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76TH BIRTHDAY SANDESH


SELF-CONFIDENCE AND EQUANIMITY LEAD TO DIVINE BLISS

(Text of the Divine Discourse delivered by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba on the 76th Birthday, 23rd November 2001 in Sai Kulwant Hall, Prasanthi Nilayam)

"The entire universe is under the control of God. God can be easily won over by Truth. Truth is the might of the noble and therefore in this world the noble ones verily embody the supreme God."

(Sanskrit Verse)

Embodiments of Divine Love!
Every man aspires for happiness and wants to avoid sorrow. But in this world, truth and untruth, righteousness and unrighteousness, justice and injustice pass and change with time. Man should have faith in the ultimate principle out of which both good and evil arise. Everyday man experiences happiness and sorrow, welcomes affections and aversions and invites worries and misery. How can man be at peace under these conditions? The true man is one who believes in equanimity in both pain and pleasure. In the same way as one welcomes happiness, he should be able to welcome sorrows also. You should trust the Divine and experience His love in your heart. If you want to be respected by everyone, you should respect everyone. Whether one is rich or poor, noble or ignoble, everyone has self-respect. One should put in effort to safeguard one's self-respect. One who has true self-respect respects everyone.
There is nothing new that I can tell you today. Everyone should attain bliss. Everyone should conquer sorrow and develop true love, and experience divinity. This is My principal message to you today.
Man is not only invaluable, he is a noble being too. His heart is very valuable; his mind is sweet and his life-principle is eternal. Everyone should recognise this truth and develop sweetness in heart. The most important fortune that you have to aspire for today, is love.
You do not know the greatness of human life. God Himself comes down in human form. In every man there is divinity. The name 'Bhavani Sankara' signifies this truth. 'Bhavani Sankara' stands for the embodiment of Siva and Sakthi. 'Bhavani' symbolises 'Sraddha' (sincerity of purpose) and 'Sankara' symbolises 'Viswasa' (faith). When the goddess Bhavani symbolising 'Sraddha' is present, there dances Siva who stands for faith. Life becomes useless without sincerity of purpose and faith. But today man lacks faith though both 'Bhavani' and 'Sankara' reside in him. The entire creation is the principle of 'Ardhanareeswara' - the embodiment of both masculine and feminine principles. Every person should try to recognise the divinity within himself. There is no spirituality higher than this. Adoring this 'Bhavani Sankara' principle is the primary duty of every man.
If a man today is under the sway of sorrow and misery, his mind is responsible for it. Happiness and sorrow, affections and aversions, and the sensual pleasures that man experiences today arise out of his mind. Since the mind is filled with the sense of duality you suffer all these. When the mind is trained to see the oneness of all creation, there will not be perversions of any kind. In this dual world, the gain from sorrow is more than that out of happiness. The saints and the sages of ancient times, who have become immortal in history, aspired for hardships rather than happiness. The joy that arises out of hardships is more lasting than that gained from happiness. We should not be averse to sorrow. We should not look for happiness alone. Eternal bliss is our true friend and not ephemeral happiness.
In the great epic Mahabharata, when Kunthi fell at the feet of Krishna, He asked her, "Mother, what do you want?" She answered, "Krishna, always bestow upon me only adversities. I loved and adored you more intensely only during my hardships. In fact, when I was the queen of King Pandu I never thought of You. Only from the time my sons went into a life of exile in the forest and suffered various privations, my love and faith grew in strength. Kindly grant me only difficulties." We have to develop equanimity in both joy and sorrow. It is the true sign of wisdom.

