everything.” Narasimha Murthy’s mother was a noble soul. She would often say, “Narasimha Murthy, even in adverse situations, don’t go away from Swami. Stay with Him always.” (loud applause). All mothers are suffused with love principle. They pray to so many gods and goddesses for the wellbeing and progress of their children. Try to understand your mother’s selfless love. All should look after their mothers lovingly.