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Vinayaka-the master of Siddhi and Buddhi

(Divine Discourse delivered by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba on the occasion of Vinayaka Chathurthi on 22.08.2001 in Sai Kulwant Hall, Prasanthi Nilayam)

Oh man! Examine and enquire for yourself - what kind of happiness have you achieved? From the moment you get up from your bed, till you retire, spending all the time in acquiring knowledge and earning degrees while forgetting God, what kind of happiness have you got? Examine for yourself.

[Telugu poem]

Human life is the noblest, most rare and the only one fit to be lived. It is the primary duty and responsibility of every man to work for his redemption and liberation by his daily effort, by working hard and by discharging his duties

To fill your small belly, you face many problems in life. You acquire various forms of knowledge from various fields. You are not able to enjoy the total bliss. Really, You are wasting your human life.

[Telugu poem]

Embodiments of Love !

You strain so much for filling this small stomach. Does this satisfy you? There is no contentment at any point of time. Based on this, Lord Vigneshwara said, 'Na Sukhaat Labhyate Sukham' - you cannot derive happiness out of happiness. Happiness is the fructification of difficulties. You want all the comforts and happiness, but this will not give you Peace. If you want to have a taste of happiness and peace, obstacles are necessary.

As long as it is alive, the tree bears fruits for others; even after it dies, by splitting itself, it becomes useful as firewood.

[Telugu poem]

Tree is the very symbol of sacrifice. For the ideals of sacrifice, trees are the best exemplars. In this human life, sacrifice is very essential. Without sacrifice, you cannot enjoy the state of bliss anytime. You should cultivate the spirit of sacrifice right from now onwards.

You may extend hospitality and kindness to a mean-minded person, but he will certainly harm you due to his very nature. Because of the 'poison' that gets into one's psychology, human life is ruined.

[Telugu poem]

