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(Divine Discourse by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba on 25th Dec 2000 in Brindavan during Christmas Celebration)

Forbearance is the real beauty in this sacred land of Bharat (India).
Of all the sacred virtues, adherence to truth is true penance.
The nectarine feeling in this country is the feeling towards one's mother.
Character is valued far higher than the very life itself.
People have forgotten the basic principles of the culture of Bharat
and are aping Western culture today.
Bharatiyas (Indians) are not aware of the greatness of their own cultural heritage
Just as the mighty elephant is not aware of its own strength.
                                                                                     (Telugu Poem)

Embodiments of Love! Boys and Girls!

Since ancient times, this land has been the birthplace of sages, seers and saints who propagated the sacred culture of Bharat (India) to the rest of the world and earned name and fame; but such noble souls are forgotten today. You have to recognise that the reputation of Bharat is entirely dependent on its spiritual wealth and nothing else. Just think for yourself the plight of present day Bharat, which once upon a time spread the light of Divinity to the rest of the world. In this sacred land, many men of nobility and virtue had to put up with a lot of hardship and criticism, yet they remained firm in their resolve to set an ideal to humanity.

Today you have to remind yourselves of the ideals Jesus stood for. For ages, from time to time, many noble souls, endowed with immense spiritual power, have taken birth to propagate sacred teachings to the world. They struggled hard to make the world a good place to live in. But without understanding their noble intentions, foolish people tried to ridicule and persecute them. Right from his birth, Jesus had to face many trials and tribulations. When the name and fame of noble souls spread far and wide, many people become jealous. Asuya (jealousy) and Anasuya (absence of jealousy) are sisters. The history of Bharat is replete with many examples that bear testimony to this truth. Asuya has three children, viz, kama, krodha and dwesha (desire, anger and hatred). The Divine Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheswara were born to Anasuya. The three wicked sons of Asuya (i.e. desire, anger ,and hatred) caused a great deal of suffering to Jesus, who strove tirelessly for the peace and welfare of society. Jesus was the epitome of compassion and the refuge of the poor, needy and forlorn. But many people tried to create troubles for Jesus, since they did not like his sacred teachings and activities. Their hatred for Jesus increased day by day. Even the priests turned against Jesus as they became jealous of his growing popularity. The fishermen held Jesus in high esteem. They started following his teachings and became his disciples.  Many people out of jealousy laid obstacles in his path and even tried to kill him.

Jesus had twelve disciples. Judas was the twelfth disciple, who ultimately betrayed Jesus. At that time, there was only one Judas, but today there are many such 'Judases'. Today the world is engulfed in unrest because of the rise in the number of betrayers like Judas. They are so mean-minded that they are easily tempted by money. Judas betrayed Jesus for just a few pieces of silver. Even two thousand years ago, money became the primary objective of man. Because of their greed for money, people resort to evil and unjust ways, distort the truth, and make false propaganda. This was the case then and it is so even now. No one needs to be afraid of such false allegations. Why should one be afraid of the mistake that one has not committed? In the past, many evil-minded people were jealous of the divine personalities who attained worldwide fame through their teachings of truth and righteousness. Even today there is no dearth of such wicked people.

Today, many people are jealous of Sai, since His name and fame are spreading far and wide. Neither do they undertake any good activity nor can they tolerate if someone else is doing good. The Rayalaseema region suffered from scarcity of drinking water right from the time of British rule. There were many leaders and men of affluence, but none of them took up the task of providing drinking water in this region. It was Sai Baba who quenched the thirst of lakhs of people of Rayalaseema.

Today, the cost of heart surgeries run into lakhs of rupees. Again it is Sai Baba who has established a Super Speciality Hospital, where most expensive heart surgeries are done totally free of cost.

Today, the field of education is corrupted by money to such an extent that one has to pay 20,000 rupees as donation to admit a child in primary school. But Sai Baba is providing free education right from the level of K.G. to P.G.  No other individual, or no government for that matter, has been able to provide free education or free medical care. Those fortunate ones with higher education have become so mean-minded that they have lost the sense to understand and appreciate the sanctity associated with these activities. Have any of them been able to accomplish at least one-thousandth of what Sai Baba is doing? No, no, no! It is only Sathya Sai Baba who has undertaken such noble tasks without a trace of selfishness. (cheers). Sai's heart is pure, His feelings are sacred, and He is totally selfless. Sathya Sai Baba stands for 3P's, namely, Purity, Patience and Perseverance. There is no trace of selfishness in Sai Baba from top to toe. He is rendering totally selfless service. Why are those with a modicum of intelligence unable to recognise this truth?  Why are they indulging in false propaganda? They are doing so due to their greed for money. Not merely that. People of one religion are taking up conversion to another religion for the sake of money. Even those who wear ochre robes are falling prey to this evil trend. One Swamiji becomes jealous at the prosperity of some other Swamiji and instigates false propaganda against him.

