Editor’s note. This discourse does not appear in the Sathya Sai Speaks series.
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Divine Discourse
Athi Rudra Maha Yajna, Prasanthi Nilayam, 12 August 2006
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.
Truly speaking, the indweller, who is in the form of the Atma, is verily God Himself.
The body is like an iron safe, which encases the precious jewel of the Atma and values like truth, righteousness, peace, and love (sathya, dharma, santhi, and prema). If there are no jewels inside, what is the value of the iron safe? It has value only when there are jewels in it.
Truth is one of the most important and precious jewels. Dharma is another valuable jewel, like a diamond. Peace is essential for every human being. Even when a millionaire comes to Swami, he says, “Swami I have everything but not peace.” There can be no happiness in life without peace.
Only a person who imbibes the qualities of truth, dharma, peace, and love can lead a life of detachment and renunciation. Who is a true renunciant? One who renounces the fruits of desires and actions can be called a true renunciant. There lies true peace. as long as one has desires, one cannot have true peace.
Bereft of truth, righteousness, love, and peace, the value of all your education is zero;
Bereft of truth, righteousness, love, and peace, the sanctity of all your acts of charity and kindness is zero;
Bereft of truth, righteousness, love, and peace, the utility of all your positions or power is zero;
Bereft of truth, righteousness, love, and peace the result of all your good deeds is zero.
These four values are the very foundation of one’s life.
The precious jewels of truth, dharma, peace, and love are there in every human being. The duty of every human being is to safeguard these jewels. Without these values, the body is like an empty iron safe, which has no value.
What is truth? Truth is that which does not change over time and is eternal. Everyone knows about Truth. Yet, people try to keep away from truth, and they resort to untruth in order to escape difficulties.
There is no righteousness greater than adherence to truth (Sathyannasti paro dharmah). What is dharma? Dharma truly is the very foundation of the mansion of life. You may build a multi-storied building, but without the foundation, it will not last long. So, dharma is the very basis of one’s life.
Dharma is of two types: worldly and spiritual. Worldly dharma is subject to change, but spiritual dharma is eternal. When the foundation is weak, the walls of the mansion will collapse in a short time. Dharma is therefore the true path for everyone to follow. Love (prema) is the roof of this mansion, and peace (santhi) is life. One cannot live in a house without a roof.
Unfortunately, nowadays truth, dharma, santhi, and love seems to have completely disappeared. Today, even a wealthy person lacks the spirit of sacrifice. The life of such a person is like a roofless house that is exposed to the sun and rain. Therefore, it is necessary to have a proper roof.
It is love that sustains one’s life. Right from the time of birth, a child loves its mother and the mother loves the child. It is difficult to describe in words the depth of the love between a mother and child.
During World War II, for the liberation of Rangoon from the Japanese, many people died due to bombing. A mother and her son somehow managed to reach by foot a village near Chennai, having lost all their near and dear ones. They had no shelter or food, so they took shelter under a tree.
The mother would go begging for alms from house to house, give most of it to her son, and partake of whatever little was left. When she did not get enough, she would give the entire quantity of food to her son and would herself go without food. Consequently, she became weak day by day.
One day the son, unable to see her suffering, told her, “Mother, from today, you rest and I will fetch food for both of us.” From that day, he would beg from house to house, give most of it to his mother, and eat whatever little was left. Sometimes, he would lie to his mother that he had already eaten. Consequently, he also became very weak. The son had no strength to look after his mother, nor did the mother have any strength to protect her son.
One day, he stood in front of an officer’s house and begged. The officer was relaxing in an easy chair in the verandah, reading a newspaper. He took pity on the boy, went inside ‚and brought some food on a plantain leaf. He told him to sit and eat it there, but the boy said he would take it home. The officer said, “I don’t think you are really hungry, otherwise why should you take it home?”
When the officer was uttering these harsh words, the boy felt giddy and fell down. The officer heard him mumble the words, “First to my mother, to my mother…” in a faint voice. Saying so, he breathed his last.
When this sad news reached the mother, she was immersed in grief. Unable to bear the grief of the tragic death of her dear son, she also breathed her last.
Both the mother and her son sacrificed their lives out of love for each other. This was the depth of love between mother and child in those days. Today, due to selfishness, there is a decline in love even between mother and child!
A life without love is not worth living. Love is life. The mother should love her son and the children should love their mother. In this manner, the mutual love between a mother and her children should grow.
Even a monkey carries its offspring wherever it goes. Love is a necessity. This precious jewel of love is present in the iron safe of the body. Where there is love, there is peace. Where there is peace, there is nonviolence. Contentment is peace.
Buddha renounced his kingdom, left his wife and child, and propagated the principle of nonviolence. He propagated the ideal, “Nonviolence is the highest duty (Ahimsa paramo dharmah).”
