The wise farmer

Today, I am really full of joy, for I have before Me people who are engaged in hardy toil and who sacrifice their personal comforts in order to make others happy. What the world needs is work done in that spirit. Everyone has divinity embedded in them, as well as Truth and sweetness. Only, one does not know how to manifest that Divinity, how to realise that Truth, how to taste that sweetness. So, one carries the twin burdens of joy and grief tied to the ends of a single pole slung across his shoulders.

Courage is the tonic for getting both physical as well as mental health and strength. Give up doubt, hesitation, and fear. Do not give any chance for these to strike root in your mind. People, by means of the inner divine strength, with which they are equipped, can achieve anything; they can even become Madhava (God).

To help you to give up fear and doubt, keep the Name of the Lord always on your tongue and in your mind. Dwell on the endless forms of the Lord, His limitless Glory, while you repeat the Name. Attach yourself to Him; then your attachment for these temporary objects will fall off; or at least, you will start seeing them in their proper proportion as having only relative reality. When the tiny little ego assumes enormous importance, it causes all this bother! That is the root of all the travail.

Ramanama endows you with spiritual power

In your heart, there is the Atma-rama, the Rama that confers eternal joy. So repeat the name Rama — the Sun that can make the lotus in the heart bloom. Rama is not the son of Emperor Dasaratha but of the ruler of the ten senses (dasendriyas). The recital of Rama’s Name must become as automatic as breathing, as frequent and as essential.

Rama has in it the seed letters of both the Siva mantra and the Narayana mantra, for it is composed of the second letters of both: Na-ra-yana and Na-mah-sivaya. This name is acceptable, therefore, to all sects. It also endows you with power and all the spiritual capital you need.

Real bliss (ananda) can be won only by means of the transformation of the impulses that agitate the mind. It is not to be found in wealth. You think that the rich man is happy; ask Me, and I shall reveal to you that they are full of grief, for they come to Me in large numbers for relief. They have no peace (santhi) at all. A strong physique does not by itself give peace; nor does scholarship, or asceticism or rituals. Only constant dwelling with the Name of the Lord gives unshakable peace, unaffected by the ups and downs of life. It makes man a hero.

Sai Baba was till today a formless Name to you, but now it has come with Form and you can keep the Form in your mind. So too, the Name Rama has a form, and you should picture the form also when you repeat the Name; then the name becomes concrete and remembrance of the Name is easier. Live always in the presence of that Form-filled name. Then life becomes one continuous worship of the Lord.

Do your tasks as dedicated to the Lord

Really speaking, you agriculturists are holy souls, for you bend under the weight of the service you do and, with hands raised in prayer, you toil night and day converting dust and dirt into the nourishing harvest of grain for all men to feed upon.

This task is holy and the product of your efforts is also sacred. Why cannot this task be made more fruitful by the cultivation of virtues also? That is the real harvest that pleases the Lord and sustains the world.

Worry and grief there will always be of one type or other, in the past, present, and future, while walking, dreaming, and sleeping. But place faith in the Lord and do your tasks as dedicated to Him, and they both will vanish.

Do your duties with God’s Name on your lips

Narada one day boasted before Vishnu that no devotee could excel him; but this boast was against the very first qualification of a devotee: freedom from egoism. So Vishnu spoke of a farmer who was tilling his little plot of land as a greater devotee and recommended that Narada should visit him and learn “the art of devotion” from him.

Narada felt badly humiliated; but he proceeded to the village indicated, in great chagrin. He found the farmer engrossed in his round of duties on the field, in the cattle shed and at home. In spite of the most vigilant watch, he could not hear him speak the name of the Lord more than thrice a day; once when he woke up from bed, another time when he took his midday meal, and the last when he retired for the night. Narada was naturally incensed that he was deemed inferior to this poor, pale specimen of a devotee. He, Narada, was always singing melodiously of the divine sport of the Lord and spreading everywhere the message of devotional singing of the Lord’s name, and here was a horny-handed son of the soil who remembered the Lord only three times a day, whom Vishnu judged superior to him.

Narada hurried to heaven, his face flushed with anger and ignominy, but Vishnu only laughed at his plight. He gave him a pot full to the brim with water and asked him to carry it on his head and go round a certain course without spilling even a drop. Narada did so, but when asked how often he had remembered the Name of the Lord, he admitted that in his anxiety to walk without shaking the pot and spilling the water, he had forgotten the Name completely! Vishnu told him that the farmer who was carrying on his head more precious and more spillable burdens than a pot of water and who had to be careful not to take any false step must perforce be admired for remembering the Lord at least three times a day!

Therefore, it will be a great gain if you remember the Lord with thankfulness at least thrice or even twice a day; that will give you great peace. Do not give up your worldly duties, but do them with the name of God on your lips, inviting the Grace of God on your heads. Do not involve yourselves in the affairs of your neighbours or others to the extent that you get so entangled you cannot extricate yourselves.

Spend your time in the contemplation of the beauties of nature, which are spread out before you in earth and sky — green expanses of the crops you have raised, cool breezes that waft contentment and joy, the panorama of coloured clouds, the music of the birds. Sing the glories of God as you walk along the bunds of the fields and the banks of the canals. Do not talk hatefully in the midst of all this evidence of love, do not get angry in these placid surroundings; do not disturb the sky with your shouts and curses, do not pollute the air with vengeful boasts.

Purify your conduct, cleanse your behaviour

The seedling wants water and manure to grow and yield rich harvest. The tiny sapling of spiritual yearning for liberation from bondage also needs these two. That is the real cultivation that you must undertake. That is the mark of the wise farmer.

More than all, set right your habits, purify your conduct, and cleanse your behaviour. One bad habit that has taken deep root in this area is the smoking of tobacco, an evil that is fast becoming universal. It destroys health, happiness, energy, and even charm. Smoke will not quench your thirst or fill your hungry stomach. It disfigures your face and denigrates your lungs. It debilitates you and makes you diseased. Control yourself. Do not yield to the snares of friends or society or what is miscalled social convention and become a prey to this and other bad habits.

The body is the temple of the Lord; keep it in good and strong condition. It is damaged by food and drink of the rajasic (e.g. anger, hatred, greed) and thamasic (e.g. sloth, sleep, lethargy, inactivity) types and also by rajasic and thamasic behaviour. When you get violent and angry with anyone, quietly repeat the name of the Lord to overcome it or drink a glass of cold water or spread your bed and lie down until the fit of fury passes. While angry, you abuse another and they do the same; and tempers rise, heat is generated, and lasting injury is done. Five minutes of anger damages the relationship for five generations, remember.

This skeletal cage or body (asthipanjaram) is the Hasthinapuram, where we have the blind king, Dhritharashtra, the symbol of ignorance, as well as Yudhistira, the symbol of wisdom. Let the forces of Yudhistira win, with the help of Sri Krishna. Let the tongue, accustomed to the bitterness of the margosa fruit of worldly triumphs and disasters, taste the sweet honey of remembering the Lord’s Name. Experiment with this for a time and you will be surprised at the result. You can feel the vast improvement in peace and stability in you and around you. Learn this easy lesson, get immersed in joy, and let others also share that joy with you. This is Message I leave with you.