Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Divine Discourse
Prasanthi Nilayam, 23 August 2004.
Oh man! You struggle hard in life merely for the sake of filling your belly. You acquire myriad types of knowledge from various fields. Examine and enquire for yourself what great happiness you have achieved by spending all the time from dawn to dusk in acquiring worldly knowledge and earning wealth, while forgetting God. (Telugu poem)
Embodiments of Love!
Whether a pauper or a millionaire, one has to eat. But, having attained the sacred human birth, it is unseemly of man to spend his entire life merely for the sake of filling his belly. Why don’t you spend a few minutes in the contemplation of God, instead of spending your entire life just to earn a living? There are of course a few people in this land of Bharat, who are sanctifying their time and their environment in the contemplation of God, but the vast majority are wasting their births in vain pursuits.
Human birth is meant to experience Divinity
Embodiments of Love!
It is not only in Srikakulam district, but in many other places all over India, there are people who are struggling and straining to eke out their livelihood. In spite of all the effort, they are unable to attain peace, happiness and comfort. Only those who are spending their time in the contemplation of God are able to experience peace and happiness. Those who forget God and spend all their time and energy in mundane pursuits are bound to suffer. Till this day, nobody has been able to enjoy mental peace and physical comfort in full measure. The body is like a water bubble. It is nothing but a bag full of bones. Mind is like a mad monkey. It is a mistake to strive for the happiness of such a physical body and wavering mind. So long as one is alive, one should make efforts to keep the body healthy, so that one may not cause inconvenience to others. There are many who spend their entire life for the sake of physical comforts and pleasures. It is only a few who are not concerned with their mind and body, but are centred on eternal peace and happiness. Human birth is meant to experience divinity and not to crave for fleeting pleasures. Human body is a divine gift, which is being put to improper use, instead of its proper purpose of adoring God. Do not be under the mistaken notion that body is meant for eating and enjoying physical pleasures only. Certain duties have been assigned to man by performing which he will be able to experience happiness at the level of the body, mind, senses and the spirit. One should enquire what the purpose of human birth is? The goal of human birth is to work for release from the cycle of birth and death. This body is a den of dirt, and prone to diseases; it is subject to change from time to time; it cannot cross the ocean of samsara. The body should be used as an instrument to rise from the level of humanness to divinity. Human life is sanctified only when we experience divinity. There are many people who are making efforts in this direction. But only a few are able to realise the truth and achieve the goal. One may undertake any type of activities, but one should always aspire to attain peace of mind. Without peace of mind whatever enterprise that man undertakes will only add to his restlessness.
God is your sole refuge
Embodiments of Love!
You are really fortunate to have come here all the way from Srikakulam in spite of your financial constraints and various other difficulties. Swami is very well aware of your aspirations. You have come here to experience divine bliss. You were feeling sad that Swami has not spoken to you a word even after two days of your stay here. In fact, last night you were all praying intensely.
In response to your sincere prayers, I have decided to address you this morning. It is not My intention to satisfy you with just a discourse. I am ready to extend all the help required to fulfil your aspirations. Many of you are facing problems due to shortage of water. Some of you do not have even proper food to eat. Food and water are very essential for everyone. Do not give room to worry and anxiety. God is not stone-hearted. He will certainly take care of your needs. His heart is filled with compassion. Swami’s concern for you is hundred times more intense than the concern you have for yourselves. You need not be worried at all. Develop the feeling that difficulties and suffering are for your own good. Even insurmountable difficulties will vanish like thin mist when you have firm conviction. Hence, do not be unduly perturbed about your problems. Difficulties come and go. Not only the poor, even a millionaire cannot escape from difficulties. Swami confers His blessings on you so that you will be relieved of your suffering soon.
