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Establish our ancient culture by adherence to Truth and morality

(Text of the Divine Discourse delivered by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba on 21st October 2001 in Sai Kulwant Hall, as part of the Dasara Celebrations and the Second Day of the Veda Purusha Saptaha Jnana Yagna)

The Lord alone is the truth of the universe Truth is she who forever resides in the lotus (Saraswathi) Constant striving for the welfare of others is true effort There is no greater goal than truth .

(Sanskrit Verse)

Embodiments of Love!

Truth is the wealth of Lord Easwara. He is the basis of all affluence and prosperity. There is nothing superior to truth in this world. Even the Lord of Death is afraid to enter the place where morality and integrity reign supreme. There is no power mightier than truth. Truth is all-powerful and is latent in every human being. Sathyam Sarvabhutantaratma (truth is the spirit in all beings). Truth is God. Where is truth? It is here, there and everywhere. There is no place in the world where truth does not exist. Truth is the source of all prosperity. Man is subjected to misery and hardships as he has forgotten this divine principle of truth. What is the reason for the agitation and disturbances prevailing in the world today? The reason is that man has forgotten truth. Truth and morality are like twins. Yesterday I taught you the importance of Neeti (morality). It is Neeti (morality) that brings you Khyathi (reputation). Moreover, Neeti and Nijayati (integrity) are the life-breaths of Maanava Jaathi (human race). The sanctity of human life lies in the adherence to these two principles. A true human race is that which adheres to morality. Listen to this truth, Oh valorous son of Bharat!
The foremost duty of man is to experience the manifestation of divinity in the form of truth. Such a person alone is a true human being. Sathyannasti Paro Dharma (there is no Dharma greater than adherence to truth). Emperor Manu taught to the world the principle of truth in various ways. He said, there is no path greater than adherence to truth.

The creation emerges from truth and merges into truth, Is there a place where truth does not exist? Visualise such pure and unsullied truth.

(Telugu Poem)

The modern man has totally forgotten truth, which is the very form of divine. One who has forgotten Sathya (truth) cannot attain Nityatwam (immortality) or Daivatwam (Divinity). So, never neglect truth. In order to impart such eternal teaching, God incarnates in human form. In ancient times, kings ruled over their kingdoms strictly adhering to the path of truth. King Harischandra considered truth as his very life-breath. He dedicated himself to the cause of truth so totally that he gave up his kingdom and even had to sell his wife and son in the process. He considered truth as his kingdom. He was of the opinion that one bereft of truth was not fit to be called a king.
Truth cannot be attained by worldly means. The modern man craves for worldly and physical things and forgets truth in the process. Hiranyaksha, Hiranyakasipu, Ravana, Kumbhakarna, Duryodhana, Dussasana were mighty and powerful, but ruined themselves because they neglected truth. They were highly intelligent and educated, yet they lost everything as they did not uphold morality and integrity. One should not crave for worldly possessions because they are transient. However, truth is always with you and it protects you. It is changeless and steady. Truth alone can confer on you plenty and prosperity, comforts and conveniences. One should not be in the mad pursuit of worldly and ephemeral pleasures. One's foremost duty is to protect and propagate the twin principles of morality and integrity. Today man is giving up Sathya and Dharma (truth and righteousness) for the sake of momentary pleasures. Dharma is where Sathya is. They are like inseparable friends. Having attained the sacred human birth, man should resolve to foster truth. Today man wants to enjoy various kinds of pleasures disregarding truth, righteousness, morality and integrity. One devoid of truth cannot uphold morality and integrity.

Embodiments of Love!

