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SHANKRANTHI SANDESH


(Divine Discourse delivered by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba duringShankranthi festival  on 15th January 2000 At Prshanthi Nilyam. )

The principle of Aathma has neither birth nor death
It has neither beginning nor end
iI is all-pervasive and the eternal witness;
Aathma is Brahman and Brahman is Aathma.
                                                                                 (Poem in Telugu)

The Lord of Puttaparthi will always protect you.
He is the ocean of compassion.
Holding your hand, he will take care of you.
He will never forsake you.
Recognise this truth.
                                                                        (Poem in Telugu)

Bharat is the holy land of the Vedas
and the sacred rituals like Yajnaas and Yagaas.
It is the motherland of many noble souls.
It is the land of sacrifice that has taught to
the world morality and code of conduct.


Embodiments of Love!

Bharat (India) is the centre of truth, righteousness, and morality.  It is your great good fortune to have been born in this sacred land. This is the land of merit, penance,and sacrifice (thyaga).  Such a  Land of Sacrifice (Thyaga Bhoomi) is being converted into a  Land of Pleasure (Bhoga Bhoomi). We do not need a Land of Weath (Bhagya Bhoomi) or a Land of Pleasure. It should remain a Land of Sacrifice. So, every citizen of Bharat should develop the spirit of sacrifice and work hard. Bend the body, mend the senses and end the mind --this should be your endeavour. Live up to the reputation of dear children (muddu biddalu) of this motherland. Do not become dunces (moddu biddalu) or bad children (chedda biddalu). Your motherland will feel proud of you only when you become noble and ideal. You may not hold any worldly degrees, but you can take pride in the fact that you are the sons of this sacred land of Bharat. This in itself is the greatest qualification. Bharat is the land endowed with the wealth of spirituality, sacrifice, and bliss.  Having been born in this sacred land, every Bharatiya (Indian) should resolve to foster spiritual values and the spirit of sacrifice. Consider service as your duty. Service is God. Divinity can be experienced only through service.

On deep enquiry, you will know that you are God. You are in God and God is in you. Understand this truth and act accordingly. You should be able to say with conviction that you are the spark of Divine. If someone were to question where God is, you should say with courage and conviction that God is everywhere.

Never doubt the omnipresence of God
and say that He is here and is not there.
In fact, you can find Him
wherever you search for Him.
                                                                                                                                        (Poem in Telugu)

God does not exist for those who deny Him. He exists for those who believe in His existence. He says ëyesí for those who say ëyesí and ënoí for those who say ënoí. You may say ëyesí or ënoí, but for Sai everything is ëyes, yes, yesí.  If someone were to tell you that God does not exist, teach him a lesson, saying, "God may not exist for you but He does exist for me. You have no right to deny the existence of my God."  With such courage and conviction, you should uphold our ancient culture. Having been born as the children of this land of courage and valour, do not give scope for weakness of any kind. You are not weak; you have all the strength in you. Take a pledge to accomplish the task of restoring our ancient culture with courage and determination. God Himself has taken three pledges:

That

He will incarnate age after age for the establishment of dharma (Parithranaaya saadhunaam vinaashayacha dushkritam dharma samsthapanaarthaya sambhavami yuge yuge),

That

He will take care of those who constantly contemplate on Him (Ananyaah chinthayanthomaam ye janaah paryupaasathe theshaam nithyaabhiyukthaanaam yogakshemam vahamyaham).

That

He will grant liberation to those who surrender to Him completely (Sarvadharmaan parithyajya maamekam saranam vraja aham twa sarvapaapebhyo moksha ishyaami maasuchaha).

Likewise, you too should take three vows: that you will firmly believe in the existence of God, that you shall see Him, and that you will become one with Him. Make every effort to fulfil these vows.