We should develop truth, dharma, peace, love, and nonviolence, which are the five life-breaths of a human. One can be called a human being only if one has these five values. One should undertake all activities that can foster the five values
Rituals, sacrifices, repetition of the name, penance, etc., are meant only to develop these values in humanity. One who possesses these five values is a person of merit, and their life is redeemed. One’s life is a waste if one lacks even one of them. First of all, one should lead a life of truth and follow the path of dharma to achieve progress on the path of spirituality.
Embodiments of Love!
Today, wherever we go, we find only craze for money. Even old people who are nearing the end of their life are crazy for money. Today, one’s desires are multiplying. The age in which we live is not the Kali Yuga (current age) but the age of conflict (kalaha yuga). Money is the root cause of all this.
We give too much importance to the body, which is like an iron safe. Instead we should give more importance to the precious jewels of human values within. Without these jewels, the iron safe has little value. Values should be the prime concern of human life. Without values, human life does not serve any purpose.
Birds and animals have love in them, but they have no desires. They are content when their hunger is satiated. But people are not like that. They want everything. Even if one owns five buildings, one wants ten more.
Why does one require so many houses? Is one house not enough to live comfortably? But one wants many residences.
People are deceived by their own limitless desires. Today, desires are excessive. People have to reduce their desires. Less luggage, more comfort make travel a pleasure.
We do a lot of work for others without any expectation. I don’t own even a single house. Wherever I go, I stay in the houses of devotees. People should reduce their desires in the same manner. Once you control your desires, you can live in peace. But never reduce your love for God. Develop more and more love for God. When you have love for God, you will have everything.
Embodiments of Love!
Today, you listened to the talks given by the elders. Put all that you have heard into practice. Install the values of truth, righteousness, peace, and love in your heart permanently. If you have peace and love, you can achieve anything in life.
If you ask any of our students, you will find that none of them has any desires. All these boys are highly qualified. They have postgraduate degrees like MA, MBA, MSc, and PhD. They have no desire to go to their home.
If they go out, they can earn very high salary. An MBA boy can earn a salary of one to two lakhs per month. But they do not want to go. “What can money give us? Can it give us happiness?” they ask. They want to work here. They consider work as worship and duty as God. They are highly duty-conscious. Students should have such strong faith.
Wherever you look, you will find people who are full of desires. What do they achieve by having so many desires? Ultimately, they ruin their life. So, it is necessary to control desires.
With heavy luggage on your head, how far can you walk? Reduce your luggage to make the journey of your life more comfortable. As a bachelor, how happy and carefree you are. When you get a wife, you have virtually four feet. When you want to go out, you will be worried that your wife is alone at home. After a year, you will have a son. Now you six feet instead of four. As the number of feet increases, you become slower and slower. Thus, the pace of life’s journey is slowed down.
Embodiments of Love!
Treasure the love in your heart. Love all. But do not unduly burden yourself with too many responsibilities. This will add to your worries and difficulties. Our teachers know pretty well what these difficulties are. You can lead a happy life if only you reduce your burden. Then there will be less scope for difficulties and suffering.
Dakshinamurthy also gave the message of sacrifice to drive home this truth. Dakshinamurthy imparted his teachings through silence. He always had a smiling countenance. The reason was: he had no worries and responsibilities.
(Here Swami reminded the story of the mother and son who gave up their life out of love for each other and emphasised that we should not give up love even if we have to give up our body.)
Death is certain some day or other. We may keep the body fit for now, but we have to drop it one day. We should earn a good name even at the cost of our life. Consider earning a good name as your very life-breath. A good name will remain even if the person departs from this world. Therefore, earn a good name in society.
There is no point in earning a great name, but you should have a good name. Millionaires may be considered great, but they also eat grains and cereals and not gold. As long as you are alive, you have to depend upon food to nourish your body. At the same time, reduce your body attachment.
Share your love with everyone. Do not limit your love to your family only and lead a selfish life. Even a fish is better than a selfish person. A fish moves freely and happily in water and leads a comfortable life. On the other hand, people have burdened themselves with too many responsibilities and attachments. Because of this heavy load, they have sunk so low.
Therefore, reduce your burden and spend more and more time in the contemplation of God. When you develop love for God (Paramatma), you can experience happiness in Nature (Prakriti).
Duty is God. Work is worship. Follow these twin principles in life. Do not put an undue burden of responsibilities on yourself.
God is there to shoulder the responsibility of everyone (loud applause). Where is the cause for worry, when God is there to take care of us? We keep on worrying because our understanding of this truth is only theoretical. We should not be like that. Once we offer everything to God, we should be free from worries.
You can experience peace only when you are free from worries. You may perform any number of rituals and sacrifices (yajnas and yagas) and undertake any number of spiritual practices, but all these are useless if the underlying meaning is not understood. You may forget anything in this world, but never forget God. Keep your mind always focused on God. This is My message for you today (loud prolonged applause).
Bhagawan concluded His Discourse with the song, “Bhaja Govindam, Bhaja Govindam, Moodha Mathe …”