Give up dehabhimana, develop atmabhiman

Listen to the discourse

Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Divine Discourse
Vijayadashami, Prasanthi Nilayam, 5 October 2003

The Vaishnavites say that Lord Vishnu is the greatest while Saivites declare that Lord Siva is the greatest of all. People may speak on the basis of their feelings, but in truth there is only GOD and the rest are names. (Telugu Poem)

You will not be respected if your thoughts and words are at variance. You may speak sweet words, but if your mind is filled with evil thoughts, how can you earn the respect of others? One can be called a human being, only when one’s thoughts, words and deeds are in total harmony.

Embodiments of Love!

The Navaratri festival is celebrated all over India, but nobody seems to make any effort to comprehend the inner significance of this festival. The Hridaya (heart) is the abode of the Atma. No being can exist without the principle of Atma. God, who resides in all as the principle of Atma, has no specific name and form. But, People attribute various names and forms to Him. The Gaanapatyas (worshippers of Ganapati) consider Lord Ganapati as great; the Saivites consider there is none superior to Lord Siva. The devotees of Sai consider Him to be the greatest. Some devotees say all are one.

In fact, all names and forms belong to the same God. He responds to the prayers of devotees in whatever form they worship Him. Hence, each one considers the form he worships to be superior to the other forms. It is a sign of ignorance to consider one form superior to the other. What is important is that your prayers should not be confined to mere words. They should be translated into action. It is easy to speak but not so easy to practice. True prayer is that which is translated into action.

During the Navaratri celebrations, the Divine Mother is extolled in various names and forms. All names and forms are based on your feelings. God has no differences whatsoever. No one can comprehend the nature of Divinity. Actually, the principle of love that exists in all beings is the principle of Divinity. Love has no specific form. Divinity transcends name and form. Love is God. Live in love. Truth is God. Truth is all-pervasive.

The creation emerges from truth and merges into truth, Is there a place where truth does not exist? Visualise such pure and unsullied truth. (Telugu Poem)

There are no different truths for different countries such as American truth, Russian truth, Indian truth, Japanese truth, etc. Truth is one and the same for all. It is uniformly present in everyone. True celebration of Navaratri festival lies in contemplating on Sathyaswarupa (the embodiment of truth). Respect one and all, for, the divine Atma is present in all. To respect all is true worship. If you want to be respected, you should respect others in the first instance. Give respect and take respect. Understand the principle of oneness, that is Divinity. The Vedas declare, Ekam Sath Viprah Bahudha Vadanti (truth is one, but the wise refer to it by various names). You may call Him by any name and form, but God is one. This principle of unity should be firmly installed in your heart.

God is present in everyone in the form of love. Wherever you go, He is with you. He is the eternal witness. Share your love with others and receive their love in turn. Love is your greatest virtue. Love confers the ultimate joy and bliss. God resides in the heart filled with love. Hence, it is essential that you fill your heart with love. Where there is love, there is God. You don’t need to search for Him. He is always in you, with you, around you, above you and below you. Adhere to the principle of love. Never hate anyone. Hatred is your worst enemy. Once you develop love in you, hatred will naturally vanish. If you were to come across your bitter rival, greet him with love. He too will reciprocate the same feeling. How can you expect love from others when you do not have any love for them? It is love and love alone that I practice and propagate. Try to understand the power of love. It is your greatest wealth. None can estimate its value. What does God expect from you? It is only your love. Love is the tax that you have to pay to God for all that He has given you.

During the Navaratri worship, you have to express your love to the Divine Mother in nine different ways:

Sravanam (listening), Kirtanam (singing), Vishnusmaranam (contemplating on Vishnu), Padasevanam (serving His Lotus Feet), Vandanam (salutation), Archanam (worship), Dasyam (servitude), Sneham (friendship), Atmanivedanam (self-surrender).

God wants your love and nothing else. Your love should not branch out in different directions. It should flow directly towards God. If you love others, you will be loved in turn. If you utter harsh words, they will come back to you as resound. Fill your heart with love and compassion. Hridaya is that which is filled with Daya (compassion). Compassion is the hallmark of a true devotee. One who lacks compassion cannot be called a human being. When you practice truth and righteousness, you will be successful in all your endeavors. That is why the Vedas teach, Sathyam Vada, Dharmam Chara (speak truth, practice righteousness). Your heart should melt with compassion when you see the poor and needy.

Embodiments of Love!