Embodiments of Love!
There are many persons in the world who have made history. All of them always welcomed trials and tribulations whereas others aspired only for happiness. Since sorrows are more beneficial to man than happiness, God has created both.
What does the word 'Bhagawan' mean? 'Bha' represents effulgence. 'Ga' signifies the one who radiates effulgence and 'Va' symbolises the power to propagate effulgence. Therefore, 'Bhagawan' is one who spreads the shine of effulgence everywhere. He has no form of any kind. 'He is subtler than space and the atom.' How can you attribute any form to such a One? He fills the entire universe, but is not attached to anything. 'Brahma' - God is in you and you are in 'Brahma.' Since we see duality in such non-dualistic principle, we suffer many sorrows. Though He has no particular form, all forms are His.
"The whole of creation emerges from truth and merges back into it. There is no place devoid of truth. That is the glory of unsullied truth." Likewise God is all-pervasive. That is why Bhagawad Gita declares, All hands and feet are His, all heads and eyes are His, all ears are His and He permeates and transcends everything. Man has to find and adore God within. But man does not recognise this truth; he thinks that God is separate from him and wastes his time and life in futile activities. Indian culture embodies the principle that does not change with time, even when aeons pass, and it is beginningless and endless. This principle neither waxes nor wanes with time, is neither created nor destroyed, and is imperishable. He is the eternal one with no birth and death. He has neither beginning nor end. Neither can He be slain, nor is He diminishable. He is the eternal Atma who resides in everyone. How should we worship such God? We should worship Him as our own Self. We should set aside the feeling that God is different from us. There is no temple dearer to God than the human heart. He loves this abode of heart. This is His true residence. We should not look for Him outside us.
When I was coming here this morning, everyone wished me "Happy Birthday"! I am always happy. You have to wish a Happy Birthday to one who does not have happiness. I do not need it. If you want to attain happiness, you should understand that happiness is union with God. Every human being imagines that happiness is somewhere outside him and strives to attain it through various activities. How did the ancient sages adore God? They worshipped Him with the flower of sacrifice and offered their love to Him. They welcomed God as the embodiment of truth. They believed in love, kindness and oneness. They offered Him the throne of their hearts. Only through such sublime adoration, they attained Divinity. Therefore, even today's man is ought to install God in the altar of his heart and adore Him there.
You should face everything in life with a smile of happiness. In this dualistic world, it is natural that gain and pain alternate. You cannot avoid it. You should not despair when adversities confront you nor exult when success blesses you. Any adversity is a stepping-stone to eternal bliss. Only when the Pandavas suffered many hardships during the fourteen years of their exile, they could secure the grace of Krishna and the Lord was always with them everywhere. The Pandavas had correct priorities in their lives. God was first to them, then came the world, and 'I' came last. But the Kauravas had their priorities the other way. They placed 'I' first, world next and God last. That is why they lost the battle of life. Bliss eluded them. One who has won the proximity to God is always blissful.

Embodiments of Love!
The rind of bitterness of sorrow covers the sweet juice of joy in the orange fruit of life. When you peel out the rind, you get the sweet juice. God is the very essence of joy - Raso Vai Saha.
When Lincoln was young, he led a poor life. He could not afford even proper clothes. His affluent friends in school teased and ridiculed him over his poverty. One day, unable to bear the ridicule, he poured out his heart to his mother and explained to her how he was being insulted and humiliated. His mother consoled him saying, "My dear son, all this will do you good. This should not deter you from developing self-respect. Self respect is your treasure and God!" These words of encouragement inspired Lincoln and gave him strength to face the ups and downs of life with equanimity. After he passed out of the university, his admirers and well-wishers who had recognised the strength of his character enthused him to contest the elections. Lincoln, being a man of great humility, hesitated initially. But he remembered the words of encouragement tendered to him by his mother when he was young. Finally, he contested the elections, emerged victorious and became the President of America. Self-confidence and self-respect in him, developed by his mother, were responsible for his rise to the highest position of authority in the country. A person without self-confidence, even if thrust into exalted position, is bound to slip down.

