The happiness of everyone is my happiness

Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Divine Discourse
Ugadi Message (morning), Prasanthi Nilayam, 20 March 2007

Embodiments of Love!

There are sixty years in the Telugu almanac by name Prabhava, Vibhava, Shukla, Pramodhutha, Prajotpatthi, Angirasa, Srimukha, Bhava, Yuva, Dhathu, Easwara, Bahudanya, Pramadhi, Vikrama, etc. This cycle culminates in the 60th year Akshaya. This body has seen two Akshaya years so far. This year, Sarvajit, is very significant to realise the divinity latent in a human being. A human being has several desires and aspirations. The year Sarvajit fulfils such desires which are truthful. The year will see significant progress being made in the moral, physical, righteous, spiritual and scientific fields. A truthful desire will always result in fulfilment. One has, however, to hold on to Truth with steadfast faith. Sarvajit year will bring victory in all possible ways. It is the most important year in all these sixty years. ‘Jit’ signifies victory. Sarvajit means victory in all fields of human endeavour. If one were to progress in life, one has to cultivate truthful desires in this Sarvajit year. I have not seen a single person who cultivated such truthful desires and failed in his life. Hence, I exhort you all to cultivate truthful desires and aspirations and lead a life full of happiness and bliss in this Sarvajit year.

Goddess Parvati was responsible for naming this year as Sarvajit. She did severe penance for a number of years with an ambition to marry Lord Siva, giving up food and sleep. Lord Siva was pleased with her penance and appeared before her. He enquired, “For whose sake are you doing this penance?” She replied, “Oh Lord, I am doing this penance to win your grace.” Lord Siva then told her, “Your wish is fulfilled today. You can join Me now.” Before Parvati could join Lord Easwara, several divine ladies tried to dissuade her from marrying the Lord, criticising thus:

Oh Gowri,
You are very young and Sambasiva is old;
He has matted locks and wears a tiger skin;
He rides a bull and is constantly on the move;
He is adorned with snakes;
How did you court Him?
Don’t you know all this?
He has no house of His own and
Sleeps in the cremation ground.
(Telugu poem)

They enquired, “Why do you wish to marry such an old man who goes about begging in the streets?” Parvati replied “You do not know, you are seeing only his external form. You are not making any effort to realise the Atma Tatwa in him. I am, in fact, aspiring for the divinity in him. Divinity is changeless and eternal.” Lord Easwara accepted Parvati as His consort. She was happy in every respect. The day on which Goddess Parvati could fulfil her desire surmounting all difficulties, is celebrated as the New Year day of Sarvajit. In fact, this name to the New year was given by Goddess Parvati herself. The names of the years that follow this Sarvajit are Sarvadhari, Virodhi, Vikruthi, Nala, Pingala, Kaalayukthi, Siddharthi, Roudri, Durmathi, Dundubhi, Rudhirodgari, Raktakshi, Krodhana and Akshaya. It is only when you pass through all these years that you can reach Akshaya. Goddess Parvati rejoined the divinity, that is Akshaya (imperishable), only by great penance and after undergoing several hardships and pain. Divinity always incarnates in the year Akshaya only. This body was born in the year Akshaya during Brahmamuhurtha (the auspicious period at dawn) at 6.00 a.m. It is only when we get into the inner meaning, that we will be able to know the good and bad of any aspect.

The birth of Chennai water supply scheme

Parvati is the Goddess who supplies water to the entire world. Lord Easwara granted this boon to her. Ganga is another form of Goddess Parvati. That is why the river Ganga is worshipped as Gangadevi. Some years ago, I visited the East Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh. I had to travel by car to reach Chennai (Madras). There is a place called Red Hills near Chennai, where a huge reservoir was built to store water. I was told that drinking water was being supplied from that reservoir to the entire city of Chennai. But, there was no water in the reservoir itself at that time. How can water be supplied to the city? There were, of course, a few places in the reservoir where rain water had collected as small cesspools. I saw some children drinking polluted water from those cesspools. I was also informed that the same water was being used for drinking and cooking as well. There were a few devotees travelling along with Me in the car. They enquired, “Swami, when would this reservoir get filled?” For everything, there is a time, action, reason and duty, which shall go together. Keeping these aspects in view I told them, “I will not step into this city of Chennai for the next ten years. It is only after supplying water for drinking and irrigation purposes, and the people of Chennai started drinking pure water that I would visit Chennai again.” Ten years passed by. I fulfilled My promise of supplying drinking water to the entire city of Chennai. Besides, it is also being used for irrigation purposes. Accordingly I visited Chennai during Janurary this year.

