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LADIES DAY SANDESH
GOOD MOTHERS ARE NATION'S PRIDE
(Text of the Divine Discourse delivered by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba on the occasion of Ladies Day on 19th November 2001 as part of the 76th Birthday Celebrations, in Sai Kulwant Hall, Prasanthi Nilayam. )
Savitri who got her husband back to life, a woman of India?
Was not Chandramati who by her steadfast adherence to truth put out raging fires, a
chaste woman of India?
Was not Sita who demonstrated her purity by entering fire, a daughter of this land?
Was not Damayanti who reduced the wicked hunter to ashes, an exemplary woman of this land?
This land of Bharat surrounded by the seven seas enshrines in its heart the holy principle of chastity and this sacred land is the teacher of all nations!."
From time immemorial, women of India, by their adherence to
ideals have bestowed joy on this land and so occupy an exalted position,
which is higher than that of men. Women embody the aspect of Mother
Nature and the ancient sages found solutions to problems in life by
recognising this truth. What is the cause for misery, conflict and
suffering in the world today? It is the absence of purity in the hearts
of men and women. The behaviour of men and women is responsible for the
rise or fall of a nation. The country would not lack in anything, if
there are men and women with pure hearts. But today hearts are
completely polluted. Here is a piece of pure white paper. But what is
written on one side makes it appear dirty. So too is the case with a
man's heart; dirty feelings pollute it. Newspaper of today becomes a
waste paper tomorrow. The paper by itself does not have any smell. The
same paper when used to pack jasmine flowers smells of them; it will
smell of 'Pakodas' or even of dry fish if it is used to pack them. When
the heart is purified, it shines with compassion. Bad feelings and bad
thoughts pollute the heart of man.
Eversince ancient times, women have maintained their hearts pure. Savitri was one such great woman of India. She brought her husband back to life by winning over the Lord of Death. There are many such cases of women who have revived their husbands from death; but history does not speak of a single man reviving his wife from death! Women of such exalted character have set great ideals of womanhood in Bharat. Today's society is polluted because there is no encouragement for women to cultivate such high ideals. In modern times the ways of life are so perverted that only evil thoughts, evil feelings and evil behaviour rule the roost. In this situation Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations are encouraging women through opportunities in the wings like Mahila Vibhag, to develop good ideals of character and propagate them to the world at large. Only if the women come up in society, the whole world will turn sacred. The Organisation of women has achieved many great things, but men do not recognise their good work. Women are capable of ruling the nations and even the whole world if they make up their minds. Men should not consider women as mere slaves. Today our country is on the downslide because we take our women very lightly.
There is nothing in this world that women cannot achieve. Recognising the nature of such women we must encourage them and give them equal opportunities in society. No such encouragement is being given today. Men do not tolerate women joining together for a good cause in an Organisation. Because of their own selfish interest, men are unable to recognise the good that women can do to the society. Generally the women are selfless. Their hearts are full of compassion and love. They take a lot of pains to bring up children on the right path, a task that is almost impossible for men. Mother plays a very important role in shaping the character of the child. The contemporary education is largely responsible for the gradual deterioration of children's behaviour. In olden days mothers initiated their children into studies by chanting sacred words like OM NAMAH SIVAYA or OM NAMO NARAYANAYA. Thus at a very early age, these sacred words got imprinted in the hearts of the children. But today's parents initiate their children into education, not by chanting holy or sacred names of God, but by rhymes like 'Baa… Baa.. Black Sheep …' Nowadays children are being taught all types of wrong terminology. In earlier days, children used to welcome guests in their homes with humility and reverence, whereas these qualities are missing nowadays. Today's children aspire for wealth, power and friendship but not for character. What is the use of wealth, power and friendship bereft of character? Money comes and goes but one must teach them morality and righteousness. Earlier, children were taught such sacred values. Today parents want their children to pursue higher studies and become great, whereas earlier, parents preferred their children to be good rather than being great. Since those parents wanted their children to be good, Bharat stood as an ideal to all nations of the world.