The youth today should be prepared to sacrifice even their lives for the sake of morality and integrity. If one forgets truth, one loses everything in life. One should safeguard truth. Having given up his kingdom, King Harischandra was walking along the banks of the Ganges with his wife Chandramati. He was wondering as to how to take his wife across the river. Then Chandramati infused courage in him, saying, "We have dedicated ourselves to truth, we are treading along the path of truth. If we give up truth, we will certainly get drowned. However, if we strictly adhere to truth, we will be protected. So, we need not be afraid. Truth will take us across the river." As both stuck to the path of truth and righteousness under all circumstances, even today people remember King Harischandra as Sathya Harischandra. One should never go back on one's promise. This is the meaning of truth in the worldly sense.
When Emperor Bali promised to give three steps of land to Vamana, his preceptor Sukracharya dissuaded him from keeping up his word. He warned him that Vamana was not an ordinary person, but Lord Narayana Himself. He cautioned Bali not to grant Vamana's request. Emperor Bali smiled and asked, "Is it proper for a king to go back on his promise?" And he further said, "One must uphold truth under all circumstances to redeem oneself. So, I will never give up truth." He was not prepared to stray away from the path of truth even if it meant disobeying his Guru's command. He felt that there was no greater sin than going back on one's promise.
Among the Pandavas, Dharmaraja was truth personified. At no point of time did he transgress the path of truth. When his wife Draupadi was being humiliated by the wicked Duryodhana in the royal court, he pacified his brothers saying that they had to be subservient to the Kauravas as they had lost the game of dice. Under such circumstances, it was not proper for a king to give vent to anger, greed, malice or hatred, he added. Then Draupadi told, "Dharmaraja, it is the sacred quality of truth in you that has helped me to retain my peace and composure under these trying circumstances. Otherwise, I cannot imagine what would have been my fate. Your principle of truth will safeguard all of us. It was certainly a mistake on our part to have indulged in the game of dice with the wicked Kauravas, knowing fully well their evil intentions. We have done something which kings are not supposed to do and are paying the price for it." In those days, women were pious and noble-hearted, and were instrumental in making their husbands tread the right path. It is because of such men and women of virtue that Bharat has been spreading the light of truth to the rest of the world since ancient times.
When Aswatthaama, who slayed the Pandava offsprings while they were asleep, was captured and brought before Draupadi by Arjuna, what was her reaction? Any ordinary woman would have hurled abuses at him, but Draupadi was one of compassion and forbearance. She fell at the feet of Aswatthaama and said,

"It is at the feet of your father, Dronacharya, that my husbands have learnt all that they know. Being the son of Dronacharya, was it proper for you to kill my children? How could you have the heart to kill them, who were unarmed, young, quietly asleep, were not having any grudge against you, and were not contemplating any harm to you?"

(Telugu Poem)

On hearing Draupadi trying to reason with Aswatthaama in this manner, the mighty Bhima exploded in anger. He felt that Draupadi was too kind to Aswatthaama and said that such a wicked person should not be forgiven. He wanted to smash Aswatthaama's skull with his powerful fists. Draupadi calmed him with her words of wisdom. She said it was a sin to kill Aswatthaama who was their preceptor's only son. Moreover, as she herself was already in grief after losing her children, she did not want to cause grief to another mother by killing her son. But Arjuna had vowed to kill Aswatthama. Draupadi told him,

"O Partha! It is not righteous to kill a person who is afraid or has lost courage, who is asleep or intoxicated, who seeks refuge or is a female. You should not kill Aswatthama, for he is your preceptor's son.

(Telugu Poem)

It is because of such woman of virtue and chastity that our country Bharat is able to uphold truth and righteousness till this day. Even today there is no dearth of such noble women in the world.
All worldly achievements are only temporary. Truth alone is eternal. Therefore, install truth in your hearts and dedicate your lives to foster truth.

"Even King Harischandra, who strictly followed the path of truth, had to leave this world ultimately leaving behind his vast kingdom and riches. Emperor Nala, who reigned over a vast kingdom, could not take with him anything when he passed away. Did King Mandhata, who adorned the Krita Yuga, carry any wealth with him when he left the earth? Even Lord Rama, who built the bridge across the ocean, is not to be seen on the earth today. Many kings have ruled over the earth, but none of them could carry even a fistful of dust with them. Oh noble one! do you think you can carry the kingdom and its riches on your head when you leave the world?"

(Telugu Poem)

In the past many kings ruled over many kingdoms, but could any of them carry with him even a naya paisa at the time of departing from this world? No. Truth alone will follow you when you leave this world. Truth cannot be hidden nor be subjected to change. Truth shines eternally, but man is forgetting such eternal principle for the sake of mean pleasures. Having been blessed with a human birth and having been endowed with the divine principle of Atma, man is acting contrary to his divine nature. This is not expected of a man. Man's chief goal is to practise and propagate the principle of truth. This was the ideal set by our ancients. Likewise, men and women of today should resolve to uphold our ancient culture by adhering to truth and fostering morality and integrity.