The Britishers who ruled this country prior to Independence, lived for 200 years in Chennai city. There were no proper roads or cars in those days. They used to go to far off places and hilltops on horse-back and search for water sources. Nevertheless, they could not solve the drinking water problem till they left this country. At the time of acute water shortage, the rich could buy water in tankers from private owners of borewells. But, what about the poor people? They have no money to purchase water. One day, I was in Teynampet in Chennai city. Several people gathered there. They represented, “Swami, We have no drinking water.” There were a number of small children in that gathering. It was a holiday for the primary school children on that day. They all surrounded Me and prayed, “Swami, We need drinking water.” I told them, “My dear boys, Surely you will get drinking water. I will arrange for the supply of pure drinking water from the river Krishna.” I fulfilled My promise. The Britishers promised to link the three rivers Ganga, Godavari and Krishna. But, they did nothing in this regard. The Godavari water is going waste by draining itself into the sea. Of course, the Krishna river is not going that way. Even now, there is copious supply of water in the river Krishna. Several dams and reservoirs are being built across the river Krishna. We had to spend a huge sum of two hundred crores of rupees to supply drinking water to the city of Chennai, as also for irrigation purposes. The people of Chennai are very happy that they are able to drink pure water now. During My recent visit to the city, I went to Teynampet once again. The people there expressed their feelings thus: “Swami, We are able to drink pure, sweet and refreshing water now. How can we express our gratitude to You? Words fail to express our sense of gratitude to Swami.”

God can do anything, achieve any insurmountable task. But, foolish human beings fail to realise this truth. You teach a proper lesson to such fools. They have accumulated enormous wealth. But, they don’t shell out a coin in charity to the beggars. I told those people, “You need not depend on the charity of others. God Himself who is the creator, can grant everything unto you. Hence, pray to Him for whatever you need.” They gathered there to greet Me on My way and express their gratitude to Swami for this boon of sweet drinking water. I told them, “Drink this pure, sweet water and be happy. That would be enough, I don’t need anything else”. Now, the same water is supplied to every house and even small huts by laying pipes. All people are drinking sweet and pure water. I must tell you that My entire heart is filled with sweet water! The happiness of everyone is My happiness. This is the inner meaning of the prayer, “Lokah Samasthah Sukhino Bhavanthu” (May all the people of the world be happy!). You also pray this way.

Drinking water for Godavari districts

Our next project was the supply of drinking water to the people living in the upland areas of East and West Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh. The District President of the West Godavari district, Dr. Bhaskara Rao is now here. They all worked very hard for completion of this project. It is very difficult to lift the water from the low lying areas to the upland areas. It is a tedious and expensive work. I assured them, “You do your job; I will look after everything else.” I sent Ramakrishna, former Vice President of M/s Larsen & Toubro Company and Kondal Rao, former Chief Engineer, Government of Andhra Pradesh to inspect the progress of work. They were surprised to find that the work was going on at a brisk pace. They exclaimed, “Oh! To what great heights the water reached! It is a miracle. It cannot be expressed in words. It is only to be seen to be believed”.

The people living on those hills and hillocks are not living like other human beings. They do not go down the hills and interact with fellow human beings living in plains, as they are afraid of them! They expressed their awe at this huge water supply project thus: “Swami, we are living in the hills right above the river Godavari flowing in the plains. But, till today we did not taste even a drop of Godavari water”. Such people are now happily drinking sweet and pure water right in their homes, supplied by laying pipes up to their doorstep. Several of those people, especially ladies came all the way to Prasanthi Nilayam by walk to see this place and have My darshan. They spoke to the devotees here and expressed their sentiments thus: “How fortunate you are! Of course, we are also fortunate! We will also settle at the Lotus feet of Swami one day.” Thus, we have supplied pure drinking water to several villages to the complete satisfaction of one and all. They composed songs in their local dialect and expressed their gratitude to Swami, singing those songs. The theme of their songs was, “The water we drink is supplied by Sri Sathya Sai. We should not waste even a drop of that water. Come! Let us drink that water and sustain our lives.” They set the song to a fine tune and sang it in a group, dancing all the time. Thus, those villagers are very happy that their drinking water problem has been solved permanently by Swami. They fill that sweet water in big vessels and carry them to their homes by means of a Kavadi (yoke). It is a beautiful scene to be seen. In fact, there is a lot to be learnt by the people of the towns and cities from those innocent and jubilant villagers. They are experiencing indescribable bliss and contentment in their lives.