Students!
You should consider self-confidence as the most important asset in life. Without self-confidence you can never attain bliss. Therefore, try to develop self-confidence in order to lead a good life. You are God yourself. God is the eternal resident of your heart. Therefore, there is nothing greater than your own heart. You should love everyone and hate none. They may hate you but you should not hate others. That is what I demonstrate in my life. My life is My message. Some people may hate and criticise Me, but I will not hate or criticise anyone. When you practise this principle, you can also attain the Divine that Sai Baba is. If Sai has attained such fame and reputation, what is responsible for it? It is His Love Principle alone. This Love is My real property and treasure. You should also set ideals in the society by developing self-confidence and by sharing your love with others.
Be always happy and strive for national welfare and aspire for the well being of all nations. May everyone be happy and peaceful - Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu. Only then will you attain bliss. Develop broad-mindedness and put aside narrow-mindedness. Even if others trouble you and pose problems for you, bear it with patience believing that it will do you only good. "The body which is made up of five elements has to fall and perish one day or the other. The indweller of the body is eternal, is birthless and deathless and is not bound by any chains of bondage. In fact, this indweller is God Himself!" When a beggar begs for food, he utters, Bhavati Bhiksham Dehi! He is really begging from the 'Dehi'- the indweller and not you. Recognise the truth that he is praying to God in you for alms. It is your ignorance if you think that he is begging from you. It amounts to arrogance. Divinity resides in everyone irrespective of whether one is a prince or a pauper. You have to adore this divine principle in everyone and love them, but love should be selfless. Love bereft of attachment to body flows equally towards everyone. Body consciousness leads to narrow-mindedness. Your relationship with God is 'from heart to heart and love to love!'
I never invited anyone here for this function; in fact, no invitation was printed. If so many people have gathered here, the reason is their love for Me. It is a matter of great bliss to be loved by so many. There are many who cannot even win the love of parents. To win over the hearts of so many is itself a sign of Divinity. I love everyone and everyone loves Me. Those who love Me are not only the ones present here but there are crores of people spread all over the world. Young and old love Me alike. This morning devotees gathered in large numbers even at 3 o'clock seeking entry into Sai Kulwant Hall. Their enthusiasm was boundless. There may be people who queue up to enter a theatre or to get into a bus. But here, their love and attraction for Swami is so much that they do not bother about any hardships and inconveni-ences, to have the darshan of Swami. This type of love cannot be earned even by many years of penance.
You have the fortune today of enjoying bliss in the Divine presence. You must have done many lives of penance, performed many sacrifices and undertaken varied spiritual austerities in order to secure this divine bliss. It is My love which attracts so much of love from others. Therefore, do not hurt anyone by your harsh words and do not enter into any evil paths. Recognise the truth that God pervades everything from microcosm to macrocosm. This truth dwells in you but you are not aware of it. That is your mistake. You are the embodiment of 'Bhavani Sankara' - 'Sraddha' and 'Viswasa' (sincerity of purpose and faith). With self-confidence, you can achieve anything in the world.
You need not undertake any difficult spiritual practices to attain Divinity. You need not fast or do any chanting or meditation. Love Him from the depths of your heart. Devotees want to offer many types of service to God. These are the characteristics of faith. When you have such faith, you should not sully your sacred body by partaking wrong food. Gradually, you should intensify your love for God, fear of sin and morality in society. Morality rules the society only when people have love for God since fear of sin follows it. Today people without such fear of sin commit heinous acts. This contradicts the very human nature. There are twelve types of worries that haunt man starting from birth to death. Then how can he lead a life without worries? All these worries are related to the body and arise from the mind. If you master the mind, there is no scope for any worry.
Thyagaraja said, "For a man who has conquered his mind, is there any need for 'Mantra' and 'Tantra' - any strategies for attaining salvation?" As said many times by Swami, "Oh, people of the world, develop love for Sai which will destroys all your worries." Such love can help others also to win over their sorrows. Do not be bogged down by worries. With prayer to God, you can achieve anything. It is not only true of Indians but there are many men and women of other countries who have achieved this. There are many who have attained fulfilment in life by practising the dicta of their mothers. Therefore, love your mother first and foremost. Then you will automatically love your father and also your teacher. Before you love your mother, you have to love Yourself. One who does not believe in oneself cannot believe one's mother also. "Faith in yourself and faith in God is the secret of greatness."

Embodiments of Love!
There are many birthday programmes in the evening also. You have been sitting here for a long time. You need rest and also food. Therefore, let us bring an end to this morning's programme. Keep ruminating over what you have heard from Swami. Follow Swami's commands and you can attain everything and be victorious in all your endeavours. Take an oath today that you will develop self-confidence.
Bhagawan concluded His Discourse with the Bhajan, "Hari Bhajan Bina Sukha Santhi Nahi…"


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