One has to practise truth before preaching the same. Come what may, one should have the courage and conviction to tread along the path of truth. Even at the cost of food, raiment and shelter, even at the cost of one's own life, one should be prepared to practise truth and righteousness and revive the ancient culture of Bharat. Lord Krishna declared in the Gita,

"Yada Yada Hi Dharmasya Glanir Bhavati Bharata Abhyutthanamadharmasya Tadatmanam Srujamyaham"
(When there is a decline in Dharma and rise in Adharma, I incarnate Myself for the establishment of Dharma.)

The Bhagavadgita commences with the Sloka,
"Dharmakshetre Kurukshetre Samaveta Yuyutsavaha Mamaka Pandavaschaiva Kimakurvata Sanjaya"

Here the blind king Dhritarashtra enquires of Sanjaya as to what the Kauravas and the Pandavas are doing at the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Is it not foolishness on his part to put such a question? Having entered the battlefield what else would one do other than waging a battle? Would anyone enjoy a feast there? Dhritarashtra was blind in all respects. He considered the kingdom which belonged to someone else as his own. Sanjaya tells him,

Yathra Yogeshwara Krishno Yathra Partho Dhanurdharaha Tathra Sri Vijayobhuti Druvaneeti Mathir Mama
(It is my opinion that wherever Krishna, the Lord of Yoga and Arjuna, the mighty archer come together, there lie wealth, victory, immense power and morality)

The first word in the first Sloka of the Gita is Dharma and the last word in the last Sloka is Mama. Together it becomes Mamadharma (one's own Dharma). Man's foremost duty is to protect Dharma. This is the essence of Gita. Only when you safeguard Dharma will your mind become steady.

Our ancient texts are replete with many ideals. Unfortunately, the modern students do not pay attention to them. They are acquiring various degrees, but they fail to understand the use of all these. That is why I often tell the teachers to conduct moral classes to the students and teach them the principles of morality and the importance of our ancient culture. In ancient times, the children were initiated into education with the sacred Panchakshari Mantra Om Namah Sivaya and Ashtakshari Mantra Om Namo Narayanaya. It is because of such ideal education, the students became ideal citizens. Today children's education starts with rhymes like "Ding dong bell, pussy is in the well " and "Ba Ba black sheep " It is because of such meaningless education that students are turning into black sheep! Your learning should start with God's Name on your lips.


I have high expectations that you will strive hard to revive and revitalise our sacred ancient culture. I do not expect even a naya paisa from you. My only desire is to establish our ancient culture through you. You have the capacity and you are the right persons to do it. Culture is not something which can be acquired; it has to be manifested from within. Indian culture does not mean merely emulating the ideals set forth by the great epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. True culture lies in giving up bad qualities and bad habits and cultivating good habits and character.

Here is a small example. Farmers separate paddy from straw and remove the husk from paddy. The rice thus obtained is boiled and cooked well before one would partake of it. Such refinement is called culture. Take another example. You have bought a two- metre cloth, but you don't wear it as it is. You give it to a tailor, who makes it into a beautiful shirt. This entire process of cutting and stitching a cloth into a shirt is a cultural process. This is essential in every aspect of life. People have notions about the term culture. They think it is something archaic and outdated. It is foolishness to think so. That process which destroys animal tendencies, fosters humanness and makes you divine is true culture. You are born as a human being. What is it that you have achieved when you die as a human being? What is the use of all your education? You should rise to the level of divinity before you give up the body. You should put your education to proper use and achieve a good reputation. Your education will find fulfilment only when it is used for the benefit of society.

"In spite of his education and intelligence, a foolish man will not know his true Self and a mean-minded person will not give up his wicked qualities. Modern education leads only to argumentation, not to total wisdom. What is the use of acquiring worldly education if it cannot lead you to immortality? Acquire the knowledge that will make you immortal."