Having spent this Navaratri in the worship of Divine Mother, your heart should be filled with love and compassion. The heart bereft of love and compassion is verily a cemetery. Right from dawn to dusk, love should be the undercurrent of all your activities. The moment you get up from bed, resolve that you would tread the path of love. Only then can you have the vision of God, who is the very embodiment of love. True spiritual practice lies in connecting love to love. Love can transform even a hard stone into butter. Swami always teaches the principle of love. It is enough if You call ‘Baba’ with love from the depth of your heart. He will come to your rescue. Consider love as your life breath. If there is no love in your prayer, it will prove futile. Love should be ‘heartful’ and not artificial. Be friendly with all and have a smiling countenance always. What is the use of talking sweetly if your heart is filled with bitterness? Only love can fill your heart with nectarous feelings.

Embodiments of Love!

Your entire life is based on love. Without love, you cannot exist even for a moment. Hence, develop love considering it as the very form of God. Today marks the culmination of Navaratri festival. Worship of Divine Mother is meant to destroy evil qualities and foster virtues in you. The more you distance yourself from evil, the nearer you will be to the principle of love. You don’t need to make any efforts to acquire love. The moment you eschew evil, love will automatically enter your heart.


There is love inherent in all of you. But, you are diverting it on worldly matters. True love is related to the Atmic principle. Worldly love is bound to change with the passage of time, whereas spiritual love is permanent. Even your breathing process speaks of the presence of love in you. When you inhale, you make the sound ‘So’ and When you exhale ‘Ham’; together ‘Soham’ means, ‘I am That’. The principle of ‘I’ is uniformly present in all. This can be experienced by following the nine paths of devotion. Never give scope for differences. Understand the unity, “I and You are one”. Your love gets fragmented when you fail to visualize unity in diversity. There is only one heart, which is changeless.

Your words may vary, but your heart remains steady. The Gopikas used to pray,

O God, I offer you the heart which You have given me. What else can I offer at Your Lotus Feet? I pray to You I to accept it. (Telugu Poem)

Heart is not your property; it belongs to God. There is nothing in this world that you can call as your own. You may consider the worldly wealth and materials as your property. But, they are not permanent.

Lord Krishna declared, Anityam Asukham Lokam Imam Prapya Bhajasva Maam (as the world is temporary and full of misery, contemplate on Me constantly). Divine love alone is true and changeless. The mariner’s compass always points towards northern direction; likewise your love should always be directed towards God. You cannot claim to belong to the mankind unless there is kindness in you. Your life should be suffused with love and kindness. You should dedicate your life to love. You may wonder as to how to pray to God. In fact, you don’t need to pray to God. You should let your love flow incessantly towards God. Then you will understand the unity, “I and You are one.” There is no second entity.

Embodiments of Divine Atma!

You see the body but you don’t understand the feelings associated with it. The body is made up of five elements and five senses. But you are not the body.

The body is made up of five elements and is bound to perish sooner or later but the Indweller has neither birth nor death. The Indweller has no attachment whatsoever and is the eternal witness. In fact, the Indweller who is in the form of Atma is verily God Himself. (Telugu Poem)

You say it is my head, my heart, etc., then who are you? When you engage in self enquiry in this manner, you will realize that YOU are different from the body. God pervades each anga (limb) of your body in the form of essence. Hence, He is extolled as Angirasaya Namah

(salutations to the one who is in the form of essence in all my limbs). It is a mistake to confine God to a particular form. So long as you limit God to a form, you cannot attain Him. You should realize that God is attributeless, formless and He is the very essence of life. Physical form is bound to change. A child becomes a boy, boy becomes a man who in turn becomes a grandfather. In this manner, your physical form undergoes constant change. But you will remain the same. You are the embodiment of God. Once you understand this truth, you will not be affected by physical changes.