Therefore, we should never be mean-minded. We should be noble and broad-minded. We should uphold the pristine glory and esteem that man is supreme in the universe. In ancient times, the sages erred occasionally, but repented and atoned for their sins. They were great personalities. You should follow such mighty, eminent personalities. Modern man is weak. In modern times, people commit sins, but they neither realise their mistakes nor do they repent. In those days, the elders corrected their mistakes and lead a pure life, being very grateful to God. Repentance is the basis for the glorious life that follows. To recognise this truth, you worship Lord Vigneshwara.
Who is Vigneshwara? Who is Ganapati? The word 'Gana' is related to the intellect. 'Na' refers to wisdom. Ganapati is the head of all the secular and spiritual knowledge. Vinayaka has no master above him. He is the master unto himself. Vinayaka will never put you to suffering in anyway. Vinayaka blesses all your endeavours, efforts and confers success. He will never allow anything evil to reside in you. He has the mouse as his vehicle. A mouse stands for darkness as it moves about in the darkness at night. Vinayaka helps you to dispel this darkness and spread light.
Divinity is not limited to mankind alone. We find divinity present in birds and beasts too. To demonstrate this latent, immanent divinity, we have Vianayaka having an elephant's head, with a mouse as his vehicle. The elephant is highly intelligent, faithful and loyal. It never leaves the path that it lays all by itself and stands as a symbol for gratitude. Gratitude is a very sacred quality. Forbearance is Truth, Dharma, Veda, Non-violence, and everything. The elephant has got great patience and forbearance. It is prepared to sacrifice its life, but it can never tolerate its master's suffering. When there is no path for us to take in the jungle, it is the elephant that walks through and creates a path for us. Similarly, in this jungle of life, it is the elephant-headed Vinayaka who shows the ideal path for all of us to tread.
On this day of Vinayaka Chathurthi, various kinds of offerings are made. But He does not accept any oily or cooked preparations. All preparations are cooked in steam and offered to him. They offer him Kudumulu and Vundrallu, made by using rice flour and til seeds, which have no oil content in them. Why is such an offering made? For humanity, heath is wealth. Those who partake food cooked in steam remain very healthy. But today, man is running after various delicacies. But, for the elephant health is all important. Vinayaka, too, teaches us the same. This preparation of rice flour and til seeds frees us from all defects of the eye like spots and cataract. A combination of jaggery and til seeds prevents all defects and diseases caused due to bile, wind and phlegm. The rice flour preparation made using steam helps in digestion too.
We have learnt how to worship Vinayaka, but we do not recognise His inner principle. These will make every one of us ideal people. Students worship Vinayaka more on this day, as it will improve their memory power and intelligence. Music concerts begin with a prayer to Vinayaka. But because of the effects of the age of Kali, we have forgotten this fact. For the misfortunes of the day, the root cause lies in the neglect of the worship of Vinayaka. Today, man is after temporary, fleeting, ephemeral pleasures, forgetting eternal joy. We should strive for permanent joy and peace. We can achieve that by only praying to God.
As days pass by, the very humanness is lost. Human values have disappeared. Man is not following his prescribed code of conduct. Once human values are followed, divinity can be attained. Once anything is told, it should be remembered throughout the life. For any act of help whether small or big, gratitude must be expressed. Bereft of gratitude, one turns wicked. We should offer our prayers to the Sun God, the Lord of Effulgence. The light in our eyes is due to Sun God. It is because of Sun God that we are able to see. Even if Sun is present, if our eyes are closed, we will not be able to see anything. Vision is the reflection of the Sun God. Sun withdraws from the eyesight of the man who does not show gratitude (i.e. he turns blind). Man cannot discharge his duties when he is blind. A person may be a great scholar, but if he is blind, he cannot see anything. Therefore, Netra, the eye, is the Shastra, the scripture for our life. Our scriptures are nothing but the reflection of the effulgence of the Sun God. Therefore, we need to pay attention to our eyesight. Eye defects certainly imply lack of gratitude.
Vinayaka has many teachings that help man liberate himself. Worship of Lord Ganesha has been followed from very ancient times. In the Narayana Upanishad, Lord Ganesha is praised first. In the three Vedas, we find the mention of Lord Ganesha. Even in music, they pray to Ganesha for his grace. Do we have the qualities of Vinayaka? Lord Vinayaka has a pure heart. In fact, Siddhi and Buddhi (fulfilment and intellect) are his two eyes. He considered them as his consorts. For intelligence, we need to have Buddhi. For Buddhi, we need to have gratitude. An ungrateful man can never become an intellectual. Without intellect, one can never be successful. Vinayaka confers success. So, we need to know the inner significance of Lord Vinayaka.
Today, before we start any work, we pray to Lord Ganesha. Without praying to the master of masters, Vinayaka, and thereby, acting in an egoistic way, we are bound to fail. Vinayaka Chathurthi is the first festival of the year, followed by other festivals. Bharatiyas begin their daily prayers with a prayer to Lord Ganesha. Vinayaka is the head of spiritual, mental and physical levels. We should sustain and protect all these levels.
In our college, we have M.B.A. - meaning, Master of Business Administration, but it is not that. It stands for mind, body and Atma. We need to understand the integration and co-ordination of all the three. Mind is given to enquire. Body is granted to perform. The Atma monitors the performance of these two. Atma is permanent. Mind is fickle and has to be made steady. It should be excercised properly. One should constantly enquire whether one has a mind like that of a man or a beast. We should not act according to our mind. The body should not do what the mind has decided. Intellect has the capability to discriminate whether a thought is good or not. If the thought is good, the intellect acknowledges it to the Atma. Man should realise that he is the combination of Mind, Body and Atma. He has to purify the mind. An impure mind is not acceptable to the intellect that transcends all the senses. We follow the mind and senses. Mind is the master of senses, but it is not controlling the senses. One may have a sensitive mind, but it is only an animal mind. So we should master the mind and be a mastermind. To exercise the control of mind, worship of Vinayaka is important. Vinayaka does not react, but remains as a witness.
Atma, the spirit, is eternal. It is the witness and watches everything, but does not enter anything. The reason is that the Atma does not get involved in the activities of the body and mind. The Atma remains only as the witness.
At one time, Valmiki prayed to Narada and asked him if there was anyone who holds on to truth, enjoys bliss, is ever smiling and forgiving, who does not commit any mistake, expresses gratitude for any small help, who always helps others, etc., and enumerated 11 noble qualities; Narada replied thus, " Oh! Sage, why do you take the trouble? Not just eleven, but 11000 noble qualities are in a single person who has taken birth in this world." There is no one who attaches value to character. The three essential things that constitute character are good thoughts, good feelings and good conduct. If you have good thoughts, your actions will automatically be good.
Good qualities are the very personification of Divinity. A person with such divine qualities has taken birth in human form as Lord Rama. Lord Rama faced many problems and difficulties, but he never strayed away from His path. He never gave up Truth; rather, whatever He spoke became the Truth. This was the sacred path taught by Narada. Narada was not a conflict maker as we all think. He was verily the beacon of light that spread sacred wisdom. He propagated and spread the Gayatri Mantra given by Sage Vishwamithra. 'Bhur' pertains to physical matter, which is the body. The body is the combination of various materials like calcium, lead etc. 'Bhuvah' is the vibration that comes out of the mind and makes the body function. 'Suvah' is the radiation, which is the Atma. Man is the combination of matter, vibration and radiation. As is the feeling, so is the vibration.
Everyday, morning and evening, Bhajans go on here. You think that the Bhajans are going on in the Bhajan Hall. No. The vibrations of bhajans are there all over this place. You can certainly hear the Bhajans even from this table if you listen carefully, with a steady mind, pure and selfless heart. Everything is Divine vibration - the walls, the roof, and this mike. The great sages were the ones who had these vibrations. The Veda was heard through Sound, through vibrations. If you sit down and listen with a pure heart, you too can listen to it. Why go so far? Just close your ears and you can hear the Aumkar from within. Everything originated from the Aumkar. The same air produces seven different notes through different reeds in the harmonium. Similarly the Aumkar is one; all other sounds are 'vikaaras'- modifications of the Aumkara. Vinaayaka, who is the master of all these vibrations, gifts these vibrations to you. You may listen to any sound, but the most sacred is Aumkara. If your body is full of wicked vibrations, everything will be wicked. Never allow a wicked man to come near you. Run away from bad company to avoid the wicked vibrations from getting into you.

