Rituals and the Vedas are for the whole world

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, 19 August 2006

I am searching … searching and searching.

I searched then. I am searching now.

I have been searching for a true and righteous human being.

Will the hunger of a hungry person be satisfied by simply hearing the names of the delicious dishes?

Will the poverty of those suffering from acute poverty be alleviated by hearing the glory of wealth.

(Telugu poem)

Embodiments of Love! 

Before you start teaching anything to others, you yourself must put it into practice. It is most essential to experience it and derive joy therefrom before you teach that concept/practice to others.

All the priests (ritwiks) who took part in the Athi Rudra Maha Yajna are very good. In fact, I could find the priests are to My liking. I am very satisfied with the way they performed the ritual (yajna), as also the spiritual exercises (sadhana) they did. They did more than what was expected of them. It is a good fortune to have such priests.

Tomorrow, this ritual will come to a close, but not the mantras —the mantras are eternal. It is not associated with the attributes (gunas). The attributes are attributeless, pure, final abode, eternal, unsullied, enlightened, free, and embodiment of sacredness (nirgunam, niranjanam, sanathanam, niketanam, nitya, shuddha, buddha, mukta, and nirmala swarupinam). Such mantras will always be ringing in our ears.

A priest (ritwik) is one who is always associated with the mantras —the priest is not separate from the mantras. Devoid of the mantras, the priests have no existence at all!

Mantras like these will be chanted by only a few fortunate ones. Are there not any number of priests in this world? But, only 132 priests could take part in this Athi Rudra Maha Yajna.

“Oh! Vedic Brahmins, who always consider the scriptures as true, how fortunate you are!” The Brahmins lead their lives in accordance with the scriptural injunctions (sastras), reposing full confidence in them. Can you find priests like these anywhere else? Truly, every mantra you chant is crystal clear and with perfect intonation. It is our good fortune to hear the priests chanting the mantras in such a way.

Many people are happy that this rite (yajna) is being performed with such priests. Soon a similar rite will be performed in Puttaparthi —the Veda Purusha Saptaha Jnana Yajna, which is being celebrated every year. That is a wisdom-rite (jnana yajna) —a rite that is related to the mental principle (manasika thathwa).

Priests! You will derive a lot of benefit from your effort over the last ten days. You may not be able to realise it right now. Go back to your respective places and contemplate on it calmly. You will surely experience bliss.

There are a number of youths amongst the priests. This is a welcome sign. It is our good fortune that the youth are participating in such sacred activities like this Athi Rudra Maha Yajna. I told Vinay, “My dear! We are most fortunate to have such priests.”

Probably you are all comfortable here; I presume that proper arrangements for your food and residence have been made and that Vinay has provided all the necessary comforts for you. I have been thinking on these lines from morning till evening these days. If you are happy, I shall be happy.

These ten days have passed like ten minutes. You must have enjoyed your stay here for the last ten days. Similarly, I am also happy that you are here.

Wherever you go, you must contemplate on this divine experience. These sacred moments must be preserved in your memory. You will come again to Puttaparthi, shortly. Not only that. I have decided to perform this rite (yajna) in Chennai in the near future. I wish that all of you come there and participate in it. It is very important that you realise the uniqueness of this rite.

What is rite (yajna)? Is it physical or spiritual? This is a spiritual rite, not a physical or worldly rite. This rite has provided a physical, mental, and heartfelt experience, which is unique in nature.

I have taken care of every minute detail in this rite, right from the type of dress (dhotis) you have to wear. Just as a loving father takes care of everything in respect of his child, I have taken care to provide everything needed by you.

I am very sad that I shall be bidding you farewell tomorrow, on conclusion of the rite. I know you are also feeling sad to leave this place. Such intimate relationship between us is real devotion. You cannot leave Me and I cannot leave you. I am always with you. Hence, do not spend anxious moments with thoughts like, “Swami is very far from us in Puttaparthi or Bangalore.” I am with you wherever you are.