Many of you are anxious thinking that Swami is not keeping good health over the last few days. In fact, My health is very good. Real health is not related to the body. As you equate Swami with this physical frame, it appears as though Swami is not well. Yad Bhavam Tad Bhavati (as is the feeling, so is the result). Do not identify Me with this physical body. I am not Dehaswarupa (body), I am Dehi (the indweller). There is no difference between you and Me. I have all powers in Me. But you are deluded seeing My physical form. Whatever I am doing is only to satisfy the doctors and other devotees. As a matter of fact, there is no trace of ill-health in Me. I am always healthy. Not only today, till 96 years I will be like this. I can do whatever I want. But those who go by the physical form think that

Swami is ageing. Youth and old age are related to the body and not to Me. I am always the same. I can do anything. However, this body is yours. This has come for your sake. You can change it the way you like. If you think that Swami is strong and healthy, yes so He is. There is no weakness in Me. My angas (limbs) may appear to be weak. But I am not Angaswarupa, I am Atmaswarupa. Wherever you may go, worship God as Atmaswarupa. Do not identify Him with an Akara (form). Give up body consciousness and develop Atmic awareness. Only when you lead a spiritual life, will you be able to visualize the Atmaswarupa. If you identify Me with the body, I cannot walk even two steps. Do not think about the Akara. Have faith that I am the Atmaswarupa. Then I will always remain healthy.

Realize the Atma as your very life. Everyone of you is endowed with divine energy. But you are misusing it. Your youth is in your hands. Your very life is in your hands. You are not the body; you are the life principle. Body is meant to serve as an instrument in your quest for truth. The same Atma is present in all. Here you see a silver tumbler with water. The tumbler is the basis for water, silver is the basis for tumbler and Divinity is the basis for silver. Divinity is not made up of material. Hence, give up the materialistic standpoint. Realize that your Swami is not constrained by Akara, He is full of Ananda (bliss). When you develop such faith, you too will experience Ananda. Many devotees were worried, “Why has our Swami not given a single discourse during the last one week though many others have spoken?” Of course, whatever I speak is love in verbal form.

But remember whenever I come amidst you, the love, the bliss and the strength that manifest in Me cannot be described in words. In fact, I don’t require food or drink. Bliss is My food. Develop such faith.

Sage Viswamitra. was taking Rama and Lakshmana along with him for the protection of the Yajna he had undertaken. When they reached the banks of Sarayu, he told them, “My dear ones, you are coming with me for the protection of Yajna. In order to do so, you have to remain without food and water and wage a fierce battle with the demons, for extended periods without respite. Hence, I will teach you two Mantras, which will make you free from hunger and sleep.” This is the power of Maya. When King Dasaratha, fearing danger from the demons, was reluctant to send his sons with Viswamitra, the sage counseled him, saying, “Oh king, do not get deluded by seeing the physical forms of your sons. They are not ordinary mortals. They are verily divine.” But when they reached the banks of Sarayu, the sage was overcome with Maya and taught them the Mantras as if they were ordinary humans. He told them, “Do not identify yourself with the physical body. You are the embodiments of the Atma. You are Chaitanyaswarupas. You are endowed with divine power. Always bear this in mind. You will be free from hunger and sleep.”

After the protection of the Yajna, Rama went to Mithila with the sage. They walked a long distance for sixteen days. Yet, Rama was always cheerful and full of bliss. In fact, bliss was His form. Hence develop bliss more and more. Do not confine God to a physical form. I am not this body. Body is made up of food materials.

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. It is nothing but a structure Of bones. Oh mind! Do not be under the delusion that body is permanent. Instead take refuge at the Divine Lotus Feet. (Telugu Poem)

It is a grave mistake to identify yourself with the body. Give up body attachment and develop Atmic consciousness. Only then will you understand and experience your true form, i.e., Atma. Otherwise, even the smallest physical ailments like stomachache, headache etc., will make you feel anxious. Physical ailments are like passing clouds. So long as you are deluded by body consciousness, you will be affected by them. Once you give up body attachment, you are no more bound by the body and its limitations. When you sit in meditation, you forget your body. Meditation means giving up Dehabhimana (body attachment) and developing Atmic awareness. Everyone While referring to one’s self uses the term “I”, the principle of Atma. Hence, you are not related to the body. It is only an instrument. “I” is your true identity. You may add any number of “I’s”, yet it will always remain “I”. Such principle of unity is present in all. It is the same for you and Me. It has no difference whatsoever. If you do not give up Dehabhimana, all your education will prove futile. Understand that you are not the body. You are I. Never forget this truth. The physical form is bound to change.

Embodiments of Love!

True Navaratri celebration lies in giving up Dehabhimana and developing Atmabhimana. You can see for yourself what an exalted position you will attain once you give up body attachment. You may be weak physically and mentally. But when you develop Atmabhimana, all your weaknesses will vanish in a trice. Establish yourself in the firm faith, “I am God”.

Bhagawan concluded His discourse with the Bhajan, “Hari Bhajan Bina Sukha Santhi Nahi…