Avoid bad company; foster good company. Perform good deeds day and night; discriminate between the permanent and the temporary.

[Sanskrit Verse]

If you are good, your body will be full of good and divine vibrations. Bad thoughts give rise to bad vibrations. All that you see is the reflection of what is inside you. If you call a person bad, it is just that the bad in you is reflected in him. It has got nothing to do with him. Good or bad is the reflection of your inner being. Never consider that good or bad exists separately from you. But modern students do not have the capacity to understand this truth. They have only bookish knowledge and not the knowledge of the heart. They read all that is in the books, go to the examination hall, scribble on the papers and come out empty-headed. The student does not even know what he has written in the examination hall. All this is artificial knowledge; it is not true education.

Even after acquiring various forms of knowledge, one cannot give up his meanness. It will only lead to argumentation, but not to total awareness. After all, one has to die inspite of all his worldly knowledge. So, study that which makes you immortal.

[Telugu poem]

All this education is being used to fill this small stomach. All this knowledge is superficial. Mere physical education cannot sustain your life, give you a long life, or satisfy the heart. Therefore, we should learn that which is related to the heart. Saraswatha explains in detail, the prayer that is offered to the Sun God. He says that man is bound by attachment. Attachment, greed and possessiveness are responsible for illusion.

"Saraswathi Namastubhyam, Varade Kaamaroopini Vidyaarambham Karishyaami, Siddhirbhavathume Sadaa".