One does not become a saint or develop devotion just by donning ochre robes.
One does not acquire merit merely by singing the verses of the Gita.
(Telugu Poem)

Even some of the so-called sadhus are indulging in this wicked activity. One need not talk about the role of Peetaadhipathis (heads of hindu sects) in this. We should not criticise anybody, but I am forced to tell you all this, as the situation demands. Do not be afraid of any false publicity.

I have started yet another Super Speciality Hospital in Bangalore at a cost of Rs. 300 crores. (cheers). In this vast land of Bharat, do you find any politician in power associating himself with such noble cause? On the other hand, rather shamelessly, they go on talking ill of others. People who try to put obstacles in the way of sacred activities are no human beings at all. They are verily demons. Even if the whole world were to be filled with such demons, Sai's resolve will never change. (cheers). Some people, out of their mean-mindedness, are trying to tarnish the image of Sai Baba. I don't crave for name and fame. So I don't lose anything by their false propaganda. My glory will go on increasing day by day. It will never diminish even a bit if they were to publicise their false propaganda in the whole world in bold letters. Some devotees seem to be disturbed over these false statements. They are not true devotees at all. Having known the mighty power of Sai, why should you be afraid of the 'cawing of crows'? One should not get carried away by all that is written on walls, said in political meetings, or printed as the vulgar tales carried by the print media. Let us firmly resolve to propagate the principles of truth, righteousness and love. Sathya Sai Baba has no trace of selfishness in Him. I am ready to spend crores of rupees to alleviate the suffering of the poor and the downtrodden. My resolve is to feed the hungry and impart education to poor children. There are many millionaires in this world who are so mean and narrow-minded that they set their dogs on the persons who beg for alms at their doorstep. It is shameful to consider them as human beings.

These persons are unable to do even a thousandth of what Sathya Sai Baba is doing for society, but shamelessly indulge in false allegations. It would be far better if they follow Sathya Sai Baba instead and set an ideal to the rest of the world. I have no desires or ambition. There is no trace of jealousy in Me. I am love personified. Love is My very life. Wisdom is the fruit that I grant. These two form the basis of My life.

People who indulge in false allegations are bound to be ruined. Those who instigate such false publicity too will meet their doom. Money should be utilised to undertake righteous actions. It should not be used for evil purposes. Serve your fellowmen with all love and compassion. Put them on the right path and make them happy. I am not afraid of any false propaganda that people may do. Why should I be afraid when I follow the path of truth, righteousness and love? Let people say what they want; I am not perturbed.

Today I am explaining to you in detail the principle of love for which I stand. During the time of every Avatar, wicked people did play their tricks. During the time of Krishna, there were demonical persons, like Kamsa, Sisupala, and Dantavakra, who tried their best to harm Him. When Rama incarnated for the establishment of Dharma, He too was subjected to a lot of hardship. He was sent to the forest on exile for 14 years, and Ravana forcibly took His consort away. Ultimately, what happened to all those who tried to create trouble for the divine Personalities? Those that accuse divine Personalities and put them to suffering are committing the worst of the sins. If one cannot undertake meritorious deeds, it is better one keeps quiet instead of indulging in such sinful deeds. There are some people who claim to be devotees and take to evil ways. They feel that their physical appearance will earn them respect. One having a good personality may not be good in all respects. The word "personality" has its origin in the word "person", which symbolises sacredness. So, one should lead a life of truth and righteousness. The principle of love is the same in one and all. All should stand united by the bond of love. Then the entire world will become one family. One who fragments love and develops hatred can never attain happiness in life.

