Listen to discourse: 23 November 2008

Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Divine Discourse
83rd Birthday, Prasanthi Nilayam, 23 November 2008

All names and forms are but the manifestations of the Supreme Being, who is existence-knowledge-bliss, absolute, and nondual.

He is the embodiment of truth, goodness, beauty (sathyam, sivam, sundaram). (Sanskrit verse)

Embodiments of Love!

The country of Bharat (India) is most sacred. In this sacred land of Bharat, tolerance is the noble quality that we should cultivate. Just as an elephant is unable to realise its innate strength, so are the Bharatiyas (Indians) today. The elephant meekly submits itself to the commands of a mahout, who is ignorant and illiterate. In spite of its great strength, it cannot demonstrate its strength. Similarly, Bharatiyas today are unable to demonstrate their strength in spite of possessing a rich culture, righteousness, and justice on their side. The Vedas declare, “Immortality is not attained through action, progeny, or wealth, it is attained only by sacrifice (Na karmana na prajaya dhanena tyagenaike amrutatthwamanasuh).”

The greatest drawback in this country is lack of unity among people. We have everything in this country. We have noble qualities. We are righteous. But there is no unity among people, with the result that all other positive factors become ineffectual. Hence, we have to cultivate unity among people. We all belong to one species: human beings. Being humans, we are, unfortunately, exhibiting inhuman and animal qualities.

Hence, first and foremost we have to recognise our innate human nature today. We have to treat others’ suffering as our own. We have to treat others’ difficulties as our own. We have to be amicable with one and all. We must develop faith in the maxim, “embodiments of one divine Self (Ekatmaswarupas).” We must develop a sense of discrimination between good and bad and take the good only, leaving the bad in all human beings. The same principle has to be followed in society also. We have to do good even to those who harm us:

There is nothing great in helping those who have helped you.
He is a noble one who helps even those who have harmed him.
(Telugu poem)

We must always entertain good thoughts about people. “See good, do good, and be good — that is the way to God.” “As is the feeling, so is the result (Yad bhavam tad bhavati).” If our thoughts are good, we will always engage ourselves in good deeds. If you eat a mango, can you get the belch of a cucumber? No. Similarly, if you entertain good thoughts always, you will see good only everywhere. When you indulge in bad thoughts, you will see bad only everywhere.

Secular education is useless without a spiritual base

There is a Sathya Sai College in Muddenahalli, near Bangalore. Several boys coming from poor families in the villages around are studying in this college. A number of philanthropists extended help to the college in different ways — some built classrooms, others a bhajan hall, etc. However, this institution is not affiliated with any university. Once the boys finish their education, they have to go to places like Bangalore to pursue a degree course.

When I thought of their plight, I got a good idea. Here in Puttaparthi, our college and university are housed in spacious and beautiful buildings. Suppose we establish a campus in Muddenahalli; the boys there will also be happy. Is it not? Hence, I decided to establish a college campus of Sri Sathya Sai University in Muddenahalli. Mine is divine will, which is irrevocable and immutable. Now that I have decided, I will initiate the process from tomorrow.

Since the boys studying in Muddenahalli college come from a rural background and are very poor, they are unable to go for higher education in cities and towns. They therefore discontinue their studies and take to farming activity. Of course, that is also necessary. Secular education helps to make a comfortable living. Hence, education is of top priority. Once they finish their education, they can get into any occupation, including agriculture.

I have therefore decided to provide university education to the boys in Muddenahalli. I am of the view that, side by side with academic subjects, there must be provision for teaching epics and sacred texts like the Ramayana, the Bhagavatha, and the Bhagavad Gita as well. The boys must be given good training and be allowed to spread the message of these epics in the villages around. All secular education is useless without a spiritual base.

There are millions of educated people in the world, but what is their contribution to society? Nothing. They don’t even care for society. They are crazy about the luxurious life in towns and cities. They indulge in bad practices like gambling and club life. The children too are taking to bad ways, observing their parents. Hence, it is My view that children should be taught to tread the right path. The elders will follow them later on observing them. Keeping this in My mind, I have decided to establish a university campus in Muddenahalli. Perhaps it will cost about two to three crores of rupees. I do not mind this expenditure. It is My resolve that this is needed.

The boys in Prasanthi Nilayam are excellent. They are pure gold. It is possible that one or two may stray from the right path, but very soon they adjust themselves to the academic environment and follow the mainstream.