[Sanskrit verse]

All these teachings promote the power of discrimination. You are not filling your lives with divine, noble and novel thoughts. You are wasting your lives with bad thoughts, bad vibrations and bad actions. The ancient sages, who realized their mistakes and repented, were yogis. Today, you are bhogis who do not realize your mistakes. Bhoga is bound to cause roga (disease). Therefore, you must realise your mistake and repent whole heartedly. This should not be done merely with words or writings. In fact, all the vibrations must be unified. Then, the reality will reflect and reveal itself.

Embodiments of Love !

All that is happening in this world today is destructive, divisive and extremely unnatural to man. Everywhere, we find atrocities, killings, conflicts and quarrels. Having been born as a human being, what happened to your humanness? What happened to your compassion and kindness?
What happened to sacrifice, love and non-violence? There is no trace of all these. We find only useless exhibitionism. You have to repent whole-heartedly and pray. God is the personification of Love and compassion. Some times He may appear unkind, but there is kindness in that too. You do not have the capacity to understand this kindness. You can understand kindness only with kindness, Love with Love and hatred with hatred alone. You are born as humans and therefore, you must live as humans. You must practice humanness, propagate and experience the humanness, and enjoy and share with your fellowmen, the bliss that results. When you have such sacred thoughts in you, naturally, you will become a divine person. You call yourselves human, but, in reality, there is no trace of human qualities. The behaviour is always perverted and the mind is full of bad thoughts. Where are the good feelings of love and compassion? We should share and sustain Love and compassion. One without compassion is a demon (Danava). One with compassion is man (Manava). With compassion and love, you can achieve anything.

In this barren land without love,
For the seeds of love to sprout
With all the emotions and the downpour of love,
For the incessant flow of rivers of love,
Oh Krishna! Sing for us.