I lead a life suffused with love from dawn to dusk. I am giving free education to thousands of students. Not merely free education; I am showing them by example the way to lead ideal lives. When these students go out, some people try to pollute their minds with wicked feelings. Whatever others may say, our students are like gold. The very dust from their footsteps will prevent wickedness in others. The alumni, both boys and girls, of our institutions are leading sacred and exemplary lives. The alumni association 'Messengers of Sathya Sai' is undertaking various service activities in various countries. They are even making their husbands to take to the path of service. Our old students are working in various countries like Switzerland, America, Japan, China, Russia. Some foreigners are trying to bribe them, asking them to fabricate stories against Sathya Sai Baba. In Switzerland, when one of our girl students was approached by someone asking her to concoct stories against Sai Baba, she got so enraged that immediately she took out her shoe and was about to slap that person saying, "Is this what your religion teaches? Is this the ideal that your religion propagates? Fie on you! Get out!" But there are some traitors like Judas, who are being bribed to level false charges against Sai Baba.

Ultimately, what happened to Judas? He felt miserable for having betrayed Jesus for monetary gains. He shed tears of repentance. He hit himself, saying, "Fie on me! I am a traitor. I betrayed my own master and God." Betrayal of God is the worst of all sins. Such betrayal can never be atoned in any number of births. So, never try to betray God. Love all. Salute even those who criticise you,because Divinity is present in all. Do not give scope for anger and spoil your mind. Pray to God with love. Even in the past, all noble souls and incarnations had to put up with criticism. You may ask "Why at all should such criticism arise?" Criticism will only increase their glory. Pleasure is an interval between two pains. Shadow follows light. One should not be afraid of the shadow. There is light even in the shadow. Light and shadow cannot exist separately. There is a principle of unity between them. So, do not react to any criticism levelled against Swami or any other elder for that matter. Just brush it aside, saying that you have nothing to do with it. If someone points out mistakes in you, you can certainly rectify them. But if someone levels false charges against you, you don't need to be worried over it. Be happy. If the criticism is made in a loud voice, it goes into the thin air. If it is made within oneself, it goes to oneself. Such being the case, why should you be perturbed? Let anyone say anything; remain calm. Consider whatever happens as good for you. With such equal-mindedness, carry on with your lives.

In the future, you are going to witness many more glorious events. There is nothing that Sathya Sai cannot accomplish. (cheers). In fact, He can strike people with awe and wonder with His deeds. But His only aim is to make everybody happy. Loka samastha sukhino bhavantu (May the entire world be happy). Those who aspire for the well-being of others will never be put to difficulties. No difficulty can ever shake them. A small example. Once, Buddha encountered the demon of jealousy, which said, "Buddha, I am going to swallow you." Buddha flashed a smile at the demon and said, "O the demon of jealousy, I love you too." On listening to the loving words of Buddha, the demon immediately turned into a dove that symbolises love and peace and flew away.

One becomes a devotee in the true sense only when one cultivates patience and conquers the evil qualities of anger, hatred, and jealousy with love. Don't be elated by praise or depressed by blame. It is not proper on your part to love only those who praise you and hate those who criticise you. Be equal-minded in both praise and censure. Criticism will only help you to progress. So, do not harbour hatred toward those who criticise you. Accept anything good that comes in your way. Ignore all that is bad. People may praise or criticise, but none can shake Sai. (cheers). Sai lives in truth. None can shake truth at any point of time. Lead your lives with such strong conviction. Develop faith in God day by day. As faith increases, all the wickedness will perish. Do not give up the spiritual practices that you have been doing all along. Since Jesus bore all the difficulties with fortitude, he is being adored and worshipped to this day.

Once, a young disciple asked Jesus, "O master, when I am faced with any problems, how am I to solve them?" Jesus replied, "O simpleton, do not seek solutions for your problems. Love God, who is installed in your heart. Love even those that hate you, because God is present in them also. How can you ever have suffering when you love all? Your heart will be filled with bliss when you love everybody." Once Arjuna asked Krishna, "Swami, is there anybody who is very dear to You?" Krishna replied, "O, simpleton, I have neither friend nor foe. I am present in your heart. I reside even in the hearts of those who criticise Me. One who sees God in everybody and loves them is very dear to Me. One is intimately related to Me not by birth, but by one's intense love for Me. Having been with Me for so long, it is rather surprising that you have not understood this basic truth. O, Arjuna, you have made Me sit in your chariot, but not in the chariot of your heart." One should install God in one's heart. In fact, you don't need to install Him; He is already there. It is enough if you know the truth that God is present in your heart. Once you recognise this truth, you will become God yourself.