The year 2000 has commenced. Many have given a bad picture of what lies ahead in this year. But there is nothing bad in this world. There is good in what appears to be bad. So never consider anything bad. How can bad creep into Godís creation? Everything happens according to His Will. Can the divine Will ever be bad for the bad events to take place? No, it is always good. How can you point out something as bad when Divinity pervades everything? Good and bad lie in your vision (drishti), not in creation (srishti). You should have firm faith that whatever happens is good for you and face any eventuality with courage. Students having such courage and conviction are needed today.  You all know that the world is facing many hardships. Human life will find fulfilment only when one acts with courage and conviction in the face of adversity. Never get disheartened and retrace your steps. God has created no one to lead a selfish life. Uphold dharma for the welfare of humanity, even if it were to be at the cost of your life. After all, death occurs only once in a lifetime. Everything happens according to Godís Will. Man, who has been created by the divine Will, should sanctify his life by following the divine command. No matter what others say or do, have unflinching faith in God. Only the good face impediments in their path. Whatever happens is for your own good. When a student fails in the exams, he does not give up. He works hard to attain success in the next examination. Similarly, never give up in the face of adversities in life. Pleasure is an interval between two pains. Vyasa said that happiness results only when you overcome difficulties (Na sukhaath labhyathe sukham). Happiness has no value in the absence of difficulties, just as light has no value in the absence of darkness. Difficulties are part and parcel of human existence. So take them in your stride.

Once Kunti prayed to Krishna for incessant difficulties so that she could remember Him throughout. She said,  "Krishna, when my husband, King Pandu, was alive, hardly did I remember You because I was immersed in all pleasures and comforts. After his death, we were put to untold suffering, as a result of which we remembered You always. Now I realise the value of difficulties. They help me to remember You always. I am ready to face any hardship, but kindly ensure that my love for You never diminishes."

Forty-two years had passed after the Kurukshetra war. Arjuna was returning from Dwaraka. The entire clan of  Yadavas were embroiled in squabble, as  a result of which they perished. Krishna had also left His mortal coil. Sighting Arjuna at a distance, Dharmaja went up to Him and enquired about the well-being of Lord Krishna. Arjuna fell down in a heap, saying "our friend, mentor, and God, Lord Krishna, is no more."

On hearing this, Kunti collapsed and breathed her last on the lap of Dharmaja. A grief-stricken Dharmaja gave vent to his feelings, "Oh Mother! Have you gone in search of our dear Lord Krishna? It appears to be so. Life is meaningless without Krishna. All along we lived with Krishna, earned name and fame, and emerged victorious in the war. All this was possible because He was by our side. There is no meaning in life after Him." He summoned Bhima and asked him to make arrangements for mother Kuntiís funeral. Arjuna was asked to make arrangements for the coronation of his grandson, while Nakula and Sahadeva were asked to be prepared for the final journey.  All the three activities --Kuntiís funeral, the oronation of Parikshit ,and the Pandavas going to exile-- were to take place on the same day. Only Dharmaja could execute these diverse duties with equanimity.

Having performed the last rites of their mother Kunti and coronated Parikshit, the Pandavas left Hastinapura for the forest. Draupadi, who considered the five Pandavas as her five life breaths, also followed them. The Pandavas remained united both in pleasure and pain. Such unity is lacking today. Happiness and sorrow are like passing clouds. One should not be elated in times of pleasure or depressed in times of pain. One should remain equal minded, unaffected by happiness or sorrow. This is the sign of true devotion.  Devotion does not mean performing worship (puja) or undertaking rituals.  Devotion stands for constancy of love for God. It also means implicit obedience and subservience to the will of God.

Lakshmana followed Rama to the forest , since he considered Him to be his very life-breath. On reaching Chitrakoota mountain, Rama instructed Lakshmana to put up a shelter. When Lakshmana asked Him to show the location, Rama replied, "Erect it at the place of your choice." Hearing this, Lakshmana fell in inconsolable grief. He said, "What sin have I committed to hear such harsh words from You? Haven't I surrendered to Your will? Do I have likes and dislikes of my own?"