This was the prayer of all Gopikas. From where was Krishna singing? Was it through the flute, which was made of wood? What is flute? This body with nine holes is the flute. From this instrument (body), proper and melodious tunes should come out and not discordant ones. Oh Krishna! Play on, holding the flute of my heart and sing tunes full of Love. Listening to that tune coming from the flute of Krishna, Radha merged herself in the divine melody. Who is Radha? She is not just a woman. Radha is Dhara, the earth. The earth is the flute. Therefore, we call Radhakrishna. The name of woman comes first - nature (Prakriti) and then God (Paramatma). That is why the names - Radhakrishna, Sitarama, Lakshminarayana and so on. Therefore, you should worship nature and do good deeds. Then, you will enjoy the presence of God. There is nothing that is impossible for God.
Today is Vinayaka Chaturti. The nature of Vinayaka is found everywhere. Vinayaka is the master of Siddhi and Buddhi. We have to pray to such a Lord. If the leader is good, you will certainly reach the goal. Today, we do not have good leaders. Who is a good leader? Our conscience is the leader, but you have polluted that conscience. It is full of bad traits and wickedness. Vinayaka is the one who annihilates all such bad traits in our conscience. Mice smell everything wherever they go. Vinayaka has such a creature as his vehicle. He put the mouse under his foot. This means that he is not affected by any bad traits. As he is the master of all sacred qualities, sages and spiritual seekers praise him. We have to recognise and understand the significance of Vinayaka, who is there in our hearts. We have to think of him constantly. He is the presiding deity of all gods. Shaivites as well as Vaishnavites worship Vinayaka. He symbolises all the religions. He stands for auspiciousness. Once you recognise this and worship accordingly, you will redeem your lives.
Today, in Prasanthi Nilayam, we have many here, who have been serving with unwavering mind, unmindful of obstacles and difficulties. That is the true quality of devotion. One should have a steady mind and one-pointed vision. Bhagavan has chosen this day to felicitate all of them. This is not an opportunity, but a reflection of Bhagavan's love towards you. All this is nothing but reflection, reaction and resound. In future, many more things are going to happen like this. Continue to serve with steady devotion.
We have here with us, Professor Radhaswamy, who has been here for the last ten years or more. When he is given some work, he says, " Swami, you have given me life. My bypass surgery was also done in the Super Specialty Hospital. I do not want anything in this world. I like to serve you." Do you find anybody with such a sacred heart? There should be more and more such people in the future. We have a doctor from Italy, where he has a lot of work. Nevertheless, he wanted to work in the proximity of the Divine. He came and settled here and he is working in the department of cardiology. Another doctor Keshav Prasad, a young man from U.S.A., could have done great work there. However, he wanted to do Swami's service. Therefore, he came here with all his baggage and settled here. For outsiders, all these people look very ordinary. If you go deep and enquire about them and their bio-data, you will find them very special and unique. They are good leaders and specialists in their fields. Such leaders are leading unostentatious lives in Prasanthi Nilayam. They work very hard, day and night, just for the sake of Swami's love.
You have seen Dr. Alreja. When Bhagavan visited Bombay thirty years back, he was there in the crowd, at which time he sustained a heart attack and collapsed. Bhagavan got up from the dais and ran up to him, made him lie down and patted on his chest. Then a stretcher was brought and he was taken away. Later, he came to Parti, and from then onwards, he has been here and has never gone home. When Swami told Alreja, "You are 90 years old. You cannot climb the stairs. It is very difficult for you to walk. You can go in a car.", he replied, "My body is a car. As long as it is healthy, I will walk. You don't have to take any trouble. I don't want the car." He goes walking everyday to the hospital.
Earlier, there was Seshagiri Rao in Prashanti Nilayam. He was a great officer. He used to offer Aarati. He lived for a 100 years. Another person, by name Kishtappa, came after Seshagiri Rao had passed away. He used to come from a far off place by foot, sit through the Bhajans and offer Aarati to Bhagavan. He too lived for 101 years. Surayya, a huge personality from Venkatagiri, with a height of 6 feet and 3 inches, was also here. He was a celibate too. When Bhagavan takes rest at night, he used to come slowly and massage Swami's feet. When Swami says, " Surayya, my feet are not paining. You need not press my feet." He says, "Swami, you do not have any pain, but if I do not press, I will feel pain. So let me massage your feet." After Bhagawan closes His eyes, he leaves the room. He did this work till his last day. He too lived for a 100 years. Karunyananda Swami also lived for a 100 years. Kasturi was supposed to have died very early. But since he joined Prasanthi Nilayam, he was able to live upto ninety years. Whoever came here lived long. What is the reason? They were thinking of God all the time. It confers long life. There are many people who go for jogging and take medicines, but without any avail. But these people never used to take medicines. If they had any problem with health, they came to Swami to take Prasadam. They led their lives in this manner. There should be more and more such people.
Youngsters today have monkey mind; not just monkey mind, but something worse . What is said is forgotten the very next moment. The tongue has no bone and hence, it can be twisted in any way. You have to hold on to a promise you have made till you die. Many people say, "Swami, I am losing my teeth. What is the use after I lose all my teeth?" Swami says, " You may lose your teeth but the tongue is still there." All the teeth are strong. Strong things go first. The tongue that is soft remains. When you go, the tongue always comes with you. The tongue should be kept safe. That is why it is said, 'you cannot always oblige but you may always speak obligingly.' Talk softly and sweetly. Speak the truth. Follow righteousness. Chant the name of the Lord and make others listen to it. Do you know why the tongue is given? Is it to eat everything? Do you know why the feet are given? Is it to go around in the lanes and bylanes? Each limb of the body has its own purpose. You should do good and perfect deeds. Body is gifted to undertake sacred activities. You should never be unrighteous and never utter falsehood. Let your body tread along the righteous path. Bhagawan expects you to earn a good name.

[Swami concluded His divine discourse with the Bhajan 'Hari Bhajan Bina Sukh Santhi Nahi…']

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