What you have to propagate to the world is love alone. Nothing exists other than love in this world. Love is God. Love is life and love is everything. So, cultivate love more and more. Let your mind not waver under any circumstances. A wavering mind becomes unsacred. That is why Thyagaraja once sang, "O mind, do not waver, and do not get deluded. You suffer because of delusion."

Consider love as your very life. Love alone makes one's life sacred. One with love alone is a true human being. Love is man. Man is love. Man is God and God is love. It is love that unifies all. So, develop love. Tread the path of truth and righteousness and lead a peaceful life. These four values are the life supporting principles. There are no greater powers, no greater ideals, and no greater supports  than these human values of Sathya, Dharma, Santhi, and Prema. Adhere to these four values and carry on with your life sojourn.

Embodiments of Love!

Be fearless. Do not be afraid even if a thunderbolt were to land on your head. Death comes only once, and not twice. It is bound to come one day or the other. So, do not be afraid of death. Be ready for anything. Do not be afraid to follow truth. Fill your life with love. Only then will your life be sanctified. No spiritual practice like japa (repetition of the name) and dhyana (meditation) can redeem your life if you do not adhere to truth and love. Let anything happen, hold on to these values. These values alone can confer happiness and prosperity to the entire world. Develop love more and more. Do not pay heed to the criticism of others, because you are not committing any mistake. What mistake can there be if one loves God? Have unflinching love for God till your last breath. Do not give scope for conflicts or doubts. Each one has to face the consequences of one's actions. None can predict when and how, but one is bound to face them. But when you constantly think of God, you will never be put to sufferings. God will shield you from all suffering. He will always be with you, in you, around you, safe-guarding you. Do not give scope for evil feelings. You may adore Him as Jesus, Rama, Krishna, etc., but remember that God is one, goal is one, truth is one, and love is one. Have firm faith in this. Do not fragment your love in mean pursuits. Understand the principle of unity and cling on to it. Then,wherever you are, either in the forest or in the sky, in the city or in a village, on the mountaintop or in the middle of the deep sea, God will certainly take care of you. No one has the right to deny your God. Due to the impact of Kali Age, people are taking to evil ways in pursuit of money. They even go to the extent of killing others for the sake of money. For them, money is everything. One should not struggle to earn money. One should strive to earn the wealth of love.

Embodiments of love!

I hope I am not causing you baadha (trouble) by speaking at length. In fact it is not baadha but a great bodha (teaching). People who are fear-stricken should be given the tonic of courage. Do not give scope for any weakness whatsoever. The members of 'Messengers of Sathya Sai' are rendering yeoman service to the society. Sometimes, they even forego their food while participating in service activities. But that is not a good practice, since it will spoil their health. They wanted to contribute their mite to the Super Speciality Hospital that is being constructed at Bangalore. Being ladies, they felt sad that it was not possible for them to take up any service activity at the construction site, like carrying bricks, etc. They collected 75 lakh rupees from their own small savings and sent the amount to Sri Sathya Sai Trust without informing me. (cheers) Not merely that, there are many old boys of our college who are working outside. But they too belong to me. Some of them wait here for months together without even taking food properly. In this manner, they saved some money to contribute for the hospital. The Sathya Sai Old students sent 45 lakh rupees to the Central Trust. We don't want your money. We want your love. We want your welfare, progress, and happiness. Wherever you are, lead ideal lives. Some are under the impression that some big people are contributing crores and crores of rupees for this hospital. We are not asking them. They are not giving us either. I am happy with even a small contribution offered with love. Many people offered Jesus various gifts, but he did not accept any of them. But when an old lady offered him a small coin, he accepted happily and kept it with him till his last breath, since the offering was made with love. Similarly, what I want is love, not money. Like this, many more hospitals will be coming up in future. I do not ask anybody for any help. It is Sathya Sankalpa (Will of Truth), and what I am doing is good. If one undertakes any good work, it is bound to fructify. It is My goodness that attracts all the help.

Students! Boys and Girls!

