|Date: 1 January 2001||Occasion: New Year||Place: Prasanthi Nilayam|
NEW YEAR SANDESH
Divine Discourse by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Good Thoughts Herald New Year
There is pain in
pleasure also; none can separate them.
It is pain that leads to pleasure.
In fact, both pain and pleasure are the effects of the Kali Age.
Years have rolled by, but man has not developed noble feelings. A true human being is one with a good mind. The qualities of a good mind are: it has the brightness of the sun and coolness of the moon; it makes one utter sacred words and confers peace on the society. One with compassion, love, forbearance, sympathy and sacrifice alone is a true human being. But in modern man such sacred qualities have become scarce. How can one benefit of human qualities be called a human being?
Man has originated from Nature. Earth sustains life. Sun gives light. Trees give oxygen. Water quenches our thirst and air helps us to live. How is it that man, born out of the five elements and sustained by them, does not possess the sacred qualities of the five elements? Having been born out of and brought up by Nature, man should practice and propagate the ideals set by Nature. Birds, animals and trees follow Nature and lead an ideal life. Trees inhale the poisonous carbon dioxide and exhale the life-supporting oxygen. Even the animals discharge their duties and help man in many ways. But, having been born as a human being, why is it that man is not practicing human values? He is not in a position to practice and propagate human values in society as he himself has lost them.
Embodiments of Love!
Every man expects the New Year to confer on him peace, happiness and prosperity. New Year does not bring happiness or sorrow with it. Yesterday is the same as today and today is the same as tomorrow. Days are the same, but one experiences either pleasure or pain depending on one's own actions. Meritorious deeds will not confer misery and sinful deeds cannot give happiness. One is bound to face the consequences of one's actions. But one treats pleasure and pain alike when one becomes the recipient of God's grace. God's grace destroys mountains of sins and confers peace. But due to the impact of Kali Age, man has lost faith in God. He is after money and power. How can such a person attain Divinity? Man can rise from the level of the human to the Divine only by practicing human values.
Years come and go, so also pleasure and pain. Nothing confers permanent bliss except the experience of the Atma. Man cannot attain peace and happiness from his actions unless he has sacred feelings within. Many people expect the New Year to confer happiness and prosperity on them. But in fact, New Year only confers on you the results of your past actions. In order to atone for your past sins, you have to cultivate sacred qualities and involve yourself in sacred activities more and more in the New Year. In fact, Bliss is within you, it originates from your sacred feelings. So, you have to manifest bliss from within-- it cannot be bestowed on you by others. None can take away the bliss from you and you cannot obtain it form outside.
The heart is the center of sacred feelings. It is filled with compassion. It is compassion that gives rise to sacred feelings. One has to develop compassion, spread the light of love and cultivate Divine feelings. Without doing so, how can one expect Time to confer happiness on him? One gets what one does. If one expects good results, one must cultivate good feelings. With purity of heart, steadiness of mind and selfless actions, one can become the recipient of Divine Grace, which will remove any amount of sufferings in a trice. One cannot achieve anything without Divine Grace. So one has to undertake such activities which will confer Divine Grace. Peace and happiness cannot be obtained from the external world. Only through Divine Grace can one be peaceful and happy. People celebrate the advent of the New Year with singing and dancing. That enthusiasm and happiness are but momentary. What man needs is permanent peace and happiness. How can he expect to attain permanent happiness by indulging in worldly deeds? He has to undertake sacred activities in order to attain permanent happiness.
Embodiments of Love!
Under all circumstances, let your feelings be pure and ideal. Let all your actions be for the welfare of others. The Vedas declare: Paropakaarah Punyaya Paapaaya Parapeedanam (One attains merit by serving others and commits sin by hurting them). When your feelings are sacred, you will get sacred results without your asking. Due to the impact of Kali Age, man's thought, words and deeds are not in harmony with each other. You may say or do anything-- the result you get depends on your feelings. So, make your feelings sacred and become a good human being. One with good feelings and good mind alone can be called a good human being.
Sometimes deeds done with good mind may yield bad results. The result may appear adverse but there is goodness latent in it. A good mind will never change because of such results. Man is essentially good. So, he ought to lead a life of goodness. But today man wavers every moment. It is due to the lack of Will Power. Man should have unwavering mind and steady vision. Then he will not be subjected to any hardships. Only God's Grace can help man to overcome these negative tendencies.
One may be a millionaire, but his wealth will not redeem him if his feelings are impure. Even if a man does not possess anything, he can still achieve the highest if he has purity of heart. Anything that a man of purity sees or touches turns into gold. On the other hand, if he lacks purity and effort in the right direction, even a stick in his hand will turn into a snake. Sankalpamoolam Idam Jagat (Thoughts form the basis of the entire world). Some people feel their expectations are not fructifying in spite of their best efforts. This is mainly due to absence of purity in their feelings and intentions.
Today marks the commencement of the New Year, 2001. Next year, it will become 2002. Destiny does not change with the change in year. Along with the change in year, your actions too should change for the better. Only then you will get good results.