Nowadays students are not being taught good qualities. Instead, when they come home, mother immediately puts on the television and the father too joins the son to watch the television. Earlier, the moment children returned home, parents took them to the Puja room and revised whatever was taught to them by teachers in the class. Nowadays parents want their children to pursue higher studies so that they may get a rich father-in-law. In those days parents never wanted a rich father-in-law but wanted a virtuous wife for their son. This is the reason why those days were prosperous and peaceful. What is the reason for chaos in the world today? As there are no ideal parents today at home, there are no ideal children also. The first school is the home itself. If the home is good and when these children enter society, they will learn good qualities there also. Today's students must recognise that whatever knowledge, wisdom or good qualities they have learnt, have been taught by the society. So they have to ask themselves as to what they are doing for the society after receiving so many benefits from it. Students receive lot of benefits from the society but they don't contribute anything good in return. Thus, men are becoming ungrateful. We must be grateful to those who help us. What is the use of all education if we cannot show gratitude and respect to our benefactors? All the education learnt thus becomes useless. First and foremost we must learn to respect the society because we are born, brought up and remain a part of the society till we die. Those days mothers used to teach their children that they could lead an ideal life only when they respected society.
Take for example the episode of Abhimanyu. He prostrated before his mother and sought her permission to go to the battlefield. Initially his mother hesitated to permit him and said, "The great warrior Drona has devised a difficult strategy in today's battle - Padmavyuha (Lotus Formation). Bhishma has joined hands with Drona. Your father and uncle are not here. Your wife is pregnant. We do not know what can happen on the battlefield. Therefore I advise that you may not go to war now!"
He replied, "Mother, this is not what you should teach me; you should encourage me to pounce into the battlefield like a lion and destroy the Kauravas. Instead, you are discouraging me. Is it right on your part to do so? I pray that you grant your blessings to me to be victorious in the war." Subhadra immediately realised her duty in that situation and blessed him, "My dear son, may you have a long life, may you earn a good name for the family, may you earn the blessings of your uncle and father; may the Lord be by your side and protect you on the battlefield!"
It is obligatory for the son to earn good reputation for the family. But in these modern times parents do not impart such good teachings to their children. Parents distribute sweets as soon as the child is born and celebrate the child's birthday. But in ancient times parents would celebrate the son's birthday only on the day he brought good name to the family.
"Father does not feel the joy of begetting a son merely because the child is born. Only when people praise his son for his good deeds and achievements does the father feel joyful!" Thus, we find a gulf of difference between the cultures of those days and of today. Since time immemorial, it is the mothers who brought up the children. The lap of the mother is the child's first school. That is why even the Vedas say, "May mother be your god, may father be your god, may teacher be your god". Thus, first honour is always given to the mother. Let us take for example the names of deities, Sita Rama, Radha Krishna and Parvati Paramesha; the feminine aspect of God comes first.
It is the mother who shapes the child's life. Even when she punishes the child for any of its mistakes, she does it with love, to lead it on to the right path. Today we need such mothers.
"In this sacred land of Bharat patience is our treasure. Among all the vows adherence to truth is the greatest penance. Sweetest of all feelings in our land is the love of the mother."
There is nothing more sacred than motherhood. We need children who fulfil the aspirations of their mothers. We also need women who embody motherhood. In order to foster such lofty ideals we have chosen the 19th of November as Ladies Day.
The mother of this body was Easwaramma. She was not a scholar. She did not know even alphabets. Yet, she always spoke good things in life. Her heart was filled with compassion. One day she approached Swami and said, "Swami there are so many rich people in this region. Yet, the children of our village have to walk all the way to Bukkapatnam to attend school. My heart grieves to see these little children walk miles. Swami, could you please build a small school in our village?" I replied, "I don't have money!" She immediately removed the gold chain from her neck, gave it to me and said," Swami, please sell it and build a school."