You may consult the elders of your villages and take the help of those who are willing to cooperate with you. I will see to it that there is plenty of water available in your mountainous area. Do not be depressed or bogged down by difficulties. Having put on the vesture of the human body, one cannot escape from difficulties. The physical body may undergo suffering, but you should make efforts to attain peace of mind. Mind is the basis for happiness for everyone. All physical comforts will be of little use without peace of mind. Only through contemplation of God can you attain peace of mind and not by any other means. Hence, chant the name of God incessantly unmindful of the difficulties that come in your way. It is because of contemplation of God’s name that you have been able to experience peace in spite of the innumerable difficulties you faced. God is the refuge for the poor and the forlorn. He is always with them through all the vicissitudes of life. Do not think that God is in some distant land. God is by your side always. In fact, He is present in the inner recesses of your heart. Never think that God is away from you at any point of time. Neither friends nor relatives can come to your rescue. God is your sole refuge. He will protect you under all circumstances. In spite of numerous difficulties, Bharatiyas never swerved from the Godward path. If Bharat occupies a pivotal position among all nations, it is only because of Bharatiyas’ one-pointed devotion to God. There are many affluent countries where people lead a luxurious life, but they are unable to attain peace of mind. It is the good fortune of Bharatiyas that they are able to enjoy peace of mind. Their devotion to God is responsible for this. Since ancient times, the culture of Bharat has been protecting the Bharatiyas in all respects. Its glory and grandeur defy all description. One who has peace of mind will have moral strength. Hence, chant the divine name constantly. Yesterday you went round the entire village singing the glory of God and entered the portals of Prasanthi Nilayam; you experienced peace of mind. It is not possible to experience peace by any other means. Hence, never forget God. Sanctify your time by chanting His Name. Contemplation of God should be man’s constant endeavour. There may be some jealous people who will try to dissuade you from chanting God’s name. They say, “What is the use of chanting God’s name? It will not help us to eke out our livelihood. We have to work hard for our survival. So, stop chanting God’s name.” Do not pay heed to such narrow-minded people. Never forget God’s name. You may not be aware; people all over the world in all villages are facing hardships. They are suffering from physical ailments and mental agitations. Only Bharatiyas are able to enjoy peace of mind because of their devotion to God. There is no happiness greater than experiencing peace of mind.
Mental peace can be obtained only by constant contemplation of God. This cannot be purchased from the market. It is only by constant contemplation of God that mental worries can be overcome. This is the experience of people all over the world. Contemplation of God alone can bring about mental peace and happiness. No other means can achieve this.
To be born is a worry, to be on the earth is a worry; world is a cause of worry and death too; entire childhood is a worry and so is the old age; life is a worry, failure is a worry; all actions and difficulties cause worry; even happiness too is a mysterious worry. (Telugu poem)
Namasmarana will obviate all difficulties
Contemplation of God is the right royal path that would remove all types of worries. Therefore, do not try other means for achieving mental peace and get into trouble and worry. March on along the divine and glorious path. All the karmas in the spiritual field are meant to bring peace and happiness to us. They are not intended to trouble us. Mental peace can be achieved only by performing one’s own duty, not by any other means. Karma brings about a result; and that result brings happiness and peace. Even when you are undergoing difficulties, always think that they are meant to bring you happiness. Every human being undergoes difficulties, only to enjoy happiness later. However, he does not realise this during the period of suffering. But, in course of time, when suffering ends and happy days arrive, he would realise the truth. Hence, always remember the truth that sorrows and difficulties are prelude to happy days ahead. In fact, real happiness comes out of suffering only.
Embodiments of Love!
Love is the only property that always grows — the more you spend, the more it grows; it never diminishes. Supposing you go up a hill and sing the glory of God; the divine vibrations will reach a large area and the people hearing the namasmarana even from a distance will feel very happy. Divine music can confer solace even to children and animals. By hearing namasankirtan, even the heart of a stone-hearted person will melt. We have heard of several instances in Indian history where great devotees of God, by their namasankirtan, could bring about complete transformation in die-hard criminals.
Suppose you are digging a pit; the soil in that is taken out and stacked by its side becomes a mound. You need not feel anxious that the pit is becoming deeper and deeper. The soil that is dug out of the pit and the soil that is piled up next to the pit are the same. Similarly, along with the difficulties you undergo, you will experience happiness also in abundant measure. When you fill in the soil that is piled up (namely happiness) in the pit of sorrows and difficulties, you will attain a state of equanimity. This is what you have to realise today. You need not feel sorry, “Oh! I have fallen into this pit of sorrows and difficulties. How can I come out of this? How am I to bear this?” The soil of happiness stacked next to the pit of suffering may be filled into the pit. You will attain a state of equanimity. You have to do this sadhana.
Embodiments of Love!
You have come here with love-filled hearts, undergoing lot of difficulties and physical strain. It is your love and devotion to Swami that brought you here. Go back to your places with the same intensity of love and devotion. Continue to enjoy the moments of joy and happiness you experienced in the presence of Swami.
Pleasure and pain, good and bad co-exist, none can separate them. You cannot find pleasure or pain, good or bad to the exclusion of the other. Pleasure results when difficulties fructify. (Telugu poem)
Thus, happiness and sorrow come to teach us equanimity.
Embodiments of Love!