Yesterday, Ramakrishna and Kondal Rao came to Me and represented, “Swami, You must surely visit those villagers. They are all praying and eagerly waiting for Swami’s visit.” I told them I would surely visit them. Very soon, I will visit Rajahmundry. But, there is no way I can go to those villages by car from Rajahmundry. Their places can be reached only by foot. The villagers pleaded with Me earlier, “We will not cause any strain to the body of Swami. We will try to take you to our places, without making you walk. We will carry Swami on our shoulders, if necessary.” Thus, those villagers are very happy and eager to receive Swami in their villages.

On this holy occasion of Ugadi, we are launching a new scheme for rural development under the name “Village works”. It is necessary that every house in every village should be kept clean. The houses are to be kept neat and clean both inside and outside. The children in these homes are also to be groomed into clean and healthy children. We propose to cover every village under this scheme. Of course, the project involves huge expenditure. But, we don’t hesitate to incur the necessary expenditure. Money comes and goes. But, the help and good work we render remain. Hence, we must undertake this rural development project immediately. We are launching this scheme from today itself on the holy occasion of Ugadi. The elders as well as children, the poor and rich, all should work united for the success of this project. It is Seva that unites people. Both the villages and towns should join and work together in a spirit of unity. We are sure that very soon it will be a reality. We are launching this scheme today itself. It is our wish that by the next Ugadi, all the villages are shaped and moulded into model villages. All of you, including children shall take part in this village service. You must consider it as Daiva Seva (service to God).

“Service to man is service to God”.

Develop unity and national interest

At present, we are at the individual level. We are working with an individual interest. This attitude must change. We must change. We must develop unity and national interest. The entire country must stand united. In a recent meeting held at Chennai, several Chief Ministers, Governors of States and several I.A.S. officers participated. Many people attended that meeting. All these people shared a common cause. Thus, you must all come united and participate in this village service programme. If all people work together, the entire world can be changed into a better place to live in. I am with you always, guarding and guiding you at every moment. Whatever you need, ask Me; I will provide. Like the rivers that flow and merge into the sea ultimately, whatever seva you do to anyone, reaches Me only. Hence, don’t fear for anything. Why fear, when I am here? Do not hesitate to ask Me for whatever you may need. Surely, I will provide everything to you. Hence, make yourself ready to participate in this service, both men and women. Yesterday, a group of devotees from Mumbai had come to Prasanthi Nilayam. They are very rich. They represented to Me, “Swami, we propose to erect a Dwaja Sthamba in the name of Swami in the sea near Mumbai. It will be several hundred feet high.

We propose to arrange a beacon light on top of the Dwaja Sthamba, so that it is visible to all from long distances. It will have the divine name “Sai Ram” and will involve an expenditure of several crores of rupees. We will come again to Prasanthi Nilayam after the project is completed and have Swami’s Darshan.” No doubt, the devotees of Mumbai are doing a lot of seva. Everything is good; but the city of Mumbai is very dirty. First and foremost, make the city free from pollution. Some efforts were made earlier in this regard, but they were not successful. The reason being, at high tide the sea is at a higher level than the city drainage system. As you all know, the water flows down only. Unless the drainage water in the city is pumped out, the city cannot be kept clean and beautiful. I am sure that a way can be found for tackling this problem. I am also sure that the people of Mumbai can certainly undertake this task. I told them in no uncertain terms, “You finish that work; I will surely come.” I wish that the entire country of Bharat be made beautiful and the people lead a happy and peaceful life. “Lokah samasthah sukhino bhavanthu” (May all the people of the world be happy!). Swami’s happiness lies in the happiness of all. He does not need anything special. Your happiness is My happiness. Hence, whatever work you undertake, let it be for the peace, welfare and happiness of all people.

