From every throat, his melody

THIS land of Bhaarath is indeed a holy country. Here the sages have sought to discover the means of peaceful life, of happy life in communities of men, of a type of life that will put an end to grief. They discovered and taught the Aathmavidhya (Science of the Self), the chief component of which is Prema or Love. God is .where Love is — Love expressed as sympathy, charity, reverence, affection, sacrifice. God is Love, Premamaya, Premaswaruupa, Premabhaaskara (full of love, Embodiment of Love, Sun of love), as He is described by those Who have realised Him. So, He can be attained only through Love. Bhakthi is defined as Parama-prema- swaruupa — of the nature of the highest love. It is not blind love; it need not be blind love.

I always advocate deep inquiry to strengthen the foundations of faith. Inquiry will only reinforce the springs of Love. Can there be anything more lovable than God, who is Beauty, Strength, Glory, Fame, Splendour, Wisdom, in their fullest bloom? Love of God creates in man the love for all examples of His majesty, His mercy, His magnificence, His manifoldness. Raamakrishna saw in a flower His charm; He saw everywhere His grandeur; heard from every throat His melody, His Flute song. Even filth and wickedness are loved, for God allows them to be!

Activity and devotion generate spiritual knowledge

The true Indian must have this Love, inspiring and guiding him in all actions. Bhagavath-raththi (Love towards God) is the sine qua non of the child of Bhaarathamaatha. The very word means just that. The great men and women of this land did not waste their lives into the pursuit of earthly possessions, but cast them off as encumbrances hampering progress on the path to God. They abdicated thrones and kingdoms, renounced war, learnt philosophy on battlefields and trekked far and wide in search of spiritual guides. Like men who had forgotten their names, they asked the wise who they were, until they knew their identity. They did not ask all whom they met, as most men do, “Who are you?,” but inquired from all the wise men they met, “Please tell me who I am.” That is the way to acquire full content and peace.

The I is the foundation on which you build your Divinity and the Mansion of Dharma (righteousness). This truth can be known through Karma and Upaasana (activity and dedication, deeds and devotion) which purify and clarify. Just as water and fire get transformed into steam, which moves a locomotive and drags heavy wagons along the rails, Karma and Upaasana generate Jnaanam (spiritual knowledge), which moves man’s life smoothly along the rails of Peace and Joy. Karma and Upaasana create detachment; they teach the true sense of values; man learns that peace can be won only by withdrawing the mind from the objective world, not by allowing it to graze in the poisonous meadows of sensual pleasure.

Saints had full faith in their destiny

When you are depressed by what appears to be loss or calamity, engage yourselves in Naamasmarana, the recitation and recollection of the Names of the Lord; that will give you consolation, courage and true perspective. Remember the distress and calamity that the saints underwent with enthusiastic welcome and be calm during every storm. People laughed at them and called them mad; but they knew that they were in the Grace Hospital of God, not the mental hospital of man. They had full faith in their destiny and so they had full faith in God; they laughed when calamities tried to cow their eagerness, for they knew their latent strength of the Aathma within.

Now the pupils of the Vedhashasthrapaathashaala (School of Vedhic Learning) at Prashaanthi Nilayam will enact a play on this stage before you. They have seldom acted before such vast multitudes. The drama they enact is saturated with Adhyaathmik (spiritual) teachings. It depicts the sovereignty of Bhakthi, Jnaana and Faith, in easy, simple and sweet song and dialogue. They will now reveal the inner significance of the devotion of Raadha, a devotion that has been the target of criticism bred by ignorance and perversity. The boys will also tell you many things about the spiritual endeavour that you have to make. If others of your own age say those things, you might be tempted to protest, but when the children lisp the lessons, certainly you will love to take them to heart. Accept the lessons that this drama is intended to convey, whatever be the defects in presentation and performance. Listen in silence and patience; watch with sympathy. The boys may get nervous if you show any neglect or want of attention. Take this as another sign of My Grace and sit through the play in reverential attention.