You will fare well in the examination only when you work hard throughout the year. As is the feeling, so is the action. As is the action, so is the result. Sometimes, you may question the adverse outcome of a good action. But in fact, good actions will never yield bad results. Bad result implies an element of negativity in the intentions. It is a human weakness to see only the good in oneself, ignoring the bad.
and pain, good and bad co-exist, none can separate them.
You cannot find pleasure or pain, good or bad to the exclusion of the other.
Pleasure results when difficulties fructify."
Even a sweet mango tastes sour when it is plucked prematurely. It should be allowed to ripen. Only then it will taste sweet. So, do not get disheartened if your actions do not yield the desired results immediately. Your efforts are bound to fructify in due course of time.
Embodiments of Love!
You have been waiting for the commencement of the New Year with great expectations. Your efforts must be in accordance with the expectation. Before undertaking any activity, you should discriminate and enquire into the pros and cons. Today man has lost the sense of discrimination. He does not know how to respect and behave among elders. He should make proper use of the Mathi (mind), Gathi (destiny), Stithi (position) and Sampatthi (wealth) that God has bestowed on him. The six evil traits of man, viz., desire, anger, greed, infatuation, pride and jealousy arise due to the defects in his food and habits. Food and habits are responsible for the qualities in man, good or bad.
The sacred qualities that originate from the heart are true and eternal. They correspond to the inward path (Nivritti), whereas all the worldly tendencies like amassing wealth, taking up jobs, playing games, desiring for positions of authority, etc. correspond to the outward path (Pravritti). Worldly tendencies originate for the head and are bound to change. Only the inward tendencies that originate from the heart are true and eternal. Ignoring the inward tendencies, man takes to the outward path. Consequently, he is unable to attain permanent happiness. He treads the path of Pravritti but expects the results corresponding to Nivritti. All that he sees says and does have become polluted with untruth and unrighteousness. In fact, his entire life has become Pravritti-oriented. He should give up the outward path and direct his vision inward. Before entertaining any thought, he should discriminate whether it is good or bad. One who follows the outward path can never attain permanent happiness, getting frustrated or restless. For example, you may be 20 year old or 40 year old. You have been eating food everyday all these years. But can your hunger ever be satisfied permanently? No. Only the taste varies but hunger is the same for everybody.
Food may vary,
but hunger is the same,
Jewels are many, but gold is the same,
The color of the cows may vary, but milk is the same,
Forms are many, but God is one,
Beings are many, but breath is one.
Man leads a life of delusion because he sees diversity in unity. He faces many hardships to carry on with the sojourn of his life. But life is transient. To lead such an ephemeral life, why should one take to the wrong path and get deluded? So long as one is alive, one should tread the path of truth and set an ideal. Only then can one's life be sanctified. Truthful activities alone can confer eternal peace.
A poet composes many verses in praise of God. He extols God grandiloquently and ultimately prays for His protection. The feeling is important and not the manner in which the verses are composed. One may extol God according to one's own capacity but one should do so with pure, steady and sacred feelings. One may do doing Bhajan, offering worship and undertaking service activities for a number of years. But all this will prove futile if there is no transformation of the heart. Heart should be filled with compassion. Only then can it be called a temple of God. Otherwise, it becomes verily a devil's den.
The New Year does not bring anything new with it. The day when fresh and sacred thoughts originate in your heart is the real New Year day. As you all consider this day as New Year day and welcome it with enthusiasm, I bless you all so that you may cultivate fresh, sacred and ideal feelings. I desire that you share with others all that you consider as good. I want you to lead a peaceful and blissful life and become role models for the rest of the country.
At times evil qualities like desire, anger and hatred may arise in you but they should not be allowed to enter the mind. Once they are refused permission, they will automatically withdraw. If they are allowed to enter the mind, they will remain in it. A small example. When someone comes to your doorstep with his baggage, if you receive him and start exchanging pleasantries, he will immediately enter and settle down in your house. On the other hand, if you ignore him completely, he will go to a hotel or a lodge. Likewise, when the evil qualities try to enter your mind, just ignore them. Then they will go back to the place of their origin. On the other hand, if you entertain them, they will rule over you. When you come across something evil, do not look at it, talk about it or listen to it. Just ignore it. That is the true human quality.
You will allow only your friends and relatives to enter your house through the main doors. Will anyone allow the donkeys and pigs to enter the house just because it has doors? Your body has got nine doors. You should permit through them only that which is sacred. Do not allow the evil to enter. Only then can you attain peace.
Human life is highly noble, valuable and divine! Do not put it to misuse by giving room to evil qualities. Use the power of discrimination and make proper use of the senses. Only then will your life be redeemed. You will attain immortality and infinite bliss. Start a novel and Divine life in this new year. Give up all the old unsacred feelings. Cultivate Divine feelings. Once you have divine feelings, no other feeling can enter your mind. Install God within, then peace will automatically follow.
Embodiments of Love!
I bless you all so that you may lead your lives with peace, prosperity and happiness. Thus I bring My Discourse to a close.
Bhagavan concluded His Discourse with the Bhajans, "Hari Bhajan Bina..." and "Hare Rama, Hare Rama..."