More than anything else, the foremost requirement today is water for all. Water is life sustaining. You may live without food for a few days, but you cannot live without water. In future, there will be copious rains. No one need to have any fear of drought. In fact, I have come into this world to correct all these maladies. I will surely provide you happiness, by correcting and forgiving your faults. You must all live in unity and love. We consider the Panchapranas (the five vital airs) are Prana, Apana, Vyana, Udana and Samana. No; what I mean by Panchapranas is Sathya (Truth), Dharma (Righteousness), Santhi (Peace), Prema (Love) and Ahimsa (Non-violence). Where there is Truth, there will be righteousness. Where there is righteousness, there will be peace. Where there is peace, there will be love. Where truth and love go together, everything else will be added unto such a person. Very soon, the entire world will be united into a single unit. Students should strive to achieve that ideal. The senses are very strong in children. The physical, mental and spiritual strength in them is of a high order. You have to make proper use of that strength. I expect you not to misuse your senses. Only then can you do great service to the world. It is not enough if you simply go to one temple and do some whitewashing to its walls. It is no service at all. Every house must be kept clean. You can visit any house that is not kept clean.

In the earlier days, the Harijans used to live in houses built separately, at a distance in Puttaparthi. I used to visit their houses also. There used to be one person by name Nagappa in those days. His son-in-law Ramulu was educated up to 3rd form (8th standard). He knew about Swami and His divinity to some extent. One day, he invited Me to have lunch in his house. I informed the matter to Subbamma. She was taken aback and tried to dissuade Me from going to his house saying, “Alas! Swami, will You go to the houses of Harijans? Please do not go.” I insisted on going. I also told her to go along with Me. Subbamma belonged to the orthodox Brahmin community. Nevertheless, she decided to follow Me saying, “I will do anything for the sake of Swami.” I was leading and she was following Me. Ramulu was walking in front of Me. By the time we reached that house, the entire area was filled with divine fragrance?. I enquired from the inmates of the house, “From where did you bring this fragrance.” Ramulu replied, “Swami, we did not bring it from anywhere. It is emanating from You only.” I stepped into that house. Subbamma willingly followed Me. She was then 62 years old. I was served with some rice in an aluminium plate. In fact, that is what they had. There were no stainless steel plates then. Subbamma was served food in another aluminium plate. Subbamma used to have a feeling of belonging to the high caste Brahmins, in the beginning. Later on, she changed her attitude on the advice of Swami. She decided, “Fie on me! I should not entertain such feelings of superiority.” She happily dined in their house, along with Swami. By the time we returned to the village after finishing our lunch in Ramulu’s house, the entire village joined together and started heckling us saying, “Subbamma has become a Mala (low caste).” They issued a decree that none in the village should touch Subbamma. Subbamma responded by saying, “That is exactly what I desire. Let no one touch me. It is enough if Swami alone touches me. I have no children. I need not maintain any relationship with any family. Neither I need give my children in marriage to other families nor do I need bring their children into my house. It is enough if Swami is with me.” In those days, she used to cook food for every devotee visiting Swami, in Puttaparthi. In keeping with her hospitality, fortune favoured her and she used to reap rich harvest from her fields. Her fields were yielding rich crops two to three times a year. Those extra paddy bags could not be taken into her house. Hence, the bags used to be emptied into a specially built granary from above. Thus, Subbamma sanctified her life in the service of Swami. One day, I enquired from Subbamma what she needed from Me. She replied, “Swami, I have no desire for anything. Before I leave my mortal coil, if You can graciously pour a few drops of sanctified water into my mouth from Your divine hands, it would be enough.” I assured her that her wish would be fulfilled.