Love is the only wealth that can never diminish. That is the property of God. Therefore, cultivate pure and selfless love. God’s love will always follow you wherever you are and will protect you at all times. Do not ever consider that money alone is your property. In fact, love is your real wealth. The wealth of Love always grows (expands), never diminishes. Those who realise the Paramatma will be able to understand this truth better. My heart is overflowing with love and joy on account of the namasankirtan you have done yesterday in the streets of Puttaparthi. Continue this namasankirtan wherever you are throughout your life. Especially, when your spirits are down with sorrow, sing the glory of God full-throated. Never feel diffident to sing the glory of God, thinking that others may make fun of you. Irrespective of what others may think or say against you, continue this sacred activity of namasankirtan. Only then will you be charged with divine power.
Embodiments of Love!
I am very happy that you are all gathered here. I always wish joy, happiness, comfort and peace for all of you. Today, 8000 devotees from your place have come here to share the happiness of Swami’s divine presence. All of you, please go to the canteen and partake of Swami’s prasadam happily. Swami’s prasadam will become akshaya (never diminishing) and will remove all your sorrows and difficulties. Everything that is granted by Swami is suffused with love. Whatever is granted by Bhagawan is always free. God will never succumb to monetary considerations. Wherever any service activity is associated with money, it is tainted. The entire property of Swami consists of Love only. Such divine love must become your very life-breath. All your past karmas will become extinct, if only you cultivate that pure love.
All of you go to the canteen and have food, as Swami’s prasadam. Thereafter, you can go to your respective villages, happily.
Embodiments of Love!
Having come here from such a long distance, fill your hearts with love. Sometime ago, there was a singer by name Saluru Rajeswara Rao. He used to visit Swami, regularly. He remained absorbed so much in music that he would sing while walking in the streets, unmindful of what others thought of him. Today, his son has come here to sing some devotional songs in the divine presence of Swami. These devotional songs fill the hearts of people with overwhelming joy. Late Rajeswara Rao used to sing a particular song on Sri Krishna melodiously “Challagaalilo Yamunathatipy Shyama Sundaruni Murali …” (Shyamasundara is melodiously playing His flute on the banks of the Yamuna, while the cool breeze is blowing). His voice as well as his feelings were sweet. Both Rajeswara Rao and another devotee Adi Narayana used to come here regularly. They were the people who composed the “Sai Charita” and sang those songs melodiously. They may be anywhere; the lives of such pure-hearted devotees are sanctified. Those, who sell their God-given talents and make a living out of it, can never be truly happy. Rajeswara Rao and Adi Narayana never made business out of their musical talents. They always sang to their heart’s content, with love and devotion. The glory of such devotees, whether dead or alive, will remain forever. There was another well known devotee by name Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao. He also underwent many difficulties. But, he was always devoted to God. Whenever he was in difficult situation, he used to sing, “Oh! God! Won’t You pull me out of these difficulties?” Even when he was sick and was hospitalised, he used to sing lying in the hospital bed, “Oh! Lord! How long have I to suffer this agony! Won’t you relieve me of this pain? “Once I went to the hospital to see him. I consoled him saying, “My dear Ghantasala! Never think of these difficulties and suffering. These things happen to test your faith in God. You will come out successful in this test, by constant namasmarana.” A devotee like him who is constantly engaged in namasmarana under all circumstances, will become immortal. Namasmarana is the only property that lasts forever. Therefore, you also undertake this sadhana, as a lifelong activity. Whether your voice is good or not, continue to sing the glory of God by constant namasmarana at least in your heart. Thereby, you will acquire merit that will protect you throughout your life. If you do this sadhana, God will always be with you, in you, around you. Whenever you take food, do namasmarana before partaking of the food. By doing so, the food will be sanctified and will become prasadam (gift) of God. Your heart also will be purified. That is why, our ancestors prayed thus before partaking of food:
Brahmarpanam Brahma havir Brahmagnou Brahmanahutam Brahmaiva thena ganthavyam Brahma karma samadhina
When you pray in this manner before you partake of your food, God immediately responds thus:
Aham Vaishvanaro bhutva Praninam dehamasrita Pranapana samayukta Pachamyannam chaturvidham
My dear! I am present in you in the form of Vaishvanara digesting the food that you partake of.
The prayer thus made invokes an immediate response from God. That is reaction, reflection and resound. Therefore, constantly engage yourself in namasmarana, which will confer bliss on you.
Bhagawan concluded His Discourse with the bhajan, “Hari Bhajan Bina Sukha Santhi Nahin”.