Our chief priest conducted all the rituals in this rite (yajna) with full faith and devotion. He did all this with the conviction that it is his personal work. Such people are rare in this world.

The most important point I would like to stress is that you must develop a spirit of sacrifice. One may have several desires. All those desires have to be offered to God to please Him (daiva preetyartham).

Don’t confine yourself to the self. Help is better than self. Whatever activity you undertake, consider it being done to satisfy your heart, for the uplift of your Atma. This rite is conducted to realise the Atmic Principle (Atma Thathwa), not with a view to achieve some physical and worldly benefit.

You have participated in this sacred rite (yajna) for your good, for your welfare and the welfare of humanity at large. This rite is not merely for a few individuals, it is for the entire world. The mantras chanted here have mixed in the air and spread to the entire universe. These sacred sounds have entered our hearts and purified them.

Hence, do not think that the mantras chanted in this rite are confined to only this place. They have spread to the entire world. This rite is not only for the benefit of India but for all the countries in the world. There may be differences in the languages spoken in different countries, but there is no difference at all in the feelings (bhava).

People of many countries — America, Russia, Africa, etc. — have participated in this rite (yajna) with a lot of enthusiasm. They are also learning the Veda Mantras.

On the 26th of last month, about 80 people from Germany visited Puttaparthi in a special plane. All of them, ladies and gents, chanted the Vedas. They told Me, “Swami! It is only these mantras that are protecting our country. Hence, we chant these Veda Mantras from dawn to dusk.”

There is not even an iota of selfishness in chanting these mantras. They are for the entire humanity. They are essential for the well being of every human being. The Veda transcends the individual (vyashti) and concerns itself with the the collective form (samashtiswarupa). Even Westerners are now printing Vedic texts, with the intention of spreading the message of the Vedas to people of all countries.

No doubt, it is difficult for Westerners to chant the Veda Mantras, for they have difficulty in pronouncing various syllables. Some of the mantras are tongue-twisting. But, with sincere effort, they are learning to chant these correctly. One can achieve anything, if only one has a firm resolve.

Having resolved what ought to be resolved, hold on to it till you have succeeded.

Having desired what ought to be desired, hold on to it till your desire is fulfilled.

Having asked what ought to be asked, do not leave the hold till you get it.

Having thought what ought to be thought, hold on to it till you have succeeded.

The Lord with mellowed heart must yield to your wishes.

Persevere, be tenacious, and never give up, for it is the quality of a devotee never to retreat or relent in their resolve.

(Telugu poem)

This Athi Rudra Maha Yajna has to be performed in several places in the future. This rite is everyone’s concern. It is not limited to one country, one religion, or one caste. It is performed for the welfare of the whole world.

If you continue to perform this rite, soon the people of the entire world will become united. Pakistan, Afghanistan, Japan, America and Germany —all countries will be united.

You will now find several devotees in America. There are also several priests (ritwiks) there. There are some Muslim devotees also.

One lady has written a book about Swami. She presented it to her preceptor living in America. He was moved to tears on reading the book. He prayed that he should also be fortunate like her to write such a book on Swami. That book is now being printed and distributed to all.

We must unite the entire world into one. That is “Unity in Diversity”. Look! Even in our country Bharat, there are different regions, languages, etc. The once composite Madras province has split into two: Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. There have been further divisions in the country. There is a clamour for more divisions. There is no greatness in dividing the country into small regions by fragmentation. To unite the country into one is a great effort.

Where there is unity, there will be purity. Where there is purity, there will be divinity. Hence, we have to strive for unity.

There was a Russian boy, an Iranian boy, and some Americans in the group that chanted the Vedas, yesterday. You have to realise and develop such unity. If there is some difference of opinion at all amongst you, remove it forthwith. Be united. All should live and move like brothers and sisters. Then only will you have value and will your birth as human beings be sanctified.