Glorious end of Subbamma’s life

Once I was returning from Chennai to Bukkapatnam, by car. Subbamma died the previous night. Her relatives were making arrangements to bring her dead body from her house to the cremation ground in Bukkapatnam. As soon as they saw Me, they ran towards Me and informed, “Subbamma died yesterday.” I told them, “It is only your illusion. Subbamma did not die. She won’t leave her mortal coil till she had My Darshan.” So saying, I reversed My car towards her house. Subbamma’s mother was still alive then. With an agonising heart she told Me, “Swami, she was remembering You all the while and was chanting “Sairam”, “Sairam”, till last night. She was enquiring from everyone, “Did Swami come?” The body of Subbamma was covered with a cloth. I removed that cloth and called her, “Subbamma! Subbamma!” To everyone’s surprise, she opened her eyes. When God gives a word, He will not forget it under any circumstances. I told her, “You wanted that I should pour a few drops of water into your mouth during your last moments. Is it not? Here it is; have it.” So saying, I dipped a basil (Tulasi) leaf in a tumbler filled with water and put a few drops of that sanctified water in her mouth. Subbamma then drank the water, held both My hands tightly and placed them reverentially on her eyelids. She took leave of Me saying, “Swami, I have been waiting to take leave of You finally before I shed my mortal coil. You have fulfilled my last wish, as promised. Now permit me to leave. Here I am going.” I gave her permission and she merged in Me.

I have built a housing colony in memory of Late Subbamma and named it after her. Subbamma was a great soul. She used to go up on the terrace of her house and converse with Mother Easwaramma, every now and then. She used to tell her, “Easwaramma, You gave birth to Swami and I fostered Him. Hence you are Devakidevi and I am Yashoda.” Easwaramma used to reply, “Subbamma, You served hundreds of Swami’s devotees by giving food and shelter to them in your house. Don’t you deserve the fruit of that seva? Surely you do.” Before Subbamma left her mortal coil, she came to Easwaramma one day and pleaded with her, “I am leaving. You look after Sathyam well.” Both of them shed tears. The next day Subbamma died.

The name of Subbamma’s husband was Narayana Rao. He always used to sit near the Tulasi Brindavan in front of his house. When he took to bad ways, I composed some songs and trained a few children to sing those songs in front of his house in order to correct him. The children used to move in a group in front of his house, singing those songs, one of which runs as follows:

Don’t seek the company of women of bad character;
Surely you will fall down.
Your caste people will not allow you into their houses;
Your relatives will discard you; if they see you;
Your friends will beat you with chappals
If they see you in the company of such women.
(Telugu poem)

While the children were moving about in a group singing this song, he felt very much embarrassed. He called them inside and enquired, “Who taught you this song?” The children replied, “Raju taught us, Sir!” He thought, “Yes, it is true. Who else can know about my behaviour?” From then on, he shed his bad thoughts and bad habits. In those days, cartloads of mango fruits used to be brought into his house. He used to distribute those fruits to all the children, lovingly.

The wrist watches had just arrived in those days. If anyone in the village wore a wrist watch, he was considered to be a great person. Not only that. The gents in those days used to have a small insect-like moustache under their nose, as a fashion. Keeping in view these vainglorious fashion trends, I composed a song and taught it to the school children so that they may go about in the streets singing that song:

People wear some glittering white badge to the left hand with leather belt tied to it.
What fashion is this, Oh Dear!
What fashion is this?
Disgusting appearances are they;
What fashion is this?
Long moustache is trimmed and shaved;
Few hairs are kept under the nose instead;
What fashion is this, Oh Dear!
What fashion is this?
(Telugu song)

Thus, I used to compose songs and make the children sing those songs in the village in order that people shed the craze for fads and cultivate noble thoughts. I used to bring about a transformation in one and all right from the children to the elders, by such methods.

From today onwards, you must all embark on a mission to bring about a transformation in the villages. It does not mean that the villages are to be transformed into towns and cities. In fact, I don’t like such transformation. First and foremost, the villages are to be kept clean. Already, the towns and cities are stinking with filth. The people living there wear a neat pant, shirt and a neck-tie. But, their inner feelings are all bad. You must cultivate good thoughts and feelings, in keeping with the neat dress you wear. First of all, you try to bring about a transformation in your own self and then work for a change in the outside world.

Yesterday, three boys sang a nice Burra Katha about Easwaramma. They rendered it well. There was a wonderful description about Subbamma in that Burra Katha. I am very happy about it. In fact, it was such a unique story. No one has written such a story so far.