I told her, "Don't be hasty, it is only to test you I said so, I will definitely construct a school." On the following day, the foundation was laid, and within a short period the school building was ready. Then I asked her if she was happy. She did not appear completely satisfied. I asked her, "What else bothers you?" She replied, "Swami, when children fall ill, their mothers carry them all the way to Bukkapatnam for medical treatment and things may go wrong on the way. So please build a small hospital in the village." Thus, she always thought of the welfare and happiness of others. She used to say; "It is not enough if these facilities are available only in our village. They must be available to all the villagers around, and everyone should be happy."
Once I took Easwaramma to Brindavan. It was during the Summer Course. Students from colleges all over the country were attending the course. There were many foreigners also. She was very happy at the noble things taught to them in the classes and also Swami's discourses in the evenings. One day I asked her, "Are you happy now?" She replied "Swami what more do I need?. People of so many countries are getting benefited. This is enough for my happiness." She had a broad mind. Today we see only narrow-mindedness everywhere. People desire that only their family and children should be happy. But Easwaramma was not like that. She wanted everyone to be happy. Even though she was not educated she taught such noble qualities to everyone. Our country Bharat attainted great fame because of such mothers. There were men and women of character who brought good reputation to the nation. One day after her breakfast she was sitting in the hall; Swami was upstairs; suddenly she called out, 'Swami'(three times). I told her, "I am coming, don't go!" Gokak, who was there, was surprised why I was saying that. I rushed down. She held My hands and said, "I am completely satisfied with this Summer Course. It is not only students who are getting benefited. Even I have developed a broad mind. Swami I am going!" She offered her Pranams to Me and passed away peacefully. Everyone aspires for a peaceful death. People who have evil feelings will not die such a death. Easwaramma did not have even a trace of evil feeling in her. That is why she was always joyful. Even at the age of 96 she used to walk 3 miles from Brindavan to the house of Gojimeni family. When I asked her, "Why do you want to walk so much distance? Why don't you go in car?", she would reply "Swami, I desire to see them. I do not feel comfortable in car. I do not need a car, I prefer to walk!" She always aspired to see others happy. Because of such mothers there was great progress and prosperity in society.
When this body was twelve years old, I was in Subbamma's house. I asked her to stitch a long gown for Me. She did not like it. She said, "Why do you want to wear a gown? You can wear Dhoti. "I replied, no; time has come to do it". She obeyed Swami's command and stitched a gown for Me. Its cost was two Annas at that time. When I put on the gown, she requested Easwaramma to come to her house to see Me. She came, saw Me and started shedding tears saying, "Swami, did you call Me here for seeing this form of Yours?" I told her, "Don't grieve, I am setting an ideal for the whole world. When one wears the ochre robes, one's evil desires will vanish." They were satisfied to hear this.
Today Jayamma is translating the Discourse. She used to look after Easwaramma during those days. Easwaramma stayed in Jayamma's house at that time. Jayamma would serve her day and night and listen from her about Swami. I do not know what Easwaramma told her; Jayamma did not like to enter family life. But parents prevailed upon her to get married. The marriage was arranged. I was in Puttaparthi. Jayamma sent a telegram to Swami, which read, "I am going to hell today!" I tried to persuade her parents against the marriage, but they did not pay heed to My words. Her husband was a man of good character. Even Jayamma's mother was a very good woman. To be as virtuous as Easwaramma, was her earnest prayer to Swami. Jayamma's marriage was performed, but Swami did not go for the wedding. Her husband's name was Gopinath. He was noble and well educated. He had just then returned from America after his education. He got his posting in a big company in Rajahmundry. When Swami visited Rajahmundry, he served Swami by arranging conveyance wherever Swami wished to go. Gopinath's constant prayer was that he and Jayamma should find a place at Swami's Lotus Feet. Swami kept advising him not to be hasty and that there was a long life ahead. When Swami returned from Rajahmundry there came a telegram that Gopinath had expired. Jayamma immediately locked her house and rushed to Brindavan. She had smeared Vibhuti on her forehead and sat under a tree. Swami asked her, why she had applied Vibhuti on her forehead and not kumkum. She replied that it was ordained by Swami. She informed Swami that her husband was no more and said that she would not go anywhere away from Swami's Lotus Feet. Swami then sent Karunyananda and Rama Brahmam to Rajahmundry to get all her belongings. Swami instructed Jayamma to teach in the college at Anantapur. Jayamma had got a gold medal for her proficiency in English. She also learnt Sanskrit at Maharani College, but still was not satisfied. She revealed to Swami her desire to secure a doctorate. With Swami's blessings she got the doctorate under Gokak's guidance. Jayamma has strong determination and she has continued to work in the Institute since then. She used to come to Puttaparthi from Anantapur every Sunday till Swami instructed her to concentrate on her duty without wasting time. Jayamma promptly obeyed Swami's command. She had come to Swami as a child of four years when Swami resided in the old Mandir. Wherever Swami went she would follow with a towel in her hand. She grew up this way with noble feelings.