Seeing Lakshmanaís plight, Sita remarked, "Lakshmana, why are you so agitated? Rama neither beat you nor admonished you."

Lakshmana replied, "Mother, I would have been happy to be beaten or scolded by Him, but I cannot bear to hear to have my likes and dislikes separate from His. There is no greater sorrow than hearing such words from Lord Rama."  This incident reveals the intensity of devotion and total surrender of Lakshmana.

Surrender implies that the individual will should become one with the divine Will. Obey the divine Command implicitly without questioning. That is the sign of true devotion. Whatever God does is for your good. God subjected the Pandavas to innumerable hardships. Ultimately, victory was theirs because they obeyed His command implicitly. Through devotion and sincerity, you can achieve anything in life.  Do not crave pleasure (bhoga); aspire for yoga. Yoga means union with God.  The Bhagavad Gita starts with the chapter Vishada Yoga. Arjunaís sorrow (vishada) turned into success (vijaya) on account of his association with Krishna. Before attaining success in any endeavour, one has to face hardships. Pleasure and pain come together ,just as the bitter rind and the sweet juice coexist in an orange fruit. You cannot enjoy the sweet juice of sugarcane unless it is crushed. Likewise, gold has to be put in fire, hammered, and cut before it is made into a beautiful jewel. Similarly, humanness will shine forth only after undergoing trials and tribulations.

Hiranyagarbha is another name for Divinity. If you place this divine gold in your heart, you can make any ornament of your choice like truth, righteousness and peace. Just as no ornament can be made without gold, you cannot obtain the jewels of truth, righteousness, and peace (sathya, dharma, and santhi) without Divinity. Hiranyagarbha is immanent in everyone. This is why Swami calls everyone bangaru. You pray  "Let the whole world be happy (Lokah samastah sukhino bhavanthu) It is possible only through Divinity. Develop love in order to acquire divine grace.  ou cannot get even a handkerchief unless you pay for it. You are asking God for peace, happiness, and liberation. But what are you giving God in return? Offer Him your love and receive His grace in the form of peace, happiness, and liberation. You have no right to ask unless you give. Only through love and service you will earn the right to ask.

Man is composed of five sheaths viz., the food, vital-air, mental, intellect, and bliss sheaths (annamaya, pranamaya, manomaya, vijnanamaya, and anandamayakoshas)As mentioned in the morning, human corresponds to the food sheath. Each sheath --food, vital-air, mental, intellect, bliss-- is subtler than the previous ones, in that order. In order to attain liberation, one has to reach the subtlest of all these sheaths, the bliss sheath. The same is also declared in Vedanta. This bliss (ananda) is also referred to as Brahmananda (the bliss of realising Brahma). Such bliss can be experienced only through divine Love.

Chanting the divine Name of Lord Sai Rama will destroy mountains of sins. I often tell you to drink the nectar of Lord Ramaís Name (Pibare Rama rasam). Tulsidas prayed to Rama for the nectar of His divine love.  When sugar and water are mixed, syrup is formed. Likewise, when your love becomes one with the divine love, you become immortal.

Do not hate anybody. Love all. Many of you feel bad, thinking that Swami does not talk to you. But you do not enquire whether you follow Swamiís teachings or not. I too follow certain rules and regulations. When I give you something, you should make proper use of it. Otherwise, what is the point in My giving? When I give you what you ask for, isn' it your duty to do what I say? I feel it is better not to speak than to speak and lose the value of My words. Each word of Mine has immense value associated with it. I will fulfil your wish only when you obey My command.

God does not have anger or hatred toward anybody. But you have to face the consequences of your actions. As the action, so is the reaction. As your feeling, so is the result (Yad bhavam tad bhavathi). If you are good, I will certainly yield to your request. Sometimes, I behave as if I am angry only to put you on the right path. Without understanding this truth, you feel bad that Swami is ignoring you.To what extent have you given place to Swami in your heart? To what extent are you putting His teachings into practice? I take all this into consideration.