(Telugu Poem)

That is true education. The modern education merely fosters bookish knowledge. Students fill their heads with bookish knowledge and empty them in the examination hall. It is better not to have such education at all. I am keeping a close watch over the present-day students. At the time of examinations, they keep awake at nights and learn things by rote. They pour out whatever they remember on the answer paper and come out of the examination hall empty-headed and feeling greatly relieved. They will not be able to answer the same questions the next day. Such is the plight of modern education. What is the use of merely acquiring bookish knowledge, which is nothing but superficial knowledge? One should become an expert in practical knowledge, which will only help you in your daily life.
Since ancient times, the culture of Bharat has propagated sacred ideals. People of other countries may make fun of Bharatiyas, saying it is foolishness on their part to worship stones, trees, earth, snakes, dogs, cows, etc. You should give such people a fitting reply. "My dear one, what we are doing is not out of foolishness, there is a noble intention behind our act. We don't want to limit the God-given love principle to human beings alone. Our intention is to share it with birds and animals too. Our lives will find fulfilment only when we share our love with all." You will experience inexplicable joy when you love all beings.

You may argue that it is dangerous to feed a snake with milk as it may try to harm you forgetting the good done to it. But if you foster a snake wholeheartedly, it will never cause harm to you. You should have such firm faith. The ancient Rishis spent their lives in dense forests amidst wild animals without any sense of fear. What is the reason? There was absolutely no trace of hatred in them. Consequently, even the wild animals were friendly with them. Yad Bhavam Tad Bhavathi (as your feelings are, so will be the result). The animals will reciprocate your innermost feelings.

The Rishis did not carry any weapons with them. They only had a Japamala (rosary) with them. However, the weapon of divine name was always with them. But today, one cannot be sure of one's safety even if one carries with him a pistol, a gun, etc. One need not carry any weapon other than the weapon of divine name. When you have the weapon of divine name with you, no wicked person can come near you, no poisonous snake can harm you. They used to offer food grains to birds and rice flour to ants.

Rice flour was used for Rangoli in front of the house. The main purpose of this was to feed the ants. Without understanding the purpose behind this, today people are using lime powder for Rangoli. The ancient Bharatiyas had the firm faith that divinity is present in all beings. right from Cheema (ant) to Brahma. That is why Thyagaraja sang, "Oh Rama, you are present in Cheema as well as Brahma. You are present in Siva and also in Kesava." Divinity pervades all beings right from an ant to a lion and from a bird to an enlightened one. So, you should share your love with all. This is the teaching of Bharatiya culture. You have to understand this truth and share your knowledge with your friends. This is the greatest help that you can render to them.

I am not asking you to give money and gold in charity to others. It is enough if you share your noble qualities with them. That is the sign of true wisdom. Advaita Darshanam Jnanam (perception of the One without a second is supreme knowledge). God has granted you love. Do not use it for your selfish purposes. Share it with all. This is called expansion love. But today we find only contraction love, which is equal to death. Cultivate broad-mindedness. Help ever, hurt never.

King Harischandra sanctified his life by practising and propagating truth. He could get back his kingdom and even his wife and son due to his unflinching adherence to truth. Sage Viswamitra who was responsible for all the hardships that Harischandra had to endure, himself asked for his forgiveness. He explained to Harischandra that he had only subjected him to a test, which he had passed. He was ready to grant whatever Harischandra would ask for. Harischandra said, he did not need anything as his only aim in life was to uphold truth. I wish our students should emulate the ideals of Harischandra and attain good name.

Students !

You may acquire various degrees, do your jobs or go abroad, but never become stone-hearted. Today many people have become stone-hearted to the extent that they disobey even God's command. What is the use of leading such a life? One should make one's heart soft like Venna (butter). Only then will one's life be cool and peaceful like Vennela (moonlight).

Embodiments of Love!

Yesterday and today, I spoke to you on the importance of morality and integrity. Tomorrow I will explain to you in detail about humanness. You may not be aware, but human life is highly sacred. Just because God has given you eyes, ears, tongue, etc., you should not use them as you please. You should always speak the truth, listen to sacred things and try to visualise Divinity. Tomorrow I will explain to you how to make proper use of the five senses.

Bhagawan concluded His Discourse with the Bhajan, "Prema Mudita Manase Kaho "

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