God is the embodiment of love. He is completely selfless. Those who follow Him therefore should be selfless too. When your hearts are filled with divine love, you would be able to pursue oneness in the whole creation. When this unity pervades our heart, there would be no scope for hatred towards others. The eternal love will get established in our hearts with the experience of unity of all existence. Therefore, those who follow the Divine and inculcate the Divine love are truly fortunate.
There is not even a trace of selfishness in Swami. Swami is completely selfless. When you inculcate this selfless love, you too become selfless and your love exhorts others on the ideal path. There is a trace of selfishness and self-interest even in the love of mother, father and friends, but divine love is untainted by selfishness. Why don't you crave for such selfless love? Today, people go after the physical and worldly pleasures and fortunes. All that is worldly constitutes the negative. Only God's love is positive. Only when you attain this love, you can be truly powerful and perform ideal deeds. Let people think whatever they wish, you need not worry about it. Inculcate divine love.
"Fear of sin and love for God have vanished from the heart leading to decline of humanness in man. This is the cause for restlessness in the world. "
should not be misled by others' words and lose sight of the sanctity of
divine love. The people are like crows and speak whatever they like. But
you should exercise your discrimination. You should be pure at heart and
be fearless. People who are jealous may concoct several stories. But it
cannot harm us. Instead it will help us. We should be ready to face any
difficulty because true happiness springs out of hardships. Censure
turns into praise if we are determined. In fact, criticism adds to the
sacred fame of the Divine. You should not be bogged down by criticism.
those who say yes, it is yes
For those who say no, it is no
No and yes are only for you,
But for SAI, it is always YES, YES, YES!."
say No. I am always in Bliss. I know nothing other than Bliss. We should
welcome even death happily. Everything happens for our own good. Once
you are born, can you escape death? Birth and death are inseparable twin
birds. Till this day, I have had no desires except for one. That is,
"All should be united!" You must recognise the oneness of the
principle of Atma residing in one and all. Always contemplate upon the
principle of love. You must have reverence for all. Love your parents.
You may make mistakes knowingly or unknowingly. But brooding over those mistakes is not advisable. Past is past. Forget the past. Future is not sure. Present is very important. It is not ordinary present. It is Omnipresent.
So be happy in the present. Swami expects all parents to achieve fulfilment in their lives by moulding their children into virtuous persons. They should always aspire for the goodness and well-being of their children. It is a good boy who becomes a god boy.
How did the term good boy get modified? During the British regime, they used to say good boy. Later it became good-bye. Thereafter, the word 'good' vanished and 'bye' has remained. In this way, with the passage of time, various words have become perverted. But what we should accomplish is being a good boy. Give up selfishness and become selfless. Self is lovelessness and love is selflessness
Obey the commands of your parents and become ideal parents in future. You should teach the same to your children too. In order to teach these ideals, I have proclaimed the 19th of November as the Ladies Day, which is very auspicious. The importance of this day lies in propagating and realising the sanctity of motherhood, which is founded on the principle of selfless love. Children should be fostered on the principle of piety and virtue. This day will be celebrated by posterity for aeons.
Bhagawan concluded His Divine Discourse with the Bhajan, " Prema Mudita… "
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