Yesterday, the boys staged a play. It conveys a great message. The theme of the play was two brothers quarrelling for their share of property in a small village. They are counseled saying, “Dear brothers, if you quarrel with each other like this, how can our village prosper? You must be united and must lead an amicable life”, and, finally, they are corrected. The boys should therefore be encouraged to take up such village development programmes.

Students, no doubt, are good today, but the elders spoil them by their bad behaviour. It is the elders who divert them to bad ways. However, the students quickly realise their mistakes and retrace their steps. I know of boys who advise their parents addicted to alcohol to desist from such bad ways saying, “Dear father, don’t indulge in these bad habits. By doing so, you will only be encouraging us also to take to drinking. This is not good.” If elders take to drinking, smoking, and gambling, the children follow suit. They get spoiled. Hence, if the children must lead a virtuous life, the elders must lead an ideal life first.

I have therefore decided to establish a university campus in Muddenahalli to teach boys to lead an ideal life with clean habits. The boys there cannot afford to go to a city for a university education. Nor can their parents afford the expenditure. Hence, I have decided to establish a university campus with all the equipment and facilities like classrooms for all the courses and a good hostel. It will be ready for opening within a year. It is My divine will.

All that I have for you is a thousand mothers’ love

A number of people like Anil Kumar, Ajit Popat, etc., have spoken a lot extolling Me. I am not happy about such praises. I have no desire for people to extol Me. I am neither elated nor depressed by such acts. I am beyond praise or ridicule, respect or disrespect, anger or happiness. I have only one attribute throughout: My love. I love even those who hate Me. I love even those who indulge in bad propaganda against Me. I do not consider anyone as enemy. All are Mine.

I am looking after you all, like a mother. Mine is not one mother’s love. It is the love of a thousand mothers. Sai’s love is a thousand mothers’ love. It is only due to that love that I ignore all your faults and move forward. Whenever someone commits a mistake, I call them and correct them in a raised voice, but I don’t show anger against them. I have no anger against anybody. In fact, I have no anger at all. People who are unable to understand My true nature think otherwise.

Whatever people may think and say, I have only one attribute: love. Mine is a right royal road, not shortcuts. People do not understand Me properly. Once they recognise My true nature, they themselves will repent. That repentance is expiation for their misunderstanding. However, there is no change in my attitude toward them.

What I wish is, “May all the beings of all the worlds be happy (Samasta lokah sukhino bhavantu)!” All should be hale and healthy and lead happy and prosperous lives with mutual love and understanding. You must acquire wealth, but do not misuse wealth. Then only will I be happy. I will extend any help to such people.

I have not stretched My hand before anyone till date for any kind of help. If there is anyone in this vast concourse of devotees in this hall whom I had approached for money, they may rise and point out to Me. There is none, surely. Whatever I need in My avataric mission comes from within only. “Money comes and goes, morality comes and grows.” It is My endeavour that morality should be developed. All villages must be developed. For this purpose, education in rural areas is an important tool. Simultaneously, faith in God must also be developed.

People with self-confidence can achieve anything.

Those who denigrate will repent

Bhakta Ramadas wanted to build a magnificent temple for Rama in Bhadrachalam. He therefore utilised all the tax money collected from people for the purpose. As a result, he was imprisoned by Emperor Tanisha on charges of misuse of state money and was put to great torture. Unable to bear the physical torture, he prayed to his dear Lord Rama and even used harsh words thus:

That crest jewel which adorns You cost me ten thousand gold coins.
Unmindful of my travails, You are flaunting the jewelry as if it is Your ancestral property! (Telugu song)

The very next moment he realised his folly and repented and begged Rama for pardon. Similarly, several people may think and talk in several ways about Swami. But, very soon, they will realise and repent their indiscreet acts. Different people have different opinions. People indulge in loose talk out of their delusion. But I have no illusions. Whatever people may say, I talk to them and greet them with love. I don’t punish them for their indiscreet talk or behaviour. They themselves must realise their fault and repent. If they denigrate Me now, they will themselves face trouble later. Hence, people must think twice before indulging in any loose talk.

Unfortunately, none has been able to realise My true nature. They pretend to have understood My mind, but none could comprehend it in the least. They look to the outward manifestations only. They talk of My programmes and activities in the outside world only. They are unable to realise My divine love at all, which flows from the depths of My heart. However, I am confident that people will realise it one day. I always wish and work for the welfare of the entire world.