When a beggar asks for alms, the lady of the house gives him food. Sometimes, she even forgoes her own share of food to serve the beggar. But if she finds the beggar throwing away the food, would she serve him next time? No. Likewise, Swami stops talking to you if you do not follow his teachings. I do not have any desire whatsoever. I do not need anything from anybody. I do not hate anybody. If you make proper use of what is already given, you will be given much more. Enquire whether your actions are in accordance with Swamiís teachings.

It is not easy to attain God. You can attain Him only through love.  t is possible to understand Divinity only when you get rid of evil qualities. When your heart is filled with negative thoughts, how can you expect God to fill it with His love and grace? First of all, cleanse your heart of all evil qualities. Only then can God fill your heart with His love and grace.

Students should cultivate character along with acquisition of knowledge. Education without culture is useless. Just as current flows when positive and negative come together, likewise your life will be redeemed when education is coupled with culture. Students are good, but they do not know the right path. Some know what is good, but they do not follow because of limitless desires. As worldly desires increase, naturally the desire for the Divine grace diminishes. The head can be filled with noble feelings only when it is empty. But it is not possible to do the same if it is already stuffed with worldly desires. So, first and foremost, rid your head of all desires. Then I will certainly fill it with divine love. I am giving you time, and I am waiting to shower My grace on you. I am always ready. Those who keep the vessel of their heart pure easily attain me.

Embodiments of Love!

Human life is highly sacred and divine. It is gifted by God. Make proper use of it. Make your parents happy. How can you please Swami if you cannot please your parents? First and foremost, earn the love and grace of your parents. Only then you will be the recipients of Swamiís love and grace.

Students! 

Your Sports Meet was most wonderful in all respects. I begin My discourse with a poem, which is like a plate, and end it with a devotional song (bhajan), which is like a lid that covers various delicious items. The same can be said of our Sports Meet. The programmes of the Institute students were like delicious dishes served on a plate. The Primary School children covered the plate with the lid of love. As a result, this Sports Meet has left an indelible impression in the hearts of one and all. Make everybody happy. That will also make Swami happy. The Primary School children are highly virtuous. They are of tender age. They donít have in them even a trace of worldly desires.

I told you earlier the story of Madalasa. She used to keep the child in a cradle, revealing its true identity and explaining the ephemeral nature of this world. She would tell the child, "My dear one, you are one of purity, wisdom, and supreme bliss. Wake up from the sleep of attachment (moha), then you will realise that the world (samsara) is but a dream."  She transformed her sons into renunciants.

Seeing this, her husband got annoyed.  "Who will take care of this kingdom if you send all the children to the forest?"

She replied, "How long can one rule over a worldly kingdom?  t is only for a temporary period. I am coronating my sons as the emperors of the Kingdom of the Heart (Hridaya Samrajya), which is true and eternal."

Every human being is essentially pure and divine. But due to the impact of Kali Age [the age we are in], even young children are getting enmeshed in family life. Such being the case, even God will not come to your rescue. Once you get carried away by the sleep of family life, you will certainly get dreams of bad thoughts. Then how can you expect God to speak to you? If you have chosen the worldly path, enter amily life and be happy. Gradually develop detachment and devotion. Discharge your duty sincerely. Having chosen family life on your own, it is sheer ignorance on your part to blame God for your suffering. People commit sin; consequently, when they are confronted with difficulties, they blame Me, saying that I don't go to their rescue. There can be no greater ignorance than this. So never commit sin. Divinity can be experienced even in family life. Do not blame God for your suffering. You have to reap the consequences of your actions. God is the eternal witness. It is great mistake to criticise God. Leave everything to His Will. Let all your actions be pleasing to God (Sarvakarma Bhagavad preethyartham). Then you can achieve anything in life.

(Bhagavan concluded His divine discourse with the bhajan "Bhajana Bina Sukha Santhi Nahi Ö")

- Om Sri Sai Ram -


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