Types of road to God

This vast sea of aspirants who seek darshan and yearn to learn about spiritual matters may be a new experience to the organisers of this function; and even to the authorities in this city; but, let me tell you, it is nothing strange to me. Nor is the message I bring anything new! It is the message of the Vedhas, tested by time and guaranteed by the experience of many who put it into practice. This precious message is being forgotten and neglected for want of persons who continue to bring it to your attention; man is busy with so many trivialities that he has ignored the essential purpose of his sojourn here. The very hands that should have cherished this message that can save man in India as well as in all countries of the world, those very hands are trying to crush it and deny it.

This is the very reason that the people of India have lost the peace and joy that is their heritage; they have lost the key and are suffering. Like the rest of humanity, they are struggling in despair, to squeeze a little joy out of the objective world which is subject to change and chaos. How can joy result from adharma, out of the neglect of morality and virtue? Dharmo rakshathi rakshithaha — Righteousness guards its guardian.

Without the control of the senses, man is like a horse without blinkers, he is like a bull that refuses to yield to the yoke; his saadhana is a waste of time and energy. The special feature of man’s composition is that he has discrimination, detachment and synoptic intellect; he can discover Truth and be fixed in it, and gain unshakable Peace.

Three stages one has to go through

The Vedhas have three sections Karma, Upaasana and Jnaana. Karma is the section dealing with the activities that strengthen and purify faith and devotion; Upaasana is the section dealing with worship of the personal God, the dedication Of all acts to the Highest, the Inner Witness, the surrender of all skills and experiences unto the Immanent Power — these two endow man with one-pointedness, ekaagratha. As a result of these two, consciousness is able to recognise in a flash jnaana (knowledge)- –the fact of its being Divinity itself. All these three stages have to be gone through. The seed has to be sown, the sapling protected, and the fruit tasted. Instead of this one-pointedness, we have many-pointedness now: one-pointedness for coffee, another for the cinema, a third for the radio and so on! This has led to undue care being bestowed on hollow unrealities, and to the neglect of things which feed and foster the sense of holy discipline.

This is the reason why irreverence, injustice and corruption stalk the land. Every one condemns this state of affairs. The very persons who accuse others are ready to commit those wrongs when they get the chance. They are not toughened enough to resist the temptation. No one stands firm for they have not found the rock of the Aathma; they have no knowledge of their Aathmic reality. The teaching of all the scriptures and of all the sages and saints is to recognise the Aathma within and to build life upon that bedrock.

What is required for the discovery of that bedrock? You must be able to withdraw into yourself and meditate on your own true nature, and the truth of Nature. It is the privilege of every child of India to know the science of this inquiry and to practise it. It is the right of every seeker from every land. This is the wealth that will really save man from misery; all the rest are mere shadows, mirages, castles in the air, they drop with the body that valued them.

Acts that promote irreligion

Really speaking, it is the so-called aasthikas (believers, religious people) who by their conduct are promoting naasthikam (un-belief, irreligion) in the land. They revel in finding faults in holy men, in telling tales against elders, in cynical criticism and hollow ritualism. All this recoils on them. Whether it is Raama, Krishna, Raamakrishna, Sai Baba, Meher, Haranath or Sathya Sai, do not revile, even if you cannot revere! This flood of hatred and blind criticism is caused by the craving for fame, for followers, for pomp and display, for imposing buildings and rich devotees. Where love alone should be evident, hatred prevails. In Kaakinada, I know there is rivalry between one Sai Baba temple and another. There is competition for collecting funds and celebrating festivals. By these, you are fouling the sacred name itself.

You must have observed that I do not mention in any place about your worshipping Sai Baba. On the other hand, I strongly discourage attempts to build temples in My Name. I ask them, instead, to renovate and utilise the temples existing all over the country. This “Mandhir Construction Scheme” has become a profitable spiritual business. People go about with lists of likely victims and squeeze donations out of them in My Name. In this business, a great deal of back-biting, malice, envy and greed are generated and it ends with factions blaming each other in every place. Why go about doing Sainatha publicity or Meher publicity or Haranath publicity? Pushing your master’s name forward easily degenerates into tarnishing the name of the other man’s Guru or God and this leads to defaming both master and disciple.

No short-cuts in the spiritual field

Do not believe if any one comes to you and declares, “Sathya Sai Baba came to me in my dream and commissioned me to do publicity for him. Please help me as far as you can”. I do not commission any one for such work, either in dream or while he is awake. Such men are cheats; treat them as such, without mercy. There are others who show you something and say. “Sathya Sai Baba likes me much; He gave this,” and then, they beg for help. This is an insult to the Divine Principle itself.

There are no short-cuts in the spiritual field. As a matter of fact, bhakthi is even more difficult than jnaana; for, to get the attitude of ‘Thou” not “I” one has to surrender completely to the Higher Power, personified as the Lord. The ego has to be fully curbed; the faith that “not even a blade of grass can shake in the wind without His being aware of it and thus having caused it”. has to be implanted in the mind. Bhakthi is not a leisure time job. Erase sensual desire; clear the heart of all blemish; then, the Lord will be reflected therein as in a mirror.

Spiritual discipline is very necessary; it is not enough if you place charcoal over the cinders; you must fan vigorously, so that the charcoal too is changed into burning cinders. It is not enough if you are at Puttaparthi. You have to engage in saadhana to win My Sankalpa (resolution). You may ask why the burden of the consequences of acts done in previous births cannot be easily brushed away; no, they can be destroyed, as a heap of cotton is burnt by a spark of fire. Jnaanaagni dagdha karmaanam — the spark of jnaana will destroy the effect of karma, in a trice. These consequences are like the cloud of dust that follows a bus, when it runs on a fair-weather road; when the bus reaches the gravel road or the metalled road, the dust is less, but it is still there. When at last it enters the tarred road there is no dust. The mud track is karma; the metalled road is upaasana; the tarred dust-free road is jnaana. By human skill and effort, it is possible to reduce the burden of past karma.

There is no higher wealth than Peace

You do not wait with folded hands for the cup of coffee to cool down to the required warmth; you ask for an extra cup and you start pouring the coffee from one cup to the other, is it not? The same anxiety, the same saadhana has to be shown in spiritual matters also, to take in the beverage of Divine Grace. Subbarao spoke of Jesus now in his speech. Jesus was great because He showed the value of saadhana and the equanimity that can come through spiritual discipline.

There is no higher duty than truth, no higher wealth then shaanthi. Give up the senseless pursuit of western fashions and western moral codes that are demeaning the Divinity of Man. Cultivate the virtues of reverence and humility. Now, I must close, because since three hours so many thousands of you have been sitting in this hot sun, without even a stir or a whisper. This is Prashaanthi; this is real devotion. In spiritual matters, the more we subject ourselves to discipline, the more joy and peace we are able to enjoy.

The Principal of the Engineering College made all arrangements for this vast gathering at a very short notice; the students of the College have under his leadership served you in a very disciplined manner. For their tireless activity and for the aananda they helped you to derive today, you must be thankful to them. Really, among present day Colleges, this Kaakinada College has impressed Me by the spiritual urge evident among the students. Students are the real promoters of the prosperity of future India. They must cultivate strong virtues and be courageous, enthusiastic helpers of society. If their future is planned well, in both material and spiritual fields, they will shine and earn a great name for the country.