Take back the money that you have given us. Your love, progress, and well-being is what I want. I will be pleased if you lead ideal lives with good conduct. Earn a good name that Sathya Sai students are well behaved. Money comes and goes, morality comes and grows. Develop your morality and character. Be courageous. Share your love with others. People outside are not aware of the love and devotion that the students and devotees have for Me. They do not even care for their health when it comes to serving Me.  But I don't want such service. You should eat well. Do not trouble yourself because there is God in you. Make yourself happy; then serve the society. You have been going to various villages and serving the poor. There is no greater service than this. This wealth of service is much greater than crores of rupees. Go to each and every village; serve the poor and feed the hungry.

I have mentioned this to you recently. I came across a news item in a small piece of paper, which I happened to find somewhere.  There was a poor mother who did not have the wherewithal to feed her son. Her husband was no more. Every day she used to beg for alms in order to feed her son. Some time back there were heavy rains continuously for 15 days. Consequently, she could not go out for begging. One morning her son started crying, "Mother. I am hungry. Give me something to eat." In such a situation, what could she give him? She felt helpless and shed tears. She thought within herself, "Son, God has not given me the strength to feed you." In that moment of helplessness, she somehow managed to get poison, mixed it in water, gave it to her son, and drank it herself. Both of them died. I felt very sad that in this land of Bharat, which is known as Annapoorna (goddess of food), there are some people who are unable to feed their own children. From that day onward, I have taken up a firm resolve. Children should be fed properly and given proper education. So, I have made fixed deposits of one lakh rupees for such mothers and children each. They will get an interest of one thousand rupees per month. Are a thousand rupees not enough to feed a mother and her child? But there may be some cheats who will try to exploit their innocence. They may instigate them to invest those one lakh rupees in a business for their own selfish ends. That is why the bank manager is given strict instructions in this regard to give only the interest every month to the parent concerned.

It is not possible to educate the children if they are living in a different village. We wanted to keep them near and asked the government to allot a suitable piece of land. But they have not given us. How will they give any land to us, since they cannot get any votes from us? That is why I have stopped asking them. We have got our own orchard. I have decided to use that piece of land to construct houses for these poor families. I do not want any fruit trees. I thought that instead of utilising the land to grow fruit trees, it is better to utilise it for the sake of poor children, who are like fruits themselves. We are going to construct houses with two rooms, a kitchen and a bathroom for every mother and her child. They can live lifelong in these houses and look after their needs with the interest they get from the bank. I will take the responsibility of providing education to these children. We have got many students, both boys and girls. They will teach them and train them. Our boys and girls are ready to render any service. I do not want to praise My own students, but you cannot find students like them anywhere else. They are highly virtuous. I want My students to render service to the poor and needy and alleviate their suffering. Students, you do not need to pay heed to what others say. Take a firm resolve to serve society and sanctify your life.

Shortly, I am going to Puttaparthi. Very soon, the students' Sports Meet is going to take place. They need to be encouraged. The construction of houses for the poor also has to be started. Then, by the 19th, I will be back here (Brindavan) for the inauguration of Super Speciality Hospital, which is going to confer happiness on the entire State of Karnataka. All the heart patients in the State of Karnataka should be cured of their ailment. Every day, 30 to 40 operations will take place. For this purpose, 30 surgeons will be employed, with high salaries. There will be 8 to 10 operation theatres. At least 25 to 30 heart surgeries should take place every day. No patient should suffer from heart failure. That is My strong determination. I don't want to make any distinction between States. All States are Mine. All belong to Me and I belong to you all. Do not entertain any doubt. Do not give scope for any weakness.  I am ready to give whatever you require. Be courageous. Why fear when I am here?

Boys and Girls! Follow the commands of your parents and make them happy. Get married if they want you to, and lead a life of an ideal householder. I bless you all and bring My Discourse to a close.

In a few minutes from now, the 'Messengers of Sathya Sai' are going to present a drama. It is an ideal drama, unlike the dramas that you see on television. Today, the government is spoiling the young minds through TV. There is no harm if good programmes are shown, but the government is encouraging programmes that are not good for the children. We do not want such a government. We want a government that will make the people tread the path of truth and righteousness. 'God-ment' is the real government. There are people who are working for their selfish ends. Do not follow them. Selfishness has become their way of life. Let it not become your way of life. Do not join politics. Take to the path of service. Go to each and every village. Serve everybody. The best way to love God is to love all and serve all. Chaala santosham (very happy).

Bhagavan concluded His Discourse with the bhajan, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare

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