All should live in peace. Even if we don’t have any other property, we can lead a happy life if only the property of love is with us. And, that love should be supported by self-confidence.

Discard the feeling of ‘I’ and ‘mine’

God is the only source and sustenance for the entire universe. Everything else is an illusion. Sorrows and difficulties, loss and gain, diseases and sickness — treat them all as the divine will. Then everything will turn out to be good for you.

You say, “This is my body,” but who are you? You say, “My body,” but you are not the “body”. Similarly, you say, “My mind,” but you are not saying, “I am the mind”. Thus, “you” are different from your body, mind, etc.

When someone asks your name, do not say, “I am Rama” or “I am Krishna;” say, “I am I.” Whatever name you say, it is only the name given to you by your parents. It is not your real name. In fact, nothing belongs to you in this world. “I” is your only property. That is why we say “I”, “I”, “I” for everything.

You are God, verily, if only you get rid of “I”, the ego, and “mine”, the attachment. Then, you are really yourself (your real SELF)! When you say, “My house, my people,” etc., attachment grows. This body attachment breeds ego. Hence, once you rise above “I” and ‘mine’ and lead a contented life, you will derive great happiness.

May you all lead a happy, loving and long life! May you all be united!
Let us all move together, let us all grow together.
Let us all stay united and grow in intelligence together.
Let us live together with friendship and harmony.
(Telugu poem)

Strive for unity

We cannot do any work with one finger. When all five fingers of the hand join together, we can do any work. Similarly, if people are divided, no work can be executed.

A small story. Once the five fingers of a hand argued among themselves as to which finger was great. The middle finger argued with ego, “I am taller than all of you. There are two ‘body guards’ on either side of me. Hence, I am great.”

The index finger said, “You can do any work only if I show you to do that work. Otherwise, you cannot. Hence, I only am great.” The small finger intervened and said, “Though I am small in size, I stand in the front as the commander-in-chief to punish any individual or teach him a lesson. Therefore, I am great.” Thereupon, the ring finger laughed and said, “People wear diamond and gem-studded rings only on the ring finger. Hence, I am the monarch of all.” Finally, after hearing all these arguments, the thumb laughed aloud and wound up the discussion with the suggestion, “None of you can undertake any work without me. Therefore, let us all get together to work.”

Let all the theists, atheists, theistic atheists, and atheistic theists come together. That is what we need today. What Bharat (India) needs today is unity. We have everything — love, truth, righteousness, and justice — but not unity. It is only due to lack of unity that we are leading a life of diversity and divergent ideas. All should be united and should lead a happy life with a feeling of camaraderie and fraternity.

Unfortunately, today there is a feeling of difference even between a father and a son in the house. The wife and husband, the brothers and sisters, all quarrel among themselves. How can there be peace and happiness in the family? There may be differences of opinion, but they should not last for long. They just come and go like the passing clouds. Why should people fight among themselves? You should not mind these differences.

Always keep the welfare of others before your eyes

I have not approached anyone for anything, though I am undertaking huge social service projects. I had undertaken a project for supplying drinking water to ten million people living in Chennai. Every house has been provided with drinking water. Not only that, water has also been arranged for irrigation purposes. The people living in the upland areas of East and West Godavari districts in Andhra Pradesh were suffering for want of safe drinking water. I arranged for execution of a drinking water supply project for the benefit of all those people. Along with the supply of drinking water, arrangements were made to provide water purifying systems en route. Thus, I always wish to do some good to every individual.

Now, I propose to establish a university campus in Muddenahalli for the benefit of students studying in Sri Sathya Sai College there. I had watched with My own eyes the difficulties the students were undergoing there due to lack of facilities for higher education, and I was moved. I assured them that I would provide the necessary facilities. Is anyone here from Muddenahalli? (Swami invited Sri Narayana Rao to the stage and introduced him to the audience). This person is the Principal of the Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School, Muddenahalli. He is highly educated and is running the school well. Whenever I visit Muddenahalli he would pray, “Swami, when will You shower Your grace on us?” (with the kind permission of Swami, Sri Narayana Rao spoke for a few minutes, offering his grateful thanks to Swami.) Thereafter, Swami concluded His divine discourse saying, “Share the joy that I gave you today with all! Be happy!”

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